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THE ESSENCE OF SCIENCE
THE CATECHISM OF POSITIVE SOCIOLOGY
A Student of Auguste Comte.
We must accept the whole of Science, or we may as well refuse it altogether. Piecemeal, it can have no living existence; and, therefore, can yield us no benefits. Its rightful domain extends through all, from lowest to highest. To exclude science from Sociology—Government—Religion; from the highest of which we are capable of conceiving, is to deprive it of its head; and man, of all which can render life worth having.
Materiality, the phenomenal, the all of which we can conceive, must prove to be all-sufficing, or remain an entire failure., The world must become man’s perfectly satisfactory residence—his home—or remain but a miserable point of entrance and departure. The material or phenomenal world, cannot be even a place of preparation for an immaterial one; nor can conditional beings really conceive of unconditional ones.
Between the natural and the ultra-natural, something and nothing, sense and nonsense, there can be no connection, no half way.
Unless we concede that nature, when fully developed, will prove capable of satisfying all the needs and desires of her children; and that, too, in this world, we should forswear her, and transfer our allegiance to the ultra-natural. Reason, we should renounce for blind faith; and the teachings of science for the dictates of mystery; which should, in consideration of the benefits we can expect from these alone, in the event of simple, scientific and artistic nature’s impotency, be free to continue to deluge the world with ignorance, and consequent crime and misery; and thus rivet man’s affections to things out of the world; and keep him vilifying and blaspheming the only source of his being of which he can form any conception, and continually rejecting the only; savior which earth, or aught that man can comprehend, can supply.
We shall show it to be in the power of man, through the direct agency of science and art, to introduce a system of government, which shall depend, for support, on after approval, by the whole people, instead of being constituted by previous election, by only the majority; and that thus alone can society be invested with power, sufficient, effectually and forever, to protect itself from the despotism of autocrats, aristocrats, or majorities; and from being swindled despoiled, humbugged, insulted, enslaved, and even cheated out of by far the greatest portion of life itself by politicians, demagogues, moral, medical, and all other quacks and impostors, and by sham law manufacturers and mongers.
In short, we shall show the capability of science and art, co-working by, through, and with man and his environment, to completely satisfy him with life, both as to quantity and quality, in this world.
I have styled myself a student instead of a disciple, because the former being at liberty to go ahead, may confer more honor on his teacher and more benefit on his readers, than the latter, by merely following, can. Whether my attempt has, or has not, honored the great master to whom all constructive revolutionists must be indebted for a basis, let the capable determine.
Nature (all possible objective or subjective existence) so develops her resources, evolves her phenomena and manifests her laws, that her unfoldings resemble, not the monotonous process of simple numeration, but the successive multiplication of numbers by their own product, thus:-—2 X 2 == 4 X 4::= 16 X 16 ==256, and so on, .till the amount of means adequate to the production of the perfection for which man’s rational desires indicate the necessity, shall be obtained. ‘
Had nature ever been in a simpler condition than that of a positive and negative duality, she could no more have extricated herself therefrom, than the unit could increase by self-multiplication.
At the advent of man, nature’s phenomena had necessarily become so numerous and complicated, as so completely to bewilder him, when they came in contact with his virgin perceptive faculties, that a state of ignorance, but one remove from utter unconsciousness, was the result. A decision, therefore, was an instant necessity, when the most true one obtainable, could, not be other than the most false one possible.
That decision—the instinctive expedient of perfect ignorance, the spontaneous suggestion of pure egotism—came. Self-conceit gave it what of form it was susceptible, and it has continued to be the very basis of law, morals and government, throughout the civilized world, to the middle of the nineteenth century! And the reflex of primitive savageism—the embodiment of error—the utterly incomprehensible—still usurps and disgraces the throne of the Supreme Being!
Here we get a full view of the cause of evil, and that cause suggests the cure. Mystery, the synonym for ignorance, having been organized and palmed off on the world for true religion, or mankind’ uniting tie, has become so firmly seated, that nothing short of the equally well organized religion of the science of sciences—the very essence of science—can displace and thus destroy it.
The stupendous mass of evil which ignorance, mystery and falsehood have engendered, is homogeneous; and so inextricably interconnected, that it must stand or fall together. Attacking it in detail, not only further complicates and strengthens it, but postpones the true—the scientific method of its eradication.
Man never could have emerged from his original statical ignorance, except through that dynamical ignorance—mystery—which was the primary basis of – that social organization which gave birth to science.
Mystery, therefore, originated that organization to which it will owe its final elimination as a system; and though the requisites for this consummation have, all along, been gradually preparing, the advent of Positive Sociology will be as generally surprising as the solution of the greatest of all problems—as comparatively sudden as the pronunciation of the highest arithmetical sum which can have any practical significance, after the tedious multiplication and final addition necessary to produce it from its lowest root, have been unostentatiously gone through with.
The great problem to be solved, is, to find out how to use those means which are now abused; since uses necessarily produce effects directly contrary to those which abuses produce; all man needs, is, to be as happy as he is now miserable.
Until the collective human organism is complete, all must necessarily be more or less provisional and unsatisfactory; and that vast organism is now passing through its most critical stage; four philosophies—the negative, the retrogressive, the stationary, and the positive—simultaneously contending for the mastery.
The negative philosophy has no definite aim, and its tendencies are wholly dispersive and consequently destructive. Its complete success would lead back to that statical ignorance compared to which, we have seen, the worst possible active error is an improvement; but happily it has nearly expended its force.
The retrogressive Philosophy is madly striving to crush human progress backwards at least five centuries.
The stationary philosophy has, aided by the negative philosophy, substituted individual prejudice for Papal infallibility, and transferred to majorities the power which constituted the opprobrium of kings. Appalled at the resulting confusion, it has unceremoniously abandoned its too effective ally, and is desperately striving, by means of such abortive experiments as bibliolatry, constitutionalism, and that opaque entanglement—statute law, to consolidate anarchy, and stay sociological progress.
But the retrogressive and stationary philosophies are essentially the same; neither promising man any happiness worth living for till after death, both equally teaching mystery, and affirming that man fell from perfection, through knowledge, and that mind is an entity, and even the basis of matter.
But according to the positive philosophy, man will rise to all conceivable perfection, through knowledge; and mind is a positive and negative consequence, resulting from, and depending on, brain and its pre-requisities, and on objective or external matter; and to be as good, as free, and as happy, as can understandingly be desired, is the ART OF ARTS, which requires nothing more and nothing less than THE SCIENCE Of SCIENCES.
CATECHISM OF POSITIVE SOCIOLOGY.
Question 1.—What are the three great divisions of civilized mankind?
