The independent. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1902-1907, March 26, 1903, Image 1

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i Vol. XIV.
... M.
ay y? .
LINCOLN; NEB., MARCH-26. 19Q3. .
No. 44.
jTolm A. Hobson's Lecture a UaiTersitr of
- Nebraska Clearly Sustains the Pep
allst CwateatUa - . ,
John A. Hobson of London, England,
addressed a large audience at the old
chapel, University bt Nebraska Tuest
i day evening v (March 24); Mr. i Hob ;
-son is the author of. "The War in
South Africa: Its Causes and Effects,"
and has written a later book on "The
Economics of , Dtribution": ;,He 13
regarded as among the strongest and
clearest thinkers and writers on: po-,
litical economy. At present he is en
' . gaged in a tour of the United States,
studying the economic conditions jicre,
-and incidentally lecturing before vari
ous colleges and universities. For
tunately for Nebraska he is a strong
personal friend of Prof. Edward A.
Ross, at the head of . the department
of sociology, and this friendship , re
sulted in giving the students ana citi
zens of Lincoln the pleasure of hear
ing his lecture otf "The True and
False in Socialism." ; "'. t
It was a red-letter event for the
populists who were ; present; rathe?
discomfitting for the Marxists, head
ed by Dr. Aley; and the republicans,
who have progressed no further than
the "full dinner pail"' stage, were
pleased without really knowing why,
- Mr.- Hobson began by quoting from
a statement made by a teacher to his
class that the duty performed in the
19th century had - been the establish
ment of a political democracy, and
that the duty to be performed in the
20th century is to establish an econ
omic democracy; but he felt that the
19th century task had not been fully
performed and that much yet remains
to be done before we can truthfully
eay that a political democracy is com
pleted. . , - - v..--'-.
- , He then explained the laissez faire
N doctrine of Adam Smith and showed
that while this was seemingly good
from a theoretical standpoint, yet nev
ertheless it is faulty. He likened it to
the efforts, of .men. to invent a ... ma-,'chine-
of perpetual motion. Many of
these v machines -were marvellously
good, but the inventors always ignored
one insignificant factor-friction. And
, friction always stopped the machine.
It is a mistake to suppose that self
interest will always be sufficient to
regulate the actions of capitalists and
laborers so that competition will pro
duce the greatest . benefits to society,
because the conclusion is based upon
the assumption that there is perfec
fluidity in capital and labor which
is not the case. Capitalists cannot al
ways quickly abandon a business
which is proving unprofitable and en
gage in some other line; neither can
laborers who have , learned one trade
quickly change to another.
Taking up the question of free com
petition and the .right of free con
tract, Mr. Hobson called attention to
the earlier efforts to escape cut-throat
competition by establishing private
co-operative institutions which very
naturally failed to accomplish the in
tended end. He recounted the grow
ing tendency in the last fifty years
to interfere by legislation with the
right of free contract factory,, acts
and the like, and declared that the
common doctrine that the interests of
capital and labor are identical is only
partly true, as is also the converse of
that proposition. : It Is. not. to. the in
terest of the employer, generally to
pay "sweat-shop"' wages or treat his
employes in such a way as to injure
their productive capacity; it is not to
the Interest of employes to demand an
Increase of wages when the market U
falling. But the point of conflict the
friction which stops the perpetual mo
tion machine of laissez faire always
comes where a surplus is being pro
duced above a fair return for both
capital , and labor. It is to secure a
share of. this surplus that labor un
ions are organized; and - to , retain : it
that counter-organizations . are . ef
fected among the capitalists.
; In addition; to the interests of the
capitalist and the laborer engaged in
any industry, Mr. Hobson called at
tention to the third party .' in inter
estthe consuming - public; and b.?
Bees danger to , the interests of thl-?
third party in the. recent developmert
of alliances between organization?! of
capital " and organizations of labor,
citing ; the glass trade in the United
States as an example of what will
doubtless be more common in the fu
ture. ( If such an alliance . should bo
made In one of the fundamental indus
tries coal mining, for example it
would be a menace to every other in
dustry. It i is because of i this third
party interest; that . there is no such
thing as a strictly private business.
."Taking up the question of state so
cialism (which is nothing else than
populism) ; he: declares ; that control
without ownership of the large indus
tries,, especially Hhose which require
a franchise,- is almost Impossible. As
fast as one form of combination: am
consolidation is tabooed by legislation,
a new form is invented. The only
solution finally will be municipal or
state ownership, but the political
democracy must be improved and per
fected to go hand in hand with the
economic democracy. He recalled tha',
there is a much larger survival of the
small businesses than many suppose,
declaring that ihe giant businesses
have simply thrown them in the sha
dow. He reeognized that in many
small businesses there seems to be no
tendency to .grow larger to any con .
siderable extent, and that in many
large businesses there is no tendency
toward combination and consolidation.
