The independent. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1902-1907, January 01, 1903, Image 1

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    GlfA fff fit A
Vol. XIV.
LINCOLN, NEB., JAN. 1, 1903.
No. 32. '
Congressman Stark Urges the Peoples
Party to Practice What it Preaches (
- Editor Independent: Responding to
the many requests I have received I
- beg leave to respectfully suggest to
you a thought relative to the function
of the citizen in politics. Let us see
if our departure from old time meth
ods has any probable connection with
.present conditions.
In the early days the people met in
"town meetings and discussed matters
pertaining to the common good. Po
litical action was - spontaneous, flow
ing from the collective citizenship,
they being the prime movers thereof.
. In latter day politics the primary elec
tion system comes nearest to the at
'tainment of the objects sought in the
'old time town meeting; and the con
.'vention system is its antithesis. Is it
,not possible that we have blamed the
! existing parties fo many things that
they could not avoid under their form
. of organization and their method of
operation? Cannot the boss-ridden con
..ditiohs of politics in many states be
"directly traced to the convention sys
tem that organizes and operates from
the center out instead of from the cir
cumference in?
We have to face this question, "Is
the citizen the unit in political artion,
or is the convention the unit and the
citizen ah infinitesimal fraction there
of?" Another question that we should
try to answer, is, can we hope to suc
ceed in the promulgation of pure political-principles
and practically work
out the ideals of the founders of this
government when we make use of the
same methods and machinery by which
those ideals have been well night ob
literated? Why is it that a party
whose platform declares for reforms of
various kinds elects men who never
' give a serious thought to the perform
. ance of those duties to which they are
pledged? Simply because the method
" of selecting candidates "is in direct
... , opposition to the accomplishment of
the declared purposes; results flow
" from actions, not from declarations.
The best illustration of attempts to
"work out the accomplishment of our
declarations under the convention
' metnod and system would be to seat a
man on a horse backward and have
him vociferously declare that he is
traveling northward when the horse
is going south. Our principles may be
ation are radically wrong our declar
ation of principles will avail nothing.
If we believe that our government is
- by the people and not an outward flow
from some centralized power, then we
should seek some method of political
operation which will secure and re-
1 tain the power to select men and de
clare measures in the hands of the in-
dividual elector. Especially is the se
' lection of men all important, because
the right stamp of man will do right
and strive to preserve our liberties
" without any platform, if need be. Many
. men will not do these things, no mat
; ter how strongly bound by platforms.
'. This can most effectually be done by
the primary election system. As its
' name implies the first or primary po
litical action rests with the individual
electors of the state and is exercised
" and absolutely controlled in the meet
ings of these electors in their respec
tive election precincts instead of being
authorized by some "boss" who holds
the power of political action by virtue
. of his retainers and henchmen.
The people's independent party has
been a school master in politics to the
. . republican party. It taught the quan-
titative theory of money value and
President McKinley made use of the
lesson. While his party was declar
ing that prices did not depend on the
quantity of money in circulation, he
was wls3 enough to avoid a monetary
stringency by coining large amounts
of silver although his party had made
gold the standard.
The people's independent party has
. a splendid platform and the Chicago
and Kansas City platforms "of the
democratic party are both excellent;
but in our F.tate we have the spectacle
of reformers who declare in their plat form
or the election of United States
sefil.. by direct vote of the peoplo
and then deny their own party the
privilege of selecting any nominee by
direct vote. 'r I do not say these things
by way of fault finding," but simply to
point out that ir we expect to accom
plish reforms we declare for we must
abandon the methods and expedients
by which the people's rights have been
withheld from-then;. , Our teaching
has been right and has done much
"1 (Continued on Page 2.)
Money and the Taxing Power
AH Rights Reserved.
A new theory born into the world is
like a new born plant or animal, and
must struggle to establish and devel
op itself, by destroying and devour
ing everything adverse to it New
theories overcome ignorance , much
more easily than they overcome pre
judice. The masses of accepted tradi
tion which sway mankind," gather
around them a sort of sanctity which
makes them strong. It is this rever
ence for things that have established
themselves that holds society together.
