William Simpson.

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

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age and most profitable employment where most prevail
the miseries of life ? Just in the degree in which you are


already emancipated from these barren illusions, does
your most humane work in social progress appear.

Your inspirations of goodness come to you as they
come to us, without the necessity of a revelation. Their
encouragement is more faithfully secured by the benign
influence which rewards their adoption, than those written
codes among you v/hich assume, under doubtful motives,
their direction and control. As surely as all the forces of
nature may be traced to the heat of the sun, so your
impulses of virtue, your heroism of good deeds, and your
spiritual hopes, are conveyed to you in a germinal state
without any intercepting medium, with the first breath of
of your bodies ; to be improved, enlarged and harvested
for the purposes and uses of society.

You turn over the surface of the Earth and gather its
fruits, never doubting the superhuman forces in conjunc-
tion which reward your labor ; and yet your intellectual
tillage is left to take its chances among circumscribed
opportunities which no combined effort has attempted to
enlarge. Your progress cannot be otherwise than uncer-
tain and your governments will always be unstable in
their foundations under your system, which at its best
furnishes scarcely one disciplined mind in a hundred, and


the acquirements of that one, too, resulting only from a
spontaneous individual impulse, with, in most cases, no
higher motives than self-gain and advancement.

Your fields are not wanting in your attentions. You
bring profit to yourselves by the thorough tillage of
your acres. You multiply by your manipulation under
nature's hints the life-supporting and pleasure-giving
properties of the fruits and flowers of the Earth to the
extremest blossoming and abundance. And yet in such
a state of general crudity is your own divine essence of
reason and thought, that to this day no superstition is
too absurd, no sophistry too transparent, and no pre-
tended reform too ill digested to take root and flourish,
even to the disintegration of large patches of your social
life. So that while no fault can be found with your pro-
gress in the handling of the material agents under your
control, the opinion is irresistible, from our point of view,
that you are assiduously cultivating everything but



"We have, like you, wealth with its self-rewarding lux-
uries, but itr character is very diflferent. Its chosen
pleasures and inclinations are unlike yours. Acquisitive-
ness has no such controlling motives as with you. The
hope of social elevation, the anxiety to place the suffer-
ings of poverty beyond reach, and the love of power, are
not elements in our desire for gain. As an inducement
to the accumulation of wealth, all these motives are
supplanted by the one overweening passion for distin-
guishment which its possession affords, by contributing
to the well-being and happiness of others. The even
opportunities of life, and the entire absence of poverty as
you have it, with its miseries, do away with the most
fertile stimulus to individual greed among you ; and the
strong passion to hoard, which you call avarice, becomes
with us, from the singleness of its motives, one of the
noblest of our religious aspirations. Whatever luxuries
wealth provides for itself are shared by all ; and since
the nature and form of our society precludes the necessity


of alms-giving, charity, as you understand it, is unknown.
The general dissemination of self-pride and independence,
as much the result of our religious beliefs as of our politi-
cal and educational methods, secures us against those
evils of indiscriminate charity which are found to
paralyze industry everywhere upon the Earth, in its
present stage of development.

In our political system we have provided so well for the
even and sufficient reward of toil, that our animal require-
ments, so easily supplied, are never wanting in individual
cases to the extent of suffering. In the extremity of
invalidism or other misfortune, assistance comes, not in
the form of charity as you know it, but as the anxious
and sympathetic support of a family to one of its mem-
bers in distress. The field of benevolence in wealth is,
therefore, entirely within the province of education and
art ; which in accordance with our religious aspirations
and beliefs, takes the same form in their furtherance of
the purposes of the Deity as j^our devotional enterprises
of promulgating your religious faiths.

Our rich contribute largely from their substance to the
purposes of education, with a philanthropy that is greatly
intensified by the religious enthusiasm gratified by the


act ; but they do not build nor contribute to our temples
of worship as yours do, since the attendance upon these
is unsolicited and voluntary, and a mere pleasureable
gratification of our spiritual hopes and aspirations.
Unattended by saving forms and conditions, as with you,
the worship within our temples is not considered of conse-
quence to our spiritual welfare. These religious centers,
unlike yours, assume no power to condone or compromise
with evil. No burdened, unclean conscience comes to
them with the hope of absolution, to return again laden
with its misdeeds for another purging. No wholesale
peculator brings a portion of his evil gains as an atone-
ment for the inflicted miseries of his avaricious career.
There is nothing whatever within our temples or sur-
rounding them, but the peace and self conscious satifac-
tion of the divine co-operation in our efforts to cultivate
ourselves, and the praise and glory of our own success
forms the spirit of our worship.

