J. A. (John Adolphus) Etzler.

The paradise within the reach of all men, without labour, by powers of nature and machinery : an address to all intelligent men online

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Online LibraryJ. A. (John Adolphus) EtzlerThe paradise within the reach of all men, without labour, by powers of nature and machinery : an address to all intelligent men → online text (page 13 of 14)
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sure, no intercourse.

The children grow np without trouble in all the in-
nocence, intelligence, cheerful and playful temper,
natural to their age, with blooming health and coun-
tenance, most cleanly and beautifully dressed, and ex-
hibiting thus to the eyes of their parents the lovely
attributes of angels. This is no more than what the
arrangements stated warrant.

Whatever is to be known of man, children may have
learned at the age of eight to ten years, by mere be-
holding, handling,- and examining the things exhi-
bited to them in the palace and gardens, just with no
more trouble, neither to the teacher nor to the chil-
dren, than they learn now their mother-tongue.

Thus will love of the sexes and of parents be made
a perpetual source of the greatest happiness, as it is
destined to be.



182



^t present :

nant -dispositions, in consequence of their situation,
and compulsory exertions against their inclination.

Thus the human mind, for want of agreeable ob-
jects about him, in consequence of an indifferent and
miserable life, becomes peevish, angry, dissatisfied,
malignant, quarrelsome, &c. These dispositions are
not lessened by his intercourse with his fellow-men out
of his family. Whoever has to deal with him, seeks
his disadvantage, to gain by it: for the gain of one
man must always be the loss of others. Man sees thus
in his fellow-man a natural and necessary enemy to
him. He is cheated and deceived by false appear-
ances, and endeavours to cheat and deceive in his
turn. He knows it is but fear that keeps his fellow-
man from robbing him.

The poorer man is, the more he is neglected and
slighted, as a being of little use or worth. The richer
man is, the more he has to watch his possessions
against cheat and robbery.



183

By the new means



Friendship and socialness are not stifled by sordid
avarice and covetousness. No mean self-interest is
there the spring of human intercourse. There is no
cause for quarrels and malignant dispositions, or vexa-
tion. The persons who please are courted ; those who
do not please, are not sought for society. Every one
may partake of any social pleasure, without interfer-
ing with that of any other person. Desire for pleasant
intercourse is there the only motive that attracts man
to man ; and without this desire there is no occasion
for intrusion.



Men are all equally rich, and independent from
each other ; for every one shares in all what he sees
to superabundance. They are worth to each other
as much as they give pleasure to each other by their
dispositions and talents.



184



2. IN MORAL RESPECTS.
At present .-

If morality is to have any utility and defined mean-
ing, it must be justice and benevolence towards our
fellow-men; without them the social state is worse
than dreary solitude. For what is society good for,
if it has not these ingredients ? — To live among an
aggregate of enemies or indifferent men, is the greatest
misery of life.

There is but one criterion of justice and benevo-
lence ; this is, to do to others as we wish to be done
to by others. This appeal to our feelings and desires
is ea silyunderstood by every one ; but how is it with
the practice ? — Why, every one delights the most when
he buys as cheap as possible, if possible for nothing
at all, and to sell as dear as possible, if possible, no-
thing at all, without caring about what his fellow -man
may suffer by it.

The reason why man acts so against his fellow-man
is again plain enough to every one ; it is because
every one acts so against him ; because this is the
easiest way to get through the difficulties of living,
because none has ever enough for himself and his
family ; and because he cannot get any thing for his
living or pleasure, except by his labour, or by the la-
bour of his fellow-men.

That every one claims such a beneficial morality
from others is natural ; and that none does practise
it is again natural.



185

By the new means :



Man has there nothing to give to, and nothing to
take from his fellow-man, except love and pleasure,
and this will require neither labour nor money, nor
any sacrifice. To give and to receive love and plea"
sure, without sacrifice, is the finest pleasure of life,
and need not to he taught by speeches ; but inherent
feelings are far more powerful agents than all teachers
and preachers in the world. All objects around man
are agreeable, and cause by the impressions but agree-
able feelings. No fear of want, nor of man, no object
of fraud and deception, no traffic, no buying and
selling, no opposite interest, no distinction of poor and
rich, or of high and low, is there. Man has every
thing he wants, or knows to exist in the world, with-
out trouble, in superabundance, and secured for life.
So there can be no grudge. So the happiness of one
interferes there not with the happiness of others.



