William Simpson.

The man from Mars; his morals, politics and religion online

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cultivation, and, by a still more extended pursuit, a
necessity to the tranquility and enjoyment of your lives.


Filial and parental love from mere instincts have grown
among you to be the most gratifying of inclinations.
Sexual aflSnity, from its origin of brutal dersire, has been
transformed, in your higher circles, to a pure and tender
sentiment of disinterested regard. Not long ago your
lunatics were chained to stakes like beasts. Your infec-
ted were left to die upon the roadsides. Your infirm were
shut from sight, consumed with vermin among their rags.
You house, clothe, and care for all these now with almost
the solicitude that parents bestow upon children. If you
should submit yourselves now for a time to the presence
of these old inhumanities, and observe their disturbing
effects upon the happiness of your lives, it would be a
fair measurement of your progress toward the stationary

Supposing yourself to be one of an audience assembled
for the purpose of obtaining pleasure from a performance
on the stage, your delight would, in a large degree,
depend upon the manifestations of approval surrounding
you. Any expression of dissatisfaction would spoil your
enjoyment, no matter upon what it might be founded.
It might arise, for instance, from unfair opportunities of
view, or from the usurped privilege of some to obstruct

244 'THE ^^"^ FROM MARS.

the vision of others. Your inclinations, arising from no
higher motive than self interest, would lead you to assist
in bringing about that state of general satisfaction which
is indispensable to your own comfort and happiness.
This illustrates one of the motives which, in our stage of
development, impels us to arrange that, so far possible,
every individual shall enjoy equal privileges in society.
Happiness is simply not possible without it.

Your moralists might argue that to close and intimate
a sympathy with the misfortunes of others would keep
us so constantly unhappy as to make life unendurable.
In answer to this, you have only to consider that if you
separate from all your ills those which either directly or
remotely are brought upon you by your imperfect social
state, there are but few left besides death and its attendant
sorrows. And of these few entirely comprised under the
heads of sickness and accidents, there is a possibility of
their greater diminishment by better modes of life.

That you are slowly and gradually moving towards the
stationary condition, unmistakable evidence proves.
Material as well as spiritual indications confirm this
belief. You can easily observe that wealth in the hands
of the few is losing its opportunities for rapid increase.


In your oldest advanced regions it has already worked out
it resources to the extent of endeavoring to find abroad
occasions for profitable use. But for the monopoly of
land, which enables it to extract from industry an amount
for its services out of all proportion with its value else-
where, it would have been much further advanced
towards the stationary state.

One of the greatest obstacles opposing your approach
towards the perfect society is your propensity to theorize
and speculate upon matters which it is not given you to
know. We have a saying that he who gets his feet in
the air is lost. We mean by that to convey the idea, that
all speculation not founded on positive knowledge is so
utterly worthless, that any indulgence therein is useless
to society. The opinion is unchallenged among us, that
the inhabitants of the Earth are too prone to get their feet
in the air. And yet the very ease by which this misfor-
tune is accomplished among you is a proof of your good-
ness. Your inclination to virtue is your weak side of
approach, and all your inherent and intuitive charity,
which might during all these centuries have been exer-
cised upon yourselves, has been to a great extent wasted
upon your schemes of salvation, in which you have no


assurance whatever but the wild promises of imagination.
When you come fully to understand that happiness, true
prosperity, virtue, and even beauty are but synonyms
of truth, and that misery, crime, misfortune, and ugliness
are but other names for falsehood, you will no longer have
any dread or hesitation to search for that verity which
destroys old beliefs, even though that search melts into
air your most cherished traditions. You come to under-
stand after a while that a truth can disseminate nothing
but good ; and that a falsehood, no matter how venerable
with age, nor how respectable by adoption, can generate
little else than evil. Your creeds have attracted you and
plowed deep into your aflfections, because in them is
gathered from yourselves the divine sentiments of good-
ness, out of which they are all robed in a pretended
monopoly. Your virtues are brought into service within
their narrow limits, and your energies and substance
consumed in the work of enlarging their influence, while
the more fruitful material for your charities lies neglected
in the evils and miseries of your society.

The Earth is your dominion. Tread firmly upon it.
Remember it has been put into your keeping, and that
your people are entirely responsible for its social condition.


