Thursday, July 25, 2013

Old "distributive justice" vs the new "distributive justice", and the abuse of the English language by progressives

The interesting thing about history is that there is very little that's new under the sun. This is also true for the term "distributive justice". I asked the question "Is "distributive justice" yet another idea that progressives imported from Germany?" to which the answer is yes. American Progressives did import it from Germany, all you have to do is check the progressives' footnotes. But that is not where this ends, because the German Socialists originally got the term from somewhere else. In short, there's two places: St. Thomas Aquinas and Aristotle - but these need to be explained because it gets a little convoluted.

As to St. Thomas Aquinas, he does specifically use the phrase "distributive justice", but what he is referring to has absolutely nothing to do with the concept of redistribution of wealth. That is, government stealing from one and giving to another.

As to Aristotle, he does not specifically use the phrase(that I know of) but he is talking about wealth redistribution.

First, let's get to the original sources. St. Thomas Aquinas writes of "distributive justice" in his book titled "Summa Theologica", Volume 3 (Part II, Second Section). Because there is a lot here I am only going to clip small portions:

Article 2. Whether the mean is to be observed in the same way in distributive as in commutative justice?

Objection 1. It would seem that the mean in distributive justice is to be observed in the same way as in commutative justice. For each of these is a kind of particular justice, as stated above (Article 1). Now the mean is taken in the same way in all the parts of temperance or fortitude. Therefore the mean should also be observed in the same way in both distributive and commutative justice.

After listing some objections, he writes:

I answer that, As stated above (Article 1), in distributive justice something is given to a private individual, in so far as what belongs to the whole is due to the part, and in a quantity that is proportionate to the importance of the position of that part in respect of the whole. Consequently in distributive justice a person receives all the more of the common goods, according as he holds a more prominent position in the community. This prominence in an aristocratic community is gauged according to virtue, in an oligarchy according to wealth, in a democracy according to liberty, and in various ways according to various forms of community. Hence in distributive justice the mean is observed, not according to equality between thing and thing, but according to proportion between things and persons: in such a way that even as one person surpasses another, so that which is given to one person surpasses that which is allotted to another. Hence the Philosopher says (Ethic. v, 3,4) that the mean in the latter case follows “geometrical proportion,” wherein equality depends not on quantity but on proportion. For example we say that 6 is to 4 as 3 is to 2, because in either case the proportion equals 1-1/2; since the greater number is the sum of the lesser plus its half: whereas the equality of excess is not one of quantity, because 6 exceeds 4 by 2, while 3 exceeds 2 by 1.

The old "distributive justice" is about justice distributed properly. That is, if you are a more productive person, then it is just that you should earn more. It's very "just" that you should earn more if you work harder. I know I'm probably being a little over-simplistic in the previous sentence, but it's clear that he is not talking about governmental theft of property to give to another person.

Now, on to Aristotle. Aristotle writes about wealth distribution as a function of "justice" in his book Politics. This is from Book 2:

There is another point: Should not the amount of property be defined in some way which differs from this by being clearer? For Socrates says that a man should have so much property as will enable him to live temperately, which is only a way of saying 'to live well'; this is too general a conception. Further, a man may live temperately and yet miserably. A better definition would be that a man must have so much property as will enable him to live not only temperately but liberally; if the two are parted, liberally will combine with luxury; temperance will be associated with toil. For liberality and temperance are the only eligible qualities which have to do with the use of property. A man cannot use property with mildness or courage, but temperately and liberally he may; and therefore the practice of these virtues is inseparable from property. There is an inconsistency, too, in too, in equalizing the property and not regulating the number of the citizens; the population is to remain unlimited, and he thinks that it will be sufficiently equalized by a certain number of marriages being unfruitful, however many are born to others, because he finds this to be the case in existing states. But greater care will be required than now; for among ourselves, whatever may be the number of citizens, the property is always distributed among them, and therefore no one is in want; but, if the property were incapable of division as in the Laws, the supernumeraries, whether few or many, would get nothing. One would have thought that it was even more necessary to limit population than property; and that the limit should be fixed by calculating the chances of mortality in the children, and of sterility in married persons. The neglect of this subject, which in existing states is so common, is a never-failing cause of poverty among the citizens; and poverty is the parent of revolution and crime.

There are several places in his book Politics where he talks about wealth redistribution, and the distribution of other things, such as power, but nowhere does he use the specific phrase "distributive justice".(That I have seen) I cite Aristotle because that's at least one of the sources that the German Socialists used in their models for "distributive justice".

The point is this: As I opened, there is very little which is new under the sun. This is especially true for governments which engage in theft. Benjamin Franklin wrote:

Hence as all history informs us, there has been in every State & Kingdom a constant kind of warfare between the governing & governed: the one striving to obtain more for its support, and the other to pay less. And this has alone occasioned great convulsions, actual civil wars, ending either in dethroning of the Princes, or enslaving of the people. Generally indeed the ruling power carries its point, the revenues of princes constantly increasing, and we see that they are never satisfied, but always in want of more. The more the people are discontented with the oppression of taxes; the greater need the prince has of money to distribute among his partizans and pay the troops that are to suppress all resistance, and enable him to plunder at pleasure. There is scarce a king in a hundred who would not, if he could, follow the example of Pharoah, get first all the peoples money, then all their lands, and then make them and their children servants for ever.

This carries the point home very well in two ways. Wealth redistribution is not only a very old concept, but it's a function of dictatorships. This is the exact opposite of what modern progressives preach. They always preach that they want "new ideas", but if these "new ideas" were ever properly examined, you would find that progressivism relies upon ideas which are all much older than any ideas of liberty. Reagan once said:

This idea that government is beholden to the people, that it has no other source of power except the sovereign people, is still the newest and the most unique idea in all the long history of man's relation to man.

When progressives successfully cast tyrannical ideas as "justice", you have a big problem on your hands. It's one thing to say that you lived in the year 35xBC, then you have an excuse. In Aristotle's day, tyranny was all they had. But as it's shown by both Ben Franklin as well as St. Thomas Aquinas, wealth redistribution is a very dangerous concept, and "distributive justice" was originally about the proper functions of law, not wealth redistribution.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Character Sketch: W. Randolph Hearst, By William Thomas Stead (1908)

W. Randolph Hearst

This is the highest and most profitable knowledge, truly to know and to despise ourselves. To have no opinion of ourselves and to think always well and highly of others, is great wisdom and perfection. If thou shouldest see another sin openly or commit some grievous crime, yet thou oughtest not to esteem thyself better; because thou knowest not how long thou mayest be able to remain in a good state. We are all frail; but as to thee, do not think they are more frail than thyself. - Thomas a Kempis, Book I. Ch. I.


THE hero of the month is unquestionably Mr. William Randolph Hearst. When Mr. Hearst was campaigning two years ago for the Governorship of New York State, in a village beyond Albany Mr. Hearst's automobile met a coal wagon. The driver, a big, burly fellow, with his hands as black as his face, leaned over and gripped Mr. Hearst's fingers and shouted, " Good boy ! To hell with the Coal Trust, Willie!"

" To-Hell-with-the-Trusts-Willie!" is a name that may yet become as famous in history as that of the famous Praise-God-Barebones of the English Commonwealth. For last month Willie Hearst has indeed - to borrow the picturesque but profane vocabulary of the West - been giving the Trusts hell all round. And not the Trusts only. The politicians who have blackmailed the Trusts, and the political leaders who became the hirelings of the Trusts, have all received their medicine. Republican and Democrat alike have had it meted out to them fiery hot, while all the world has wondered, and not a few of its denizens have lifted up holy hands of unctuous righteousness and have thanked God they were not sinners like other men, and especially not like these (re)publicans across the Atlantic.

Now if the saints of all creeds may be believed, there is no sin so dangerous and deadly as self-righteousness. The harlot precedes the Pharisee into the kingdom of heaven. And therefore before entering upon the description of Mr. Hearst's remarkable personality, let me administer to John Bull a little salutary physic in order that he may attain to what Thomas a Kempis calls " the highest and most profitable knowledge truly to know and to despise ourselves."

By a providential good fortune, if we look at it from the point of view of Thomas a Kempis, in the same week that Mr. Hearst began to explode his bombshells in the headquarters of the Republicans and the Democrats of the United States, the Director of Public Prosecutions unfolded in the Thames Police Court a story of corruption - on a small scale, it is true - which in its way is quite as bad as anything Mr. Hearst has brought to light in America. As Poplar is to the United States, so is the dishonesty unveiled at the Thames Police Court to the revelations of Mr. Hearst. The case is not yet decided, and it is impossible to discuss the truth or falsehood of the charges against the individuals who have been placed in the dock, from which everyone hopes they may issue " without a stain upon their characters." But the main outlines of the story, told by the chief offender, who has turned King's evidence, can be stated without offence. This man, " a builder named Calcutt," accuses himself of having secured a series of contracts, chiefly for work done on the Blackwall Branch Asylum, covering the years 1903-6, by the simple process of bribing eight members of the Board of Managers, who gave him a series of fat jobs, amounting in all to about £3,000. The law requiring that all contracts exceeding £50 should be let by public tender was ingeniously evaded by splitting a contract for one building into a series of separate contracts for each room. The official prosecutor said it was impossible to explain what this Board did in any other way than according to the story of Calcutt. It was a story of bribery and corruption, of gifts of clothes, coals, presents, drinks, and work.

The case of Calcutt was but one of many others. When a tea contract was to be disposed of, one of the members exclaimed, " If he gets that contract, I want £10." He got that £10. When public money was spent on these lines, it is not surprising that the expenditure of this particular Board went up by leaps and bounds. In 1901 it was £35,000 a year; in 1906 it had risen to £62,000. A public outcry having been made, the expenditure has since been reduced by £10,000. It is, perhaps, not altogether without justification if we take it that this single local board, elected from and by two local Boards of Guardians in one East End district, entailed upon the ratepayers an expenditure of £10,000 a year as a result of the methods of jobbery exposed at the Thames Police Court. If this Board stood alone we might think less of it. But does it stand alone? If a searching probe were applied to all our local governing bodies, as it has been applied in Poplar, how many would escape scatheless ? Only a month or two ago, after a long and exhaustive trial, a batch of East End guardians were sent to gaol as criminals for similar malpractices. "Think ye that those upon whom the Tower of Siloam fell were sinners above all the rest of the Galileans? I tell you nay." So I quote these instances of corruption in the East End to point the moral and illustrate the warning of Thomas a Kempis : "If thou shouldest see another sin openly or commit some grievous crime, yet thou oughtest not to esteem thyself better, because thou knowest not how long thou mayest be able to remain in a good state."

It will be replied that the misdeeds of the East End may be set off against the misdeeds of Tammany Hall and the corrupt City Governments of America. But the exposures made by Mr. Hearst are much more serious, inasmuch as they impugn the honour of the leaders of the parties to which are entrusted the government of tie nation. Granted. But this compels me to point to another skeleton in our closet. The charges of Mr. Hearst, reduced to their essence, amount to this, that both parties when elections came round levied contributions from the Trusts. He supplemented this by imputing specific acts of corruption in the purchase of individual members of the legislature, but these may be ignored for the present. The chief charge, the only one which indirectly affects Mr. Roosevelt, is the fact that the party managers on the eve of an election levied contributions for campaign funds from the great business combinations' called Trusts. In return for such contributions they hoped to be insured against interference, or, in their own phrase, they were "guaranteed a Conservative Administration."

