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sage of Verulam. These causes are easily desig- sole basis was to be found in their own heated
laws and institutions, in the old feudal times, all
rudely but rigidly maintained: one by one, they have been lopped off under the inspiration of increasing wealth, and nothing springs from the If the effort of Comte has proved to be a soil but the gigantic Upas tree, sacred to Mampalpable failure, it is not strange that all meaner mon, which darkens and poisons the atmosphere men have failed. Yet it is a fact, not without with its rank and deadly foliage. It is too true, solemn significance, that the Socialists have al- as Mr. Greeley says, that “Capital, monopolizing ready extensively secured the popular ear and Land and Machinery, takes all the profit of Lafavour; and there is perhaps still more signifi-bour to itselt." (p. 22.) This is, however, but cance in the fact, that they number among their one element of present social discord: there are hierophants or disciples such names as Le Pére others more dangerous in themselves and more Enfantin, Thierry, Chevalier, Ledru Rollin, Con- difficult of correction, which arise from the comsidérant, Leroux, Buchez, and inany of the fore-plete sapping of the moral tone in the hearts of most men of intellect in Frauce. There is even all classes. The first want is therefore the want greater cause for admiration afforded by the dili- of an earnest religious faith. This Mr. Greeley gent and unostentatious manner in which their occasionally perceives-being thus brought into leaders have prosecuted their studies; postpon-partial agreement with Buchez; but we much ing all proselytism, and patiently preparing for fear from his slight remarks that the religion he the reception of their doctriues by exhibiting the would establish would be some inefficient and evidences of the highest and most sober skill in shadowy idealism from the German Schools, inthe various occupations of life, and thus securing stead of the plain, practical, stringent prescripthe confidence of the masses which they desire to tions of unvitiated Christianity. The second attract to their doctrines. Such sober persever want is a healthy restoration of the predomiance merits success, and such self-sacrificing pa- uance of moral sentiment over all calculations of tience may be ultimately rewarded by the avoid- | worldly profit, and the renewal of amicable feelance of gross errors and the clearer recognition ings and relations between the different classes of the fundamental truth. They have undoubt of society. The third want is only the specifie edly detected a great truth; but they have ap- application of the reformation contemplated by prehended it only under a partial view; they the second it is a general determination to dis have not weighed its meaning with sufficient cau- charge faithfully and at all hazards the duties of tion nor examined sufficiently its bearings and life, as duties; hence not as a demonstrated exrelations. Impatient of the delay of slowly gath-pediency, (though Mr. Greeley at times forgets ering data, and scrupulously conforming to their his higher principles to advocate this, p. 166.) suggestions and to the fixed properties of human but as the fulfillment of a divine command, renature, which may be regarded as the constant vealed by His scripture, and imprinted by His quantities of the problem, the large body of the finger on the heart of man. Assiduous labor is Socialists, including the original founders of their one of these duties, which Mr. Greeley proposes sects, have too hastily leapt to conclusions, whose to elevate into a source of enjoyment. We have
Though Comte has thus failed to achieve his mighty aim, he is assuredly the greatest of the Titans who have attempted to scale Heaven by piling Pelion upon Ossa; and we would commend to Mr. Greeley, whose philosophical aud political reading seems to have been confined to Fourier and Emerson and Carlyle, the careful study of Comte's criticism on Communism contained in the third part of his République Occidentale. If the Fourierite Editor of the Tribune
is disposed to prosecute his researches further,
we would direct him to Aristotle's review of Plato's Laws and Republic, in his second Book of the Politics, for we can assure him that Socialism is by no means a novel folly.
