The independent. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1902-1907, July 02, 1903, Image 1

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Voi. XV.
No." 6.-
National Commltteenaaa Graot Expri
ff9 ConrlHan That tha Moaey Que
tlon is SUU Vital and Paramount
Editor Independent: Your letter
cf May 16 and 28, 1903, and a copy of
the Henry George Edition of your val
uable paper were duly received, for
which accept thanks. I note your re
quests,1 but will be unable to answer
them except in a general way. Since
1896 the populists in Ohio have fol
lowed the leadership of Bryan and . I
believe they are willing to continue to
follow him wherever he may lead,
providing he does not abandon the
money question. Since 1900 they
have acted independently because of
the peculiar conditions existing po
litically in this state. They will not
abandon the principles of the people's
f party as announced in the platforms
of 1892 and 1900." They distrust the
democrat leaders in this state and
many of them believe that they are
merely adjuncts to the republican par
ty' and they will not be governed and
controlled by them unless they stand
squarely on the Chicago and Kansas
City platforms.
If the democratic party should in
1904 abandon the money question the
populists will abandon that party and
will insist upon acting independently
of other party organizations. It must
be understood that those of us who
. left the republican party because of
the money question will never affiliate
with any organization that does not
make that question the paramount
one as it is now and always has been,
i Bryan has been true to his convic
tions, although in 1900 he was in
riuced to put aside the consideration of
the money question and to take, up
what many thought to be a matter of
more vital importance, viz: 'imperial
ism." I thought then that he and
ali those who w.r in control of the
democratic party made a mistake in
-so doing and I know it now and, I
think he does. I am one oPthose who
believe that no permanent good can
.tomes from the discussion of political
questions that are of no general im
lortance. The fight fcr political pow
er must be made b ' the plain people
o this country upon the money ques
tion arid that alone, and that fight,
must continue until success crowns
' their efforts if they ever expect to re
ceive any permanent benefits. Every
political question takes its root in
the money question and when that is
solved as it should be the rest of them
will disappear. In 1896 the money
question was for th? first time in the
history of the world made a political
issue and the reason we did not suc
ceed then is that the people had not
fufficient information upon the sub
ject to enabla them to vote intelli
gently upon it, and those who debated
the question upon the stump were not
, qualified, except in a few instances, to
convey to them proper information.
When it will be igain made the para
mount issue is a hard question to an
swer. ' If the democratic party in 1904
should abandon that question it will
i be defeated by an overwhelming ma
jority as it ought to be. If it should
i- would be an evidence of eowardici?
or. its part and the people are dot yet
prepared to ssport a policy of cow
ardice nor to elect cowards to politi
cal office. If our contention 'in 1896
were correct it is certainly correct
row. If it were of sufficient import
ance to be made a chief political issue
.then there is no reason why it should
not continue to be. -.
A good many people seem to think
that if we had single tax or if the
.tariff were revised and the protective
feature abandoned or if we had free
!trade we would have general prosper
ity and the people would be contented
and happy. It is singluar how easily
people are drawn away from the con
sideration of the great question, the
money question, that concerns their
temporal welfare and made to believe
that some other remedy is necessary
in order to make them prosperous. If
the people of this country should
adopt the theory of single tax and
if. should be carried out in all its full
ness or if they had free trade pure
and simple, conditions would not be
changed for their permanent good;
prices would not be affected. It must
, : be understood that it is rot a question
of .taxation nor of tariff 4 nor! of free
: -' "trade that is Important' It ! is the
(juestion of money that concerns us
all, for without money taxes cannot
by paid however levied. The people
ujust provide themselves with the
means for paying taxes before con
sidering the question of taxation. They
must understand .that 'they can pay
taxes more easily with money when
it is plentiful than when it is scarce.1
They must understand that there is
no way to relieve themselves from the
burden of taxation nor from the grip
cf the monopolist and usurer, except
with money. Money is the great
panacea for substantially all the po
litical ills that the people are af
flicted with. To abandon, therefore,
the fight for a just and proper mone
tary system which would give to the
people ample money with which to do
their business and relieve them from
the necessity of going to the money
scavenger to borrow what they ought
to be able to buy is to basely surren
der to our implacable enemy an 1
leave hope behind. , It is absolutely
essential to secure appropriate finan
cial legislation so as to furnish to the
people not less than one hundred dol
lars per capita and this can only be
done through the instrumentality of a
party that is pledged to carry out this
work. I am afraid, however, that the
tsurer is permanently in the saddle
and that he . will dominate and con
tiol public affairs in this country in
the future. It is certain that he will
do so until the people become familiar
with this all important question.
