The independent. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1902-1907, June 04, 1903, Image 1

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    I 1
V -sXl II I
i ifljMir
Vol. XV.
No. 2.
1 1
lfatloaal Csmmlttwrntn Hugo Preyor
Telia of Political Conditions In
Editor Independent: Your favor,
also copy of single tax edition, re
ceived. I congratulate you and your
contributors in getting out such a
valuable paper. It would be imperti
nent on my part should I attempt t
add anything to what has been said.
I can only say that I feel that the
time is not far distant when the viewa
expressed by Henry George will ba
enacted into law and a system of
equitable taxation take the place of
our present system.
There is one point to which I desire
to call attention, viz; the attention
of the laity should be called to tha
tax valuation of our county or state
in detail under the old system; it
should then be shown under the
Henry George system, proving our as
- sertion that the farmer, and small
home owner gains by the change and
that he who benefits from the un
earned increment is obliged to pay his
just share of taxation. My 31 yearsof
reform work has taught me that the
masses will come with us if we make
our position plain. We must realize
that not every man can grasp or com
prehend at a glance what some oth
ers can. I believe in going Into de
tails Instead of generalities. It may
be a little more work, but it is time
well spent V
Your Questions I answer as follows:
There is still a populist organization
in this state. I am the secretary. We
have, however affiliated with the
democratic party since the first Bryan
campaign. I do not know of any pop
ulists who have gone into the repub
lican party; some, perhaps one-tenth
..have joined hands with, the socialists.
Our future action will depend upon
the action of the democratic party. If
that party will In national issues favor
the Bryan platform' we can indorse
It or if in state and local issues it will
advocate the platform of Hon. Tom L.
Johnson, who favors home rule, single
tax; municipal ownership of all public
utilities, who opposes trusts, combines
and traitors in office, we can support
it without sacrificing one lota of our
principles. .
The financial question Is in my mind
still the most important question and
until that is satisfactorily settled, not
only, along the silver, but the absolute
fiat line, the country will witness in
.the future what it has in the past
panic, bankruptcy and ruin. The
present tariff holds the structure only
temporarily. Wishing you success and
a hearty greeting to your reader,
among whom I have many, friends,
yours for humanity,
, 74 Muirson sL. Cleveland, O.
Katlonal Committeeman Grece Telia Inde
pendent Readers the Situation In
Editor Independent: I am gratified
to learn that you have adopted the
.plan of writing to populists through
out the country to obtain their opin
ions on points regarding populism anl
the party. It is time something were
done and I have no doubt many pop
ulists, who have watched the . course
of events since the great campaigns of
1896 and 1900, and the efforts made,
and being made, by true patriots, like
Mr. Bryan and his followers, to save
the democratic party and make it the
party of the people, as its name im
plies it should be, are of the same
opinion. If the people are not arous-
1 and that quickly and unitedly th'S
nation's life as a republic Is ended.
Let any ona read the first chapter of
"Froude's Life of Caesar," and in
sert the name American republic in
place of "Roman republic" and he will
have an exact outline of, the condi-
tions now fastened upon this nation.
If Mr. Bryan, and those who are will
ing to follow him, could only succeed,
I am one who will dare to hope, "yet
fear presumption in the hope" that
the calamity of the death of the re
public might be averted. But I am
frank to admit that I have not faith I
sufficiently convincing to me, to as
sure me that Mr. Bryan and his sup
porters can, or will be able to resist
the power of money and promises of
advantage, ' office, emolument, "suc
cess", which the reorganizes are able
to make and furnish.
In my judgment the people's party
should be reorganized In every state
where possible. The. next democratic
national convention will doubtless
split in two, the reorganizers obtfn
ing control. Two democratic parties
will not do; followers of the Kansas
City platform must have a place to
go. The people's party standing on
the grand principles of the Omaha
platform and other national platforms
since that of 1892 will afford them
just the ground on which to stand.
Those principles meet the demands
of the masses today.
Then what ought populists to do? A
grand conference should be called at
some central point, SL Louis possl
bly the best, and adopt a plan of re
organization. If the national chair
man, ex-Senator Marion Butler, will
not act, then the vice chairman, J.
H. Edmisten, of your city, should, ia
conjunction with the national chair
man of the anti-fusion, populists, call
the meeting," or at any rate proper ac
tion should be taken. The work
should be begun immediately; there
is no time for delay. Let the party
be once more organized, and keep or
ganized for the future and. for the
salvation of the republic .