This, of course, is scandalous and worthy of all reprobation. But those who live in glass houses should not throw stones. If we had a Mr. Hearst in this country, and our law of libel was as elastic as that of America, does anyone think that the world would not be scandalised by revelations as to corruption in high places in Westminster as well as in Washington? The English variety of corruption differs from that which flourishes across the Atlantic as a monarchy differs from a republic. It has often been cynically declared that the one permanent advantage a monarchy possesses over a republic is that under one you can bribe respectably with honours, whereas under the other you must pay down in hard cash.

I do not want to bring railing accusations against either of our political parties, for both are equally guilty or equally innocent. But if anyone imagines that the electoral expenses fund of either Liberal or Conservative party is not constantly replenished by what in blunt Saxon may be called the sale of honours and titles, he must be a very innocent. It is all done "on the sly." No price list is exhibited in the windows of the Government whip: "Knighthoods cheap to-day, guaranteed at £5,000. Baronetcies from £25,000 and upwards. Peerages £50,000 down," because that would create a scandal. But if any wealthy man wishes to secure a handle to his name, he will soon discover that there is no surer and shorter road to the fount of honour than by a liberal subscription to the party funds. If this be not so, why should there be so insurmountable an objection on both sides to enacting that whenever any title or rank is conferred by the Crown, a message should be sent to Parliament stating for what cause the King delighteth to honour these particular lieges ? Those anxious to investigate this obscure subject will do well to make application to Mr. Henniker Heaton, the incorruptible one who twice refused a baronetcy offered him in recognition of his services to the State, on the ground that he did not care to accept a title which was usually bestowed in return for cash down.

All of which is a homily to my British readers not to think of themselves more highly than they ought to think, and when reading the story of W. Randolph Hearst and his revelations let them remember the parable of the mote and the beam, and take to heart with all humility the warning, Let him who thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.


When I returned from my last visit to America in 1907 I wrote in the REVIEW OF REVIEWS for December, "For tie last ten years I have never varied in stating that from my own personal knowledge of the man, insight into his character, and knowledge of his capacity, Mr. Hearst has it in him to be the great personal power in America for the next twenty years. He may wreck everything, but on the other hand, he may be in the future, as he ha been already in the past, a force making for progress and for the diminution of many abuses. Mr. Hearst may be a good man or he may be a bad man - that is a question of comparison as to which side the balance lies in a strangely complex character - but that he is a great man, and with a great strain of goodness in him, I have no doubt whatever."

In a previous number of this magazine I expressed my conviction "that the character Mr. Hearst is the unknown x in the future of American politics. The owner of the New York American and half-a-dozen other journals is for weal or for woe the factor which will exercise more influence on the history of the United States for the next twenty years than any other, not even excepting Mr. Roosevelt himself. No mistake can be greater than to imagine that he is un quantite negligeable. Not twelve months have passed since this was published, and already everyone is in amaze at the way in which Mr. Hearst has in a single week succeeded in dominating the political situation in America on the eve of a Presidential election.

Who is this "To Hell-with-the-Trusts Willie Hearst"?

The facts of his meteoric career are soon told. He is the son of the great millionaire mineowner, of California, Senator Hearst, whose wife, Phoebe, still survives. He was born in 1864. He was sent up to Harvard by his parents, and he was sent down from Harvard by the University authorities. After returning to San Francisco he fell in love with a well-known and beautiful actress of a good Californian family, but his people, regarding it as a mesalliance, prevented the marriage. Thereupon young Hearst, following the Byronic example, sought to find in many what he had failed to find in one, and set about painting the town red in approved libertine fashion. From that dates the period of his career, which was brought to an end half-a-dozen years ago by his marriage. In the midst of his scandalous debauchery he suddenly surprised his father by announcing a desire to go into journalism. " Don't be a mere tag on a money-bag," said a friend to the young Hearst. Old Senator Hearst sniffed a bit at the idea of Willie making out as an editor, but he made over to him the San Francisco Examiner.

To the amazement of his parents and the dismay of his friends, it was soon discovered that when they had started Willie Hearst in journalism they had let loose an earthquake on the Pacific Coast. Mr. Sydney Brooks, who wrote a very well-informed article on " The Significance of Mr. Hearst" in the Fortnightly Review last December, says:-

He determined to be the Pulitzer of the Pacific Coast, and to conduct the Examiner with the keyhole for a point of view, sensationalism for a policy, crime, scandal, and personalities for a speciality, all vested interests for a punching bag, cartoons, illustrations, and comic supplements for embellishments, and circulation for an object. He entirely succeeded. His father bore the initial expenses, and in return had the gratification of finding the Examiner turned loose among the businesses, characters, and private lives of his friends and associates. Hardly a prominent family escaped; the corporations were flayed, the plutocracy mercilessly ridiculed, and the social life of San Francisco, and especially of its wealthier citizens, was flooded with all the publicity that huge and flaming headlines and cohorts of reportorial eavesdroppers could give it. San Francisco was horrified, but it bought the Examiner; Senator Hearst remonstrated with his son, and to the last never quite reconciled himself to the "new journalism," but he did not withhold supplies, and in a very few years the enterprise was beyond need of his assistance and earning a handsome profit.

When he was turned thirty he conceived the idea of duplicating in New York the success he had achieved in San Francisco. Mr. Pulitzer, of the New York World, was in possession of the field. But Mr. Hearst had received a million sterling from his mother, to whom Senator Hearst had left his fortune, and he flung himself into the combat with the fine frenzy of a journalistic genius who had money to burn and a whole continent as a battlefield. He bought up Pulitzer's best men, and when they did not stay bought, but went back to Pulitzer at increased salaries, Mr. Hearst bought them a second time at prices with which even Mr. Pulitzer could not compete. In a very few years, by lavish expenditure, audacious enterprise, and unstinted sensationalism he had secured for the New York Journal the first place in circulation in the United States.

It was just when Mr. Hearst had succeeded in achieving his ambition to secure circulation that I made his acquaintance. It was in the fall of 1897. I had crossed the Atlantic with another remarkable product of American life - Richard Croker, of Tammany Hall - and I was most anxious to make the acquaintance of Mr. Hearst. I went down to his office shortly before midnight. I found the young millionaire in his shirt-sleeves busily engaged in preparing next day's paper. As soon as he was through the press of his work he sat down, and I had one of the most memorable conversations of my life. It takes rank with my interview with Cecil Rhodes when he told me he wished to make me his heir, and my interview with Alexander III. when I discovered him to be the Peace-keeper of Europe, as among those which are indelibly impressed on my memory. Mr. Hearst looked at me somewhat quizzically as he sat down and bade me welcome.

Plunging at once in medias res, I said:-

" Mr. Hearst, I am very glad to see you. I have been very curious to see you for some time, ever since I saw how you were handling the Journal. But do you know why I want to see you?"

Mr. Hearst smiled and said he thought it was a great compliment.

"Not at all," I went on. " I want to see you because I want to find out if you have got a soul. Listen to me," I said; "I have been long on the look out for a man to appear who will carry out my ideal of government by journalism. I am certain that such a man will come to the front some day, and I wonder if you are to be that man. You have many of the qualities such a man must possess. You have youth, energy, great journalistic flaire, adequate capital, boundless ambition - yes, you have all these. But - but, I am not sure you have got a soul, and if you have not a soul all the other things are as nothing."

"What do you mean?" said Mr. Hearst. "What do you mean by having a soul?"

"Have you ever read Lowell's 'Biglow Papers'? Do you remember ever having read the prose preface to 'The Pious Editor's Creed'?"

"Promise me," I said, "that you will hunt out the book and read it before you go to bed this night. I read it before I was twenty, and it has dominated ever since my conception of journalism. Read it and you will see what I mean by asking whether you have got a soul. Lowell's conception of journalism-"

"Oh," said Mr. Hearst with a sneer, "journalism is only a business, like everything else!"

"There's just where you make your mistake," I retorted vehemently. " Journalism is not a business just like everything else, and it is because you think it is so, and act on your belief, that I doubted whether you had found your soul. Journalism," I went on, "is the heir of all "the theocracies, monarchies, aristocracies, hierarchies, plutocracies. In a democracy the journalist is the one man whose voice is heard day by day by all the people. He has all the opportunities, all the responsibilities. It is his mission, as Lowell said, to be the Moses of Humanity, leading each generation across that wilderness of sin called the Progress of Civilisation."

"It's all very well for you to talk like that," said Mr. Hearst, "because you have made your mark and you have a right to be heard. But if I were to start on to the prophet business, why, people would say, 'Who is this young fellow who's talking to us like that? Guess he's pretty considerable swell-headed!'"

"My dear Mr. Hearst," I answered, "if I had waited till I had made my mark before starting in the prophet business I never should have made my mark. Do you know," I asked, "what the New York Journal looks like to me every time I take it up?"

"No," he replied. " I'm rather interested to hear."

"This," said I. "It seems to me exactly like a first-class Atlantic liner, fitted up with the latest improvements, with the best machinery, a first-class crew, a crowded complement of passengers, which, when it has got out of sight of land, is discovered to have neither pilot, nor chart, nor compass on board. So it goes steaming ahead, now this way, now that, without an aim, without an object, except only to show her speed."

"Well," said Mr. Hearst, "there is something in that, I admit. But what would you have me do with it? Where should I sail to?"

"If you do not know yourself what is the best course to steer, then consult the best Americans who think about the public welfare. Cecil Rhodes used to say that there were not more men in England who were worth consulting about the Empire than you can count on the fingers of two hands. That was too low an estimate. Suppose we say that there are twenty-five such on an average in every State in the Union. That gives you 1,000 men whose judgment is the best. Make it your business to know the whole 1,000, and condense from the total mass of their contributions what you find to be the common denominator of their ideas. Make that your message. Use your paper to give more power to the elbow of all the best and wisest citizens. Be their organ, their mouthpiece, make your paper their sceptre. And if you do, there is no man living in the United States who will have such an influence for good for so many years as you will have. Presidents last eight years at the most. You will never go out of office. But it all depends," I said, "whether you've got a soul, and that is why I've come here to-night to find out."

"It's very interesting what you say," replied Mr. Hearst. " It never occurred to me in that light before."

"Don't think it will be an easy road," I went on. "It is not a path of roses by any means. It may land you in gaol, or it may lead you to the scaffold; but a man with a soul within him counts these things as but trifles compared with the opportunity of wielding such influence over millions of his fellow-men."

We had a good deal more talk, but the above was the gist of it. I left after midnight, marvelling a little at the unwonted liberty of utterance which had been given to me with this total stranger, and wondering not a little as to what impression my unceremonious discourse had made upon the mind of Mr. Hearst.

