Thursday, May 30, 2013

Edward Bellamy called his own book propaganda

Edward Bellamy, author of the book "Looking Backward: 2000-1887" (text and audio) wrote the following in an essay of his titled "Progress of Nationalism in the United States":
A book of propaganda like "Looking Backward" produces an effect precisely in proportion as it is a bare anticipation in expression of what everybody was thinking and about to say. Indeed, the seeming paradox might almost be defended that in proportion as a book is effective it is unnecessary. The particular service of the book in question was to interpret the purport and direction of the conditions and forces which were tending towards Nationalism, and thereby to make the evolution henceforth a conscious, and not, as previously, an unconscious, one. The Nationalist who accepts that interpretation no longer sees in the unprecedented economical disturbances of the day a mere chaos of conflicting forces, but rather a stream of tendencies through ever larger experiments in concentration and combination towards the ultimate complete integration of the nation for economic as well as for political purposes. The sentiment of faith and good cheer born of this clear vision of the glorious end, and of the conviction that the seemingly contradictory and dangerous phenomena of the times are necessary means to that end, distinguishes the temper of the Nationalist as compared with that of other schools of reformers.

This is significant because at the time, Looking Backward was a best-selling novel:

Bellamy published Looking Backward, a utopian novel that spawned some 165 "Bellamy Clubs" throughout the United States devoted to consideration of its ideas. Although most people in the early twenty-first century have never heard of Bellamy, his influence in his time is difficult to overstate. Looking backward was one of the best-selling books at the turn of the century, third only to Ben-Hur and Uncle Tom's Cabin.

What Bellamy's words highlight, is that his book did exactly what it was supposed to do. Make socialism "mainstream" to the American people by calling it a different name: Nationalism.

Monday, May 27, 2013

The "New Freedom" and the Courts, by Theodore Roosevelt

The "New Freedom" and the Courts (page 544)

"Some ten months ago the Progressive party at its first national convention, promulgated a platform of principles which I verily believe that lovers of clean and decent politics, that believers in sound and enlightened statesmanship and upholders of social and industrial justice, will in the future recognize as one of the great documents in American political history. In that document we laid down certain principles the truth of which and the need for the application of which have been almost startlingly shown by events that have occurred since election. We declared, for instance, in favor of the National Government's undertaking on a gigantic scale the work of harnessing the rivers and controlling the floods throughout the Mississippi basin, using for that purpose the outfit that has been used in building the Panama Canal. The floods of last spring, the untold havoc they wrought from Ohio to Louisiana, surely emphasize the need of the demand the Progressives then made. We Americans are sometimes a short-sighted and forgetful people, and it will be a dreadful thing if we now forget the lesson thus taught and let Congress proceed on the old familiar "pork-barrel" theory of dealing with our river systems, a theory almost completely lacking in good results and fraught with incalculable waste, extravagance, and political trickery.

In the same way, the demand that the Progressive party made for national regulation of corporations and combinations so as to favor them in doing legitimate business and at the same time to insure their doing justice to their rivals, to their customers, and to their employees, has been emphasized by what has occurred in the West Virginia bituminous coal fields. The utter futility of the plan of action, or rather non-action, advocated in both the Republican and Democratic platforms last year, and christened by President Wilson with magniloquent vagueness the "New Freedom," has been strikingly shown by what has thus occurred in West Virginia. The worth of any such phrase as this of our scholarly and well-intentioned President lies in its interpretation. A careful study of the articles that have appeared by President Wilson dealing with this subject since he was President has left us some what puzzled as to what he really does mean; but of course I assume that there must be meaning, and if this assumption is warranted, then the "New Freedom" means nothing whatever but the old license translated into terms of pleasant rhetoric. The "New Freedom" is nothing whatever but the right of the strong to prey on the weak, of the big men to crush down the little men, and to shield their iniquity beneath the cry that they are exercising freedom. The "New Freedom" when practically applied turns out to be that old kind of dreadful freedom which leaves the unscrupulous and powerful free to make slaves of the feeble. There is but one way to interfere with this freedom to inflict slavery on others, and that is by invoking the supervisory, the regulatory, the controlling, and directing power of the government precisely as the Progressives last year demanded in their platform, and as I and those like me demanded in our speeches. Every honest and law-abiding business man when once he realizes what the situation actually is will welcome our proposals; and for the wage-worker and the small man in business, the only hope of permanent relief comes through our program.

It is vital to remember always that in dealing with a great wrong what is necessary is to do away with the conditions that create the wrong. In West Virginia it was not the men responsible for putting a stop to rioting and lawlessness who were to blame; it was their sworn duty to put a stop to rioting and lawlessness, and if this could only be done by the establishment of martial law, then martial law had to be established. The men responsible for government had to face the evil conditions created by the extremists of both sides in the absence of thoroughgoing governmental regulation and control. They had to face the greed and avarice of capital at its worst and arrayed over against it a spirit of revolt, proper in itself, but which, alas i too often developed into a murderous and violent anarchy. The government should not content itself merely with restoring law and order; although this is the essential first step, it is only the first step; and when law and order have been obtained a system of fair play must be established or the evil will return with increasing violence. What is needed is the thorough rooting out of the conditions which brought about the dreadful state of affairs in the West Virginia bituminous fields.

The basis of the whole trouble is the fact that under the notions of unlimited competition, which is what the " New Freedom " in practice amounts to, the bituminous-coal mine business is competing to death. In that region we see in actual operation the ever-competitive conditions to which the advocates of the "New Freedom" would have us return under the impression that they offer a panacea for all our ills. The "New Freedom" has actually obtained in the West Virginia coal-fields, with the result that there is little money in it for the operators, that the business is conducted with extreme wastefulness, that it is very dangerous, and that the main source of profit left the mine-owner is what he can squeeze out of his laborers, so that he has exploited them in every way ranging from unjustifiable injunctions issued by judges in the interest of unscrupulous capitalists to the "pluck-me" stores of the capitalists themselves. The worst injunctions, so far as my remembrance goes, in the whole history of the United States have been granted in West Virginia. Ten years ago some of the injunctions then granted by Judge Jackson read as the veriest travesty upon justice. Under the pressure of an unenlightened capitalistic opinion, the West Virginian courts have rendered decisions-in strict accordance with the principles of the "New Freedom"- which themselves serve as the most striking object-lessons of the need of the wide-spread application of Progressive principles.

In the district where the rioting has occurred the employing operators have not only discriminated in utterly unjust and antisocial fashion against labor-unions, but have endeavored to keep the miners in a state of practical serfage by the use of the company stores. A company store is a store run by the employers of the wage-workers at which the wage-workers are required by direct or indirect pressure to make their purchases, paying them in part or in whole by orders upon these stores. Every man acquainted with the conditions of labor where they are worst and most degrading, knows that this type of company store is one of the most effective of all agencies in the work of degradation.

This fact has been recognized and the practice forbidden in most civilized countries, in England, for instance, again and again. Indeed in England legislation was passed forbidding this practice more than seventy years ago ! and yet now we in America, we who on the Fourth of July are fond of claiming to be in the forefront of progress, actually permit the continuance of the intolerable practices which have passed out of the memory of the oldest man in England. The West Virginia legislature did its duty by passing laws requiring the cash payment of wages, and prohibiting persons and corporations engaged in mining and manufacture from selling any merchandise or supplies from stores to their employees at a greater percentage of profit than to outsiders. These laws were contested in the courts as unconstitutional. Half of the judges declared that they were constitutional, and were in the interests not only of justice but of domestic peace; and I think all minds not smothered in legalism will agree with them. But as a whole the West Virginia court has repudiated the principle of justice upon which these laws were based, and has declared that they were ineffective, as in contravention of the Constitution. The court explicitly states that a contract for labor is property, thereby putting the life-blood of men, women, and V children on a level with the commodities they produce, and declares for that form of the "New Freedom" which invokes the Constitution in order to forbid any interference with those evil and dreadful methods of buying and selling property and contracting in respect thereto which ruin the wage-worker. The mining companies have made enormous profits from their employees through this store-order business; and, by the way, the Progressive party everywhere should emphatically take ground against it and in favor of the cash-payment system and in favor moreover of having that system adopted notwithstanding the opinion of any reactionary court in reference thereto.

The study of the West Virginia cases shows the imperative need of introducing as speedily as possible that plank of the Progressive platform which will make the people really and not merely nominally, the sovereign power as regards the exercise of the most vital of the functions of sovereign power, the function of deciding what the laws, and above all the fundamental law which we call the Constitution, shall be in matters of social and industrial justice. If the people are not sovereign over their own officials, then we do not live in a real democracy; for a government based on the divine right of irresponsible judges, no matter how learned and well-meaning, is as flat a negation of popular rule and democracy as is a system based on the divine right of kings. In 33 West Virginia 179 and 188, the court explicitly repudiated the notion that the miners are entitled to be paid in cash or can by law be secured such a right, or that the mine-owners can be prohibited by law from selling to the laborers at a higher price than to outsiders. The court stated that these laws represented "unjust interference with private contracts and business," and that they were an "insulting attempt to put the laborer under legislative tutelage," which was "degrading to his manhood" and "suppressive of his rights as a citizen of the United States." In the State v. Mack Mfg. Co., Judge Hervery used the following language:

"In that drift toward paternalism, which has so largely manifested itself in the legislation of the various States in recent years, the state has been frequently called upon to interfere on these matters which we have been taught to believe might be safely left to the care of the parties immediately interested. . . . My conclusion is that the laborer has the constitutional right in the language of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania to sell his labor for what he thinks best, whether money or goods, just as his employer may sell coal, and any and every law that proposes to prevent him from doing so is an infringement of his constitutional privileges, and consequently void. (Citing Godchild v. Weigman, 113 Pa., St., Rep., 431.) I am of the opinion that the first section of the act is unconstitutional."

These opinions put the case of the "New Freedom" concisely. They say that the laborer has the freedom, or as they phrase it the "right" to sell his labor as he thinks best, and that any law controlling this right is unconstitutional. Literally and exactly this decision stands on a par with one which in the name of freedom should guarantee the laborer the right to sell himself into slavery. It represents nothing whatever but the effort, the successful effort, to suppress the workers' end of an economic controversy by denying him just law; and in actual practice this has been supplemented in West Virginia by the issuance of oppressive injunctions against the laborer. Finally when the result was an outburst of wild violence, so that there practically remained no law, no constitution, no court, the authorities were forced to grapple with the actual need of things by instituting martial law. Judging from the letters published by Father Collins, a priest whose knowledge of the situation and devotion to the cause of labor seem to be unquestioned, it was necessary to declare martial law, and the representatives of the power of the State did an essential work in keeping and restoring order. But once order has been restored it is even more essential that the governmental authorities shall resolutely devote themselves to the destruction of the bitterly unjust conditions which were responsible for causing the anarchy.