Our society being without exclusiveness, and the osten-
tation of richess a thing unknown, there is no ambition
to get beyond the general fare in dwellings. The whole
city block, surmounted by its one continuous roof, may
be either a single or a number of dwellings, to accord


with the incomes of its occupants. Under our land system
the cost of rent is such a small item in the living expen-
ses, that all are enabled to share alike in their housings,
and to equally enjoy the benefit of our wholesome sani-
tary provisions. No one amongst us dwells in a hovel.
We labor that the surroundings of all shall be uniformly
pleasant and comfortable. With us the suspicion of
unseen misery is enough to disturb the pleasures of life.
Besides the unpleasant suggestions of discomfit which a
rough and incommodious dwelling would arouse, it would
be considered by us a painful violation of taste, and a
sacrifice of the opportunities of art.

Consequently within the limits of our cities you will
not find any external distinction among our dwelling
places, to denote the financial standing of their occupants.
But as a whole block becomes occasionally occupied by a
single family, whose large fortune enables them to enjoy
its magnificent proportions, there is not wanting within
those luxuries of wealth urged by the prevailing tastes.
The establishment becomes the pride and pleasure of its
locality. In conformity with all other of the city's
blocks, it has three loftj'- stories. The lower one on each
of its facades consists of a series of Corinthian columns


with highly wrought capitals, resting upon which, and
forming the second story elevation, are a line of arches,
supporting the flush outer walls of the story above.
This story, which is abundantly lighted by its transparent
roof, has its exterior surface decorated in bas relief with
architraves and cornices designed in our elaborate styles.
Every block has an arched and vestibuled main entrance
at each of its four corners, over which there rises a tower
containing a powerful electric light, illuminating at night
the interior as well as the surrounding streets. As our
thoroughfares which radiate from the city's center are
straight, and better adapted for business and the indus-
tries, they are devoted to these purposes. Consequently,
on the circular or concentric streets are located most of
our dwellings ; the choicest of which, as to location, are
those fronting the parks, which, as I have already given
j'ou to understand, circumscribe at intervals every neigh-
borhood of the city. It is, then, in these convex or
concave fronts, standing on opposite lines of the park
belt, that the abodes of wealth are mostly to be found.

You w^ould discover the whole of one of these buildings,
except its middle story, devoted to the use of the public,
and containing on its first floor a number of class rooms


assigned to a system of teaching to which your kinder-
gartens bear some similarity, and a few others in which
the scholars have advanced to a higher grade. The
character of the instruction would be indicated by the
appliances and implements of industry everywhere to be
seen, the busy use of them at intervals by the classes,
and the pride and emulation of the scholars, in their
struggling efforts toward skill in their handling. In
another room you would find a smaller class, the special
proteges of the owner, composed of a few, who, by the
early manifestations of an unusual promise, were being
assisted in their pursuance of some branch of science or art.

Outside of this department of instruction you would
find an extensive library, with its reading room attach-
ments ingeniously arranged for convenience, and a large
apartment, usually in the center of the building, well
lighted from the roof, in which was collected the art
treasures, and upon which was lavished by its owner that
fondness for the beautiful which becomes him as a mem-
ber of our society.

The upper story is a public assembly chamber for occa-
sions of rejoicing and pleasure, and is adorned with stat-
uary, fountains, and blooming plants. This grand apart-


ment is so tempered in warmth by the cheap appliances
of our municipality, that it becomes a winter garden
during our long, inclement seasons, when the parks are
sere and icy.

One of these establishments would suggest to your
view an exaggerated estimate of its founder's wealth. In
most cases his income extends but little beyond the sup-
port of this enterprise. In his dream of wealth he has
achieved the hope of his ambition, and he stops there.

Your passion of hoarding beyond a competency, with-
out purpose except the lust for hoarding, is the offshoot
of that instinct in the carnivorous brute, which impels
him to refuse to his hungry fellows any portion of his
captured carcass, one-tenth of which he cannot consume.
This low and brute-born heritage of greed only fails of a
better suppression in your society, because you have
neglected to entirely remedy, by your political methods,
the generally precarious way in which your animal and
intellectual wants are supplied. Suffering now follows
just as close to a miss in your struggles for sustenance,
as it did when your skin-clad hunters failed of their

Your passion to get and hold is intensified and brutal-


ized in its lack of regard for the consequences to others,
by the large number of artificial necessities only attainable
in your society by a considerable accumulation of money,
the want of which implies degredation, and a sacrifice of
many things that have grown to be dear to life. Every
addition to the savings removes to a greater distance that
dreaded condition of your civilization, known as poverty.
The insatiable character of the hoarding is not unlike
the motive of overcaution in a wanderer, who, terrorized
by the appearance of a dreaded animal in his path,
increases his distance by flight far beyond all possible
approach of the dangerous presence.

