G. (Gabriel) Manigault.

A political creed; embracing some ascertained truths in sociology and politics. An answer to H George's Progress and poverty. online

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Online LibraryG. (Gabriel) ManigaultA political creed; embracing some ascertained truths in sociology and politics. An answer to H George's Progress and poverty. → online text (page 1 of 15)
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A Political Creed;

Embracing Some Ascertained Truths








Formerly of South Carolina.

Wynkoop & Hallendeck, Printers, p »
12 1 Fulton Street.


Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1884, by G. Maniqault,
in the Oflflce of the Librarian of Congress at Washington.


Not wishing to make a Ijook^ I Lave compressed this
into as comjDact a space as is compatible with a compre-
hensive treatment of the subject. I have called it an
answer to " Progress and Poverty," by Henry George ;
but it was written before I had seen his book, which I
have read but lately. For if one be true, the other must

be false. As to that, let the reader decide.

G. M.



Some Ascertaliiei Triitlis in Sociology anl Politics.

From before the days of Plato and Aristotle down to
our own time, many of the most acute minds have been
striving to discover, and to explain, the principles on
which human society and political organizations are, and
ought to be, based. Yet, to this day, in the different
schools of politics and social science, the most opposite
and incompatible views are maintained by numerous and
able advocates. How far, then, is it possible to draw
out, from the results of experience and reason, a con-
nected system of principles in these sciences, so well
founded and obvious as to command the general assent
of right-thinking men ?

Setting aside all the authority we might derive from
revealed, and, as far as possible, from natui-al religion, in
proof that society and government are not merely of
man' s device, I will enter on a search after the ascer-
tained and admitted truths in sociology and politics, and
endeavor to trace the connection of these truths with,
and their dependence on, each other.


In this mysterious and puzzling world in which we
find ourselves existing, what means have we of ascer-
taining the truths which should enlighten and guide us ?
We find ourselves to be organized beings, endowed not
only with certain appetites, instincts, and powers of ac-
tion ; but, also, with the means of observing the phe-
nomena surrounding and pressing upon us ; and, more-
over, with a capacity and a propensity to draw inferences
from these phenomena, when collected and compared
with each other. Thence we arrive at conclusions, which
we take to be laws regulating the occurrence and effects
of these phenomena.

The want of leisure and of experience make this slow
work. Yet we gradually acquire some knowledge of the
nature of our surroundings. We make frequent mis-
takes, indeed, which we have to correct by further and
more careful observation ; and we make some real prog-
ress in knowledge.

We discover that, besides the material world that sur-
rounds us, there are intellectual truths which spring
from our observation of it, embracing and explaining it ;
which truths may be brought to bear upon, and, in a
measure, direct and control matter.

We, moreover, discover that, while the mass of mate-
rial objects with which we come in contact are organized
beings, the law of that Kature which gave them existence
does not endow them with permanence. Yet we see
that it provides, by some means, for maintaining and re-
placing its productions as they pass away, filling up the
gaps among its organized beings with a succession of be-
ings similar to those that are passing away. This is one

broad general law of Nature, applying to organized crea-
tures, which we arrive at with a certainty that shuts out
all doubt.

Further observation shows us that Nature attains this
end by stamping on her organized creatures the relations
of sex. All animals and all plants partake of these char-
acteristics in one form or another. In the case of plants
these relations are not so simple and obvious. But we
soon learn that animals are divided into male and female,
in various proportions.

Thus we soon become familiar with another comj^re-
hensive law of Nature : that organized life is maintained,
not by the permanence of the individuals, but by their
reproducing offspring like themselves, and that this re-
production is brought about through the agency of the
division of each class of animals, and even of plants, into
two sexes, male and female. Thus, we are beginning to
master some of the great laws of Nature, by which she
regulates the world we live in.