I wish I could make the men of property in this country, the big business men in New York, in Boston, in Providence, throughout our country, understand that in fighting such conditions as these in the bituminous-coal fields, and in fighting such court decisions as those which I have quoted, I am fighting against anarchy, against the Socialism of the I. W. W., and in favor of law and order and for property. As I said at the outset, I believe that one of the chief causes of the trouble in West Virginia has been the insistence upon unregulated cutthroat competition, the refusal to allow combination for good purposes, and the failure to exercise thoroughgoing governmental control alike over separate individuals and corporations and over the combinations that are legal and permissible. In dealing with big corporations, as in dealing with all business, it is an absolute necessity for us to abandon the utter folly of discriminating against them on the ground of size instead of on the ground of conduct. Combinations may exist for a good purpose just as they may exist for a bad purpose, whether among business men, among farmers, among laborers; and as regards all of them our aim should be effectively to suppress combinations that work evil, and also to favor those that do well, while nevertheless exercising over them such thoroughgoing control as to enable us to be sure that that they in very fact do well, alike to competitors, to wage-workers, and to the general public. If a corporation or a combination makes for efficiency we favor it, providing the benefits are shared with reasonable equality among the employers and capitalists, the workers and the general public. If, however, the so-called efficiency represents merely profits for the employer obtained by exploiting the workmen or mistreating his rivals, or swindling the general public, then our desire is not merely to stop the practices but to punish those who take part in them.

It is our aim to help legitimate business. We wish to see the business man prosper and make money, for unless he does prosper and make money he can neither permanently pay good wages to his employees nor permanently render good service to the public. Therefore, on grounds not only of abstract morality but of self-interest, we wish to favor the business man and see him succeed. We wish to give him laws under which there will be a reasonable administrative governmental body to which he can appeal to find out just what he can and what he cannot do; laws which will encourage him in the use of the great modern business principles of combination and co-operation, and which by the creation of a proper administrative body will exercise such supervision and control over him as will guarantee that there will be no stock-watering or other devices of overcapitalization for which the honest investors and wage-workers alike have to pay, that there will be no unfair and discriminatory practices against rivals, no swindling of the general public, and no exploitation of wage-workers.

Our proposal is to put the government, acting for the general public, in such shape that it will not ask justice as a favor but demand it as a right which it is ready and able to enforce. We propose to use the power of the government to help the business community prosper by helping the honest business man in all honest and proper ways to make his business successful. We also propose to use it to protect the whole public against dishonest business men and to save the wage-worker from such cruel exploitation as has been practised on him in West Virginia by certain mine owners working with certain judges as their allies. These men are themselves forbidden by the law to take steps toward securing the highest efficiency and yet are permitted by the law to make money out of the cruel degradation of those whose lives are spent in toil.

It is idle to tell us that the Constitution forbids our having such laws or to quote opinions of the courts which forbid our right to have them. The Constitution belongs to the people and not the people to the Constitution ; and the courts are the servants of the people precisely as is true of all other public servants, legislative and executive alike. It is for the people and not the courts to say whether we shall have such laws in the interest of social and industrial justice, acts providing for cash payment in wages and abolishing these company stores. And we Progressives propose not only to have them, but to provide the machinery which will render it possible without ruinous and heart-breaking delay to have them put on the statute-books as living, as vital laws. In the words of Abraham Lincoln, we propose that the people shall control both the legislatures and the courts, not to pervert the Constitution, but to overthrow those who themselves pervert the Constitution into an instrument for perpetuating injustice, instead of making it what it must and shall be made, the most effective of all possible means for securing to the people of the whole country the right everywhere to create conditions which will tend for the uplift of the ordinary, the average men, women, and children of the United States.

Normalcy Bias or Availability Heuristic?

I recently wrote a posting in which I got the title wrong.

I have a fairly strong distrust of Wikipedia,(Wikipedia, Normalcy Bias) so with search options being limited with regard to the normalcy bias I didn't look into it nearly as much as I should have. The proper term I should have used is "Availability Heuristic", which deals with commonality and your surroundings. I have decided to leave the posting alone as it was originally written and post this, instead of pushing an edit or correction somewhere where nobody would notice, as so many newspapers today do.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

If I were a journalist and wanted to disarm the people, here's how I would accomplish my goal

In chapter 1 of the book "Public Opinion", Walter Lippmann writes the following: (page 40)
The wireless constantly used the statistics of the intelligence bureau at Verdun, whose chief, Major Cointet, had invented a method of calculating German losses which obviously produced marvelous results. Every fortnight the figures increased a hundred thousand or so. These 300,000, 400,000, 500,000 casualties put out, divided into daily, weekly, monthly losses, repeated in all sorts of ways, produced a striking effect. Our formulae varied little: 'according to prisoners the German losses in the course of the attack have been considerable' ... 'it is proved that the losses' ... 'the enemy exhausted by his losses has not renewed the attack' ... Certain formulae, later abandoned because they had been overworked, were used each day: 'under our artillery and machine gun fire' ... 'mowed down by our artillery and machine gun fire' ... Constant repetition impressed the neutrals and Germany itself, and helped to create a bloody background in spite of the denials from Nauen (the German wireless) which tried vainly to destroy the bad effect of this perpetual repetition."

If I wanted to disarm the people as a journalist, I would simply use something that's written in the Journalist's playbook(above), that is, the words of the Father of Modern Journalism. Walter Lippmann. Here's what I would do:

Day 1: Child shot by gun....

Day 2: Mother loses child to gun violence....

Day 3: Student killed by another student with a gun....

Day 4: Gun violence rages in Chicago....

Day 5: Community mourns after another senseless gun crime....

Day 6: Police officer shot in the line of duty....

Day 7: Child shoots mother on accident....

Day 8: Father facing charges after child finds gun....

Day 9: Three dead in gun battle....

Day 10: Double shooting shocks community....

This is military grade propaganda that's being used upon the American people. A relentless, never ending drum beat. Stories like this are routinely heightened into national stories. But in order for this to work, stories about how mothers save themselves and their childrens' lives, prevent their own rapes, store owners who prevent theft and loss of life because they are armed; can never be talked about nationally. By having a single, repetitive storyline, that everybody is on board with putting out there, it allows for the synthetic creation of stereotypes in real-time. As Lippmann explains about the formula of "stereotypes":

It is a problem of provoking feeling in the reader, of inducing him to feel a sense of personal identification with the stories he is reading. News which does not offer this opportunity to introduce oneself into the struggle which it depicts cannot appeal to a wide audience. The audience must participate in the news, much as it participates in the drama, by personal identification. Just as everyone holds his breath when the heroine is in danger, as he helps Babe Ruth swing his bat, so in subtler form the reader enters into the news. In order that he shall enter he must find a familiar foothold in the story, and this is supplied to him by the use of stereotypes. They tell him that if an association of plumbers is called a "combine" it is appropriate to develop his hostility; if it is called a "group of leading business men" the cue is for a favorable reaction.

It is in a combination of these elements that the power to create opinion resides. Editorials reinforce.

It fits, perfectly. In addition,heroes like Joel Myrick must be forgotten, as it doesn't fit the narrative that was laid down a century ago.

There's also the fallacious cause and effect, supplied by stereotype. "If the government disarms the people, then less children will be killed". This general mantra is one that's out there, Pierce Morgan is a proponent of it. All of this is geared toward what Aldous Huxley stated as "to get people to love their servitude". There is no more effectual way to enslave the people than to disarm them, and for a very long time now there has been a concerted effort to convince people that the best thing they can do is to willingly disarm. It's for the children.

The book Public Opinion was written in 1922, and the words contained here can help us fight the journalists.

The Normalcy Bias: What is it and how are progressives using it against us?

There is a fascinating piece of audio out there from Aldous Huxley titled "The Ultimate Revolution". This lecture is a lot like the book Philip Dru, in the sense that a lot of conspiracy theorist websites have had a bonanza with it, which is sad commentary. I will say that a large 70-90% of what he's saying you have to throw out the window because it's nonsense, but in the first few minutes of the lecture he says something that is incredibly profound:
Well now in regard to this problem of the ultimate revolution, this has been very well summed up by the moderator. In the past we can say that all revolutions have essentially aimed at changing the environment in order to change the individual. I mean there’s been the political revolution, the economic revolution, in the time of the reformation, the religious revolution. All these aimed, not directly at the human being, but at his surroundings. So that by modifying the surroundings you did achieve, did one remove the effect of the human being.

That's the normalcy bias. We see this in modern media, academia, and the like. The progressives keep advancing their agenda despite their smaller numbers because they have the culture by the throat, by "normalizing" themselves though inserting themselves and their beliefs in key positions. A great number of book writers/publishers are progressives, for example, Stephen King. They're even using the sports world to push their agenda, ex: Jeremy Lin. The corruption of the news and universities is too deep and wide to keep this short. The corruption of TV shows is also readily apparent.

The point is this. Most of the sensational things that Huxley talks about is simply not needed. As Huxley says, still in the first few minutes:

It seems to me that the nature of the ultimate revolution with which we are now faced is precisely this: That we are in process of developing a whole series of techniques which will enable the controlling oligarchy who have always existed and presumably will always exist to get people to love their servitude.

That's what it's all about. The current "bias of normalcy" as the progressives who dominate so many sectors of pop culture aim for, is to get you to love your servitude. One of the biggest examples of this are all of the efforts being put into trying to convince Americans that it's in their best interest to disarm.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

What is drift? What is mastery?

In the book "Drift and Mastery" by Walter Lippmann, there are some surprisingly honest pieces of information. The way progressives abuse the language can be truely frustrating, but once you develop the capability to parse it it becomes incredibly easy to deal with. I'll demonstrate this. On page 285, after quoting from Santayana, Lippmann writes the following:
For the discipline of science is the only one which gives any assurance that from the same set of facts men will come approximately to the same conclusion. And as the modern world can be civilized only by the effort of innumerable people we have a right to call science the discipline of democracy. No onmipotent ruler can deal with our world, nor the scattered anarchy of individual temperaments. Mastery is inevitably a matter of cooperation, which means that a great variety of people working in different ways must find some order in their specialties. They will find it, I think, in a common discipline which distinguishes between fact and fancy, and works always with the implied resolution to make the best out of what is possible.

If you have never taken the time to go through Hillsdale's free Constitution 201 course about progressivism, you should. The first video will help you explain this so, so well. Dr. Arnn explains the role of science and progressivism.

What is the proper role of science? If you watched the first inaugural in 2009, (transcript) you might have noticed that at 9 minutes in(according to the YouTube video) he says this:

We will restore science to its rightful place

Oh really? We will? Hayek answers this best in Road to Serfdom, page 198. It's centralized planning. The expert, the unelected bureaucracy, the Federal leviathan. Many scientists believe that they are qualified to run a totalitarian state, and many people who are not themselves scientists are more than happy to go along with this. I have now long stated that the belief of progressives that capitalism, free markets, and individual efforts are akin to anarchy. This belief is held both historically and in modern times. Add Walter Lippmann to that list, as you can see above.

So what is drift? Drift is being used here as a code word for our individual efforts, because of the lack of social planning.

What is mastery? As you can see above, it's cooperation. Forced cooperation, no doubt, through the use of experts in science.(As you will see below)

At the time that Lippmann wrote this book Drift and Mastery, he was an active Fabian, a card carrying member even. But I know this to be absolutely true not because I read it in both of his biographies, but because of what he writes on page 269:

When we cultivate reflection by watching ourselves and the world outside, the thing we call science begins. We draw the hidden into the light of consciousness, record it, compare phases of it, note its history, experiment, reflect on error, and we find that our conscious life is no longer a trivial iridescence, but a progressively powerful way of domesticating the brute.

This is what mastery means: the substitution of conscious intention for unconscious striving. Civilization, it seems to me, is just this constant effort to introduce plan where there has been clash, and purpose into the jungles of disordered growth. But to shape the world nearer to the heart's desire requires a knowledge of the heart's desire and of the world. You cannot throw yourself blindly against unknown facts and trust to luck that the result will be satisfactory.

