The independent. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1902-1907, July 16, 1903, Page 2, Image 2

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JUNE 16, 190$,
plishment They sea the defects of our
rocial and economic system as clearly
as anybody, and I for one give them
the fullest credit for honesty and sin
cerity, yet the means by which they
Eeek to remedy the existing evils la
worse than the disease.
Any theory, social or otherwise, to
:be successful must be in harmony with
the laws of nature.
To ascertain these and conform to
fthem must be the first effort 'of any
-To confound the German social dem
ocrats with the socialists of the United
States results either from a complete
ignorance of the aims of either party
01 from willful perversion of facts. ,
The social democrats of Germany
have long since abandoned their Utop
ian illusions; they now seek only the
really obtainable and, have the Inflex
. ible courage to obtain; neither ridicule
threats of prison nor police oppression
swerves them from their path or even
checks them for a moment, and their
progress is steady among all classes
;n Germany.
Llebknecht and Bebel are not vi
sionaries, but hard-headed, pactical
and courageous men of indomitable
lmrpose. They are nearer in their
demands for reformatory measures to
the demands laid down in the populist
platform of 1892, than they are to the
teachings of Lasalle or Marx, much
The single taxers, or followers of
Henry George, are undoubtedly hon
est men who sincerely seek a better
ment of social and economic condi
tions, but their philosophy is one-sided
and but half a truth. The foundation
of their creed is that land values are
exclusively ! due to society, and that
the unearned increment belongs by
right to society alone, and should be
the only source of taxation for fed
eral, state and municipal governments.
On this foundation they build fh
their vivid imagination a Utopian
state of society, free from all physi
cal, mental or moral ills.
Alas. thejr theory applied Ifc prac
tice would result in something alto
gether different from the Utopia of
vheir dreams.
They make the fatal mistake in be
lieving, first, that only land values
are due to society, when in fact all
enhanced values of products of hu
man labor are due to society; second,
that to tax the products of human
labor is to Impose a fine on human
industry and frugality.
. These are grave errors and fatal to
their expectations. , .
Supposing I raise '5,000 bushels of
wheat on my farm here and am living
so great a distance from society that
I cannot transport it there to sell the
'surplus: that surplus above my indi
vidual wants would be worthless. The
value of any product of human labo
in excess of the wants of the producer
-is due to the force of demand from
society and consequently due to so-
ciety; therefore, according to their
theory, that part of value of the prod
uct due to the demands of society
should belong to society a proposition
they deny.
They fare no better in their theory,
that to tax the products of human la
bor is to impose a fine on human in
dustry. . 0 ' ; ,
They don't seem to be able to see
. that human industry is the only thing
1 that can be taxed. A piece of land,
urban or rural, can produce no rev
enue without human exertion, without
human industry; it is not in the final
analysis land value, but human In
dustry and frugality which are taxed.
But supposing their theory became
the policy of the state, I will argue its
application only from rural standpoint
the standpoint of the farmer.
t If the state -owned all the land, it
would lease it to the applicants. If
the demand for a certain piece of. land
was 'great the rent would be high; -If
the demand was small, the rent would
be lo.w. If by my industry and the
application of scientific method I In
crease the productiveness greatly, the
demand for this piece of land would
increase correspondingly and might be
increased to nearly the entire pro-
low that I would have to offer the state
as much rent as others would be. will
ing to give or lose my lease and be
Would the state be taxing land val
ues or human industry and frugality?
What incentive would any one have
to labor to adorn and beautify a place,
to erect commodious - and expensive
buildings and other improvements,
At Q drug atom.
25 Dbki 25e.
plant trees, etc, if his tenure to the
land dependecUra the will of the state,
guided only by the revenue paying ca
pacity of the land or the cupidity of
others desiring to reap and enjoy
where others had sown? Would he not
be content with the most primitive and
inexpensive improvements to enable
him to make the most out of the land
with the least possible expense? Would
that be progress or retrogression?
If I now toil and deny jny luxuries
in improving and beautifying a farm
home, the benefits of which improve
ments I will not fully enjoy before my
death, would it be unnatural for me
to wish to bestow on my children, who
have helped me to produce this, tha
full benefits of my labor and saving
rather than have them go to society
which did nothing to produce them?
Would the case of man improving a
city lot be any different?
I repeat now what I have said be
fore, that the philosophy of the two
parties, socialists and single taxers,
will never find many followers among
the farmers of the United States.
Now the democratic party is in the
unfortunate position " that the over
whelming majority- of it is handi
capped by a wealthy and powerful mi
nority In whose hands is the political
machinery for' the manipulation of
state conventions, whereby a free and
complete expression of the masses can
be prevented.
The Chicago and Kansas City plat
forms contained, if not all, at least a
great many of the demands that all r
formers desire. If the majority of the
democratic party at the next national
convention can have a full and un
trammeled expression of its real wants
and nominates men who are living Im
personations of its platform, then will
its overwhelming numbers make an
other reform party, unnecessary; yes,
in the nature of things, an impossi
bility. '
If they fail in doing ttiis, the party
will split forever. The progressive
democrats will never retrogress.