Answer.—Church, Government, and People. The first, manifests man’s yearning after a perfection which no lower animal needs, and thus indicates the capability of the human race, to rise superior to any other.
The second division is consequent on the first, and though human. government, apparently, is not essentially different from the tyranny of brute force, and is, in many respects, now practically inferior to the regulations of some animal hordes, we shall show that it and the church will, arm in. arm, when both shall be based on the comprehensible, and be understandingly sustained by the people, lead man to the perfection the mystical church has given him a confused idea of; and that, too, in this world.
Because all religion, hitherto, has been false, we must not conclude true religion to be impossible; logically, falsehood must have its opposing truth; nor must we despair of realizing free government, because all government has, as yet, been but varied forms of despotism. Government must ever be, as it always has been, founded on religion; and as false religion evidently must produce false, despotic government, free government must have, for its base, true religion. Where, then, are we to look for true religion? Evidently to earth; or, at farthest, to the material system to which we belong, and with which we are connected; since the dark, pathless realms of mystery and ultra-naturalism have been ransacked in vain. The religion of the unknown, must pass away, with the corresponding ignorance which engendered it. Whole, unitary, all regulating, all pervading, all perfecting, complete, science and corresponding art, must be law; and its direction, diffusion, and general application, must be the true religion for earth and material and materialistic man.
Science and art, when invested with their rights, we undertake to show, will be as superior to what they now are, as a finished edifice is to one in unjoined sections.
Question 2.—What, at present, is Sociology?
Answer.—The universal, habitual, long-established, and therefore cherished and revered anarchy and confusion, resulting from the attempted assimilation, combination, and connection, of materialism with ultra-naturalism—of something with nothing. A jumble, compounded of all which relates, or is supposed to relate, to the formation and preservation of society; or that condition of man, perhaps even now somewhat. higher, more -refined, and more philanthropic, than either individualism or familyism; and which, through universal, all-pervading science and completory art, will be immensely more so.
Question 3.—What benefits has our hitherto crude, unscientific, mongrel, monstrous, sociology thus far bestowed on man?
Answer.—Few, if any, other than those purely imaginary or grossly material. It is, and ever has been, contended, by people with intellects far above mediocrity, that human happiness has not been increased by “civilization,” or hotch-potch sociology; and it is, at the close of “this poor dying life,” all but universally conceded, that the earth is now but-a “vale of tears,” fit only to be traveled through, post haste, for a better one.:
Question 4.—Why has hotch-potch sociology—soi-disant “civilization,” been little else than a long series of disasters and failures?
Answer.—Because it is founded, or rather attempted to be founded, on savage ultra-naturalism. Man has, for a long time past, been most seriously, industriously, and stupidly engaged in an impossibility; in the absurd attempt to reconcile science with mystery, and found the comprehensible on the incomprehensible; and is thus stubbornly and vainly wasting incalculably more energy and perseverance than would be necessary, by a rational and scientific method, to insure success. How painful, long, and hard, the toil which mental laziness self-inflicts.
Question 5.—What will Positive Sociology be, in contradistinction to the hotch-potch, ultra-naturalistic sociology which disappoints man’s expectations, vainly exhausts his energies, mocks his patient endurance, defies even his undaunted perseverance; in short, always fails?
ANSWER.—Positive Sociology will be the science of sciences and its completory art of arts: the general, universal, science and art, which will result from the farthest extension and highest developement of all the special, fragmentary sciences and arts, and be to them what animation is to physical and chemical action; immensely elevating, because adjusting, connecting, and making science and art mutually completive; and bringing the whole, resulting therefrom, in unison with, and completory of, humanity, both as individuals and as a whole—as units, or as an entirety; causing thus to result, no less than the Supreme Being; of course, perfect in all his parts.:
Question 6.—What will be the field of Positive Sociology?
ANSWER.—All which affects mankind; consequently, all respecting the existence of which man can know any thing.
Guesrion 7.—What will-be the function of Positive Sociology.
Answer.—To perfect man, and invest him with all the benefit, the use, the value, the reality, of omnipotence; to empower him to realize, and bodily enjoy, on earth, all which can be conceived of perfect and even eternal happiness.
Question 8.—But as no amount of power can, helter-skelter, en mass, or in fragments, be effective for but very partial good, organization being the requisite for all valuable power; ‘and as, to create humanity the Supreme Being must task the whole power of nature, and require the most effective means for her highest and most perfect development, how will Positive Sociology arrange, classify, and organize mankind, so as to enable them to bring out all the power of nature, and apply it to the accomplishment of human perfection?
Answer.—In order to avail humanity of the whole power, and entire and highest use of fully developed nature, simple, scientific and artistic, Positive Sociology will organize mankind by classifying them into
II. Scientific Discoverers.
[Note the order in which the three classes stand, as we shall soon have something in particular to say in connection with it.]
The operators will execute what the scientific discoverers will teach; and the directors will oversee and regulate the whole performance, and intersperse it with the attractive, gay, charming and joyous.
Question 9.—But will Positive Sociology do all man’s discovering and directing? Will it monopolize science and art, and convert the people to mere automatons, mere blindly obedient workers? Above all, will it destroy or even interfere with individual liberty or property?
Answer.—No. Positive Sociology will do nothing for mankind which, as individuals, or en mass, they can profitably do for, or of, themselves. It will equally avoid enervating the mental organs of the people by inaction, crippling them by over exertion, or distorting them by over exercising some, and proportionably neglecting others. It will, also, like simple nature, preserve the just mean between too much centralization and too much dispersion; between too much centripetal and too much centrifugal social force; and thus, incalculably enlarge individual freedom, and give its full due to that liberty, which has now little more than a mere nominal existence; and perfectly secure individual property, which is now the most uncertain of all things, and to keep possession of which, at present, involves more vexation and care than any amount of property is worth.
The operators, being by far the largest body of the people, will, nay, must mainly have, hold, and exercise the power which the scientific discoverers will find out the highest and best use of; which use the directors will theoretically apply, on a scale commensurate with its importance; thereby enabling the operators practically to apply it for the largest benefit of the whole body politic, and, necessarily, of the individuals composing it.
Science, and completory art, when organized into a systematically connected, fully developed whole, will extend as far as ideas can reach. Nor, until their domain is thus extended, can be elicited and applied the full force of those scientific-artistic-sociological-natural-life-prolonging-happiness-perfecting laws, by which the units of humanity can be enabled to advantageously act, in perfect freedom, and perfect concert, and in entire unison with the great All Existence.
