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the benefit of the whole. Doubtless, the welfare of the group must take precedence of the welfare of individuals, whether they are few or many. Conditions may be conceived under which the sacrifice of more than half its members would be for the ultimate advantage of a species, and under such circumstances the sacrifice would be justifiable. But if this is so, it is clear that the benefit of the greater number at any one time is not necessarily the benefit of the whole; and if it is not so, then the sacrifice even of one individual for the good of the group is not justifiable. Moreover, men may be be divided not only into the many and few but into the inferior and the superior, and though we may not agree with Aristotle that the inferior exist for the benefit of the superior, to sacrifice the latter to the former certainly seems unwise. The history of the world lends strong support to the view that, in time of peace, at any rate, it is only just laws which are for the advantage of nations. Obviously a just law will not arouse the antagonism of any one who is a desirable member of society while an unjust law will.
But there are some laws that are neither just nor unjust. The late Professor Jevons held that, since the working with phosphorus produces a dreadful disease, but one easily preventable by a small change in procedure, the State is justified in obliging a man to make this change. We frequently hear it asserted that if people will not look out for themselves the government must look out for them. Prof. Jevons's case is an interesting one, and as it is typical of a large class of cases that engage the attention of our legislators, let
us look at it a little. There is a very severe natural penalty for handling phosphorus without precaution; therefore the State should see to it that due precaution is taken. The State may enforce the taking precaution either by appointing inspectors of places where phosphorus is handled or by affixing a penalty for handling it improperly.
The question then resolves itself into this; are those persons who are so improvident that they have to be looked after as closely as this, who will be deterred by a legal penalty but not by a more severe national one, desirable persons to have in a State as citizens? Moreover, if men are not to be allowed to experience the natural penalties for misconduct or carelessness, how will they ever be able to go without leading strings? Modern educators are beginning to see that children may with advantage be treated more like grown people than was formerly thought possible; modern statesmen seem to be possessed with the idea that grown people must be treated like children.
Men are not, to be sure, perfectly rational beings. It has been found by experience in the matter of phosphorus, for instance, that many will neglect the simple precaution necessary and bring upon themselves the resulting disease, if they are left free to do so. If the nature of men were absolutely unmodifiable and if there were a heaven-deascended body of rulers, then it might be advisable for these rulers to compel men to follow the dictates of reason. But as it is, men are obliged to pursue their activities under certain natural conditions without such divine leaders; and only as human nature becomes moulded into correspondence with these con
ditions can human life become perfect. Each action has a natural consequence which cannot be greatly changed by laws printed in statute books or incorporated into constitutions. The State obviously cannot watch over all the actions of its citizens and, when it sees a man on the point of doing something the natural consequence of which is evil, interpose its veto. For example, physicians tell us that much of the disease and misery of modern life is caused by over-eating. From very early times man has been in the habit, whenever he could get a supply of food, of gorging himself to repletion; and now that most of the species can obtain canstantly more than is necessary, it is possible for the evil to become very great. But it would be impossible for the State to enforce a law that no man should eat in excess of his daily needs; and it is plain that such a law would not be beneficial even if it could be enforced. Gluttony is probably a diminishing evil, and there is not much doubt that the natural penalty will eventually be sufficient, and that man's craving for food will cease to be in excess of his physiological needs. There can be no doubt that the correspondence thus naturally brought about will be much better than one enforced by law. But this case is analagous to Professor Jevons' case of phosphorus-to hundreds of cases which occupy the attention of legislators. Whether or not we admit the soundness of the objection to laws against blasphemy and sacrilege on the ground that God is able to vindicate his own majesty, it seems reasonable to claim that the State need not interfere with individuals in their dealings with nature.
It is to be remembered that personal liberty is a good thing and therefore
may be an end in itself, while regulation is not a good thing in itself, but needs to be justified by showing that good will result from it: so that even if the mass of laws passed every year were unobjectionable from other standpoints, which they are not, they might still be objected to from this. A law in restraint of liberty has a strong presumption against it. Of course it may be said that all laws are in restraint of liberty, but there are differences of degree so great as almost to amount to a difference of kind. Jurists tell us that a man has various rights which may be classified as follows:
I. To personal safety and freedom. As not to be menaced by word or gesture; not to be pushed or struck in a hostile manner; not to be wounded or disabled either by deliberate assault or carelessness; not to be hindered from going where he pleases-so long as he does not interfere with the rights of others, etc.
II. To the society and control of one's family and dependents.
III. To reputation.
IV. To advantages open to the community generally; such as the free exercise of one's calling.
V. To possession and ownership. VI. To immunity from damage by fraud.*
Obviously, when a people is considered as a whole, laws correctly calculated to secure these rights are not in restraint of liberty, in the same sense as a law prescribing the number of hours per day a man shall contract to work, or regulating the conduct of mining or manufacturing. It is interesting to observe, moreover, that these rights are
protected mainly by giving the persons in whom they are vested remedies against those who infringe them: that is, making infractions of the rights of others costly to those guilty of them. In this way those who have a propensity for aggressing upon their fellows, either by force or fraud, are placed at a disadvantage in the struggle for existence-are, other things being equal, less likely to survive and leave offspring -and thus tend to disappear from society. If our sapient legislators would secure to each individual the exercise of these rights with what is implied thereby, they might easily be excused from establishing a postal telegraph, from supervising railroads, from looking after public education, health, morals, and the thousand and one things they exhibt so much solicitude for at present.
*Holland's Elements of Jurisprudence.
When Senator Hawley said that "Congress did not govern so well that it should undertake to do everything," he not only enunciated an indisputable truth, but one that it is just now necessary to impress upon the minds of the people. There is a tendency, a very wide-spread and hurtful tendency, among the people to rely upon Congress for everything. Whatever people fail to do for themselves, whatever States fail or refuse to do, Congress is expected to do for them. It is relied upon to make business good, to educate everybody's children, to check the increase of divorces, to manage the railroads, to take charge of the telegraph lines and make telegraphic communication cheap, to supply savings banks, to denote what articles shall be sold and what shall be taxed out of existence, to regulate morals, to preserve the sanctity of the Sabbath, to protect life and prosperity in the States, to run elections-in short, to do any and everything which anybody thinks ought to be done, or done better than it is now done by the
States or by individuals. It is appealed to in all such cases just as if it possessed unlimited wisdom, indefatigable industry and virtue that is proof against every temptation.
How far Congress falls short of justifying this extravagant confidence Senator Hawley shows by references to its scandalous inefficiency in attending to the business which is indisputably within its exclusive jurisdiction. While aspiring to regulate the railroads of the whole country, it has failed in the management of those in the District of Columbia, which occupy streets in the city of Washington without permission and without compensation. While proposing to endow the schools in all the States, the schools in the city of Washington are found to be scandalously inadequate. Its conduct of Indian affairs Senator Hawley finds obnoxious to crit. icism; he might have said that it had been a reproach to the Government for many years. Coast defenses and the navy were cited as further proofs of the careless temper of Congress and its inefficient administration of the duties devolving upon it, and also its failure to devise any means of relief for the Supreme Court.
In thus calling the attention of the people whose confidence he possesses to the limitations of Congressional usefulness Senator Hawley has rendered an important service to the country He might, indeed, have gone further, and have found other striking examples of Congressional failures, inside and outside of its proper sphere. The course of its dealings with subsidized rail roads has been a record of phenomenal incompetency and disregard of the plainest business principles, to say nothing of the corruption which brought disgrace upon so many of its members. Its management of the public lands has been marked by recklessness, prodigality and disgraceful incapacity. It can not buy a lot without paying more than it is worth, nor erect a public building save at a cost largely in excess of what any capable business man would pay for a similar service. If we add to this the shameful history of Congressional interference in the affairs of the Southern States during the reconstruction period, we shall get something like an adequate idea of the unwisdom of the policy of heaping upon Congress a great mass of additional duties while it is not able, or not willing, adequately to perform those that can not be discharged by any other body.
SLAVES BY NATUREMr. Lawrence Gronlund says in the National ist for March :—
"We all know how objectionable the 'scab' is to the [labor reforms]; nothing, certainly, would please the organized workers better than to see the law compel all workers to enter a Union, sub. mit to the collective judgment of the trade, and concur in electing representatives who should watch over and force forward labor's interests in the management of the shop and store, as Charles Francis Adams, Jr., President of the Union Pacific, has lately suggested in regard to railroad employers."
One cannot read such a sentence as this with out recalling the words of Aristotle :
"Nature has made one class of men who should be governed as slaves by a master." And again :- "He is a slave by nature who has the capacity of belonging to some one else (and on this account actually does belong to someone else), and whose share of reason only goes so far as to comprehend it in others, but who does not possess it himself." The readiness with which working-men submit to the tyranny of their unions and to the dictation of the walking delegate affords an exemplification of the fact that can never make a free man out of one who is "a slave by nature." The Esaus will persist in bartering their birthright of liberty for a mess of pottage, and of course there will not be wanting writers like Mr. Gronlund, who will, with great success, persuade them that the potage is of great value and the birth-right of no value at all.
The attempts of demagogues to control the affairs of railroads for their own profit, under the flimsy pretext of benefiting the farmers, received a wholesome check from the Supreme Court on March 24. There were two cases the Eastern Railway Company and the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul, respectively, vs. the “Railroad, and Warehouse Commission of Minneapolis. It goes without saying that this "Commission" undertook to manage the affairs of the railroads, for such was the object of its existence. The cases now decided involved the right of the "Commission" to fix the rates of freight in one instance, and of switching services in the other. It is worthy of comment, too, that the decision now rendered in favor of the right of the railroads to manage their own affairs, results in reversing the decision of the Supreme Court of Minnesota. The ground taken by the Court is that the ac
tion of the "Commission" is tantamount to taking property without due process of law, and therefore unconstitutional. It is not a little surprising, however, that a strong minority of the Court was otherwise minded, which can only remind us how near the precipice of Socialism we stand.
In Wisconsin it has formerly been the habit of some teachers in the public schools to give daily readings of passages from the Bible, and this practice has been objected to from time to time by the Catholic parents. Finally a case was brought into the Circuit Court of Rock county, the particular form being that of demurrer of certain parents to the reply and persistence of the School Board in upholding the teachers. The demurrer was overruled by that Court, but the Catholics appealed the case to the Supreme Court where, it is satisfactory to record, the ruling was reversed in a decision which sustains the Catholics, and excludes the Bible from the public schools of the State. Part of the decision is as follows:
"The question therefore seems to narrow down to this; Is the reading of the Bible in schoolsnot merely selected passages therefrom, but the whole of it sectarian instruction of pupils? In view of the fact already mentioned that the Bible contains numerous doctrinal passages
an affirmative answer seems unavoidable."
Another notable argument contained in the decision, is that the place where the Bible is read is a place of worship, and that as tax-payers are compelled to erect and support school-houses, the constitution forbids the use of these houses as places of worship. Altogether this case em. phasizes the fact that constitutions do serve as a protection to personal rights, and it is only to be regretted, in connection with public schools, that the Wisconsin constitution does not recognize parental rights as at least of equal importance with religious rights. The theory of public schools is that they will supply what parents demandthat no wishes will be disregarded. But the the ory is not verified by experience in this country. There are large classes in each of our several communities whose parental rights are violated by the kind of return the public schools give them for their money. It may occur to some genius to have parental rights recorded in the constitutions as belonging to the "natural and inalienable" class. In fact, if nothing goes wrong with us meanwhile, we may at last get a complete catalogue of these "rights," so that even a lawyer could not find a case that was not enumerated, and then our political prospects would grow brighter.
without astonishment, therefore, that we find Paintings of both kinds "separated together," in the same paragraph which defines statuary with great detail and accuracy. Persons who wish to buy foreign Paintings and Statuary must, how ever, pay 30 per cent. for the privilege. As the purchaser of these wares are generally richer than the majority of book-buyers, the difference would seem to be explained by the laudable desire to make them pay in proportion to their means. This impression is strengthened by the discovery that Etchings may come in along with other "Pulp" at 25 per cent. But the appearance is fallacious. "Lithographic prints," which are usually the cheapest reproductions of this kind, and therefore the most bought by the poor, will be rated at 35 per cent. Nor is this the. most extraordinary of the cases in which the pro posed tariff bears most heavily on the art of the poor.
Statuary for the rich-" such as is cut or carved, or otherwise wrought by hand from a solid block or mass of marble, stone or alabaster, or from metal"—is taxed at only 30 per cent. But if your taste or purse is so poor that you content yourself with images that are not carven, you are not let off so easily. If you buy a plain white plaster cast or statuette, you must pay the government 55 per cent. of what you paid the artisan; while a little paint or gilt will cost 5 per cent. more. If you want any figures in the more durable forms of metal, your best chance is to persuade the collector that these belong under paragraph 197, Schedule C-as "Old Copper, fit only for manufacturing-1 3-4 cents per pound."
The first step toward the fulfilment of that condition which is absolutely essential to Representative Government, will probably be the substitution of Majority for Plurality election. The required majority should be of the registered voters, not merely a majority of the votes cast. But even the latter method would be an immense improvement on the system, or rather want of system, that prevails here now. One of the extremely curious inconsistencies of American politics is the prodigious amount of talk, and the infinitesimal care for, the basis of government. Representative government is a piece of machinery at best-but then it is just as well to have the best, where even that is none too good.
That part of the Iowa railroad bill which prohibits discrimination in favor of cities covers a
case where the State seems clearly withen its right. The fact that eminent domain has been exercised in behalf of every railroad corporation is a stubborn one to overcome. No more thorough-going advocate of non-interference with private enterprise can be found than this journal. But whatever may be said of the right of eminent domain in the abstract, when it has once been exercised by those who have the power to enforce it, in favor of others who have not the power, the former would appear to have acquired some right of control over the use to which the delegated privilege is put.
It is unfortunate that such right of control has not been the subject of an agreement in shape of clearly defined contracts between States and railroads. In return for eminent domain railroads should have been required by their articles of incorporation to render an indiscriminate service to the public. That the kind of service to be rendered by railroads is a proper subject for preliminary agreement between them and the States has been universally recognized. But the States, in their mistaken eagerness to get railroads at any cost, have used their power recklessly and. often, corruptly. It is the height of injustice to suddenly face about and begin to exercise an equally reckless and, often, equally corrupt control over railroad management. And injustice is the most impolitic practice a State can indulge in.
The Dairyman, Franklin, N. Y., has an article on Butter and its counterfeits, in which the complete suppression of the latter is demanded. Passing over the demands, a confession may be noted:
"The general Congress, waiving the right to absolutely prohibit the manufacture of hog butter, imposed a tax of 2 cents per pound upon the same, which had the effect only to compel the hog-butter men to use cheaper grease, substituting vast quantities of rejected or refuse lard and tallow."
The statement of fact as to the effect that the tax had upon the manufacture of oleo-butter, seems to probable too require confirmation. The instances of adulteration consequent upon repressive taxation are so numerous already that the burden of proof would lie with him who claimed that this had not been the case with oleomargarine-or hog-butter, as a dairyman is naturally inclined to call it.