Whether they will form a new party
or join some other reform party, time
tlone can tell. -
The tendencies of the republican par
ty are so well known that a discus
&ion of its aims are superfluous. It is.
the party of the plutocrats, the party
of special privileges and does not de
serve the consideration of any lover
of humanity or liberty.
There now remains to be considered
the people's party.
Born as a living protest agairst the
shortcomings of the republican and
democratic parties, and the direct le
gal heir of the grange and greenback
parties, its existence was natural and
a vital necessity. Up to 1896 the only
reform party 'worth mentioning.
Its first national platform adopted
at Omaha in 1892 is the, most states
manlike document issued by any party
in the United States since the revolu
tionary war. I saw it born on that
Fourth of July. I was there, not as a
populist, but as a looker-on in Venice.
I saw some of the fuglemen on the
stage, very noisy, some ludicrous, some
dramatic, as is usual in such gather
ings, and they did not Impress me
very favorably; and time has demon
strated that my judgment then did
not deceive me: they are no longer
populists; they have proven renegades
and traitors.
The real statesmen, who drew up
this memorable document, were not
seen on the stage much; the real act
ors in this political drama were be
hind the scenes. I knew them then
and know a good many yet. They
havejny love and respect This- pop
ulist party has been a great educa
tional factor in the United States and
is yet. The principles laid down In its
Omaha platform are being more and
more adopted by various localities of
the , country, proving the far-seeing
statesmanship of its authors.
This 'party has laid its foundation
broad and deep; it has recognized the
laws of nature and conformed to them.
It does not seek visionary or impract
icable things.
It insists on the public ownership
of public utilities, that is, utilities
which in the very nature of things are
monopolistic It insists on' the gov
ernment alone exercising the sover
eign power of issuing all money.. It
insists on equal rights for all and
ipeclal privileges to none. It Insists
on the initiative and referendum, and
many minor matters of Importance to
nil; but these are enough.
Up to 1896 it was the only legitimate
reform party in the United States. In
3S96 came the reformation of the dem
ocratic party and by its adoption of
the populist principles and its over
whelming numbers, brought about the
disintegration of the populist party.
While the populists have been quar
jeling among themselves as to who
killed Cock Robin, this is the only
true and natural cause of its disin
tegration as a party.
You have now called an Informal
Meeting of the reform forces to Den
ver and while I have not tiite. to meet
you there, 1 wish you Godspeed. If it
Is not considered presumptuous I
would like to give some reformers a
bit of advice.
Do not be captious. .
Do not think you have an exclusive
Hen on all wisdom, for there is many
& silent man following a plow who
can .outstrip you in thinking,
-v. Abide by the majority judgment.
Make a good, short platform or
Ftatement of principles; on your life
rot more than the Omaha platform;
and if you call a national convention,
adopt that platform and see to it, as
you value your life and honor, that
no man is nominated who is not a
jiving representative of that platform.
Platforms are easily made, but dif
ficult to carry into execution. -
Nominate. silent men; men who can
do: koenen, koenig or king the Sax
on for a man who can do and not
Ken who are afnicted with that great
est, chronic, constitutional, 'incurable
national disease mouth diarrhoea!
Then quietly await the result of the
democratic national convention and
act accordingly after.
Rising City, Neb.
Have you read Quick's speech as
chairman Iowa democratic convention?
Not much comfort for remorganizers in
it, nor in platform is there? W.
(None in Quick's speech; but plenty
in platform because platform is
meaningless, and so intended to be.
Ed. Ind.)
Is Edgerton, et al., quite consistent
in denouncing gold democrats for tak
ing votes from Bryan in 189G-1900 that
he should have had, and then an
nouncing their intention to do the
same thing, a year before excuse for
it can possibly arise, if it ever does?
W. v
. (Edgerton, et aL, don't claim to be
democrats. Have no objections to
helping Bryan on a Chicago or Kan
fas City platform, but very serious ob
jections to assisting him on an Iowa
platform. Ed. Ind.)
Editor Independent: Your letters
of May 16 and 28 as well as the Henry
George Edition reached me in due
The reticence and indisposition
shown by the tardy reply I hope will
not be attributed to a dearth or an
epathy toward the cause. The writer
apprehends that he shares with oth
ers the "feeling that it is even of more
consequence that the party in ener
gizing itself should make the right
moves than to make any at all.
I have read with deep interest the
opinions expressed through the col
umns of The Independent of the is
sues and methods proposed; and I
would avail myself of the opportun
ity offered to congratulate the editors
of The Independent upon their syste
matic course and policy pursued in
the effort at securing the sentiment
and feeling of the party relative to the
future course to be evolved.
The seeming lethargy manifest In
the party which the republicans take
such pride in pointing to as a marked
evidence of death is but seeming. The
energy displayed by the republicans In
trying to make it appear that the peo
ple's party is defunct should be proof
positive of the fear that it entertains
of its demise, that it v.'oa't stay dead.
Like Banquo's ghost, it won't down.