First, you see him talking down his nose to the concept of individual efforts, and again placing science upon a pedestal. Second, he specifically says that "Civilization is just this constant effort to introduce plan where there has been clash". That's the difference between Liberty and centralized planning. That's the whole theme of the book. The drift of anarchic individuals living their lives as they see fit, vs a centralized totalitarian state. But progressives don't see centralized planning as totalitarian. To them, that's civilized.

One such progressive, Max Lerner, even asks that very question and comes up with the obvious conclusion. Here is his question, and his answer:

"Isn't planning in itself a form of tyranny?" I don't think so.

Here is how progressives see it: Individuals living individual lives is anarchic, centralized planning is civilized, and thug regimes - those are the true tyrants. That's their measure of the world. I brought up Hayek for a reason, because it applies.

Finally, this line of "shaping the world nearer to the heart's desire" is no throw away line. That's Omar Khayyam, that's the banner message across the top of the Fabian Window. Which is another thing that I have written about quite extensively, the friendly relationship between Fabians and Progressives. As far as the two movements are concerned, they are sisters.

This book was then and still is today regarded as a very important book of the progressive movement. That's how Wikipedia puts it, but much more important than that, this book was recommended by a former President: Theodore Roosevelt.

I know I have thrown a lot of information into this blog posting that I'm sure will be met with plenty of different responses, but I want to end this way: The cryptic way that progressives pollute the language actually has some rhyme and reason to it. They use it as a code language, for use amongst themselves. Once you can begin to understand how they are using it, you can nail them on it every time. Even if initially, you don't know what's wrong. Your gut starts talking to you and a flag goes up but you don't know why. If you dig, you'll find the answer. Walter Lippmann tells you everything you need to know, in three simple words. "Drift and Mastery".

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The Progress of Nationalism in the United States



Technically, the term Nationalism, as descriptive of a definite doctrine of social and industrial reform, was first used in 1888 by clubs made up of persons who sympathized with the ideas of a proper industrial organization set forth in "Looking Backward," and believed in the feasibility of their substantial adoption as the actual basis of society. Nationalism, in this strict sense, is the doctrine of those who hold that the principle of popular government by the equal voice of all for the equal benefit of all, which, in advanced nations, is already recognized as the law of the political organization, should be extended to the economical organization as well; and that the entire capital and labor of. nations should be nationalized, and administered by their people, through their chosen agents, for the equal benefit of all, under an equal law of industrial service.

In this sense of a definite philosophy and a positive programme, Nationalism is a plant of very recent growth. It would, however, be quite impossible to understand the reasons for its remarkable popularity and rapid spread, and equally impossible to calculate the probabilities of its future development, without taking into account the evolutionary processes of which it is the outcome.

The very idea of the nation as an organization for the purpose of using the collective forces for the general protection and welfare, logically involved, from the beginning, the extension of that organization to the industrial as well as to the political affairs of the people. Until the democratic idea became prevalent it was, however, possible for privileged classes to hold back this evolution; and so for unnumbered ages it has been held back. From the period at which the democratic idea gained ascendancy it could be a question of but a short time before the obvious interests of the majority of the people should lead to the democratizing of the national economic system to accord with the political system.

The Nationalist movement in the United States, instead of waiting till this late day, would have arisen fifty years ago as the natural sequence of the establishment of popular government and of the recognition that the national organization exists wholly and only for the promotion of the people's welfare, had it not been for the intervention of the slavery issue. It would indeed be more accurate to say that in a broad sense of the word the Nationalist movement did arise fifty years ago, for in spirit if not in form it may be said to date back to the forties. Those who are not familiar with the history of the extraordinary wave of socialistic enthusiasm which swept over the United States at that period and led to the Brook Farm Colony and a score of phalansteries for communistic experiments, have missed one of the most significant as well as most picturesque chapters of American history. Some of the most eminent persons in the country, and many who afterwards became eminent, were connected with or in sympathy with these enterprises. That Horace Greeley would very possibly have devoted himself to some line of socialistic agitation, had not the slavery struggle come on, will surely be questioned by none who are familiar with his correspondence and early writings, and in this respect he was representative of a large group of strong and earnest spirits.

But slavery had to be done away with before talk of a closer, kinder brotherhood of men was in order or, indeed, anything but a mockery. So it was that presently these humane enthusiasts, these precursors of Nationalism,were drawn into the overmastering current of the anti-slavery agitation. Then came the war, which should be ranked the greatest in history, not merely on account of the extent of the territory and of the vastness of the armies involved, but far more because it issued, as such a war never did before, in the speedy reconciliation of the foes. The reunion of the North and South after the struggle is the best proof of the progress of humanity that history records, the best evidence that the Nationalist motto, "We war with systems not with men," is not in advance of the moral sense of the nation we appeal to.

The din of the fight had barely ceased when the progress of evolution towards economic Nationalism resumed its flow with an impetus only heightened by its interruption. But social conditions meanwhile had profoundly changed for the worse, and with them the character of the economic controversy, which now became full of rancor and bitterness. The speculative opportunities offered by the war had developed the millionaire and his shadow, the tramp. Contrasts of wealth, luxury, and arrogance with poverty, want, and abjectness, never before witnessed in America, now on every side mocked the democratic ideal and made the republic a laughing-stock.

The panic of 1873, with the seven lean years that followed in its train, ushered in the epoch of acute industrial discontent in this country. Then began the war between labor and capital. The phenomena of the period have been, on the one hand, ever-enlarging aggregations of capital, and the appropriation of the business field by groups of great monopolies; and, on the other hand, unprecedented combinations of labor in trades-unions, federations of unions and the Knights of Labor. Both classes of phenomena, the combinations of capital and of labor, were equally significant of the evolution towards economic Nationalism. The rise of the Knights of Labor, the great trades-unions, the Federation of Trades, and, on the agricultural side, of the Grangers, Patrons of Husbandry, Farmers' Alliances, and many other organizations, were demonstrating the feasibility of organizing the workers on a scale never dreamed of; while on the other side the enormous and ever-growing trusts and syndicates were proving the feasibility of organizing and centralizing the administration of capital on a scale of corresponding magnitude. Opposed as these two tendencies seemed, they were yet destined to be combined in the synthesis of Nationalism, and were necessary stages in its evolution. Both alike, in all their phases, were blind gropings towards completer union, confessions of a necessity of organizing forces for common ends, that could find their only logical result in Nationalism, when the nation should become at once employed and employer, and labor and capital be blended in indistinguishable union.

Nor were there lacking, in the epoch spoken of, very conscious and definite appeals, although partial and inadequate ones, to the national idea as the proper line along which adequate remedies were to be sought. The greenback movement in its argument that the oppressions and inadequacies of the monetary system could only be removed by taking the issue of money wholly out of the control or influence of private persons and vesting it directly in the nation, was a distinct anticipation of Nationalism. The same idea was very evident in the proposition to reject the gold or silver standard as the basis of money and rest it broadly on the nation's assets and the nation's credit. It is true, indeed, that Nationalism, by making the nation the only storekeeper, and its relations of distribution with each citizen a direct one, excluding middlemen, will dispense with buying and selling between individuals, and render greenbacks as superfluous as other sorts of money. Nevertheless, in the spirit of its appeal to the national idea, Greenbackism was strongly tinctured with the sentiment of Nationalism.

Another of the fragmentary anticipations of Nationalism during the period referred to was the rise of the Knights of Labor. The peculiar merit of this admirable body is the broadly humane basis of its organization, which gives it an ethical distinction necessarily lacking to the mere trades-union. Its motto, "An injury to one is the concern of all," if extended to all classes, would be a good enough one for the most thorough-going Nationalist. The Knights of Labor, like the Greenbackers, believed in the national idea, and in dealing with the most formidable and dangerous class of private monopolies in this country demanded the nationalization of the railroads.

In enumerating the streams of tendency which were during this period converging towards Nationalism, mention should also be made of the various anti-monopoly parties that from time to time arose as local and more or less national parties. The platforms of some of these parties were extremely radical, and the dominant idea in the suggestion of remedies was an appeal to the nation.

Finally came the Henry George agitation. The extraordinary impression which Mr. George's book "Progress and Poverty" produced was a startling demonstration of the readiness of the public for some radical remedy of industrial evils. It is unnecessary to remind my readers that the nationalization of land was Mr. George's original proposition.

The foregoing considerations may perhaps sufficiently indicate how far back in American history the roots of Nationalism run, and how it may indeed be said to have been logically involved in the very principle of popular government on which the nation was founded.

A book of propaganda like "Looking Backward" produces an effect precisely in proportion as it is a bare anticipation in expression of what everybody was thinking and about to say. Indeed, the seeming paradox might almost be defended that in proportion as a book is effective it is unnecessary. The particular service of the book in question was to interpret the purport and direction of the conditions and forces which were tending towards Nationalism, and thereby to make the evolution henceforth a conscious, and not, as previously, an unconscious, one. The Nationalist who accepts that interpretation no longer sees in the unprecedented economical disturbances of the day a mere chaos of conflicting forces, but rather a stream of tendencies through ever larger experiments in concentration and combination towards the ultimate complete integration of the nation for economic as well as for political purposes. The sentiment of faith and good cheer born of this clear vision of the glorious end, and of the conviction that the seemingly contradictory and dangerous phenomena of the times are necessary means to that end, distinguishes the temper of the Nationalist as compared with that of other schools of reformers.

The first Nationalist club was organized in Boston by readers of "Looking Backward " in 1888. Almost simultaneously other clubs were organized in all parts of the country, something like one hundred and fifty having been reported within the following two years, the reporting having, however, been very laxly attended to. There never was, perhaps, a reform movement that got along with less management than that of the Nationalists. There has never been any central organization and little if any mutual organization of the clubs. Wherever in any community a few men and women have felt in sufficiently strong sympathy with the ideas of the Nationalists to desire to do something to spread them, they hare formed an organization and gone ahead, with as much or little communication with other similar organizations as they hare desired to have. While these clubs have been and are of the greatest use, and have accomplished remarkable results in learning entire communities with Nationalism, there has never been any special effort to multiply them or otherwise to gather the whole body of believers into one band. We like to think that not one in a hundred who more or less fully sympathize with us is a member of a Nationalist club, or probably ever will be until the nation becomes the one Nationalist club.

The practical work of the organized Nationalists for the past four years has, of course, been chiefly educational, consisting in the effort, by lectures, books, and periodicals, to get their ideas before the people. The lack of a central organization on the part of the clubs prevents, very fortunately, the existence of any formal " official " organ. The nearest approach to such a publication was at first the Nationalist, a monthly, issued in Boston, which a year and a half ago was succeeded by The New Nation, a weekly, edited by the present writer, and devoted to the exposition of the principles and purposes of Nationalism, with the news of the movement.

In the brief period that has elapsed since the origin of the Nationalist movement, with its clearly defined philosophy and positive purpose, the growth of Nationalism in this country has been accelerated in an extraordinary manner. While it is impossible not to ascribe the acceleration largely to the literature and work of the Nationalists, it is not for a moment intended to imply that this growth is solely attributable to the strictly Nationalist propaganda. Throughout this paper the argument has been maintained that this specific movement is but the outcome of forces long in operation, which, by no means as yet wholly coalescing with strict Nationalism, continue to work consciously or unconsciously towards the same inevitable result.

