A Socialist Dialogue and Catechism (1898)

A SOCIALIST DIALOGUE.

Question. What is a Socialist?
Answer. One who believes in collective ownership of the means of production and distribution.
Q. What do you mean by collective ownership?
A. Ownership by all the people.
Q. What would be the result of collective ownership?
A. The general welfare.
Q. How do you know this?
A. Because collective ownership has been productive of good wherever tried.
Q. Where has it been tried?
A. All over the world.
Q. How?
A. In the management of corporations.
Q. Upon what principles do corporations act?
A. Upon the principles of collective ownership in that the stockholders are associated for a common end.
Q. Give an instance of this.
A. A railroad is a corporation operated for the benefit of its stockholders and owners.
Q. Is this form of collective ownership the sort advocated by Socialists?
A. It is.
Q. Then why are not railroads deemed blessings instead of being denounced by so many as an evil?
A. Because they do not apply the principle of collective ownership consistently.
Q. How would Socialists apply the principle of collective ownership in the case of a railroad?
A. They would make all the people shareholders in it on equal terms instead of confining the advantages to a privileged few.
Q. But if Socialistic principles are applied to corporations how comes it that so many of them are badly managed?
A. Because the principles of socialism are but partially applied.
Q. So you have said already, but can you illustrate this?
A. Yes. The managers do not keep the interests of all in mind. They try to look out for the interests of a clique within the corporation.
Q. But if the whole social system became collective would not the managers of industry also try to look out for their own interests or for the interests of a few?
A. They would be very foolish to do so.
Q. How do you make that out?
A. For the reason that as corporations are now managed the stockholders are not on equal terms.
Some have more stock than others. Some have secrets which the others know nothing about. Others again manipulate the stock and cause artificial depreciation in the value of the shares.
Q. Could not these things happen under Socialism?
A. No.
Q, Why not?
A. Because all the people being stockholders, and all having an exactly equal share, the power would be equal too. No clique among the share holders’ in the great national stock company could possibly redound to the advantage of a few. Whatever benefits there might be would have to be equally distributed.
Q. If all that you have said be true, have we not Socialism already in partial operation?
A. Yes. The rich are well off only to the extent that they apply the principles of Socialism through the medium of the corporations in which they hold shares.
Q. Then why do the rich as a rule oppose Socialism?
A. Because they wish to monopolize the advantages of it.
Q. But would not Socialism benefit all equally?
A. Yes.
Q. Then what motive can the rich have in opposing it?
A. The same motive that they had in opposing Christianity, popular education, universal suffrage, freedom of the press and almost every measure calculated to benefit mankind.
Q. Such being the case, how may we expect a spread of Socialism?
A. Through the action of the exploited.
Q. Who are the exploited?
A. Those who are deprived of the benefit of their labor through unjust social conditions.
Q. How can these exploited classes better their condition?
A. Only through their own united action.
Q. Can they not obtain help from the agencies of civilization?
A. No.
Q. How is that?
A. It is too much to ask of our civilization that it aid in its own destruction.
Q. Why is it that the people are condemned to work out their own social salvation?
A. Because in this world if you want a thing done you must do it yourself.
Q. But if the poor thus try to help themselves, will not the rich try to retain their present advantages?
A. They will.
Q. In what way?
A. By trying to discredit Socialism.
Q. Can they succeed?
A. They have been trying for a long time now and they have not succeeded yet.

The Twentieth Century 20 no. 6 (February 5, 1898): 10-11.


A SOCIALIST CATECHISM.

THE STATE.