When those laws commence to be applied, even as far as discovered; and consequently become, more and more, faster and faster, both discovered and applied, until the science of sciences, and its corresponding, completory art of arts, shall be a perfect reality, antagonistic, divergent, despotic, destructive, ultra-naturalistic human action will give place to that harmonious, convergent, constructive, free, because scientific-artistic-sociological-natural, action which will invest man with as almighty power as can be conceived of; the power to live as long and as happy as he can wish or desire to. Humanity will then become the Supreme Being;* to whom no conceivable thing will be impossible.
That a perfectly good Supreme Being cannot co-exist with evil, is self-evident. Therefore, the Supreme Being of ultra-naturalism is a, chimera. But the conceivable Supreme Being of Positivism commenced birth when individual man was first manifested; his head has not yet undergone parturition; and until it does so, his body, can of course, be of but little use; can hardly indicate the capabilities of complete humanity. The professedly inconceivable, and of course imaginary or sham Supreme Being preceded (pshaw!) matter. But: the real Supreme Being will succeed, and be consequent on, the perfection of it.
From fractional science, and individual, embryonic humanity, we can but faintly judge of what science is capable of producing, and humanity of becoming.
Ultra-naturalism’s attempt to produce in society, unity of purpose and action, introduced the germ of leadership and organization, and marked where man aspired to perfect and eternal happiness, and where he evinced the capability to rise superior to other animals, But all this was effected at the seeming expense of nearly the entire freedom of the individual, because it involved man’s more combined, instead of merely single, destructive action on man, owing to the then necessary, but now too strong, or rather disproportioned, centralization. But scientific unity of social purpose and action, we begin to see, and shall fully show, must, and will, be so systematically proportioned to individual action and aim, as equally to secure the most perfect harmony of the whole, along with all conceivable freedom and individuality of its parts; and thus only, can a final end be put to man’s centralizing destructive, or disgregating, disorganizing, impoverishing, and savageizing action on man, and even to all molestation of man by any other part of nature, with very rare, if any, exceptions.
The great question is, how to commence to constitute Positive Sociology. Thanks to those gigantic minds who have been before me in this field, I think myself competent to furnish a theory sufficient for a beginning of Positive Sociology; and also to show how to commence the nucleus which shall, more and more, faster and faster, accumulate till the full, completely satisfactory and perfect result shall be obtained; and all I ask is, that patient attention which the immensity and importance of the subject demands.
Even at the commencement of the introduction of practical Positive Sociology, science must be elevated to the dignity of law, and its administration or direction, to the still higher dignity of religion; thus abolishing the sham which has hitherto passed for law, and putting an end to the tyranny, cruelty, persecution, solemn mockery, and absurd and nonsensical jargon of bogus religion, superannuated at that. Even the nucleus of Positive Sociology must be entirely materialistic,
Nor must we forget that individuals, as such, however scientific, or free from ultra-naturalistic notions, cannot develop and systematically combine the highest scientific and artistic power of nature, and turn it to humanity’s use; and that, short of this, nature is little more than a headless, unfinished mass—a nuisance, so far as man’s happiness is concerned.
To fully develop nature, systematically organized co-operation and unity of true action on a universal scale is requisite. Nor, without such co-operation and action, can science and art, be prevented from being the scourge, instead of the savior of mankind. Witness how fragmentary, and consequently anarchical and antagonistic science and art, now operate against each other, and man’s happiness and life, and mutually disparage themselves. Labor saving machinery is starving its thousands daily; chemistry is poisoning its millions hourly, by food and drink adulterations, and by quack medicines. To what frivolous, puerile, and vile purposes are painting, and even printing, prostituted; and music is pressed into the foremost ranks of superstition and wholesale human butchery; the former of which is the basis of “law,” and the latter of which has arrived at the dignity of both a science and an art, and is held in the highest honor. And thus, science and humanity, until completed, and perfectly, and truly systematized, must act.
Ultra-naturalism aimed only to secure perfect and eternal happiness in ‘“ another world.”
Absolutism but strove to secure some show of order “here below.”
Aristocracy is a hybrid; a cross between naturalism and ultra-naturalism; whether it is a slight improvement or the contrary, is of little importance, since, like its type, the mule, it can go no further.
Demagogocracy can but cater for the predominant whims and caprices of the majority, and consequently least intelligent and refined portion of the people; and apply, or use, even if demagogues happen to be honest enough so to do, the average wisdom or folly their constituents have acquired under the tuition of ultra-naturalism and aristocracy. It can rise no higher than the tide on which it floats.
Democracy either originates in, or degenerates to, political knavery’s meanest trickery on the lowest strata of popular folly. It is the concentrated essence of compound humbug, of the genus chimera; at most, but the fifth wheel of the car of progress.
In Positivism is our only hope. It, alone, has not been tried and proved a failure; and inasmuch as its conception is no longer doubtful, and as its full realization, or birth, (an event sure to follow conception sooner or later, unless nature’s chef d’oeuvre is to prove an abortion) depends on man’s entire, and therefore systematically organized co-operation, it devolves on some one immediately to show how may be formed the nucleus of that scientific-artistic-sociological-natural-individual-liberty-securing, all-perfecting, co-operation, which is to become universal.
Positivism does not, nay, cannot, overlook any thing as indifferent; and therefore sees a particle of good, even in attenuating, disgregating, weakening, anarchical and destructive protestantism, demagogocracy and infidelity.
An infidel is one who has no faith in good, but will combat evil to the death; loves truth, as an abstraction, or in the simple form of isolated, lifeless facts; but loathes and dreads it the moment you attempt to organize, systematize, and practically apply facts; he so abhors the sight of the “proud and haughty rich,” that sooner than live in their neighborhood, where he, and those around him, would be constantly receiving and circulating the wealth which passes through their hands, as the earth receives the water which passes through clouds. immediately over head, he goes “the whole hog” for measures which compel him, and his fellow citizens, to support, in far off Europe, all who grow wealthy by impudently manufacturing goods he is forced, to save himself from utter savageism, to buy. In consideration of getting rid of so many rich, he consoles himself for having to endure the presence of the richer few, who, instead of insultingly producing any thing he has to use, “shave” the very clothes off his back, and ‘‘grind” him, with usury, nearly into the earth he slavishly tills, for little more than the pork, whiskey, johnny-cake, coffee, tobacco, saleratus, flour, and salt fish, it takes to support him, and those who do his far off marketing.
The infidel so loves to criticise, combat and destroy, that if you lay before him a plan for constructing society on an improved basis, his whole attention will be drawn, not to any good it may contain, but to any of its defects, however slight. But this is not the worst of it; for could a plan be drawn, so perfect that he could find no flaw in it, he would oppose it all’ the more vehemently, as being a new, improved, and therefore more dangerous sectarian scheme for enabling the few to live without manual labor, at the expense of the toiling many.