no such dreamy hopes, for labour is not, as he throne Mammon from their hearts, until the
masses of the community cease to be impelled towards that fearful shrine by hourly and irremediable need. Hence, the complication and
fancies, a curse of man's own making, (p. 118.) but the curse of God upon humanity, and we do not expect to see the curses of heaven revoked at human bidding, or evaded by human devices: difficulty of any effectual solution of the present yet we cannot refrain from quoting with high ap-social crisis* the first step towards adequate reprobation and cordial assent the noble remark of form is obstructed by the very cause which renMr. Greeley, that, "He who knows how to do.ders that reform imperative. The first great aim when to do, and stands ready with a hearty good then of social amelioration, in its purely temporal will to do. whatever it is or may be fairly incum- aspects. should be to establish a more thorough bent on him to do, perilous though it be, and apart and equable distribution of the means of sustainfrom the sense of duty repulsive, is truly educa- ing life-of productions-by a natural, healthful, ted, though he knows nothing of Logarithms or and orderly modification of the laws of property, Latin: while the graduate with highest honors in order that the amendment may be completed at Oxford or Gottingen may be as essentially by the re-establishment of willing and reciprocal ignoraut as many a Typee or Hottentot," (p. dependence and subordination on the part of all 214.) Such is the language which befits a so- classes of the community, and of general relicial Reformer, and we are happy to say that such gious contentment. We advocate uo visionary sentiments are by no means of rare occurrence in equality of property, but the easier aptitude of this volume. They exci.e in our bosom a sym- capital for distribution, by slight changes in the pathy so lively and a concurrence so admiring, laws. We hold, indeed, with a quaiut and forthat we forgive Mr. Greeley nearly the whole gotten philosopher, whose doctrine in this rescircle of his philosophical and other offences, and pect has recently received the sanction of Comte, almost forget the danger of his delusions. The "cum omnes sibi habeantur æquales, nihil est tam great doctrine to be asserted is, as he seems to inæquale, quam æqualitas ipsa:"+-and it is true have felt, that nothing permanent or effectual can not merely of men, but also of the conditions of be achieved towards ameliorating present evils men. The results we desire are not to be obunless the predominant and regulating sense of tained by any specific alteration of the terms of imperative duty be re-awakened in the minds of contract, or the facilities of contracting between men, and revivified by the constant sanction of capital and labour, which must always be a pardeep religious feeling. tial remedy, and tend to the perpetual hostility These moral changes cannot be generally ef- of both classes; but by the complete change of fected, unless accompanied with some considera- the tone of the community and the spirit rather ble alleviation of the material condition of the than the letter of the laws. It is not the Organworking classes—at least in those countries where ization of Labor, in any sense attributed to that population has trenched upon subsistence. The anomalous phrase by Mr. Greeley or other Sorebellion against moral and religious obligations cialists, which is required; for that measure, is not merely the fruit of prosperity, but, in an whether so designed or not, is from its nature equally marked degree, of the extremes of ad- revolutionary and disorganizing; but the great versity. "Jeshurun waxed fat and kicked;" but want is, as we have said, a more extended and the people of Israel rebelled also when they were equable distribution of the products of labour starving in the wilderness. In want, penury, and capital, so that they may suffice for the more degradation, scorn, and the suspicion of injus- comfortable support of the myriads of earth's tice, men will not listen to reason, and they will inhabitants, and not merely for the more rapid resist every restraint which prescribes patience accumulation and multiplication of large capiwhen patience has become almost impossible, tals. Whatever remedy is adopted should be of and which urges on unenvying disposition towards so general a character as to permeate and invigthose who are rioting in luxury and abundance.* orate all classes of society together; it should “The poor heareth not rebuke." It was to a be calculated to soften and diminish all sectional land flowing with milk and honey, with the prom-divisions and distinctious, and not to institute ise of fat, aud oil, and gladuess that the Lord led new ones. The Phalanx merely establishes an his chosen race to enter upon the long course of Imperium iu Imperio," in which the governing their spiritual education under the immediate su- passion is the same desire of the more rapid inperintendence of their God. We cannot hope to crease of wealth, which has deformed the realm implant lessons of temperance, duty, and faith from which Mr. Greeley would seclude his chosen in minds embittered by the want of the daily necessaries of life: nor to eradicate greed or de
Greeley. Hints &c., p. 37. The quotation is from Proverbs, xiii. 8. v. Demosth. c. Aristocrat. c. xxix.
* Greeley, p. 46.