After I returned home and was settling down to work I was startled by receiving every now and then from Mr. Hearst cablegrams addressed to his London correspondent asking him to obtain and to telegraph what I thought upon what the Journal was doing in this, that, or the other direction. I do not for a moment argue post hoc propter hoc, but it was almost immediately after that midnight talk that Mr. Hearst began to realise the ideal of a journalism that does things. He took up the question of municipal ownership. He engaged Arthur Brisbane, the son of Brisbane the Fourierist, to write editorials. He began the battle against the Trusts; he made the Spanish-American war. For weal or for woe Mr. Hearst had found his soul; for weal or for woe he had discovered his chart and engaged his pilot, and from that day to this he has steered a straight course, with no more tackings than were necessary to avoid the fury of the storm. Some years afterwards I met Mr. Hearst in Paris. He recalled our first conversation, and said, " I never had a talk with anyone which made so deep a dint in life."

The acquaintance thus begun has continued unbroken down to the present time. I am afraid I incurred no small amount of odium by contributing to the Journal in its early days, and last year when I was asked to describe the Peace Conference for the American (the Journal was rechristened American after a few years), I was warned by my friends that nothing would so hopelessly discredit me as to figure in the pages of that "Yellow Journal." Mr. Roosevelt's opinion of Mr. Hearst, as he delivered it to one of Mr. Hearst's own interviewers, and repeated it to me, was quite unfit for publication - anyhow, it was not published. But what was to be done? In 1899, when the first Peace Conference met at the Hague, it was Mr. Hearst and Mr. Hearst's syndicated papers which alone were willing to pay for cabling 2,000 words every Sunday of what had been done at the Hague the previous seven days. Last year they undertook to do the same, but as public interest waned they did not continue their publication.

I saw Mr. Hearst last year just before I left New York, the day after he had published a scathing attack upon the Democratic party organisation, in which the curious will find a foreshadowing of the smashing blow which last month drove Mr. Bryan to get rid of the Treasurer of his party. We had quite a long talk. I have probably talked with as many varieties of notable men as any of my contemporaries. I put Mr. Hearst very high in my graded categories of remarkable men. A cooler hand and a steadier head few men have. He discussed with almost Olympian impartiality the probabilities of American politics, the characters of American public men. He seemed to be singularly free from bitterness. He said he thought the Republicans could not help carrying the next Presidential Election even if they tried. Roosevelt's influence would be sufficient to carry any ticket. As to Mr. Bryan's chances, he spoke kindly of Mr. Bryan, but he utterly despaired of the Democratic party machine being capable of grappling with the Trusts. It had chopped and changed too much to command the confidence of the country, and the personnel of its organisation was utterly bad.

I asked him why he had not adhered to the career which, ten years before, I had said would lead him to a position in the Republic much more influential than that of President. "Oh," he replied, "I was tired of telling people what they ought to do: I wanted to see if I could not do things myself. But that is over now. I am not, going to stand again for Presidency."

"But," I objected, "you stood for the Mayoralty of New York and then for the Governorship of the State."

"I did not want to stand for either," he replied. "The boys fairly forced me into the Mayoral contest. They said that it was no use my rallying them to the fight if I would not do my share in the battle. I refused and refused, and it was only when it was quite clear that the whole party would be ruined if I did not give in that I consented to stand."

"And were not elected?"

"Oh, I was elected right enough. Legally and rightfully I am Mayor of New York at this moment. But they deliberately falsified the election returns. If we could have had an honest count of all the ballots cast I should have been in the City Hall at this moment."

"But the Governorship?"

"Oh, that was a corollary of the cheating that seated the candidate of the minority in the Mayor's chair. Our fellows were mad at that scandalous swindle, and they nominated me for Governor."

"Out of which you were kept by Mr. Root's letter from Roosevelt?"

"Oh, no ; not at all. I don't think that letter materially affected the result. What did affect the election was the fact that as the Republicans had usurped the mayoralty, they were able to swing the whole of the civic employees' votes for Mr. Hughes. If they had not been in possession of the mayoralty, or if they had remained neutral, most of these employees would have voted for me, as they did when I stood for Mayor."

Mr. Hearst spoke without acrimony, with a good deal of philosophical cynicism. But it was quite clear to me that he could not be counted upon as a factor to secure the success of Mr. Bryan.

My own impression of Mr. Hearst has never varied. He is one of the ablest men in America, the keenest and most capable journalist in the world. Whatever his past may have been in the days when he was Madcap Hal, he has put away the vices of his hot youth and is now, like Henry V., the very opposite of his former self. The danger of course is that there may be a taint, a certain moral deterioration born of the period of his libertine youth which may deaden the moral instinct of the maturer man. As I used to say of Rhodes that his ethical education had been neglected, I would say of Mr. Hearst that his ethical perception may have been dulled by the riotous life of his earlier manhood.

The fine sense that instinctively recoils from anything that is not chivalrous or noble seldom survives a prolonged mud-bath in which the man wallows together with the dragons of the primeval slime. Hence certain things in his journals which make his friends uneasy and cause his enemies to blaspheme. There is a certain coarseness of invective, more worthy of a bargee than of a gentleman, in which Mr. Hearst occasionally revels. But when all deductions are made and all discounts allowed for, Mr. Hearst is to-day probably the most typical American of the new generation.

If you want to know the kind of man Mr. Hearst is, it is absurd to go ransacking Roman history to find his prototype. To some he is a reincarnation of the famous brothers Gracchi, to others he is the modern Catiline. It is much simpler, and the ordinary reader will understand much better what he is if I say that he is Alfred Harmsworth and W. T. Stead rolled into one and reincarnated in the body of an American of the Pacific Coast. He has the qualities of both the editors of the Daily Mail and of the Review of Reviews - although it is probable that the proportion of Stead is less than the proportion of Northcliffe. But he is like me in being a propagandist and a hot gospeller, which Lord Northcliffe is not, and never can be. It is not in him. But he has all Lord Northcliffe's qualities - his journalistic flaire, his skill in choosing willing slaves, his insatiable ambition, and his great business capacity.

His appearance has been recently described by two close observers. Mr. Arthur Brisbane says:-

He is a big man. He is more than six feet two in height, very broad, with big hands and big feet, a strong neck that will stand up for a long time under a heavy load. His hair is light in colour, and his eyes blue-gray, with a singular capacity for concentration. His dress of late has been the usual uniform of American statesmanship, combining the long-tailed frock coat and the cowboy's soft slouch hat.

Here is a companion picture by Mr. Sydney Brooks:-

In dress, appearance, and manner he is impeccably quiet, measured, and decorous. He struck me as a man of power and a man of sense, with a certain dry wit about him, and a pleasantly detached and impersonal way of speaking. He stands six feet two in height, is broad-shouldered, deep of chest, huge-fisted, deliberate, but assured in all his movements. But for an excess of paleness and smoothness in his skin one might take him for an athlete. He does not look his forty-four years. The face has indubitable strength. The long and powerful jaw and the lines round his firmly clenched mouth tell of a capacity for long concentration, and the eyes, large, steady, and luminously blue, emphasise by their directness the effect of resolution. In more ways than his quiet voice and unhurried, considering air, Mr. Hearst is somewhat of a surprise. He neither smokes nor drinks; he never speculates; he sold the racehorses he inherited from his father, and is never seen on a race track; yachting, dancing, cards, the Newport life, have not the smallest attraction for him; for a multi-millionaire he has scarcely any friends among the rich, and to "Society" he is wholly indifferent; he lives in an unpretentious house in an unfashionable quarter, and outside his family, his politics, and his papers, appears to have no interests whatever.

Many people used to say that Mr. Hearst was a cypher, that he would be nothing without Mr. Brisbane, etc. The fact is, Mr. Hearst is anything but a cypher. In the expressive Americanism it is Mr. Hearst who is "it," and no one else but Mr. Hearst. He has not a resonant voice, but he is an effective speaker. He is as slashing a writer as any of those wielding a pen on the American Press.

The question of questions that is asked me always about Mr. Hearst is this: "Is he sincere?" If I were put in the witness stand and made to answer that question on my oath I should say, "To the best of my knowledge and belief he is." That he is absolutely free from self-seeking I do not for a moment contend. He is no Pharisee. He is a man avid of success, measured by increase of circulation and increase of influence; an ambitious man as Napoleon was ambitious, and with something perhaps of the unscrupulosity of the great little Corsican. But in the inmost soul of him - and he has a soul and has found it - there is a desire to serve the common people. He is a Jeffersonian Democrat, a natural demagogue, and a man who is proud of being the tribune of the people.

It may be said if Mr. Hearst be so, why then this and that? Mr. Hearst is a man of action, a journalist engineer to whom nothing is sacred, a man whose balance-wheel of moral principle is not dominant, a kind of American Jesuit to whom the end justifies the means. But this brings me to my next chapter.


Mr. Hearst is the owner of nine distinct newspapers published in five cities in the United States and three widely circulated magazines, all of which pay. To quote Mr. Brisbane:-

He has built his newspapers up to a daily circulation of two millions. And that circulation is increasing constantly. Every day Hearst is able to talk with two million American families scattered everywhere in this country. His newspapers arc published in Boston, New York, Chicago, San Francisco and Los Angeles. And they will soon be published in many other cities. His voice reaches farther than the voice of any other man in the country. There has never before been assembled in this world an audience such as that which Hearst commands, and therefore it is safe to say that there has never been a man possessing his peculiar influence and power for good.

According to Mr. Creelman, Mr. Hearst, up to 1906, had invested £2,400,000 in his newspaper business, and every year he spends £3,000,000 in producing his various publications. This daily outlay of £8,000 purchases 400 tons of white paper, which are converted into two million newspapers varying from eight to thirty or forty pages, pays the wages of 4,000 regular employees, and the lineage of 15,000 correspondents writing in space. He bought the New York Journal for £30,000, and has now sunk £1,600,000 in that property.

All of his papers are papers that appeal to the million. They are printed for the million and are read by the million. They are sensational and abusive, but not, so far as I have been able to discover, obscene or filthy. Mr. Hearst, indeed, gibbeted James Gordon Bennett for publishing indecent advertisements in the Herald, and obtained a judgment against him. He was accused by President Roosevelt of having incited by his violent attacks the assassination of President McKinley, and there is no variety of abusive epithet that has not been heaped upon him and his paper. But it takes all sorts of people to make a world, and it takes all sorts of papers to minister to the tastes of all sorts of people. Full reports of murder cases are not always edifying reading, but with the memory of the Luard murder and suicide still fresh in our memory it does not do for English journalists to give themselves airs. That Mr. Hearst plays to his gallery is true, and he would not deny it, for it is by the support of his readers he lives. That he would, other things being equal, prefer to produce more respectable papers I believe, but he caters to his public, as do many more pharisaic journalists who happen to have a less cosmopolitan public than that to which Mr. Hearst appeals.

