BECK index

US Capitalists & Socialists 1869-97

by Sanderson Beck

Morgan’s Capitalism & Rockefeller’s Oil
Carnegie, Steel & Philanthropy
Monopolies Versus Social Control
Henry George & Progress and Poverty

Gronlund’s Co-operative Commonwealth
Jacob Riis: How the Other Half Lives
Bellamy’s Looking Backward 2000-1887
Donnelly & Caesar’s Column

Morgan’s Capitalism & Rockefeller’s Oil

      Junius Spencer Morgan went into banking with George Peabody in 1853, and with Peabody’s retirement in 1864 the firm became J. S. Morgan & Co. His company made $30,000 in 1862 and $58,000 in 1863. He and his son John Pierpont Morgan made money investing in rifles and the Union during the Civil War. The US Congress had passed the Legal Tender Act in early 1862 that authorized paper money called “greenbacks.” J. P. Morgan contributed to the pension funds for General Sherman and General Grant. In 1869 he gained control of the Albany and Susquehanna Railroad.
      In September 1870 after the Prussians defeated the French at Sedan, Junius S. Morgan formed a syndicate to loan France £10 million ($50 million). The French hoped this would make it easier for them to buy American weapons. Morgan offered bonds at 85, 15 points below par. After the fall of Paris in January 1871 the Paris Commune formed, and the bonds went down from 80 to 55. Morgan managed to prop them up by buying them. In 1871 he merged his financial company with the Drexel house of Philadelphia to form Drexel, Morgan & Company with the main office on Wall Street. France after the Franco-Prussian War prepaid the bonds by 1873 which brought them up to par (100). Junius Morgan made £1.5 million on the loan.
      Capital invested in US railroads rose from $2.5 billion in 1870 to $10 billion by 1890. During the financial panic in 1873 the Morgan banks made over $1 million in profit. In 1877 when the US Congress adjourned without appropriating money for the Army and Navy salaries, Morgan organized a syndicate that provided the Army with $550,000 a month for four months. When Congress resumed the funding in the fall, they repaid him with interest.
      On 2 January 1889 Gustavus Myers reported that the banking houses Drexel, Morgan & Company, Brown Brothers & Company, and Kidder, Peabody & Company issued a “Private and Confidential” circular for railroad magnates to gather at the home of John Pierpont Morgan (1837-1913) to form “an iron-clad combination” to reduce competition.
      When his father died in 1890, J. P. Morgan inherited about $15 million, and neither the United States nor Britain taxed inheritance that year. In 1892 he combined the Edison General Electric Company with the Thomson-Houston Electric into the General Electric Company with Charles A. Coffin as the first chief executive officer. During the gold panic that started in 1893 Morgan provided money to stabilize the US Treasury and made millions.
      While the South’s economy was devastated by the Civil War, the North had enjoyed economic prosperity. In 1867 the US Senator Henry Wilson of Massachusetts estimated that the loyal states had added more wealth than in any previous seven-year period. Railroads constructed to carry troops and supplies multiplied profits. Philip D. Armour’s meat-packing industry made him a millionaire and helped make Chicago the commercial center of the Midwest. In New England mills produced wool for uniforms and blankets that brought in large profits. A textile mill in Philadelphia made money on mourning outfits. Farms in the North and Midwest provided abundant supplies of food. In 1868 Congressman James Garfield had suggested that April 1861 was the beginning of an industrial revolution in the US caused by the political and military revolution.

      John Davison Rockefeller (1839-1937) was born in Richford, New York, and in 1855 at Cleveland, Ohio he began working as a bookkeeper. His goals were to earn $100,000 and live 100 years. In 1859 he went into business with Maurice Clark. In early 1860 they began buying and selling crude oil. The English chemist Samuel Andrews helped them refine crude oil, and in 1861 the price of their kerosene fluctuated between 10 cents a barrel and $10 a barrel. In 1863 they built an oil refinery in Cleveland, and their price was lower than whale oil. In February 1865 Rockefeller paid $72,500 to buy out the Clark brothers, and the firm became Rockefeller & Andrews. They were joined by Rockefeller’s brother William in 1866 and Henry Flagler in 1867. In the spring of 1868 Rockefeller, Andrews & Flagler made a secret deal with Jay Gould and the Allegheny Transportation Company that had the first major pipeline network which gave them a 75% rebate on oil using the Erie system. They also gained preferential rates on the Pennsylvania Railroad. That year they had the largest oil refinery in the world.
      On 10 January 1870 the Rockefeller brothers incorporated the Standard Oil Company of Ohio with John as president, William as vice president, and Flagler as secretary and treasurer. They planned to refine all the oil and make all the barrels.
      In the fall of 1871 the Pennsylvania Railroad president Tom Scott started the South Improvement Company allying the Pennsylvania, New York Central, and Erie Railroads with Standard Oil and other refineries. On the first two days of 1872 Standard Oil’s capital increased from $1 million to $3.5 million, and that month they consolidated oil refineries in Cleveland. On February 26 railroad freight rates doubled in the region except for the refiners in Cleveland, Pittsburgh, and Philadelphia. In early March they laid off about 5,000 refinery workers in Cleveland. Rockefeller then controlled over a quarter of the nation’s oil refining. During the oil wars of 1872 they would acquire many refineries in Cleveland that were forced to sell for low prices. That year the Standard Oil Trust was refining 10,000 barrels of kerosene per day. The Trust worked out rebates on barrels of oil with railroad companies so that its competitors paid five times as much for freight. Rockefeller told a reporter,

   I believe the power to make money is a gift from God—
just as are the instincts for art, music, literature,
the doctor’s talent, the nurse’s, yours—to be developed
and used to the best of our ability for the good of mankind.
Having been endowed with the gift I possess,
I believe it is my duty to make money and still more money,
and to use the money I make for the good of my fellow man
according to the dictates of my conscience.1

Rockefeller compared Darwin’s theory of evolution to the law of supply and demand, and he suggested that cooperation is more successful.

   The struggle for the survival of the fittest,
in the sea and on the land the world over,
as well as the law of supply and demand,
were observed in all the ages past
until the Standard Oil Company
preached the doctrines of cooperation,
and it did cooperate so successfully and so fairly that
its most bitter opponents were won over to its views
and made to realize that rational, sane, modern,
progressive administration was necessary to success.2

      John D. Rockefeller built his Standard Oil Company into a monopoly by taking over his rivals and by dominating the refinery business, setting prices and controlling production. During the depression that began in 1873 Rockefeller cut costs to increase dividends for stockholders. Increased oil from a new field in Bradford Pennsylvania in 1876 caused the price of oil to fall from $4 a barrel to 70 cents in 1878. A bribe may have led to a Pennsylvania investigation that exonerated Rockefeller. Thomas Scott also was keeping Pennsylvania Railroad dividends up by lowering wages and increasing the workweek to 60 hours, resulting in a 20% cut in pay. Yet Pennsylvania dividends went down 6% by May 1877, and another pay cut was to start on June 1. Work rules were changed to give managers more control. These austerity measures provoked the great strike and the violence that forced Scott to capitulate.
      By 1879 Standard Oil controlled over 90% of the refineries in the US and the same proportion of the pipelines. On April 29 the grand jury in Clarion County, Pennsylvania indicted John D. Rockefeller, Flagler, and seven other Standard Oil officials for conspiring to monopolize the oil industry. Rockefeller began working to avoid extradition from other states.
      On 2 January 1882 the Standard Oil Trust Agreement with nine trustees led by John D. Rockefeller and his brother William organized 95% of the petroleum industry in what would come to be called a “monopoly.” Standard Oil in Pennsylvania acquired 88.5% of oil pipelines with the Tidewater Pipeline Company retaining only 11.5%. Standard Oil of New York began on August 1 with William Rockefeller as president, and four days later John D. Rockefeller became president of a new company, Standard Oil of New Jersey. At this time 85% of the world’s crude oil production came from Pennsylvania, and it was the fourth largest export of the United States.
      In 1883 John D. Rockefeller’s Standard Oil Trust took over the Tidewater Pipe Line Company with its 20,000 wells and 100,000 employees. On 1 May 1885 Standard Oil moved its headquarters to a 9-story building on Broadway in New York. In 1886 Standard Oil organized the Natural Gas Trust with John D. Rockefeller as its major shareholder. In the late 1880s Flagler testified that Standard Oil’s average net profits increased 13% per year. Yet later the US Bureau of Corporations led by Theodore Roosevelt found that Standard Oil’s profits from 1882 to 1896 were 19%. In June 1889 the trust formed Standard Oil of Indiana, and its oil refinery at Whiting, Indiana located 17 miles from Chicago became the largest one in the Midwest.
      In 1889 a newspaper heralded Rockefeller with a net worth of $150 million as the richest man in America. Another article estimated that his income was $750 per hour. Rockefeller gave away $304,000 in 1890, $510,000 in 1891, and $1,350,000 in 1892. The Baptist minister Frederick T. Gates worked for Rockefeller to help him with his philanthropy. In 1890 Rockefeller claimed that since his company began in 1870, the price of kerosene had fallen from 23.5 cents per gallon to 7.5 cents.
      Although the Ohio Supreme Court found by the 1890 Sherman Anti-trust Act that John D. Rockefeller’s Standard Oil Trust was unlawful, he got around that by incorporating Standard Oil of New Jersey as a holding company that allowed it to own stock in other companies. On 2 March 1892 the Ohio Supreme Court ruled in favor of Ohio’s Attorney General David K. Watson who sued Standard Oil of Ohio for having trustees from New York. Although the executive committee was dissolved, the members only had their titles changed.
      On 25 December 1893 near Iola, Kansas enough natural gas was discovered in pools for manufacturing. In June 1894 the first oil found west of the Mississippi River was discovered at Corsicana, Texas.

