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only as any scheme which involves radical social
revolution is classified under the general title of
Socialism.^



^ Encyc. Brit.., art. " Soclalisra."

^ Philosophical Anarchists do attempt to mediate between these
two antagonistic schemes of society — the Socialistic and the An-



108 CHRIST I AX IT Y AND SOCIAL PROBLEMS.

The same indiviclnalism which entered the
church and split it into sects, and entered gov-
ernment and led on to anarchy, entered industry
and founded what is known in political economy
as the Manchester School, because it had its
centre in Manchester. This doctrine treats man
in an industry, as governed only by self-interest.
It expects and encourages a perpetual conflict of
interests, and trusts that an equable balance and
a true justice will be secured by the interaction
of purely selfish forces. In framing a science of
industry, it does not think of man in any other
aspect than as a being who desires to make wealth

archistic — by insisting that g-overnment must be social, not politi-
cal ; that it must administer industrj% not exercise authority : thus
Prince Krapotkin ('" The Coming Anarchy,'' Nineteenth Century,
vol. xxii. p. 149) says : " One after the other those functions which
were considered as the functions of government during the last
two centuries are disputed ; society moves better the less it is
governed. And the more we study the advance made in this
direction, as well as the inadequacy of governments to fulfill the
expectations laid on them, the more we are bound to conclude
that humanity, by steadily limiting the functions of government,
is marching toward reducing them finally to nil; and we already
foresee a state of society where the liberty of the individual Avill
be limited by no laws, no bonds, by nothing else but his own
social habits and the necessity, which every one feels, of finding
cooperation, support, and sympathy among his neighbours." See,
also, '' The Scientific Basis of Anarchy," Nineteenth Century, vol.
xvi. p. 238. For an account of Bakunin, with quotations from his
utterances, see Laveleye, " The Socialism of To-day." chap. x. ;
also, "The Rise and Development of Anarchism," by Karl Blind,
Contemporary Review, \o\. Ixv. p. 140, January, 1804; and '"An
Anarchist on Anarchy," by Elisde Reclus, Contemporary Review,
vol. xlv. p. 632, May, 1884.



CHRISTIANITY AND SOCIALISM. 109

and knows how to do it; it makes no account
either of his prejudices and his passions or of his
nobler nature. The world is regarded as made up
of men who are struggling for wealth, and the
problem of political economy as how to organize
society out of the units engaged in this struggle.
To do this the Manchester School proposes to take
off all shackles, remove all restraints, let the
laborer sell his labor where he will, and the cap-
italist hire his labor where he will : thus, as it ex-
pects, true values will be ascertained ; workingmen
will get the wages they deserve, and capitalists the
services they deserve. This mass of men who
desire to get wealth, and whom Political Economy
is to consider as though they desired nothing-
else, are to be left to struggle together, and the
man who best deserves the reward will get it.
The function of government is reduced to a mini-
mum, — the function of protection. Says Adam
Smith : —

"All systems either of preference or of restraint,
therefore, being completely taken away, the obvious and
simple system of natural liberty establishes itself of its
own accord. Every man, as long as he does not violate
the laws of justice, is left jjerfectly free to pursue his own
interest in his own way, and to bring both his industry
and capital into competition with those of any other
man, or order of men. The sovereign is completely dis-
charged from a duty, in the attempting to perform
which he must always be exposed to innumerable
delusions, and for the proper performance of which no



110 CHRISTIANITY AND SOCIAL PROBLEMS.

human wisdom or knowledge could ever be sufiBcient, —
the duty of superintending the industry of private
people, and of directing it towards the employments
most suitable to the interests of the society. According
to the system of natural liberty, the sovereign has only
three duties to attend to, — three duties of great impor-
tance, indeed, but j^lain and intelligible to common un-
derstandings, — first, the duty of protecting the society
from the violence and invasion of other independent
societies ; secondly, the duty of protecting, as far as
possible, every member of the society from the injustice
or oppression of every other member of it, or the duty
of establishing an exact administration of justice ; and,
thirdly, the duty of erecting and maintaining certain
public works and certain public institutions, which it
can never be for the interest of any individual, or small
number of individuals, to erect or maintain, because the
profit could never repay the expense to any individual
or small number of individuals, though it may fre-
quently do much more than repay it to a great
society." ^

Such, very briefly described, is individualism
in church, state, and society. It has not fulfilled
its promises. It has not perfected the spiritual
life of the individual, and it has separated the
church into antagonistic sects, and diverted into
intestine quarrels the forces which should have
been wholly consecrated to a united campaign
against wickedness. In the state it has not given
the individual the freedom from despotism which
it promised to secure. The despotism of demo-

^ Wealth of Nations, book iv. ch. ix. p. 545, Putnam's ed.