It is unnecessary, surely, to do more than call attention to the great moral awakening upon the subject of social responsibilities and the ethical side, or rather the ethical soul and centre, of the industrial question, which has taken place within a very recent time. It was but yesterday that the pulpit was dumb on this class of themes, dumb because its hearers were deaf. Now, every Sunday hundreds of pulpits throughout the land are preaching social duty and the solidarity of nations and of humanity; declaring the duty of mutual love and service, whereby the strong are made bondmen to the weak, to be the only key to the social problem. This is the very soul of Nationalism. To be able to present this theme effectively has become the best passport of the clergyman to popular success, the secret of full houses. One of the most hopeful features of the Nationalist outlook from the first has been the heartiness with which a large contingent of the clergy has enlisted in it, claiming that it was, as it truly is, nothing more than Christianity applied to industrial organization. This we hope to make so apparent that erelong all Christian men shall be obliged either to abjure Christ or come with us.

The recent change in the trend of economic discussion as to the questions involved in the proposition of Nationalism has not been less marked than the moral awakening. Until very recently this country was twenty-five years behind the intelligence and practice of Europe as to sociological questions. That there might be such awkward things as strikes we had, indeed, learned since 1873; but that there was any such thing as a great industrial social question, of which these were but symptoms, had not dawned upon the public or on old-fashioned economists, who supposed that wisdom had died with Adam Smith. Remember that it was only a little while ago that "the social evil" was understood to refer exclusively to a special form of vice. It was imagined that there could not be any other social evil of consequence here in America unless, perhaps, it were intemperance in the use of alcoholic stimulants or tobacco. While the "effete monarchies of Europe" might have to rectify their institutions from time to time to keep pace with human progress, we rested in the serene conviction that General Washington and Mr. Jefferson had arranged our affairs for all time, and that negro slavery was the last problem we should have to dispose of. And let it be observed, that these great patriots, in setting up popular self government, did give us a finality of principle, but that an economic as well as a political method, in order to give effect to that principle, has now become necessary.

Where is now that easy complacency over the social situation which so recently was the prevailing temper of our people? Economic discussion and the debate of radical social solutions absorb the attention of the country, and are the preponderating topics of serious conversations. Economic papers have the precedence in our periodicals, and, even in the purely literary magazine, they crowd the novel and the romance. Indeed, the novel with a sociological motive now sets the literary fashion, and a course in political economy has become necessary to write a successful love story.

It is not so much the increased volume of economic discussion that marks the social growth of Nationalism as the fact that its tone is chiefly given by the adherents of the new and humane schools of political economy which, until recently, had obtained but little hearing among us. Up to within a very few years the old school of political economy, although it had long before begun to fall into discredit in Europe, still held practically undisputed sway in America. To-day the new school, with its socialistic method and sympathies, is the school to which nearly all the young and rising professors of political economy belong. The definition of labor as "a commodity," would now endanger the position of an instructor in that science in any institution of learning which did not depend for its patronage upon a reputation for being behind the times. There are a few such yet despite the growth of Nationalism.

The full programme of Nationalism, involving the entire substitution of public for private conduct of all business, for the equal benefit of all, is not indeed advocated by any considerable number of economists or prominent writers. They discuss chiefly details of the general problem, but, in so far as they propose remedies, it is significant that they always take the form of state and national management of business. It would not probably be too strong a statement to say that the majority of the younger schools of political economists and economic writers on that subject now regard with favor state conduct of what they call "natural monopolies," that is to say, telegraphs, telephones, railroads, local transit lines, water-works, municipal lighting, etc. "Natural monopolies" are distinguished by this school as businesses in which the conditions practically exclude competition. Owing to the progress of the trusts and syndicates, businesses not natural monopolies are rapidly being made artificial ones with the effect of equally excluding competition. If the economists of the " natural monopoly" school follow the logic of their method they are bound, in proportion as the progress of artificial monopolization abolishes their distinction, to become full-fledged Nationalists. I have no doubt they will soon be wholly with us, as in spirit and tendency they now are.

There is a great deal more that might be said of the recent and swiftly increasing movement of moral sentiment and scientific thought towards Nationalism, but the limits of my space compel me to pass on to the consideration of what has been accomplished in the field of politics and legislation within the four years since its rise as a definitive doctrine.

The immediate propositions of the Nationalists are on two lines. First the nationalization of inter-State business, and business in the products or service of which people in more than one State are interested. Second, the State management or municipalization of businesses purely local in their relations. In the former line the rise within two years of a third national political party, pledged to a large part of the immediate purposes of Nationalism, is certainly the most notable phenomenon. The People's Party was formed at Cincinnati on February 22, 1891, and ratified and indorsed at St. Louis, May 19,1892, by a convention representing the great Farmers' Alliances, white and colored, of the West and South, and also the Knights of Labor and other artisans' organizations. The platform adopted at St. Louis as that on which the People's Party's Presidential candidates are to be nominated and supported by these allied organizations, demands nationalization of the issue of money, nationalization of banking by means of postal savings-banks for deposit and exchange, national ownership and operation of the telegraphs and telephones, national ownership and operation of the railroads, and declares the land with its natural resources the heritage of the nation.

Remember that this platform voices the enthusiastic convictions and determination of many million voters belonging to organizations which have already carried several State elections, and which, as now united, may carry in the Presidential election, as their opponents concede, four or five States, and, as they themselves expect, twice or thrice that number. If you would estimate the probable growth of Nationalism in the next six months, remember that during that period the demands of this platform and the arguments for them will be stated and reiterated weekly by the eight to ten hundred farmers' papers of the South and West, and dinned into their ears by regiments of orators. About half the farmers' weeklies of the West, it should be added, not only support the St. Louis platform, but take every occasion to declare that the adoption of the whole Nationalist plan, with the industrial republic as its consummation, is but a question of time. "Talk about Nationalism," said one brawny farmer at the St. Louis convention, "why, west of the Mississippi we are all Nationalists."

In tracing the rise of this third party, it may be interesting to note that it was in the trans Mississippi States, in the newly admitted States and the Territories, and on the Pacific coast, where the People's Party now has its main strongholds, that the reception of "Looking Backward" was most general and enthusiastic. The growing economic distress in the great grain States had no doubt much to do with this readiness for a radical industrial solution, but the bold, adventurous temper of the people, perhaps, even more. To a race of pioneers which had hewn mighty States out of the wilderness and the desert within the lifetime of a generation, there was nothing to take the breath away in a proposal to reconstruct industry on new lines.

I have left myself little space wherein to speak of what has been done for Nationalism in the line of the municipalization of local businesses. The Nationalists of Boston and vicinity, in 1889, circulated petitions for the passage of a bill by the Legislature permitting municipalities to build and operate their own lighting plants, gas or electric. The bill failed in the Legislature of 1889-90, passing the House but being lost in the Senate. The Nationalists resumed the fight the next year on petitions bearing 13,000 names. The bill became a law after a bitter fight, in which the Nationalists, backed by the labor organizations and a strong popular sentiment, were opposed by a combination of the electric and gas companies representing $35,000,000 of capital.

Prior to that date, public lighting, although long a matter of course in Great Britain and Europe, was almost unknown in America; a striking illustration, by the way, of the incomprehensible manner in which America has lagged behind monarchical and aristocratic states in the practical application of its own patented idea of popular government.

Up to the passage of the Municipal Lighting Bill in 1891 by the Massachusetts Legislature, less than a dozen American towns had tried public lighting, and few people had even heard of their experiment. In the one year since then, sixteen towns and cities in Massachusetts alone and as many in Ohio have taken steps towards public-lighting works, while a host of municipalities in the rest of the Union are following their example.

If the Nationalists had done nothing more than point out the way of deliverance from the gas-meter, they would surely have deserved well of the American people, but in doing that they have done more—they have set the people thinking along the line of municipal self-help.

The American citizen is not unintelligent as to questions of profit and loss. Give him the ABC of a business proposition and he can usually be trusted to go through the alphabet without further assistance. Once convince him that public-light service means, as a matter of demonstration and experience, as it does, a saving to the consumer of from 30 to 50 per cent., and he will commence to scratch his head and ask why the same rule doesn't apply to water-works and transit systems.

By turning over such functions to private companies aiming only at the largest possible profits, instead of discharging them directly, cities and towns subject themselves to a needless tax, aggregating more, in many cases, than the total tax levy for nominally public purposes, as if, indeed, any purpose could be more public than lighting, water supply, and transit. Wherever a private company can make a profit on serving the community (leaving aside watered stock) the people themselves, who take no profit from themselves, can do it just so much cheaper. All we Nationalists want to do is to get people to reason along the line of their collective interests with the same shrewdness they show in pursuing their personal interests. That habit once established, Nationalism is inevitable.

Edward Bellamy.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Some progressives viewed Theodore Roosevelt as a socialist, in his day

In Walter Lippmann's book "Public Opinion", a very interesting comment is made: (page 294)
It was economic government by anybody's economic philosophy, though it was supposed to be controlled by immutable laws of political economy that must in the end produce harmony. It produced many splendid things, but enough sordid and terrible ones to start counter-currents. One of these was the trust, which established a kind of Roman peace within industry, and a Roman predatory imperialism outside. People turned to the legislature for relief. They invoked representative government, founded on the image of the township farmer, to regulate the semi-sovereign corporations. The working class turned to labor organization. There followed a period of increasing centralization and a sort of race of armaments. The trusts interlocked, the craft unions federated and combined into a labor movement, the political system grew stronger at Washington and weaker in the states, as the reformers tried to match its strength against big business.

In this period practically all the schools of socialist thought from the Marxian left to the New Nationalists around Theodore Roosevelt, looked upon centralization as the first stage of an evolution which would end in the absorption of all the semi-sovereign powers of business by the political state. The evolution never took place, except for a few months during the war. That was enough, and there was a turn of the wheel against the omnivorous state in favor of several new forms of pluralism. But this time society was to swing back not to the atomic individualism of Adam Smith's economic man and Thomas Jefferson's farmer, but to a sort of molecular individualism of voluntary groups.

I'm not sure I see Roosevelt as a socialist. Most of what I've read from and about him makes it pretty clear that he preferred bureaucratic despotism over outright state ownership, which is still in the end a form of centralized planning. Roosevelt himself made it clear on two occasions that I know of that he was a huge fan of Charles Van Hise's book "Concentration and Control". In an essay titled "Two Noteworthy Books on Democracy" (transcript), and again at his speech to the 1912 National Progressive Party, the party that he himself founded. Hise's book plainly prescribes "regulation, not socialism".

"The plans differ, the planners are all alike" as Frederic Bastiat once wrote.(1.83) It does highlight the view from both groups of kindred spirits, given that "socialism is the logical outcome of progressivism". That is, according to Victor L. Berger, an ardent socialist and "super progressive", as he was described at the time.