Mr. Hearst talked good sound peace talk when I was last in New York, and the editorials in the American would have delighted the heart of Dr. Darby of the Peace Society. But if any man made the war with Spain inevitable it was Mr. Hearst, just as it was Lord Northcliffe who largely contributed to bring about the war with the Boers. Appealing as he does largely to the Russian Jews of the Ghetto, to the Germans, to the Irish, and to the non-English conglomerate, he is constantly under the temptation to twist the lion's tail. His late outburst in the Times exhibited him at his worst. I have a great belief in Mr. Hearst, and a great affection for him, but I am afraid I must admit that the influence of his papers would not tend toward peace and sweet reasonableness in the conduct of the foreign affairs of the United States.

Mr. Brisbane boldly claims for Mr. Hearst that -

he has made dishonest wealth disreputable throughout the nation. He is the greatest awakener and director of public opinion and public anger against injustice that the country has seen for many years.

Hearst has made innumerable fights in the interest of the people at his own expense, with great expenditure of money and of personal energy. Various trusts have been fought by him through the courts and up to the Supreme Court. He certainly has the honour of being hated more deeply by the public enemies of this country than any other man in it. A mere enumeration of the lawsuits that he has begun and prosecuted on behalf of the public welfare fills out a considerable pamphlet.

A more impartial witness, writing in Collier's Weekly, says:-

It is due to Mr. Hearst, more than to any other one man, that the Central and Union Pacific Railroads paid the £24,000,000 they owed the Government. Mr. Hearst secured a model Children's Hospital for San Francisco, and he built the Greek Theatre of the University of California - one of the most successful classic reproductions in America. Eight years ago, and again this year, his energetic campaigns did a large part of the work of keeping the Ice Trust within bounds in New York. His industrious Law Department put some fetters on the Coal Trust. He did much of the work of defeating the Ramapo plot, by which New York would have been saddled with a charge of £40,000,000 for water. To the industry and pertinacity of his lawyers New Yorkers owe their ability to get gas for eighty cents a thousand feet, as the law directs, instead of a dollar. In maintaining a legal department, which plunges into the limelight with injunctions and mandamuses when corporations are caught trying to sneak under or around a law, he has rendered a service which has been worth millions of dollars to the public.

Verily a newspaper man, who uses his newspapers to do things.

One of the things which weigh most in Mr. Hearst's favour is the extent to which he commands the devoted service of some of the ablest journalists in America. It is true he pays them well. Mr. Brisbane receives £10,000, the salary of the President of America; the next best-paid member of his staff receives £8,000; the third, £6,000. Five assistants receive £5,000 each. But no salary, however high, could command the unstinted enthusiasm with which Mr. Brisbane serves Mr. Hearst. He declares:-

Hearst represents unselfishness in public life. In need of nothing personally, he is not satisfied while others fail to thrive as they should in a country such as this. He is ambitious, without personal conceit. He is extremely tenacious. He is absolutely temperate, free from fondness for dissipation of any kind.

The following are the names of the leading members of his staff as they were given by Mr. Creelman two years ago:-

Solomon Solis Carvalho, general manager of all the Hearst newspapers; a highly trained journalist and shrewd business man of Portuguese descent.

Arthur Brisbane, editor of the New York Evening Journal and writer of its remarkable editorials. He is the son of Albert Brisbane, disciple of Fourier, the French socialist.

Samuel S. Chamberlain, managing editor of the New York American and supervising editor of all the Hearst newspapers, was for many years the friend and secretary of James Gordon Bennett.

Morrill Goddard, editor of the New York American Sunday Magazine.

Max F. Ihmsen, Mr. Hearst's political manager; once a member of the New York Herald's staff.

Clarence Shearn, Mr. Hearst's lawyer and the thinker-out of his costly injunction suits and other litigations against corporations and "oppressors of the common people."

Mr. Hearst is a millionaire, a multi-millionaire. Besides his newspapers he owns a million acres of land. But as it was with Rhodes, money is to him only a means to power. He spends money like water in the political education of the people. He was reputed to have spent £200,000 on the gubernatorial election in 1906, but even if he only spent the £51,274, which he returned in compliance with the election law, it was a large sum. He does not need to bleed the Standard Oil for his campaign funds; he bleeds himself.

When Mr. Hearst was in London five years ago he was interviewed upon his conception of journalism. He replied in terms which sound something like a far-away echo of the harangue I hurled at him six years before in his New York office.

"'Yellow journalism,'" said Mr. Hearst, "is active journalism. It is the journalism which is not content with merely printing news, not content with merely securing an audience, but which seeks rather to educate and influence its audience, and through it to accomplish something for the benefit of the community and the whole country. My particular form of yellow journalism attacks special privilege and class distinction, and all things that I believe to be undemocratic and un-American. A journalism which employs the power of its vast audience to accomplish beneficial results for all the people is the Journalism of the Future. Better still, I think it is the Journalism of the Present. I cannot imagine why anyone should want to print a newspaper except for that purpose. I myself don't find any satisfaction in sensational news, comic supplements, dress patterns, and other features of journalism, except as they serve to attract an audience to whom the editorials in my newspapers are addressed. You must first get your congregation before you can preach to it, and educate it to an appreciation and practice of the higher ideals of life."

There was some talk once of Mr. Hearst, after stringing newspapers across the Western Continent, establishing a Hearst organ in London. He made soundings, but he abandoned the project.

"Why?" I asked.

"Because," he replied dryly, with a humorous twinkle in his eye, "I fear that the law of libel in the old country is too strict to allow legitimate scope for newspaper enterprise."


Mr. Hearst at one time was a Democrat who took the stump for the Democratic party. He was elected to Congress on the Democratic ticket, but made no mark in the legislature. He is a personal friend and has been a staunch supporter of Mr. Bryan, but he has just dealt him, through his organisation, one of the hardest of knocks. At one time he believed that the Democratic party could be used against the Trusts. He has always been opposed to the Republicans for the cause succinctly stated by him in his early Democratic days:-

I do sincerely believe that the Republican party as a political institution is so much indebted to the Trusts, is under so many obligations to the Trusts, that it will never legislate against the Trusts, nor even enforce against them the laws which already exist.

The Trusts have received so many privileges from the Republican party, and the Republican party in return has received so many favours from the Trusts, that a bond has grown between them, uniting them like the Siamese twins, and you cannot stick a pin in the Trusts without hearing a shriek from the Republican party ; and you cannot stick a pin in the Republican party without hearing a roar from the Trusts.

Now, you can't expect one Siamese twin to turn against his Siamese brother, and you cannot expect the Republican party to turn against the Trusts. The Republicans may say they will - they frequently do say they will. But they never do it.

In his campaign two years ago for the Governorship of New York State he made things hum by the aid of gramophones, pyrotechnics, picture posters, choral societies. An observer describing the election said:-

All last week there were constant Hearst processions, with red fire, sky-rockets, and illuminated banners, in every town and village in the State. Thousands of phonographs were utilised in this campaign of vituperation, and every town was fully supplied with machine-made oratory.

Tens of thousands of copies of the Hearst newspapers were distributed free nightly picturing Mr. Hughes and other prominent Republicans as rats and other loathsome animals.

The Hearst posters showed babies poisoned by bad milk, mothers freezing to death on Christmas Day at the door of a trust millionaire, with dead children at their feet; corporation magnates laughing, with their heels in working men's faces; and others murdering the "common people" with tramcars and motor-cars.

The vicissitudes of the "common people," represented by a meek little dwarf, and the antics of the steel, ice, coal, railway, and other trusts, represented by men of unusual size, have furnished much amusement in the east side slums, where pictures are more valuable as vote winners than speeches.

His intervention in this Presidential Election reminds me somewhat of the sensation produced in London in 1885 by the publication by the Pall Mall Gazette of "The Maiden Tribute of Modern Babylon." Everyone knew that these horrors had existed. But no one knew exactly how or by whom the hateful traffic was organised. When the Pall Mall began its revelations there was for a time a sickening sense of terror among the more highly-placed roues, for no one knew whose names might be revealed before the publication ceased. The Pall Mall Gazette, however, held its hand. Its object being to pass a new law, and not to pillory individuals, there was no need to mention names. But Mr. Hearst has mentioned names. Everyone knew that both parties blackmailed the trusts and were in turn subservient to them; but to know that criminality exists is one thing, to be able to pin it down to the counter is another. Mr, Hearst has nailed it down to the counter.

There is no need to enter into the disclosures in detail. The main outlines are all that non-American readers care for. What Mr. Hearst did was to publish letters - presumably stolen - which, in the opinion of the American public, from Mr. Roosevelt downwards, proved that certain notable political chiefs had been tampered with by the Trusts. Senator Foraker was the chief Republican victim. He is a senator whose position in the Republican party somewhat resembled that of Mr. Chamberlain under Mr. Gladstone - that is to say, he is a great political personality, often insubordinate and sometimes hostile to the Administration, whom it was, nevertheless, very necessary to keep in line for the Presidential campaign. Mr. Hearst published his incriminating letters, and Senator Foraker dropped like a shot pheasant. Mr. Haskell, Governor of Oklahoma, Mr. Bryan's friend and the trusted treasurer of the party, was the chief Democratic victim. He made a show of fight, but Mr. Bryan had to fling him overboard like another Jonah. Poor Mr. Haskell, the Poet Laureate of the Anti-Trust campaign, had written campaign songs for his party breathing vengeance against the Trusts.

And now, like Actaeon, he was torn to pieces by his own dogs. There were others of less note. There is a letter from Mr. Sibley advising the Standard Oil Trust to invest £200 in a loan to a senator " who is one who could do anything in the world that is right for his friends if needed." Senator McLaurin, a Democrat, is shown to have been in close business relations with the Standard Oil people, and so forth.

But President Roosevelt himself does not come off scot free. In 1904, it is alleged, Mr. Cornelius Bliss, treasurer of the Republican National party, acting for Mr. Cortelyou, chairman of the Republican National Committee, levied a contribution of £20,000 upon Mr. Henry Rogers and Mr. John Archbold, representing the Standard Oil Company.

In return Mr. Rogers and Mr. Archbold, who have complained that President Roosevelt has been acting harshly towards the Standard Oil Company, were to receive what is called a "Conservative Administration," which, being interpreted, means a Government that will not make things unduly warm for the Standard Oil Company.

On hearing of this Mr. Roosevelt wrote a violent letter to Mr. Cortelyou, denouncing the Standard Oil Company, and directing the return of the £20,000, but - and this is most important - the contributors allege that the money was not returned, and not one cent was paid back.

Not only was it not paid back, but a little later an additional sum of £50,000 was requested from the Standard Oil Company.

Mr. Rogers declined to give any more money, and recalled the fact that the President's instructions to return the first contribution had not been complied with, and that Mr. Roosevelt must have known all along that the £20,000, which he repudiates, had not been only accepted but used.

In view of this fact, Mr. Rogers declined to accede to the request for a further £50,000, and denounced Mr. Roosevelt for seemingly trying, on the one hand, to secure contributions from the Standard Oil Company, and, on the other hand, to make political capital by denouncing the company.