Your breathless pursuit of wealth, beyond all reason-
able limit of obtaining the objects of desire, is induced
also by the remarkable opportunities its possession affords
to appropriate the earnings of industry. The capacity of
your wealth to absorb and control the fruits of toil exists
in a geometrical ratio of increase with the greater
wealth employed, and the taste of power once felt is
seldom appeased, but increases with every money addi-
tion. Under your favorable laws, it may extend to the
privilege of a single individual exacting the whole surplus
earnings of an army of busy workers.


Through centuries of legislation and usuage you have
established various processes, by which wealth is enabled
to extract an undue portion of the earnings of industry.
Among these processes may be named rates of interest
on money graded to the necessities of borrowers, rents
gauged by the ability of tenants to pay, monopoly sup-
plies with prices fixed just below the point of compelled
abstinence, variations in the value of mediums of
exchange, with other unsuppressed agencies promoting
frequent change of values for the opportunites of capital
and the distress of labor ; stupendous aggregations of
wealth reversing the laws of economy by advancing the
price of necessities on the one hand and depressing the
wages of labor on the other ; and more successful than
all, a system of land proprietorship which permits holders
of the Karth's surface, in addition to their privilege of
exacting a large portion of the profits of industry in rent,
a further right to pocket, in the form of appreciated
values of their land, an unearned share of the collective
fruits of the industries which surround them.

Our divergent views of existence are exemplified in the
care we have taken to provide for an evener division of
the products of industry. With us, property is the

274 "^^^ '^^'^ FROM MARS.

means, and not the end, be5'ond which there are any
number of attainments in life incomparably more desire-
able and beneficial to society, and our legislation has been
directed chiefly to the care and cultivation of these. The
great aim of our government has been to provide for the
well-being of persons, while it may be said of yours that
the most attention has been devoted to the welfare of
property ; by which is meant its protection and increase,
regardless of the manner of its distribution, or the doubt-
ful methods of its extraction from the energies of labor.
In the pursuit of this policy you are only perpetuating,
without much change, your primitive conditions, when
the strong arm gathered the most of the wealth. Your
early born instincts do not seem sufficiently evolutionized
to co-operate in any undertaking which denies opportu-
nities of the strong over the weak ; and the unhappy
consequence is a society so mercenary that the general
estimate among you is not from any quality which indi-
cates a nearness to the Deity, but principally from the
cool numerical calculations of property attachments.

The unity of our spiritual and temporal interests
makes it necessary that every government act shall be a
religious one. The spirit of kindness, and charity to all


which is the only deserving part of your religions, we
have taken as the foundation of all our public acts, and
have made it the cornerstone of government itself. Our
legislation, if the mere assent to measures recommended
can be called by that name, considers first the welfare of
persons comprising the whole, subservient to which every
possible interest must take its place. And the welfare of
persons, in our politico-religious point of view, is depen-
dent upon the proper and equitable rewards of industry ;
their equal opportunities of acquiring knowledge ; an
encouragement of their morality by a recognition of their
\drtues, making it the necessary stepping-stone to their
advancement ; and the sweeping away of every social
form which establishes a sense of inferiority, destroys the
pride of self, and institutes that feeling of degradation
which is the most prolific source of evil in society.

It is easy to note your tendency in these directions.
The barbaric institution of force and its concomitant of
fear, as agencies in the management and control of men,
is gradually being eliminated from all your progressive
governments, and the better methods of assent and co-op-
eration are getting in their salutary work of emancipation.
Knowledge is spreading itself among you — no longer a


dessert only upon a few favored tables, but a chief dish
under the newly acquired appetites of the many. The
glamour of your wealth and the impressiveness of your
religion are losing their reverential respect, with the
focussed light directed upon their doubtful origins. You
have inaugurated the beginning of a new faith, with
better spiritual foundations, not comdemning the world
and its society, but loving it, following in the footsteps
of the divine presence within its limits, taking a hand
in its affairs, and directing them towards the better
possibilities in view.

Ah, my brother, the coming of your Messiah was both
more and less than you have imagined. The era of new
and better things in social development is preceded by the
gradual decay of old convictions, which have served their
time and are no longer useful, except in their place within
the catalogue of traditions to mark the progress of thought.