When we turn our attention to our own race we see an
explanation of the instinct which usually leads to the
mutual choice and companionship of one man and one
woman : that is, to life-long, monogamous marriage, and
to the many domestic and social proprieties springing
from it. Many facts prove that this is the design of

1. In all countries and ages there is an approach to
equality in the number of male and female births. Yet
there is always, as far as we know, a small excess of male
births over the female. Why is this provided ? As men,
from their occupations and enterprises, are more exposed
than women to be cut off by accidental and violent
deaths, especially in boyhood and early manhood, this

sliglit excess in the birth of males looks very like an ex-
press design in ISTature to provide for monogamous mar-
riage by equalizing the number of the two sexes. The
proportions of the two sexes in human births vary some-
what : from thirteen males to twelve females, to about
twenty-five males to twenty-four females. The causes of
these varying proportions, we believe, have not been as-

2. Unlike other animals, the offspring of mankind,
need the care and support of both parents for a long
term of years. Thus the naitural claim of both wife and
children for maintenance, and on the property acquired,
is obvious, and points to a life-long marriage, and sug-
gests the obligation of monogamy.

3. The analogy of the instincts of not a few animals,
in their unions, proves that monogamous marriage may
be strictly according to Nature. Thus, wdiile in the hive
of the honey-bee, there are thousands of workers, which
are neuters, hundreds of drones, who are males, and only
one female, the queen bee, we find, on the other hand,
that the cajpreolus, or roe-buck, the pigeon, the goose, the
ostrich, and many other animals, are strictly monogamous
in their unions.

The more we investigate this point, the more obvious
does it become that human society naturally originates in
the monogamous marriage, and is based on the family
springing from it. Where monogamous marriage is not
the foundation of the family and of society, could we
look back far enough, we would find oiit that some
peculiar circumstances, some unnatural causes, have dis-
turbed the order of Kature, driving the human race to
polygamy or polyandry.

Howeyer the human race may have originated, we


know that man does not now come into the world a solitary
being. He has at least a known mother ; and should he
lose lier at the time of his birth, his continued existence
depends on some one who supplies her place.

Usually we come into life the expected and welcomed
.member of a family circle. We are born into society.
Our relations with kindred beings beginning with our
birth, our self-seeking and our social propensities are de-
veloped together through the long years of infancy and
early youth. Tlius the first society known to us is the
family circle ; the first government, parental control.
And we necessarily continue under these infiuences un-
til we can provide for ourselves ; indeed, usually and
naturally, until long after that earlier period of life.
Moreover, we are ever after under some social influences
— unless we become outlaws.


From the most primitive condition of man, to the most
advanced stage of civilization yet reached, all the neces-
saries, conveniences, and comforts of life are the results
of the labor and skill of individuals, working singly, or
in combination ; but the primary object of each one is to
reap, individually, the profit of his toil. For, although
the world we live in affords to us fields of labor teem-
ing with productions capable of being adapted to useful
and beneficial purposes, they are not directly given to
us. They are merely placed, more or less, within our
reach ; not thrust into our hands or our mouths. It is
left to us, when prompted by our wants, to help our-
selves, by appropriating them. These acts of appropria-
tion require, on our part, more or less of enterprise,


labor, and perseverance ; and, moreover, are often attended
with exhausting exertions, uncertain success, and even
suffering and danger to those who make them. This out-
lay of labor, skill, and hazard, becoming inextricably in-
corporated with our acquisitions, originates our propri-
etary right ; that is, our right to exclude from the benefit
of our acquisitions, those who have made no such expendi-
ture of their energies on the materials thus brought into
our possession or laid up for our use.

Thus, all value and utility, being the result of the labor
of individuals, comes into existence in the possession of,
and as the property of, individuals. Until there be prop-
erty, there can be neither robbery nor theft. As soon
as property comes into existence, robbery and theft
become possible, and must be guarded against. In those
cases, where the acquisition is the result of combined
labor and united exertions, the undertaking is not com-
plete until each one has assigned to him his share of the
result. Thus proprietary right at once furnishes the
motive for, and the reward of, our exertions to maintain
and to better our condition.


