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be used by a man who has his facts wrong,, that is, who does
not see what he himself is really like, and who has not noticed
what other people are really like. No man who sees himself
as he is, feels at liberty to use scorn. And no man who sees
others as they are, sees any occasion for it. Tom Mann uses
hate also, and hate has been found to be, as directed toward
classes of persons as a means of getting them to do things,
archaic and ineflBcient. It is not quite bright. It need not
be denied that hate and scorn both impress some people, but
they never seem to impress the people that see things to
do and who find ways to do them. And the people who use
scorn are all too narrow, too class-bound, and too self-re-
garding to do things in a huge world problem like the present
one.

The fourth reason that Tom Mann as a labour leader is
incompetent is that he is afraid; he is afraid of capital, so
afraid that he has to fight it instead of grappling with it and
cooperating with it. He is afraid to believe in labour — so
afraid that he takes orders from it instead of seeing for it, and
seeing ahead for it. He is afraid of his employers' brains, of
their having brains enough to understand and to to be convinced
as to the position of the labourer. He is afraid to believe in
his own brains, in his own brains being good enough to con-
vince them.

So he backs down and fights.



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380 CROWDS

If any reader who is interested to do so will kindly turn
back at this point a page or so, and read this chapter we
have just gone through together, over again, and if he will
kindly, wherever it occurs, insert for Tom Mann, labour leader,
"D. A. Thomas, leader of mine-owners," he will save much
time for both of us, and he will kindly make one chapter in this
book which is already much too long, as good as two.

Tom Mann (unless he is changed) is about to be dropped
as a typical modern leader of Labour because he is afraid, and
what he expresses in the labouring class is its fear of Capital.

And what D. A. Thomas expresses for Capital is its fear of
Labour.

There are thousands of capitalists and hundreds of thousands
of labour men who have something better they want expressed
by their leaders, than their Fear.

Out of these men the new leaders will be chosen.



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CHAPTER Vin
THE MEN WHO LOOK

DURING the recent coal strike in England, as at all times
in the world, heroes abounded.

The trouble with most of us during the coal strike was not
in our not having heroes, but in our not being quite sure which
they were.

Davy McEwen, a miner who stood out against the whole
countryside, and went to his work every day in defiance of
thousands of men on the hills about him trying to stop him,
and hundreds of thousands of men all over England trying to
scare him, was not a hero to Mr. Josiah Wedgewood. Mr.
Josiah Wedgewood one day in the height of the conflict, from
his seat in the House of Commons, rose in his might — and
before the face of the nation called Davy McEwen a traitor
to his class.

Sir Arthur Markham, one of the largest of the mine-owners,
in the height of the conflict between the mine-owners and the
miners over wages, rose in the House and declared that, in his
opinion as a mine-owner, the mine-owners were wrong and the
miners were right, and that the mine-owners could afford to
pay better wages, and should yield to the men.

He was called a traitor to his class.

At the last moment in the coal strike, when the Government
had done its best, and when the labour leaders still proposed to
hold up England and defy the Government imtil they got their
way, Stephen Walsh, one of the leaders of the miners, stood up
in the face of a million miners and said he would not go on with
the others against the Government. "It is now time for the

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trades union men to return to work. We have done what we
could. Our citizenship should be higher than our trades union-
ship, and with me, as long as I am a trades union man, it will
be."

He was called a traitor to his class.

I am an unwilling and unfit person, as a sojourner and an
American, to take any position on the merits of the question
as to the disestabUshment of the Church in Wales. But when
I saw Bishop Gore standing up and looking unblinkingly at
facts or what he thought were facts which he would rather not
have seen and which were not on his side, and when I saw him
voting deliberately for the disestablishment of his own Church,
I greeted with joy, as if I had seen a cathedral, another traitor
to his class. I almost believe that a Church that could produce
and supply a man like this for a gi'eat nation looking through
every city and county year by year for men to go with it . . .
a Church that could produce and keep producing Bishop Gores,
would be entitled, from a great nation to anything it liked.



Men seem to be capable of three stages of courage. Courage
is graded to the man.

There is the man who is so tired, or mechanical-minded, that
he can only think of himself.

There is the man who is so tired that he can oniy think of
his class.

And there is the man that one has watched being moved
over slowly from a Me-man into a Class-man, who has begun to
show the first faint beginnings of being a Crowd-man.

One man has courage for himself because he knows what he
wants for himself. Another has courage for his class because
he knows what he wants for his class. Another has courage
for God and for the world because there are things he sees that
he wants for God and for the world, and he sees them so clearly
that he sees ways to get them.



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THE MEN WHO LOOK 333

Lack of courage is a lack of vision or clear-headedness about
what one wants. I do not know, but I can only say that it
Tias seemed to me that Bishop Gore has a vision or clear-headed-
ness about what he wants for democracy, and that he uses his
vision of what he wants for democracy to true his vision for his
class. Perhaps also he has a vision for his class for the church
people that it is for the interest church people to be the class
that is, out of all the world, supremely considerate, big, leis-
urely, unfretful in its dealings with others. Perhaps also he
has a vision for himself and is clear-headed for himself, and
has seen that though the steeples fall about him, and though
the altars go up in smoke, he will keep the spirit of God still
within his reach. The gentleness, the grim hope for the world
and the patience that built the cathedrals, shall be in his
heart day and night.

I hold no brief for Bishop Gore.

I know there must be others like him who voted on the other
side.

I know there are hundreds of thousands of employers who in
their hearts are like him. I know there are hundreds of thou-
sands of men in the trades imions who are like him.

I am not sure that Bishop Gore, on the merits of the case,
was right. I wish this day I knew that he was wrong. I wish
that I had spent the last six months in fighting him, in fighting
against his vision, that I might be more free to-day to point
to him with joy when I go up and down the streets with men
and look at the churches with men — the rows of churches -—
and try to tell them what they are for. I have seen that the
cathedrals scattered about under the sky in England are but
God's Uttle tools to make great cities on the earth, and to build
softly out of the hearts of men and women men who shall be
cathedrals too — men buttressed against the world, men who
can stand alone.

And it has seemed to me that Tom Mann and D. A. Thomas
are incompetent as leaders of industry because they do not



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SS4 CROWDS

see that Labour is full of men who can do things like this. I
am proiid, over in my country across the sea, to be cousin to
a nation that is still the headquarters — the international
citadel — of individualism upon the earth. The world knows
if England does not, that this kind of individualism is the most
characteristic, the most mighty and impregnable Dreadnought
that England has produced.
* But England knows it too.

I have seen thousands of men in England in their dull brown
clothes pass by me in the street who know and respond to the
spirit that is in Bishop Gore, and who have the courage to show
it themselves. And the vision is in them, but it is not waked.
The moment it is waked we will have a new world. It is be-
cause Tom Mann and D. A. Thomas are not leaders of men
who have this spirit that they are about to be dropped as typi-
cal leaders of Labour and Capital in modem times. No man
will be accepted by the Crowd to-day as a competent leader of
his class who is afraid of the other classes. No man will be
said to be a true leader, to be competent to make things move
in the world, who does not have three gears of courage: courage
for himself, courage for his own people, courage for other people;
and who does not dare to deal with other people as if they really
might be dealt with, after all, as fellow human beings capable
of acting like fellow human beings, capable of finer and of
truer things, of more manly and patient, more shrewdly gener-
ous, more far-sighted things, than might appear at first.



Was Mr. Josiah Wedgewood right when he called Davy
McEwen a traitor to his class?

I do not want to judge Davy McEwen. Such things are
matters of personal interpretation, and of standing with a man
face to face for a moment and looking him in the eyes.

Of course, if I had done this, I might have been tempted
and despised him.



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THE MEN WHO LOOK 335

And I might now. The thmg that I would have tried to
look down through to in him, if I had looked him in the eye,
would have been something like this : "Are you or are you not,
Davy McEwen, standing out day after day against your class
because you can see less than your class sees, because you are
a mere me-man? Do you go by here grimly day by day, past
all these people lined up on the hills, sternly thinking of your-
self?"

If I found that this was true, as it might well be, and often
is, I would say that Davy McEwen was a traitor to his class.
But if I foimd Davy McEwen going past hills-ful of workmen
because he had a larger, fairer vision of what his class is than
they had, if it proved to be true that the crowd-man in him was
keeping the class-man in place, and holding true his vision for
his class, I would say that it was his class that was being a
traitor to him; I would say that sooner or later his class would
see in some quiet day that it had been a traitor to him and to
the world, and a traitor to itself.



If socialism and individualism cannot work together, and if
(like the mascuUne and feminine in spirit) each cannot make
itself the means and the method of fulfilling the other, there
is no reason why either of them should be fulfilled.

In the meantime, there is a kind of self-will that seems to
me, as its shadow comes across my path, like God himself
walking on the earth. And I have seen it in the rich and I
have seen it in the poor, and in people who were being wrong
and in people who were being right.

It is like hearing great bells in the dark, singing in the solemn
night to so much as hear of a man somewhere, I might go and
see, who stands alone.

If we want to stand together, let us begin with these men
who can stand alone.

There is a sense in which Christ died on the cross because



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336 CROWDS

He could find at the time no other way of saying this. There
is a sense in which the decline of individualism is what he died
for.

Or we might call it the beginning of individualism. He died
for the principle of doing what he thought was right before
anybody else did it, and whether anybody else did it or not.
The self-will of Jesus was half the New Testament. He cruci-
fied himself, his mother, and a dozen disciples that His own
vision for all might be fulfilled. Socialism itself, what is good
in it, would not exist to-day if Jesus, the Christ, had not prac-
tised socialism, in the best sense, by being an individualist.

If we are going to get to socialism by giving up individualism,
by abolishing heroes, why get to it?

This more glorious self-will is not, of course, of a kind that
all men can expect to have*. Most of us have not the vision
that equips us, and that gives us the right, to have it. But
we can exact of our leaders that they shall have it — that they
shall see more for us than we can see for ourselves, that they
shall hold their vision up before us and let us see it, and let us
have the use of it, that they shall be true to us, that they shall
be the big brothers of the people.



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CHAPTER IX

RULES FOR TELLING A HERO — WHEN ONE SEES

ONE

I HAVE sometimes hoped that the modem world was about
to produce at last some man somewhere with a big-hearted,
easy powerful mind, who could protect the French Revolution.
What we need most of all just now in our present crisis is some
man who could take up the French Revolution without half
trying, all the world looking on and wondering softly how he
dares to do it, and put it gently but firmly, and once for all,
up high somewhere where no one except geniuses, or at least
the very tallest-minded people, could ever again get at it.

As it is, hardly a day passes but one sees new little nobodies
everywhere all about one reaching up without half thinking
to it — to the French Revolution — grabbing it calmly, and
then using it deliberately before our eyes as a general free-for-
all analogy for anything that comes into their heads. The
Syndicalists and Industrial Workers of the World have had
the use of it last. The fact that the French Revolution
was French and that it worked fairly well a hundred years
ago and with a Louis Sixteenth sort of person, and as a
kind of first rough sketch, .or draft of just what a rev-
olution might be for once, and what it would have to get
over being afterward, as soon as possible, never seems to have
occurred to many people. One sees them rushing about the
world trying to get up exact duplicates, little fussy replicas
of a revolution, and of a kind of revolution that the real world
put quietly away in the attic seventy years ago. The real
world, and all the men in it who are facing real facts to-day,
are getting what they want in precisely the opposite of the

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violent, theatrical French-Revolution way. The fact that
people are quite diflPerent now, and that it is more eflPective and
practical to get new ideas into their heads by keeping their
heads on than it is by taking their heads oflF — some of us seem
to have passed over. Living as we do in a world to-day with
our new explosives, our new antiseptics, our new biology,
bacteriology, our new storage batteries, our habit of getting
everything we get and changing everything we change by quietly
and coolly looking at facts, the old lumbering fashion of having
a beautiful, showy, emotional revolution now on one side, and
then waiting to have another beautiful, showy, emotional
revolution on the other, each oscillating back and forth year
by year until people finally settle down, look at facts together,
become scientific, and see things as they are — has gone by.
We have not time for. revolutions nowadays. They may
be amusing, but they are not practical, and evolution or
revolution-without-knowing-it, or evolution all together, suit
us better. We are in a world in which we are seeing men almost
being made over before our eyes by the scientific habit of
thought — by the new, slow, imperious way we have come to
have of making ourselves look at things at which we would
rather not look, until we see them as they are. The man of
scientific spirit, the quiet-minded, implacable man who gets
what he w^nts for himself and for others by merely turning
on the Ught, who makes a new world for us by just showing
us more plainly the one we really have, possesses the earth.

There is no reason why revolutionists should feel that they
are particularly courageous, that they are the particularly high-
minded, romantic, adventurous, uncompromising and superior
people. The real adventure, the abiding emotion and wonder
of living in the twentieth century, lies in the high, patient,
slow, quiet, silent enterprise of seeing facts as they are, and
without any fuss, and inexorably and with good cheer, acting on
them. The human race has a new temperament. The way
to fight now is to look, to look first, to look longest, and to



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RULES FOR TELLING A HERO 339

look for the most people. The way we win a revolution or
bring the enemy to terms to-day is by battering the enemy witli
cooperation, with understanding him and being understood by
him, by being impregnably, obstinately his brother, by piling
up huge happy citadels of good- will, of services rendered, ser-
vices deserved, and services returned. We had an idea once
that the way to conquer a man was by hitting the outside of
him. We conquer men now by getting inside of them, and by
getting inside first and then dealing with outside things
together.

We see the inside. It is the modem note to see the inside,
to attack the essence, the spirit, and to work everything out
from that.

The modern method of being courageous and of defending
what we want is a kind of chemistry.

Hercules is a bust now.

We prefer still little women like Madame Curie, or a man
like Sir Joseph Lister, or like Wilbur Wright — the courage
that faces material facts, that deals with the elements of things,
whether in a bottle, or in the heaven above us, or in the earth,
or in a man, or in an enemy.

When the subject-matter is human nature and the courage
we have to have is the courage that can deal with people, we
ask ourselves: "What are the most difficult facts to face in
people?"

They are:

The facts about how they are diflferent from us.
The facts about their being like us.
The facts as to what we can do about it.

So it has come to seem to me to be the greatest, the most
typical and difficult courage of modern life and of a crowd
civilization, the courage to look at actual facts in people and
to see how the people can be made to go together.

A man's courage is his sense of identity.

A man's courage toward nature, heat, cold, mountains, seas.



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340 CROWDS

deserts, chemistry, geology, is his sense of identity with God
and of his right to share with God in the creating of His
world.

His courage toward people is his sense of identity with men
who seem diflFerent from him, of all races, all classes, and all
nations. He sees the diflferences in their big relations along-
side the resemblances. Then he fits the diflferences into the
resemblances and knows what to do.

There is a statue of Sir George Livesey, one of the early
presidents of the South Metropolitan Gas Company, placed at
the entrance of the works where thousands of workmen day
and night pass in and pass out.

Sir George Livesey was the man who, in the early days of
the South Metropolitan Gas Company, stood out against aU
his workmen, for six long weeks, to get the workmen to believe
that they were as good as he was. He beheved that they were
capable, or should be capable, of being identified with him and
working with him as partners, of sharing in the direction of the
business, of sharing in the profits, and cooperating all day,
every day, with him and the other partners, to make the busi-
ness a success.

He did not propose to be locked up in a business, if he could
help it, with men who did not feel identified with him, who
were not his partners, or who did not want to be.

He thought it was not good business to engage five thousand
men and pay them deUberately so much a day to fight his
business on the inside of the works. Being obhged to do his
business as a fight against people who helped him all the time,
watching and outwitting them as if he were dealing with five
thousand intelligent gorillas instead of with fellow human be-
ings, did not interest him.

He did not beUeve that the men themselves, in spite of the
way they talked, when they came to think of it, really enjoyed
being intelligent gorillas, any more than he did.

The Trades Unions passed a resolution that it was safer for



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RULES FOR TELLING A HERO 341

the men in dealing with Sir George Livesey to keep on being
gorillas.

Sir George Livesey proposed that they should all try being
fellow human beings and being in partnership for a little while
and see how it worked.

The Trades Unions were afraid to let them try. Even if it
worked very well, and if it turned out that being men was safer,
in this one particular case, than being gorillas, it would set a
bad example, the Trades Unions thought. They took the
ground that it was safer to have all men treated alike, whether
they were gorillas or not.

They instructed the men to strike. The South Metropolitan
Gas Company was almost closed up, but it did not yield.

Sir George Livesey took the ground that if the Trades Unions
believed that his men were not good enough for him, and that
he was not good enough for his men, he would wait imtil they
did.

The bronze statue of Sir George Livesey that the men have
raised, and that thousands of men go by every day, day after
day, and look up to at their work, was raised to a man who
had stood out against his workmen for weeks to prove that
they were as good as he was, and could be trusted to be loyal
to him, and that he was as good as they were, and that he could
be trusted to be loyal to them.

He had the courage to insist on being, whether anybody
wanted it for the moment or not, a new kind and new size of
man. He preferred being allowed to be a new kind and new
size himself, and he preferred allowing his men to be new kinds
and new sizes of men, and he made a shrewd, dogged guess
that when they tried it they would like it. They were merely
afraid to be new sizes, as we all are at first.



There are possibly three ways in which, in the confusion of
our modern world, one can tell a hero when one sees one.



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One knows a hero first by his originality. He invents a new
kind and new size of man. He finishes oflf one sample. There
he is.

The next thing one notices about this man (when he is in-
vented) is his hmnility. He never seems to feel — having
invented himself — how original he is. The more original
people think he is, and the more they try to set him one side
as an exception, the more he resents it.

And then, of course, the final way one knows a man is a
hero is always by his courage, by his masterful way of driving
through, when he meets a man, to his sense of identity with
him.

One always sees a hero going about quietly everywhere,
treating every other man as if he were a hero too.

He gets so in the habit, from day to day (living with himself),
of beUeving in human nature, that when he finds himself sud-
denly up against other people he cannot stop.

It is not that he is deceived about the other people, though
it might seem so sometimes. He merely sees further into them
and further for them.

Has he not invented himself? Is he not at this very moment
a better kind of man than he thought he could be once? Is
he not going to be a better kind to-morrow than he is now?

So, quietly, he keeps on year by year and day by day, treating
other people as if they were, or were meant to be, the same
kind of man that he is, imtil they are.



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CHAPTER X
WHO IS AFRAID?

WHEN Christ turned the other cheek, the last thing He
would have wanted any one to think was that He was backing
down, or that He was merely being a sweet, gentle, grieved,
person. He was inventing before everybody, and before His
enemies, promptly and with great presence of mind, a new
kind and new size of man. It was a more spirited, more origi-
nal, more unconquerable and bewildering way of fighting than
anybody had thought of before. To be suddenly in an enemy's
presence a new kind and new size of man — colossal, baflOiing —
to turn into invisibility before him, into intangibility, into
another kind of being before the enemy's eyes, so that he could
not possibly tell what to do, and so that none of the things
that he had thought of to do would work. . . . This is what
Christ was doing, it seems to some of us, and it is apparently
the way He felt about it when He did it.



Online LibraryGerald Stanley LeeCrowds: a moving-picture of democracy → online text (page 25 of 44)