He who assists to improve that, serves the Deity better
than he who spends his life in genuflections and prayers.
When you look around among the wretched criminals
among you, punished and unpunished, and the poverty-
stricken, and the sad-eyed, neglected children ; see the
unsuppressed temptations to evil, the unrecognized virtue,
and the uneven opportunities for individual advancement,
you should bear in mind that all these are but evidences
of the violation of the trust imposed in you by the divine
intelligence. There is, perhaps, no spectacle upon the
Earth that inspires more pity among the inhabitants of
Mars, than the constant waste of your best parts in
submitting yourselves to the impositions of your seers,
who lead you away from your duties, under the theory
that the Earth is merely a battle ground and field of con-
quest for the perpetuation of their doctrines, all else upon
it being blank vanities. They have kept you away from
the true business of your lives, and have mesmerized you,
alternately terrifying and delighting you by unreal
fancies ; now exhibiting to you a paradise and at another
time a nightmare. They have involved you in a perpet-
ual shadow, discouraging you of all hopes of brightness
until your celestial birth. By exhibiting only your


grosser parts, and threatening the vengeance of an austere
and capricious god of their own imaginary creation, they
both degrade you and Delittle your conceptions of the
Deity. You could bend your faces upward with a better
sincerity, if, instead of following phantoms all these ages,
with your feet in the air, you could show a truer inter-
pretation of the divine purpose in establishing a happier
and more perfect dwelling together.



I RESIDE within a city of Mars which, in point of
population and grandeur, is one of the first on our planet.
In accordance with our custom of designating such places
with names of quality, it would be known in your lan-
guage as the city of Good Will. As it is the type of all
others, you are already informed of a few of its general
features. I will, however, give you some fuller descrip-
tion of our society and surroundings, in only the hasty
and imperfect manner which this opportunity affords.

With much the same feelings and inclinations as yours,
and with that love and cultivation of the beautiful which
we have pursued as an element of our religion, uninter-
rupted as with you by those delusions which destroy art,
we have advanced much beyond you in that direction.

It is to be noted, as a coincidence proving the unity of
all intelligence within the universe, that we have designed
an architecture not unlike that of your ancient Greece.
Our isolated exteriors, such as villas and country resi-
dences, bear a close resemblance to some of your ancient


Styles. Ill our cities we have been obliged to conform
to the condition of aerial navigation, which has greatly
restricted our elevated ornamentation, and forced upon us
a system of curves instead of angles in our projections.

One of the most notable differences between your
construction and ours is the material and form of our
roofs, which are uniformly of solid glass, and dome
shaped. The substance is laid on in a plastic state,
hardens in a short time, is purely transparent, and as
difficult to fracture as stone. The upper story of every
house becomes by this method the chief source of light
for its interior, and by ingeniously formed horizontal
curtains can be darkened at will. We believe this to be
one of the most important sanitary arrangements we
possess, and to which may be chiefly ascribed the health
and vigor of our bodies. In these bright upper apart-
ments we bathe ourselves in the sun, and enjoy the con-
stant bloom and fragrance of flowers.

By a natural adaption, these glass roofs have become
inseparably connected with our religious lives. Our
interest in the wonderful nightly exhibitions which they
permit is increased by the general knowledge we have
cultivated of the character and motions of the heavenly


bodies. As a consequence, there are but few among us
who cannot describe the paths and directions of the
planets ; and it is quite safe to say that a majority of our
people can compute the periods of opposition and con-
junction between them. No other exhibition so feeds
and stimulates our religious impulses, as the grand
display of divine power in the unceasing motions of the
spheres. We bring the spectacle within our households,
and dwell with it. It is the altar upon which we worship
the great unseen.

Each block of buildings is surmounted by a single roof
of the transparent character I have described. In this
way we have utilized all the space for dwelling or busi-
ness purposes, and prevented those unsightly back yards
which disfigure the cities of the Earth and lower their
sanitary condition. Usually there are no partition walls
except in the lower stories, and these lofty upper apart-
ments, especially if over dwellings, have their flattened
dome-shaped roofs supported by a series of columns and
arches artistically wrought and decorated, and their
interiors adorned with growing flower and statuary, so as
to furnish a delightful resort, convenient to the neighbor-
hood and open to all.


These extensive halls are a necessity to the social
character of our people. You may imagine how an inter-
course based on perfect equality, and with the paramount
idea of obtaining pleasure by bestowing it, would have
its enjoyments enlarged by the unrestricted and unse-
lected numbers participating. Music and dancing are
deUghts with us beyond your experience. We enjoy the
advantages of atmospheric conditions and a degree of
gravitating force which are peculiarly adapted to heighten
these enjoyments. Our voice tones, seldom without culti-
vation, acquire an energy and brilliancy in our atmos-
phere unknown to you. A combination of trained voices
with us is so vastly superior to instrumental music, that
the latter is not known except as a novelty. Since the
force of gravity is less with us our bodies are much
lighter than yours, and our motions are consequently
more airy and graceful. In movements like dancing
there is less muscular energy expended, and a greater
pleasure attained.