Q. What is the state?
A. A contrivance for the robbery of the people by means of exploitation.
Q. What weapon does the state use?
A. Law.
Q. What is the law?
A. A series of guarantees to the property owner.
Q. Does the law concern itself only with property?
A. The law concerns itself with conduct as well as with property.
Q. What kind of conduct?
A. Any kind of conduct that may lead to the ultimate injury of the property owner, such as murder, burglary and smuggling.
Q. Why is it that the law in some countries concerns itself with religion and deportment?
A. Such law is a survival of a more primitive form of exploitation.
Q. Will it last?
A. No.
Q. Why not?
A. Because the development of the state requires that it abandon all functions not strictly concerned with the protection of the property owner.
Q. Why does the property owner need all this protection?
A. Because property is something that he has no right to and that would be taken away from him if the state did not prevent it.
Q. What, then, has the state to say for itself?
A. It claims to be the people.
Q. Is the claim a just one?
A. No.
Q. Why not?
A. Because the people did not make the state.
Q. Who made it?
A. A series of bold robbers and despoilers, who gradually reduced their brigandage to law.
Q. But can the people not wield the power of the state?
A. No more than they could wield any other bit of infernal machinery.
Q. Why, then, do they submit to its decrees?
A. Partly because they are forced to do so and partly because they have been deluded into a belief that they are themselves the state.

THE STATESMAN.

Q. If the people do not control the state, who do?
A. Statesmen.
Q. What is a statesman?
A. A humbug.
Q. In what does this humbug consist?
A. In the pretence that he is acting in the interest of the whole people when he is acting only in the interest of an exploiting clique.
Q. Are all statesmen alike?
A. Yes; all are humbugs.
Q. Then why do they oppose each other?
A. Just as gamblers oppose one another—for the sake of winning the game.
Q. But what about universal suffrage, popular government and the like?
A. They are parts of the game.
Q. In what way!
A. The statesmen make use of popular government and universal suffrage as implements with which to effect their own purposes.
Q. And the people fail to see through all this?
A. They see through It to a very great extent, but not wholly.
Q. Why do they not put an end to it?
A. Because they do not know how to go about it.
Q. Is there no one to instruct them?
A. Yes.
Q. Who?
A. The Socialists.
Q. Then why do not the people act?
A. Because the statesmen will not give them the chance.
Q. What means do the statesmen employ?
A. Statesmanship.

THE SOPHISM.

Q. Who would bring about all the advantages of Socialism?
A. The people themselves.
Q. Who would rule the people?
A. The people themselves.
Q. Would not the people then constitute the state?
A. The people would then constitute the source of power and authority.
Q. Why would they not constitute the state?
A. Because the statesmen constitute the state.
Q. If this is so, why is Socialism objected to on the ground that it would make the state too powerful?
A. That is a sophism.
Q. Why so?
A. Because it is based upon the current delusion that the people now constitute the state, and wield all authority.
Q. Then when the Socialists advocate the collective ownership of the means of production and distribution they do not mean conferring more power upon the state?
A. Not upon the abomination now constituting the state.
Q. Then why is this fact not made plain?
A. Because the statesmen think they can score a point against the Socialists by obscuring it.
Q. Then the state is infamous?
A. It is an infamous thing. Its upholders say as much
Q. Why do they not recommend its destruction?
A. They say any state would be better than none at all.
Q. What made the state so infamous?
A. Upholding the present social system.

THE ENEMY.

Q. Who oppose Socialism?
A. The exploiters.
Q. Who are they?
A. The capitalists and their dependents.
Q. Who are the dependents of the capitalists?
A. The press, the pulpit and the politicians.
Q. Are there no exceptions?
A. Yes, but very few.
Q. How do they oppose Socialism?
A. By misrepresentation.
Q. What are their methods?
A. They play upon the fears and the prejudices of the poor.
Q. How?
A. The press will misstate the measures.
Q. Will the pulpit?
A. No—it will pronounce them sinful.
Q. And the politicians?
A. They will betray the people.
Q. Do not these things make it hard for Socialism?
A. Very.
Q. But does Socialism grow?
A. It is growing all over the world.
Q. What does this prove?
A. It proves that there is some fundamental truth in Socialism.

THE MASSES.