Its periodicals are teeming with the
subject of its Uneventful ending."
Every stump-speaker points- to the
mortuary feature with great pride,
hut with a very manifest reserve of
fear lest an activity should seize upon
Its "inanimate" form that lies so docile
now, a reserve force that might have
to be reckoned with, and that the sleep
that is upon it might not prove to be
the sleep that knows no waking, the
sleep of death.
That there Is inertia among our
troopers Is apparent, but it should
not operate as a cause for alarm. It
is In the very nature of things and
follows from being relieved from fa
tigue duty, for a time, by an old-time
rarty taking up its fight and adopting
its principles. It requires responsi
bility to energize one and a division of
responsibilities can very properly be
urged as a cause for any ennui or
seeming indifference In the party.
Being weary from the long, hard
campaigns, forced marches and double
.1uty, that the membership had volun
tarily taken upon themselves, now that
their numbers had so vastly increased
ls to materially lessen the burden.' the
fchift or sharing the responsibility
amounted to a relaxation and with re
laxation followed a relaxation of en
ergy. - At the called meeting of the com
mittee held at the Sherman house in
Chicago lo supply the place of Mr.
Towne on the ticket for vice president.
In seconding the nomination of Mr.
Sterenson, the writer took occasion
to state, in substance, that we were la
no manner yielding a point or relax
ing our hold, but per contra the party
was in the attitude of the faithful
sentinel who, relieved by the accession
to the ranks of superior numbers byt
the joint union of the forces was rest
ing upon its arms until at such a time
as he shall hear the bugle call to fall
Into line and man the works.
A true populist one that is not in
the party for spoils is a populist by
education and his politics is a part of
his religion, he can see every reason
1 . 1 1 tTTt . 1
wuy ue snuuia press on. wnai nas
happened to discourage? Everything
may not have gone just as he would
have ordered it; indeed, his disap
pointments may have been many. But
whilst he has had disappointments to
chafe him he looks at his cause for
rejoicing. He reviews the history of
the party. , He sees but a handful
meeting hefe and there in isolated!
places. Then he sees the country
school house jfilling, filling by degrees
to repletion. He recalls, - next, how
cities began taking cognizance of the
advanced ideas of true democracy, and,
then, he sees the work and influence of
these few handfuls extending' from
ocean to ocean compelling an old-time
political party, of national power, to,
become an ally and adopt its prin
ciples. Should that not be enough to nerve
on any fainting spirit to redoubled
energy? But "even all of that, that
is not all!
- Does the student of political econ
omy doubt for a moment that the
work set in motion by that few oper
ates not as a - check upon the powers
that be? Think you if the attention .
of the republican party had not been
called in such an emphatic manner
so emphatic, indeed, as to rattle Its
foundations to first principles, de
monstrating that half, aye, mor than
half of the people were not yet given
over to Mammon, but wise enough to
keep in touch with party movements
and were alive to the fact of how that
party had left its first love and how
it had wandered off after false gods
and had gone to worshiping idols,
lhat today we would have had more
than a semblance of democratic in
stitutions or an apology for a repub
lican form of government?
We have had a sample of its meth
ods without check in the Philippines
where the rights of a people have been
overridden, a nation ignored and meth
ods adopted to subjugate a well-mean
ing, an enlightened race that are
worse than the most diabolieaf meas
ures adopted by the heathen, or the
inhuman, fiendish barbarous practices
of the savage the "water cure."
Let the rejblican party go unre
strained by an enlightened sentiment
and the stereotyped question "where
are we at?" would be useless, then,
since the most illiterate would soon
have a cause to know, the knowledge
would be imparted to him by "hard
knocks and raps" until he was fully
conscious or unconscious of just where
he was at. .
A retrospect of the past enables us
to form an estimate of the future. '
"By their fruits ye shall know
them." The work of the people's par
ty: its influence for good is beyond
computation. As the parent of all re
form movements today she can point
with pride to her direct offspring
socialism; to the active stimulation of
labor unions; to" the incarnation of
true democratic principles into so
called "democracy;" and last, but not
least, she can arrogate to herself the
credft of enlightening the public mind
to such a degree as to offer serious
obstacles to republican rapacity and
that behaves as a preventive measure
irom ignoring the constitution alto
The party has passed the formative
stage and its procreatlve powers are
recognized. Men who are not alliel
with the cause, thinking men are
forced to admit the schooling which
it has exerted in economics and which
the antagonists of a- popular govern
ment have learned to dread.
If It Is not plain to every member
already It should be made one of the
functions of the party to acquaint, to
post and emphasize the absolute im
portance of each "standing up and be
ing counted," and In exerting himself
to the extent at least in aiding to hold
I he membership, the numerical
strength of the party as high as pos
sible. It is manifest that if we could not
accomplish more we have shown that
we have abandoned no principles; that
we have taken up our work right
where we left o3; that while we stand
ready to throw our influence to any
party that would adopt our principles
or fight along our lines, preferring a
half a loaf to no bread at all; and,
believing that with one-half gained the-