CHRISTIANITY AND SOCIALISM. Ill

cracy lias proved quite as perilous to liberty as the
despotism of the individual. " For myself," says
De Tocqueville,^ " when I feel the hand of power
lie heavy on my brow, I care but little to know
who oppresses me ; and I am not the more disposed
to pass beneath the yoke because it is held out to
me by the arms of a million of men." If the reader
is curious to know how heavy a yoke may be
framed by democracy, and by it imposed on the
individual, let him read in " The French Revolu-
tion " 2 Taine's account of French socialistic legis-
lation. In society, individualism has not secured
even that wealth which it was avowedly the sole
object of the old school of political economy to
secure for the individual, " judged solely as a
beinof who desires to secure wealth." Free com-
petition has produced a concentration of wealth in
the hands of the few, and has done but little to
remedy the impoverishment of the many ; it has
limited the world's market, reduced the world's
demand, and produced what is absurdly called
"over-supply." It has steadily lessened, and in
many cases finally destroyed, the profits of even
the prosperous and wealthy, and so created a
necessity for combinations to decrease production
and thus raise prices. Under this system the
" submerged tenth " in London has remained sub-
merged ; in New York the condition is little if

' De Tocqueville, Democracy in America, vol. ii. p. 13.
2 Taine, French Revolution, book vi. ch. i. ; book viii. ch. ii. vol.
il. ; pp. 52 f . and .3.56 f.



112 Cf/BIST/AXITV AND SOCIAL PROBLEMS.

any better.^ Pauperism is not cured, and charity-
struggles in vain to alleviate social conditions
which the industrial system is continually produ-
cing. " This general well and cesspool, once baled
and clear, to-day will begin again to fill itself
anew. The universal Stygian quagmire is still
there, opulent in women ready to be ruined, and
in men ready. Toward the same sad cesspool will
these waste currents of human sin ooze and gravi-
tate as heretofore. Except in draining the uni-
versal quagmire itself, there is no remedy." ^

1 Mrs. Josephine Shaw Lowell, in a paper published in The
Christian Union (now The Outlook) for March 20, 1885, says
that, during the three years preceding, 220,000 separate indi-
viduals received helj) through public charity in New York city,
nearly or quite one fifth of the entire population, and she adds:
"There is no room for duplication of cases in these figures."

2 Carlyle, Latter Day Pamphlets, ed. Chapman and Hall, No. 1,
p. 24. The student will find the social evils of the present system
stated by Kirkup in An Inquiry into Socialism, ch. iii. ; by Gronlund
in Cooperative Commomcealth, ch. ii. ; and by Laveleye in Social-
ism of To-day, Introduction. More judicial statements of the
efiPects on the individual will be found in Francis A. Walker's
The Wages Question, pp. 201, 359, from which the following may
be cited as a single illustration : " We know that mill-owners are
harassed with applications from their hands to take children
into employment on almost any ternis, and that the consciences of
employers have required to be reinforced by the sternest prohi-
bitions and penalties of the law to save children ten, seven, or
four years old from the horrors of ' sweating dens ' and crowded
factories, since the more miserable the parents' condition the
greater becomes the pressure on them to crowd their children
somehow, somewhere, into service ; the scantier the remuneration
of their present employment, the less becomes their ability to
secure promising openings, or to obtain favor from outside for the
better disposition of their offspring. . . . What is the single



CHRISTIANITY AND SOCIALISM. 113

Such is the testimony not of Herr Most, nor of
Justus Schwab, not of Elisce Rechis nor of Prince
Krapotkin, but of Thomas Carlyle, and since his
time the quagmire has been drained only by trans-
porting- part of it from London and distributing it
in Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Cincinnati, St.
Louis, and Chicago.