In reply to your requests as to the
condition of the populists in this state
let me say as follows: (a) There has
been no loss of populists in this state;
they have increased, but have been
voting with, and . In, the democratic
party, (b) The condition is due to
fusion both -nationally and in state
campaigns, (c) The populists by far
the greater portion vote with the
democrats; I know of none with th
republicans. The Bryan democrats,
who are all believers in the main
principles of the populist platform,
compose the greater part of the voting
strength of that party in this state.
The total vote can be found In any
report of the national or , state elec
tion at your command. I believe far
the greater part of these would go
with the populists when the proper
time comes, (d) - There is only the
semblance of a populist organization
in this state. Dr. A. W. Nichols of
Greenville, Mich., was chosen its lasr
chairman, and Frank Vander Cook of
St. Louis, Gratiot county, secretary
and I think they are true blue yet.
(f) As to party action next year, I
think I have given as nearly as pos
sible about the probable course of
populist action in this state if events
go as I have stated; that is, if the
democratic party is captured by th
"reorganizers" or goes hack on its
principles, then populists will surely
uiiite and show great strength. Oth
erwise, if Bryan ideas prevail, they
will stand by him and hi3 efforts. I
am doubtful about the single tax idea
being adopted, though I am one of
its advocates.
34 Hodges bldg., Detroit, Mich.
Some socialist papers have pub
lished "populist" editions written by
socialists The Independent (a popul
ist paper) proposes a Karl Marx Edi
tion, July 23, 1903, written by socialists.
National Committeeman Kent Belierea
' the Peoplea Party ia Dead Membera
Intaratd ia Socialism and
.-.Single Tax ...
Editor Independent: - Your letter
and Independent came duly to hand,
and should have had earlier acknowl
edgement. I have read the former
carefully, and several articles In the
latter, and congratulate you and the
public on the excellence of the mat
ter you have been able to gather.
As to the questions contained in
your letter, I can only say, I am un
able to answer them. As the people
of . Washington have no vote either
in the offices of the city or the na
tion, except as they retain their right
in the several states from which they
come, we have no means of estimat
ing the voting strength of any party.
Populism is never mentioned in
Washington except by the press in
contempt and derision.
I should say that the greater num
ber of those who were Interested 1r
the people's party, and who sent dele
gates to the St Louis convention, arc
now interested in socialism which
they look up as the logical outcome of
populist principles or In the singl?
tax, which goes a gooff way n the
same direction. So rar as I am able
to judge the feeling between the sin
gle taxers and socialists In this city
is more friendly than in most places.
Thy are generally disposed to travel
together so long as they are going in
the same direction. Socialists we
may say are headed for San Francis
co; single taxers think we need not
go beyond Denver. Socialists say,
"All right. We will keep you com
pany that far. If it turns out that
we do not need to go any farther, we
will stop there. If the need is not met,
you, we trust, will be ready to taka
the road with us and press on to the
socialist goal." Of course there ara
important differences in the philo
ophy, but we are learning that this
need not interfere with a good degree
of co-operation. r
Personally, I think the people's par
tyas a party is dead. But all that
was true in its principles remains true
still, and will to the end. I do not,
however, look for any embodiment of
these principles in any party plat
form that can possibly be born out of
present conditions. Those in . the
democratic party who are in activi
sympathy with populist principles aro
too few, in my opinion, to warrant
any hope of victory through fusion in
Still, I think they will be numerous
enough to prevent the Bourbons from
nominating their man. Personally, I
am not anxious to see a democratic
president and house elected in 1901.
Power and responsibility belong to
gether. Power is out of the question
for the democracy in the next con
gress. They don't want to be in
charge when the break-down come3.
If they are, thejr won't be long. I
should be glad to see the republicans
try their tariff and financial policy to
a finale. If the break-down comes
under their policy, the party that suc
ceeds will have a fair chance of hold
ing power long enough to try another.
But if the " present party is thrown
but of power before the crash comes,
and if that crash follows pretty speed
ily upon the change, as It ia very like
ly to do, they would have nothing to
look for but overwhelming defeat In
the next campaign. I should say, Get
good, capable, honest populists and
democrats in the house and senate,
and let them hold these bodies, as far
as they can, to high standards of ac
tion, and they will do more for the
country than can possibly be done un
der present conditions, through party
victory. .
The first duty of the people Is to
get control of the government Gov
ernment ownership of the railroads
will not amount to much so long aj
the plutocrats own the government;.
When the people have the sense and
courage to capture the government
they will easily get the railroads and
all other public utilities. The first
fight logically is for popular initiative
and popuar veto. When citizens can
force good bills to a vote, and exer
cise a veto power over bad ones, leg
islators can be forced to use their
expert power for public advantage.