Carnegie, Steel & Philanthropy

      Andrew Carnegie (1835-1919) was born in Scotland, and his family moved to the United States in September 1848. The next year he began working as a telegraph messenger in Pittsburgh for $2.50 a week. To describe his mother’s religion he offered this quote by Confucius: “To perform the duties of this life well, troubling not about another, is the prime wisdom.”3 He was interested in the mystical ideas of Swedenborg, and he liked the oratorios from the hymn-book of the Swedenborg Society. Again he quoted Confucius who said, “Music, sacred tongue of God! I hear thee calling and I come.”4
      In 1853 Pennsylvania Railroad Company’s president Thomas Scott hired Carnegie as a secretary and telegraph operator and paid him $4 per week. In 1856 Scott became superintendent and took Carnegie to Altoona. In December 1859 Carnegie was promoted to be the superintendent of the company’s Western Division for $1,500 a year. He hired his younger brother Tom as a telegraph operator and his secretary, and his cousin Maria Hogan became the first female telegraph operator in America. Carnegie invested in T. T. Woodruff's sleeping car company, and before the start of the Civil War he arranged a merger of that company with George Pullman’s company that was developing a luxury “palace” car.
      In August 1861 Scott became Assistant US Secretary of War. He was put in charge of the Transportation Department, and he made Carnegie the Superintendent of the Military Railways of the Union Army. When lines were cut by Confederate soldiers, Carnegie had them repaired in order to maintain transportation with Washington DC. He noticed that during the Civil War the price of iron increased to $130 per ton. He suggested that the engineer H. J. Linville, the mechanic John L. Piper and his partner Schiffler, who supervised bridges on the Pennsylvania line, go with him to Pittsburgh to organize a company building iron bridges. They founded Piper and Schiffler in 1862.
      In 1864 Carnegie began investing in the Columbia Oil Company and other firms. He became so busy with those ventures that he resigned from the Pennsylvania Railroad Company in March 1865. He bought a farm in Oil Creek, Pennsylvania, and in one year he made over $1 million. He founded the Keystone Bridge Company in 1865, and he visited Europe with Harry Phipps and J. W. Vandevort in 1867. Carnegie loaned $600,000 to the Union Pacific Railway Company in 1871, and Scott, Pullman, and he were elected directors. In 1873 he began producing steel. He purchased fields to mine coal and iron. While manufacturing pig iron Carnegie discovered the value of chemistry which could dispel nine-tenths of the uncertainties. He used the industrial process that Henry Bessemer had patented in England in 1856 in order to burn away the carbon from the pig iron to make steel.
      In August 1873 steel cable began pulling cars up hills in San Francisco. John Eads used steel to build a bridge across the Mississippi River at St. Louis. John Roebling extended steel cable to bridge the Ohio River from Kentucky to Cincinnati, and he started designing the Brooklyn Bridge. Better steel reduced the price of barbed wire from 18 cents a pound to 8. Washburn & Moen Co. gained all the patents, and sales increased from 840,000 pounds in 1877 to nearly 13 million pounds the next year, and the business grew gradually to 120 million pounds in 1881.
      In the fall of 1878 Andrew Carnegie and Vandevort set out on a trip around the world. Carnegie was influenced by Charles Darwin and Herbert Spencer on evolution, and in Asia he discovered more wisdom. He wrote,

   In China I read Confucius;
in India, Buddha and the sacred books of the Hindoos;
among the Parsees, in Bombay, I studied Zoroaster.
The result of my journey
was to bring a certain mental peace.
Where there had been chaos there was now order.
My mind was at rest.
I had a philosophy at last.
The words of Christ “The Kingdom of Heaven is within you,”
had a new meaning for me.
Not in the past or in the future,
but now and here is Heaven within us….
All the remnants of theology
in which I had been born and bred,
all the impressions that Swedenborg had made upon me,
now ceased to influence me or to occupy my thoughts.
I found that no nation had all the truth
in the revelation it regards as divine,
and no tribe is so low as to be left without some truth;
that every people has had its great teacher.5

      In 1882 Carnegie began buying out the Frick Coke Company. The companies merged as partners, and Henry Clay Frick became chairman. Carnegie found that steel rail prices which were $37.75 a ton in 1883 fell to $30.75 in 1884 and to $28.50 in 1885. He closed his Edgar Thomson steel plant on 16 December 1884 laying off 1,600 workers. In February 1885 he made contracts with unskilled non-union workers for wages reduced by about 25%. Then he donated $50,000 to build a library in Braddock.
      In 1886 Carnegie published Triumphant Democracy arguing that American republics govern better than British monarchy. In 1888 he gained control of Homestead Steel Works near Pittsburgh, and he owned 425 miles of railway. Carnegie funded the Allegheny library that was dedicated on 20 February 1890. Pittsburgh wanted a library too, and Carnegie offered the city $1 million if they provided $40,000 for maintenance which they did.
      After making millions in the steel industry Andrew Carnegie wrote about trusts in the February 1889 issue of the North American Review. He described how trusts became useful for the accumulation of wealth, and he noted that they are subject to changes in a free market. He concluded,

It is not in the power of man to exact for more than
a brief season, and a very brief season indeed,
unusual profit upon actual capital invested
either in transportation or manufacture
so long as all are free to compete,
and this freedom, it may safely be asserted,
the American people are not likely to restrict.6

      In June 1889 Andrew Carnegie published the article “Wealth” in the North American Review to express his views on philanthropy to which he would dedicate most of his fortune. He hoped others would follow his example and suggested,

The best minds will thus have reached a stage
in the development of the race in which it is clearly seen
that there is no mode of disposing of surplus wealth
creditable to thoughtful and earnest men
into whose hands it flows
save by using it year by year for the general good.7

He encouraged other wealthy men to give to charity also and said, “The man who dies rich dies disgraced.”8 He supported the progressive tax on inherited wealth, and he also urged the wealthy to provide the kind of charity that would be most beneficial to the poor. He believed in Darwin’s “survival of the fittest” as economic competition, writing,

The price which society pays for the law of competition,
like the price it pays for cheap comforts and luxuries,
is also great; but the advantages of this law are also
greater still than its cost—for it is to this law that
we owe our wonderful material development,
which brings improved condition in its train.9

Carnegie also encouraged the wealthy to contribute to the community.

This, then is held to be the duty of the man of wealth:
To set an example of modest, unostentatious living,
shunning display or extravagance; to provide moderately
for the legitimate wants of those dependent on him;
and, after doing so, to consider all surplus revenues
which come to him simply as trust funds,
which he is called upon to administer,
and strictly bound as a matter of duty to administer
in the manner which, in his judgment, is best calculated
to produce the most beneficial results for the community—
the man of wealth thus becoming the mere trustee
and agent for his poorer brethren, bringing to their service
his superior wisdom, experience, and ability to administer,
doing for them better than they would
or could do for themselves.10

He especially recommended “free libraries, parks, and means of recreation,” works of art, and other public institutions. Yet claiming that he could decide what is best for others was patriarchal and arrogant. If he did not oppose unions and paid his workers better, they could have moved more into the prosperous middle class; but instead he chose to extract a large surplus of wealth for himself to “administer.”
      On 5 May 1891 Carnegie Hall opened in New York City with Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky conducting its first concert. Carnegie provided $2 million.
      While Carnegie was visiting Scotland, on 1 July 1892 the Homestead lockout and strike began. After collective bargaining failed, Frick locked out the union from the rest of the plant. The strikers kept the plant closed. Pinkerton agents arrived on July 5. The next day a battle between strikers and the agents was fought until the Pinkertons surrendered at 5 p.m. On July 18 the town was put under martial law.
      The anarchist Alexander Berkman had immigrated from Russia to New York, and his lover Emma Goldman showed him the news article about Henry Clay Frick who worked for Andrew Carnegie and opposed unions. She prostituted herself so that she could buy him a gun to kill Frick as an attentat strategy for revolution. On 23 July 1892 Berkman shot Frick twice and while being arrested stabbed him three times, but Frick survived. Berkman defended himself and read his statement to the jury. He was sentenced to 22 years in prison and was released after 14 years, returned to Emma Goldman, and wrote his Prison Memoirs of an Anarchist. She made him editor of her journal Mother Earth. In 1917 they both were arrested for opposing the military draft, and they were deported to Russia.
      About the Homestead strike Carnegie wrote,

Labor is usually helpless against capital.
The employer, perhaps, decides to shut up the shops;
he ceases to make profits for a short time.
There is no change in his habits, food, clothing, pleasures—
no agonizing fear of want.
Contrast this with his workman
whose lessening means of subsistence torment him.
He has few comforts, scarcely the necessities
for his wife and children in health,
and for the sick little ones no proper treatment.
It is not capital we need to guard, but helpless labor.11

      In 1895 the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh was dedicated with a science wing, an art gallery, and a music hall, and on these he spent an estimated $25 million.

Monopolies Versus Social Control

      Oliver Kelley had worked as a reporter for the Chicago Tribune, and he persuaded the prominent William Saunders and six others to start the National Grange of the Patrons of Husbandry in Saunders’ office on 4 December 1867. Saunders was elected the leader. Kelley became the national secretary and organized a Grange in Fredonia, New York. In the fall of 1868 the North Star Grange began in St. Paul, Minnesota with Kelley’s niece Caroline Hall as his assistant. In 1873 their national organization called for “a proper equality, equity and fairness; protection for the weak, restraint upon the strong” as “American ideas, the very essence of American independence.”
      In early February 1874 the National Grange at their seventh annual meeting issued a “Declaration of Purpose” that begins with these resolutions:

   First. United by the strong and faithful tie of agriculture,
we mutually resolve to labor for the good of our Order,
our country, and mankind.
   Second. We heartily endorse the motto:
“In essentials, Unity; in non-essentials, Liberty;
in all things, Charity….
   We cherish the belief that sectionalism is,
and of right should be, dead and buried with the past.
Our work is for the present and the future….
   Seventh. It shall be an abiding principle with us
to relieve any of our oppressed and suffering brotherhood
by any means at our command.
   Last, but not least, we proclaim it among our purposes
to inculcate a proper appreciation
of the abilities and sphere of woman, as is indicated by
admitting her to membership and position in our Order.12

That year the Woman’s Suffrage Convention approved a resolution to consider the Grange a “practical auxiliary” of their suffrage movement. By 1875 the Grange had 860,000 members who were farmers, ranchers, and their supporters. Over 21,000 local Granges were in every state of the Union.