In, these individual initiative would
continue to prevail. He denied the
correctness of the -"scientific" socialis
demand for collective ownership of all
the means of production and distribu
tion and then: the: Marxists present
lost all interest and felt that here
was a brainy man acting as agent for
the capitalists.-: v : : :j '
Summed up, Mr. Hobson's lecture
was a pleasant surprise to the popul
ists present. It was an academh
presentation of populism with all ref
erences to "the money power," "trust
magnates,"' "railway kings," ; and
"coal barons"- left out In every im
portant particular it is in harmon
with the position taken . by Dr. Ely,
of the ' Wisconsin university, in his
works.' It is, as John Graham Brooks
says in "The Social Unrest," "the new
consciousness of difference between a
really,' private business, JUkea .gro
cery store, and one that has ceased to
.be private in that sense."-De France,
Mr. Vance' Wrath is Aronsrd by Mr, D-..-.Hart's
Article Lest Week .
Editor Independent: For malig
nant misrepresentation of fact, distor
tion of truth, and unadulterated dema
goguery, Mr. De Hart's article in last
week's Independent Is the meanest
specimen, since the crazy old days of
abolitionism. I state but a simple
truth when I say that 99 out of every
100 ""men in the south will cheerfully
admit that Booker T. Washington is
every way the peer of Theodore Roose
velt The reason why Mr. Roosevelt's
hospitality was criticised was that it
was considered a chea.) piece of poll
tics, intended to catch the southern
negro vote in the n-jvt national re
publican convention. v --':'
Mr. De Hart's artic'o would convey
the impression that the only amuse
ment, pastime or recreation of the
southern people consisted " in "burn
ing negroes." Will : Mr. De Hartbe
kind enough to point out what pun
ishment, he as a man, -would inflict
on the brute," be he black or white,
who had assaulted his wife, sister, or
daughter ? Colorado has burned ne
groes for this crime. Nebraska has
lynched both black and white men for
criminal f assault, Illinois, ' Indiana,
Ohi6, wherever : the crime has been
committed, the same-fearful-retribution
has followed. Does the gentle
man consider, the punishment too se
vere? or does he consider the crime a
venal one to be punished by fine and
imprisonment? The truth is, the sani
crime would meet tha same punish
ment in Massachusetts that it does 1 1
South Carolina - , -
Bishop Turner, as grand a colored
man as the African race can boast of.
tells the negroes of thj south plainly
that "the morals of the colored race
are responsible for all the lvnchlngs
and burnings that occur at the south."
Whatever sentimental fools may say
to the contrary, the enfranchisement
of the negro at the time it. took place
was a calamity to the colored race;
it was not done as a measure of jus
tice to the colored man; the freed man
needed a hundred other .things worse
than he did the ballot; he needed food
and raimf nt; education, moral -train
ing, civilization. His blind partisan
ship,' his adherence to the republican
party made the colored man a politi
cal issue brought him in conflict with
the keenest intelligence of the domi
nant race. That he failed to carry the
southern states for the republican par
ty was a foregone conclusion,
i At the north it was different. The
solid negro vote at the north has kept
the republican party in power for thir
ty years. Mr. Roosevelt himself owes
his election . to the colored vote of
New York. Without this vote the re
publican party could not carry a state
outside of, New England. If Mr.
Roosevelt were honest, if his party
were honest, they would discharge
their political debts by appointing col
ored men to office at the north.
Let Mr. Roosevelt "open the door
of hope" by appointing a negro col
lector of customs at New York city; or
United States attorney for Delaware.
Surely he could find e man to take
Byrne's place who has twice been re
jected by a republican senate. Could
he not find "a $10 " 'boiled chestnut,"
"tin-tagged,"; Addicks negro who
would be acceptable to a republican
senate, every member of which owes
his seat to the negro vote? If hot,
why abuse southern men for refusing
to swallow a pill that the northern
man rejects with still greater loath
ing? As good a republican organ as
The Outlook has declared within tti
last month that "the corrupt use made
of the ignorant colored vote by Ad -
dicks in the state of Delaware, more
than justified the restrictions placed
upon the ignorant-colored vote in sonn
of the southern state."
Mr. De Hart can doubtless look back
to those halcyon days of negro su
premacy when the r bonds of ,; South
Carolina were being sold on the streets
of. New. York for;7 cents on the dol
lar. If Mr. De Hart 13 to be believed,
thi3 costly experiment must be, tried
again, , not . in the republican states
where the party is in power ;by the
grace . of the negro voto, but in the
democratic states where he has failed
to qualify and vote or we must pre
pare for "a race war," 1 ,4
..Massachusetts has . placed , greater,
restriction upon the right of suffrage
than either : Virginia or South Caro
lina. Why not a race war In Masea
chusetts? When Mr. De Hart says ,"a
large section of the south wanted ne
gro slavery and tariff for revenue
only," he stated a plain falsehood, and
in the following sentence, "The whites
make the laws in the southern states,
and they ought to make them in such
a-way that men like Booker T. Wash
ington at least can vote." Booker T.
Washington and men very unlike
Booker T. Washington can vote. Any
man can vote in the southern states
who has paid taxes and can read and
write, regardless of rare, color or prev -ioiis
condition. The restrictions ap
ply to white men as well as colored,
and need only be temporary.