Q. What class is Socialism intended to benefit chiefly?
A. The exploited masses.
Q. Then are the exploited masses Socialists?
A. No.
Q. Why is that?
A. They do not know what Socialism is.
Q. But are there not Socialist agitators?
A. Yes.
Q Why do they not tell the masses?
A. Because they cannot gain the ear of the masses.
Q. What prevents them?
A. The manner in which the poor are hedged about and fenced in by those who exploit them.
Q. How can the poor be so dealt with?
A. They are drawn into political, religious and social organizations of one kind and another which occupy all their leisure.
Q. How do these organizations maintain their hold over the poor?
A. By means of various delusions in which the poor are brought up.
Q. What hold have these delusions?
A. To attack them is pronounced vicious and depraved and this gives them a strong hold.
Q. For what reason?
A. The poor consider, consequently, that an attack upon their delusions is Wicked.
Q. What is the result?

THE PROSPECT.

Q Socialism, then, has a bad name?
A It has.
Q. What is it generally considered?
A. An incurable delusion, preyed upon by designing agitators.
Q. Will the growth of Socialism continue?
A. No one doubts it—not even its enemies.
Q. What causes the growth of Socialism?
A. The fact that the poor are growing poorer.
Q. What effect does that have?
A. It forces the poor to think about their condition.
Q. What will they do then?
A. Accept Socialism.
Q. Do the exploiters fear this?
A. Yes.
Q. How do you know?
A. By their denial that the poor are growing poorer.
Q. Does this denial do any good?
A. Yes, to the exploiters.
Q. In what way?
A. It saves their self respect and lulls the consciences of the middle classes.

NECESSITY.

Q How do the rich explain poverty?
A. They quote the scriptures.
Q. Anything else?
A. Yes: Malthus.
Q. What is the upshot?
A. That a certain number must starve no matter what is done to prevent it.
Q. Is this true?
A. No. The scriptures do not ordain poverty and Malthus was exploded long ago.
Q. What do the rich reply to this?
A. They give statistics.
Q. What do the statistics show?
A. That a certain percentage of the population always lives in want.
Q. What is the conclusion drawn?
A. That a certain percentage must always live in want?
Q. Is the conclusion valid?
A. No.
Q. Is it deemed valid?
A. By many, yes.
Q. Suppose it were really valid and a certain percentage actually had to live in want, what then?
A. The rich could constitute the percentage.

IGNORANCE.

Q. What is exploitation?
A. Appropriation of the proceeds of another’s labor without giving a just return.
Q. Who are the victims of exploitation?
A. The working classes.
Q. Why do they not stop it?
A. They do not see it.
Q. How is exploitation effected?
A. Through capital.
Q. In what way?
A. By contract.
Q. What influence has contract?
A. Its sanctity as declared by the courts.
Q. Define the sanctity of contract.
A. It is a form of words devised by exploiters to gloss over the truth.
Q. What do you mean by a form of words?
A. Jargon employed to humbug the masses.
Q. And are the masses humbugged?
A. Yes, easily. They are misled by mere words.
Q. What is the reason?
A. They are ignorant.
Q. Of what?
A. Economic truth.

OBSCURANTISM.

Q. What is obscurantism?
A. The policy of hemming the people in so that the truth cannot get at them.
Q. How is it practiced?
A By inducing the people to connect themselves with organizations of one kind and another, nominally for their benefit but in reality to exploit them.

IDEAS.

Q. What are ideas?
A. Brain products.
Q. How do they act?
A. By spreading.
Q. How many kinds of ideas are there?
A. Two: good and bad.
Q. Which are more numerous?
A. Bad.
Q. Do they not overcome the good ideas?
A. No.
Q. Why?
A. Good ideas are strong and vigorous. They easily overcome fifty times their number of bad ones.
Q. Then why do we not see them in the ascendant today?
A. Because the good ideas are few and it takes time for them to do away with the bad ideas, which are so numerous.
Q. Give a good idea.
A. The collective ownership of the means of production and distribution.
Q. How do you know it is a good idea?
A. It survives and spreads.
Q. What if it were a bad idea?
A. It would have been dead long ago.