Senator Dupont of Delaware, who is head of the Powder Trust, had to resign from the Chairmanship of the Speaker's Bureau of the Republican National Committee. How many more resignations there will be no one knows. The Standard Oil Company, which Mr. Rockefeller regards with such unfeigned admiration, is not merely a gigantic tnist. Mr. Rockefeller and his partners, the Standard Oil Crowd, control capital many times larger than the national debt. According to Mr. Lewis Emery, who stood for Governor in Pennsylvania, the Standard Oil group, of which Mr. Rockefeller is the head and Mr. Rogers the right hand, hold a controlling interest in the following concerns:-

Insurance companies ............ £280,000,000

Railroads ............................. £500,000,000

Industrial ............................. £360,000,000

Traction and transportation ..... £32,000,000

Gas, electric light, and power ... £22,000,000

Mining companies ................... £39,000,000

Banks and trust companies ...... £36,000,000

Telegraph and telephone ......... £36,000,000

Navigation ............................... £8,000,000

Safe deposits ............................. £120,000


Total ................................ £1,313,120,000

Here there is an Imperium in imperio, a power within the Republic which Mr. Hearst has now revealed as directly aiming at the control of the Government of the Republic by the use of the money power.

This article appears in Stead's Review, page 327.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The Lippmann School of Journalism

I've made it through the entirety of Walter Lippmann's book "Public Opinion", and I initially missed it. Walter Lippmann gives up the entire journalistic game right in the very first paragraph. Though, it is easy to miss given how the book is structured. I'm almost done with the full audiobook, but in doing some reviewing, I re-read this portion and it hit me. Right here at the outset Walter Lippmann sets the tone for his book very, very well.

This is the very first paragraph of the book, on page 1:

There is an island in the ocean where in 1914 a few Englishmen, Frenchmen, and Germans lived. No cable reaches that island, and the British mail steamer comes but once in sixty days. In September it had not yet come, and the islanders were still talking about the latest newspaper which told about the approaching trial of Madame Caillaux for the shooting of Gaston Calmette. It was, therefore, with more than usual eagerness that the whole colony assembled at the quay on a day in mid-September to hear from the captain what the verdict had been. They learned that for over six weeks now those of them who were English and those of them who were French had been fighting in behalf of the sanctity of treaties against those of them who were Germans. For six strange weeks they had acted as if they were friends, when in fact they were enemies.

What is Lippmann saying here? Because the newspaper only arrived in two month increments, the media held the narrative hostage for sixty days.

Whatever the headlines say, the people believe. This is not commentary upon the readers. We as readers are supposed to be able to trust journalists. It's the journalists who have abused their authority and made their positions into political positions. That's really what this book "Public Opinion" is all about, in so many words. A how-to manual for controlling the people through the use of headlines, stereotypes, omission, and more.

Monday, July 22, 2013


There's an interesting news article, that Google Newspapers has cached:


NEW YORK, Jan. 14. (AP) - Announcement was made today that the board of directors of the Associated Press at a recent meeting held "that government can not engage in newscasting without creating the fear of propaganda which necessarily would reflect upon the objectivity of the news services from which such newscasts are prepared." The text:

"The Associated Press stands committed to the principle of freedom of access to the news and to the free flow of news throughtout the world.

It holds that news thus disseminated by nongovernmental news agencies is essential to the highest development of mankind and to the perpetuation of peace between nations. It recognized the possibility of useful purpose served by governments in the maintenance throughout the world of official libraries of information. It applauds the vigorous manner in which the present national administration has advanced in the doctrine of press freedom. It holds however that government can not engage in newscasting without creating the fear of propaganda which necessarily would reflect upon the objectivity of the news services from which such newscasts are prepared."

First, this is an announcement(press release), so it shouldn't be in copyright. That and the whole article amounts to three whopping paragraphs. Articles that small I see get copied all the time, as long as proper ownership is recognized. This was published in The Spokesman-Review, January 15, 1946.

Those who read this should hold a healthy skepticism as they do. It is not a coincidence that both Woodrow Wilson's CPI as well as FDR's OWI employed journalists in their daily propaganda operations. That's not an accident. This press release is AP's way of pushing back against government. Here's what they are saying:

"Propaganda is our turf. Government, back off."

AP is clearly saying that if government is involved with the news, objectivity across the board would disappear. Problem is, objectivity was gone long beforehand when journalists decided that the government was their friend. Around this time period, the Smith-Mundt act of 1948 would be passed.(over the earlier 1946 Bloom Bill, see this for a general overview) Interestingly enough, a few decades later the journalists had already forgotten. NPR as well as PBS were introduced in the 70's.

All of this is important, as the Federal Government gets ready to introduce even more propaganda outlets into the mainstream.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Progressivism is a puzzle. You're supposed to put the pieces together and connect the dots.

In "The New Democracy", by Walter Weyl, he writes the following: (page 166)
Nor do all these revolutionists comprehend that they are allies. One group in the community strives to end the exploitation of child labor. Other groups seek to extend and improve education, to combat tuberculosis, to reform housing conditions, to secure direct primaries, to obtain the referendum, to punish force and fraud at the polls, to secure governmental inspection of foods, to regulate railroad rates, to limit the issue of stocks and bonds of corporations doing an interstate business, to change the character and incidence of taxation, to protect and recreate our forests, to reserve and conserve our mines, to improve the lot of the farmer, to build up trade-unions among workingmen, to Americanize incoming immigrants, to humanize prisons and penal laws, to protect the community against penury caused by old age, accident, sickness, and invalidity, to prevent congestion in cities, to divert to the public a larger share of the unearned increment, to accomplish a thousand other results for the general welfare. Every day new projects are launched for political, industrial, and social amelioration, and below the level of the present lie the greater projects of the future. Reform is piecemeal and yet rapid. It is carried along divergent lines by people holding separate interests, and yet it moves towards a common end. It combines into a general movement toward a new democracy.

Walter Lippmann shows us how this is done.(in his day) This is the first three paragraphs of chapter 3, in Walter Lippmann's book Public Opinion:

While censorship and privacy intercept much information at its source, a very much larger body of fact never reaches the whole public at all, or only very slowly. For there are very distinct limits upon the circulation of ideas.

A rough estimate of the effort it takes to reach "everybody" can be had by considering the Government's propaganda during the war. Remembering that the war had run over two years and a half before America entered it, that millions upon millions of printed pages had been circulated and untold speeches had been delivered, let us turn to Mr. Creel's account of his fight "for the minds of men, for the conquest of their convictions" in order that "the gospel of Americanism might be carried to every corner of the globe."1

Mr. Creel had to assemble machinery which included a Division of News that issued, he tells us, more than six thousand releases, had to enlist seventy-five thousand Four Minute Men who delivered at least seven hundred and fifty-five thousand, one hundred and ninety speeches to an aggregate of over three hundred million people. Boy scouts delivered annotated copies of President Wilson's addresses to the householders of America. Fortnightly periodicals were sent to six hundred thousand teachers. Two hundred thousand lantern slides were furnished for illustrated lectures. Fourteen hundred and thirty-eight different designs were turned out for posters, window cards, newspaper advertisements, cartoons, seals and buttons. The chambers of commerce, the churches, fraternal societies, schools, were used as channels of distribution. Yet Mr. Creel's effort, to which I have not begun to do justice, did not include Mr. McAdoo's stupendous organization for the Liberty Loans, nor Mr. Hoover's far reaching propaganda about food, nor the campaigns of the Red Cross, the Y. M. C. A., Salvation Army, Knights of Columbus, Jewish Welfare Board, not to mention the independent work of patriotic societies, like the League to Enforce Peace, the League of Free Nations Association, the National Security League, nor the activity of the publicity bureaus of the Allies and of the submerged nationalities.

Wow, look at that. Disparate and seemingly "unconnected" groups, all working for a common end. Just like Weyl said they would. What these progressives have achieved is (unfortunately) brilliant. Through their use of "disconnected" groups, they have successfully turned non-progressive people into people working for progressive change. In modern times, the AARP is a great example of this. The key is to make sure people don't figure the game out, as Weyl states:(still page 166)

This revolution, in the very midst of which we are, while believing that we stand firm on a firm earth, is a revolution not of blood and iron, but of votes, judicial decisions, and points of view. It does not smell of gunpowder or the bodies of slain men. It does not involve anything sudden, violent, cataclysmic. Like other revolutions, it is simply a quicker turn of the wheel in the direction in which the wheel is already turning. It is a revolution at once magnificent and commonplace. It is a revolution brought about by and through the common run of men, who abjure heroics, who sleep soundly and make merry, who "talk" politics and prize-fights, who obey alarm clocks, time-tables and a thousand petty but revered social conventions. They do not know that they are revolutionists.

What's dangerous about this is that it takes the term "useful idiot" and abolishes the word "idiot". A lot of the things people end up doing, particularly at many of these non-profit organizations, is hardly idiotic. Brandon Darby's story is a good example of this, because what he was doing down in New Orleans was handing out food and water to people who needed it. It was a relief organization. Where Darby differs from most is that because he was a member of leadership, he got to see the maluse of funds and the more hard-core ideological leanings of the organization. The average person who would only take the water bottles off the truck and hand out the water to people who need it would never have the opportunity to see these things, and would thus never question the organization. They would instead ask questions like this: "Why would anybody demonize an organization that gives water to people who are dehydrated at best, to coming close to dying from thirst at the worst?", not realizing that the organization they are working for is completely corrupt. This is the problem we face, and it demonstrates the "brilliance" of the progressives plots.

They have connected organizations which are seemingly unconnected on the surface. So why shouldn't conservatives connect the unconnected as well? The problem is, they're not unconnected. And any time someone dares to connect them, they get smeared as a conspiracy theorist. Watch what happens any time someone dares to point out what Soros does. As far as anybody is concerned, Soros is a pure-as-the-wind-driven-snow philanthropist. Here he is, the puppetmaster himself, largely re-iterating what Walter Weyl wrote 100 years ago:

When you try to, let’s see, improve society you affect different people and different interests differently and they are not actually commensurate. So you very often have all kinds of unintended adverse consequences. So I had to experiment. And it was a learning process. The first part was this subversive activity, disrupting repressive regimes. That was a lot of fun and that’s actually what got me hooked on this whole enterprise. Seeing what worked in one country, trying it in the other country. It was kind of what developed a matrix in fact that we had, national foundations, and then we had certain specialized activities

It's a matrix(his word), they're not disconnected. I've known this for quite some time as a matter of gut instinct, but back when I wrote this detailing how this coalition of non-profits and other progressive organizations form a sort of invisible government, I hadn't yet found Weyl's writing.

Now, lest someone call me a conspiracy theorist for daring to connect the writings of Weyl and Lippmann, I should probably remind everybody that Lippmann co-founded The New Republic with Herbert Croly, and Walter Weyl was TNR's first Editor in Chief. They are connected.

So there you have it. More corrupt progressivism put on display, right from the original sources, from their own history. These are their founding fathers. This is why modern progressives do not want to discuss their own history, and it's why their history is one of the best tools we have at our disposal to push back against them.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

The Future of Journalism, by William Thomas Stead (November, 1886)


THE future of journalism is a large subject. It is but a thing of yesterday, but already it overshadows the world. The rustle of its myriad sheets, unfolded afresh every morning and folded for ever at night, supplies a realistic fulfilment of one part of the old Norse saga of the Ash-tree Ygdrasil, whose roots were watered by the Norns, and on whose leaves were written the scenes of the life of man. It has part of the necessary garniture of the civilized man. The Northcountry pitman said "He felt quite naked-like without his dog." A man without a newspaper is half-clad, and imperfectly furnished for the battle of life. From being persecuted and then contemptuously tolerated, it has become the rival of organized governments. Will it become their superior?