R 2



186



At present :

The wealthy lives upon the misery of the poor. The
fortune of one is always to be built upon the losses and
miseries of others.

The more wealth, the more means for happiness
man thinks to possess. But as he cannot get wealth,
except from his fellow-man, there is no satisfaction for
him, except they become poor, while he gets rich ; but
as wealth without servants would do him but little
good, they must needs be his servants or slaves too.
He would fain wish the rich would leave this world,
and leave him heir to their possessions. But as still
there would be no limit in his desires, as he could
never think himself quite secure against the rapacious
desires of others against him, the greatest satisfaction
in the world could only be for him, if some universal
mortality of wars, pestilence, famine, &c., would
depopulate the world, and leave him and his family
sole heirs to all the wealth in the world.

Is this, perhaps, an exaggeration ? — Ask the history
of our times, of the most civilized nations, of our own
continent. By the unsatiable desire for wealth, the
innocent inhabitants of one continent were exteimi-
nated, and the same populated again with slaves from
another continent, for work; yet there was never a
want of teachers and preachers of morality and reli-
gion. Do we act now on better principles? — Are our
desires and endeavours for wealth more moderate ? —
Was there ever a man known whose desire for more
wealth and power was at a stop ? The causes of this
unsatiable desire and feelings of every one in opposi-



187



By the new means :

Man sees there the world is large enough, and rich
enough, to afford superabundance of all things de-
sirable for human life, for himself and all his fellow-
men, for the present generation, and for many gene-
rations to come. He sees there, that nothing but
ignorance kept man hitherto in misery, and in conflict
t\ith his fellow-man and with nature ; that it is but
the height of barbarous ignorance, to think that man
must kill, rob, cheat, and oppress his fellow-man, for
want of means to live happy in this world. His long-
ing after happiness is there not in vain, and his satis-
faction not derived from the sufferings of his fellow-
man, whose happiness is essential to his own. His
feelings are in harmony with those of his fellow-man,
because his desires and interests are in union, and not
in opposition, with those of others. His morality is
in union with his interest and actual happiness. His
natural desire is, there, to live in peace and har-
mony with his fellow-men. For it is there, not man's
possessions of things, but man's social virtues and
talents, that may be sought after.



188



At present :

tion to those of others exist as they ever have existed,
and in consequence the evils also.

Man fears his fellow-man more than a beast of
prey. Hence laws and institutions to restrain him.
But these compulsive means seem to him not suffi-
cient yet. He calls the hopes and fears of religion
to his aid, and pays willingly his share for teaching
doctrines to his fellow-men, that may keep them still
more in awe against doing him wrong. But again
man finds his fellow-men act the hypocrites, like
himself, pay also their shares to the same purpose,
profess one thing and do another, act altogether
contrary to their professed doctrines, and are as cun-
ning as himself. He gets highly alarmed, and wishes
to keep, at least, religious fears and hopes, for the
sake of his own security, in credit as long as possible.
So we have many elaborate speeches of morality and
religion, and they are often well paid too. Is any
man so ignorant or so simple as not to know, that all
the fine moral speeches do not affect the actions of
man? — Man cheats and deceives his fellow-man,
where he dares not rob him, and is deceived and
cheated in his turn. What we call honesty, is
generally but a prudent conduct, to gain belief in
one's words.

Mean self-interest, poverty, fear of poverty, and of
all its appending miseries, destroys aff'ection, and sa-
crifices it to money. Parents and children, sisters
and brothers, and friends, quarrel and prosecute
each other to ruin, when their self-interest, their



189

By the new means



Man sees in his fellow-man a helpmate for social
pleasures ; there is no object of fear, nor cheat, be-
tween man and man. So there is no occasion for
hiring men to teach others what they ought to do
against their actual interest. All causes for enmities
are annihilated, by the annihilation of opposite in-
terests. There is no cause of crimes. A man of a
sound mind can have no wish to hurt his fellow-
creature, when it cannot do him any good; and if
somebody should show then still some malignant dis-
position, in spite of all delights and friendly society,
he must be insane ; and as such cases can be but sel-
dom, they may be treated as diseases ; man will sym-
pathise with the less fortunate, and not make it his
business to increase the sufferings of the unfortunate.