+ Henr. Cornelius Agrippa. De Incertitudine et Vanitate Scientiarum, c. lv, p. 162. Comte. République Occidentale, p. 374.
flock. It is strange that he does not perceive tion may be enabled to monopolize for a time that his scheme, (p. 41–6, p. 190—205,) even if extraordinary advantages. Suppose then not a its Utopian aspirations were practicable, is a re- few such Associations, scattered here and there, form in the same direction which has been hith- which might be successful, but a whole nation erto pursued till it has led to our present social cantonned into Fourierite Phalangsteries. The difficulties. It is the economy of time, the aug- existing spirit of greed animates all, and every mentation of the products of labour, and the im- individual member of each: the machinery of mediate investment of all savings in production, avarice is systematized on the grandest and most which are the modes of improvement whence crushing scale; and the old competition re-apgreater gains are expected. The adoption of pears with even more disastrous effects than bethese modes must be ultimately attended with a fore, because now less subject to control; and reduction in the price of the commodities so pro- the only perceptible difference will be that induced, which will bring round matters to the stead of the contention of individual capitalists, point whence they started. But the fundamen- there will be the bitter rivalry and the deadly tal flaw is to be found in the main object contem- competition of organized companies, who will plated-which is the indulgence of greed. The add domestic warfare and internecine broils, members of the Association may, indeed, be ben- (notwithstanding Mr. Greeley's dreams of uniefitted temporarily by a more saving expenditure, versal peace,) to the now prevalent chicanery of and consequently larger clear gains: these may trade. Mr. Greeley speaks bitterly of the “Combe distributed among a large number of stock-mercial and Industrial Feudalism" of the day, holders, instead of being engrossed by a single (p. 350 :) the phrase is a just and happy one, but capitalist: aud this is the truly laudable prospect these Associations would only substitute in its which gives such a plausible semblance of avail-place countless bands of Commercial and Indusability to the project. Mr. Greeley refers to and trial Condottieri. Such must be the consequengives the history of the Journeyman Molders' ces under the most favorable aspect-disregardUnion Foundry at Cincinnati, and is lost in ad- ing entirely the incompatibility of such a scheme miration of its success. We have no disposition with the frailties of human nature, and suffering to question that success: its causes are too evi- our author's hallucinations in regard to the abdent. The stimulus of Proprietorship-the union solute impeccability of man in the Phalanx to of the profits of capital and of intermediate agen- pass for the nonce unchallenged. If, however, cies with the wages of labour-the restraints on we did not permit these difficulties to be elimireckless expenditure-and the comparative dis-nated in the estimation of Mr. Greeley's theory advantages and improvidences of those with of Reform by Association, but considered them whom the Association has to compete-all con- in connection with the known properties of the cur to account for the increased individual bene- human family, the only result, if grievous social fits attending this organization. The tendency outbreaks could be for a time avoided, would be of modern commercial operations is to throw the that so characteristically and strikingly pointed advantage in favor of large capitals: the Union out by Sandy Mackaye: The few that are geFoundry presents by the aggregation of the niuses. or fancy themselves sae, are to ha' the means, labour and skill of its members such a monopoly o' this private still o' philosophy— capital, and probably the largest in its vicinity these carbonari, illuminati, vehmgericht, Samoengaged in that business:-yet this favourable thracian mysteries o' bottled moonshine."* condition of large accumulations in comparison with the difficulties of the poor or the needy is one of the evils of the time which require a remedy. It may be doubted whether such a Union establishment could have succeeded in any state of Society, except one in which it was not an absolute necessity. M. Leclaire's experiment, in practice, nor conceal that which must cerwhich was at first so loudly trumpeted, ultimately tainly be fatal behind that which might possibly failed: and we regret that Mr. Greeley did not give us an account of the results of the Fourierzation of the Tribune office-which we have no doubt proved profitable to himself. But the success of solitary experiments does not affect the decision of the main question; for in all schemes of social reform we must consider the effect on the whole body of the community, and not on an isolated portion, which, by exclusive aggrega
But these Hints toward Reforms are professedly dedicated to practical ends and in our consideration of them we cannot exclude any of the conditions or consequences which must necessarily attend their operation if adopted. We cannot make concessions which will be belied
* Alton Locke. chap. xxii, p. 202. There is a close er's sentence on Plato's Communism: "Qua ratione and singular parallelisın between this criticism and Brucktota tandem respublica, omnesque quas præscripsit leges, ad fanaticismuin quendam hominumque metaphysicis ingenii lusibus et nugis salutem publicam quærentium, imxxxi, tom. i, p. 726. Mr. Greeley abhors the Classics so perium relabitur.” Hist. Crit. Phil. Ps. ii, lib. ii, c. vi, bitterly that we must ask one of his friends to translate for him. Demosth. contra Aristocratem, §xliv.
be thought beneficial to the few, or even to the many. We must take all the conditions, all the consequences, and all the phenomena of any proposed reformation in their mutual connection and dependence. We have no design, however, to dwell upon the discussion of the Phalanx and the general subject of Fourierite Association: it has already been refuted a hundred times, and if it is to be refuted again, it requires such extended examination as could only be given in an essay specially devoted to it.
The first Paper purports to be a Lecture on the Emancipation of Labour, and in some measure offers a microcosm of the whole theory, which is hashed up in different modes and with various sauces in other parts of this collection. It contains a protest against the present system of Society, objections to the existing relations, and even to the laws of Land, Capital, and Labour, proposed measures of Reform, a loud lauMr. Greeley says that his work "aspires to be dation of the principle of Association, and winds a mediator, au interpreter, a reconciler between off with a most consolatory vision of a little vilconservatism and radicalism." The aspiration lage in Michigan or Wisconsin-appropriate is eminently praiseworthy, and if successfully site!-where the promises of eternal beatitude achieved, would be productive of incalculable are anticipated on earth by the practice of Mr. benefits to the distracted communities of modern Greeley's doctrine and the inauguration of an Christendom. But is this aspiration realized? incomplete Phalangstery. When the Romans Is it as prudent in its choice of means, as it is were incredulous about the transfiguration of ardent in the pursuit of its aims?-for we do not Romulus, a Roman Senator crushed all sceptidoubt its sincerity. Are Mr. Greeley's Hints cal- cism by narrating his dreams: and many a saint culated to bring the conflicting elements of de- was made out of a sinner in what are called the cayed institutions into such connection and har- Dark Ages, by the same easy process; and now mony as to eliminate or precipitate the evil, Mr. Greeley hopes to confirm a halting heresy by while it combines and concentrates the good nailing its timbers with the like imaginatious. which may be in each? This is what he pro- But if we reject the arguments which he has fesses to do. Is it done? The general tenor of elaborated with all the sobriety of which he is our previous remarks indicates that in our opin- capable, we are not likely to be overcome by the ion his schemes can only produce the opposite ideal legions which he may march against us. result, and widen the breach which he hopes to Near the beginning of this first Lecture, (p. fill. But we must consider them more in detail, 14,) the author asks, in the tone of a Censor who and endeavor to determine, to the best of our condemns, these tough questions: "Why should ability, what would be the real consequences of those by whose toil ALL comforts and luxuries their adoption. In reviewing a work so entirely are produced or made available, enjoy so scanty immethodical, and containing so much that is a share of them?" * "In short, why obnoxious to censure, we cannot pretend to no- should Speculation and Scheming ride so jauntice either all the truth or all the error which it tily in their carriages, splashing honest Work, as proclaims, but must necessarily confine ourselves it trudges humbly and wearily by on foot?" Mr. to a few topics, and be guided in our choice of Greeley sometimes quotes poetry, and has been them, either by their relative importance, or by infected by Carlyle with a morbid commiseration the extravagance of their delusion, or by both. for Burns, and, had it suited his purpose to do We would, accordingly, at the outset, candidly so, might have remembered the peasant-poet's admit that while much sophistry will pass un-anticipation of the answer to his complaining challenged and uncondemned, much truth will queries: also be passed by without its legitimate meed of praise at the same time it must be said that the small proportion of what is true is so inextricably interwoven with the general mass of error that it can scarcely be separated from it, and admits only of very qualified approbation. But to our task.
as we proceed, those which appear to be of trivial or secondary importance.
Think ye, that sic as you and I,
Wha drudge and drive thro wet an' dry,
Think ye, are we less blest than they
Though we shall not pretend to go formally But this poetic reply would not satisfy Mr. Greethrough the work-the latter part of which ley's curiosity, and we must attempt therefore to scarcely merits any notice at all—we will begin give him one in our humble prose. We might at the beginning, and take up the several lead-ask him why he expects Teachers to instruct for ing subjects presented as nearly as practicable in a diminished compensation, (p. 45,) while he the same order, (or rather in the same succession, complains of the rewards received by the Lafor order there is none,) as that in which they bourer: But this is valid only as an argumentum are proposed by Mr. Greeley, omitting of course, ad hominem. We might inquire, why do knaves
frequently succeed, and good men as frequently | ley's clients would be entitled to a very limited fail in the temporal aims of life; but as Mr. return. Human skill, forethought, and knowGreeley's queries tend to, though without reach-ledge apply to the work of production the ining, the great enigma propounded to the civili-struments furnished by nature, the meaus accuzation of the nineteenth Century, we will not mulated by previous industry and saving, and the elude, but will fairly grapple with his questions. bodily toil supplied by the mere labourer: hence all production is derived. Of himself and by himself, man, (and least of all, the day-labourer,) produces nothing. He requires the constant co
The first involves more than one fallacy. All comforts and luxuries are not produced by the labouring class in the sense in which Mr. Greeley employs his terms: and what is in this day operation of natural forces, and the assistance loosely spoken of as the labouring class, consti- of the capital which is due to their previous emtutes but a fraction of the labouring members of ployment. The soil, the animal, vegetable, and society. There are combinations of various kinds mineral wealth of the earth, and the natural forces and qualities of labour, and the co-operation of which generate production from these, are all many dissimilar instruments of production, re- given, not produced by man. The very machiquired in the creation of our comforts and luxu-nery, which is so efficient an instrument in our ries. Yet this complex character of the machi- modern system of production, and is regarded as nery and process of production is disregarded or so peculiarly a triumph of human ingenuity, reignored in the interrogatory presented. An in- solves itself ultimately into the same elements. calculable number of previous agencies are in They are all at last the gifts of God, or the gifts our day, not merely presupposed, but attested of nature, only modified by human intervention; by almost every act of production. The pow- and certainly the right of ownership may be as ers of nature, the strength and the daily toil of justly extended over the producing agents as over the unskilled labourer, the practised dexterity of the effects produced by them: that is to say, the the artisan, the means of the capitalist, the know-rights of real property and capital and the rights ledge and the discoveries of the man of science, of labour, stand, in this respect, on precisely the and the directing intelligence of the employer of same footing. If this be denied, in accordance both the capital and the labour-these and a with the principle implied in Mr. Greeley's inthousand other elements, operating through ages terrogatory, the productions which are claimed in constant and complicated combinations, all for labour must be legitimately assigned to God, enter into the intricate web of the causes which "the giver of all good things," and distributed acconspire in effectuating each single act of pro- cording to his good pleasure, which can only be duction, (with rare exceptions,) in our day. How discovered in his revealed word, or in the orderly are we to estimate the share in the result pro- processes of social phenomena. Mr. Greeley duced which is to be attributed to each? It is has a glimpse of this truth, (p. 15.) If the being done, more or less accurately, by the almost in- or the rights of God are denied, the exclusive stinctive action of civilized society. Mr. Gree- claims of unskilled labour are not on that account ley denies the correctness and justice of the more just, for then a distribution proportionate division, and proposes the determination and to the share of each in producing them, should "adoption of a rateable law of Proportion or be made of all productions to the winds of heaven, rateable dividend to Capital and Labor in place the waves of the ocean, the running streams, the of the present system of fixed and arbitrary wa- fertile earth, and the fire, so happily termed by ges." We were not aware that wages under Eschylus, "the teacher of all arts to men." the present system were either fixed or arbitrary, But a small fraction of the thing produced would but, whether so or not, they constitute the ratea- remain due to human intervention. Such a disble dividend which Society has hitherto conceiv-tribution would, indeed, be absurd as a sober ed to be the most just and equable to all parties. proposal, but it is the legitimate consequence of We may agree with Mr. Greeley that the distri- the principle involved in Mr. Greeley's plausible bution is somewhat erroneous and partial, but query. But rejecting the participation of the we cannot agree with him in the proposal to re-elements in the spoil, the species of labour, for form it by changing its name; nor can we sym- which Mr. Greeley claims the whole toil and the pathize with him in the hope of a closer approx- whole fruits of production, is assuredly not entiimation to a just division of the profits of pro- tled to the lion's share, although it may be disduction, by excluding from the number of claim-posed to seize it. We have already referred to ants as legitimate labourers all but artisans and the concurrence of science and capital with laproletaries. If the immediate agent of produc- bour; but in the production of this capital and tion, by which the grain was raised, or the web this science previous generations have concurred was woven, were alone entitled to the whole re* Prometheus Vinctus, v. 109-111. Ed. Dindorf. cf. sult of production, we are afraid that Mr. Gree-'etiam, v. 252–254.