Under these vast transparent domes, looking out upon
the universe of planets and stars, we dance, and sing our
hymns of praise to the Deity, asking for nothing, but
uniting our voices in the rhythms of poetry and music in


a thanksgiving for the pleasures of life, and for that
guidance which has directed us clear of the deadly super-
stitions of our neighboring planet, and for that intelli-
gence which has led us to find our true religious duties in
exercising our better impulses within our own fields of

Over our business quarters these upper stories, less
ornate and well ventilated, serve the purposes of factories
and work shops, where the sun's rays, not so intense as
with you, owing to our greater distance from it, are let in
to brighten the hours of those who toil. Among these
locations of industry are conditions that would surprise
you. There is the indispensable anteroom beside the
entrance of each, where, enjoying the comfortable furni-
ture, may be found a number of operatives waiting for
the beginning of the three-hour shift. They are all on
terms of easy familiarity, yet among them may be found
the president of the grand council, who manages the
affairs of the city, the lecturer who presides at the temple,
and other prominent worthies mingled with the others
who have acheived no honors beyond the work bench.
The person who is most compUmented among the number
is the one who has just been« granted an» advance of one

254 '^^B ^-^N FROM MARS.

grade in the skill of his calling. He has attained what
would be an equivalent in your society to the honors of a
collegiate degree, with the very material difference in his
favor, that for years to come, and perhaps as long as he
lives, his income is permanently increased by an enhanced
value to his labor. No competition will ever, under our
system, render valueless this achievement of his.

Your degrees of learning are but empty honors
compared with this profitable distinction. You insure no
certain rewards for that acquirement of knowledge which
has won its parchment of approval, and the holder enjoys
only the slim advantage which his certificate secures.
His degree wins him no bread, and the honors of his
career rest uncertain, with all his struggles ahead. Our
workman, at each step of his advancement, increases his
income, under the assurance and protection of our indus-
trial methods, with the certainty and stability of a
government pension.

But while we have found it wise to honor and protect
manual skill, the physical strength of our people has for
many ages been a subject of general attention. Among
the productions of the Supreme Author which he is
engaged in perfecting and beautifying, the first in impor-


tauce on your planet is surely man himself, as a being
animal as well as mental. As an indolent, weak and
passive body is usually associated with a mind of the same
character, it is only by the cultivation of both together
that society improves. You have evidences enough of
the inseparable connection between mental and physical
energy, and yet your cultivation of the body has engaged
but little attention. It seems to us one of the most seri-
ous objections to your religious abstractions, that the
spirit of all of them tends to deny or belittle the great
service of healthy sinews and nerves in the progress of
social improvement.

You will find intellectual stagnation everywhere upon
the face of the Earth, where incentives to muscular action
are suppressed from whatever cause, and you know by
experience that the decay of mental vigor, by a release
from the necessity of bodily exercise, has obliged the
brawn and muscle of your age, in more than one instance,
to come to the front in the management of affairs.

Civilization, at a certain degree of its progress, is
expected to assume duties which until then, have been
faithfully performed by nature alone. Like a good
mother she has provided, in your primitive state, against


the degeneration of your bodies by the operation of her
universal law, the survival of the fittest. In your social
betterment you can reasonably be expected to provide for
yourselves some substitute to maintain that standard of
hardihood and strength which had formerly been kept up
by your primitive struggles for existence.

Your knowledge of the laws of heredity has enabled
you to improve upon the forms and quahties of all those
creatures which have been taken from their native wilds
to serve your uses ; and yet, with a fatal inconsistency,
you consign your own bodies to a carelessness of pro-
creation which totally ignores all well known methods of
improvement. The spectacle is common among you, of
the skilled breeder straining his knowledge to remedy
defects of form in the lower animals in his possession,
while he and his progeny exhibit, in their own bodies,
without concern or attention, the very same physical
infirmities which he had so successfully banished in his
brutes by parental selection.

The neglect of your opportunities in this direction is
more surprising, when it is considered how greatly you
are suffering from it ; for although the achievement of a
more general perfection of form and strength is invaluable

the; man from mars. 257

to you, as laying the foundation of a larger average of
mental power and activity, yet this is not more important
to your society than the easy and certain eradication by
judicious matings of the most persistent and fatal of your
diseases. It is appaling to estimate the sum of human
misery perpetually transmitted congenitally in diseased
tissues and functional defects.

This evil, which has prevailed among you until your
bodily ills are almost innumerable, you have been taught
to consider as an arrangement of the divine will, and you
rest yourselves helplessly in the belief that its endurance
without remedy is the penalty of life ; when, in fact, it is
perpetuated chiefly by that over-powering individual self-
ishness which makes no account of the general good
while gratifying sentiments of pleasure, or greed.

I have already drawn your observation to that infallible
test which marks the progress of social development —
the average willingness of attention and sacrifice of indi-
vidual interests to the common welfare. From our
achievements in that direction already described, you may
easily imagine that we have not neglected the opportunity
to improve and benefit society by the observance of some
of nature's simplest and most easily applied laws.