Affection and love exercise their blissful influence
on life without any hindrance. Friendship, affection,
love, come never in opposition with self-interest.
Accumulation of individual property would be there
as ridiculous as accumulation of water now. Love



190



At presents

want, or fear of want, come into collision. The ob-
ject of love is prostituted, forsaken for money, and
rendered miserable for life. As every thing, out of
want or fear of want, becomes venal, it becomes also
an object of cheat and deception. So love is feigned
and sold for money. He, or she, who marries more
for the possession of things, than for the love of the
person, prostitutes love, cheats his or her partner out
of the greatest happiness for life, and is cheated so
in turn. Those who would love and make each other
happy, cannot or dare not marry each other, for want
or fear of want ; and those who cannot love each
other, have to unite themselves for life. How few
happy matrimonies are to be found is known. All
the miseries of matrimonies and prostitutions, are the
consequences of poverty and its appending labour
and sufferings, and fear of poverty. Poverty is con-
sidered as the greatest misfortune, for the poor is
neglected and slighted ; he is but tantalized by the
exhibition of wealth, enjoyments, and pleasures of
others, and he knows the good things of this world
are not for him, but only the labours, thorns, and
thistles of it.

Want, and fear of want, chills all fellow-feelings,
all sense of justice and benevolence. We see this
best where man is free to act, in war. Man kills and
cripples his fellow-man for sport or glory, with the
same indifference as he would do with a deer or a
dog, and is treated so in return, without caring for
right or reason.

This is about the eflfective amount of morality.



191



By the new means :

cannot there be venal and prostituted ; but love is
only given out of love and for love, as nature dictates
for the happiness of man. No depotism, no misery
is there the consequence of this passion, so sweet, so
self-sacrificing, and so necessary to life. There is no
cause for compulsion or violent restraint against na-
ture. Every adult male or female person lives inde-
pendent, in a separate apartment ; and — no love, no
intercourse — respect and love are there the only wea-
pons to gain love. Love is there not soiled by drud-
gery and cares, and fears and disgust. Only the
pleasures of tender love in matrimony may be fully
enjoyed, without its disagreements, now so common.
Love is then, what it ought to be, a source of the
greatest happiness.

Parents need not to compel their children to do any
thing against their inclination. A system of education
may and will be introduced, to] prevent bad customs,
and to cultivate good amiable feelings. Children will
see themselves only among tender friends, and never
under masters or sour-tempered monitors. So they
will love their parents and guides by natural impulse.

Peace and harmony, and but friendly intercourse
will be among individuals and nations ; for every
people, as well as every individual, will have more
means for enjoying life than they want. The more
intelligent nation will have means to keep the less
intelligent peoples in awe. On both sides they will
find it their advantage to keep peace and friendly
intercourse.



192

3. IN INTELLECTUAL RESPECTS.

At present :

Whatever man knows, he had to learn either by his
own observations, or by instructions from others.

If man knew no more than what he had learned by
his own observations in nature, he would know not
one-thousandth part of what he knows. But he
derives his ideas, language, and arts, from the ex-
periences and practices of many millions of his con-
temporary fellow-beings, and of many antecedent
generations of times immemorial.

Men have now a very unequal chance for learning.
One may rove in all the historical and scientifical
knowledges all over the world, and pass his life in
study of books, and records of all known ages, and
of nature, while his neighbour has no more chance
for learning any thing of what is beyond his horizon,
than a brute.