Man cannot be regarded by the Christian, by
the philanthropist, nor even by the truly scientific
observer, " solely as a being who desires to pos-
sess wealth." If he is looked upon as a man with
moral sentiments, noble ideals, personal affections,
the social evils of the system of a free competition
between men selfishly struggling in a remorseless
competition with one another are even greater
than the industrial and economic evils. John
Stuart Mill thus portrays them ; and, though in
this passage he is acting simply as a reporter of
the Socialistic indictment of modern society, it is

laborer in a cotton-mill ? "What does his will or his wish stand
for ? The mill itself becomes one vast machine, which rolls on in
its appointed work, tearing-, crushing-, or grinding- its human just
as relentlessly as it does its other material. The force of disci-
pline completely subjects the interests and the objects of the
individual to the necessities of a great establishment. Whoever
fails to keep up, or faints by the way, is relentlessly thrown out.
If the wheel runs for twelve hours in the day, every operative
must be in his place from the first to the last revolution. If it
runs for thirteen hours or fourteen, he must still be at his post.
Personality disappears ; even the instinct of self-assertion is lost ;
apathy soon succeeds to ambition and hopefulness. The laborer
can quarrel no more with the foul air of his unventilated factory,
burdened with poisons, than he can quarrel with the great wheel
that turns below."



114 CHRISTIANITY AND SOCIAL PROBLEMS.

not possible to doubt that in the main he is a
sympathetic reporter : —

" Morally considered, its evils are obvious. It is the
parent of envy, hatred, and uncharitableness ; it makes
every one the natural enemy of all others who cross his
path, and every one's path is liable to be crossed.
Under the present system, hardly any one can gain
except by the loss or disappointment of one or many
others. In a well-constituted community, every one
would be a gainer by every other person's successful
exertions, while now we gain by each other's loss, and
lose by each other's gain ; and our greatest gains come
from the worst source of all, from death, — the death of
those who are nearest and should be dearest to us." ^

In religion, there is an evident reaction against
the individualism of the past. We believe in
religious liberty, as Luther did ; but we no longer
think that *' liberty " is the only word, and we are

1 J. S. Mill, " Chapters on Socialism," Fortnightly Review,
vol. xxxi. p. 227 ; also in Literary Magazine, March and April,
1879, p. 267. His own view he has expressed clearly in his Prin-
ciples of Political Economy^ bk. iv. ch. vi. § 2 : "I cannot, there-
fore, regard the stationary state of capital and wealth with the
unaffected aversion so generally manifested towards it by politi-
cal economists of the old school. I am inclined to think it would
be, on the whole, a very considerable improvement on our present
condition. I confess I am not charmed with the ideal of life held
out by those who think that the normal state of human beings is
that of struggling to get on ; that the trampling, crushing, elbow-
ing, and treading on each other's heels, which form the existing
type of social life, are the most desirable lot of human kind, or
anything but the disagreeable symptoms of one of the phases of
industrial progress."



CHRISTIANITY AXD SOCIALISM. 115

striving in religion to bring about fraternity as
well. The Pope sends a message to the English
people to return to their loyalty to him. The Eng-
lish Church is studying the question how it may
bring about the union of the Greek, the Roman,
the Anglican, and the Protestant churches in one
great organization. The Congregationalists are
proposing a simpler creed, and a greater liberty
of interpretation, that the churches may work
together in one confederation, if they cannot unite
in one great organization. We are forming orga-
nizations like the Young Men's Christian Associa-
tions, the Young Women's Christian Associations,
the Kino^'s Dauo^hters, the Societies of Christian
Endeavor. The movement of this nineteenth cen-
tury is a movement to add fraternity to liberty in
the realm of religion.

And the movement may be just as clearly
traced in government. Democracy no longer be-
lieves in what has been well called the night-
watchman theory. It rejects the aphorism that
the sole function of government is to govern ;
that its sole duty is to protect one community
against another community, or one individual
against another individual. B}^ government we
])rotect and promote manufactures. By govern-
ment we aid with subsidies railroads and canals
and various public enterprises. By government
we carry all the mails. By government we edu-
cate the children of the commonwealth in all the
elements that are necessary to citizenship, and