      Charles Brace in 1872 published The Dangerous Classes of New York, and Twenty Years’ Work Among Them. He estimated that New York City had about 25,000 vagrant youth, and he wrote,

There are thousands on thousands in New York
who have no assignable home
and “flit” from attic to attic and cellar to cellar;
there are other thousands more or less
connected with criminal enterprises;
and still other tens of thousands, poor, hard-pressed,
and depending for daily bread on the day’s earnings,
swarming in tenement houses,
who behold the gilded rewards of toil all about them
but are never permitted to touch them.13

      Speculator Lloyd Tevis was elected president of Wells Fargo in 1872. He and James Ben Ali Haggin bought the Rancho Del Paso land near Sacramento. Haggin owned the Kern County Land Company and gained 75% of the water rights from the Kern River in California’s San Joaquin Valley. George Hearst in August 1872 bought the Ontario silver mine in Park City, Utah for $27,000, and it produced about $17 million in the next ten years. Hearst, Haggin, Tevis and Co. had begun in the 1850s, and Haggin became a multi-millionaire by 1880. That year Hearst bought the San Francisco Examiner and started a publishing empire. In 1887 he was elected to the US Senate, and he gave the newspaper to his son William Randolph Hearst who inherited his wealth when George Hearst died in February 1891.
      In 1879 the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company of New York began offering industrial and workingmen’s insurance policies with small premiums weekly or monthly. Within three years they would have 50 district offices.
      In 1880 about half the people in New York City lived in the tenements on the Lower East Side which accounted for 70% of the city’s deaths.
      In June 1881 the industrialist Hamilton Disston purchased 4 million acres of land in Florida from the Internal Improvement Fund for $1 million. Then on December 17 he sold 2 million acres of it for $600,000 to Edward James Reed, a member of the British Parliament.
      Buffalo hunters wiped out the last of the southern bison herd at Buffalo Springs, Texas. The US Fish Commission put carp in Wisconsin’s lakes. In 1883 white and Cree hunters discovered a herd of about 10,000 bison on the Canon Ball River in the Dakota Territory and exterminated them.
      In 1883 the Comstock silver millionaire John W. Mackay and the New York Herald publisher James Gordon Bennett founded the Comstock Cable Co. that in 1884 began laying transatlantic cable to compete with Jay Gould’s monopoly.
      In 1883 Claude Spreckels in San Francisco gained a monopoly of sugar refining and marketing and purchased land in the Sandwich Islands (Hawaii) for a supply of sugar cane. He also used sugar beets.
      Timothy Thomas Fortune (1856-1928) was born a slave. In 1879 he went to New York City and became a journalist and an advocate for civil rights. He began editing the New York Age in 1884, and that year he published his book, Black and White: Land, Labor, and Politics in the South. He noted that the emancipation of slaves gave birth to industrial slavery, writing,

The slave, the perishable wealth, was confiscated
to the government and then manumitted;
but property in land, the wealth
which perishes not nor can fly away,
and which had made the institution of slavery possible,
was left the heritage of the robber
who had not hesitated to lift his iconoclastic hand
against the liberties of his country….
But the United States took the slave and left the thing which gave birth to chattel slavery and which is now fast giving birth to industrial slavery; a slavery more excruciating
in its exactions, more irresponsible in it machinations
than that other slavery, which I once endured…
The new slaveholder is only solicitous of obtaining
the maximum labor for the minimum of cost….
Instead of becoming outlaws,
as the critical condition would seem to have indicated,
the black men of the South went manfully to work
to better their own condition and the crippled condition
of the country which had been produced
by the ravages of internecine rebellion;
while the white men of the South, the capitalists,
the land sharks, the poor white trash and the nondescripts,
with a thousand years of Christian civilization and culture
behind them, with “the boast of chivalry, the pomp of power,” these white scamps, who had imposed upon the world
the idea that they were paragons of virtue
and the heaven-sent viceregents of civil power,
organized themselves into a band of outlaws,
whose concatenative chain of auxiliaries ran through
the entire South, and deliberately proceeded
to murder innocent men and women for political reasons
and to systematically rob them of their honest labor
because they were too accursedly lazy to labor themselves….
   The hour is approaching when the laboring classes
of our country, North, East, West, and South, will recognize
that they have a common cause, a common humanity,
and a common enemy; and that, therefore,
if they would triumph over wrong
and place the laurel wreath upon triumphant justice,
without distinction of race or of previous condition,
they must unite! 14

The new slaveholder’s aim was to obtain maximum labor for a minimum of cost. Fortune foresaw that the future struggle in the South would be between capital and labor and between landlords and tenants. He advised that the entire country must recognize their common cause in a common humanity against a common enemy so that justice could triumph.
      On 25 January 1890 Fortune and a hundred blacks met in Chicago and founded the National Afro-American League to promote solidarity and self-help.

      Young Theodore Roosevelt served in the New York State Assembly from the beginning of 1882 to the end of 1885 when he wrote about his experience. He noted that bribes occurred at times, and that often measures for the public good were opposed for political and pecuniary reasons. He estimated that about a third of the legislators were corrupt, and he warned that they would not be stopped until the public conscience was awakened. Corporations can afford to pay much to be relieved of high taxes. Wealthy citizens with business interests contribute heavily to the campaign expenses of legislators. Corporations buy measures to benefit them that may injure the public, or a member may be paid to drop a measure hostile to a moneyed interest. Roosevelt suggested,

The reform has got to come from the people at large.
It will be hard to make any very great improvement
in the character of the legislators until respectable people
become more fully awake to their duties,
and until the newspapers become more truthful
and less reckless in their statements.15

      Charles Henry Dow and Edward D. Jones created an industrial average for measuring the performance of the New York Stock Exchange, and they began publishing financial news in the Wall Street Journal on 8 July 1889.
      In 1890 Leonidas Merritt discovered iron ore deposits in the Mesabi region of Minnesota that would aid steelmaking.
      In 1893 the American Newspaper Publishers Association agreed to give discounts to recognized advertising agencies.
      Marshal Field & Co. had 3,000 employees and 13 acres of floor space in its wholesale store on State Street in Chicago. That city’s mail order firm, Sears, Roebuck & Co., sold clothing, furniture, machines, and much merchandise for $338,000, and their 1894 catalog would have over 500 pages.
      In 1895 the California Fruit Growers Exchange formed a cooperative to negotiate on discriminatory freight rates. The socialist Gaylord Wilshire began developing land from Los Angeles to Santa Monica with a street using his name.
      The economist James Laurence Laughlin published Facts About Money in 1895. He warned that free coinage of silver would inevitably cause prices to rise which would result in falling wages.

      The journalist Henry Demarest Lloyd (1847-1903) had begun writing for the Chicago Tribune in 1872. He became the financial editor and in 1875 the main editorial writer. In March 1881 The Atlantic published his “Story of a Great Monopoly” which revealed the methods that Standard Oil and railroad trusts were using to dominate industries. Lloyd defended the consumers, workers, and independent competitors warning that monopolies were reducing freedom in the marketplace. In June 1884 the North American Review published his “Monopoly and Social Control” which began,

When President Gowan of the Reading Railroad
was defending that company, in 1875,
before a committee of the Pennsylvania legislature,
for having taking part in the combination
of the coal companies to cure the evil of “too much coal”
by putting up the price and cutting down the amount for sale,
he pleaded that there were fifty trades
in which the same thing was done.16

He quoted from Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations when in 1776 he wrote,

People of the same trade hardly meet together
even for merriment and diversion
but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public
or in some contrivance to raise prices.17

For about a century the new freedom managed to break up these conspiracies, but gradually combinations reappeared. He continued,

This anyone may see from the reports
of the proceedings of the conventions and meetings
of innumerable associations of manufacturers and dealers
and even producers which are being held almost constantly.
They all do something to raise prices or hold them up,
and they wind up with banquets for which we pay.18

He noted that the New York legislature investigated the coal combination in 1878 after they doubled coal prices in New York.
      Lloyd suggested that the solution to this problem comes from applying social morality to industries. He wrote,

Monopoly and antimonopoly,
odious as these words have become to the literary ear,
represent the two great tendencies of our time;
monopoly, the tendency to combination;
antimonopoly, the demand for social control of it.
As the man is bent toward business or patriotism,
he will negotiate combinations
or agitate for laws to regulate them.
The first is capitalistic; the second is social.
The first, industrial; the second, moral.
The first promotes wealth; the second citizenship.19

      In 1894 Lloyd in his Wealth Against Commonwealth described the powerful monopoly of the Standard Oil Co. and urged that it be broken up.

      James Buchanan Duke formed the American Tobacco Company as a trust or holding company by merging his father’s W. Duke, Sons & Company with Allen & Ginter, W.S. Kimball & Company, Kinney Tobacco, and Goodwin & Company enabling them to produce 90% of the cigarettes in 1890 when the new company was listed on the New York Stock Exchange. Duke’s trust also took over American Snuff, American Cigar, American Stogie, and United Cigar Stores, and he cooperated with the R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company.
      On 10 January 1891 H. O. Havemeyer incorporated the American Sugar Refining Company in New Jersey that would grow into a large trust. By 1892 Havemeyer’s Sugar Trust controlled 98% of the US sugar industry and increased profit by short-weighing their raw sugar imports. The number of millionaires in the United States increased from less than 20 in 1840 to 4,000 in 1892.
      In 1891 the Oakland Preserving Company in California began using the Del Monte label for their canned fruits and vegetables.
      On July 7 the American Express Company copyrighted its Travelers Cheque to protect travelers from theft and loss in exchange for a 1% commission.
      On October 20 Robert Wommack found gold in the Cripple Creek valley beginning Colorado’s most lucrative gold rush from mines near Pike’s Peak.
      The Tennessee Coal Mine Company forced workers to sign a contract pledging not to strike, and paid them with script after not letting them check the weight of their coal. Many miners refused to sign, and on October 31 about a thousand armed men liberated 500 convicts and burned down the stockades that had been holding them. Companies gave in and promised not to use convict labor, and the coal company agreed to a better contract.
      Also in 1891 the pharmacist Asa G. Candler in Atlanta purchased the Coca-Cola recipe of sugar, coca leaves, and caffeine for about $2,300. At first he advertised it as a health tonic but later changed it to a 5-cent soft drink combining the Coca-Cola syrup with carbonated water at soda fountains. Doctors began reporting in medical journals problems from the cocaine, and Albrecht Erlemeyer called it a scourge of mankind along with alcohol and morphine. Parke, Davis & Company included cocaine in cigarettes, ointments, tablets, and injections.
      George Batten started an advertising agency in New York City offering production and placement.
      Howell Davies, an immigrant from Wales, in a letter on 11 January 1892 criticized the use of convicts as a labor force in poor regions especially the South which made penitentiaries practically self-supporting while providing workers for factories, mines, and farms for a few cents a day for each man. Convict workers were also used as strikebreakers.