The future of journalism depends entirely upon the journalist. All that can be said is, that it offers opportunities and possibilities, of which a capable man can take advantage, superior to that of any other institution or profession known among men.

But everything depends upon the individual - the person. Impersonal journalism is effete. To influence men you must be a man, not a mock-uttering oracle. The democracy is under no awe of the mystic "We." Who is "We"? they ask; and they are right. For all power should be associated with responsibility, and a leader of the people, if a journalist, needs a neck capable of being stretched quite as much as if he is a Prime Minister. For the proper development of a newspaper the personal element is indispensable. There must be loyalty to the chief far beyond the precincts of the editorial sanctum. Besides, as I shall presently explain, the personality of the editor is the essential centre-point of my whole idea of the true journalism of the governing and guiding order, as distinguished from journalism of the mere critical or paragraph-quilting species. "Where there is the combination of the two elements, the distinct personality of a competent editor and the varied interests and influences of an ably conducted paper, it is not difficult to see that such an editor might, if he wished it, become far the most permanently influential Englishman in the Empire.

He would not govern the Empire, but his voice would be the most potent among all those whose counsels guide the holders of our Imperial sceptre; he might not "wield at will the fierce democratic," but he would be the most authoritative interpreter of its wishes, and his influence, both upon the governed and the governors, would be incomparably greater than that of any other living man. And how would he attain this dizzy pre-eminence? He would be more powerful than any, simply because, better than any other, he would know his facts. Even now, with his imperfect knowledge of facts, the journalist wields enormous influence. What would he be if he had so perfected the mechanism of his craft as to be master of the facts - especially of the dominant fact of all, the state of public opinion?

At present the journalistic assumption of uttering the opinion of the public is in most cases a hollow fraud. In the case of most London editors absolutely no attempt is made to ascertain what Demos really thinks. Opinions are exchanged in the office, in the club, or in the drawing-room; but any systematic attempt to gauge the opinion even of those whom he meets there is none. As for the opinion of Londoners, outside the limited range of their personal acquaintance, that remains to them, as to every one else, an inscrutable mystery. Outside London, everything of course is shrouded in even denser darkness. How many London editors, I wonder, ever look half-a-dozen times in the year into the sheets of their provincial contemporaries? Yet not one of them will not undertake to pronounce off-hand that public opinion will not tolerate this, or that public opinion insists on that. And all the while they know as much about public opinion as of the private opinion of the Grand Lama. It is about time that imposture should cease.

I am not for a moment advocating the more accurate and scientific gauging of public opinion in order that blind obedience should be paid to its decision, when ascertained. Far from it. The first duty of every true man, if he believes that public opinion is mistaken, is to set himself to change it. But whether we regard public opinion as the supreme authority in faith, morals and politics, or whether we merely regard it as so much force to be directed or absolutely checked, it is obviously of the first importance to know what it is that we have either to obey or to transform.

But at present who is there who studies public opinion - I do not say scientifically, but even intelligently? Here and there a statesman, a few newspaper men and wire-pullers; but that is all. Nothing was more startling in 1880, and again in 1885, than the utter miscalculations of the cognoscenti as to the way in which popular feeling was going. In 1880 nearly all the Tories, whether members or editors, and more than one-half of the Liberals, were quite sure that the General Election would result in a Tory majority. In 1885 every Liberal, and very nearly every Tory, was certain that the country would return an overwhelming Liberal majority over the coalition of Tories and Parnellites. In 1880 Lord Beaconsfield calculated confidently on a majority of thirty-seven. Just before the polls opened in 1885 I received a private expostulation from a well-known Liberal, intimate with the leaders of the party, and one who had proved himself in 1880 a correct and careful reader of the signs of the times. "I cannot understand," he wrote, " how you can think that there is any doubt about our obtaining a majority. I am quite sure of a minimum of fifty over Tories and Parnellites combined; it may be seventy, but would probably have been a hundred if Mr. Chamberlain had taken a sea voyage instead of taking to the stump." Even the ablest provincial editors were utterly at fault; so were Liberal candidates down to the very close of the poll. This would not signify much where the constituency was so evenly divided that the transfer of a hundred votes would turn the scale. But when editors and candidates and wire-pullers were all alike unconscious that their ground had shifted under the feet to the extent of the transfer of several thousand votes to the Tory camp, there is reason indeed to say that other people besides the Peers can be "up in a balloon," when it is most important they should have their feet firmly planted on solid earth.

The first step, therefore, that must be taken is to require touch with the public, and this, fortunately, is by no means difficult, although it requires some painstaking, and the institution of a very simple but effective organization. But surely, when there is hardly a creek or inlet all over the world where soundings are not taken with the utmost care, and the results accurately set down in Admiralty charts, it ought not to be impossible to take the political soundings from time to time in every part of the United Kingdom, in order that the Administration may know when it is floating on a full tide of popularity, or when there is barely sufficient water under the keel to keep her from stranding.

What, then, should be the organization of a newspaper office from this point of view?

In trying to answer this question, I am neither so presumptuous as to attempt to describe the ultimate ideal, nor am I so mendacious as to pretend that anything approaching to such a system of inquiry exists either on my own paper or on that of any one else. I offer the outline merely as the sketch of the aim which any journalist with a sense of the responsibilities of his position might have in view, and which in time, with patience, he might attain.

First, then, the editor of a newspaper should either be personally acquainted with, or should he surrounded by trustworthy assistants who are personally acquainted with, every one whose opinion has any weight on any subject with which he has to deal. Nor should it be mere acquaintance. There should exist such relations of confidence as to render it possible for the editor to be put in possession of the views of any personage whose opinion he desires to know. This of course is a work of time, and even after many years the most successful editor must be content to know many of the most important personages at second-hand. But it is better to be intimate with the confidant of a Minister than to be merely on friendly terms with the Minister himself. There are some Ministers who never tell anything when their journalistic acquaintances seek for information. Others profess to tell everything, and mislead the inquirer in every direction. Those Ministers are very rare who make a confidant of an editor, and still rarer are those who do not make a thorough-going support the condition of such confidences.

These terms are of course absolutely impossible. No consideration whatever, in the shape of exclusive and official information, can compensate for the loss of the right of individuality, of independence, and of criticism. One Minister who will tell you all he knows is worth a dozen Ministers who dole out information as if it were diamonds, and even then leave out some vital item. All that I contend for is, for instance, that on any given occasion it ought to be possible for an editor to ascertain authentically in twenty-four hours the views of all the Cabinet Ministers and ex-Cabinet Ministers in town - not of course for publication, but for his own guidance and the avoidance of mistakes.

At present that is impossible: first, because Ministers trained in the old school have not yet learned the necessities of the new system; and secondly, because journalists do not as a rule take the trouble to cultivate the acquaintance with Ministers necessary to keep themselves informed. And what is true of. Ministers is true to a greater or less degree of ambassadors, judges, generals, and great financiers. Nevertheless, the duty of an editor is absolute. He ought to be able to get at, or know some one who can get at, every one, from the Queen downwards, in order to be able to ascertain what they are thinking about the topic of the day. This is not interviewing. Interviewing is the public, this is the private phase of what, after all, must always be the primary department of journalism - that of interrogation. The least confusing of the two, the case of matter spoken in private as if it were material for an interview, would be fatal. If the editor cannot be trusted to keep a secret, if he betrays confidence, the whole edifice collapses. Personal confidence is the foundation of the system.

As with the Cabinet, so with every other department of the Government in Church and State. It ought to be known in every newspaper office exactly who ought to be seen upon every subject that crops up, and who is the best man to see him. In that respect the American newspapers are far ahead of those in Europe; although, in justice to the Old World, it ought to be added that American editorials are often as conspicuously weak as their sub-editing is conspicuously strong. In this respect the opportunities of London journalism are unequalled. As you can buy anything in London, so you can find some one who can tell you the best and latest news about anything that happens anywhere, if you only knew where to look for him. But they are not sought for, nor are they picked up even when they pass you in the street. Hungry would-be pressmen come to every newspaper office vending unsaleable wares, asking for work, and all London teeming with subjects for good merchantable copy, if they would but get up live facts from first-hand sources, and give us the opinions of men who know all about the topic of the hour, instead of the musty platitudinizing of third-rate essayists.

Every newspaper ought to have its own whip for parliamentary purposes, and he also must of necessity be in the House of Commons. By whip I mean one who does what the party whips often but perfunctorily perform - ascertain the views and opinions of members on every topic before the public. Nor should he confine himself to either side. The odd idea which many people have of journalism was shown in the resentment occasioned in some quarters by a newspaper circular of inquiry which was issued lately to members on the subject of the late Reform Bill. Many high and mighty gentlemen seemed to regard it as an offence rather than as a compliment, when a newspaper editor asked his counsel as to the best course to be taken in dealing with Franchise and Redistribution. There is, it is true, one difficulty in the way of eliciting opinions from members as to the best course of future policy: so many have none to elicit. After their leader speaks, their opinion is simply ditto. Until he speaks they have none at all. There are, taking it roughly, probably not more than fifty members in the House who have independent opinions of any value; and although in selecting policies and deciding as to rival expediencies it is noses which are counted, a very little experience shows that the majority of the noses follow the lead of one or other of the fifty.

Of much more importance than the cultivation of the House of Commons - for, after all, the M.P. is a loudly vocal creature, and there is not much difficulty in ascertaining his views - the editor should know personally, so as to be able to correspond confidentially, with every one, be he consul, ambassador, governor, resident, high commissioner, or viceroy, whose word stands for England's before the world. Many and many a time such confidential relations, had they existed, might have saved the Empire from disaster, if only because our representative abroad, by such an arrangement, could have made sure that public opinion would be aroused to the importance of a subject which could not be neglected without danger, at the same time the Colonial Office was receiving his report. At present, too often public opinion is asleep, and the Colonial Secretary thinks it is no use, "in the present state of public opinion," attempting to carry out a governor's, or an ambassador's recommendations; whereas public opinion would have been awake enough and eager, if only the public had had the warning which slumbered unheeded in the official pigeon-holes.

And so it should go all down the official hierarchy. Naval officers are forbidden to write for the Press, and it is necessary to get their ideas. So about soldiers. The rules of the Metropolitan Police are absurdly strict in forbidding the imparting of information which in all provincial towns is freely tendered to the Press. As a rule, all voluntary organizations are only too glad to allow the Press to inspect everything they have to show. There is nothing in this demand that in any way supersedes the authority of the official hierarchy. It only gives the public an additional and independent security for the efficiency of the public services.