]^ATUBE makes similar provision for supplying the
wants of animals ; not feeding them, or sheltering them,
but putting within their reach the means of feeding and
sheltering themselves. Moreover, man's earliest education
was the observation of the instincts of animals ; especially
as , shown in procuring their food, and . securing their

The study of the animal kingdom affords us abundant
proofs that property is deeply founded in nature, and that


animals, bj instinct, claim proprietary rights which are
respected by others of their own species. The nests built
by birds become their property, nndispnted by others of
their kind, and usually by those of other kinds.

So general is this respect paid to proprietorship in the
nest, that naturalists have been long surprised and
puzzled at the intrusive habit of the cuckoo as an anomaly
in Kature. For the cuckoo, laying a veiy small q^^^ for
a bird of its size, often deposits one in the nest of some
small bird. When this ^^g is hatched, the young cuckoo
rapidly out-grows its companions, to whom its unwelcome
company is often fatal. Shakespeare makes the young
cuckoo the type of ingratitude, expressing it in the fol-
lowing lines :

" The hedge-sparrow fed the cuckoo so long,
That it had its head bitten off by its young."

In the case of the eagle and some other birds, this prop-
erty in the nest apparently continues, not only during
the breeding season, but for life. So the burrows and
dens of many quadrupeds, beasts of prey, and others,
continue in their possession for years, undisturbed by
others of their own kind. The squirrel makes a store-
house of his hollow tree, providing against the winter's
dearth ; and the hamster-rat burrows into the earth, and
stores its cellars, with similar providence. ISTor does the
law of community of goods apply to these stores, except
in cases where, like that of the honey-bee, one mother
unites a whole community into one family, as in the

Even the most timid animals often show unexpected
spirit and resources in the defense of their homes and
their young. But bees, wasps, ants, and many other


species, build up elaborate homes, and store them with
food, against the season of scarcity in each year ; and
they value not their lives in a patriotic war in defense of
their citadel.

The evidence from natural history, proving proprietary
rights, is especially clear and strong as to local proprietor-
ship, corresponding with what is termed in law landed prop-
erty. Dogs show a deep conviction as to the sacredness
of their masters' rights of ]3roperty, both movable and fixed.
The shepherd's dog takes charge of hundreds of his mas-
ter's sheep ; and never mistakes those of some neighbor
for part of the flock under his care. Even the domesti-
cated herd will resent the intrusion of others of their
kind on their special pasture.

Although it is evident that ISTature intended that many
species of animals should prey upon others of different
race from themselves, yet it is obvious that instinct has
stamped on most animals a respect for some of the pro-
prietary rights of individuals of their own kind.

However much the experience, observation, and rea-
son of mankind may have developed the instinctive
promptings of Nature into a more complete and complex
system of rights of property than that which sufficed in
a primitive state of society ; yet property and proprietary
rights, in their essential elements, are founded ©n the
instinct of animals, including man himself.


The spontaneous productions of ISTature, which supply
the wants of animals, especially of man, are limited in
quantity, even in the most fertile lands. Moreover,
periods of abundance and of scarcity mark different


years, and different seasons of tlie same year. Both men
and animals are always tending toward an increase of
numbers far beyond that which the spontaneous yield of
the richest soil can maintain.

But the appropriation, by individual men, of parts of
the earth's surface to their private and exclusive use,
leads gradually but rapidly to the incorporation, with
each of these localities, of so much of the occupant's in-
dustry, skill, foresight, and economy, that the hunting-
ground, which scantily supplied the wants of one savage,
now maintains hundreds of industrious and civilized men.
This wonderful and beneficent multiplication of produce
results simply from civilized man's having incorporated
so much of his own industry, skill, and enterprise with
the material basis which nature afforded him to work on.

Thus, the regions roamed over by the hunting tribes of
North America did not then support one human being to
the square mile. Australia, a far more barren continent,
did not then, perhaps, support one to the square league.
Now both of these regions, through that industry, enter-
prise, and economy generated by the possession of pri-
vate property, especially in land, are furnishing abun-
dant provision for rapidly multiplying millions, which
yet fall far short of approaching the maximum of the
population these countries can sustain.