      In September 1885 the American Economic Association was founded at Saratoga, New York by Richard T. Ely, Edwin R. A. Seligman, and Katharine Coman. Their platform included the following:

   1. We regard the state as
an educational and ethical agency whose positive aid
is an indispensable condition of human progress.
While we recognize the necessity
of individual initiative in industrial life,
we hold that the doctrine of laissez faire
is unsafe in politics and unsound in morals;
and that it suggests an inadequate explanation
of the relations between the state and the citizens….
   3. We hold that the conflict of labor and capital
has brought to the front a vast number of social problems
whose solution is impossible without the united efforts
of church, state, and science.20

      Between 1883 and 1896 Ely wrote and published 12 books on socialism, economics, the labor movement, tariffs, taxation, and monopolies.

      In 1893 Josiah Strong published The New Era, or The Coming Kingdom to describe his Christian Socialism. He estimated that the American Federation of Labor (AFL) had more than 6,000 local unions with 675,000 members while farmers in various granges, associations, leagues, and alliances had about 3 million members. Between 1881 and 1886 strikes involved 1,323,203 employees and affected 22,304 establishments.

      In 1896 on January 26 Daniel De Leon, leader of the Socialist Labor Party and editor of The People, gave a speech at Boston in which he advocated Marxist ideas of revolution rather than reform whereby the state would become “the Central Directing Authority” in economics based on material needs.
      Thomas J. Morgan became the editor of the Socialist Alliance. Their program included compulsory education, cities owning streetcars, gas and electric utilities, nationalization of telegraphs, telephones, railroads, mines, and workers owning companies.

Henry George & Progress and Poverty

      Henry George was born on 2 September 1839 in Philadelphia into a large family. His father published religious books, and Henry’s formal schooling ended at the age of 14. He went to sea, prospected for gold in California, and got a job typesetting in San Francisco. He married an Australian woman, and they raised four children. He wrote editorials and became a newspaper editor. He criticized large corporations dealing in railroads and mining, corrupt politicians, and land speculators. While visiting New York City he contrasted its advanced economy with the less developed one in California. While his newspaper was being crushed in 1869, he challenged the telegraph and newspaper monopolies.
      In 1871 George published the pamphlet “Our Land and Land Policy, National and State” in San Francisco with his radical theory that a “single tax” on all land could replace all other taxes and prevent the “monopolization” of land.
      He wrote his masterpiece Progress and Poverty from August 1877 to March 1879 and then helped financed its publication of 500 copies. A market edition was published in New York in January 1880. Noting that the rich were getting richer while the poor became poorer, his main idea was to impose a single tax on land to free industries from taxation and distribute wealth more equally. The Edinburgh Review praised the book, and cheap editions spread in the United States and England. European translations included three German versions. About two million copies were sold in the next 25 years, and the book became a popular classic on progressive economics.
      Progress and Poverty was dedicated:

To those who, seeing the vice and misery that
spring from the unequal distribution of wealth and privilege,
feel the possibility of a higher social state
and would strive for its attainment.21

In his preface to the fourth edition George wrote,

This examination shows that the current doctrine of wages
is founded upon a misconception; that, in truth,
wages are produced by the labor for which they are paid,
and should, other things being equal,
increase with the number of laborers.22

This insight disproved the concern of Malthus that geometrically increasing population would not be able to provide enough food on limited land. He argued that his economic theories prove that only “making land common property can permanently relieve poverty and check the tendency of wages to the starvation point.”23 He observed that civilizations differ because of different social organization. He hoped that a free economy could open the way to “realization of the noble dreams of socialism.”
      In discussing the problem of economic inequality he noted that 19th century inventions using steam and electricity to energize labor-saving machinery were transforming economies facilitating exchanges and multiplying the efficiency of labor. Yet the civilized world was suffering from industrial depressions that brought “hard times.” He noted that the densest populations were using machinery to achieve great wealth; but while a few became rich, many more were poor.
      George asked why increasing productive power was exploiting low wages. He argued “That wages, instead of being drawn from capital, are in reality drawn from the product of the labor for which they are paid.”24 He observed the richest countries were where labor was most efficient. He defined land as “all natural opportunities or forces,” labor as “all human exertion,” and capital as “all wealth used to produce more wealth.” He discussed the laws of rent, interest, and wages. He argued that capital does not employ labor but rather that labor employs capital. Wages should be based on what labor produces. He suggested that where land is free, workers benefit from what they produce minus rent when they are assisted by capital; but he warned that monopolies use competition to force laborers to accept the minimum. The produce is divided between the laborer, the capitalist, and the landowner.
      George observed that material progress is changed by population increases, by improvement in the arts of production and exchange, and by improvement in knowledge, education, government, police, manners, and morals. He wrote,

Given a progressive community, in which population
is increasing and one improvement succeeds another,
and land must constantly increase in value.
This steady increase naturally leads to speculation
in which future increase is anticipated,
and land values are carried beyond the point at which,
under the existing conditions of production,
their accustomed returns would be left to labor and capital.
Production, therefore, begins to stop.25

To solve the problem of progress leading to more poverty George suggested ending the private ownership of land. He wrote,

Poverty deepens as wealth increases,
and wages are forced down while productive power grows,
because land, which is the source of all wealth
and the field of all labor, is monopolized.
To extirpate poverty, to make wages what justice
commands they should be, the full earnings of the laborer,
we must therefore substitute for
the individual ownership of land a common ownership.26

George believed that this would enable modern progress that tends to lead to greater inequality of wealth to

substitute equality for inequality, plenty for want,
justice for injustice, social strength for social weakness,
and will open the way
to grander and nobler advances of civilization.27

He argued that all people should have an equal right to use land just as they have the right to breathe air. The bounty of the Creator should be shared equally. He explained how it would work writing,

I do not propose either to purchase
or to confiscate private property in land.
The first would be unjust; the second, needless.
Let the individuals who now hold it still retain,
if they want to, possession of what
they are pleased to call their land.
Let them continue to call it their land.
Let them buy and sell and bequeath and devise it.
We may safely leave them the shell, if we take the kernel.
It is not necessary to confiscate land;
it is only necessary to confiscate rent.28

He concluded,

The tax upon land values is, therefore,
the most just and equal of all taxes.
It falls only upon those who receive
from society a peculiar and valuable benefit,
and upon them in proportion to the benefit they receive.
It is the taking by the community,
for the use of the community,
of that value which is the creation of the community.
It is the application of the common property
to common uses.
When all rent is taken by taxation
for the needs of the community,
then will the equality ordained by nature be attained.
No citizen will have an advantage over any other citizen
save as is given by his industry, skill, and intelligence;
and each will obtain what he fairly earns.
Then, but not till then, will labor get its full reward,
and capital its natural return.29

George described his plan this way:

The selling price of land would fall;
land speculation would receive its death blow;
land monopolization would no longer pay.
Millions and millions of acres from which settlers
are now shut out by high prices
would be abandoned by their present owners
or sold to settlers upon nominal terms….
   For this simple device of placing all taxes on the value
of land would be in effect putting up the land at auction
to whomsoever would pay the highest rent to the state.30

      George believed that counting on selfishness as the “master motive of human action” is a shortsighted philosophy. He preferred a force which overcomes selfishness and drives it out, a force which is like electricity in a moral universe which may be called “religion, patriotism, sympathy, enthusiasm for humanity, or the love of God.” He observed that human progress is the advances made by one generation that are passed on to the next generation as a common property that become a starting point for more advances. Mental ability is the motor of social progress, and association sets it free and brings about integration as the society becomes more complex with individuals being more dependent on each other. He warned that modern civilization could decline if people did not cooperate with each other.
      George published Protection or Free Trade in 1886 and wrote,

He who follows the principle of free trade to its logical
conclusion can strike at the very root of protection;
can answer every question and meet every objection,
and appeal to the surest of instincts
and the strongest of motives.
He will see in free trade not a mere fiscal reform,
but a movement which has for its aim and end
nothing less than the abolition of poverty, and
of the vice and crime and degradation that flow from it,
by the restoration to the disinherited of their natural rights
and the establishment of society upon the basis of justice.31

      In 1883 George published Social Problems appealing to the post-war sympathy for “human equality and brotherhood.” After reading this book the Russian novelist Leo Tolstoy wrote that Henry George was a
“genuine humanitarian.” George criticized a “false and impossible equality” that tried to reduce everyone to the “same dead level.” He wrote,

Liberty is natural.
Primitive perceptions are of the equal rights of the citizen,
and political organization always starts from this base.
It is as social development goes on
that we find power concentrating and institutions
based upon the equality of rights passing into institutions
which make the many the slaves of the few.32

   In a society where the equality of natural rights
is recognized, it is manifest that
there can be no great disparity in fortunes….
There will be differences in wealth,
for there are differences among men
as to energy, skill, prudence, foresight, and industry;
but there can be no very rich class, and no very poor class;
and, as each generation becomes possessed
of equal natural opportunities,
whatever differences in fortune grow up
in one generation will not tend to perpetuate themselves.
In such a community, whatever may be its form,
the political organization must be essentially democratic.
   But, in a community where the soil is treated
as the property of but a portion of the people,
some of these people from the very day of their birth
must be at a disadvantage,
and some will have an enormous advantage….
   Our fundamental mistake is
in treating land as private property.
On this false basis modern civilization everywhere rests,
and hence, as material progress goes on,
is everywhere developing such monstrous inequalities
in condition as must ultimately destroy it.33

Gronlund’s Co-operative Commonwealth

      Laurence Gronlund was born in Denmark on 13 July 1844. His father was a minister, and in 1864 Laurence participated in the Dano-Prussian War. The next year he earned a law degree from Copenhagen University. In 1867 he emigrated to the United States and taught German in a Milwaukee public school until he became a lawyer at Chicago in 1869. He joined German-Americans in the Socialist Labor Party, and in 1878 he published The Coming Revolution: Its Principles.
      In 1884 before Marx’s Das Kapital was translated into English in 1887, Gronlund popularized Marxist ideas in The Co-operative Commonwealth in its Outlines: An Exposition of Modern Socialism as a prophecy of the future social order toward which all civilized societies are moving. He criticized the capitalist wage system and suggested that the state own the means of production. His socialism would enable everyone to acquire property but not allow them to use it “as an instrument of fleecing fellow citizens.” His book sold more than 100,000 copies. Before the title page he quoted the January 1880 issue of the Catholic Quarterly Review.