SUCCESS.

Q. What is success?
A. A catch word.
Q. Who employ it?
A. The victims of our social system.
Q. Who are they?
A. Those who succeed.
Q. But are they victims?
A. Yes. Their success is only a form of failure,
Q. How can that be?
A. Because our social system is such a hollow mockery that even its prizes are delusions.
Q. Then why do the successful not rebel?
A. Their pride keeps them from confessing how they have been taken in.

CIVILIZATION.

Q. Are we civilized
A. Yes.
Q. What is the reason?
A. We can’t help it.
Q. What good does it do us?
A. It lifts us above the savages.
Q. Where are the savages ?
A. The Lord knows. Some say they are fading away before the advances of civilization.
Q. What are the advances of civilization?
A. Factories, great cities and so on.
Q. Then are not those who are fading away in factories, great cities and so on savages?
A. ——

WAR.

Q. What is the object of war?
A. The welfare of humanity.
Q. How do we know this?
A. From the assertions of those who wage it.
Q. How many wars have there been?
A. Too many to count.
Q. Then the welfare of humanity ought to be assured by this time, ought it not?
A. We will change the subject.

PUBLIC OPINION.

Q. What do you mean by public opinion?
A. Nothing.
Q. But what is public opinion?
A. Anything that any newspaper says it is.
Q. Then what does public opinion amount to?
A. It is exactly what the newspapers decide beforehand that it shall be.
Q. Is that why we have newspaper?
A. No.
Q. What are newspapers published for?
A. Profit.

PRODUCTION.

Q. Is production necessary?
A. There must be production before there can be consumption.
Q. Who are producers?
A. The masses.
Q. What do they produce?
A. Commodities.
Q. Are not the classes also producers?
A. Yes.
Q. What do they produce?
A. Misery.
Q. How is production regulated?
A. By exchange.

THOUGHT.

Q, What is thought?
A. An unusual mental state,
Q. In whom?
A. Most people.
Q. What is the reason?
A. They do not know how to think.
Q. Who does the thinking?
A. A few self-constituted thinkers.
Q. How do they do it?
A. Mechanically.
Q. Why is this tolerated?
A. The masses know no better.
Q. Do they not think?
A. Yes.
Q. What do they think?
A. They think they think.
Q. What do they think they think?
A. They think they think their own thoughts.
Q. Do they not think their own thoughts?
A. No.
Q. Whose thoughts do they think?
A. The thoughts of any thinker whom accident has placed over them.
Q. What are these thoughts?
A. Fallacies and sophisms long since exploded.
Q. On what subjects?
A. Law, order, property, government, conduct and the like.
Q. What is the remedy?
A. The people must think for themselves instead of letting others think for them.

COURTS.

Q What are courts?
A. Legal tribunals.
Q. Why do they exist?
A. For the benefit of the property owner.
Q. Anyone else?
A. The lawyer.
Q. What do courts have?
A. Authority.
Q. For what purpose?
A. To send the poor to prison.
Q. Do the courts send the poor to prison?
A. Yes.
Q. Why?
A. Because they have no influence.
Q, What do the courts do to the rich?
A. Keep them from going to prison.
Q. How do they do this?
A. By pronouncing unconstitutional all laws that are likely to give the rich any trouble.
Q. Are not the courts ashamed of themselves?
A. No.
Q What do they say?
A. They say they exist to administer the law.
Q. What does that mean?
A. It is all humbug.
Q. Then what do the courts amount to?
A. They are merely institutions for oppressing the poor and protecting the rich.
Q. Is there no help for this?
A. Not while the system of humbug and fraud upon which the courts rest is maintained.

LAW-MAKING.

Q. Who make the laws?
A. The corporations.
Q. How?
A. By owning the law-making bodies.
Q. Then do not the people make the laws?
A. Of course not.
Q. But why are we told that they do?
A. Because that is a part of the humbug we tolerate.
Q. Is this humbug believed?
A. No.
Q. Then why is it taken so seriously?
A. Because everybody pretends to believe it.