116 CHB/ST/AXJTV AND SOCIAL PROBLEMS.

in many of the States maintain universities of
the higher grades. By government we establish
parks for public playgrounds, and maintain music
in the parks for public recreation. By govern-
ment we supply our houses with water and with
light, and are beginning to provide our cities
with transportation. By government we deter-
mine what are reasonable prices for transporta-
tion on our great railroads. Government has
run far beyond any bounds that Thomas Jefferson
would have recognized as legitimate. Across the
sea the same tendency is still more apparent. In
Great Britain government takes care of the sav-
ings of the poor, regulates the rate of rent between
landlord and tenant, erects buildings and rents
them to the poor, regulates by law the conditions
and hours of labor. In Germany government
provides for the workingman ^ insurance against
sickness, death, and old age. In Switzerland
government manages express business ;2 in Aus-
tralia it owns and operates the railroads.^ And

^ "Compulsory Insurance in Germany," J. G. Brooks, Fourth
Special Report of United States Com. of Labor.

^ "State and Federal Government in Switzerland," J. M.
Vincent, Johns Hopkins University Studies, 1891, p. 85. See,
also, The Model Republic, F. G. Baker, p. 519; "Switzerland
the Model Democracy," S. N. M. Byers, in Magazine of American
History, vol. xxviii. p. 47. " The telegraph is in universal use in
the country, owing to the low rates. Ten cents will pay for
eight words to any point in the country, yet the government
secures a profit of $40,000 a year."

3 Sir Charles W. Dilke, Problems of Greater Britain, 1890,
p. 508.



CHRIST /AX/TV AXJJ SOCIALISM. 117

these are only a part of the functions on which
government is entering. ^

While practicial experience has refuted the
night-watchman theory of government, historical
study has refuted the notion of a social contract,
on which that theory was based. There never was
an ideal state of nature. "This political specu-
lation," says Sir Henry Maine, "of which the
remote and indirect consequences press us on all
sides, is, of all speculations, the most baseless.
The natural condition from which it starts is a
simple figment of the imagination. So far as
any research into the nature of primitive human
society has any bearing on so mere a dream, all
inquiry has dissipated it. The process by which
Rousseau supposes communities of men to have
been formed, or by which at all events he wishes
us to assume that they were formed, is, again,
a chimera. No general assertion as to the way
in which human societies grew up is safe, but
perhaps the safest of all is that none of them
were formed in the way imagined by Rousseau." ^

The patriarchal history in the Book of Genesis
will give the reader the most accessible and proba-
bly the best historical account of the growth of
government. It began in the family. This family,

1 See W. E. H. Leeky, Democracy and Liberty, ch. iii. ; and Rt.
Hon. G. J. Gosclien, Laissez-faire or Governmental Interference.

2 Sir Henry Maine, Popular Government., p. 159. Compare
R. E. Thomijson, Be Civitate Dei, p. 87 : " Aristotle contradicts
the theory of the Social Contract before its origination by
Epicurus."



118 CHRISTIANITY AND SOCIAL PROBLEMS.

as in the case of Abraham, became a commercial, a
worshiping, and a military organization. It was
state, church, and army all in one. The abso-
lute power was lodged in the father. The priestly
functions were exercised by him. Sometimes for
defensive purposes, sometimes for aggressive pur-
poses, sometimes for no definite purpose, but by
the simple power of kinship, a number of families
coalesced in a tribe. The tribe retained, however,
the family character. The chief was the com-
mander of the army, the priest of the church.
His authority was indeed derived from the mem-
bers of the tribe, not, however, by a social contract,
but by a tacit consent.^

Thus government is seen to be, not a mere hu-
man organization, dependent on a contract or a
constitution framed for it, but a divine order.
God, who has set men in families, has ordered
that out of the family shall grow the larger com-
munity into which men are born as they are born
into the household. Thus, too, liberty is seen to
be not merely independence. In truth, independ-
ence does not exist. The child is dependent on
the parent, the youth on his schoolmates, the man
on his contemporaries, each age on the preceding

^ " Doubtless, from the beginning-, the power of the chief is in
part personal ; his greater strength, courage, or cunning enables
him in some degree to enforce his individual will. But, as the
evidence shows, his individual will is but a small factor, and the
authority he wields is proportionate to the degree in which he
expresses the will of the rest." Herbert Spencer, Political Insti-
tutions, § 466, p. 321.



