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The truth is that industrial liberty, like
political liberty, is maintained only by wise



and just laws. Laws may regulate com-
petition, may secure for the people the
advantages of monopoly. The business
enterprises of the country may be so
regulated by wise legislation as to secure to
the whole people the power that now passes
to the few. Laws may provide for the
settlement of labor difficulties by arbitra-
tion; laws may protect labor as well as
capital in their several interests. Thus,
may be secured industrial liberty. So far
as rights and duties are concerned they
may secure economic equality, but they
can never make up for the inherent differ-
ences of mankind. These differences only
ideal systems of economics pretend to
obliterate.

But to determine the plane and limits of
competition is not all that is necessary.
The law may say that competition shall
be fair, that industrial depression shall
cease, and that every man shall have
secured to him just and fair compensation
for labor. But laws cannot force capital
to an investment for the employment of
labor any more than they can force labor
to hire itself to capital. There remain
then some great economic considerations
as to what may be done.

The first and foremost thing to consider
is keeping up the standard of the eco-
nomic and intellectual life of the laborers.
Labor organizations have done much to
elevate labor, by education and constant
agitation. They have, by their just de-
mands, kept wages higher and thus per-
mitted improvement. By direct education
they have developed intelligence, and as a
rule the greater the intelligence of labor
the higher the wages. Not only will
higher Avages be received, and the condi-
tion of labor be improved by increased
intelligence, but the general interest of
labor will be better conserved. It requires
a great deal of intelligence these days to
know what to do in the solution of one of
the greatest problems known to society.
No class of people need more wisdom
and intelligence in the guidance o*" their
affairs than do the laborers. Every means



SEMINARY NOTES.



of education, especially of the study of
economic laws and principles, should be
improved. A glance at the history of the
labor movement for the last thirty years,
fully demonstrates this, for where wisdom
and justice have prevailed success has fol-
lowed; where ignorance and stubborness
have guided, failure has been the reward.
Education will do more than anything
else to level down the class system. In
spite of the growth of political liberty in
Europe, there still remains a class system
based upon aristocracy of birth. While
we pride ourselves that we have no such
class distinction in America, there are
growing up in our midst an aristocracy of
wealth and a laboring class. It is to be
deplored that in a free country, classes
should exist even on an economic basis.
The only salvation for this phase of soci-
ety is, that the laborer of to-day frequently
becomes the capitalist of to-morrow. But
we have capitalists and laborers organized
against one another, as if their interests
were not in common. It is a careful thing
to know how one party may injure the other
without injury to their own cause. Eco-
nomic liberty cannot be obtained by the
oppression of any one class; society is so
closely connected that an injury to a
branch affects the whole stock. There
are those who recognize no labor problem;
they see only in it the unjust claims of
labor, or the extravagant demands of cap-
ital. But the great body of intelligent
thinking people recognize a labor problem
and sympathize with the cause of labor in
all just demands. In a country professing
civil liberty it is not wholesome to have
two parties with common industrial inter-
ests warring against each other, for indus-
trial warfare will eventually undermine
political stability. In a country where
the government is for the people, and by
the people, industrial oppression cannot
long prevail without permanent detriment
to free institutions. He who more than
any other bore on his heart the burdens
of the republic during the great civil war,
who felt keenly the beating of the nation-



al pulse in agonizing life, predicted the
next great difficulty to arise between labor
and capital. He saw the rapid accumu-
lation of wealth, the increased power of
corporations, the organization of labor,
and looked forward with fear and tremb-
ling for the safety of the country. The
struggle is now upon us. There is no
cause for alarm, but there is cause for
anxiety or care. For the most part it is a
peaceful revolution, such as the people of
Rome carried on against the aristocracy
for over 400 years. In this struggle for
political and social equality they gained
steadily every year.

That greater means for improvement
may be had, the eight-hour day would be
a positive blessing to humanity. Eight
hours per day of hard toil is sufficient for
any man in his daily avocation. The re-
maining hours should be devoted to lighter
work and self-improvement. But it is a
difficult matter to adjust all industries to
this system. Even in our own state where
the eight-hour law prevails for public ser-
vice it is not complied with. But it will
yet prevail and society will slowly adjust
itself to its cond'tions. When it does pre-
vail I trust it will apply equally to our
mothers, wives and sisters.

Some deny that wealth could be accum-
ulated as rapidly with an eight-hour day
as with a ten. Then let it accumulate less
rapidly. It is now increasing at a rapid
rate : it would do no harm to curb avari-
ciousness in our nation. Wealth is only
a means and not an end. If we have
pledged ourselves as a nation to the pro-
position that wealth getting is the chief
end of man, let us retract and reform.
There are higher and grander things in
life to be considered than the accumula-
tion of wealth. There are better conditions
of life than those most conducive to the
creation of millionaires. The eight-hour
day will yet prevail, while calm agitation
be not suppressed ; let us patiently abide
its coming. A law may hasten it, but
conservative society can only slowly adjust
itself to the new conditions.



SEMINAR V NO TES.



Another great detriment to the elevation
of labor is the importation of large classes
of laborers from the old world, who are ac-
customed to a lower standard of life and
unacquainted with the blessings and duties
of citizens of a free country. This is the
land of the free and an asylum for the
oppressed. Bnit we should insist that it
remain so. It is useless to degrade the
labor 'of America for the benefit of the
labor of Europe. Protection to American
labor ought to be a cardinal principle in
American politics. The standard of life
of the American laborer ought to be main-
tained, and just and careful immigration
laws will be a protection.

But with all these differences, inequali-
ties, and problems of labor before us, I
beg you to consider the improved condi-
tion of laborers in America in comparison
with those of the old world. Here under
benign laws, and political liberty, with
better wages and a higher standard of life,
the conditions of the American laborer
are superior to those of the old world.
The laws against child-labor, laws for the
protection of the person of the laborer,
and for just payment of wages, all mark
progress. It is an occasion for rejoicing
in this fact. It is also an occasion for
the thoughtful consideration of how to
maintain these favorable conditions, and
I repeat that education has much to do
with it, it is not only the corner-stone of
political liberty, but also of industrial
liberty. An educated democracy is as
essential to favorable economic corjditions
as to favorable political conditions. The
constant, firm, unimpassioned agitation
does much to acquaint all parties with the
actual conditions of affairs, and to help
the cause of labor. But every movement
should be accompanied with wisdom and
justice, and be free from rashness and
thoughtless action. The rights of capital
must be recognized, as well as the rights
of labor. Employers and employes are
forced partners in the same enterprise,
and this must not be forgotten. Labor
organization is a natural outcome of the



times, it arises as essential as the state,
and those in charge should so regard it,
and yet remember that they are members
of a state which dictates duties, and de-
mands service, and yet is ready to aid all
classes.

Co-operative industries and systems of
profit-sharing have done much to point
out the way of industrial liberty. They
have been helpful in determining the
needs, rights, duties and mutual interests
of labor and capital in the process of pro-
duction and distribution. They have been
steps in advance and have demonstrated
the essential harmony of employer and
employe, but they have been entirely in-
adequate to solve the whole problem.
Their scope is limited in operation to a
few industries, their management to a few
men and few conditions. Good as far as
they go they cannot insure industrial
liberty.

Every person, thoughtful for the wel-
fare of his country and sympathetic with
the great number of toiling people of the
land must deplore the recent strife between
employers and employes in several states
of the Union. It is to be deplored on
account of the condition that made the
strife possible; on account of the manner
in which it was conducted and also on the
manner in which it was settled. But it
only points out in a large measure the
actual condition of the country and de-
monstrates to laborers, employers and
statesmen that a great national question
must be met and settled wisely and justly.

What the future may develop is un-
known, but at present every state in the
Union ought to have boards of concilia-
tion and arbitration to settle extreme
cases with justness and fairness to all
parties. The state must be the final arbi-
trator of all disputes and the protector
of industrial liberty. Whatever labor
achieves for itself, by education, by organ-
ization, and by persistent and determined
agitation, must finally be secured by just
and equitable laws in which rights are
determined and duties imposed.



SEMINAR Y NO TES.



Let us not forget that well directed
labor conquers all things. It is the great-
est power in the land. Labor is the only
true nobility. Labor of body and mind is
the only real worth of life. It has broken
the virgin soil of the western prairies,
cleared forests, built cities, and connected
them with railroads. It has made the
fertile soil to yield its increase, and the des-
ert to rejoice "and blossom as a rose." The
accumulation of wealth and increased in-
telligence make the achievements of labor
greater each year. While we celebrate
its triumph to-day and deplore its sorrows,
let us look boldly forward to a time when
there will be no division between capital-
ists and laborers, when there shall be no



classes in A.merica and when the aristo-
cracy of America shall be composed of
those who have done the most for the
elevation of humanity. Let us not forget
that labor organizations exist for the ele-
vation of their members. Let us cherish
whatever makes the home brighter, the
life more elevated and noble. Let us
hold to those things that make for inde-
pendence, freedom, and a noble citizenship,
and avoid that which tends to debase and
degrade. Labor is organized for peace
and not for war. In its struggle for
rights, principles, and elevation let calm
persistent advocacy be its watchword, and
it will have the sympathy of all right
thinking people. F. W. Blackmar.



THE "LOST ATLANTIS" OF' PLATO.



■grPHE belief that there is nothing new
^^ under the sun, though far from
flattering to human vanity, is nevertheless
one which seems to have a peculiar fasci-
nation for most minds. It is a belief, too,
which has been so often justified in strange
and unexpected ways that it sometimes
seems as though men are not far wrong in
thinking that all they know, or can ever
know, was known by men who lived so
long ago that all accounts of their lives
have passed out of the realm of history
into that of tradition, myth and fable.
When a great discovery is made the world
usually does homage for a time to the
genius of the discoverer, and enthusiasti-
cally inscribes his name among the im-
mortals. But soon criticism proves that
the discovery is not the unfolding of some
entirely new fact or principle, but very
largely the remembering of something
known long ago. The name of the sup-
posed discoverer, though still graciously
left among the immortals, loses that halo
of glory with which the popular mind had
surrounded it. Genius is dethroned and
triumphant mediocrity reigns in its stead,



amid the applause of a world which desires
above all things to know the truth, what-
ever great reputation may suffer thereby.

These remarks are peculiarly applicable
to the events connected with the discovery
of America in the fifteenth century, and
to the controversies that have since raged
as to who was the real discoverer.

Among the many stories told and theo-
ries advanced to deprive Columbus of his
place in history as the discoverer of
America, there is certainly none stronger
or more interesting than that which attrib-
utes to the ancients a knowledge of the
existence of vast areas of land in the
Atlantic ocean, far to the west of Europe
and Africa. This theory rests largely
upon a story told by Plato in two of his
dialogues — Timceus' and Critias. Plato's
story is briefly as follows:

*Solon, the celebrated law-giver of
Athens, in the course of his travels in
Egypt, came to the great city of Lais,
which was situated at the head of the
Egyptian delta. Standing upon a bridge

*The Dialogues of Plato, translated by B. Jowett,
Vol. II., p. p. '618-521.



SEMINARY NOTES.



near the city one day, Solon fell into con-
versation with an aged Egyptain priest.
The conversation turned upon the subject
of ancient history, whereupon the priest
declared to Solon that the Greeks had no
traditons "hoary with age," but that all
their stories were but of yesterday when
compared with some which he could tell.
He would, he said, tell Solon an old
world story of a great war which had oc-
curred eight or nine thousand years ago,
between the Greeks and the inhabitants of
a vast island in the Atlantic, west of the
Columns of Heracles. This island was
larger than Asia and Libya together. It
was called Atlantis. Beyond it were other
islands of great size. West of all these
islands lay a great continent. In the island
of Atlantis there existed a powerful gov-
ernment which not only ruled over Atlantis
itself, but also over many of the other
islands, a part of the continent, and parts
of Asia and Libya. This government at-
tempted to subdue Greece, but Greece
made a brave resistance and at last, "after
having undergone the very extremity of
danger, " succeeded in driving the invaders
back. *But shortly afterwards there oc-
curred a great earthquake, accompanied
by the most appalling floods, and in a
single day and night the island of Atlantis
sank beneath the sea, together with all its
warlike population. The Greek army
likewise perished.

Such is the story of Atlantis as narrated
to Solon by the Egyptian priest, if Plato
may be believed. Solon, it is said, in-
tended to write an epic poem on this
subject on his return to Athens, but other
duties prevented him from doing so.
f Plato was a descendant of Solon, and the
papers which Solon left upon this subject
fell into his hands, as he himself declares
in Critias.

Whether Plato intended this story to be
regarded as history or as fiction is a ques-
tion which has received an immense amount
of discussion, but one which, in all prob-
ability, will never be solved. Plato, like
many another great literary man has left



no rule by which his readers can determine
where he wishes to be regarded as the
careful historian, adhering strictly to the
facts as reported to him, and where he
wishes to be understood to have permitted
himself the greater range and freedom
of the poet or the writer of philosophical
romances.

But in spite of the uncertainty which
hangs around Plato's motives in narrating
the story of Atlantis, many people believe
that he meant the story for the truth, and
that the island he describes actually ex-
isted and was destroyed suddenly by
floods and earthquake. Let us briefly
notice the arguments brought forward in
support of this belief.

(i) The frequent mention in classical
writers of wide areas of land lying in the
ocean to the west of Europe and Africa is
the first argument. Plato, though perhaps
the earliest, is not the only classical writer
who speaks of such islands and continents.
|Crantor (B. C. 300), the first commenta-
tor on Plato, asserts that the Egyptian
priest declared that the story of the des-
truction of Atlantis had been found in-
scribed on certain Egyptian pillars which
were still extant. Plutarch and Herodotus
speak of a great island in the Atlantic as
a known fact. The dramatist Seneca has
the following in his Medeo: "Late centu-
ries will appear when the ocean's vale lifts
to open a vast country. New worlds will
Thetsys unveil. Ultimo Thule will not
remain the earth's boundary. "§ Diodorus
Siculus, a contemporary of Julius Caesar,
says: "Opposite Africa lies an island
which an account of its magnitude is
worthy to be mentioned. It is several
days distant from Africa. It has a fertile
soil, many mountains, and not a few.
plains unexcelled in their beauty. "||

(2) Another argument in support of the
Atlantis theory is the great similarity in

*Plato, TimaBUS Vol. II. of Platols Dialogues, trans-
lated by B. Jowett, p, 5ai.

I Weise, Discoveries of America, p. 3.

iWinsor, Narrative and Critical History of America,
Vol. I., p. 41. Pop. Sci, Monthly. Vol, XV., pp. 760-761,

§Ibid, p 763.

Illbid, p. 763,



SEMINAR Y NO TES.



many points between the fauna and flora
of Europe and North America.* The
horse, for example, did not exist in Amer-
ica at the time of its discovery by Euro-
peans. Yet fossil remains found in the
Bad Lands of Nebraska seem to indicate
that it was once a native of North America.
fFossil remains of the camel have been
found in Africa, India, and Kansas, though
the camel has probably not been a native
of America for thousands of years. When
we turn to the flora of Europe and North
America we find similar striking resemb-
lances. |The flora of the miocene period
in Switzerland was almost identical with
the present flora of the eastern part of the
United States. But the strongest of all
proofs from resemblances in the flora of
the two continents is found in case of the
seedless banana. This is a cultivated
plant, and is a native of tropical Asia and
Africa, yet it was found in America at
the time of its discovery in the fifteenth
century. It multiplies only by means of a
perennial root. This root cannot stand
a long sea voyage, and can not be trans-
ported through a temperate climate with-
out having its germinal powers destroyed.
§It must, therefore, have been carried
over the Atlantic ocean from its native
home in Asia or Africa by civilized men.
It cannot have been brought to tropical
America directly from Asia or Africa, but
must have had some stopping place between
these continents and America. The con-
clusion drawn from all these resemblances
between the fauna and flora of the old
world and the new, is that the connection
between these two continents must; at
some remote period in the past, have been
far closer than it has been since the be-
ginning of authentic history.

(3) Still stronger proof of the Atlantis
theory is found in the nature of the Atlan-
tic sea bottom as revealed by the deep-sea
soundings made by various expeditions,
notably those of the Dolphin, the Gazelle,
and the Challenger. These expeditions
have shown conclusively that, starting in
the Arctic regions, a ridge runs down the



middle of the Atlantic to the northwestern
coast of South America. This ridge is at
least twelve thousand feet higher than the
ocean on either side of it. ||In 1873 and
1876 the Challenger expedition found an-
other and narrower ridge running down
the Atlantic between South America and
Africa. ^It was the C7/fl;//(f;?^(?r expedition,
too, that disclosed the fact that the entire
Atlantic ridge is covered with volcanic
matter. This ridge is believed to be the
backbone of a sunken continent. An arti-
cle in the Scientific Americafi for July 28,
1877, quoted by Mr. Donnelly in his At-
lantis, speaks as follows: "The inequali-
ties, the mountains and valleys of the
surface of this elevation could never have
been produced in accordance with any
laws for the deposition of sediment, nor
by submarine elevation; but, on the con-
trary, must have been caused by agencies
acting above the water level." The pres-
ence of the volcanic matter along the ridge
is thought to indicate that the continent
suddenly sank beneath the sea as the
result of some such cataclysm as that des-
cribed by Plato. **Sir Charles Lyell
declares there are geological reasons for a
belief in the former existence of a great
Atlantic island.

(4) The last, and in the opinion of
many, the strongest of all the arguments
in favor of the existence in primeval times
of a great civilized country in the Atlantic
which was suddenly destroyed by some
terrible convulsion of nature, is found in
the fact that a very large number of the
tribes and natives of mankind, both in the
old world and the new, have preserved
traditions of such a cataclysm, and that
these traditions are strikingly alike in
many respects. For example, the account
given in the first part of the sixth chapter

*Atlantis. or the Antediluvian World, by Ignatius
Donnelly, p. 55.

tibid, p. 55.

^bid, p. 55.

gDonnelly's Atlantis, p. 57.

II >^ insor's Narrative and Critical History of Amer-
ica, Vol. I., p. 44.

tDonnelly's Atlantis, p. .50.

**Lyeirs Elements of Geology, p. 349, quoted by
Louis Figuier iu Tbe Woi'ld Before the Deluge, p. 28i,



SEMINAR Y NO TES.



of Genesis, of the reasons which induced
God to destroy the human race by a
deluge, is very much like that given by
Plato in the closing sentences of Critias.'^'
The means employed to destroy mankind
are the same in the two accounts. In
each the agency of destruction is water,
earthquakes and volcanic eruptions; for
the statement made in Genesis that "all
the fountains of the great deep were broken
up, "f very evidently refers to upheavals
and convulsions of the earth's crust.

|It is well known that the Chaldeans,
Syrians, Hindoos and Greeks had tradi-
tions of a deluge in which the greater part
of mankind perished. §H. H. Bancroft
says it has recently been found that tradi-
tions of such a cataclysm exist among the
American nations.

A learned French archaeologist, the
Abbe Brasseur de Bourbourg, claims to
have found in the Codex Chinialpopoca (a
manuscript written in the Nahuan lan-
guage) a detailed account of the cataclysm
in which Atlantis was destroyed. This
documentis apparently a history of Mexico
Culhuacan. Brasseur, however, claims to
have made the singular discovery that
almost every word in this manuscript has
two meanings — an open meaning and a
hidden one. The hidden meanings, he
asserts, when put together, tell the story of
the destruction of Atlantis. Brasseur finds
this statement made in the Codex Chini-
alpopoca: ||"Following the eruption of
volcanoes which then existed on the whole
continent, twice as large then as now,
came the sudden eruption of an immense
submarine fire which shook the world
between the rising and the setting of the
morning star and sank the fairest regions
of the globe."

^Lastly, the Egyptians are said to have
a tradition inscribed upon the wall of the
tomb of King Sete I. at Thebes, very
similar to the one given by Plato in Tiinceus
and C/'iiias.

Such are the principal arguments ad-
vanced by the defenders of the Atlantis
theory. Their opponents, while not deny-



ing that some of these arguments have
some weight, nevertheless maintain that
they are not sufficient to justify us in
thinking that the ancients knew anything
of the western world, or even in believing
that any such island as Plato's Atlantis
ever existed.

To the argument based upon the nu-
merous references to Atlantis in the classi-
cal writers, they reply that in all probability



Online LibraryKansas. UniversitySeminary notes published by the Seminary of historical and political science → online text (page 35 of 62)