I need not refer to the development of this system abroad. There is only one Blowitz, and he is confined to one capital. If the Times had a soul, and an individual who carried that soul about within his own skin, he might be, and indeed ought to be, on more or less intimate terms with every statesman and sovereign in Europe, and once every year he should make the tour of the capitals, to keep himself in touch with the men whose wills rule Europe. Unfortunately, the direction of the Times seems to be distributed among many bodies, and all of them together hardly seem to be able to muster a soul among them.

The ideal of the journalist should be to be universally accessible - to know every one and to hear everything. The old idea of a jealously shrouded impersonality has given way to its exact antithesis. Of course, if the personality of the editor is such as to detract from the usefulness of his writings, he had better stick to the old plan. But if the editor is a real man, who has convictions, and capacity to give them utterance in conversation as well as in print, the more people he sees at first hand the better - always provided that he leaves his mind room enough in the crowd to turn round on its own ground. All that I have said concerning the London editor applies mutatis mutandis to his provincial brother. The provincial editor has one enormous advantage over the Londoner - one among many. He can cover the whole of his field. He can make the personal acquaintance of every leading public man and of all the local leaders in every department of human activity. From the mayor to the bellman, they are all within his compass, and as a rule, if he makes it his business, they are approachable enough. It is difficult, of course, when there is keen sensitiveness on the part of a functionary whom it has been necessary to scourge in your paper, and also in places where the party line is broad and deep. I never found any difficulty, however, in being on excellent terms with my Tory contemporaries in the North, although neither side was accustomed to give or seek quarter in print.

It is a very simple thing, and may be pooh-poohed as a truism, but how much all the papers would be improved, how much more influential they would be, if, before venturing to express the opinion of their respective Pedlingtons, little or big, their readers knew that the writers had at least taken the trouble to ascertain at first hand what any other Pedlingtonians really did think on the subject; and how much more powerful, because how much better informed, if in discussing the topics of the town, the editor was always behind the scenes, the natural confidant and ready helper of all those who are endeavouring to serve the community.

This, however, is the mere A B C of the subject: it is so obvious that whoever aspires to lead and guide must take counsel with those who have the daily drudgery of administration to do, that there is no need to labour the point. What is much less generally recognized is that the newspaper ought to be in close and direct touch with either extremity of the social system, and with all intermediate grades. There is something inexpressibly pathetic in the dumbness of the masses of the people. Touch but a hair on the head of the well-to-do, and forthwith you hear his indignant protest in the columns of the Times. But the million, who have to suffer the rudest buffets of ill-fortune, the victims of official insolence and the brutality of the better-off, they are as dumb as the horse, which you may scourge to death without its uttering a sound. Newspapers will never really justify their claims to be the tribunes of the people until every victim of injustice - whether it be a harlot run in by a policeman greedy for blackmail, or a ticket-of-leave man hunted down by shadowy detectives, or paupers baulked of their legal allowance of skilly - sends in to the editorial sanctum their complaint of the injustice which they suffer. When men cease to complain of injustice, it is as if they sullenly confessed that God was dead. When they neglect to lay their wrongs before their fellows, it is as if they had lost all faith in the reality of that collective conscience of society which Milton finely calls "God's secretary." For every appeal to the public is a practical confession of a faith that shuts out despair. When there is prayer there is hope. To give utterance to the inarticulate moan of the voiceless is to let light into a dark place; it is almost equivalent to the enfranchisement of a class. A newspaper in this sense is a daily apostle of fraternity, a messenger who bringeth glad tidings of joy, of a great light that has risen upon those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death. I do not say that the editors of the Times and the Daily News should be on visiting terms with the thieves of the Seven Dials and the harlots of the New Cut, but they should know those who can tell them what the Dialonians feel and what the outcasts in the New Cut suffer. The Jewish legend which Longfellow has versified tells how Sandalphon the Angel of Glory, Sandalphon the Angel of Prayer, stands at the portals of heaven listening to all the sounds ceaselessly from the crowded earth. All these petitions he collects, and they turn into flowers in his hands as he presents them before the throne of Jehovah. The editor is the Sandalphon of humanity. Into his ear are poured the cries, the protests, the complaints of men who suffer wrong, and it is his mission to present them daily before the conscience of mankind. But to do that, he, or those about him, must be

"A nerve o'er which do creep The else unfelt oppressions of mankind,"

and he or they must be familiar with the wants, the wrongs, the sorrows of the outcast residue of the human race.

All that, it will be said, is idealistic, visionary, utopian; but it is something to have an inspiring ideal, and it is well to be reminded of the responsibilities that attend upon the power which has come to the journalist as an unexpected heritage from the decay and disappearance of the elder authorities of the bishop and the noble. To be both eye and ear for the community is a great privilege, but power no less than noblesse oblige, and much may be done to realize it, if it recognized that the discharge of such responsibilities lie in the day's work of the journalist. It is of course manifestly impossible for over-worked editors and hard-pressed reporters to undertake new duties without being relieved of some of their functions. But in the large papers much might be done by rearranging duties and the substitution of this kind of work for others of a less indispensable description. But I have not yet lost faith in the possibility of some of our great newspaper proprietors who will content himself with a reasonable fortune, and devote the surplus of his gigantic profits to the development of his newspaper as an engine of social reform and as a means of government. And if it be impossible for those already in the purple to display such public spirit, then it may be that the same spirit which led pious founders in mediaeval times to build cathedrals and establish colleges, may lead some man or woman of fortune to devote half a million to found a newspaper for the service, for the education, and for the guidance of the people.

Supposing such a newspaper to be founded, what would be the first step necessary to enable its conductor to gauge and at the same time to influence the opinion of the nation? The necessity for establishing personal relations between the chief of the political, social, and religious leaders of the people in the immediate vicinity of the newspaper office, has already been referred to. But that helps but little towards placing the newspaper in confidential relations with the whole people. What, then, is the best and most effective means of enabling the editor at the centre to keep touch with the people at the circumference? Mere circulation will not avail. There is no London newspaper more circulated among North-country Radicals than the Daily News, but the only expression of opinion ever heard up North about the Daily News is a groan over its feebleness and lack of grit. Circulation is all very well, and the larger circulation any newspaper has the better for its proprietor; but influence depends not half so much upon quantity as upon the quality of its subscribers. Newspapers with only ten or fifteen thousand circulation have often ten times as much influence as papers with 200,000, the difference being in the character of the readers of the paper. Hence, if the object is to influence the politics of a town, it is better to be read regularly by ten men of the right sort than to circulate a thousand a day among the ordinary newspaper buyers. Democracy has not diminished in the least the power of individuals. It has, indeed, increased their influence by giving them a freer field for the exercise of their power. The secret of influence is to get at the right individuals in every town and village, and to attach them as closely as possible to the newspaper by establishing personal relations between them and the directing staff.

How to attain this end is the great problem. It is an end that cannot be reached at a bound, but by steady, patient, constant growth. There are, however, two methods by which a newspaper can work towards that end: the first is by a system of major-generals, and the second by a system of journalistic travellers.

First, the system of major-generals. When Cromwell was driven to undertake the governing of England he mapped out the towns into districts, and over each district he placed a man after his own heart, responsible to him for the peace and good government of the district under his care. That system mutatis mutandis might be adopted with advantage by a newspaper that wished to keep in hand the affairs of the whole country. A competent, intelligent, sympathetic man or woman, as nearly as possible the alter ego of the editor, should be planted in each district, and held responsible for keeping the editor informed of all that is going on within that area that needs attending to, either for encouragement, or for repression, or merely for observation and report.

That, it will be said, is but a development under a new name of the existing system of resident reporters and local correspondents. That is a great recommendation. But the development is immense - so immense, in fact, that there would be the greatest difficulty in securing persons competent for the discharge of the duties of the post. But by themselves they would be helpless. They need to be supplemented by two agencies - one local, the other central.

There is probably in every constituency in the land some one man or woman keenly in sympathy with the governing ideas of the newspaper in question. That may be said concerning any newspaper which has a soul and a creed, and a man at the head of it who is not afraid to say, in clear accents of unmistakable sincerity, "This is the way; walk ye in it." In the newspaper whose organization I am sketching there would be so many points of contact with the average Briton that there would be no doubt at all that there would be many persons sufficiently in sympathy with the direction to feel honoured by being asked to co-operate as voluntary unpaid associates with the editor. It would be the duty of the major-general to select with the utmost care, in each important centre in his district, one such associate, who would undertake to co-operate with the central office in ascertaining facts, in focussing opinion, and generally in assisting the editor to ascertain the direct views of his countrymen. There would be endless varieties among those who would act as associates. It might be a squire, or it might be a cobbler; it might be the clergyman's daughter, or a secularist newsagent, or a Methodist reporter. The one thing indispensable is that they are intelligent, keenly interested in the general policy of the paper, and willing to take some trouble to contribute to its efficiency and to extend its power. To each of these associates there will be posted copies of the paper, in recognition of their position and services, and in order to keep them in touch with the editorial mind. That is to say, from 600 to 1,000 persons scattered all over the United Kingdom would be placed on the free list, on condition they were willing to perform certain simple but very important duties.

The first of these is to reply at once, when inquiry is made from the head office, first as to their own opinion upon any disputed point, and secondly, what they believed to be the general opinion of their neighbours. For instance: suppose that this system was in full working order in every newspaper office during the general election before last, and Mr. Chamberlain, after the Liberal reverses in the boroughs, made a speech at Leicester, in. which he said in effect that it was all Mr. Gladstone's fault, and that if the battle had been fought on his (Mr. Chamberlain's) programme, there would have been a very different result, next day a brief but conspicuously printed note would have appeared in a prominent position in the newspaper, calling attention to this extraordinary expression of opinion, and inquiring what well-informed persons throughout the country had to say as to the accuracy or otherwise of Mr. Chamberlain's observation. That day copies of that newspaper, with the passage marked with a blue pencil, would be posted in coloured wrapper to every associate resident in a parliamentary borough. Within two .days the editor would have on his desk replies from capable and intelligent observers in all parts of the kingdom, verifying or correcting the statement of Mr. Chamberlain. Each of these replies, filled in, for convenience of reference upon a printed form, would state briefly somewhat as follows :-

(1) In the borough of R------, if Liberals had fought on Radical programme, the Tory majority would have been at least 500 higher than it was. About 300 Liberal Churchmen would only vote for their candidate on condition he pledged himself not to vote for Disestablishment. The Radical programme, as it was, has cost hundreds of votes. Its official adoption would have been fatal. The Radicals voted all the same. (2) That is the opinion of the Liberal secretary, the Baptist ministers, and generally of all those to whom I have spoken. Or the reply might be not so clear and precise:-

(1) In the Borough of L------, if the Radical programme had been adopted, it would have put more fight into the Radical ranks.

(2) Have not had an opportunity of talking to many people on the subject. The local papers attribute the defeat to the Irish vote and the clergy.

All these replies would have to be carefully collated, tabulated, and entered up at the head office, so that, in three days at most, the editor could lay his hand on trustworthy local information which would enable him to speak with authority and precision as to the facts in dealing with Mr. Chamberlain's explanation of the Liberal defeat.