The downright infidel so loves equality, that had he the arranging of things, he would make the sun and its satellites all of a size; the earth as round as a bullet or as flat as a pancake; nay, he would reduce all back to gas, to negative and positive electricity, nay, even to nothing, sooner than allow any thing superior to any thing else, to exist.
A few are called infidels who are not such; but many escape that epithet who most richly deserve it.
In the old world, nations have, again and again, saved themselves from the savageism, to the very verge of which, popular despotism had pushed them, by reconcentrating on imperial or monarchical despotism: but it is difficult to see how the people of the United States can avail themselves of these palliatives. And as the door of Positivism, now, (as it never before did) lies open on the one hand, and the hell of savageism yawns for them on the other, it is to be hoped that our present purgatory will prove sufficient to spur or drive them into Positivism.
If absolutism involved man in downright but simple falsehood, demagogocracy, the other extreme, plunges him into such a complication of folly and misery, as to render his exit therefrom so nearly impossible, that the certainty of. the increasing tortures of persisting in the same course, can alone make him reverse his action, ere he loses the power so to do; and judging from appearances, such a reaction can not be far distant; for demagogocracy is fast driving from the largest and fairest portion of the earth, not only the scientific, and refined, but even rapidly preventing the ingress of the lowest class of people from other countries. Consequently, even our merely material prosperity is brought almost to a dead stand-still; our fertile lands lie waste, and are therefore remaining or becoming valueless, for lack of inhabitants; our iron, copper, lead, and coal mines are scarcely touched; our gold mines are worked but to fill the coffers of foreign nations, to whom our railroads, fast running to decay, and even our territory itself, is mortgaged. The scum of our population rotates in office, robs the treasury, and swindles and insults the people, till vigilance committees, now our best provisional dependence and hope, cleanse the political atmosphere of its, moral pestilence; and, finally, demagogocracy inflicts on its victims, every ten or twelve years, universal bankruptcy; the effects of which are, stagnation of trade, and even our miserable apology for industry; deathly starvation, and the most fearful suffering and destitution; grinding usury; bare-faced swindling; scarcely disguised, and so common as to be respectable, robbery: unblushing forfeiture of honor; impudent repudiation; flat and bold denial of justice; in short, universal want, poverty, wretchedness, or almost equally poignant though gilded misery, vexation, and ennui; the happiest, (excepting those who though staying here, may be said to live in a distant hereafter,) being such as the love of money can wholly absorb, and who happen to be: successful in obtaining and keeping possession of it.
Nor does Positivism lose sight of the very important fact, that notwithstanding the foundation of ultra-naturalism is false, and its superstructure is rotten, its form is true, and its classification of mankind needs but to have its order reversed. Positivism, as we have said, will classify mankind into
II. Scientific Discoverers.
Answering to ultra-naturalism’s classification, with its order reversed, into
If directors and scientific discoverers are necessary to render the efforts of operators useful, and therefore seem to be entitled to precedence, we must recollect that, the former are indebted to the latter for their very existence. Scientific discoverers and directors are derived from the people—the operators—whilst the latter are independent, so far as their existence is concerned, of the former.
But in considering both scientific discoverers and directors (corresponding to ultra-naturalism’s government and church) as intimately connected, Positivism and Ultra-naturalism perfectly agree.
Ultra-naturalistic sociology committed the at first unavoidable error, but now monstrous wrong, of investing both church and government with power, instead of with the utmost development, and highest direction of it. Church and government necessarily comprised nearly all for which man was permitted to exist; claiming, as they did, to be founded on the supernatural. But scientific discoverers and directors, as much more important than their forerunners, as are realities than fictions, will be the direct and active means, whereby the whole body politic will be sustained in the perfect, or Positive Sociological condition; and whilst eschewing the unearthly and therefore monstrous and now absurd claims of the old regime, will, we repeat, be immeasurably more important and useful.
Positivistic, scientifically discovered general law; will displace the forgeries, the arbitrarily made shams, which pass for law, and regulate society and each individual, as impartially and harmoniously as gravitation does all matter, and each particle; and thus make each, as individually sovereign as they can be conceived to be; and perfectly reconcile order, freedom, and progress. If gravitation had as faint an influence as has universal human law at present, material variety would be as undistinguishable as the freedom of the human individual is now chimerical. Need we add, that neither the scientific discoverers, who are to define, and introduce Positivistic law, nor the directors who are to administer it, can be qualified by ultra-naturalism, by right of birth, or by popular election? And that the people who are to practice this law must be perfectly free from ultra-naturalistic notions?
We can now form but a general idea, either of the extent, power, or value, of the mutual action and influence of simple-natural, and scientific-artistic-sociological-natural law on weal other, when both shall be in unison.
It is important to keep in view our classification of mankind, and also our definition of the functions of each class; for it either fails to be mainly correct, the very base of Positive Sociology will give way, and with it, all hopes of rescuing humanity from being the everlasting prey and sport, either of absolutistic, aristocratic, or demagogocratic despotism.
Neither must we forget that, throughout nature, there are no absolute divisions; that from the innermost center to the outermost verge, from the largest mass to the most infinitesimal particle, there is reciprocity of influence; man’s happiness depends on all with which he is connected; hence the necessity for both directors and scientific discoverers to master and apply, and for the operators to perform in accordance with, the very essence, nay, the very life, of all science and art.
Mystery pedlers, sham law manufacturers and mongers, constitution tinkers, and those who hawk and vend such moral quack nostrums as duty, self-denial, the mortification of the. passions, and even the stultification of reason and the senses, will be all thrown out of employment by a system scientific, artistic, and comprehensive enough to develop and fulfil man’s whole possible being, instead of repressing or amputating nine tenths of it.
But for all-pervading gravitation, every thing would be but one heterogeneous mass of attenuation and weakness; and even physical individuality would cease. So, until we have general, universal, all-pervading, systematic, scientific, artistic, true, law for human action, individual freedom will be all but an entire chimera.
Demagogocracy’s, protestantism’s, and infidelity’s, every-one-for-himselfism, is, practically, every-one-against-every-oneism; and the attempted absolute sovereignty of the individual, to be isolatedly carried out .at his or her own cost, would result in the all but utter extinction of individuality itself. Man utterly without general, systematically-connecting, all-pervading law, would be, like isolated particles of matter without gravitation, undistinguished; from which fate, the mere apology for general law, ultra-naturalism, attenuated and weakened as it at present is, slightly aided by fragmentary science, now preserves him. History verifies this with mathematical exactness; for demagogocracy has, again and again, disgregated nations to such poverty, misery, weakness, and reciprocal despotism, that to save freedom, and even individuality itself, from all but utter extinction, they have as often reconcentrated, even on the despotism of absolutism.
* For a perfect natural history, thus far, of the only Supreme Being conceivable, see Feuerbach’s Essence of Christianity.
