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all, meddling in a spirit of class legislation or hatred or rancor. It is eminently necessary that the power should be had, but it is just as necessary that it should be exercised with wisdom and self-restraint. The first exercise of that power should be the securing of publicity among all great corporations doing an interstate business. The publicity, though non-inquisitorial, should be real and thorough as to all important facts with which the public has concern. Daylight is a powerful discourager of evil. Such publicity would by itself tend to cure the evils of which there is just complaint; it would show us if evils existed, and where the evils are imaginary, and it would show us what next ought to be done.
Above all, let us remember that our success in accomplishing anything depends very much upon our not trying to accomplish everything. Distrust whoever pretends to offer you a patent cure-all for every ill of the body politic, just as you would a man who offers a medicine which would cure every evil of your individual body. A medicine that is recommended to cure both asthma and a broken leg is not good for either. Mankind has moved slowly upward through the ages, sometimes a little faster, sometimes a little slower, but rarely, indeed, by leaps and bounds. At times a great crisis comes in which a great people, perchance led by a great man, can at white heat strike some mighty blow for the right — make a long stride in advance along the path of justice and of orderly liberty. But normally we must be content if each of us can do something — not all that we wish, but something for the advancement of those principles of righteousness which underlie all real national greatness, all true civilization and freedom. I see no promise of any immediate and complete solution of all the problems we group together when we speak of the trust question. But we can make a beginning in solving these problems, and a good beginning, if only we approach the subject with a sufficiency of resolution, of honesty, and of that hard common sense which is one of the most valuable, and not always one of the most common, assets in any nation's greatness. The existing laws will be fully enforced as they stand on the statute books without regard to persons, and I think good has already come from their enforcement. I think furthermore that additional legislation should be had and can be had, which will enable us to accomplish much more along the same lines. No man can promise a perfect solution, at least in the immediate future. But something has already been done, and much more can be done if our people temperately and determinedly will that it shall be done.
THE “business” which is hurt by 'the movement for honesty is the kind of business which, in the long run, it pays the country to have hurt. It is the kind of business which has tended to make the very name “high finance" a term of scandal to which all honest American men of business should join in putting an end. The special pleaders for business dishonesty, in denouncing the present Administration for enforcing the law against the huge and corrupt corporations which have defied the law, also denounce it for endeavoring to secure sadly needed labor legislation, such as a far-reaching law making employers liable for injuries to their employees. It is meet and fit that the apologists for corrupt wealth should oppose every effort to relieve weak and helpless people from crushing misfortune brought upon them by injury in the business from which they gain a bare livelihood. The burden should be distributed. It is hypocrite ical baseness to speak of a girl who works in a factory where the dangerous machinery is unprotected as having the "right" freely to contract to expose herself to dangers to life and limb. She has no alternative but to suffer want or else to expose herself to such dangers, and when she loses a hand or is otherwise maimed or disfigured for life, it is a moral wrong that the whole burden of the risk necessarily incidental to the business should be placed with crushing weight upon her weak shoulders, and all who profit by her work escape scot-free. This is what opponents of a just employers' liability law advocate; and it is consistent that they should usually also advocate immunity for those most dangerous members of the criminal class — the criminals of great wealth. .
1 Address at Providence, Rhode Island, August 23, 1902.
The opponents of the measures we champion single out now one and now another measure for especial attack, and speak as if the movement in which we are engaged was purely economic. It has a large economic side, but it is fundamentally an ethical movement. We are trying to secure equality of opportunity for all; and the struggle for honesty is the same whether it is made on behalf of one set of men or of another. In the interest of the small settlers and landowners, and against the embittered opposition of wealthy owners of huge wandering flocks of sheep, or of corporations desiring to rob the people of coal and timber, we strive to put an end to the theft of public land in the West. When we do this, and protest against the action of all men, whether in public life or in private life, who either take part in or refuse to try to stop such theft, we are really engaged in the same policy as when we endeavor to put a stop to rebates or to prevent the upgrowth of uncontrolled monopolies. Our effort is simply to enforce the principles of common honesty and common sense. It would indeed be ill for the country should there be any halt in our work."
LINCOLN was a great radical. He was of course a wise and cautious radical - otherwise he could have done nothing for the forward movement. But he was the efficient leader of this forward movement. To-day many well-meaning men who have permitted themselves to fossilize, to become mere ultraconservative reactionaries, to reject and oppose all progress, but who still pay a conventional and perfunctory homage to Lincoln's memory, will do well to remember exactly what it was for which this great conservative leader of radicalism actually stood.
Much of what he said applies, with only a change of names, to the conditions of our own time.
In October, 1854, when it was objected that the course be advocated included some action demanded by the Northern abolitionists, and other action demanded by the Southern disunionists, to both of whom he had been opposed, he answered: "Stand with anybody that stands right. Stand with him while he is right and part
1 Message communicated to the two Houses of Congress, January 31, 1908.
with him when he goes wrong. Stand with the abolitionist in restoring the Missouri Compromise and stand against him in attempting to repeal the Fugitive Slave Law. In the latter case you stand with the Southern disunionist. What of that? You are still right. In both cases you are right. In both cases you oppose the dangerous extremes. In both you stand on middle ground and hold the ship steady and level. In both you are national and nothing less than national. To desert such ground because of any company is to be less than a man
less than an American.” And he remarked of those who took the opposite view that he must be allowed “to tell them, good-humoredly,” that their course was “very silly."
In precisely similar fashion to-day we find conservatives objecting to some piece of wise legislation because it is demanded by the socialists, and radicals objecting to some piece of wise legislation of another kind, because it is looked upon favorably by Wall Street. In Lincoln's words we must be allowed good-humoredly to say that both attitudes are very silly - equally so whether we always oppose the Socialists or always oppose Wall Street. In one case we uphold what the Socialists demand, in the other case what Wall Street favors. In Lincoln's words: “What of it? We are still right. In both cases we are right.”
In 1859 Lincoln announced as the true doctrine that "the rights of property" are secondary to the personal rights of men,” and that he was "for both the man and the dollar, but in case of conflict, the man before the dollar”; and he added the pregnant sentence: "He who would be no slave must consent to have no slave. Those