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J. Morrison (John Morrison) Davidson.

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and soul

But one enemy exists for you — fity enemy. With the present
Socialistic intrigues — it may happen that I shall cotnmund you to
shoot your own relatives, your brothers, even your parents (from which
God preserve us !), and thenyoii are in duty bound to obey my orders
unhesitatingly."

Commenting on these tell-tale words of this most
candid Young Man, Count Tolstoy observes : —

This man expresses what is known but carefully concealed by
all wise rulers. He says outright that the men who serve in the
army serve htm and his advantage, and should be ready for that
purpose to kill their brothers and fathers.

Roughly, but distinctly, he lays bare all the horror of the
crime for which men who become soldiers prepare themselves
— all that abyss of abasement in which they fling themselves
when they promise obedience. Like a bold hypnotiser, he tests
the depth of the slumber; he applies red-hot iron to the sleeper's
body ; it smokes and shrivels, but the sleeper does not awaken.

Awaken ? No ! His business is to shoot down
father and brother, base Socialistic intriguants, in the
sacred name of the pvopevty of the "Classes," and
he does his duty to the entire satisfaction of his
Emperor and his Emperor's God ! O God of
Righteousness, Liberty and Equality ! was ever
wretch so degraded ?

But the " Young Man " is after all mistaken when
he talks so confidently about " my soldiers." The
soldiers are not his. They belong mostly to thejjews
and other rapacious European financiers, who " run "
nearly all the great imposing Empires of the world
including the British. Who, for example, impera-
tively ordered out the British fleet and army for
the seizure of Egypt ? Not Queen Victoria, not
Gladstone and the Liberal Administration, but^their
Financial Highnesses, Messrs. Rothschild, Goschen,
Oppenheim and Co. The G.O.M. imagined and
averred that he was " vindicating the Moral Law,"
when in reality he was perpetratingpne of the foulest
crimes of the century, on a usury-devoured " people



138 THE INFERNO OF WAR.

rightly struggling to be free " from the remorseless
fangs of a gang of thirtj' per cent. Shylocks. I never
think of the innocent blood shed at Alexandria, Tel-
el-Kebir and El-Teb without a shudder. Talk of
" Bulgarian " or " Armenian Atrocities " ! Bah !

No ; men do not now-a-days fight in the battles of
King, Kaiser, or Czar : for these are powerless to
put their hosts in motion unless tlie Barons of
Finance, the Lords of Railway, Mine, and Factory
have given the word of command : —

If we were only consistent (says Prince Kropotkine) we should
replace the lion on our standards with a golden calf, their
other emblems by money bags, and the names of our regiments,
borrowed formerly from royalty, by the titles of the kings of
industry and finance — " 3rd Rothschild," " loth Baring," etc.,
We should at least know for whom we werek illing.

War has been correctly described as " the sum of
human villainy," and, as it presents itself in modern
times, its atrocity is peculiarly aggravated. It has
now become "an ogre," as Bastiat declared, "that
requires as much for his digestion as for his meals."
Next to the enormities of actual warfare are the enor-
mities of armed peace. Roundly speaking, two-
thirds of our entire revenue (^"60, 000, 000) are annually
devoted to the ogre's upkeep !

Nor is it for military supremacy that the nations
now struggle. It is for Markets — for economic
superiority that they madly compete. We, in this
country, more than a century ago, began the process
of producing for export on a large scale, and nearly
every one of the wicked wars waged by us since then
has had for its real, if not its avowed object, the
unscrupulous acquisition of new markets or the
jealous exclusion of competitors from old ones.

But now the game, which has already nearly ruined
rural Britain, by draining its best blood into hives of
manufacturing urban wretchedness, is visibly draw-
ing to a close America, France, Germany, and even



THE INFERNO OI- WAR. I39

Italy, Austria, Russia, and India are rapidly emulating
us in the arts of the exploiter, and with such success
that we have at last been reduced to put our trust in
Darkest Africa, and the Right Hon. fiUbuster Cecil
Rhodes ! We have well nigh reached the inevitable
stage of equilibrium in rapacity, long ago foreseen by
sagacious old Dr. Johnson, who said in his magisterial
fashion : —

Depend upon it, this rage for trade will destroy itself. You
and I will not live to see it ; but the time will come when there
will be an end of it. Trade is like gaming. If a whole company
are gamesters, play must cease, because there is nothing to be
won. When ailf nations are traders there is nothing to be gained
by trade, and it will stop where it has been brought to the
greatest perfection.

That is to say, in Great Byitain.