Or suppose that the famous three acres and a cow myth had to be cleared up. A leaded notice, stating clearly the nature of the charge brought against Liberal candidates, would be inserted, and a request made to correspondents to state (1) whether in their locality they had heard any Liberal candidate or Liberal speaker make such a promise,or any semblance of such a promise, and if so when, where, and how? And (2) had they heard any one say that Liberals in their district had been making such promises, and if so, what was the accusation? This paragraph being marked, the paper of that day would be sent to all associates in rural divisions in coloured wrappers, and before the end of the week complete returns would be available by which the grain of truth might be sifted out from the mass of fiction with which it was overlaid.

These instances alone will suffice as an illustration of the usefulness of establishing such a network of corresponding associates. The expense would not be considerable. There would be the free list and postages - nothing more.

This, however, is but the first tentative approach to an exhaustive interrogation of public opinion. In time, when the associates become more familiar with their work, and the competent and willing workers are ascertained, to these might be entrusted the further and more delicate duty of collecting the opinions of those who form the public opinion of their locality. Each of these select associates would be expected to communicate directly or indirectly with representatives of all classes in the locality, and to collect their opinion as exhaustively as the editor collects the opinions of the leading politicians in London. In a provincial town, for instance, on a political question - say, whether or not a dissolution on the question of Home Rule would result for or against Mr. Gladstone - it would be necessary to ascertain the opinions of the local editors, of the presidents, secretaries, and moving spirits in all the political associations; of the leaders of trades unions, friendly societies, and working men's clubs ; of the sitting member, of the candidate on the other side, of the most active men in teetotal and other social propaganda, of the leading ministers of all denominations, and of the publicans whose taprooms are most frequented by local politicians. Besides these representatives of political forces, it would be well to ascertain the opinions of the mayor, the chairman of the board of guardians and of the school board, of a leading magistrate, of the largest employer of labour, as well as that of cabmen, policemen, and half-a-dozen persons selected at random in the lower social strata. Altogether, in a large town it would be necessary, on a large question like this, to communicate with fifty persons; in a smaller town about twenty. Suppose, then, that it was desired to forecast the possible consequences of such a dissolution, the newspaper would publish an article clearly setting forth the importance to both parties of gauging as closely as possible the state of public opinion on the question, and placing as fully as possible the pros and cons of the question before the reader. As many copies of these would be sent down by train to each of the select associates as he had names on his list, and by him the papers would be marked, addressed, and sent out, with a circular calling attention to the inquiry, and asking the recipient to fill in and return a brief form of reply to the questions asked, which would be enclosed, stamped, and addressed. Of course, at first, most of those appealed to would take no notice of the request. They would have to he approached personally through their friends, and even then the response would be very imperfect, but before long the practice would be recognized, 'and people would answer freely enough. In a fortnight the answers would be in - they would be collated, tabulated, and sent to the central office. The enormous importance of a system which enabled the editor of a London paper - and of course, on a smaller scale, the 'editor of a provincial paper - to know at a glance the opinions, say, even of the presidents and secretaries of the political associations throughout the land, are too obvious to be dwelt upon. By degrees, as the returns became more complete, the journalist would speak with an authority far superior to that possessed by any other person; for he would have been the latest to interrogate the democracy - he would have the last word of the leaders of the electors upon the question of the hour; he would, in fact, for the first time be able to say with authority the opinion of the public on this subject is adverse or favourable to the proposed scheme. This is an extreme case, involving the maximum of trouble, and application to the .greatest possible number of persons. In most cases the number of such inquiries would be much smaller. The select associate or deputy major-general would have to keep himself well informed as to who were the best authorities on all subjects, and apply to them accordingly. Sometimes there may be only two persons, or one, in a whole town whose opinion is wanted. It will be his duty to send that one a newspaper, marked, and call upon him in due course.

By this co-operation between a newspaper and selected readers, it will be possible to focus the information and experience latent among our people as it has never been done before, and to take an immense stride towards the realization of the conscious government of all by all, in the light of the wisdom of the best informed. The mere fact that in every town a score of persons, from the mayor to the bellman, were certain to be called upon, as a matter of course, to express a deliberate opinion upon social or political problems, before a leading journalist ventured to declare what was the public opinion of the nation, would have an incalculable influence in vivifying our democracy, in compelling thought, and in quickening popular interest and public questions.

That, however, is by no means the only duty that would be required from the hands of the volunteer deputy major-generals. Once or twice a year - sometimes oftener, sometimes not so often - a crisis may arise in which it is urgently necessary that the Cabinet and the House of Commons should be presented with an unmistakeable demonstration of what the opinion of the people really is. Such an occasion arose during the Bulgarian crisis in 1876, and when the Criminal Law Amendment Bill was in danger July before last. Whenever such a time arrived it would be the duty of a deputy major-general to take steps to secure public expression of the popular feeling. He, or it might be she, might not be able to attend a public meeting, much less speak at one. But they could nevertheless set one going by setting the right people in motion. A requisition to the mayor in all cases where opinion is tolerably unanimous - the best method of procedure - could secure a free and open expression of the general feeling. Information explaining the issues before the country could be obtained from the central office, and the question could be freely and fully put before the democracy, and an opportunity afforded it of expressing its convictions on the question of the hour. The weakness of government by public meetings is, that there is so often no one to give the thing a start in the first place, and to keep interest up until the meeting is held, in the second. There is also the difficulty about the expenses, which in all cases should be met by a public collection. The meetings of the democracy should surely be self-supporting. Under the proposed scheme the local deputy would be the live coal which sets the place ablaze, and he would be able to have at command exactly the kind of information needed for the locality.

Just imagine the consequences, under our present system of government, of an arrangement by which a leading newspaper, convinced that the Government was pursuing a policy contrary to the general wishes of the community, was able to issue a three-line whip to its representatives which would secure the holding of a public meeting in every town-hall in the country, in order to express the popular view. For be it noted that this is entirely different from the ordinary notion of getting up meetings by Birmingham wire-pullers or provincial caucuses. The local deputy would have neither funds nor machinery at his disposal with which to force a semblance of popular opinion. He would merely take the indispensable first step to enable local opinion to express itself, and see that those who wished for information had it supplied them freely. No more simple and effective method of educating the democracy in the functions of citizenship could be imagined, and yet how could it possibly be worked so cheaply and so efficiently as from the office of a great daily newspaper?

Each of the major-generals would have a general oversight of all the associates in his division, but the whole organization would be kept together, and the personal sense of a common interest kept up, by the periodical visits of the journalistic traveller. What an irony there is in the care and expense which men go to when all that is involved is the accumulation of a little money, and the negligence and parsimony which they display when the matter at stake is the direction of the affairs of an empire! There is not a shabby little wholesale house that sells ribbons in the City which does not send out at least every year its traveller to all the retail houses in the land. These travellers are the indispensable nexus between the manufacturer and the seller. Goods are made or left unmade according to their reports, for they feel the pulse of the buyer. But there is not a newspaper in the land which takes as much trouble to ascertain the social and political fashion in vogue in great centres like Nottingham and Glasgow, that these poor bagmen take to ascertain the pattern and colours of ribbon favoured by the fishwives of Cullercoats or the factory lasses of Oldham. Not until we introduce something of commercial common-sense and the practical method of business into the profession of journalism will we even have begun to fulfil our role as exponents of public opinion. The journal, then, which essays to enter into the dominion open to the first comer must engraft the traveller upon its system of organization. It must have at least two constantly on the road, each the perambulating alter ego, as far as is possible, of the editor at the centre, filled with his central fire, saturated with his ideas, and with a clear grasp of the system here sketched out.

These peripatetic apostles of the new journalism would make it their duty to visit the associates in every town, to infuse into each a sense of the importance of the common work, and to make every one feel that he or she is an important and indispensable part of the system.

By this means full and accurate knowledge would be secured of each associate: the indifferent could be dropped, suggestions could be interchanged, and, in short, the whole organization made alive and instinct with a common interest and a common enthusiasm.

If this was done - and of course this is merely the crudest and most imperfect outline of what would be necessary - the newspaper that was so worked would be much the most powerful and one of the most useful institutions in the country.

"No doubt," it will be replied; "but it is all utopian. "Where are you going to get your associates and your deputy volunteer majorgenerals? Your major-generals you may get, and your glorified bagmen, for you will pay them; but the others? And without the others, where is your scheme?"

Now, I freely and fully admit that without the others my scheme is nowhere. But I do not for a moment admit that it is utopian or impracticable to expect the active intelligent voluntary co-operation of at least one capable man or woman in each town, who will do all that I have stated I should require from the associates and the deputy major-generals; and the reason for my confidence is, that I believe it is quite possible to evoke on the part of Englishmen and Englishwomen at least one-tenth as much self-sacrificing zeal for the welfare of the commonwealth as is now called out as a matter of course in the service of a municipality or in the interest of a sect. I believe that, just as Cromwell found the secret of his new model in enlisting in the Parliamentary men who put a conscience to their work, so it is possible for the editor to enlist in the service of the State a picked body of volunteers, who will work as hard for England in the field of public and corrective action as others do in the service of their sects. It is a new field that is opened up - a new field, and a most tempting one, for it offers to the capable man or woman opportunities of public usefulness at present beyond his utmost dreams, and while apparently making them the humble interrogators of democracy, in reality enrols them as indispensable members of the greatest spiritual and educational and governing agency which England has yet seen. Such a newspaper would indeed be a great secular or civic church and democratic university, and if wisely directed and energetically worked, would come to be the very soul of our national unity; and its great central idea would be that of the self-sacrifice of the individual for the salvation of the community, the practical realization of the religious idea in national politics and social reform. That we see realized in a thousand ways by the noble and devoted men and women who spend every hour of their leisure in volunteering to save the souls of their fellow-men. Is it a vain hope, now that democracy is fairly established amongst us, and we are beginning to realize how much can be done by collective associated national efforts to assist the individual in toiling up that " infinite ascending spiral traced by the finger of God between the universe and the ideal," that willing and intelligent workers will be found in every town and every village in the land, who would be eager to devote themselves to the unpaid service the first beginnings of which I have endeavoured imperfectly to outline? It may be that the time has not yet come, although to my eager eye the field is ripe unto the harvest. It may be that the editor is not yet born who is destined thus to organize the new journalism, and take this vast new stride in the direction of intelligent and conscious self-government. But unless our race is destined to decay, both the editor and the occasion are certain to arrive. Parliament has attained its utmost development. There is need of anew representative method, not to supersede but to supplement that which exists - a system which will be more elastic, more simple, more direct, and more closely in contact with the mind of the people. Other than that, the groundwork of which is already supplied by the Press, I see no system, not even a suggestion of a system. And when the time does arrive, and the man and the money are both forthcoming, government by journalism will no longer be a somewhat hyperbolical phrase, but a solid fact. It may not be the lot of the editor who establishes that system to fulfil Lowell's remark about Cromwell -

"Who lived to make his simple oaken chair More grandly terrible than throne of England's king Before or since;"

but if he worthily fulfils the duty of his high office, then nowhere on this planet will there be such a seat of far-extended influence and world-shaping power as the chair from which that editor, in directing the policy of his paper, will influence the destinies of the English race.

W. T. Stead.