Let us go forward in thi3 work and
make the fight for a new and better
financial system, one that will bring
permanent and lasting relief to the
toiling millions. You can count on me
to render all the assistance in my
power to help this cause along, but I
will not devote my time nor energies
ror money to the exploiting of any
fake question, such as the single tax,
tariff or free trade. I like the sub
stance of things, and not the shadow.
Any movement, therefore, looking to
wards the organization of a party that
stands for the money question will re
ceive my hearty support.
I believe that" a whole lot of other
things should be done by the govern
ment, but the money question should
be the first one that should be settled
and I would rather go down a thou
sand times in a contest over that
question than to succeed upon any
As a result of the legislation that
has been secured by the money barons
1Z per cent of the people who labor
in the shops, mills, factories and
mines in this country are constantly
within sixty days of the poor-house
I" this to be taken as one of the
strong evidences in support of such
legislation and a reason why the gold
standard should be maintained? This
is the condition that the usurer and
his agents and attorneys have fast
ened upon this people and which they
insist shall not be interfered with,
the strangest thing ' about it all is
that those who stand nearest to the
pcor-house are those who shout the
loudest in favor of the usurer and his
methods. .
I believe that the democratic party
at- its next national convention will
adopt the republican party's position
upon the money question and will at
tempt to create a fake issue over
which the campaign of 1904 will be
fought If it should then it is safe to
conclude that, there is no hope of re
lief through the democratic party and
the people's party must take the init
iative in the great work of revolu
tionizing the American government at
the polls. GEO. A. GROOT.
Cleveland, O.
Oklahoma Vacancy.
VR. -E. Bray, formerly of Enidr Okl.,
member of the people's party national
committee, is now at Wayland. N. Y.,
where he is editor of the Wayland
Register. In a personal letter to The
Independent Mr. Bray says he is. run
ning a neutral paper, but that person
ally, outside, of the office, he is a
"howling Bryan democrat and don't
care a continental who knows it." Ha
says that there is no pdpulist organiza
tion in New York state, and believes
the contest in the Empire State dem
ocracy will be. between v Hill and
Mr. Bray's removal to New York
creates a vacancy in the Oklahoma
quota of national committeemen. Ar
rangements should be made to fill thl3
at the Denver meeting. ' -; 1 " 1
Madden Educational Subscriptions
A BevieiD of the Work Being Done,
A short review of events in the life
of The Independent, occurring within
the past two or three months, may ne
of interest, especially to our increas
ing list of new subscribers.
As all our old subscribers know (and
we have many of them who "came all
the way over the trail'.') The Indepen
dent is now and always has been a
populist paper; that is to say, it is a
supporter of the people's party and a
teacher .'of the economic reforms as
enunciated at its national' convention
in Omaha, 1892, and later.
But some of The Independent's most
crergetic subscribers have been of
that school of political economy devel
oped by Henry George, and for want
ot a better name known as the "sin
gle tax." From time 'o time in the
rast The Independent has published
communications from these single tax
subscribers and argued with them edi
toriallyfor The Independent then te
lieved and still believes that the mon
ey question is the vital, presing, urg
ent one before any other.
However, these single taxers showed
such hearty good humor in. all their
controversies with The Independent,
that it was decided and announced on
April 9 (wholly without consultation
with any single taxer) to issue a spe
cial number to be known as the Henry
George Edition wherein the single
taxers might take the whole paper for
presenting their side of the case.
How well they did it may be in
ferred from the fact that the Henry
George Edition was sent to persons all
over the civilized world to Scotland,
England, Australia, Canada, New Zea
land; in fact, wherever the works of
Henry George have been read and
studied.- Able writers furnished The
Independent enough well written
manuscripts to fill a hundred-page pa
per, of which enough was selected to
fill b pages. Something over twelve
thousand additional copies were print
ed and these were bought and circu
lated by the single taxers.