Question 10.—Specify, by way of illustration, some of the evils which neither individual, en masse, or elective franchise-effort can remedy, and which ultra-naturalism, after a long, tedious and full trial, has signally failed to even mitigate, much less cure; and for which, there remains no conceivable antidote, but Positive Sociology?
Answer.—Individual, en masse, elective franchise, ultra-naturalistic, or any other effort or action, which has been tried, can not make real “honesty the best policy;” can not make law, other than all but generally subversive of justice; can not prevent the immediate good of the individual, from being very generally antagonistic to that of society; can not prevent evil from all but crushing good out of existence; can not prevent truth, knowledge, and science, from having to play second fiddle to falsehood, ignorance, and charlatanry can not establish a higher test of virtue, or goodness, than success; can not prevent that which is most dishonest, dishonorable, atrocious, tyrannical, and cruel, from meeting with the success, necessary to metamorphose themselves into the virtuous, good, and honorable; can not create liberty, either individual or national, which can be but barely distinguishable from the most abject slavery; can not enable an individual, if ever so well inclined, to escape complicity with murderers, ravishers, prostitutionists, swindlers, robbers, forgers, cannibals,* and thieves; can not prevent society from being composed of such, either on a large and respectable, or small and contemptible, scale; can not enable, or even permit, any to avoid committing suicide, because society is a gang of suicides; can not enable, or even permit, the average life of man to be more than from a third to a fifth its scientific-artistic-sociological-natural length; can not enable, or even permit the happiness of any to more than approximate to its scientific-artistic-sociological-natural-perfection. In short, people can not do right, and consequently can not live satisfactorily long ‘and happy, till they know how, and till conditions favor actualization or practice; when they can no more do wrong, than they can hate a perfectly happy life, from three to five times as long as is their present poor and wretched, or rich, vexatious and tiresome existence.
The individual can now neither live nor move, except mainly in antagonism with the real interests of the whole of society; nor can society, out of Positivism, exist, except by torturing man almost as cruelly as does savagism; and like it, all but exterminating the liberty of the individual; and, until every vestige of the ultra-naturalistic is eradicated, and Positivism introduced in place of it, government of any kind, with the best possible intentions, must do all but as much evil as good; must be little else than a sickening compound of iniquity and humbug.
If one, whether a member of government, or of the community, is ever so well inclined, he is, inevitably, all but completely circumvented by his compeers; and if wall were ever so well inclined, nothing would be gained, so long as the science and art of how to do right, and corresponding favorable conditions, were lacking. Out of an infinity of cases, we will select one, by way of illustrating the soundness of our position: Swill-milk destroys life and inflicts disease to a most frightful extent, and a great majority of the people are well aware of it: yet the efforts, both of the majority and individuals, put forth in the now only legal or even possible manner, have utterly failed to put an end to a business which subjects all, in the vicinity of breweries or distilleries, to the necessity of wholly avoiding beef and milk, or of running the most fearful risk of life, and almost certainly incurring the loss of health. All attempts to put an end to this murderous business, though made, as was honestly supposed, in accordance with “law,” have not only failed of success, but have subjected those most actively engaged in them, to the vexation, disgrace, and ruinous expenses of libel suits! in strict accordance with sham law!
The simple fact is, the whole vast pyramid of evil is homogeneous, and so interconnected, so unitary, that it must stand or fall nearly together, and as it has but a false foundation, people will be astonished, one of these days, to see how suddenly it will fall. Except that which strikes at it as a whole, or saps its foundation, (as education alone can,) nothing will have any permanent effect in exterminating it; and neither swill religion, swill law, swill morals, nor rampant, undigested, swill free discussion, will eradicate swill-milk, or any of the swills which reduce life to from a third or a fifth of what it ought to be and all but destroy the value of the remainder.
* The atrocity of cannibalism consists not in eating, but in devouring human beings.
Question 11.—How will Positive Sociology conduct foreign trade and commerce?
Answer.—We cannot, and surely need not, enquire minutely into that; since any change in commerce as now carried on, must be for the better; at least, can not make matters worse.. The labor, capital and skill, now employed in toting goods, or their raw material, from place to place, and in selling them over and over, is amply sufficient, scientifically and economically directed, to manufacture ten times as many goods, to say nothing of loss by accident and shipwreck, and damage by careless handling,
Importing, instead of producing and manufacturing, drains a country of the precious metals, mortgages it to foreign nations, thus subjecting it to the meanest kind of vassalage; a vassalage having but the alternatives of stark naked poverty, or sneaking villainy; payment or repudiation. Nor does the evil, by any means, end here; the knowledge, wisdom, intelligence and refinement, immediately consequent on science, art, mechanical skill, and the finer agriculture—in short, all which is superior to savageism, rapidly abandons such a country. Yet individual, elective franchise, or unscientific en masse effort, all prove powerless to remedy an evil which all see and deplore; and it is curious to see how, in countries where the special liberty, “free trade,” is rampant, a mere coterie, or even an individual can make it for the immediate benefit of every other individual in the community, to subserve the interests of such coterie or individual, to the mutual destruction of the welfare of each other. For instance; an individual, or a coterie, issues promises to pay; distributors of wealth, find here the instant means of “driving trade,” and doing a “fast, smashing business.” The clerks, porters, carriers, and those who perform such rough agricultural or other labor as a “free trade” country affords, finding these promises pass as money, also take them; thus from the grossest material point of view, matters, “go on swimmingly,” till “confidence,” the only possible basis for the currency of a country insane enough to attempt agriculture without manufactures, gives way. Then “panic” spreads like fire or the plague, as the bankers, who have, sub rosa, secured to themselves a tangible sufficiency, “fail,” and banking institutions prove bodiless and soulless myths, although their members have secured princely competencies.
When the people of the United States, neglected to secure the control of the currency, and suffered the most important clause in the constitution of the general government,* to be trampled under foot by “State rights,” they delivered themselves over, bound hand and foot, to a demagogocracy so recklessly tyrannical, as to open the very arteries of the nation, and let its life blood stream at random, so that they might fill their own dippers with it, as it poured forth.
Until paper money shall be based directly on labor, no country can secure the privilege—the liberty—of manufacturing its own goods, or even doing refined agriculture, except by keeping its currency as near specie value as does any civilized country. In the absence of either of these general measures, individual freedom of trade, like attempted isolated individual freedom of every kind, must speedily involve itself in a “smash up.”