They (Political Economists) are men of only one idea—
Wealth, how to procure and increase it.
Their rules seemed infallibly certain to that supreme end.
What did it signify that a great part of mankind
was made meanwhile even more wretched than before,
provided wealth on the whole increased?

In the introductory “To the British Reader” he wrote, “Political systems in all progressive societies tend toward socialistic democracy.” He quoted Herbert Spencer who wrote in his Social Statics, “Every man has freedom to do all that he wills, provided he infringes not the like freedom of every other man.” Gronlund observed that “social and industrial conditions are ripening quicker than anywhere else” in Britain and the United States. He considered the coming revolution an evolution rather than a “class-movement” because of it being “a growth of the whole body politic.” He felt it was “believed in by hundreds of thousands of our fellow-men with a fervor equaling the enthusiasm of the early Christians.” He trusted it would not be a bloody revolution by violence but a radical program for elections. He noted that the British House of Commons had already passed “graduated taxation, free education and municipalization of land, for the purpose of renting it to agricultural labourers.”
      Gronlund differentiated “Value” as in “Value-in-exchange” from “Worth” by quoting John Locke who wrote,

The Worth or utility of shoes is
their capacity to protect the feet;
their Value is what they will fetch in the market.
Their value is their relation to other wares,
in some way or other; is another name for equivalence.34

Gronlund observed that Nature performs work gratuitously while human labor gives articles their value. Human labor can create real values. He defined a “capitalist” as one “who possesses wealth which brings him an income without any work on his part.”35 Capitalists take advantage of “surplus value” which he called “fleecings” and “is the difference between the price of Labour and the price of Labour’s produce; is the latter minus (-) the former.”36 He argued,

That in this difference between wages paid
and the proceeds of Labour, in this little fold lies hidden
the germ of all profit, interest and rent,
of all pauperism and of nearly all crime.37

He considered the wage and price system “utterly unfit for a higher civilization.” He wrote,

Before our present industrial system got into full swing—
that is, before the power of steam was utilised—
the master-workman was an adept in his trade
and owned his tools and the raw-materials he used.
This is all changed.
The workman now is divorced from his implements
and raw materials, which have got under
the complete control of the capitalist class;
he now has nothing left but his naked labour.
This it is, again, which enables employers to buy labour
in the market for a price
much below the productivity of that labour;
that is at, a value much below its worth.
   This monopoly has made employers
into a class of autocrats,
the labourers into a class of dependents—of hirelings.38

Gronlund noted that the state of Massachusetts became more humane in 1867 when the legislators enacted a law preventing any child under 15 years of age from working more than 60 hours in a week. Yet plutocracy had gained power in the United States. He wrote,

The Plutocracy, the fleecing class and their retainers,
is, in this third stage of our civilisation,
the really governing power all over the civilised world.
But while it is checked, to some extent,
in the European countries by the remnants of Feudalism—
the nobility and clergy—in the United States it is absolute,
simply because that is a new country.
There its power is unquestioned and unrestrained.
It is the easiest thing in the world
for it to maintain its dominion there;
for all it has to do is to command the government:
“Leave us alone!”
Indeed the governments of the States
may be said to be merely committees of the Plutocrats,
charged with watching over their common interests.39

      Gronlund considered Henry George’s Progress and Poverty “the best forerunner a Socialist could wish to have.” Some socialists raised the questions, “Who should control the instruments of production and transportation?”40 Gronlund looked at the state as an “organism” that “is undergoing a process of development.” He observed,

Those who live in the poorer districts
along neglected dirty streets,
in badly-arranged and badly-furnished houses,
constitute a lower caste in fact,
since nine-tenths of them cannot, by any possibility,
under our social system, get out of it.
They and their children after them
must remain in their poverty, squalor, and degradation
as long as this system endures.
In the healthy, beautiful, and comfortable quarters
we find those who arrogate to themselves the name of
“Society, the best people, prominent citizens.”
   Which of these two classes govern—
the majority living in tenement-houses,
back alleys, and ill-smelling neighbourhoods,
or the minority in the aristocratic districts?41

Gronlund prophesied there is developing a fourth phase of civilization that is “undergoing a process of development, is, and has all along been, developing towards increased activity.”42 He hoped that the Commonwealth will become a “State of Equality.” He wrote,

Our state does not render useless the powers of a boy,
when it furnishes him school, teachers, and libraries.
Our Commonwealth will relieve none of self-help,
but make self-help possible to all.
It will help everybody to help himself….
   But Freedom is not alone bread,
but leisure, absence of cares, self-determination,
ability and means to do the right thing.43

He envisioned,

The Co-operative Commonwealth—
(mark!) the full-grown Society; the normal State—
will be a social order that will endure
as long as Society itself, for no higher evolution is thinkable,
except Organised Humanity, and that is but
Social-Co-operation extended to the whole human race.
It will effect a complete regeneration of Society:
in its economic, politic, and juridic relations;
in the condition of women and in the education of youth
(indeed its chief concern, its true starting-point);
in morals, and, we may add, in religion and philosophy.44

He argued that cooperative farming is vastly superior to the current system. In his envisioned commonwealth everyone would have leisure. He wrote,

Everybody will get the full produce of his labor
in direct revenues or in public benefit.
Every citizen will be entitled to
the use of all public institutions—be it of libraries,
of schools for his children, of hospitals, asylums,
or assistance in his old age.45

      In discussing the United States constitution and democracy he wrote,

No one will deny that all elective officers in the States
from head to foot, are elected, not by the people,
but the caucus of the party which happens to be successful.
And the caucus or convention is simply
an irresponsible gathering of men
whom selfish interests draw and bind together….
The New Order cannot use a machinery which renders legislators the people’s masters and allows them to conduct public affairs with a view to private and class interests.46

   We saw that the Co-operative Commonwealth
will incorporate the whole population into Society.
It will destroy classes entirely.
And with classes will go all “rule.”
   The “whole people” does not want, or need,
any “government” at all.
It simply wants administration—good administration.
   That will be putting everyone in the position for which
he is best fitted, and making everyone aware of the fact.
   That is what Democracy means;
it means Administration by the Competent.47

Gronlund recommended the referendum because it allows intelligent discussion before it becomes a law. He wrote,

Now, is this not Democracy?
It is certainly Administration by the people.
Every citizen will actually help in administering affairs
by having something considerable to say about
who is to be his immediate superior….
   Such a system as that we have sketched insures Equality.
It will not make all equally wise in all matters,
but it will destroy all irresponsible power,
abolish every trace of dependence on individuals.
All authority will be a public trust;
whenever there is Subordination on the one hand,
there is on the other Responsibility.48

      Gronlund concluded his chapter on religion with this:

The modern Christ would be a politician.
His aim would be to raise
the whole platform of modern society.
He would not try to make the poor contented with a lot
in which they cannot be much better than savages or brutes.
He would work at the destruction of caste, which is
the vice at the root of all our creeds and institutions.
He would not content himself
with denouncing sin as merely spiritual evil;
he would go into its economic causes, and destroy
the flower by cutting at the roots—poverty and ignorance.
He would accept the truths of science,
and he would teach that
a man saves his soul best by helping his neighbour.49

In his last chapter “The Coming Revolution” he wrote,

And everywhere in all conditions of life there are
thoughtful, generous youths who cannot help wondering
at the manifestly unjust arrangements of this world—
youths who cannot help asking why so many
whose work is only nominal should live in splendor,
while those whose daily toil produces
all that makes existence enjoyable and even possible
have such a hard struggle for life.50

      In 1890 Edward Bellamy’s Nationalist published an abridged version of Gronlund’s Our Destiny: The Influence Of Socialism On Morals And Religion: An Essay In Ethics that criticized competition as a social theory.

Jacob Riis: How the Other Half Lives

      Like Gronlund, Jacob Riis (1849-1914) was born in Denmark. At the age of 21 he immigrated into New York City. In 1877 he became a police reporter and a journalist, first for the New York Tribune and then for the Evening Sun. He wrote the article “How the Other Half Lives” that was published in the Christmas 1889 edition of Scribner’s Magazine. In 1890 he published How the Other Half Lives with photographs that he took with the new flash camera. He made his case for reform in this “Introduction.”

