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About The Conservative (Nebraska City, Neb.) 1898-1902 | View Entire Issue (March 29, 1900)
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VOL. II. NEBRASKAxfelTY , NEB. , THURSDAY , MARCH 29 , 1900. NO. 38.
OFFICES : OVERLAND THEATKE BLOCK.
J. STERLING MORTON , EDITOR.
A JOunNAT , DEVOTED TO THE DISCUSSION
OT POLITICAL , ECONOMIC AMD SOCIOLOGICAL
CIRCULATION THIS WEEK 7,200 COPIES.
TERMS OF SUBSCRIPTION.
One dollar and a half per year , in advance ,
postpaid , to any part of the United States or
Canada. Remittances made payable to The
Morton Printing Company.
Address , THE CONSERVATIVE , Nebraska
City , Neb.
Advertising Rates made known upon appli
Entered at the postofflce at Nebraska City ,
Neb. , as Second Class matter , July 20th , 1898.
* * * * * *
Anatomy of Mel
ancholy , 1652 , quotes an old French
physician to the effect that :
' 'It is the greatest part of our felicity
to be well-born , and it were happy for
human kind , if only such parents as are
sound of body and mind should be
suffered to marry. "
He adds :
"How careful , then , should we be in
begetting of our children I"
He alludes to the cruel measures made
use of in ancient Scotland for the re
pression of undesirable parentage and
"This was done for the common good ,
lest the whole nation be impaired or
corrupted. A severe doom , you will say ,
and not to be used among Christians ,
yet more to be looked into than it is.
For now by our too much facility in this
kind , in giving way for all to marry that
will , too much liberty and indulgence in
tolerating all sorts , there is a vast con
fusion of hereditary diseases , no family
secure , no man almost free , from some
grievous infirmity or other. * * * It
comes to pass that our generation is
corrupt , we have many weak persons
both in body and mind , many feral
diseases raging among us , crazed fami
lies ; our fathers bad , and we are like to
be worse. "
Human intelligence and human self-
control are shown to be at a low average
by the sophistries
A Low Level. , , ,
which frequently control the actions of
large numbers of citizens. There are
many striking instances of the kind fur
nished by history. The tendency pre
vails today in various parts of the world ,
nowhere more dominantly than in the
United States. Initiatives are not sup
plied the common mind from within
itself. It gets motives , enthusiasm ,
action from external and stronger in
telligences. There are a majority of
mentalities which simulate the tree-toad
which is always the color of the bark
upon which it feeds and lives.
"The average man , " says Doctor Mo-
Kim , in his admirable work upon
"Heredity and Human Progress , "
recently published by G. P. Putnam's
Sons , "enjoys an enthusiasm , but is too
indolent or feeble , intellectually , to find
for himself an object sufficiently novel
or imperative to induce in him this
pleasurable emotion ; when , therefore ,
a more energetic individual presents
and recommends , however unreasonable ,
some idea or thing as worthy of enthu
siasm , his proposal is quite sure to be
accepted with acclamations of delight ,
and great masses of men may follow
with docility the originator and his
This was illustrated by the religious
mania called Millerism and also by the
following of the money fallacies during
recent times in the United States. Mil
ler said the material world would burn
up , be destroyed by fire , within a given
time ; Bryan said the commercial world
would be annihilated by gold as soon as
it became the single standard of value.
Both prophets had myriads of disciples.
Neither prophet proved himself worthy
"Whole communities suddenly fix
their minds upon one object , and go
mad in its pursuit ;
Mud Nations. . . . . * ,
millions of people
become simultaneously impressed with
one delusion ( say sixteen-to-one. ) We
see one nation , from its highest to its
lowest members , with a fierce desire for
military glory ; another as suddenly
becomes crazed upon a religions scruple ;
and neither of them recovers its senses
until it has shed rivers of blood , and
sowed a harvest of groans and tears to
be reaped by its posterity. " [ Doctor
Elain ] ,
Communal insanity existed in the
tenth century , when nearly all believed
the end of the
Examples. . , ,
world was at
hand. From that belief the crusades
were evolved. During centuries of the
middle ages all believed in witchcraft ,
and even our dear New England ances
tors hung people for witchcraft.
Among commercial delusions the
"South Sea Craze" and the "Mississippi
Bubble" of the eighteenth century and
the recent "South African Boom" are
quite emphatic. But the most accentu
ated of the more recent epidemic
lunacies is that which teaches that the
free coinage of silver in unlimited quan
tities at the ratio of 16 to 1 , by the
government of the United States , would
raise the price of all the silver on earth
to more than twice its present value ,
that is , to $1.29 an ounce. Can the men ,
who believe that , be otherwise than
"defectives ? " Must they be descended
from any other than an ancestry with
impaired powers of analytical reasoning ?
zens who reason
for themselves came long since to know
that the validity of a doctrine in finance ,
economics or religion is not to be safely
measured by the number of its ad
herents. The impious adage that the
voice of the people is the voice of God
is seldom office-seek
quoted except by -
ing demagogues and never believed save
by those who follow their teachings.
The great majority of the people of
the United States have not formulated
their own opinions. They have never
moulded their own sentiments. Their
opinions and sentiments are second
hand ; they have been given to them by
self-assertive , dogmatic teachers. There
fore , the conclusion that a thing is right ,
proper and useful because approved by a
majority may be altogether erroneous.
The voice of the people is ofteuer the
voice of a demagogue or the devil than
of a god.
The majority is a merciless tyrant , at
times ; and an ignorant democracy is
more dangerous than an enlightened ,
humane and real aristocracy. A govern
ment of the best is better than a govern
ment of the vicious , the worst.
of Porto Rico , in
speaking of our dilatory congress , said :
' As free trade and constitutional
rights have become political questions , I
cannot enter into the controversy. I
have given the government the facts ,
and have pointed out what I believe to
be the only sound policy for the govern
ment. That ends my duty.
"The people of Porto Rico are civil
ized and are more capable than the people
ple of New Mexico , who were given tor-
itorial government fifty years ago. "
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