Society assumes its beliefs under an impulse of progres-
sion, as much controlled by evolutionary laws as the
organic substances of the Earth. No one can teach the
world. With a free exercise of its intellectual faculty, it
teaches itself. The power of an idea, among the moral
forces, is in its corresponding with a proper stage of


development to receive it. A solitary thought is useless,
as a moral agent, without its already existing half-formed
figments scattered about in society. Its power to move
lies in the coalescence of its parts. Ideas and beliefs
have been adopted at different stages of your civilization,
and have served as great motors to progress, which, ages
before, were enunciated without impression. Society rids
itself of its rudimentary impressions and beliefs, in much
the same manner that an animial, under changing envi-
ronments, sheds its old organs and develops new ones.
Every new belief affecting society is subservient to it,
and is only adopted slowly and by degrees. If it be a
truth making its way, its final installation is marked by
an unquestioned acquiescence and an undisturbed
tranquility. If an error, agitation and unrest mark the
whole period of its accession.

The coming of your Messiah was more than you have
supposed, because grander and more imposing than its
assumed supernaturalisms was its enthronement of two
central ideas. One was the adoption of the sentiment of
brotherhood as a means of adjusting the relations of men
with each other, and the other was the inauguration of
spiritual hope as a guide in the actions of life. Out of


this beginning has come all that is good in your social
progress. The general acceptance of these ideas, as
agencies in your civilization, began its work by weaken-
ing the old society, and it finally destroyed it by extin-
guishing the bands of physical force which held it
together. The cultivation of these inspirational beliefs
in their purity, as they were bestowed upon you by the
divine intelligence, would have soon brought to you the
same peace and good will that they have shed upon the
inhabitants of Mars ; but you were not to be indulged so
soon in this happy offering. The few who had been
dominating the many for ages, appropriating their earn-
ings, and even sacrificing their lives, in a lust for power
and wealth, were not to let escape them so fine an oppor-
tunity to hold the simple-minded by a new agency, ten-
fold more subjugating than the old method of coercion
by force. The religious superstition of the age, a mere
diversion for the untaught multitude, inert and unprom-
ising, was vitalized by the infusion of these new, humane
and spiritual impulses; and, with many added ingeniously
contrived supernaturalisms, and an attractive moral code,
it was built up into a system and organized into a society
which has borne its heavy weight upon your progress,


and spread its dominion more successfully than the war-
like legions it supplanted. It has accomplished no good
which is not entirely due to the irresistible expansion of
the truths it appropriated at its inception out of nature's
evolutionary process of social development, viz., the
regard for one another, as a guide in all the actions of
life, and that hope eternal which spiritualizes and elevates
our existence.

The coming of your Messiah was less than you have
believed, because you have mistaken a personality, in
which the genius of advanced and salutary doctrines
manifested itself, for a part and presence of the Deity him-
self. As the promulgation of thoughts that were con-
ceived under the inspiration and pressure of a natural
force in the process of social development is less than the
awful presence and verbal communication of the Deity,
so, in the same degree, was the coming of your Messiah

But you will have a second coming, my brother,
unperverted by the craft of your seers, and uncontamin-
ated with the superstitions of a crude society like the first.
It will be of you and a part of you, raising you up to a
higher esteem of yourselves, glorifying you as the progen-


itors of all good, under a divine and irresistible law of better-
ment. It will relieve you of the evil thoughts that have
condemned and degraded you. The new hope, like a
newly discovered strength, will push out in all directions,
in the exercise of its salutary work. Instead of discourse
and exhortation to the lowly and down trodden, with
promises as impossible of denial as of verification,
it will lift them upon their feet by the strong hand of a
better social method. I^ike the first coming, its symbolic
picture will be carved into monuments, reproduced in all
the departments of art, and cherished as the chief remin-
der of your duties and obligations to the Deity. It will
be no symbol of anguish and sorrow, like the first, but
in place of it the divine figure of a strong man


brother, you will have a s-e-c-o-n-d c-o-m —

What is all this? I raise myself upon my couch
The sun is an hour up. Through my window I see an


enquiring group, marvelling at my tardiness. My cows
linger for their milking, and utter their complaints in a
gentle lowing. My pet deer stand with their large
wondering eyes fixed upon me, and the appearance of my
face at the pane has drawn toward me my whole restless
and scramblinu flock of poultry, impatient for their morn-
ing feed. I look toward the easy chair and it is empty.
My celestial visitor has departed.

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