Men cling to ancient forms and the
ories in spite of the evils and suffer
ings they entail, and never abandon
them until forced to do so. Most of
our traditions and theories rest upon
assumptions that have never been
verified. Many of these assumptions
are incapable of verification. These
traditions and our disposition to cling
to them, are a mixture of good and
In propounding the theory herein
after advanced, I am not blind to the
fact that, it comes in collision with
many of these accepted assumptions
and must destroy them to make for
itself a place to be.
In all the heated discussions between
the one-metallists and the two-metal-lists,
no inquiries have been made in
to the correctness of fundamental as
sumptions common to both sides; but
the minds of men have been warped
under a wjiite heat, and made to fit
notions 'haF'Eave''coine''down:,'lto'" us
from an ignorant past, which notions
have no conformity to truth.
It is far easier to implant a new
theory in a mind entirely ignorant,
than in one already occupied by the
ories that have been sanctified by lime,
and made holy by having been
avouched by great names like Adam
Smith, John Stuart Mill, Prof. Jevons,
and others, who have been ornaments
to the race.
In the investigations and discus
sions which are to follow, what I have
a right to ask of honest people is
that nothing that does not rest on
facts shall be permitted to stand in
the way of that which does rest on
facts. I have the right to de
mand that each demonstra
ble truth shall be accepted and that
the resulting conclusions, warranted
by logical reasoning, be accepted along
with those truths.
That those who so deepiy reverence
the current theories of economics may
at once pet a glimpse of its sandy
foundation, attention is here called to
the fact that while the subject of po
litical economy is "wealth," yet, as
Mr. Henry George has already pointed
out, unlike any other known science,
no definition of that subject has ever
been attempted. . So vague, then, has
been this so-called science, it has pro
ceeded without a definita subject
To one who has never found himself
in the depths of a tropicrJ forest, the
enormous profusion anl luxuriance
with which the myriad forms of life
crowd upon each other there Is In
conceivable. Let us place ourselves
in one of thesa and look around for a
moment Hera are immense forest
trees of different species comming'ed
together, and crowding ech other in
all directions. Around them an lu
conceivable mass of smaller trees,
reeds, vines, and briarswith rank
grasses make it impossible to go
through it, except by cutting tunnels
to make a pathway. On the trunks
and branches of all the trees, innum
erable parasitic plants "have fastened
themselves; and twining everywhere
and around and over the tops in tan
gled masses are countless species of
vines, whose blossoms succeeding each
other cyJniie color of the forest
from .day to day. -
Each individual life-center here
struggles for space and means to de
velop the form appropriate to its own
species. But life also manifests itself
everywhere around us under the form
of animals in great profusion. Here,
too, each individual form of animal
life battles to obtain room and the
means for its own development. We
cannot free ourselves, while looking
at all these forms, from the idea that
each one of these-individual life-centers,
obeying a native, impulse, is act
ually, seeking by every means within
its power to take possession of space
and to obtain dominion over forces
and materials which it" may compel to
serve it in accomplishing its seeming
purpose to create and maintain the
form appropriate to its species.
In this struggle between the individ
ual life-centers, remorseless battle is
incessantly waged between them.
Here are the perfect Ishmaelites.
OhsprvA now that, this Ktni eerie
among these individuals is just as bit
ter and relentless between individuals
of the same species, as between those
of different genera.. These are the
low forms of life. When we ascend
to the higher forms of animal life we
find the deer and even the parrots and
monkeys have ceased from cannibal
ism. They even put forth some por
tion of their efforts to aid other indi
viduals, of their own species.
.All this turmoil and battle between
individual life-centers is a struggle on
the part of each to extend its domin
ion over and to obtain exclusive indi
vidual possession of certain things cap
able of serving it by supplying the
needs of its nature. It is those things
endowed with this capacity to be made
to serve beneficially, . which among
men have become what we call
Because the supply of those things is
insufficient to meet the demand created
by this struggle, the battle becomes
fierce and destructive. There is no
arm of power outstretched among the
lowly forms of life to protect the
weak individual from aggression by
the strong, and in the hurly-burly the
mightiest devour the less mighty, and
so the "fittest" individuals survive.
It is this individualization ' of life,
this effort of each separate life-center
to acquire exclusive possession of cer
tain things for its individual behoof,'
and thereby to deprive all other, indi
viduals of dominion over these things,
which generates this deadly struggle
The sum total of all the life that is
manifested in that tropical forest, if
united in one, would be the same and
the needful elements there- found
would support and maintain the same
quantity of life thus united, and the
battle between the individuals would
be eliminated..