The mere knowing, however, makes not happy, as
little as the mere possession of wealth ; but both are
but means, of which only a wise application may in-
crease happiness

Wealth of intellect is, however, far more valuable
than physical wealth or money ; and wealth of intel-
lect may procure physical wealth, but all the money
in the world cannot procure intellectual wealth : the
latter requires time, favourable circumstances, and
study. Besides, a man of intellectual wealth may
live happy without physical wealth ; while a man of



193
By the new means .



VVhatevev man learns there, lie learns by Ins own
observations; the objects of human knowledges being
placed before him, so that he cannot be deceived.

The instructions of others are to be documented by
visible things. So there can be no delusion. The
safe criterion of truth is always ocular demonstration
by analogy: this again requires comparisons; and (he
more knowledges of things, the more extensive com-
parisons can be made, and the more truths ascertained.

Men have tliere an equal chance for learning. They
^vill learn there in one year more than the most learned
could learn in all his life. And there will be as much
difference between the intellect of man in the new stale
and that of the present, as there is now between the
most learned and the most ignorant.

Tlie knowledges are made beneficial to the highest
possible degree for every human being at once.



It is by this increase of intellectual wealth, by its
equal distribution among all members of the human
family, that peace and good-will among all, and
general happiness is chiefly effected. Man's own
self-satisfaction, a never-failing source of the fines'
pleasures and delights, and highly useful instruction
is produced by an inliuite intellectual wealth. This

s



194



At present :

physical wealth and intellectual poverty, will gene-
rally enjoy a very inferior degree of happiness.

Though want of intelligence is either not at all or
but little felt of the individual who is ignorant of his
defect, yet it is far more grievous than want of phy-
sical wealth. The man who is born blind knows not
his misery ; so the man who is trained up in igno-
rance, knows not the difference between ignorance
and superior intelligence. There is as much differ-
ence in that respect between man and man, as there
is between man and brute.



Therefore, it is the greatest tyranny and injustice,
when men are put under so unequal chances for learn-
ing as the case is now. These injustices are carried
to the height of barbarity, if, in spite of these unequal
circumstances in which men live, the laws and insti-
tutions are made as if all men had equally acquired
full knowledge of all the things to be known.

It is owing to these unequal chances for intellec-
tual culture, that there is so great a variety and con-
tradiction of opinions among men. Every family,
and every individual, has its own sphere of impres-
sions and ideas; and again, every sect, party, or na-
tion. They reciprocally recriminate each other of



195



By the new means :

wealth is acquired without trouhle, but with ever in-
creasing pleasure. Man needs but to observe the
objects placed before him. He has means to accu-
mulate all things of the world, and to combine them
for his instruction. Whatever combination of cir-
cumstances man may think of for investigation,
he is enabled there to realise them without^ exertion.
The more man learns, the more he becomes aware of
his preceding ignorance and errors, and the more he
discovers means for increasing his knowledges. It
will be with intellectual wealth, as it is now with phy-
sical wealth, — the more man has, the more he will and
can acquire ; with this difference, however, that intel-
lectual wealth can never get lost. Man will there be
under no limit of means for increasing his knowledges.
Physical wealth will there be no object of human en-
deavours any more.

There is a surety, that all men know all things of
a general nature to be possibly known by man ; and
therefore a surety that all men are equally convinced
of what is or is not ; so there is nothing in contra-
diction with the minds of men in all laws and
institutions, which are but originated in the gene-
ral conviction and will of the people. There will, in
consequence, be no more dispute about any demon-
strated truth, than there is now about colours or
shapes, as little as there is now about what is square,
round, black, or white. So it will be there with every
reality within the perception of human senses. And
whatever is out of the reach of human senses, and



196



At present :

folly and perverseiiess about differences of ideas,
which they do not fully or not all understand of
each other. Those who suppose themselves to be
belter informed than others, pride themselves of it,
and despise the supposed less intelligent ; these again
feel the injustice, and recriminate others in their turn.

Thus the injustices are reciprocally heightened by
superciliousness of real or gratuitously supposed su-
periority of knowledges and intelligence.

In addition to these injustices and irrational feel-
ings, the better informed is more respected, and en-
joys greater pecuniary advantages than those of less
information, though they had very unequal chances
for it.