CHRISTIANITY AND SOCIALISM. 119

age, every family on other families, every commu-
nity on other communities. Liberty is possible
only through society, and society is a condition of
interdependence. And the develoj)ment of free-
dom is at once a progress of dependence and of
liberty of action in such dependence. " When,"
says Professor Green, ^ " we measure the progress
of a society by its growth in freedom, we measure
it by the increasing development and exercise, on
the whole, of those powers of contributing to social
good with which we believe the members of the
society to be endowed, — in short, by the greater
power, on the part of the citizens as a body, to
make the most and best of themselves. Freedom,
in all the forms of doing what one will with one's
own, is valuable only as a means to an end. That
end is what I call freedom in the positive sense ;
in other words, the liberation of the powers of all
men, equally, for contributions to the common
good."

Three stasres in the evolution of g'overnment are
^ . . . .

easily traceable in history, — paternalism, inde-
pendence, fraternalism. In the first, one man, or
a class of men, is intrusted with the duty of caring
for the commonwealth, much as a father cares for
his household. In the second, government is re-
duced to a minimum ; no more authority is con-
ceded to the governing body than is necessary for
the protection of the individual. In the third, the

^ T. H. Green, Lecture on Liberal Legislation and Freedom
of Contract, Works, vol. iii. pp. 371, 372.



120 CHRISTIANITY AND SOCIAL PROBLEMS.

individuals combine and cooperate to do for their
common welfare all those things which can better
be done by cooperative and combined action than
by individual enterprise. On this third stage
democracy is now unmistakably entering.^

The same reaction which has produced a move-
ment toward fraternity in religion and toward fra-
ternity in politics is producing, and has produced,
a movement toward fraternity in industry. We
have definitely abandoned Jaissez-faire and the
Manchester School.^ It has no longer any place
in our industrial conceptions. It is sometiaies at-
tacked by men as though it were an existing thing.
It is not an existing thing. In 1802 the first fac-
tory legislation was introduced in England, — "the
greatest invention in the science of government in
modern times," says the Duke of Argyle. This
factory legislation undertook to regulate the rela-
tions between employer and employed, and from
that year it has gone steadily on in England and
in this country. The employment of children un-
der a certain age is prohibited ; the employment
of children in certain vocations is prohibited ; the
employment of women in certain vocations and cer-
tain hours is prohibited ; sanitary conditions are
required by law for the house and the factory.
Government has definitely, distinctly, and finally

1 See Harwooci, The Coming Democracy, p. 306 f.

2 See, for moral grounds of this abandonment, Martensen's
Ethics, vol. ii. p. i:58 ff. ; Huxley's Evolution and Ethics, p. 81 ff. ;
Kidd's Social Evolution throughout ; and John Stuart Mill as
quoted above.



CHRISTIANITY AND SOCIALISM. 121

declared that the relations between men in indus-
try cannot be left to the conflict of self-interest.
There must be, in some measure, government con-
trol exercised over them.^ From that declaration
we shall never, in any Anglo-Saxon community, go
back to the old pagan individualism.

While we have thus been exercising govern-
mental supervision over industrial relations, we
have been creating industrial organizations for the
better production of wealth. It is popular in cer-
tain quarters to denounce corporations. Some
corporations have acted in such a way that they
deserve denunciation ; so have some individuals.
But the corporation is a modern contrivance in the
interest of fellowship. It is a contrivance by which
many men can combine their brains and their purses
in a common enterprise. On the other hand, labor
also has framed its organizations. It is customary
in certain quarters to denounce trade unions. And
I must frankly confess that it sometimes requires
all my faith in the principle of the right of men
to associate themselves together for common ends,
to defend trade unions, when I see some of the
things which they have done and are doing in the
name of labor every day. But I remember his-
tory ; I know how in England the trade unions
have passed through the barbaric stage of organi-
zations for labor war into the present stage of

1 The best summary I have found of this movement, and the
ablest argument and protest against it, is in -4 Plea for Liberty,
with Introduction by Herbert Spencer. D. Appletou & Co.



122 CHRISTIANITY AND SOCIAL PROBLEMS.

organizations which, on the whole, are peaceful
and make for peace. ^ It is reasonable to believe
that our own country, following the example of
our most advanced neighbor, may also learn to lay



Online LibraryLyman AbbottChristianaity and social problems → online text (page 8 of 25)