Even at this moment our home trade is fourteen
times as great as our foreign, and yet for the sake of
the latter we are prepared to commit almost any
crime in the calendar on the slightest provocation,
and it is the same with every Great Power in Europe.
For years the nations have been preparing for a
general mel6e, and yet " Sovereigns and Statesmen,"
if one were to believe them, are all the while toiling
themselves to death to preserve a peace which no
single people that can be named desires to break !
And this, just heavens, is the net outcome of all the
wisdom of our governors, diplomatists and juris-
prudents ! For this end did Parliament, in its wisdom,
recently determine greatly to augment our bloated
naval armaments ; and for this end did Sir William
Harcourt produce his miraculous budget !

Now, there is but one way out of this vicious
circle, this intolerable situation which is squeezing
the very life-blood out of the workers of all Europe —
the frank abandonment of Individualism with all its
cruel consequences, and the general adoption of
Collectivist principles. After the failure of the



140 THE INFERNO OF WAR.

revolutionary movement of 1848, Alexander Herzen
declared : " You would not have Socialism ? Well,
then, you will have war — war for thirty, for fifty
years." And he was right. Four millions of trained
cut-throats are at present with the standards of
European States, and twenty-eight millions, it is
computed, can be mobilised, in case of need, for
purposes of immolation, armed with weapons of
most murderous and unprecedented efficiency.

The blood runs cold in contemplation of the
horrors tliat may any day be in store for us. " Put
up the sword ; for they that take the sword shall
perish by the sword." " My kingdom is not of this
world (or age), else would my servants fight." Alas,
how few are His servants after more than eighteen
centuries of the proclamation of the Kingdom of God
on Earth, of peace and goodwill to men. In no pro-
fessed Christian country in the world is there any
State institution to be found which is not mainly
inspired by the spirit of Anti-Christ. Assuredly,
the State is the Evil. No Anarchist is needed to tell
us that.

Is the religion of Christ then a failure ? By no
means. We have no right to pronounce anything a
failure till it has been tried, and no one can pretend
that any serious attempt has yet been made to put
it in practice. It will be time enough to despair
of the triumph of love over violence when love has
been fairly tested and found wanting. Christ com-
pared His Gospel to "leaven which a woman took
and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole
was leavened." Leaven works, but works slowly.
So the leaven of Christianity is working among the
nations and will, some day, perchance, be found to
have " leavened the whole lump," when appearances
point in quite another direction. To reconcile faith
and works is the paramount duty of the hour and
of every hour. " It is not they that call me, Lord,



THE INFERNO OF WAR.



141



Lord, that shall be saved but they that do the will of
my Father who is in heaven." And the Father, by
the mouth of the Son, said : Put up the sword.

O for a lodge in some vast wilderness,
Some boundless contiguity of shade ;
Where rumour of oppression or deceit,
Of successful or unsuccessful war
Might never reach me more !

In the noble words of Charles Sumner : — " Let

THE BUGLES SOUND THE TrUCE OF GoD TO THE

WHOLE World forever."



XXII.

BARON ORCHID DE SORE WE ON
PAUPER SUFFRAGE.

He hath swallowed down riches, and he shall vomit them up
again : God shall cast them out of his belly.

For he hath oppressed and forsaken the poor: he hath violently
taken away a house and he shall not build it up. — Job. xx., 15, 19

Woe unto you that are rich, for ye have received your con-
solation.

Blessed be ye poor, for yours is the Kingdom of Heaven. —
Jesds Christ.

N speaking on the Registration Bill Mr.
Joseph Chamberlain, in a spirit of self-
righteousness, observed : — " In no speech
of mine will you find anything that commits
me to the idea that a Pauper ought to be on the
register."

But pray, O Right Honourable Joseph " Ransom,"
why not ? Since 43 Elizabeth, Cap. 2, you must be
aware that Paupers are as much an integral portion of
our" Glorious Constitution" as either Queen, Lords,
or Commons. Indeed, the pillars of the State are not
three but tour — Queen, Lords, Commons and Paupers,
and, generally speaking, the last are by far the most
reputable and deserving members of the community.
They muster, in the course of a year, about three
million strong, and have a revenue — they and more
142




THE PAUPER AND THE SUFFRAGE.

particularly the officials charged with their welfare —
of nearly ^20,000,000, one way or another. They
are as big an " interest " as either the Army or Navy,
and they are older than either. One in every eight
of all the useful workers of the nation belongs to the
noble Brigade of Paupers. In the Army of Industry
they have been the chief sufferers ; while you, right
honourable sir, and others like you, have been in-
dustriously " annexing " the spoils.

Still press us for your cohorts, and when the fight is done,
Still fill your garners from the soil that our good swords have

won.
Still, like a spreading ulcer that leech-craft may not cure,
Let your foul usance eat away the substance of the poor.