   Long ago it was said that “one half of the world
does not know how the other half lives.”
That was true then. It did not know because it did not care.
The half that was on top cared little for the struggles,
and less for the fate of those who were underneath, so long
as it was able to hold them there and keep its own seat.
There came a time when the discomfort and crowding below
were so great, and the consequent upheavals so violent,
that it was no longer an easy thing to do,
and then the upper half fell to inquiring what was the matter.
Information on the subject has been accumulating
rapidly since, and the whole world
has had its hands full answering for its old ignorance.
   In New York, the youngest of the world’s great cities,
that time came later than elsewhere,
because the crowding had not been so great.
There were those who believed that it would never come;
but their hopes were vain.
Greed and reckless selfishness wrought like results here
as in the cities of older lands.
“When the great riot occurred in 1863,” so reads
the testimony of the Secretary of the Prison Association
of New York before a legislative committee
appointed to investigate causes of the increase of crime
in the State twenty-five years ago,
“every hiding-place and nursery of crime discovered itself
by immediate and active participation
in the operations of the mob.
Those very places and domiciles, and all that are like them,
are to-day nurseries of crime,
and of the vices and disorderly courses which lead to crime.
By far the largest part—eighty per cent at least—
of crimes against property and against the person
are perpetrated by individuals who have either
lost connection with home life, or never had any,
or whose homes had ceased to be sufficiently separate,
decent, and desirable to afford what are regarded
as ordinary wholesome influences of home and family.
The younger criminals seem to come almost exclusively
from the worst tenement house districts,
that is, when traced back to the very places
where they had their homes in the city here.”
Of one thing New York made sure at that earls stage
of the inquiry: the boundary line of the Other Half
lies through the tenements.
   It is ten years and over, now,
since that line divided New York’s population evenly.
To-day three-fourths of its people live in the tenements,
and the nineteenth century drift of the population to the cities
is sending ever-increasing multitudes to crowd them.
The fifteen thousand tenant houses that were the despair
of the sanitarian in the past generation have swelled
into thirty-seven thousand, and more than
twelve hundred thousand persons call them home.
The one way out he saw—rapid transit to the suburbs—
has brought no relief.
We know now that there is no way out; that the “system”
that was the evil offspring of public neglect and private greed
has come to stay, a storm-centre forever of our civilization.
Nothing is left but to make the best of a bad bargain.
   What the tenements are and how they grow
to what they are, we shall see hereafter.
The story is dark enough, drawn from
the plain public records, to send a chill to any heart.
If it shall appear that the sufferings and the sins
of the “other half,” and the evil they breed,
are but as a just punishment upon the community
that gave it no other choice,
it will be because that is the truth.
The boundary line lies there because, while the forces
for good on one side vastly outweigh the bad—
it were not well otherwise—
in the tenements all the influences make for evil;
because they are the hot-beds of the epidemics
that carry death to rich and poor alike;
the nurseries of pauperism and crime
that fill our jails and police courts;
that throw off a scum of forty thousand human wrecks
to the island asylums and workhouses year by year;
that turned out in the last eight years
a round half million beggars to prey upon our charities;
that maintain a standing army of ten thousand tramps
with all that that implies; because, above all,
they touch the family life with deadly moral contagion.
This is their worst crime, inseparable from the system.
That we have to own it the child of our own wrong
does not excuse it, even though it gives it claim
upon our utmost patience and tenderest charity.
   What are you going to do about it?
is the question of to-day.
It was asked once of our city in taunting defiance
by a band of political cutthroats,
the legitimate outgrowth of life on the tenement-house level.
Law and order found the answer then and prevailed.
With our enormously swelling population held
in this galling bondage, will that answer always be given?
It will depend on how fully the situation
that prompted the challenge is grasped.
Forty per cent of the distress among the poor,
said a recent official report, is due to drunkenness.
But the first legislative committee ever appointed to probe
this sore went deeper down and uncovered its roots.
The “conclusion forced itself upon it that certain conditions
and associations of human life and habitation
are the prolific parents of corresponding habits and morals,”
and it recommended “the prevention of drunkenness”
by providing for every man a clean and comfortable home.”
Years after, a sanitary inquiry brought to light the fact that
“more than one-half of the tenements with two-thirds
of their population were held by owners who made the keeping of them a business, generally a speculation.
The owner was seeking a certain percentage on his outlay, and that percentage very rarely fell below fifteen per cent,
and frequently exceeded thirty.
The complaint was universal among the tenants
that they were entirely smeared for,
and that the only answer to their requests to have the place
put in order by repairs and necessary improvements
was that they must pay their rent or leave.
The agent’s instructions were simple but emphatic:
‘Collect the rent in advance, or, failing, eject the occupants.’”
Upon such a stock grew this upas-tree.
Small wonder the fruit is bitter.
The remedy that shall be an effective answer to the coming
appeal for justice must proceed from the public conscience.
Neither legislation nor charity can cover the ground.
The greed of capital that wrought the evil must itself undo it,
as far as it can now be undone.
Homes must be built for the working masses
by those who employ their labor;
but tenements must cease to be “good property”
in the old, heartless sense.
“Philanthropy and five per cent” is the penance exacted.
   If this is true from a purely economic point of view,
what then of the outlook from the Christian standpoint?
Not long ago a great meeting was held in this city,
of all denominations of religious faith, to discuss the question
how to lay hold of these teeming masses in the tenements
with Christian influences,
to which they are now too often strangers.
Might not the conference have found in the warning
of one Brooklyn builder, who has invested his capital
on this plan and made it pay more than a money interest,
a hint worth heeding: “How shall the love of God
be understood by those who have been nurtured
in sight only of the greed of man?”51

      How the Other Half Lives describes how the poor in the tenements suffered, and in the appendix Riis included many statistics that showed the oppression of the poor in the tenements.

Bellamy’s Looking Backward 2000-1887

      Edward Bellamy was born in western Massachusetts on 16 March 1850. His father was a Baptist minister as was his mother’s father. Edward attended the Union College at Schenectady, New York for two semesters. In 1868 he and his cousin William Packer went to Germany to learn German, and a year later Bellamy returned to Springfield, Massachusetts to study law. In 1871 he passed the bar exam and began practicing as an attorney, but he soon became a journalist for the New York Post before getting a job as the literary editor of the Springfield Union. In 1873 he published “The Religion of Solidarity.” He contracted tuberculosis in 1875, and he would die of it in 1898. In the next two years he published three short stories. In 1877 he went to the Hawaiian islands for a year.
      Bellamy’s utopian novel Looking Backward 2000-1887 about a socialist future was published in 1888 and sold about 200,000 copies in the first year. A second edition was published in 1889. After Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin, his Looking Backward was the second American novel to sell one million copies. By 1935 it had sold 235,000 copies in the British Empire. The book inspired people in the United States to form Nationalist clubs, and there were 162 by 1891. That year Bellamy began editing The New Nation magazine until it ceased publication in 1893. The Nationalists often supported the new People’s Party or Populist Party. In the 1892 election that party got 8.5% of the votes, and their presidential candidate James Weaver of Iowa won in Kansas, Colorado, Idaho, and Nevada.
      Looking Backward 2000-1887 begins with a preface from the Historical Section of Shawmut College on 26 December 2000. Shawmut is the Algonquin name for Boston. The preface starts:

Living as we do in the closing year of the twentieth century
enjoying the blessings of a social order at once so simple
and logical that it seems the triumph of common sense.52

The chapters of the novel are narrated by the main character Julian West who was born at Boston in 1857. On the Decoration Day holiday on 30 May 1887 he is hypnotized by a Professor of Animal Magnetism in his new house. He sleeps in the cellar. That night the house burns down, and people assume that he died in the fire.
      When Julian wakes up, he learns from talking with the family of Dr. Leete that he was in suspended animation until the year 2000. The doctor and Mrs. Leete have a beautiful daughter named Edith. Julian is attracted to her, and she and her family are very helpful to him in adjusting to the strange changes that have occurred in this new society that Dr. Leete says is the solution that resulted from a “process of industrial evolution.” He explains,

Early in the last century the evolution was completed
by the final consolidation of the entire capital of the nation.
The industry and commerce of the country,
ceasing to be conducted by a set
of irresponsible corporations and syndicates
for private persons at their caprice and for their profit,
were intrusted to a single syndicate representing the people,
to be conducted in the common interest
for the common profit….
The epoch of trust had ended in the Great Trust
In a word, the people of the United States concluded
to assume the conduct of their own business.53

Julian assumes there must have been a bloody revolution with terrible convulsions; but Dr. Leete replies that the change was foreseen, and public opinion ripened and supported the change. When the nation became the only corporation, it relieved the difficulties caused by the partial monopolies.
      Julian asks how government could be extended so much. He says that in his day the government had to defend people against public enemies. Dr. Leet replies,

In your day governments were accustomed,
on the slightest international misunderstanding,
to seize upon the bodies of citizens and deliver them over
by hundreds of thousands to death and mutilation,
wasting their treasures the while like water;
and all this oftenest for no imaginable profit of the victims.
We have no wars now, and our governments no war powers,
but in order to protect every citizen
against hunger, cold, and nakedness,
and provide for all his physical and mental needs,
the function is assumed of directing his industry
for a term of years.54

They allow every person to discover their own natural aptitudes and mental and physical endowments to find the work they want to do. This is an important part of their educational system. Hours of work depend on different trades. Lighter work has longer hours while arduous tasks like mining have very short hours. Julian asks why people volunteer as common laborers, and Dr. Leete says they require new recruits to spend their first three years doing that type of work. Schools for more advanced professions are open to all aspirants.
      Julian asks how the credit everyone has in the national storehouses is distributed, and Dr. Leete says that every citizen gets a credit card at the beginning of each year. The nation guarantees that all children and citizens are nurtured, educated, and maintained “from the cradle to the grave,” a phrase that came from Shelley’s “Song to the Men of England.” Julian is surprised that every person gets the same share of the wealth. Dr. Leete notes that some prizes are offered as special incentives. All persons are expected to do their best, and “diligence in the national service is the sole and certain way to public repute, social distinction, and official power.”55 He explains to Julian why the new system is better than his old one.

The necessity of mutual dependence
should imply the duty and guarantee of mutual support;
and that it did not in your day constituted
the essential cruelty and unreason of your system….
The solidarity of the race and the brotherhood of man,
which to you were but fine phrases,
are, to our thinking and feeling,
ties as real and as vital as physical fraternity….
The title of every man, woman, and child
to the means of existence rests in no basis less plain, broad,
and simple than the fact that they are fellows of one race—
members of one human family.56

Julian asks about the nations of Europe, and Dr. Leete replies,

The peaceful relations of these nations are assured
by a loose form of federal union of world-wide extent.
An international council regulates the mutual intercourse
and commerce of the members of the union
and their joint policy toward the more backward races,
which are gradually being educated
up to civilized institutions.
Complete autonomy within its own limits
is enjoyed by every nation….
We all look forward
to an eventual unification of the world as one nation.
That, no doubt, will be the ultimate form of society,
and will realize certain economic advantages
over the present federal system of autonomous nations.57

The Leete family invites Julian to dine with them at the general dining-house where most people have dinner. They have their minor two meals each day at home.
      Julian asks about their newspapers, and Dr. Leets says,

The government does not pay the expense of the papers,
nor appoint the editors,
nor in any way exert the slightest influence on their policy.
The people who take the paper
pay the expense of its publication, choose its editor,
and remove him when unsatisfactory.58

      Julian is concerned that an official decree could deprive some people of their personal tastes that the majority does not share. Dr. Leets responds,

That would be tyranny indeed,
and you may be very sure that it does not happen with us,
to whom liberty is as dear as equality or fraternity.
As you come to know our system better, you will see that
our officials are in fact, and not merely in name,
the agents and servants of the people.
The administration has no power
to stop the production of any commodity
for which there continues to be a demand.
Suppose the demand for any article declines
to such a point that its production becomes very costly.
The price has to be raised in proportion, of course,
but as long as the consumer cares to pay it,
the production goes on.59

      In Julian’s era cultured people were surrounded by the uneducated poor. Dr. Leete describes why they emphasize education so much.