We are not embarassed as you would be by protests of
an infringement of personal liberty, because we have
arrived beyond that stage where law and its enforcement
are required. Official recommendation supported by a
united public opinion, without any penalty for non-com-
pliance except the general condemnation, is our only
resort in directing the conduct of our people. Under such
a system, any violation of individual rights is impossible.
It is enough in our society to determine that a measure is
for the common good, to secure its adoption without

Accordingly, it comes within the province of our
Government Health Department to direct, and in some
degree supervise, those marital engagements out of
which our numbers are so constantly replenished. This
important business is closely associated with measures
designed in other ways to promote our health, and may
be said to begin at the birth of every child. Each infant
is carefully examined by medical experts, and registered.
Every peculiarity or bodily defect is recorded, and rules
of management furnished, as remedies, if found neces-
sary. Every person, young or old, is required periodi-
cally to pass a like examination. The personal health

the; man prom mars. 259

register is open to all, and the bodily condition of every
inhabitant may be in that way ascertained. None fail to
avail themselves of information so greatly concerning
themselves. Incipient diseases are in a vast number of
cases remedied by this discovery of their unsuspected
presence, and the habits of life are often changed in time
to head off some latent malady, which in its early stages,
nothing but medical science could reveal.

The system establishes a public record of the physical
standing, either in lurking disease or deformity, of every
individual ; and as it is made the duty of our health
department to declare its judgment of approval in every
marriage contract, we have no transmitted disease or
deformities of body running through generations, and
multiplying the miseries of life, as you have. We have
long ago stamped out by this method three-fourths of the
diseases which are nourished by the habits of civilization.
By this means we have secured a race of men and women
so physically perfect as to cause existence to be accepted
as a grateful patrimony. You have interrogated nature
in her laws of development, and in her processes of modi-
fication both in forms and qualities of things, and with a
knowledge so acquired, you have cultivated a world of


animal and vegitable organisms to your better service.
We have done that, too ; but we have accompHshed in
that line something of incomparably more importance to
us, in advancing together by due cultivation and care our
animal as well as our intellectual selves.

You cannot fail to discover in this, one of the effects of
that striking divergence between our civilization and
yours, due to widely different interpretations of the divine
will. We look upon our planet with all its appurtenances
as a bequest which has been delivered into our keeping
for that assistance in progression so plainly the best and
most exalted business of our lives, and so unmistakably
pleasing to the Supreme Author that every degree of its
accomplishment is rewarded by signs of his favor. From
our better demonstrated spiritual belief, we derive the
inspiration to increase and bestow upon each other the
best things of life ; while you, under religious promptings
from the same high source, condemn yourselves to absti-
nence and austerity. You so misconceive the true
relations between spiritual and material forces, that
instead of regarding each as the nursery and builder-up
of the other, you have devised a theory which brings
them into antagonism as diverse influences ; the exercise


of material concerns, as you assume, tending to lead you
away from the divinity.

The effect of this mistaken view of life is plainly
to be seen in your society and surroundings. Your
material progression, deprived of the religious impulse
and enthusiasm, and depending wholly upon the lower
faculty of self-gain, advances by slow degrees, frequently
retrogresses, and is not secure of a total relapse under so
mercenary a moving power. Your forward movement,
instead of being compact and co-operative like ours, drags
along fitfully and laboriously, marshaled alone by a
struggling influence here and there, under the dead
weight of an indifferent and self absorbed multitude, and
in open conflict with a host of disturbed traditions.

Your doctrine of the absolute divorce of spiritual and
material interests, by wasting your best parts in the
service of the world-condemning deity of your imagina-
tion, and surrendering your temporal affairs to the sole
exercise of your lower sentiments and feelings, has spread
its dire effects, and may be traced in every phase of your
society. Out of it comes that singular disregard for each
other in all things except the spiritual, and that perverted
estimate of goodness, which has consigned your science


and learning with their influences, together with your
whole world of industry, to places where unassisted and
unencouraged they must work out their own doubtfully
admitted and tardy rewards ; while your best enthusiasm
and most active morality is led to waste among your
many unreasoning schemes of salvation.

What but this unwarranted dissociation of spirit and
matter, of the body and soul, of your physical and intel-
lectual parts, regarding one as the degrading yokemate of
the other instead of the counterpart and co-worker, has
taken all the heart out of your lives, hidden from you the
moral possibilities within your worldly reach, and reduced
the only existence you are so far called upon to improve
into a dead and useless hibernation of your divinest facul-
ties? What more readily excuses and defends your
indifference to the hard lines of human labor, and your
toleration of a system which dooms most of you to
perpetual dependence, than those mossgrown traditions
which, from their selected quarters among the supernatu-
ral and unseen, are not disturbed or interested by your
social wrongs, and which in truth find their best patron-

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Online LibraryWilliam SimpsonThe man from Mars; his morals, politics and religion → online text (page 13 of 14)