So many precious orchids, Mr. Chamberlain, so
many lowly Paupers ; so many millionaires, so many
inevitable mendicants. You may despise the
Pauper as you will ; but he is your handiwork, and
whatever be the measure of contempt with which
you and the " gentlemen of England " regard him, he
is still a man and a brother, with rights of which the
direst poverty ought never to deprive him. Indeed,
I -should say the more poverty-stricken a man is the
more clamant is the necessity for arming him with
the protection of the franchise.

Most instructive perhaps, of all the parables is
that of the vineyard and the " hands" employed in
it. Some worked twelve hours, some nine, some six,
some one, and that, too, in the cool of the evening.
These last were questioned sharply : " Why stand
ye here all day idle ? " And they answered as so
many thousands sorrowfully do to-day, " Because no
man hath hired us." At night the men were all
paid equally a "fair day's wages." A "docker"
standing about waiting for a job or walking long
distances hunting for one is at harder work than the
hardest to be incurred in any vineyard. The good
" householder " was a man of sense as well as



144 "^"^ PAUPER AND THE SUFFRAGE.

humanity. He recognised that one-twelfth of a day's
wages would not procure a whole day's living, and,
therefore he gave the impoverished toiler a day's
living. Nor is it recorded that he attached any
stigma or disability to the gift. To tlie " eleventh
hour " man he should have said, according to the
Chamberlain ethic : '• But, mind you, no voting.
' In no speech of mine will you find anything that commits vie
to the idea that a Paupev ought to be on the Register.' "
Only the " householder " didn't.

" It is the first duty of Governments," said that
wondrous youth St. Just, " to obey the call of the
friendless and the unfortunate, for they are above all
the powers of the earth." And the only way that
Governments can seemingly be taught their " first "
or any other "duty," is to keep the threat of an
adverse popular vote constantly before their eyes.
At a General Election the Independent Pauper
Party ought to make as good a show as the " Beer
interest " or the " Bible interest," and to have its
vote properly "organized" by some Pauper
Schnadhorst.

Its programme could hardly fail to be tolerably
democratic, one would think, but there is no telling.
In no country in the world are even the elite of the
workers really in favour of their own complete
emancipation. When they " strike " or " agitate,'' it
is not for any fundamentel disturbance of the existing
social order ; but rather so to mend its more obvious
rents from time to time as to keep it going inde-
finitely. All that our " Labour Leaders " in the
House of Commons have attempted hitherto is
merely to aoply a few inefficacious Trade Union
nostrums to the festering sores of the body in-
dustrial. " Eight Hour Days," " Emplo.yers'
Liability," " Factory Amendment Acts," etc., are all
in a very important sense measures of reaction. By
making for an improved Individualism they neces-



THE PAUPER AND THE SUFFRAGE. I45

sarily tend to postpone the epoch of Collectivism.

Why, for example, an Eight Hours Day ? Give a
man his whole product instead of the third or fourth of
it, and it should then be entirely his own concern
whetherhe worked twenty-four hoursa-day, or twenty-
four minutes. To establish the liability of employers
and to improve the conditions of labour in their
factories can scarcely be regarded as a patent method of
" nationalizing the means of production," or "abolish-
ing the system of wage-slavery." In truth, our
" Labour Leaders " are a " feeble folk," so inconse-
quent of aim and so infirm of purpose that I am not
sure that if, instead of raising heaven and earth to
put a few more of the tribe into Parliament, we got
up a League of some sort to turn those out of
the House who are already in it, we would not be
doing a greater service to " the cause." They are
like the Slave Leaders of antiquity who never took
up arms for the abolition of Slavery, but always for
some paltry reduction of its severities.

But this is a digression ; for it is nothing to the
purpose if our Pauper voters should fail adequately
to grasp the root of their sorrows and degradation.
Suffice it to say that, in nine cases out of ten, these
are not of their own creation, but the work of -the
" Classes," and Mr. Chamberlain tells us that that
work ought to be an everlasting bar to the exercise
of the franchise. It is not for the man but the " rate-
payer " to vote. Nay more, " the majority of
Radicals still hold the doctrine that a man should
not be on the register who is on the rates."

Well, "in my Radical days," that may have been
so, but it is not so now. The New Democracy
regards the Pauper as better fitted to discharge the
duties of a citizen than any pauper-tnaking rent-
monger, interest-monger, or profit-monger in the
realm. What, after all, are the " rates " but a
cunning invention of the "Classes" to ward off in-

L



146 THE PAUPER AND THE SUFFRAGE.

evitable " revolution " by the disinherited " Masses"?
They are not charity. They are the safety-valve of
our cruelly " glorious constitution," towards which
many a despised Pauper has contributed ten times
as much, in the vigour of his manhood, as he ever
gets back in the decrepitude of his old age.