The Independent had made a rate
of $1 per hundred for the ... Henry
George Edition, barely paying the
mechanical cost of producing the pa
per, depending upon the extension of
it) subscription list as a reward fcr
the large amount of extra work de
volving upon the .editorial force in
handling the single tax manuscripts
if we must use the commercial glasses
now universally prescribed by our
economic eye-doctors. The rate was
the same whether the hundred were
tr. be sent direct to the purchase? in a
bundle, or mailed In single wrappers
tc at hundred different persons, whose
names and addresses the purchaser
The success of the Henry George
Edition, especially as an educator in
political economy, was too much for
the plutocrats to stand, and Czar
Madden began the tactics so familiar
to those who have watched his course
with reference" to Wilshire's Maga
zine. The Appeal to Reason and other
publications. lie notified the post
master at Lincoln, and the postmaster
in turn notified The Independent that
complaint had been made that
. . . "large number of copies of
the issue of Ma;-. 14, 1903, were
mailed at the pound rate of post
age to names furnished by persons
interested in the circulation of the
- publication, in .violation of para-
- graph 5; section 456, P. L. & R."
To this The Independent answered,
setting up the facts just as they were,
contending that no violation of the
laws and regulations had been intend
ed and holding that the test of viola
tion in a cas like thb hinges upon
what the department means by the
'word "interested." In order that Mr.
Madden might know what sort of
"interest" the single taxers had in
circulating the Henry George Edition,
a letter was written to all those who
purchased copies (which were mailed
to list of names furnished by them),
asking that they write the third as
sistant postmaster general a letter in
forming' him. Copies of - these let
ters wer ealso 1 sent to The ' Indepen
dent and they are such Interesting
reading that we must print a few ex
cerpts, omitting the purely formal
They are interesting because they
show the independent spirit of the
single taxers the spirit that does not
cringe before a czar like Madden, but
treats him simply as an American
citizen engaged in performing work
lor wages, as any other laborer might,
and with no right to do other than
the work he Is hiivd to do.
. . I, as a contributor to that is
sue, desire to make a statement re
garding my "interest" in it my "in
terest" probably being similar tothoso
of the other contributors.
I remitted the sum of $4.05 for 405
copies, of which 85 copies were or
dered sent to persons of more or. less
prominence whom " I knew to be in
terested in the philosophy of Henry
George the single tax question, many
of whom would probably be Induced
to subscribe for the paper' which gave
promise of becoming more than ever
ar. open forum for economic discus
sion. Of the remaining number. 170
copies were ordered for myself, 100
for Wm. A. Gray, Central Phosphate
Co., 25 for Wm. S. Skclly, Phosphate
contractor; and 26 for D. A. Trice,
farmer, "Rural Route No. 1." all of
whom are active Henry George pro
pagandists and regular subscribers to
The Independent, for local diatributlon
or for redistribution through the
mails at 1 cent each or at the rate o
1 cent for each 4 ounces. All four of
us subscribed 'for the papers with our
own money. We had no pecuniary in
terest in the paper or In any adver
tisement in it our- "Interest" being
wholly concerned with the economic
discussion anticipated. -
A very large .number of think
ing voters are coming, rightly or
wrongly, to regard the postal censor
ship of the last few years as rabid par
tisanshipas prostitution on the part
of the public's- servants for pluto
cratic ends. If the postal department
H not self-sustaining, why does it not
compel the railroads to carry it
printed matter at the same rate as
they charge the express companies for
the same service?- That the public is
discriminated against in this partic
ular is no secret. Then the depart
ment could show a handsome surplus.
Or, If it considers that only selected
printed matter should have the benefit
of the second-class rates, why does it
discriminate in favor of such low
grade mental pabulum as the average
monthly advertising sheet, like the ,
Homeside Magazine, etc.,- whoso only
excuse for existence is to advertise
comparatively worthless novelties
permitting them to load down the
mails with thousands of tons of mat
ter which is practically worthless to
the subscriber while drawing the
line at every paper which tries to
make the people think on the larger
questions of the day?
Why not make postal rates high
enough to cover the cost of service
and let all printed matter good,-bad
and indifferent go through at the
same rate? Then there would be no
need of a "Russianized" censorship. -
Which were better for public, mor
pls (not plutocratic interests), for sub
scribers who recognize merit in a pa
per to call the attention of others
to its excellence by sending them cop
ies through the mails and thus in
creasing its circulation, or for th.j
paper to expand its circulation by the
doubtful gambling device of a guess
ing contest?
It is not a proper function of govern
ment to say what the people .shall
read. America is not yet ready for a
Tcrquemada. The federal govern
ment is getting too paternal. It is
getting to feel too much like a step
father to most of us. Every unjust
(whether consciously or not) ruling of
the postal department but hastens the
downfall of the party which is 're
sponsible for it or the downfall of
the republic. But "smug" plutocracy
can say, with the. French aristocracy
"After us the deluge." The country
sadly needs a Jefferson or a Jackson
to pry apart the parasitic classes from
their privileges and reaffirm the In-