INTERPRETATION.

Q. What becomes of the laws after they are made?
A. They are interpreted.
Q. By whom?
A. The judges.
Q. In what way?
A. That depends upon the corporation that made them.
Q. Then the corporations make the judges as well as the laws? ‘
A. Yes.
Q. What else do the corporations make?
A. Money.

POVERTY.

Q. What is poverty?
A. The lot of the masses.
Q. Is there no way of avoiding it?
A. The rich say there is not.
Q. Do the rich avoid i ?
A. Yes.
Q. How do they explain this inconsistency?
A. They blame it on God.

CORPORATION.

Q. What is a corporation?
A. A thing without a soul.
Q. What kinds of corporations are there?
A. Great and bankrupt.
Q. What are great corporations?
A. Things that are above the law.
Q. What do they do?
A. Rule the country.

THE UNITED STATES.

Q. What country do the corporations rule?
A. The United States.
Q What is the United States?
A. Free.
Q Since when?
A. Since it threw off the yoke of Great Britain.
Q. What became of the yoke?
A. It is used in Fourth of July orations.
Q. Do the corporations rule the United States for nothing?
A. No. They are paid for it.
Q. Is that why corporations are so rich?
A. Yes. They get liberal thank offerings from a grateful people.

COLONIES.

Q. What are colonies?
A. Overflow settlements.
Q. What does that mean?
A. The victims of our social system become too numerous.
Q. What do they do then?
A. Emigrate.
Q. Where to?
A. Any region not settled.
Q. What then?
A. They redeem the wilderness.
Q. Do they get all the benefit?
A. No.
Q. Who gets it?
A. The exploiters at home.
Q. How?
A. By assuming control of the colonies.
Q. Do the colonists resist?
A. It would be useless.
Q. Why?
A. The government at home has troops and guns.

GRAB.

Q. What do the governments do with troops and guns.
A. Grab.
Q. What?
A. Territory.
Q. Why?
A. To colonize.
Q. What good does that do them?
A. It enables them to get rid of their surplus population and also to rob the colonies.
Q. Do all nations grab?
A. Yes, if they have the power.
Q. Name some of these nations.
A. England, Germany, France.
Q. Which is most successful?
A. England.
Q. What is the reason?
A. She does not rule people to death, like Germany, or get tired and go home like France.
Q. Where are the colonies being located?
A. In Africa mostly.
Q. What will happen when Africa is all colonized.
A. Europe will try to colonize South America.
Q. How?
A. By grabbing all she can?
Q. What is to prevent her?
A. The Monroe doctrine.

NEXT.

Q. What interest have all these things for the Socialist?
A. Until the world has been colonized to its fullest capacity, Socialism will not wholly prevail.
Q. How is that?
A. Because, as long as there is a region to which the discontented can be shipped, our social system will have a safety valve.
Q. Will the end of colonization bring downfall of capitalism?
A. It will, for there will be nothing of the earth left to exploit.
Q. Will Socialism then prevail?
A. Yes, unless we have a military despotism.
Q. What w0uld bring about a military despotism?
A. The colonization of South America and Africa by the nations of the continent of Europe.
Q. What is the reason?
A. Their social organization is military.
Q. Then the Socialist ought to oppose colonization by military powers?
A. Certainly.
Q. How can he do this?
A. By championing the Monroe doctrine.

EXPLOITATION.

Q. How soon will the world be entirely colonized?
A. Probably in a few generations:
Q. Will exploitation then cease?
A. It must.
Q. Why?
A. There will be no safety valve for the pressure of population.
Q. What will happen?
A. Our social system will explode.
Q. Will anyone get hurt?
A. Yes.
Q. Who?
A. Those who are sitting on the safety valve.
Q. Why do they sit on it?
A. They have been on it so long without getting hurt that they have grown reckless.