At the first glance, it would seem as though one general “burst up,” and thorough exposure of the “shin plaster” swindle, would be sufficient to put an end to all future operations of that sort. But contracts, many of them of long prospectivity, have been made, based on the currency inflation. Also, property, particularly real estate and stocks, have rose to a height of valuation so flattering to the vanity of possessors, living, as now necessarily and inevitably proves to be the case, under a regime where wealth constitutes worth, that nearly all will exert themselves again, and again, to inflate the bubble, on the keeping in existence of which, it now begins to be supposed, even national prosperity depends. Were not all the railroads, canals, ships, and cities real or imaginary, paid for in paper? And shall we now ungratefully, ay, suicidally, frown down, or trample out of existence, the very power which made us what we are? Besides, to do so—for general law to take measures strong enough to actually regulate the currency of the whole country, would be a most tyrannical encroachment on state rights and the people’s liberty! to be swindled and almost savagized.
High tariffs are resorted to as palliatives; but a currency founded on that which is as cheap as is ‘‘confidence,” and paper, and subject only to the control of individuals, or the several States in their confederacy, can override and defy any tariffs which can be piled on, and thus send nearly all the real money, which does not go abroad, to the national treasury; that is, to the clutches of politicians and defaulters.
All now madly strive to keep the paper bubble inflated. Even laborers don’t want the name of working for two shillings a day, as they did in the monarchical countries they emigrated from.
All debtors, whose creditors can even hope again to make their tools, get the dates of their special paper bubbles extended to when it is expected the: general paper bubble will be again so doubly puffed up with “confidence” as to be able to lend them a whif. The pulpit loudly raises its voice for “confidence,” and the legislature enforces it with respect to bank paper, and thus keeps ruinously large armies of traders, swappers, spoilers, and consumers, quartered on producers. ‘
Stay laws and bankrupt laws are passed; money changers, note shavers, and stock jobbers swarm; state stocks (mortgages on the country) are sent abroad to pay debts, and buy more goods, and sold at great discounts; new promises to pay are issued for the notes of those bold speculators, eager to take the places and the now greatly increased risks of those just “used up:” men, wild with anxiety, hurry like mad, through the business thoroughfares, especially when time is about to lay its hand on the hour of 3 P. M.; that dread moment, when notes must be paid or protested.
Speculation monopolizes most of the necessaries of life, and all the accessible public domain worth having; and attempts to extort such outrageous prices for the latter, that those who should till it, or co-work with them in the mechanical, artistic, and ornamental, conceive it to be more advantageous to turn banditti, and rob, or attempt to rob, neighboring countries of their improved lands, and chattels; and war—nay, wholesale assassination, and corresponding retributive massacre add their horrors.
When Sunday comes, all is as still and gloomy as, during the week, it was noisy and exciting; and “sinners” old and young, “laden with guilt and heavy woes,” prostrate themselves, in terror, before the dread phantom, their troubled imaginations have conjured from the savage recesses of the remotest antiquity; considering themselves (no wonder) too “lost” for ought of earth to “save.”
Even the laborers find “money” so plenty that $1.50 a day will not supply their grossest animal wants. Whilst they are considering what to do, the bubble, swollen to twice its first size, bursts again, and they find themselves out of work, and consequently out of even the starvation $1.50 per diem. Hungry crowds swarm the parks and parade the streets, with rude, threatening, terror inspiring banners; the affrighted rich, open soup houses, form charity dispensing committees, get up charity balls and parties, and open prayer shops, side by side with banks, whose paper money is emphatically the immediate root of all the evil; “get up” “revivals” of a religion which teaches the “million” the duty of starving to death, rather than be guilty of “resisting evil,” or of taking any rational measures for its extinction.
In the fashionable thoroughfares, “prostitutes” all but outnumber “respectable females;” the sub-treasury, where the little remaining gold and silver which has not been sent abroad, and which has escaped the clutches of those who collected it, for “duties,” has found its way, is guarded by soldiers, till all is “Swartwouted.” † The flour stores are now emptied into the streets, by furious mobs, and in short, Hell is realized on Earth.
“Falsehood must ever thus propagate falsehood, in the ratio, of two for every preceding one, till Positive Sociology puts a final end to it.
As faith is the currency of the ultra-naturalism which underlies hotch-potch sociology, confidence is very appropriately chosen for the basis of the currency of extreme hotch-potch sociology—demagogocracy.
Christians, in blindly groping about the cross, for the religion of self-salvation, have evidently stumbled on and grabbed hold of the-antagonistic, universal-damnation religion of the two thieves, between whom was crucified what little good might, more than eighteen hundred years ago, chance to have been applicable to the nineteenth century.
The superstition, prevalent in civilized countries, and much older than it claims to be, has a deep meaning which was unsuspected by the humanity of those remote, twilight ages, which unconsciously accumulated its encrusting myth;* a kernel, completely hidden from those who now so eagerly cling to the shell.
The principle of active good, science, was, in its infancy, ever has been, and ever will be, till Positive Sociology perfects all, vilified, abused, crucified, ‘and constantly put to open shame and mortification, and associated with, and even named, all that is vile. Nevertheless, good cannot be completely annihilated, but rises, as it were from the dead, as often as the powers of darkness, ignorance And consequent evil, seem to have triumphed over it. And scientific, active good, the son of eternal matter, must, we shall show, finally triumph over all, and evil will be no more, Good is positive, and therefore cannot be annihilated.. Evil is but negative, the mere absence of good; the darkness which light can dispel—the mystical ignorance which science is steadily and effectually annihilating.
* “No State shall emit bills of credit.”
† Swartwout was the most magnificent defaulter that ever had fingers in the coffers of a nation.
Question 12.—Will Positive Sociology consider it a virtue to speak the truth?
Answer.—Positive Sociology will consider it good to speak the truth, better to mean it, and best to act it.
Under “hotch-potch sociology, what contemptible evasions are resorted to, in order not to lie! Under what pitiful subterfuges do those take shelter who vainly imagine themselves innocent and honest! For instance: the wine merchant will assure you on his honor, that neither himself nor any one else, has put water, or any thing extraneous, into the pure juice of the grape, which he therefore urges you to buy, as a health restorative; although he well knows, that the said “pure juice” has been put into not only water, but the most poisonous drugs! Sugar, cotton, rice, tobacco, etc., etc, are freely used by those who would shrink from being considered guilty of human enslavement! What fine frills, embroidery, and shirts are worn by ladies and gentlemen, who are too tender hearted to even behold the squalid misery now immediately consequent on a few living in luxury?
* See The Life of Jesus, Critically-Examined; by Dr. David Frederick Strauss.
Question 13.—Ere science began to reveal or develop the fragments of true law, what law was man’s only alternative?
Answer.—False, imaginary, ultra-naturalistic law. By this we learn, that law is so indispensible, that the worst kind is better than none.