Yet it would be only necessary persistently to violate
and overthrow this right of private property in land for a
generation or two, to reduce these regions again to the
savage and desolate condition from which they have been
redeemed in very modern times. Proprietary rights are
not the device of man's selfish ingenuity ; but the char-
tered rights of property are stamped by Nature on the
instincts of animals, and especially of the animal man.



PowEBFUL as is the impulse which drives men to seek
the gratification of their own wants ; and much as this
impulse tends to promote their welfare and progressive
improvement ; there is another natural motive which
urges them to industry, enterprise, and foresight ; and
tends yet more directly toward social progress and
civilization. It is the instinctive desire to provide
for and to protect their own offspring, and those
naturally dependent upon them. We see this instinctive
care of their offspring strongly and invariably manifested
in animals of almost every species. It shows itself as
strongly, but not so invariably, in the human race. We
will not stop now to explain why this instinct is less uni-
versal and unvarying with mankind than with other
animals. But it is evident that the long and helpless
infancy of man's offspring makes the prolonged care and
protection of the parent more necessary to children than
to the young of other animals. And the fact that man-
kind have continued to exist and to multiply, is proof
that parental neglect and improvidence have been the
exception, and not the rule.

The obligation to provide for their offspring is so pro-
longed with mankind, that it generates the necessity of
exercising industry and foresight beyond the promptings
of mere instinct — suggesting the collecting and keeping
of the means of long fulfilling this duty. This leads to
the laying up of a lasting supply — that is, property —
and points out that the violation of proprietary rights is
a crime against individuals, and against Nature's laws.

In the most primitive and isolated condition of society
in which we can imagine the human race to have existed,


the savage hunter pursued or lay in wait for his prey, to
supply, not only himself, but his family with food. T^ot
merely the selfish, but equally the social and domestic
instincts also, at once stimulated and controlled his indus-
try and enterprise. If the bounty of Nature continues
to furnish a liberal maintenance to the hunter and to his
family, in a generation or two this family becomes a
tribe, governed, or at least much influenced, by their com-
mon ancestor, while he lives ; and at his death, one of the
elder and more energetic of his sons succeeds as the head
of the tribe. For unity in counsel and in action is essen-
tial to the welfare and even the safety of this young and
small community.

Society and rudimentary government thus make one
step beyond the most primitive social condition we can
imagine. The family becomes a tribe under patriarchal
rule. This supplies the need of a more extended union
for the mutual protection of the rights of each individ-
ual. But it deprives the individual of no rights he may
have acquired. Nor does it displace the parental author-
ity in the household, for that continues to be as neces-
sary as ever.


Yarious circumstances, local and accidental, may have
influenced the tirst formation of government. But the
need of some political organization of society is soon felt
in every age and country. It is needed to counteract the
evil dispositions which never fail to manifest themselves
in a marked degree, in at least some individuals, in every

Natural affection prompts most parents to exert them-


selves to provide for the wants of their children, stim-
ulating them to industrj^, enterprise, and providence.
But some evil-disposed persons seek to appropriate to
themselves the proceeds of the labors of others. Thus :
One savage gathers a quantity of fruit, or, after contriv-
ing the implements needed in hunting or fishing, kills
his game, or catches his fish. Another of the same
tribe, less industrious or skillful, seeks to supply his own
wants, by stealing the fruit, game, or fish, or perhaps
the hunting or fishing implements, from him who has ac-
quired them by honest industry. Or he may attempt to
rob him of them by force. The party wronged naturally
tries to defend and right himself, and he seldom fails to
find allies to aid him.

For even in the most primitive society, even in the
tribe and the family, all but the culprit see the need of
combining to prevent and punish offenses which, if un-
restrained, would dissolve all social intercourse, and
starve out the race. Hence originates the administration,
by society, or by the head of it, of justice between its
members, in order to protect them from each other.
This is done, not by making a general law in the first in-
stance, but by deciding a particular case, which serves as
a precedent for the decision of similar cases in the future-,
thus laying the foundation of a general law.