Then public ownership of public util
ities will be possible in fact as well as
in name. ALEX KENT.
Washington, D. C.
The single taxers told their story in
the Henry George Edition. The so
cialist may tell theirs in the Karl
Marx Edition, July 23, 1903.
The Cause of Sun Spots
E. Gerry Brown, one of the populist
national committeemen from Massa
chusetts, has followed the example of
Elmer E. Thomas of Omaha with a
glowing prospectus of the impending
populist uprising In New England and
especially in the Old Bay state. If
the Massachusetts upheaval is a re
flex of the spontaneous populist out
burst in Omaha so vividly portrayed
by Apostle Thomas, we have scientific
explanation of the earthquake in
Minor Asia that have swallowed up
towns, villages and people promiscu
ously without previous announcement.
Omaha Bee.
Wanted: The correct address of
Hon. Eugene Smith, populist national
committeeman for Illinois and mem
ber of the executive committee. A let
ter mailed to him from this office May
17, 1903, addressed to No. 515 Ashland
block, Chicago, was returned un
claimed May 27 with the notation
"No such number." ,&
Mr. Saedlker Prefaces a Serlea of Articles
bf Showing Soma Benefits of
Cheap Transportation.
The granger, agitation aa3 leglsm- -tion
years ago, although proceeding
on a wrong theory, had had the good
effect of teaching the people that pub
lic ownership is a condition precedent
to "control." Of course, we knov
now that private ownership should
never have been permitted; the law
of eminent domain was never intend
ed to permit the taking of private
property for anything but public uses,
and our courts have been obliged to
do all sorts of hair-splitting to justify .
the taking of private property for a
railroad right of way, to permit the
right of way to be owned and held as
private property, and In some places
to place the mantle of sovereignty
over it so that adverse possession
cannot ripen into title In another.
Buthavlng started on the wrong
theory, the past cannot be undone and
our steps retraced we must simply
go ahead and get right
Mr. R. T. Snediker of Kansas City,.
Mo., one of the proprietors of the
Stock Hotel there, is in a position to
study the transportation question,
and he has recently written some in
teresting letters to the Kansas City
World on the subject He has fur
nished copies of these to The Inde
pendent, saying: '
Editor Independent: We cannot
have equal freedom or free trade, t .
a few monopolize transportation. The
democratic party has pledged against
all private monopoly in state or na
tion; why not hold them to it and tako
a monopoly that all men can see one
of the most corruptive in government,
except it be the beneficiaries of tar
iffs?.: -
In these railroad stories I do not
include rides in Pullman, or baggage
or insurance. I only hope to arouse .
discussion and can bring Out other
points as they arise. -Roosevelt is not
going to stop one trust from robbing .
the people. Not one. . Tom Johnson
is going to stop a street car trust and
he has the people with him " -
If the democrats become democratic'
and will stand for human rights, they
will win. And they should not win, if
they follow republican lines of action.
Think I can defend my line of ar
gument from the buying and manage
ment down to the man who shovels
dirt Men of all color and parties '
come to me and say they would work
and vote for the party that would con
tend for this. R. T. SNEDIKER.
1311 Genesee st, Kansas City, Mo.
Well, the people's party has been
contending for public ownership of
railroads for a good many years. The
party organization is not in first-class
shape right now, but with a littlj
rallying it can be aroused the growth
of sentiment in favor of public own
ership alone being a sufficient incen
tive and it can be ready for" action
next year if the old parties refuse to
speak for what the people want Mr.
Snediker's first letter to the World
To the Editor of The World: It
must be admitted that newspapers an
a great instrumentality in the way of
increasing Intelligence. But it is a
mooted question, if good roads do not
do more for increasing the reasoning
powers of man and make more for a
higher civilisation, than the whole
force of the press of the country, let
it be as great as it. may. -
Place a man on a farm or island,
cut him off from personal contact
with his fellows, rain all the papers
and periodicals on him that he could
read, and at the end of twenty or thir
ty years, what would he know? At
the end of that time not one in a
thousand would be able to take ab
stract propositions and reason them
out to a rightful conclusion.
Reverse the illustration:
Good roads mean the least possible
friction in the transportation of per
sons and property. Take a commun
ity with the best of country roads and
bridges, with up - to - date steam
railways, free to all the citizens, so
that men and families could go 100
or 200 miles from home and return in
a day. Where everybody could travel
at will; mingle and commingle with
the people of the various sections of
the country; argue and discuss ques
tions from all points of view, see.