From the lowest savageism to Positive Sociology, there are three progressive stages or steps. The first stage is ultra-naturalism. There man necessarily imagining his will the arbitrary law-giver and mover of his body, and through it, the mover of such matter as he seemed to control, further and consequently, imagined, the whole body of nature to be maxed and governed by the arbitrary will of an ultra-natural being or beings.
Thus extreme ignorance, begat the extreme egotism, which considered self nothing less than the type of, and pattern for, all existence.
As fragmentary science, crossing, as it were, with ultra-naturalism, developed faint conceptions of the inherent laws of nature, ultra-naturalistic entities proportionably dissolved into metaphysical subtilties, introducing man to the present second stage of progress.
When the science of sciences, and its completory art of arts shall have banished every vestige of ultra-naturalism, and fully installed the Scientific-artistic-sociological-natural law which shall systematically regulate and connect all that is human, as the power of simple nature does all that is material, man will have attained the third, and perfect stage, where humanity will be the veritable Supreme Being who will dethrone the sham Supreme Being of ultra-naturalism, annihilate his supremer antagonist, and thus be really and perfectly sufficient.
As soon as any considerable society shall have reached its highest possible approximation to’ the third stage, men and women will, from infancy, be inducted directly into Positivism, and without the loss of time and brain strength, and without the forfeiture of the power of reason and judgment, which having to pass through the two former stages, now involves. And as soon as any nation shall have reached a proportionably further approximation to the condition of the Human Supreme Being, all other nations, and even the most savage tribes, will be directly regenerated and rapidly help to form the great connected whole, yet as individualized and free as possible, or conceivable, Almighty Humanity.
To ensure free, real self-government, power must no more be delegated than usurped; nor above all, must its destruction be attempted. It must be scientifically elicited, wisely directed, ably used, and of course, justly and systematically proportioned.
The scientific-artistic-sociological-natural must be, as the simple-natural is, multiplicity in unity. The utmost possible variety, individuality, and freedom, can be only reconcileable with, and possible in and through, general, all-pervading, all-regulating law and order; and absolute, integral individuality, and isolated, self-created, self-sustained, individual freedom, is inconceivable and chimerical; and though might, in Positivism, will be tight, it will be so, not because it is success, but because all human might, will be so conditioned, (as all simple natural force is) that it can not be exercised, except beneficially, and in a manner promotive of freedom, both with respect to itself and all its parts, Law and justice will be in unison. Thus Positive Sociology has its type, its analogy, its base, its germ, in simple nature; and this being clearly ascertained, we as certainly foresee, that, sooner or later, the monster ultra-naturalism, and its accompanying absolutism, aristocracy, demagogocracy, ignorance, and misery, will be no more; and man will be as perfectly free, perfectly happy, and as long lived, as he can possibly wish; and that, too, before leaving this world, or undergoing dissolution in it.
Question 14.—Will Positive Sociology ever be able to inform us how long man has existed?
Answer.—Yes, if it shall ever he of importance to know. But it will not be time to ask this question till man does exist. At present, all of homo which exists is embryonic, incomplete, incipient, homo miserable. Geology informs us that countless ages rolled away ere the conditions necessary for the production and sustentation of present homo miserable existed; since when, another series of uncounted, if not-countless, ages have passed. The best specimens of ante-human monsters were immensely more different from homo miserable than the latter is from what will be homo perfect; in fact, in embryonic man—homo miserable, and his conditions, we can clearly trace, in their incipiency, all the conditions, necessary to the hereafter existence of homo perfect. Yet the soi disant scientific, whilst admitting the apparent unfavorableness of the conditions from whence homo miserable has evidently sprung, pompously declare the elicitation of the conditions for the production of homo perfect, from present materials, to be impossible. Is it worthwhile to waste time over such equally stupid and unfeeling dolts?
Once, matter did not even condition vegetation. Later, it conditioned not only vegetation, but animals; but such horrible monsters, however, as even present conditions are too refined to sustain; and the scientific-artistic-sociological-natural will as certainly produce conditions too refined to admit of the continued existence of present social monstrosities.
What can possibly be more Utopian than the supposition that conditions will always favor the trampling of right, good, and human happiness, all but out of existence? What can be more absurd than to expect people to be perfect, whilst ridiculing all attempts at being so, except by those methods which, from time immemorial, stand convicted of failure? Have priests and demagogues become go bold in villainy, so impudent, so audacious, so lost to even shame, as to tax the people as they do, for teaching they are aware every one capable of thinking knows to be flatly self-contradictory, glaringly absurd, utterly false, and calculated but to make matters worse and worse?
Question 15.—What is the just and natural depository of power? For we must keep this prominently in view.
Answer.—The whole people; by whom, both directors and scientific discoverers must be approved, sustained, employed, and paid. The whole people includes the three prominent divisions before considered; the power of each of which, will be in proportion to its value in all respects, and will be exercised in accordance therewith.
Question 16,—Are the members of the scientific and artistic government of Positivism to be what the officers of wily, plunder-seeking, demagogocracy are mean and degraded enough to style themselves, the servants of the people?
Answer.— No. The members of the scientific and artistic government of Positivism, will differ in toto from servants. Those low enough to submit to be called servants, are too frequently mean enough to be thieves; and public servants, the very servants of servants, and consequently the meanest of all servants, are, of course, generally, treacherous, designing, wholesale robbers; they thus remunerate themselves for the degrading epithet they submit to have applied to them. At best, either species of servants, can but, obey the will, however capricious, unreasonable,: unscientific, and destructive of the interests of, masters, and are directly uninterested in, and irresponsible for, results; whereas, it will be the business of the members of the scientific and artistic government of Positive Sociology, to produce, and be responsible for certain. all-important results, of the theory of the production of which, the great body of society must inevitably be ignorant.
Servants are nuisances, which the richer classes of present society are forced to submit to have inflicted on them; but if the scientific artificers which have to be employed and paid by individuals, and yet are by no means considered servants, are useful, the sociologically scientific and artistic must, and will be immensely so.
Question 17.—But as. such high qualifications as will be necessary to constitute Postivistic Sociologians will put it entirely beyond the people’s capability to elect them, by whom, and how, are they to be constituted?
Answer.—Positivistic Sociologians, the discoverers and directors, of the science of sciences and art of arts, must be self constituted; as professors of fractional science and art have had to be, as circumstances admitted.
The people sanction, pay for, and sustain, science and art, after these have been discovered and constituted, and begin to produce tangibly good results; and the value of any and every science, and its corresponding art, and the consequent eagerness with which these are acquiesced in and sustained by society, after they conquer any field, are always proportioned to the stubbornness with which the people, beforehand, opposed the success of such science and art, and persecuted its professors. A priori, the people always sustain their Barrabbases, and reject their saviors. They follow but too literally the rule laid down for them by their religious and moral quacks;—“Love your enemies, bless them that curse and despitefully use you.” But the religion of the comprehensible will reverse this state of things; there will be no enemies to love.