The " Classes " no more pay rates than do the
paupers. What they do is to disgorge a paltry
fraction of the plunder of the " Masses." The
workers directly and indirectly pay all, and keep
the great lord of screws in orchids to boot. When
you, Mr. Chamberlain, flatter yourself that you are
paying rates, you are merely acting as a conduit-
pipe, through which certain earnings of the workers
pass into the local exchequer. It will be time for
you and " the gentlemen of England " to arrogate
to yourselves civic merit superior to that of Paupers,
when you can honestly declare, with the noble
Apostle of the Nations :

Let him that stole, steal no more ; but rather let him labour,
working with his hands. . . These hands ministered to

my necessities, and to those that were with me.

In a word, labour is the basis of every civic right.
" He that will not work, neither shall he eat," says
the same Apostle; nor a fortion vote. St. Paul's labour
test remorselesly disfranchises all those who " toil not
neither do they spin," alid a good job, too, would it
be, if we could but brace ourselves up to applying
it. The biters would then be the bitten, and Pauptr
and Dives would exchange places. " Slowly, slawly,
run the Coursers of the Night ; " yet the Day trn/l
come at last, with healing on its wings, when Pauper
despised of our " Lost Leader," shall, according to
our Lord's promise, inherit the Kingdom, and the
last shall be first. Mr. Chamberlain need not imagine
that because he is *' lost " to the " cause," that the
"cause" itself is "lost." One grand Apostate no



THE PAUPER AND THE SUFFRAGE. I47

more implies general apostasy than does a single
swallow make a summer ;

For Humanity sweeps onward : where to-day the Martyr stands,
On the morrow crouches Judas, with the silver in his hands ;
Far in front the Cross stands ready and the crackling faggots burn,
While the hooting mob of yesterday, in silent awe, return
To glean up the scattered ashes into History's sacred urn

Count |me o'er Earth's chosen heroes, — they were souls that

stood alone,
While the men they agonised for hurled the contumelious stone.
Stood serene, and down the future saw the golden beam incline
To the side of perfect justice, mastered by their faith divine,
By one man's plain truth to manhood and to God's supreme

design,




XXIII.

'^THB TENDER MERCIES OF THE
WICKED " : DRACO DAY.

Judge not that ye be not judged !

Blessed nre the merciful for they shaii obtain mercy. — Jescs
Christ.

Have ye not read so much as this what David did, when him-
self was an hungered and they who were with him ; how he
went into the House of God and did take and eat the shew -bread,
and gave also to them that were with him ; which it is not lawful
to eat but for the priests alone. — Jesds Christ.



" I have an opinion, upon which I should like to act more
freely than I am able to do, that long detention in prison, is in
itself a mischievous thing for a man, and particularly for young
men. It is not desirable that young, healthy and active men
as you are, should be sent to long terms of imprisonment losing
manhood in prison — but that you should be turned out as quickly
as possible to earn your own livelihoods by your own exertions.
It is better for yiDur minds and for your bodies, and more likely
to make you good members of society," — Justice Day (to three
prisoners at Ipswich Assizes.)

HESE words of judicial wisdom and hu-
manity must have fallen on the ears of the
three "young men ' to whom they were
lately addressed, at the Ipswich Assizes,
like chords of heavenly music. They had been found
guilty of petty larceny and, doubtless thought, after
such a merciful exordium, they were about to be
reprimanded and dismissed, or at most, sentenced to

148




"THE TENDER MERCIES OF THE WICKED." I49

a few days' imprisonment. But alas for the vanity
of human hopes and wishes. Mr. Justice Day
speedily proceeded to shed daylight on their misun-
derstandings and those of other petty offenders in a
similar plight by passing the following merciless
judgments : —

(i) For stealing a piece of bacon, three youths aged seven'
teen, seven, six, and Jive months respectively.

(2) For stealing 7s. 6d., her first offence, a servant girl, aged
eighteen, with good character from her mistress, ien months hard
labour.

(3) For obtaining 5s, iid., with some food and drink by false
pretences, a shoemaker (no previous conviction) the former
inmate of a lunatic asylum twelve months.

(4) F


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Online LibraryJ. Morrison (John Morrison) DavidsonNew politics for the people. Let there be light! 1.-Religion. 2.-Politics. 3.-The family. 4.-Economics. 5.-Miscellanea .. → online text (page 10 of 13)