MANKIND.

Q. Would it not be possible for Socialism to prevail before the whole world has been colonized?
A. Yes, in part.
Q. Would not that be all right?
A. No.
Q. Why not?
A. Socialism is a world movement.
Q. What of it?
A. It must include all mankind.
Q. Would it not do to have the United States a cooperative commonwealth, regardless of other nations?
A. No country could inaugurate Socialism independently of all other countries.
Q. What is the reason?
A. It would only be partial Socialism like that of the cooperative colonies.
Q. Are co-operative colonies only partially Socialistic?
A. Only partially.
Q. Why can they not be wholly Socialistic?
A. Because they cannot own and operate all the means of production and distribution.
Q. Does Socialism mean all?
A. Yes—all.

THEFT.

Q. What is theft?
A. Taking what does not belong to us.
Q. How comes it that things do not belong to us.
A. The law is responsible.
Q Do many people steal?
A Yes.
Q Who?
A Generally the rich.
Q What is done to them?
A. Some are sent to the Senate, others endow churches and others get their indictments quashed.
Q. But do not the poor steal?
A. Yes.
Q. What is done to them if they are found out?
A. They go to prison.

CAUSE.

Q. What makes people steal?
A. Inequitable social arrangements.
Q. Then is it wrong to steal?
A. It is wrong for those upon whom the responsibility rests.
Q. Would there be no stealing under an equitable social system?
A. None.
Q. Why are inequitable conditions responsible for theft?
A. Because they make theft the only means of self preservation to many.
Q. What is self preservation?
A. The highest law.
Q. Would it make anyone steal?
A. Yes.
A. Even the honest and upright?
A. Yes.
Q. Can you illustrate this?
A. The soldiers in their camps illustrate it.
Q. In what way?
A. They stole food.
Q. What did they steal it for?
A. They were starving to death.
Q. How is that?
A. The government contractors robbed them of food.
Q. What did the soldiers do?
A. They hunted for food.
Q. Did they find any?
A. Yes.
Q. Where?
A. In hen roosts and in baggage cars.
Q, What did they do then?
A. Stole it.
Q. Was there an excuse?
A. They could not help themselves.
Q. Were they not free agents?
A. No.
Q. Why not?
A. Hunger had made them beasts of prey.

ILLUSTRATION.

Q. Does hunger always reduce men to this condition?
A. Always.
Q. Then the soldiers who were starving are a warning, are they not?
A. They are an illustration bf our whole social system.
Q How so?
A. Because the starving soldiers are in the position of the masses.
Q. Don’t the masses get enough to eat?
A. No. Their means of subsistence is in the hands
of a favored few.
Q. What is the result?
A. Crime, theft, discontent.
Q. But why do not the masses get food?
A. They are deluded by those who rob them.
Q. Is that the way the starving soldiers are treated?
A. It is.
Q. What are they deluded with?
A. With stories that it will be all right bye and bye.
Q Who is responsible for these stories?
A. Swindling contractors.
Q. Is that the way the masses are treated?
A. Yes. They are told it will be all right bye and bye.
Q. What bye and bye?
A. The sweet bye and bye.
Q. Do the masses believe this?
A. Not as much as formerly.
Q. Why not?
A. They have lost faith in their old teachers.
Q. Who is teaching the masses now?
A. They are teaching themselves.
Q. What is the result?
A. They are learning something.

WHAT THEY LEARN.

Q. What are the masses learning?
A. The injustice of our social system
Q. With what result?
A. They demanded a change.
Q. How is the demand received?
A. With disgust.
Q On whose part?
A. The part of the favored few.
Q. How do they show this?
A. By denouncing discontent and progress.
Q. What is their method?
A. Misrepresentation.
Q. How?
A. They say the present social system 18 all right.
Q. What is the defect of this misrepresentation?
A. It is self praise.
Q. And what is self praise?
A. No recommendation.

DIPLOMACY.