You see, perhaps, now, how we look
at this question of universal high education.
No single thing is so important to every man as to have
for neighbors intelligent, companionable persons.
There is nothing, therefore, which the nation can do for him
that will enhance so much his own happiness
as to educate his neighbors.60

Dr. Leete describes how their society cares about the public good.

We might, indeed, have much larger incomes, individually,
if we chose so to use the surplus of our product,
but we prefer to expend it upon public works and pleasures
in which all share, upon public halls and buildings,
art galleries, bridges, statuary, means of transit,
and the conveniences of our cities,
great musical and theatrical exhibitions, and in providing
on a vast scale for the recreations of the people.61

Dr. Leete compares the differences between the United States in the 19th century, and the new society they created in the 20th century.

I suppose that no reflection would have cut the men
of your wealth-worshipping century more keenly than
the suggestion that they did not know how to make money.
Nevertheless, that is just the verdict
history has passed on them.
Their system of unorganized and antagonistic industries
was as absurd economically as it was morally abominable.
Selfishness was their only science,
and in industrial production selfishness is suicide.
Competition, which is the instinct of selfishness,
is another word for dissipation of energy,
while combination is the secret of efficient production;
and not till the idea of increasing the individual hoard
gives place to the idea of increasing the common stock
can industrial combination be realized,
and the acquisition of wealth really begin.
Even if the principle of share and share alike for all men
were not the only humane and rational basis for a society,
we should still enforce it as economically expedient,
seeing that until the disintegrating influence of self-seeking
is suppressed no true concert of industry is possible.62

      The last portion of Looking Backward has interesting turns in the plot, and I do not want to spoil the story for those who may wish to read the novel which I highly recommend.

Donnelly & Caesar’s Column

      Ignatius Donnelly was born on 3 November 1831 in Philadelphia. His mother’s parents and his father were immigrants from Ireland. His father was a doctor and died of typhus at the age of 31. Ignatius wrote,

   I can recollect that in my boyhood
Philadelphia was afflicted with many riots;
riots between whites and blacks,
between natives and foreigners,
between different churches and different fire companies.
All that has passed away.
The public schools have cured it all.
They have humanized the new generation.63

      Ignatius attended public schools. He read and collected public documents and bound them into over 100 volumes. He learned German and read many books by Goethe. Donnelly became a lawyer, and he clerked for Benjamin H. Brewster who became attorney general of Pennsylvania and then of the United States.
      Donnelly spoke on the benefits of immigration on 4 July 1855, and he edited the bilingual Emigrant Aid Journal which began in December 1856. He helped found Nininger City as a cultural center in 1857, but that year the financial panic hampered this cooperative town in the Minnesota Territory. High interest rates ended Donnelly’s credit in September. He helped organize county Republicans who nominated him for the territorial senate, but he lost by 300 votes. Minnesota became a state in May 1858, and in the fall he ran for the state senate. In a letter on 19 July 1859 he wrote,

   Laboring men of the old world!
You are many of you at the foot of the ladder
which all mankind are compelled to climb;
you are clambering the rungs which the overthrow
of the old world’s aristocratic notions has left open to you.
Which party will help you up?
That which stands committed to the South and slavery,
that which would reduce and has reduced labor
to the degradation of bondage,
which presents to it no destiny but shame and humiliation?
Or that party, which with no dark record in the past,
with no principle but those which
the Declaration of Independence has set forth,
with Equality, Liberty, Humanity, for all men,
strives by doing the unalterable justice to the black,
to advance the dignity and promote
the welfare of the white race.64

      Donnelly agreed with Lincoln that slavery is a moral issue which must be solved so that the country could make progress, and he was elected and served as Lt. Governor of Minnesota 1860-63. When Democrats tried to block Republicans with their rules, his legal research showed that legislatures have the right to establish their own rules, and this enabled Republicans to take control. He also supported relief legislation.
      Donnelly was a radical Republican in the US Congress 1863-69. In 1873 he joined the Grange, and he said, “I do not believe in leveling down to poverty but I do believe in leveling up to plenty.”65 He edited the weekly Anti-Monopolist 1874-79. He served several terms in both houses of Minnesota’s state government between 1874 and 1898.
      In 1882 Ignatius Donnelly published Atlantis: The Antediluvian World. In the 1880s Donnelly supported the Farmers’ Alliance, and he wrote,

   There are really but two parties in this state today—
the people and their plunderers.
The only issue is:
Shall the people keep the fruits of their own industry
or shall the thieves carry them away?66

      In 1888 his 998-page Great Cryptogram presented the evidence showing that Francis Bacon could have been the author of Shakespeare’s plays.
      After 25 years of working “to make the people supreme and put down the unnatural and dangerous power of money,” Donnelly helped found the People’s Party. At a St. Louis convention in February 1892 he wrote for their platform a long preamble of which this is a small portion:

   This, the first great labor conference of the United States, and of the world, representing all divisions of urban and rural organized industry, assembled in national congress, invoking upon its action the blessing and protection of Almighty God, puts forth, to and for the producers of the nation,
this declaration of union and independence.
   The conditions which surround us
best justify our co-operation.
   We meet in the midst of a nation
brought to the verge of moral, political, and material ruin.
Corruption dominates the ballot-box, the Legislatures,
the Congress, and touches even the ermine of the bench.
The people are demoralized;
most of the States have been compelled
to isolate the voters at the polling places
to prevent universal intimidation and bribery.
The newspapers are largely subsidized or muzzled,
public opinion silenced, business prostrated,
homes covered with mortgages, labor impoverished,
and the land concentrating in the hands of capitalists.
The urban workmen are denied
the right to organize for self-protection,
imported pauperized labor beats down their wages,
a hireling standing army, unrecognized by our laws,
is established to shoot them down,
and they are rapidly degenerating into European conditions.
The fruits of the toil of millions are badly stolen
to build up colossal fortunes for a few,
unprecedented in the history of mankind;
and the possessors of these, in turn,
despise the Republic and endanger liberty.
From the same prolific womb of governmental injustice
we breed the two great classes—tramps and millionaires.67

      In 1890 Donnelly published under a pseudonym his novel Caesar's Column: A Story of the Twentieth Century which describes how a reformer discovers the corruption of the brutal capitalists and observes their destruction, and it soon sold 60,000 copies and eventually 250,000. At the beginning he wrote these words “To the Public:”

   I seek to preach into the ears of the able
and rich and powerful the great truth that
neglect of the sufferings of their fellows,
indifference to the great bond of brotherhood
which lies at the base of Christianity,
and blind, brutal and degrading worship of mere wealth,
must—given time and pressure enough—
eventuate in the overthrow of society
and the destruction of civilization….
   Who is it that is satisfied
with the present unhappy condition of society?
It is conceded that life is a dark and wretched failure
for the great mass of mankind.
The many are plundered to enrich the few.
Vast combinations depress the price of labor
and increase the cost of the necessaries of existence.
The rich, as a rule, despise the poor;
and the poor are coming to hate the rich.
The face of labor grows sullen;
the old tender Christian love is gone;
standing armies are formed on one side,
and great communistic organizations on the other;
society divides itself into two hostile camps;
no white flags pass from the one to the other.
They wait only for the drum-beat
and the trumpet to summon them to armed conflict.
   These conditions have come about in less than a century;
most of them in a quarter of a century.
Multiply them by the years of another century,
and who shall say that the events I depict are impossible?
There is an acceleration of movement in human affairs
even as there is in the operations of gravity.
The dead missile out of space at last blazes,
and the very air takes fire.
The masses grow more intelligent
as they grow more wretched;
and more capable of cooperation
as they become more desperate….
   Believing, as I do, that I read the future aright,
it would be criminal in me to remain silent.
I plead for higher and nobler thoughts in the souls of men;
for wider love and ampler charity in their hearts;
for a renewal of the bond of brotherhood
between the classes; for a reign of justice on earth
that shall obliterate the cruel hates and passions
which now divide the world.
   If God notices anything so insignificant as this poor book,
I pray that he may use it as an instrumentality of good
for mankind; for he knows I love his human creatures,
and would help them if I had the power.68

      In Caesar's Column Gabriel Weltstein in New York writes a letter to his brother Heinrich in Uganda on Sept. 10, 1988 that describes the great city. He wrote,

   I touched the button for China and read
the important news that the Republican Congress
of that great and highly civilized nation had decreed that
English, the universal language of the rest of the globe,
should be hereafter used in the courts of justice
and taught in all the schools….
The battle was raging hotly, and all China and Japan
were dividing into contending factions upon this issue.69

The book prophesies many modern developments in medicine using “magnetic and electric forces of the body,” drugs, and better food so that many live to be one hundred. Use of electricity and modern heating have replaced burning “wood, coal, natural gas, etc.”
      On the streets Gabriel protects a beggar. At his home he learns the beggar is Maximilian Petion who advises him that he could never get justice from Prince Cabano who has offered a reward of $100,000 for the capture of the beggar’s savior. Maximilian tells Gabriel about the Brotherhood of the 70% who are oppressed by the wealthy explaining,

   The public school system, which,
with the other forms of the Republic, is still kept up,
has made, if not all, at least a very large percentage
of the unhappy laboring classes intelligent.70

He notes that they have rifles with 100 cartridges that fire like a machine gun. He warns that they are heading toward

   A hell of injustice, ending in a holocaust of slaughter.
   God is not at fault. Nature is not to blame.
Civilization, signifying increased human power,
is not responsible.
But human greed,—blind, insatiable human greed,—
shallow cunning; the basest, stuff-grabbing, nut-gathering,
selfish instincts, these have done this work!...
   The civilization which it has taken ten thousand years
to create may be swept away in an hour;
and there shall be no power
in the wit or wisdom of man to reestablish it.71

Gabriel asks Maximilian how the “dreadful state of affairs” came to be, and he cites articles in journals and statements by bishops in 1889. The Century Magazine published,

   The rapidly increasing use of money in elections,
for the undisguised purchase of votes,
and the growing disposition to tamper with the ballot
and the tally-sheet, are some of the symptoms....
Do you think that you will convince the average election
officer that it is a great crime to cheat in the return of votes,
when he knows that a good share of those votes
have been purchased with money? No;
the machinery of the election will not be kept free from fraud
while the atmosphere about the polls reeks with bribery.
The system will all go down together.
In a constituency which can be bribed
all the forms of law tend swiftly to decay.72

The North American Review quoted Congressman L. S. Bryce.

   In short, the shadow is of an unbridled plutocracy,
caused, created and cemented in no slight degree
by legislative, aldermanic and congressional action;
a plutocracy that is far more wealthy than any aristocracy
that has ever crossed the horizon of the world’s history,
and one that has been produced
in a shorter consecutive period;
the names of whose members are emblazoned,
not on the pages of their nation’s glory, but of its peculations;
who represent no struggle for their country’s liberties,
but for its boodle.73

New York’s Bishop Potter said,

   Everybody has recognized the rise of the money power.
Its growth not merely stifles the independence of the people,
but the blind believers in this omnipotent power of money
assert that its liberal use condones every offense.
The pulpit does not speak out as it should.
These plutocrats are the enemies of religion,
as they are of the state.74

Bishop Spalding in Peoria said,

   The liquor trade, by meddling with politics
and corrupting politics, has become a menace and a danger.
Those who think and those who love America
and those who love liberty are going to bring this
moral question into politics more and more;
also this question of bribery, this question of lobbying,
this question of getting measures
through state and national legislatures by corrupt means.
They are going to be taken hold of.
Our press, which has done so much to enlighten our people,
which represents so much that is good in our civilization,
must also be reformed.
It must cease to pander to such an extent
to the low and sensual appetites of man.75

John Ruskin was concerned about the “worship of the almighty dollar, incarnate in the self-made capitalist,” and he asked,

Have all these things come to pass that the keeper
of a whisky-shop in California may grow rich
on the spoils of drunken miners,
and great financiers dictate peace and war
to venerable European monarchies?
The most degraded superstition that ever called itself religion
has not preached such a dogma as this.
It falls below fetichism.76

Thomas G. Shearman estimated,

   100,000 persons in the United States would,
in thirty years, at the rate at which
wealth was being concentrated in the hands of the few,
own three-fifths of all the property of the entire country.77

Ancient empires fell when in Egypt 2% of the people had 97% of the wealth; in Babylon 2% owned all the wealth; In Persia 1% owned the land; and in Rome “1,800 men owned all the known world.” In the present United Kingdom of England, Ireland, and Wales with 40 million people, 100,000 people owned all the land. In the United States capitalists owned 37.5% of the wealth, and their share increased to 63% by 1870. In 1889 New York City had 1,500,000 people with 1,100,000 living in tenements, and the farm mortgages in the western states were $3,422,000,000. Maximilian noted,

   As the domination and arrogance of the ruling class increased, the capacity of the lower classes to resist,
within the limits of law and constitution, decreased.
Every avenue, in fact, was blocked by corruption.78

He described how flying machines could drop great bombs with deadly explosives, poison, and bullets.
      Gabriel stated, “You are right; there is nothing that will insure permanent peace but universal justice.” Maximilian asked him what he would do to reform the world, and Gabriel replied,

   First I should do away with all interest on money.
Interest on money is the root
and ground of the world’s troubles.
It puts one man in a position of safety,
while another is in a condition of insecurity, and thereby
it at once creates a radical distinction in human society….
   Usury kills off the enterprising members of a community
by bankrupting them,
and leaves only the very rich and the very poor;
for every dollar the employers of labor
pay to the lenders of money
has to come eventually out of the pockets of the laborers.
Usury is therefore the cause of the first aristocracy,
and out of this grow all the other aristocracies….
   I should establish a maximum
beyond which no man could own property.79

With their wealth beyond a certain point he would “establish schools, colleges, orphan asylums, hospitals, model residences, gardens, parks, libraries,…etc.”80 He also suggested loaning money to those in distress “without interest, and to be repaid as a tax on their land. Government is only a machine to insure justice and help the people, and we have not yet developed half its powers.”81 Gabriel explained why he valued the use of government to help people.

   Government—-national, state and municipal—
is the key to the future of the human race….
Man separated is man savage;
man gregarious is man civilized.
A higher development in society requires that
this instrumentality of co-operation
shall be heightened in its powers.
There was a time when every man provided,
at great cost, for the carriage of his own letters.
Now the government, for an infinitely small charge,
takes the business off his hands.
There was a time when each house
had to provide itself with water.
Now the municipality furnishes water to all.
The same is true of light.
At one time each family had to educate its own children;
now the state educates them.
Once every man went armed to protect himself.
Now the city protects him by its armed police.82

      In the remainder of the novel Gabriel tries to prevent the impending civil war, but even the reformers participate in the devastating violence. Gabriel cries out, “For God’s sake, save the world from such an awful calamity! Have pity on mankind even as you hope that the Mind and Heart of the Universe will have pity on you.”83 Gabriel tries to persuade them,

What the world needs is a new organization—
a great world-wide Brotherhood of Justice.
It should be composed of all men who desire
to lift up the oppressed and save civilization and society.
It should work through governmental instrumentalities.
Its altars should be the schools and the ballot-boxes.
It should combine the good, who are not yet,
I hope, in a minority, against the wicked.
It should take one wrong after another,
concentrate the battle of the world upon them,
and wipe them out of existence.84

      Gabriel loves and helps Estella, and Max helps and loves the singer Christina. Both couples get married before the revolutionary war breaks out in Europe and America on the same day. The Brotherhood barricades streets around the Sub-Treasury, and 200,000 men gather. Flying machines called Demons are used to bomb and poison people. The Mamelukes of the Air fight against them as they destroy the civilization that took 10,000 years to develop. They learn that Caesar was killed, and to prevent a quarter million corpses from spreading disease, they decide to entomb the bodies in the cement Caesar’s Column. They make 60,000 prisoners build the monument. Gabriel writes an epitaph for the shrine that includes these words:

   They corrupted the courts, the juries, the newspapers,
the legislatures, the congresses, the ballot-boxes
and the hearts and souls of the people.
   They formed gigantic combinations to plunder the poor;
to make the miserable more miserable;
to take from those who had least
and give it to those who had most.
   They used the machinery of free government
to effect oppression;
they made liberty a mockery, and its traditions a jest;
they drove justice from the land and installed
cruelty, ignorance, despair and vice in its place.85

Gabriel urges people to establish a provisional government with a board of counselors. Max asks General Quincy to send a plane so that Gabriel, Max, Estella, and Christina can fly to Stanley in Uganda where they organize a community with progressive republican government that will guarantee no interest on loans and a living wage for all.


1. Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr. by Ron Chernow, p. 153.
2. Ibid., p. 154.
3. The Autobiography of Andrew Carnegie: and His Essay on the Gospel of Wealth, p. 48.
4. Ibid., p. 50.
5. Ibid., p. 178-179.
6. The Annals of America, Volume 11 1884-1894 Agrarianism and Urbanization, p. 221.
7. Ibid., p. 226.
8. Ibid.
9. The Autobiography of Andrew Carnegie, p. 325.
10. Ibid., p. 333.
11. Ibid., p. 219.
12. The Annals of America, Volume 10 1866-1883 Reconstruction and Industrialization, p. 312.
13. Ibid., p. 291.
14. The Annals of America, Volume 11, p. 13-15.
15. Ibid., p. 79-80.
16. Ibid., p. 7.
17. Ibid., p. 8.
18. Ibid.
19. Ibid., p. 11.
20. Ibid., p. 82.
21. Progress and Poverty by Henry George, p. vi.
22. Ibid., p. xviii.
23. Ibid., p. xix.
24. Ibid., p. 20.
25. Ibid., p. 222.
26. Ibid., p. 274.
27. Ibid., p. 275.
28. Ibid., p. 340.
29. Ibid., p. 353.
30. Ibid., p. 366.
31. Protection or Free Trade by Henry George, p. 317.
32. Social Problems by Henry George, p. 12.
33. Ibid., p. 194-195.
34. The Co-operative Commonwealth in its Outlines, an Exposition of Modern Socialism, p. 21.
35. Ibid., p. 29.
36. Ibid., p. 30.
37. Ibid., p. 31.
38. Ibid., p. 38.
39. Ibid., p. 60.
40. Ibid., p. 86-87.
41. Ibid., p. 89-90.
42. Ibid., p. 94.
43. Ibid., p. 97, 98.
44. Ibid., p. 104.
45. Ibid., p. 114.
46. Ibid., p. 154, 155.
47. Ibid., p. 162.
48. Ibid., p. 176.
49. Ibid., p. 247.
50. Ibid., p. 257.
51. How the Other Half Lives: Studies among the tenements of New York by Jacob Riis, p. 1-4.
52. Looking Backward 2000-1887 by Edward Bellamy, p. 3.
53. Ibid., p. 33.
54. Ibid., p. 35.
55. Ibid., p. 57.
56. Ibid., p. 77, 78, 79.
57. Ibid., p. 82, 83-84.
58. Ibid., p. 98.
59. Ibid., p. 108.
60. Ibid., p. 130.
61. Ibid., p. 143.
62. Ibid., p. 143-144.
63. Ignatius Donnelly: The Portrait of a Politician by Martin Ridge, p. 5.
64. Ibid., p. 32-33.
65. Ibid., p. 149.
66. Ignatius Donnelly: The Portrait of a Politician by Martin Ridge, p. 245.
67. The Populist Revolt: A History of the Farmers’ Alliance and the People’s Party by John D. Hicks, p. 435-436.
68. Caesar's Column: A Story of the Twentieth Century by Ignatius Donnelly, p. 7-8.
69. Ibid., p. 12.
70. Ibid., p. 45.
71. Ibid., p. 48.
72. Ibid., p. 60.
73. Ibid.
74. Ibid., p. 61.
75. Ibid.
76. Ibid., p. 62.
77. Ibid.
78. Ibid., p. 64.
79. Ibid., p. 67.
80. Ibid., p. 68.
81. Ibid., p. 69.
82. Ibid., p. 73.
83. Ibid., p. 88.
84. Ibid., p. 109.
85. Ibid., p. 177.

Copyright © 2022 by Sanderson Beck

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