In any case, TR did not have to be a socialist to be a scourge upon this nation. A self described constitution dodger.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Government by Journalism, by William Thomas Stead


GOVERNMENT by kings went out of fashion in this country when Charles Stuart lost his head. Government by the House of Lords perished with Gatton and Old Sarum. Is it possible that government by the House of Commons may equally become out of date? Without venturing into the dim and hazardous region of prophecy, it is enough to note that the trend of events is in that direction. Government tends ever downward. Nations become more and more impatient of intermediaries between themselves and the exercise of power. The people are converting government by representatives to government by delegates. If a deputy or a member votes against the wishes of his constituents, he is denounced as a usurper, even if he be not cashiered as a traitor. Side by side with this ever-strengthening tendency may be observed a scientific development rendering possible the realization of the popular aspirations. The world has perceptibly shrunk under the touch of Stephenson and Faraday, of Hoe and of Edison. If we, like the Germans, had been in the habit of marking our milestones by time instead of distance, this would be much more easily realized. We are all nextdoor neighbours. If any one raise his voice, it is audible from Aberdeen to Plymouth. Hence science has realized for us in the nineteenth century the ancient Witanagemote of our early English ancestors. Our Parliaments gradually developed out of the Folksmote of the German village, in which every villager was free to speak and free to vote. In theory at least, in its early days, every freeman could attend the national Witan. It was only as the territory widened over which citizens of the commonwealth were scattered, and their numbers swelled to a multitude far beyond the area of earshot, that the system of delegation sprang up, which, as its latest development, has produced the recently elected House of Commons. In some'of the more primitive Swiss cantons the ancient custom still prevails, and the whole adult democracy is summoned by sound of horn to debate and decide the affairs of the rustic commonwealth. In England we seem to be reverting to the original type of English institutions. The telegraph and the printing-press have converted Great Britain into a vast agora, or assembly of the whole community, in which the discussion of the affairs of State is carried on from day to day in the hearing of the whole people.

The discussion is carried on daily, but the new Witan can only vote authoritatively once in six years. As it usually votes alternately in opposite lobbies it is obvious that the House of Commons is often out of harmony with the nation which it represents. But the repeal of the Septennial Act is no longer a plank in the Radical platform. Triennial parliaments are out of fashion. A representative assembly that has ceased to represent its constituents has lost its raison d'etre. It is a usurpation based on fraud. Yet it is endured, and the demand that once was energetically urged for more frequent elections has died away. The reason probably is that, although the authority of a House which has ceased to represent the people is a despotism, it is a despotism tempered by the Press and the Platform. That is to say, in other words, that the absolutism of the elected assembly is controlled and governed by the direct voice of the electors themselves. The Press and the Platform, of course, do not mean the printed words of a news-sheet or the wooden planks of a platform. They are merely expressions used to indicate the organs by which the people give utterance to their will, and the growth of their power is indicative of the extent to which the nation is taking into its own hands the direct management and control of its own affairs.

The secret of the power of the Press and of the Platform over the House of Commons is the secret by which the Commons controlled the Peers, and the-Peers in their turn controlled the King. They are nearer the people. They are the most immediate and most unmistakable exponents of the national mind. Their direct and living contact with the people is the source of their strength. The House of Commons, elected once in six years, may easily cease to be in touch with the people.

A representative may change his mind in one direction, his constituency may change its mind in another, and they may gradually lose all points of contact with each other, beyond the subscriptions, which fail not, until they have as little in common as Mr. Parnell and the citizens of London. The member immediately after his election leaves his constituency, and plunges into a new world with different atmosphere, moral, social, and political. But an editor, on the other hand, must live among the people whose opinions he essays to express. It is true that some papers in the provinces are edited from London, and with what result? That, speaking broadly, the London-edited news-sheet is a mere news-sheet, without weight, influence, or representative character. Of all drivelling productions, commend us to the provincial "leader" written in Fleet Street. The editor must keep touch with his readers. He must interest, or he ceases to be read. He must therefore, often sorely against his will, write on topics about which he cares nothing, because if he does not, the public will desert him for his rival across the street. This, which in one sense is a degrading side of journalism, is in another a means of preservation and safety. A newspaper must "palpitate with actuality;" it must be a mirror reflecting all the ever-varying phases of life in the locality. Hence it represents a district as no member can, for, whereas he may be a stranger, selected at a crisis to say ditto to Mr. Gladstone or to Lord Salisbury on some issue five years dead and gone, the newspaper - although, as Mr. Morley says, it to-day is and to-morrow is cast into the oven - is a page from the book of the life of the town in which it appears, a valuable transcript of yesterday's words, thoughts, and deeds.

It is constantly up to date. The day before yesterday is as the date of the deluge. Editors alone of mortals live up to the apostolic injunction, and, forgetting the things that are behind, ever press forward to those which are before. The journalist is constantly en evidence. Constituencies sometimes forget they have a member. If they even for one week forgot they had a paper, that paper would cease to exist. The member speaks in the name of a community by virtue of a mandate conferred on poll-days, when a majority of the electors, half of whom may have subsequently changed their minds, marked a cross opposite his name. The editor's mandate is renewed day by day, and his electors register their vote by a voluntary payment of the daily pence. There is no limitation of age or sex. Whosoever has a penny has a vote; nor is there any bribery or corruption possible in that extended constituency which casts its votes - and its coppers - every morning or every evening in the working days of the week. Nor must there be forgotten the reflex influence of the editor on his constituency. For the purpose of moulding a constituency into his own way of thinking, the editor has every advantage on his side. An M.P., even if he be loquacious, cannot make as many speeches in the session as the editor writes articles in a week. And the editor prints every word, and spreads it abroad before his vast congregation, with "never a nodder among them all," as Mr. Lowell observes in his admirable preface to the "Pious Editor's Creed;" while the member addresses half-empty benches, and his speech is mangled by unappreciative reporters. For one-third of a year Parliament is in recess. The chamber of the Press is never closed. It is in perpetual session. For Parliament is merely a part of the machinery of government. The newspaper is that, and more besides. It has become a necessity of life.

But the importance of the newspaper as a substitute for the House of Commons is but partially due to the utterances of its editor. Its reports are often more valuable than its leaders. Lord Salisbury proclaimed seven years ago that the special correspondent was superseding the editor, chiefly because he was nearer to the things which people wished to see. The Press is at once the eye and the ear and the tongue of the people. It is the visible speech if not the voice of the democracy. It is the phonograph of the world. On its columns are printed the spoken words of yesterday, and it is constantly becoming more and more obvious that the importance of a spoken word depends chiefly upon the certainty of its getting itself printed. Mr. Gladstone's Midlothian speeches of 1879-80 would have fallen comparatively powerless if they had only been addressed to the people of Penicuik and West Calder. A great speech is now delivered in the hearing of all the nation. The orator ostensibly addresses a couple of thousand, who cheer and hear. He is in reality speaking to the millions who will read his speech next morning at breakfast. The growth of the power of the Platform is largely the creation of the Press. If a statesman now wants to impress the nation, the last place in the world where he will make his speech is in Parliament, because in no place will it be worse reported. Epoch-making speeches are nowadays all delivered on the stump. The public only cares for what it hears. No one knows what goes on after twelve o'clock in Parliament, and no one cares. Why? Because the newspapers do not report late sittings. Debates between twelve and three might be conversations in a Government department for anything that the country knows about them. If questions were taken at the end of the sitting they would dwindle. The House is chiefly useful because it secures the reporting of both sides of debates, which otherwise would not be reported, unless the debaters were men of front rank. For the Press has a closure of its own, which it mercilessly enforces, and few there be that escape from it.

In one respect it must be obvious even to the most careless observer that the Press has become to the Commons what the Commons were to the Lords. The Press has become the Chamber of Initiative. No measure ever gets itself into shape, as a rule, before being debated many times as a project in the columns of the newspapers. All changes need to pass as a preliminary through this first tribunal of popular opinion. Not until it has been pretty well threshed out in the Press does a proposal of reform come to be read a first time in the House of Commons. This power of initiation it has secured by natural right. For in its free and open halls the voice of the poorest and humblest can be heard. If so be that a man can think a thought, and frame that thought in intelligible English with sufficient brevity to escape the Rhadamanthus in whose eyes excessive length is a vice going before to judgment, justifying summary execution without benefit of clergy, he can make himself heard, if not in one paper, then in another. There is no such democratic debating-place as the columns of the Press: provided, of course, the debater does not too rudely assail the great unwritten conventions which govern respectable journalism. For journalism in the possession of superstitions also is not unlike Parliament.

There are of course papers and papers. There are papers of business, papers of advertisement, papers of sport, papers of opinion, and papers of power. It takes all sorts to make up a world, and there is as much diversity in journalists as in members of Parliament. But all of them go together to make the Fourth Estate, which is becoming more powerful than all the other estates of the realm. Great is the power of the printed word. This, as Victor Hugo's hero says in "Notre Dame," pointing first to the printed page and then to-the soaring towers of the great cathedral;-" This will destroy that." Notre Dame has survived Caxton for many centuries, and Parliament will continue to meet in the midst of a newspaper age, but it will be subordinate. The wielders of real power will be those who are nearest the people.

Statesmanship among Parliament men is becoming every day more and more what Mr. Matthew Arnold described eighteen years ago as the mere cult of the jumping cat. Even the duty of twisting the tail of that influential dictator of our destinies is regarded as superfluous. Leadership, in the sense of the science of leading, is reduced to a mere striking of the average. Mr. Gladstone, who might have been a leader in the better sense, has laid it down as a political maxim, that " the most important duty of a leader is to ascertain the average opinions of his party, and largely to give effect to them." That is opportunism reduced to a system, in which the leaders are the led, and the rulers the servants of the ruled. It is the new and unexpected rendering of the old text - "If any one would be chief among you, let him be the servant of all." But how will the cat jump? That is a problem inscrutable as the decrees of Fate.

If the British householder only knew his own mind, the task might be possible; but when that wielder of the sceptre is himself befogged, how then? Then the Parliament man, straining his eyes through the murky darkness, anxiously interrogating the vague forms which loom through the mist, turns eagerly to the journalists for light and guidance. They are often but blind guides. To them also the oracles are often dumb; but they are at least nearer the Delphic cave whence issue the fateful words of fortune or of doom; and none but those behind the scenes can realize the weight which newspapers sometimes possess in deciding issues of vital import. To the devout worshipper of opinion a newspaper article is often accepted as decisive, as was the flight of birds at an auspicious moment by an ancient augur. But it must be at the auspicious moment. The same article, or a hundred such, a week earlier or a week later, would pass unheeded.

The importance which the Press possesses as a gauge of public opinion might be enormously increased. But even now it is immense. Mr. Trevelyan's description of the British stationmaster as a being who feared nothing under heaven save the daily Press, may be applied literally to some of our most prominent and self-opinionated statesmen. It is a guide to their path and a lamp to their feet, and some who profess the greatest contempt for its utterances cower most abjectly under its lash. This springs from the position in which they are placed. What is there to guide a prudent politician as to the depth of water under his keel? Bye-elections, if there are enough of them and if they are studied comparatively with due regard to the antecedents of the constituency, are undoubtedly the best help in taking political soundings. Some day, if Parliament regains its authority so far as to make the democracy anxious to keep it in tune with the constituencies, a series of periodical bye-elections will be arranged for at stated intervals, in order to enable representatives to test the rising or the falling of political feeling in the country. But bye-elections at present only occur at haphazard, and members perversely refuse to die just when a few test elections would be most useful. Private letters from constituents are a most untrustworthy test. Those who need them most are least likely to receive them, and members have often pointed to their empty letter-bag as a proof that there was "no feeling on the subject," within a few weeks of such a manifestation of the reality of the feeling on the subject as to deprive them of their seats. It was so with the publican revolt in 1874, and with the anti-Turkish revolt in 1876-80, and it was so at the late election on the questions of Fair Trade and Disestablishment.

Public meetings, it will be said, are superior even to newspapers as exponents of public feeling. It is true, because a public meeting is the direct utterance of the voice of Demos without any intermediary. There is nothing in England so powerful as a series of public meetings. But public meetings cannot always be sitting. Their effect, although enormous and immediate, is evanescent. It is only when the popular mind is very excited that spontaneous meetings can be held, and hitherto the attempt to get up meetings by wire-pullers at Birmingham and elsewhere has not been a conspicuous success. Equally untrustworthy is the caucus as a test of the opinion of the constituency. The caucus represents, as a rule, the fighting men-at-arms of the party. It is probably elected by a fraction of its own party, and it is always of necessity more political and more partisan than the body in whose name it speaks.