Despotism of governments and priesthood have in-
troduced, in times of gross ignorance and childish
superstition, ideas and customs, by enforcing them
upon the minds of children before they could reason,
instead of useful knowledges of realities, which no-
tions have been handed down from one generation to
another, until our time. Ignorant and weak minds
are the least capable to examine them, and to discern
truth from error. Such miserable beings imagine now
to know a great many things, while in fact they are
but poor dupes of superstition, and are in a degree
rendered insane by delusive notions.

Thus we receive generally a great deal of instruc-
tion in various ways from others. But these instruc-
tions are either lies or truths. If they are lies, they
must lead to endless errors, and dangers, and mis-



197



By the new means :

consequently not demonstrable, will soon be dis-
covered to be no object of rational dispute.



There is no occasion either for imposing lies or for
enforcing truths upon the minds. Let every one, child
or adult, first acquire all the knowledges of things
that be in existence, by showing the things them-
selves ; let the useful application be made, let him
then compare his old notions, whatever they be, with
those new knowledges ; let him see the contradiction,
and choose for himself what he pleases. There will
be no compulsion, no dispute about opinions, as soon
as men will have acquired full knowledge of all what
is to be known of the visible world ; and till that pe-
riod arrives, let there be a suspense of all animation
about different notion. Jt is not by contradicting
assertions, that man forsakes his notions ; it is by sub-
stantial proof, evidence of his senses, that he may
correct his error. And even in these cases, the de-

s 2



198



At present :

chiefs. For all conclusions drawn from false premises
must always be erroneous. Men who are thinking
and acting from false suppositions, will always ima-
gine, see, and expect things that have no existence,
and are thus as unfortunate and dangerous as
lunatics.



If men had ever lived in a state of innocence and
sincerity — if at least the majority had always been
wise, well -informed men, free of our common frail-
ties, and incapable of being deceived — if there had
never been causes for individual self-interest — if there
had never been opposite interests among men, and
consequently no inducements to cheating and lying —
then we might yet continue to do like little children,
faithfully believe all the stories handed to us from our
progenitors for our instruction and guides, and never
trouble our understanding with examining thera and
the circumstances under which they originated, and
comparing them to what our present experiences may
teach.

But we see, to our grief, this will not do. The
world is full of lies, frauds, and contradictions ; for
every one wants to gain advantage on his fellow-man,
which is impossible, without insincerity. We see the



199



By the new means :

monstration ought never to be begun with assertions
that contradict any old notion : but conviction of the
things that exist must first be established ; then let
him his old errors compare with it. Old, inveterate
prejudices, must be treated, like diseases, with cau-
tion, not, like faults, with irritation. A madman and
a man of prejudices are alike in imagining things as
realities, though they do not exist ; both are but irri-
tated at contradictions to their notions, and can only
get cured after they have discovered themselves their
fancies to be errors.

A general state of sincerity, innocence, and true
intelligence will then come into existence ; because
there is but one general interest, — to be and to see all
fellow-men intelligent, well-informed, and happy, in
order to increase thereby the general happiness. It
will there be as disagreeable to see an ignorant, su-
perstitious, or misinformed, unhappy, human being,
as it is now to see a poor, insane, or a deformed man,
for whom we can but feel pity. Every thing can there
but contribute to promote innocence, good-natured
dispositions, and intelligence. They will soon cease
to be dupes of ancient ignorance and barbarity, and
look upon the past errors and ignorance with disgust
and horror.

The causes for lying and cheating are removed.
If any man should lie or cheat, still it would be of no
great consequence, and always prove to his own dis-
advantage ; for he would not be believed again. There



200



At present :

practice of deception every day before us, in small and
and great affairs, by individuals and nations.

Every one is impelled by his own wants to act like
others do ; and that man would be considered as a
fool, who would act with perfect sincerity and im-
plicit belief in every man's words.

The criterion and way of examining for discerning
truth from lie is hence become problematic.



To resolve this problem is often very ill paid. It
is known that such endeavours have been punished
by fire, sword, dungeon, defamation, &c., while lies
were honoured and well paid.


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Online LibraryJ. A. (John Adolphus) EtzlerThe paradise within the reach of all men, without labour, by powers of nature and machinery : an address to all intelligent men → online text (page 13 of 14)