Upward progress is along the line
of eliminating this fierce battle.
The plants perform those acts from
which the propagation of their "spe
cies result, and take no further care
or supervision of the germ of a new
life thus thrust out into the world. As
we ascend the scale all this is changed.
Among the higher forms of life "the
mothers nurse and the sires defend"
their young. ' .
In our own species liot only does par
ental love guard and preserve the
young, but brother and sister protect
each other, and children provide for
helpless parents. And the higher man
has attained in the scale of real civ
ilization, the less exclusive dofs the
individual life-center become; the
wider is the circle of its sympathy, and
the more does it tend toward the "rec
ognition of a right of common posses
sion, not by a denial of the right of
exclusive individual possession, but
by a voluntary relaxation of each in
dividual in the enforcement of
that right.
(To be continued next week.)
Mr Van VorhU Deprecates the prevalence
of False Swearing and Misleading
Editor Independent: There la the
best evidence for believing that al
ready eighty per cent of the wealth of
this country is held by; less than one
third of one per cent of its population;
that is, that about 250,000 people out
of 76,000,000 hold eighty per cent of
the wealth. With the immortal Lin
coln, from the very depth of my heart
I must say, i'Before God, I fear more
for my country now than when In the
midst of the war." ,
When these corporations were cre
ated, it was hardly expected that they
would so soon claim to be the masters
of the power that created them; but
today the nation is struggling with
them for the control of its own affairs. .
I know there are those who, In one
way and another, are Interested in a
small way In the results of such ,
schemes, who are ready, when atten
tion is called to this awfui condition
to scoff at it and pretend to believe
that all such informations are but
"morbid suspicions" of a "disordered
mind." If I am subject to such criti
cism, then the same disease has at
tacked members of the United States
supreme court. On May 11, 1899, Mr.
Justice Brown of that court in an ad
dress on Chief Justice Marshall be
fore the Richmond bar association
said:''." '
"There are disturbing elements in
our present social system which are
calculated to excite the apprehension
of patriotic men. . . . The ghost of
monopoly ha3 risen from its grave mid
stalks abroad, defiant of the law. in
the shape of combinations and trusts
The necessities of life are gradually
being absorbed by them,' and the time
is not far distant when everything we
eaV drink and wear may have to bo
purchaser-through the agency of a
single corporation controlling the
product When this, Is accomplished
the freedom of the individual is at an
end , Already combinations have de
stroyed individual enterprise in the
most important branches of trade, and
the small producer has' already gone
to the wall. I believe I voice the al
most universal sentiment of the coun
try in saying that there is no preju
dice against proper nor against
wealth honestly acquired. The whole
theory of our civilization is built up
on the sanctity of private property and
the natural rights of man, by superior
ability, Industry and skill to rise
above his fellows. . , . If, by combina
tion with other great operators, he is
able to monopolize the products of the
whole country in a particular article,
he becomes a national menace."
And yet we go on creating such com
binations. We turn over to them not
only our own franchises, but the mdu
ey in our treasury, and that without
interest By law we put them in a
situation where- they are able no, only -to
do ' what justice Brown says they :
have done and will do, but a great deal
more than that. Not only do they,
shut the doof to individual enterprise
and crush the individual pioducer, but
throw obstacles in the way of public
information and education. They cre
ate conditions and necessities before
which honesty of purpose and truth
fulness of utterance go down. , .
- At the last annua! meeting of the
New York bar association, President
Whittaker delivered an address on
the prevalence of l perjuries in the
courts. , He said: f
, "Men standing high in community
apparently think nothing of swearing
falsely to pleadings in order to delay
or to defeat justice."
He was of the opinion that the crime
was increasing,, and the association
stems to have agreed with him. The
editor of. Law Notes, in commenting
on this address, very sensibly re
marks:, -
"The magnitude of the stakes in
volved in many modern law suits put3
the rectitude of men to tests hitherto
unknown. If perjuries are more num
erous, so are the objects to be gained
by perjury more alluring. Like ariee,
if defaulters multiply, so do funds ex
posed, to defalcations swell to for
tunes 'beyond the dreams of avarice.'
If there Is more corruption among