Hence members anxious to know how public feeling is going are driven back upon the newspapers. But what newspapers? That depends upon the member. Each chooses his own oracle. As a rule, the Liberals look to the provincial, the Conservatives to the metropolitan Press. But the odd thing is that while members are frequently swayed from side to side by the utterances of the provincial Press, it is a rare exception for any of them to study that Press intelligently. They are dependent for the most part upon the more or less fragmentary excerpts from the rural oracles which the London papers dignify with the title of "Epitome of Opinion." The swing of the Ministerial pendulum has been frequently decided by those extracts, which in times of crisis are much more influential with both parties, but especially with the Liberals, than any London editorials. Yet although politicians will lavish thousands in order to carry a single seat, the comparative study of the signs on which a dozen seats may depend is left to haphazard, or the arbitrary selection of a vehement opponent of the Ministerial policy.

Another curious thing is the way in which prominent men are encouraged or depressed by seeing in print praise or abuse of schemes which they have in hand. A Minister who has some little social reform which he wants to push gets a friend to button-hole a few journalists, and to induce them to insert paragraphs or articles in favour of his proposal. If he succeeds, and the notice appears, the Minister will pick up new courage, and renew his efforts to pass the Bill, declaring in all honesty that he is encouraged to do so by the fact that " public opinion has spoken in its favour.'' All the while he is perfectly well aware that the so-called public opinion was nothing but the printed reproduction of his own words transmitted through a friend to an obliging human phonograph. The echo of human voice imparted a confidence nothing else was able to secure.

I remember on one occasion being confidentially approached by a permanent official who holds a high place in an important department. He was a personal friend, and he spoke freely. He wanted me to write an article praising a certain Act connected with his department, against which some interested clamour was being raised. "Why just now?" I asked. "To stiffen the back of my chief," he replied. "He does not want to surrender, but he needs backing up, and if you could see your way to publish a rouser, he would pluck up courage enough to put his foot down." As I wanted him to put his foot down, I wrote the "rouser," and soon afterwards had the satisfaction of knowing that it had had the desired effect. The Minister knew nothing of the communication that had been made to me, but without that communication, and the action which followed, he would have given way, and mischief, which he regarded even more seriously than I did, would have ensued, specially affecting the department for which he was answerable. Every newspaper man of any standing will probably be able to cap this story by others of the same kind, in which a newspaper has, as it were, the casting-vote in the decision of State business.

Although Ministers fear the Press and obey the Press, even when they most abuse it, it has hardly dawned upon the Ministerial intelligence that it is worth while to tune the organ to whose piping they have so often to dance. Queen Elizabeth, wiser in her day and generation, took care to tune her pulpits. Instead of denouncing a "temporizing press," statesmen would find it more convenient to take its conductors into their confidence, so far at least as the imparting of confidential information necessary to enable them to criticize intelligently a policy which, without such guidance, they might, on the facts open to them, believe they were bound to oppose.

They are constantly telling us that without public opinion they can do nothing; but they forget that public opinion is the product of public education, and that the first duty of a statesman is not to wait on public opinion, but to make it. It is not only that there is no communication, but that often the information given is absolutely misleading, and Ministerial journalists painfully persist in advocating policies and putting forward hypotheses which are utterly incompatible with the line which Ministers have determined to take. Without going so far as to maintain that the Prime Minister, who has to communicate every day what passes in Parliament to her Majesty, should be equally communicative to those who wield a power in the State immeasurably greater than that which still clings round the phantom of monarchy, it would, from the point of view of self-interest, be good policy for a Minister in an important crisis, when public speech is impossible, to see to it that public opinion is not led astray from sheer lack of knowledge of the vital facts which govern the situation.

Of course there are journals which sometimes receive information more or less surreptitiously, and these communications are sometimes regarded as bribes. Item, so many "tips;" per contra, so much support. The average Ministerial conception of the service which organs of public opinion should render to their party is the exact antithesis to the service which a newspaper can render. The soundly Liberal newspaper that merits Ministerial favour is held to be the newspaper which most servilely says ditto to every Ministerial dictum. The Minister utters the word: great in his opinion should be the company of those who publish it. The result is that some journalists, reputed to have brains and the reflective and critical appendages thereof, never exercise them except on matters concerning which Ministers have made no ex cathedra deliverance, and their comments, every one knows beforehand, will be nothing more than a long drawn-out note of admiration and approval. That is party journalism in its most dangerous and most worthless sense. The Swiss peasant, who at selected spots in Alpine valleys sounds a lusty note upon his Alpine horn, with a keen eye to the copper of some passing tourist, wakes the echoes of his native hills in much the same fashion that Mr. Gladstone or Lord Salisbury rouses the responses of these obedient editors from Land's End to John o' Groat's. But the shepherd of the hills knows that the reverberation which rolls from crag to crag, and leaps from peak to peak, is but the prolonged echo of his own blast. It is reserved for English statesmen to palm off upon themselves and upon the public the journalistic echoes of their own voice, sent back by the party claque, as the utterances of an independent judgment happily coinciding with their own. A fatal Nemesis attends this subservient journalism. Its anxiety to fawn deprives its idol of the advantage of friendly but independent criticism; and a Minister presiding over a divided Cabinet sees with dismay that over-anxious loyalty to himself often leads his zealous sycophants to exalt into a stereotyped article of party faith a compromise to which he had most reluctantly consented to tide over a temporary crisis in the hope of speedily reverting to a truer path.

Great as is the power of journalism in its present undeveloped and rudimentary stage, it may yet become a much greater power in the State. Whether it will take advantage of its opportunities or not cannot at present be seen. The future of journalism depends almost entirely upon the journalist, and at present the outlook is not very hopeful. The very conception of journalism as an instrument of government is foreign to the mind of most journalists. Yet, if they could but think of it, the editorial pen is a sceptre of power, compared with which the sceptre of many a monarch is but a gilded lath. In a democratic age, in the midst of a population which is able to read, no position is comparable for permanent influence and far-reaching power to that of an editor who understands his vocation. In him are vested almost all the attributes of real sovereignty. He has almost exclusive rights of initiative ; he retains a permanent right of direction; and, above all, he better than any man is able to generate that steam, known as public opinion, which is the greatest force of politics. In the realm of political dynamics he has only one rival: the Platform is more powerful than the Press partly because by its reports the Press is a great sounding-board for the Platform, and also because more men with faith - which after all is the only real force - go upon the Platform than upon the Press. Over the Platform the Press has great and arbitrary powers. It is within the uncontrolled discretion of every editor whether any speech delivered in the previous twenty-four hours shall or shall not come to the knowledge of his readers. No censor in France under the Empire, or in Russia to-day, exercises more absolute authority than English journalists. They decide what their readers shall know, or what they shall not know. This power of closure is enormous. One man is a favourite with the press, and his speeches are reported in the first person. Another man has offended the reporters or the editor, and his remarks are cut down to a paragraph. Sometimes considerations of discipline are held to justify this boycotting; at other times - not, I am glad to say, to any considerable extent - it is decreed on grounds of personal spite or party vindictiveness. Every editor is familiar with the efforts made to induce him to give speakers or meetings good reports, and the degree of importance attached to it by those who wish to be reported is a fair measure of the power wielded by the editorial Procrustes.

But a journalist can not only exercise an almost absolute power of closure both upon individuals and upon causes, he has also the power of declaring urgency for subjects on which he is interested. He can excite interest, or allay it; he can provoke public impatience, or convince people that no one need worry themselves about the matter. Every day he can administer either a stimulant or a narcotic to the minds of his readers; and if he is up to his work and is sufficiently earnest himself, he can force questions to the front which, but for his timely aid, would have lain dormant for many a year. Of course, no journalist is omnipotent, and even the most powerful journalist cannot influence those who do not read his paper. But within the range of his circulation - and readers, of course, are much more numerous than subscribers - he may be more potent than any other man. The damnable iteration day after day of earnest conviction wears like the dropping of water upon the stone. No other voice sounds daily in their ears, "This is the way, walk ye in it." And it is not in one man's ears, but in his neighbour's and his neighbour's, until the whisper of the printed word seems to fill the very air. Even though they dissent, they have to reckon with it. They know the man in the train or on the omnibus, or in the restaurant, has been listening to that unspoken voice. The very arguments which you reject, and the illustrations which seem to you misleading, are a bond of union between you and him - so much common ground upon which you meet, even though you meet to differ.

Not only can he generate driving force to force measures, and force them through obstacles otherwise insuperable - the journalist can also decide upon the priority of those measures. The editorial Hercules is always besought by so many mud-stuck waggoners to help them out of the slough of official opposition and public indifference, that he has abundant opportunity of selection. Of course, there are some causes dead as Queen Anne, which all the king's horses and all the1 king's men could not bring to life again. But, other things being equal, or nearly equal, it is the voice of the Press which usually decides which should be taken first. I am not sure but that this prerogative is one of the most important attributes of the journalistic power, although it is one which is perhaps least appreciated among journalists themselves. As a profession, our ideal is deplorably low. Every one is familiar with Thackeray's famous picture of the multifarious activities of a great newspaper, one of whose emissaries is pricing cabbages in Covent Garden while another is interviewing Sovereigns at foreign capitals. The pricing of cabbages is a useful and indispensable although humble department of journalistic activity; but, judging from the editorials of many newspapers, the man who prices the cabbage seems to have been employed to direct the policy of the State. In every profession to which has been entrusted the spiritual guidance of mankind, there have ever been some mutton-loving shepherds who cared for the fleece and the flesh rather than the welfare of the flock which they tended. But a church must indeed have gone rotten before its leading ministers publicly avowed so degrading an ideal of their high vocation. Yet journalists who frankly avow what is called the bread-and-butter theory of their craft are unfortunately but too common, and from such of course nothing can be expected. "Water cannot rise beyond its own level, and the highest journalism is never above the high-water mark of the faith and intellect of the individual journalist.

It has been openly asserted not so long ago that a journalist is neither a missionary nor an apostle. Knowing as I do that it is given to journalists to write the only printed matter on which the eyes of the majority of Englishmen ever rest from Monday morning till Saturday night, I cannot accept any such belittling limitation of the duties of a journalist. We have to write afresh from day to day the only Bible which millions read. Poor and inadequate though our printed pages may be, they are for the mass of men the only substitute that "the progress of civilization" has provided for the morning and evening service with which a believing age began and ended the labours of the day. The newspaper - too often the newspaper alone - lifts the minds of men, wearied with daily toil and dulled by carking care, into a higher sphere of thought and action than the routine of the yard-stick or the slavery of the ploughshare. The journalist may regard himself as but the keeper of a peep-show, through which men may catch glimpses of the great drama of contemporary life and history; but he is more than that, or rather there are before him possibilities of much higher things than that. If, as sometimes happens, the editor is one who lives not merely in the past and present, but also in the future, to whom nothing is so, real or so vivid or so constantly present to his mind as his high ideal of " an earth unwithered by the foot of wrong, a race revering its own soul sublime ;" then upon him surely there is compulsion laid to speak of that in whose presence he dwells, and ever and anon, in the midst of the whirl of politics and the crash of war, to give his readers those "golden glimpses of To Be," which in every age have revived the failing energies and cheered the fainting hearts of mortal men. If that is being a missionary and an apostle, then a journalist must sometimes be both missionary and apostle, although to my thinking his vocation is more analogous to that of those ancient prophets whose leaders on the current politics of Judaea and Samaria three millenniums ago are still appointed to be read in our churches - it is to be feared too often to but little purpose.