Q. What is diplomacy?
A. A game.
Q. Who play it?
A. The people’s enemies.
Q. For what purpose?
A. To rob in the dark.
Q. Who do the work?
A. Diplomats.
Q. What are diplomats?
A. Representatives of financial interests.
Q. How do they put in their time?
A. Enjoying themselves.
Q. But how do they serve their masters?
A. By getting concessions.
Q. From whom?
A. The governments to whom they are sent.
Q. Why do the governments oblige them?
A. Because all governments are alike!
Q. What follows?
A. It follows that all governments play into one another’s hands.
Q. What about the free governments?
A. There are no free governments.
Q. Then are all governments alike?
A. No. Some are efficient and some are inefficient.
Q. What is the reason?
A. There are various reasons. Some governments are so short sighted that they oppress the people too much.
Q. What is the difference between an efficient government and an inefficient government?
A. The same difference that exists between a sensible slave owner and a foolish slave owner.
Q. What is that?
A. The sensible slave owner keeps his slaves in such a condition that they can work for him well. The foolish slave owner ill treats and overworks his slaves in his eagerness for gain so that they die off and he loses what he invested in them.
Q. What has all this to do with diplomacy?
A. A good deal. Diplomacy, to be successful, must refrain from burdening the people to such an extent that they rebel and at the same time it must exploit them as much as possible for the benefit of the privileged classes.
Q. Then do not the masses hate diplomacy?
A. No.
Q. Why not?
A. They don’t know anything about it.
Q. What is the reason?
A. They know too little of the methods of those who rob them.
Q. Does this country have diplomats?
A. Yes.
Q. How are they appointed?
A. At the dictation of financial interests.
Q. What are their functions.
A. They look out for the interests of corporations.
Q. Give some instances.
A. General Woodford, our late minister to Spain.
Q. Who had him appointed?
A. The life insurance corporations.
Q. What was their object ?
A. He is their attorney and they wanted him to prevent a war which would kill many of their policy-holders and add to the death rate generally.
Q. Did Woodford serve his masters?
A. He did.
Q. How?
A. By postponing the war as long as possible.
Q Can you give another instance?
A. Yes: John Hay.
Q. Who is he?
A. Our Ambassador to England.
Q. Why was he appointed?
A. In order to gain British capital for American corporations.
Q How does he do this?
A. By promising concessions that will tempt the London bankers.
Q. What is the most important post in American diplomacy?
A. The Ambassadorship to England.
Q. For what reason?
A. We are a financial dependency of Great Britain.
Q. What sort of men are sent to London as our ambassadors?
A. Corporation attorneys like E. J. Phelps.
Q. What sort of men are sent elsewhere?
A. It depends upon the country. For instance, our minister to Peru is always appointed at the dictation of the corporations engaged in the exploitation of the guano beds.
Q. Then our diplomatic service is a danger, is it not?
A. Yes, it sells our country to the foreign financial interests.
Q. Why are these things kept so quiet?
A. The people have so many enemies at home that they have no time to attend to their enemies abroad.
Q. What punishment should be meted out to the diplomats?
A. They should be made to work for their living.
Q. How can that be done?
A. By abolishing government.
Q. Would not the consequences be serious?
A. Very.
Q. Then why should it be done?
A. Because government is an evil.
Q How could it be ended?
A. By ignoring it.
Q. Suppose the government refused to be ignored?
A. The people could end it.
Q. Will such a course ever be adopted?
A. Yes; government, as now understood, is doomed.


The Twentieth Century 20 no. 20 (May 14, 1898): 16; 20 no. 21 (May 21, 1898): 16; 20 no. 22 (May 28, 1898): 15-16; 20 no. 23 (June 4, 1898): 15-16; 20 no. 24 (June 11, 1898): 16; 20 no. 25 (June 18, 1898): 16; 20 no. 26 (June 25, 1898): 16.

About Shawn P. Wilbur 2214 Articles
Independent scholar, translator and archivist.