This internal need of a government, to restrain lawless
conduct within society, is felt wherever society exists.
Even in the family, the parent has to protect the younger
brother from the elder ; and, perhaps, the sister from
both. All mankind, perhaps without exception, need
some infiuence, external to themselves, to assist them in
regulating and controlling their own conduct.



Another imperious need for giving a political organ-
ization to society — an agency to direct and control the
combined strength of all its members — is soon felt from
the necessity of resisting violent attacks from without.

It is possible, nay, probable, that men first learned to
combine and organize their means of defense in resist-
ing powerful beasts of prey. The lion and the tiger
may have been, indirectly, the agents in reuniting the
wandering and scattered tribe into a more compact so-
ciety. The Ursus SpelcBus and the Felis Sjyelma, now
extinct, were far more powerful than the bears and lions
of this day, and they were cotemporaries with primitive
man. They must have been formidable enemies, com-
pelling men to improve their weapons and fortify their
places of refuge against them. Those lacustrine vil-
lages, the ruinous foundations of which have of late
years been discovered in some Swiss lakes and elsewhere,
may have originated in the effort to secure safe shelter
from these powerful beasts of prey. Successful defense
against such antagonists first, and soon, led men to be-
come bold and skillful hunters of these and other beasts
they formerly dreaded.

But primitive man soon found more dangerous ene-
mies than beasts of prey. Among savages, who live
chiefly by the chase, the necessity of wandering far in
quest of game tended to break up and scatter the hu-
man race into many small tribes, keeping them alienated
from each other. Any one of these tribes might find
or invent causes of hostility against another. The mere
killing of game in their neighborhood, viewed as a tres-
pass, might excite their animosity, and thus lead to war.


Then would arise the need of organizing the strength of
each community, in order to repel the assaults of an ex-
ternal human enemy.

Here, then, are two needs which very soon render it
necessary to give society a political organization. Man,
associating with his fellow man, needs a government to
protect his rights from the encroachments of his fellows.
And there is equal need for this political organization in
order to repel violent attacks from without. But it is
difficult to point out any other purpose for which it is
necessary to call into action the intervention of govern-
ment to promote the good of mankind.

If man's own instinct, and his reason and experience,
were slow to prompt him to unite into organized society,
he might derive many useful hints by observing the
habits of the animals around him. Close scrutiny of the
strongholds of the bee and the ant would reveal to him
multitudes united into well-ordered communities, each
individual having his appointed duty, and the division of
labor well understood and practised among them. Valu-
able lessons might be learned from the gregarious quad-
rupeds and birds. The flocks of the chamois and the
mouffion while at pasture always have sentinels posted
around them to give the alarm on the approach of an
enemy. The same is the custom of many other species
of beasts and birds.

Animals have, too, their leaders. The herd of red
deer follows the lead of some antlered stag. The wild
horses of the^^mj?^^, that of some stately stallion. And
huge bulls lead the bison herds of the North American
prairies. The wild geese are marshalled for their migra-
tory flight into wedge-shaped order, some strong-winged
male leading at the apex of the wedge. Some gregarious


birds, especially those of the crow kind, eren seem to
hold parliaments, or grand courts of justice, and to con-
demn some notorious offenders, after public trial, to pub-
lic execution. As to Rousseau's dream that 23olitical so-
ciety originated in, or was founded on, a Contrat Social /
the history of man affords no more proof of it than
the natural history of animals, including the animal,

All were born into society, and could have taken no
part in making the contract on which Rousseau assumes
that society was based.


l^EiTHER history nor tradition run back to the time
when human society and government in its various forms
first came into existence. But w^e have some rude ex-

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Online LibraryG. (Gabriel) ManigaultA political creed; embracing some ascertained truths in sociology and politics. An answer to H George's Progress and poverty. → online text (page 1 of 15)