But it is not of the prophetic aspect of journalism that I would speak at present: not of the journalist as the preacher, so much as of the journalist as ruler. To rule - the very idea begets derision from those whose one idea of their high office is to grind out so much copy, to be only paid for according to quantity, like sausages or rope-yarn. Bunyan's man with the muck-rake has many a prototype on the press. To dress contemporary controversy day by day in the jacket of party, to serve up with fresh sauce of current events the hackneyed commonplaces of politics - that in their eyes is journalism; but to rule! - Yet an editor is the uncrowned king of an educated democracy. The range of his power is limited only by the extent of his knowledge, the quality rather than the quantity of his circulation, and the faculty and force which he can bring to the work of government.

I am but a comparatively young journalist, but I have seen Cabinets upset, Ministers driven into retirement, laws repealed, great social reforms initiated, Bills transformed, estimates remodelled, programmes modified, Acts passed, generals nominated, governors appointed, armies sent hither and thither, war proclaimed and war averted, by the agency of newspapers. There were of course other agencies at work; but the dominant impulse, the original initiative, and the directing spirit in all these cases must be sought in the editorial sanctum rather than in Downing Street. "Take care of that Pall Mall Gazette," said Mr. Gladstone in 1874, jokingly, to a Conservative Minister. "It upset me; take care lest it does not upset you." And what Mr. Gladstone said in joke of the influence wielded by Mr. Greenwood, other Ministers have said in bitter earnest of other editors.

Of course, one great secret of the power of the Press is that it brings its influence to bear upon divided Cabinets and distracted Ministers. When a Cabinet is all at sixes and sevens, without seeing any way of harmonizing the antagonistic sections, a clear and decided stand taken by a powerful journal outside is often able to turn the balance in its own direction. The journalist who is able thus to throw the sword of Brennus into the scale necessarily exercises more real influence than any one outside the Cabinet, and oftener than many a Minister inside that mystic circle. So well is this recognized that occasions are not rare in which Cabinet Ministers have more or less openly allied themselves with an editor, relying upon the accession of force thus gained outside the Cabinet, to enable them to operate with greater power within. Only those who have been within that mystic circle know how little opportunity is afforded any Cabinet Minister, except the Premier and one or two more, of expressing any opinion on subjects outside his own department. On any question of the first magnitude every Minister of course has a voice, even if he has nothing more; but upon any other question he has hardly even that. Any man with the instinct of government in him, and a wide general interest in all departments of the State, will find - unless, of course, he can rise to be Prime Minister, or next to Prime Minister - much more scope for his ambition in the chair of a first-class journal, than at the desk of a second- or a third-rate Cabinet Minister. And even, as compared with the office that is highest of all, that of the Prime Minister, such an editor would have to think twice, and even thrice, before changing places with its occupant. He has two great advantages over the Premier. He does not go out of power every five years, and he is free from all the troublesome trumpery of State routine and of subordinate patronage which constitute such a tax upon the time and patience of the Minister. He is less concerned with,the serving of tables, and can devote himself more exclusively to those social and political questions for the solution of which Governments exist.

Whatever may be thought of the comparison between an editor and a Minister of the Crown, there can be no doubt that the influence of the Press upon the decision of Cabinets is much greater than that wielded by the House of Commons. The House of Commons holds in its hands the power of life or death. But the House of Commons' authority is always exercised after the event. When a policy is in the making, the House is dumb. Cabinets regard Parliaments as judges who may condemn them to capital punishment, but not as guides to direct their steps. At a time when a debate might be useful it is gagged, because no papers can be laid before it; and when the papers are produced, it is told that it is no use crying over spilt milk. In questions of peace or war Parliament reserves little save the power of cashiering after the event those who have made a dishonourable peace or plunged into a criminal war.

Far otherwise is it with the Press. It is never so busy or so influential as when a policy is in the making. It is most active when Parliament is most inert. Its criticism is not postponed until after the fateful decision has been taken, and the critics are wise with the wisdom that comes after the event. The discussion in the Cabinet goes on pari passu with the editorial polemic, and is therefore of necessity more influenced by it than by the ex post facto judgments which are delivered six weeks after by the House of Commons.

The enormous advantage of being up to date, of discussing subjects that are, in the slang phrase, " on the nail," is undoubtedly the chief source of the inferiority of the influence of Parliament to that of newspapers. But the Press has many other advantages. It has freer access to experts. Let any question - say the annexation of Burmah - come up, and within a week an energetic editor can have sucked the brains of every living authority in England or in Europe, and printed their opinions in his columns. Parliament can listen to no expert unless he is a British subject in the first place; in the second place, he must have persuaded a majority of householders in some constituency to send him to St. Stephen's; and in the third place, the subject must be brought on in some debate in which he can catch the Speaker's eye. Failing any one of these essentials, the expert's voice is dumb so far as Parliament is concerned, and of course, as for five months of the year, when the question has come up for settlement, Parliament itself is not sitting, he cannot be heard. The parliament of the Press has no such arbitrary limitations. It has no recess, but is ever open, a public forum in which every one who is qualified to speak is freely heard.

For the discussing of details, for the exhaustive hammering out of a subject, for the fashioning of clauses and the shaping of Bills, Parliament no doubt has the advantage of the Press. That may be freely admitted. But that is largely departmental work, for which no one has ever claimed any special fitness in the Press. Newspapers must deal with principles, with general programmes, with plans of campaigns; they cannot undertake to superintend the wording of a provisional order, the drafting of a Bill, or the drill of a regimental company.

It is easy, say some, for journalists in their armchairs to lay down, doctrinaire fashion, cut-and-dried programmes as to what ought to be done. It is the getting of it done that tests the governor; as if the getting of it done does not necessarily follow, and even govern, the decision as to what ought to be done. A journalist who is purely a doctrinaire may be an invaluable benefactor to the human race - he will not be a ruler. The journalist who makes his journal an instrument of government must consider the ways and means as carefully as the Chancellor of the Exchequer, must calculate the strength of opposing forces as diligently as a Whip, and study the line of least resistance like any opportunist; for his, after all, is the same craft as that of the Monarch or the Minister, the governance and guidance of the people; the only difference being, that while with the craftsman expediency is apt to become supreme, the Press, as the heir of a large section of the spiritual power wielded in earlier times by the clergy, must ever keep principle to the front. It represents - imperfectly no doubt, but still better than any existing order - the priesthood of Comte. Its range is as wide as the wants of man, and the editorial we is among many millions the only authoritative utterance.

An extraordinary idea seems to prevail with the eunuchs of the craft, that leadership, guidance, governance, are alien to the calling of a journalist. These conceptions of what is a journalist's duty, if indeed they recognize that imperious word as having any bearing upon their profession, is hid in mystery. If it may be inferred from their practice, their ideal is to grind out a column of more or less well-balanced sentences, capable of grammatical construction, conflicting with no social conventionality or party prejudice, which fills so much space in the paper, and then utterly, swiftly, and for ever vanishes from mortal mind. How can they help to make up other people's minds when they have never made up their own?

The cant, that it is not for journalists to do this, that, or the other, is inconsistent with any theory of civic responsibility. Before I was an editor and a journalist I was a citizen and a man. As a member of a self-governing community I owe a duty to my country, of which the sole measure is my capacity and opportunity to serve her. How can any one, who has the power in his hands of averting a grave evil, justify himself if he allows it to overwhelm his country, on the pretext that, being a journalist, it was not his duty to avert evils from the commonwealth; his duty being apparently to twaddle about chrysanthemums and spin rigmaroles about the dresses at the last Drawing-room or the fashions at Goodwood. A man's responsibility is as his might, and his might depends largely upon his insight and his foresight.

The duty of a journalist is the duty of a watchman. "If the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned, if the sword come and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman's hand." A man's duty is to do all the good he can and to prevent all the evil, and on him who seeth to do good and doeth it not, lies a heavier condemnation than it is prudent to face.

A knowledge of the facts - that is the first and most indispensable of all things. Lord Beaconsfield once said that power belonged to him who was best informed; and, like many of his remarks, this contains much truth. Of course a head of a department, or an !M.P., has, or ought to have, more opportunities of learning the facts than any journalist; and on many subjects, no doubt, especially those concerning which the Foreign Office keeps the public resolutely in the dark, the Minister, although not the Member, has an enormous advantage over the journalist. But this is minimized to a certain extent by the confidential communications constantly made, by those in the " swim," to journalists in their confidence, and compensated for by the absurd conventionality which often acts as a barrier between those who know the facts and the responsible depositaries of power. Hobart Pasha,- before he was restored to the Navy List, could not be consulted as to the plan of campaign projected in the Black Sea last spring, and the scheme was almost projected before the man who knew more about campaigning in the Black Sea than any other sailor in Europe could be consulted, although the plan was to have been carried out, if possible, in conjunction with the fleet under Admiral Hobart's command. Another case quite as remarkable, followed by consequences more deplorable, was the neglect of the War Office to seek General Gordon's advice as to the defence of Khartoum and the defence of the Soudan before Hicks marched to his doom in the waterless deserts of Kordofan. General Gordon had commanded in the Soudan. He knew better how to defend Khartoum than any living man. But although he was in the country, he was never asked a question as to what should be done. He did not care to obtrude with his advice unasked, and he was allowed to leave the country without a single consultation on the affairs of the Soudan. Had he been consulted then, the need for his subsequent expedition would never have arisen, and that, although the necessity for sending some one was admitted, never seemed to occur to the Government until it was forced upon their attention by a newspaper interviewer. But this is all of a piece with the actions of administrations everywhere. The last men with whom Ministers consult in framing Irish measures are the most trusted representatives of the Irish people; and Scotland Yard recently only followed the traditions of Downing Street in sending a detective on a journey of nearly a thousand miles to fail in discovering what could have been learnt at once by a simple question at Northumberland Street. "The last man whom they want to see at the Colonial Office," said a leading South African bitterly, "is a colonist;" and what is true of colonists appears even more forcibly in the case of distinguished foreigners and others who lie outside the routine of officialism.

A journalist is, or ought to be, a perpetual note of interrogation, which he affixes without ceremony to all sorts and conditions of men. No one is too exalted to be interviewed, no one too humble. From the king to the hangman - and I have interviewed both - they need no introduction to the sanctum, provided only that they speak of facts at first hand bearing directly upon some topic of the day. That universal accessibility, that eagerness to learn everything that can be told him by any one who knows the facts, gives the editor one great advantage; and another, perhaps as great, is the compulsion that is laid upon him to serve up the knowledge he acquired in a shape that can be read and remembered by all men. There is no such compulsion on the Minister. Contrast the newspaper precis of some important negotiation and the Blue Book - there is the difference at a glance. Often the precis is execrably done, apparently being handed over at the last moment to the odd man of the office, who does police paragraphs and such like, but there is at least an attempt to construct an intelligible narrative. In the Blue Book there is none. It is a huge and undigested mass of material, which not one in a hundred thousand ever reads, and not one in a million ever masters. To paraphrase Robert Hall's saying, the officials put so many despatches on the top of their head, they crush out their brains.