Question 18.—Will it not be the height of difficulty for sociological scientific discoverers and directors to unite, and constitute and establish themselves and their science and its corresponding art, on a footing capable of securing sufficient support and approval to initiate success?
Answer.—Indeed it will. The path of progress is now all but blocked up. Ultra-naturalism, instead of sustaining, as it once did, its adherents, is now exhausting their power to sustain it; and attracts more attention, and makes more show than formerly, in the same manner as an old, tottering building, which has to be propped up on all sides, obtrudes itself more on public attention, than does a new and firm one.
The multitude imagine ultra-naturalism to be triumphantly parading the world in state; whereas the gouty monster, too sick and feeble to sustain himself, is but being carried along in a litter, with great pomp and show, in order to hide his real condition. But the procession has been excluded the domain of the simple sciences, is hooted at in that of all the sciences up to sociology, and smells unmistakably of carrion, even there.
Question 19.—But will not the self-constitution of true, free, government—the substitution of scientific-artistic-natural sociology for mystery, absolutistic imposture, aristocratic impudence, demagogocratical corruption, legal humbug, and religious, moral, and medical quackery—prove impossible? Must not science, art, and all nature’s resources, developed to their utmost, and put to the furthest stretch, fail here?
Answer.—A similar question has been asked, and completely answered, with respect to the simpler sciences and arts, and more or less satisfactorily disposed of, with respect to every science and art up to Positive Sociology; and this is presumptive evidence, that the science of sciences, and its corresponding art of arts, will also be able to achieve the seemingly impossible. Ultra-naturalism has, past all doubt, received its death wound; and its present unusual show of life is, in reality, but the action of artificial stimulants; and the church will soon be compelled to throw its rotting carcass overboard, and transform herself into the body of directors and scientific discoverers.
Question 20.—But the prejudices of the rich against the poor; and the consequent hatred of: the poor against the rich; how shall these be overcome?
Answer.—You forget, that poverty is to be abolished; that the poorest, under Positivism, will be ten times more really wealthy than the richest now are; that when the claims of labor, capital and skill, are amicably adjusted, and all duplicate, wasteful labor, and unnecessary trafficking are done away with, the wealth of all will be sufficient for the satisfaction of the various higher or lower, simpler or more complicated wishes of all: not by communism, or an arbitrary equal division of property; that would destroy individualism, prostrate enterprise, paralize effort; and, in short, ‘it is too narrow minded, silly and ridiculous, to waste-words about—too absurd to be possible, even in the savageism to which such a measure would gradually lead.
But the real difference between the refinement of rich and poor is not, in any useful respect, any thing like what it is held up to be. In music, painting, drawing, and the spoken languages, the rich may claim some advantages; but what a caricature of the poetry of motion, their dancing has become, lest it should be vulgar.
The rich can make very little satisfactory use of their wealth, so long as our beggarly, quackish, self-denying, cowardly religion and morality prevails. But people don’t find this out till they get rich, when the disappointment and ennui consequent on the discovery, makes life, with them, but flat, stale, and tedious; relieved and varied only by vexation, and frequent losses.
As to the sickening refinement which present education confers, the difference between it, and poverty stricken boorishness, so far as any good is concerned, is, to say the least, null, Even the suavity of manners, which characterizes the now refined classes, is all outside painting, and frequently such daubing at that, as to disgust, rather than attract, all but the most shallow. Politeness, among “ladies and gentlemen,” however fascinating, is cold as moonshine. As to good feeling, the “dance-house girls” of Water-street, will favorably compare with the “ladies” of any locality; and for good sense, except in the money getting line, how will “gentlemen” compare with mechanics? The average of gentlemen’s sons, might profitably go to school to apprentices’ and newsboys, if they would learn any kind of wisdom not immediately connected with lucre.
A young “lady,” after sobbing and sighing herself into hysterics, over romantic suffering, will take up a newspaper, and read—“Great haul of street-walkers. Fifty girls sent to Blackwell’s Island;” and turn over the paper and turn up her nose, with an unfeeling “served ‘em right.” Now, I will stake my life on the truth of the assertion, that a “nymph du pavé,” can scarce be found, who, on reading ‘of human ‘suffering, wrong, and oppression, however unromantic, at all approximating to this, will treat it with such barbarous hark heartedness.
If an, omnibus horse falls down in the street, do “gentlemen,” or ‘gentlemen’s sons,” lend a helping hand? Rarely. But mechanics, carmen, street pavers, and even butchers, instinctively run to the rescue.
As soon as politeness, gentility, and refinement, become realities, they will become so general, that there will be but little, if any, difference in these respects, between the richest and those less encumbered with super-abundant wealth.
Between the middle age barons and their serfs, there was some reciprocity; and starvation, or its miserable substitute, the alms-house, was almost unknown. But between the money barons and their serfs, there is little else but hatred and contempt. If the power which money gives, is fast getting into hands of the few, the power which muscle gives, is, not so fast, ’tis true, but yet very perceptibly, getting into the hands of the many; and the battle between the money barons and the starving million, should it ever come to that, must be the fiercest and most unrelenting that ever raged 3 and it cannot be prevented, except by an amicable adjustment of the claims of labor, capital, and skill; nor can alms and soup much longer postpone it; inasmuch as quack religion is fast fading away, carrying with it the beggarly morality of self-denial and patient, long-suffering cowardice.
Thus, as I shall often have occasion to repeat, misery is the propelling power, which will force man into heaven here in spite of his attempts to postpone the enjoyment of it to hereafter. In ages past, misery could not force men into heaven, because the door was not open, as it now is,
Association, is misrepresented, as communism; or an equal division of property; whereas, it is further removed from an arbitrary distribution of wealth, than is hotch-potch sociology: and is the only thing, which can prevent, or much longer postpone, a violent, and general seizure and confiscation, of all property; and such bloody strife as the world has not yet witnessed.
But the Van Rensselaer tenants have given the money barons fleas, of which Positivistic Association can alone rid them; and as the remedy is known, the afflicted will not wince and scratch, during many more sleepless nights, and wearisome days, before applying it.
Besides the down trodden multitudes, who would, if they dared, seize and divide capital, there are those who are seeking to effect its equal division, in a more insidious manner, by preaching that interest on capital is robbery. Many of these latter are capable of wielding an effective pen; some of them are sincere, and their numbers, and influence, are on the increase. Capitalists, look to this!
Question 21.—But though ultra-naturalism as in her decrepitude, she has been most powerfully reinforced, of late, by young demagogism, in full vigor. