« PreviousContinue »
it ceases to be the Church of Christ, and becomes an engine of state in the hand of the few in oppressing the many. These ru. lers of the earth make sanguinary laws, and call many things treason! While they themselves are committing treason &gainst Heaven & earth all the days of their guilty lives, in the total disregard of their duty to God and man, and betraying the weighty trust committed to them.
The following is taken from the New-York Daily Advertiset. “The last London Quarterly Review, contains an article un der the title of "Co-Operatives,” in which we have found some interesting facts and statements respecting the situation of the laboring classes of men in England.
The condition of that very numerous body of persons, who work in manufactories, and in modern slang language is called operatives, is well known to be miserable and deplorable. Having been educated and instructed only to understand a piece of á trade, they can never be any thing more than journeymen, & necessarily dependent on others for employment; and, of course for bread. This subjects them to hopeless poverty and degradation, and upon every unfavorable vicissitude in business to be turned out of employment, and to encounter all the miseries of absolute want. From this source have arisen all, or nearly all, the internal disturbances, riots, and other outrages against the peace and security of property, which have so often occurred in that kingdom within the last forty or fifty years. The evils of the system have been increased and multiplied in an al most incalculable degree, by the vast improvements, and inventions in labor-saving machinery, In the language of a passage quoted in the Review, “Labor is working against machinery. Those that eat, drink, and have families, are working against those who do not eat, drink, and have no families. In such a contest, the eater and drinker must be worsted. He cannot be shut up in a garret and kept without food till he is wanted. He cannot be laid up for the winter. The birth of new laborers cannot be deferred, like the production of new machines, till called for. They cannot be put together one day, and pulled to pieces another day."
To remedy, or avoid some of the evils of this system, the laboring people, in some places, have resorted to the plan of forming co-operative societies, which seem to have been attended with extraordinary success. The nature and effects of the old system is thus described in one of the publications of these societies. "The whole secret of the business lies in this, that the working-men do not work for themselves. The workman sells his time, strengh, skill, labor, all his ingenuity, his cleverness his industry, his health, to his master. If he performed a thousand times as much work as he does, he would be no better off.-His master would be the only person benefitted. The greater the quantity of work done, the richer would the master and upper class become; but not a jot richer would the workmen be. Indeed, the very contrary is proved to be the fact. For the working classes have now, by the aid of machinery, which they themselves invented, produced such an abundance of food and all kinds of necessaries, that their labor is no longer wanted. The market, say the wise ones, is over stocked with workmen: there are too many poor: too many of the lower orders: too much population, The workmen must be sent out of the kingdom--they are the greatest evil we have to contend against. If we could but get rid of the working classes, we should do very well. Such are the reflections which are made every day upon the present state of things; which proves completely that if the working men were to produce a thousand times as much as they do, they would be no better off: or rather, that the more food, clothes and houses they produce, the fewer necessaries, comforts and enjoyments they must thémselves necessarily possess. But would this be the case if the working classes worked for themselves and not for others ?-Most certainly not. They already produce enough for themselves and all the world besides. Therefore, if they worked for themselves alone, they would be supplied most abundantly
-not only with the necessaries of life, but all its luxuries in the bargain.
The remedy for these evils, it is said, is in the hands of the laboring classes; and the mode of accomplishing it is to devise a plan by which they shall work for themselves, and not for the benefit of others only. This is to be done by raising capital; & the way to raise capital is by establishing friendly societies, the members of which, by small weekly deposits, something in the manner of the savings banks, can easily accumulate the ne cessary amount for carrying on their business. When a sufficient sum has been collected in this way, one mode of render ing it productive has been, to lay it out in various commodities, which are placed in a common store, from which all members purchase their common necessaries; the profits forming a common capital, to be again laid out in the commodities most wanted-thus forming two sources of accumulation-the weekly subscription, and the profit on the articles sold. Two hundred persons uniting, it is said, paying each a shilling a week, and purchasing attheir own store, will make again at the rate of one thousand five hundred and sixty pounds a year. In addition to this, they soon begin to find work for their own members; and as the capital accumulates still further, it will employ all the members, thus making the advantage to them much more considerable.
Various other modes of employing their capital are mentioned, some of which have proved quite profitable. In forming the societies, great care is taken not to admit idle, intemperate persons, or those whose morals are otherwise bad.
Several societies have been formed under the patronage of a lady, one of which, at the end of thirteen weeks from the time of its institution, had made a clear profit of seventy-nine pounds, five shillings and four pence.
The benefits the co-operatives hope to derive from these associations are: Ist.—A perfect emancipation from all fear of poverty; a sure provision for themselves, not only in health
and activity, but in sickness and age, and for their families after their death. 20.--A sufficient supply of the comforts of life without that hazard and incessant labor which wears them out prematurely. 3d.-Leisure for innncent enjoyment, the acquisiton of knowledge, and the cultivation of their minds.
The effects of these societies upon themselves and upon the community at large, cannot yet be fairly known. They are too recently established, for any one to form a judgment of their future results, The Reviewers say the system is, at present, “a cloud no bigger than a man's hand.' It may dissipate in heat, or gradually spread over the land, and send down refreshing showers upon this parched and withered portion of society.”
Another, and if possible, darker, blacker picture of British aristocracy is presented in the trial of Warreri Hastings, Governor General of India in 1788. From the first æra of the English aristocrats' landing in India, their whole intercourse with the comparatively innocent natives, in the place of friend, ly communication for fair commercial pursuits, has been one entire, unbroken, undiviating system of robbery, plunder, treachery, murder, rapine and blood, since the rise of the East India Company, under Charles II. The two contending companies were united under Queen Anne in 1756, which was a gloomy and fearfully dark day for Hindostan.
It was found necessary, to effectuate the purposes of the Eng. lish in India, to employ such men as Lord Clide. The arts of plunder, fraud and rapine, one would suppose, had reached their height under his ' misrule. But when he returned to England, laden with wealth and crimes, and the curses and execrations of nations and the plunder of millions; it appears that he left an abundant crop of successors bebind him, who were all inured to deeds of robbery and carnage, and encouraged to rapine by former success. There was not a captain of a band of ragged sepoys, who did not look forward to the deposing of a Subah and the plunder of a rich province. But it was found necessary to enlarge the stream that seemed to run
too slow for the insatiable avarice of these harpies.' Therefore they found it necessary to employ the infamous Warren Hastings, a name synonimous with all that constitutes crime of the blackest huc, and deepest dye; in whose character is summed up and concentrated all that is degrading in human nature, all that excites horror in the ravening of evening wolves prowling for their prey, and all that characterises an infernal dæmon.Having united in himself the prerogatives of Governor, Leg. istor, Judge and executionor, and having filled all the places of trust and profit with creatures of his own stamp, and having monopolised the whole supply of tobacco, salt, and betel nut, for that vast empire; he took into his employ whoever he found to be cruel, unrelenting and unfeeling among the natives, as well as his own countrymen, and farmed out to them the collection of what he called the revenue of the Provinces of that rich and mighty population.
But this, with every species of plunder, was still insufficient to satiate the unbounded rapacity of this degraded wretch and his associates. He then had recourse to the hellish expedient of monopolising the whole supply of rice, almost the alone food of the natives; and after dragging every cent, for this staff of life from the poor starving natives, that they were in possession of, when all their money was expended, they died in millions from hunger while the company's stores were full to overflowing with a much greater supply than what was needed till the coming harvest. But that was not all. The land was engrossed so that the poor natives had no encouragement to cultivate the soil, having no security that they should even obtain a subsistence by their labor.
These enormities of the East India Company are justly described in the following touching lines from Mr. Campbell's Pleasures of Hope, to which he adds this note.—"The account of British conduct, and its consequences in Bengal, will afford a sufficient idea of the fact alluded to in this passage. After describing the monopoly of salt, betel nut and tobacco, the