I am claiming no superiority per se in the journalist over the Minister. Put two men mentally as identical as the two Dromios, one in the Foreign Office and the other in Printing House Square or Shoe Lane, and the exigencies of their respective offices will drive the latter to be more acquisitive of latest information from all sources than the former, for the self-interest and the conditions of the business are constant forces, whose operations drive the editor on, while the Minister is tempted to confine himself within the smooth groove of official routine.

Another limitation on the efficiency of Parliament, as contrasted with the greater liberty of the Press, is the tendency of members to confine their attention to those who vote. To do nothing for nothing, to care for nobody who cannot pay for attention received in votes at the ballot-box, is one of the most odious features of modern Parliaments. But voters, even under household suffrage, are but a seventh part of the inhabitants of these islands, and barely a hundredth part of the subjects of the Queen. The constituency of the newspaper is wider. Everything that is of human interest is of interest to the Press. A newspaper, to put it brutally, must have good copy, and good copy is oftener found among the outcast and the disinherited of the earth than among the fat and well-fed citizens. Hence selfishness makes the editor more concerned about the vagabond, the landless man, and the deserted child, than the member. He has his Achilles' heel in the advertisements, and he must not carry his allegiance to outcast humanity too far. If he wishes to plead for those whom society has ostracized not so much because they are wicked as because they are improper, then self-interest pleads the other way. Mrs. Grundy tolerates crime, but not impropriety; and it is safer to defend a murderer than a Magdalen, unless of course she belongs to the privileged orders, and is either an actress or the plaything of a prince; and even then, while it is permitted to excite any amount of curiosity about her, the moral aspect of the case must be strictly tabooed. So rigidly is this carried out that it is doubtful whether, if an edict were to be issued condemning every woman to the Lock Hospital to be vivisected at the medical schools for purposes of demonstration, the more decorous of our journals would deem the wrong scandalous enough to justify the insertion of a protest against so monstrous a violation of human rights. The medical journals of course would enthusiastically support it; the Saturday Review would empty vials of its sourest ink over the indecent Maenads and shrieking sisters who publicly denounced such an outrage on humanity and womanhood; and the great majority of the papers would avoid the subject as much as possible, in the interests of public morality and public decency. In reading some of our public journals, we begin to understand how it was that slaves were crucified nightly outside the walls of ancient Rome, without even a protest from the philosopher or a tear from the women of the empire. Not so long ago, when the Contagious Diseases Acts were in the height of their popularity, it seemed probable enough that even crucifixion in a garrison town would have been regarded as a service done to humanity and morality by those who, in the interests of hygiene, have materialized the Inquisition, and naturalized the familiars of the Home Office as police spies in English towns.

It is the fashion, among those who decry the power of the more advanced journalism of the day, to sneer at each fresh development of its power as mere sensationalism. This convenient phrase covers a wonderful lack of thinking. For, after all, is it not a simple fact that it is solely by sensations experienced by the optic nerve that we see, and that without a continual stream of ever-renewed sensations we should neither hear, nor see, nor feel, nor think. Our life, our thought, our existence, are built up by a never-ending series of sensations, and when people object to sensations they object to the very material of life. What they mean, however, is not to object to sensations per se, but to sensations in unexpected quarters. It is the novel, the startling, the unexpected, that they denounce; the presentation of facts with such vividness and graphic force as to make a distinct even although temporary impact upon the mind.

"You must not pump spring water unawares Upon a gracious public full of nerves,"

is the canon of the anti-sensationalist; and if you do, it is held hy some to be so grave an offence as to justify them in saying anything, even if they deny that the water was cold which roused them into a state of indignant clamour. Now, I have not a word to say in favour of any method of journalism that can fairly be called exaggerated or untrue. Mere froth-whipping or piling up the agony, solely for purposes of harrowing the feelings of the reader, and nothing more, may be defended as ghost stories are defended; but I have nothing to say for that kind of work. That is not the sensationalism which I am prepared to defend. The sensationalism which is indispensable is sensationalism which is justifiable. Sensationalism in journalism is justifiable up to the point that it is necessary to arrest the eye of the public and compel them to admit the necessity of action.

When the public is short-sighted - and on many subjects it is a blear-eyed public, short-sighted to the point of blindness - you need to print in capitals. If you print in ordinary type, it is as if you had never printed at all. If you speak to a deaf man in a whisper, you might as well have spared your breath. If his house is on fire, you are justified in roaring the fact into his ear until he hears; and it is just the same in journalism. The myriad murmurs of multitudinous tongues, all busy with "the rustic cackle of the bourg," render it practically impossible for any one to obtain a hearing for the most important of truths, unless he raises his voice above the din. And that is sensationalism so-called. Mere shouting in itself is one of the most vulgar and least attractive of human exercises. A Cheap Jack has the lungs of a Stentor, but who listens to him? It is the thing you shout that will command attention after you have first aroused it, but you must arouse it first; and therein lies the necessity of presenting it in such a fashion as to strike the eye and compel the public at least to ask, "What is it all about?"

"But if this be so, and we all take to shouting, we shall merely have increased the general hubbub, without rendering ourselves any more articulate." In that case, should that improbable possibility be realized, the best way to attract attention would be to speak in whispers. Every one remembers the familiar story that comes to us from the Congress of Vienna - " Who is that personage? He has not a single decoration: he must be very distinguished." And as it is with stars and decorations in the mob of kings and diplomatists, so will it be with a multitude of pseudo-sensationalists. For sensationalism is solely a means to an end. It is never an end in itself. When it ceases to serve its turn, it must be exchanged for some other and more effective mood of rousing the sluggish mind of the general public into at least a momentary activity.

The "Amateur Casual," whose hunk of bread is still preserved under a glass shade at Northumberland Street as a trophy of that early triumph, was a piece of sensationalism of the best kind. Mr. James Greenwood himself went through the experiences which he described. His narrative was carefully written up, and no pains spared to make every detail stand out in as life-like and real a fashion as was possible, and the object of its publication was the attainment of a definite improvement in the treatment of the poorest of the poor. It secured, as it deserved, a brilliant success, both social and journalistic. The man and dog fight at Hanley, which the same journalist contributed to the Daily Telegraph, was as perfect a specimen of bad sensationalism as his first venture was of good. It was a more or less unauthentic horror, immensely exaggerated, even if it ever occurred, and its publication could not serve, and was not intended to serve, any other end beyond the exhibition of brutality. It failed, as it deserved to fail. But the contrast between the two specimens of the handiwork of the same noted journalist is sufficient to illustrate the absurdity of imagining that the last word has been said when a newspaper or an article is dismissed as sensational.

It would not be difficult to maintain that nothing can ever get itself accomplished nowadays without sensationalism. Mr. Spurgeon built up a solid church by as painstaking labour as ever man put forth, but no man was ever more soundly abused as a mere sensation-monger than the pastor of the Metropolitan Tabernacle. In politics, in social reform, it is indispensable. Without going so far back as the sensationalism of "Uncle Tom," or of the still earlier literature which abolished slavery, it was sensationalism of the most sensational kind which enabled Mr. Plimsoll, by sheer force of will, to dab a disk of paint upon the side of every merchantman that hoists the English flag. It was the sensationalism of the "Bitter Cry of Outcast London," emphasized by a journalistic sounding-board, that led to the appointment of the Royal Commission on the Housing of the Poor. And it was sensationalism that passed the Criminal Law Amendment Act. Sensationalism, in fact, is not unlike the famous chapel bell whose peal Mr. Gladstone heard and obeyed in the case of the explosion that shattered Clerkenwell. Or, if I may vary the metaphor, I may compare sensationalism to the bladder full of dry peas with which it was the custom to rouse the sages of Laputa from reverie to attend to the urgent claims of life and business. The British public is not Laputan, but it often takes a deal of rousing. Even when its object-lessons have been written in characters of blood and flame, it has too often ignored their significance. For the great public the journalist must print in great capitals, or his warning is unheard. Possibly it has always been so. Every phase of sensationalism seems to have been practised by the Hebrew prophets, who, however, stand altogether condemned by the canons of our superfine age.

As an instrument of culture, taking culture in Mr. Arnold's sense, as familiarity with the best thoughts expressed in the best terms by the ablest men, the Press has many and glaring faults, but for the common people it has no rival. There is often an intolerable amount of the jargon of the two great gambling hells of modern England - the Stock Exchange and the race-course - for a mere ha'porth of suggestive thoughts or luminous facts; but the ha'porth is there, and without the newspaper there would not even be that. The craze to have everything served up in snippets, the desire to be fed on seasoned or sweetened tit-bits, may be deplored; but although mincemeat may not be wholesome as a staple diet, it is better than nothing. If, as Carlyle said, the real university is the silent library, the most potent educator is the newspaper. The teacher is the ultimate governor.

But I am more concerned with the direct governing functions of the Press. And foremost amongst them, unquestionably, is the Argus-eyed power of inspection which it possesses, and which, on the whole, it exercises with great prudence and good sense. I remember hearing Mr. Gladstone tell a foreign visitor that he believed that the free, unfettered Press of this country had done more to reform its Government and purify its administration than all the Parliaments, reformed or unreformed, that had ever existed. Whenever you shut off any department from the supervision of the Press, there you find abuses which would speedily perish in the light of day. The net effect of Mr. Gladstone's exordium was, that if he were called upon to prescribe any single English institution in use to improve the Government, say, of an empire like that of Russia, he would say that a free Press would do more good than a representative assembly. The newspaper has become what the House of Commons used to be, and still is in theory, for it is the great court in which all grievances are heard, and all abuses brought to the light of open criticism.- But it is much more than this. It is the great inspector, with a myriad eyes, who never sleeps, and whose daily reports are submitted, not to a functionary or a department, but to the whole people. The sphere of this inspection needs to be enlarged so as to include such official establishments as lunatic asylums, prisons, workhouses, and the like. An editor of a daily paper, or his representative, should be ex officio vested with all the right of inspection enjoyed by a visiting justice or a Home Office inspector. If the right were to be conferred only upon one newspaper at a time, but allowed to all in rotation, an honourable emulation would be set up, and a sense of responsibility stimulated, for the discovery of abuses and the suggestion of reforms. It ought not to be necessary for a journalist to have to personate a tramp to expose a casual ward, to get himself locked up as disorderly to see how the charges are treated at a police station, or to commit a misdemeanour to be able to say whether the "skilly" of prisoners is edible, or whether the reception cells are sufficiently warmed. It is not enough that an order to visit public establishments on a specified day should be given to a journalist. To be effective, inspection should ever be unforeseen. It is at such an hour as they think not that the inspector, who is really dreaded, makes his call.

And as a corollary to this it should be added that the law of libel should be so modified as to permit a newspaper much greater liberty to publish the truth than the Press at present possesses. A bona-fide report of a visit of inspection might subject a newspaper to an action for libel. The greater the truth the greater the libel, is a maxim to which there ought to be large exceptions, not dependent upon the caprice or the leniency of a jury. A bona-fide report of an inspection ought to be at least as privileged as a bona-fide report of proceedings in a police court. But the necessity for liberating the Press from the disabilities which impose penalties for speaking the truth, is a wide subject, which cannot be dealt with here.

Even as it now is, with all its disabilities and all its limitations, the Press is almost the most effective instrument for discharging many of the functions of government now left us. It has been, as Mr. Gladstone remarked, and still is, the most potent engine for the reform of abuses that we possess, and it has succeeded to many of the functions formerly monopolized by the House of Commons. But all that it has been is but a shadow going before of the substance which it may yet possess, when all our people have learned to read, and the Press is directed by men with the instinct and capacity of government.

W. T. Stead.