In conclusion, let me say the right
of suffrage is a right conferred on the
citizen by the state and not by the
federal government The race war
Mr. De Hart predicts can easily be
avoided by a liberal application of the
spelling book and reader "and follow
ing the beaten paths of honest, patient
industry. The disfranchisement of
the negro is only temporary. The
"door of hope" is only closed to ignor
ance; vice and crime.
Milford, Neb. ,
Pledging Candidates the Best System
- The worker in charge of the maior-
ity rule campaign in Texas writes :
i ne only way to succeed is to have
every, candidate pledged in writing
before his nomination. This will be
done with the candidates for the next
legislature. Meanwhile some progress
nas been made in cities, especially in
Waco, where every candidate elected
expressed himself favorably before hia
nomination." v ' '
From Rhode Island a leading secre
tary of organized labor writes:
"The senate and house in this state
are refusing to enact any measure
whatever, They are pursuing the pol
icy of 'dog in the manner The house
consists of 36 republicans and 33 dem
ocrats, the senate 18 republicans and
12 democrats, and no measure is al
lowed to pass in either dace unless
the boss 'says so.' "
Try one of Branch & Miller's com
bination orders for groceries. It will
save you money. . . . .
GTrmeal Kagafred la Baaklag Bns!
nessMd tke Reeks Kef aged IGot-
ralag-Abstract He. Z
j Editor Independent; ': No. S2 of the
comptroller's abstract of Reports of
National Bankers has-been; sent out
This shows that, on February 6, the
secretary of the treasury had : made
deposit loans to the banks amount
ing, exclusive of $7,341,226 of disburs
ing officers'; deposits, to $140,493,423.
The 62 central reserve city banks,
all of which are In Now York, Chlca-
go and St Louis, held $46,276,910 of
these deposit loans. -
- The 279 reserve city banks; In 31
reserve cities, held $41,213,688. So that
the reserve city banks of both classes
held $87,490,598. The remainder of
these loans, $33,002,825, was distri
buted among the 4.225 country banks.
So far as the public knows anything
about it, these loans are wholly with
out interest. At least, the govern
ment gets no interest
In calculating the deposits to deter
mine the amount of reserves required
by law to be held, this entire sum of
$140,493,423 is left out The abstract
does not state this, and there is no
way from its face that it could be
known, but I have a letter from the
comptroller dated March 13, 1903, in
answer to an inquiry, that says this Is
the fact ; ' .. - .. - W:v'.- ..- :
That this is a clear violation of the
law by Mr. Shaw -there can be no
doubt It relieves the banks from
holding a reserve against this large
deposit loan. There can be f but one
reason for doing it; and that reason
ought to subject Mr. Shaw to im
peachment. It is an attempt on th.
part of Secretary Shaw and the ad-
ministration to cover up the reserve ,
shortages of the banks. A large per
cent of these banks, more than half,
possibly three-fourths; particularly in
the reserve cities, have ' been for
months and years reporting short re
serve,?. - SO far as the public has been
Informed, no action has . been taken
concerning mis nagrani violation or
the bank law. If this deposit loan had
not been excluded from the calcula-
tion, there would have been 20 out of
the 34 reserve cities that would have
been shown to be short in their re
quired reserves, and in a number of
others the banker's surplus would
nave been reduced to practically noth
ing. As it is, the exclusion of ; this
large sum could not prevent a short
age appearing in the assreeate of each
of twelve reserve cities. .
There was not, at the expiration of
the time covered by this abstract, a
single dollar of the areresate bank
er's surplus held by tne 4,766 national
banks that was not covered by these
deposit loans of the government If
Mr. Shaw were to take out of these ,
b3nks the $140,493,423. it would take
every dollar of the aggregate bank- '
er s surplus, and take $61,876,808 of
the aggregate reserves. ; If. he were to
draw out of the 279 reserve city banks
the $41,213,688 of deposit loans, . It
woum take every dollar of their ag
gregate banker's sumlus. and take '
$32,566,494 of their aggregate reserves.
ii ne were to draw out of the 62
central reserve city banks the $46,- '
276,910 of government deoosit loam
it would take every dollar of their ;
aggregate banker's surplus, and take ;
in addition $20,608,470 of, their aggre
gate reserves, as shown bv this ab
stract .
It is shown by this abstract that, tn
the face of thi3 condition, the national
banks have, during the, 73 days cov
ered by it, increased their loans and
discounts $47,749,653. or an ncrnz nt
over $654,000 per dav nnt MolnNnjr .
Sundays. .. It is important not to over-
iook tne ract that over $32,000,000 of
this amount Is an inc.-ease hv th ai -
New York banks alone .
The reckless disregard of miblic In
terest and of possible
manifested by the crowd of New York
stock gamblers i3 astounding.
Our administrative and lefrtslnMvA
departments of government harp in
blind ignorance or dishonesty, listened '
io me seinsn aavice and demands of "
the asnrrppntinno nf financial
ulators. until the sitnatlnn hna ho.
come alarming even to them. No
wonder these New York stock gam
bling bankers were anxious about leg
islation during the closinz
congTess. No wonder, when they found
they could not secure the passage of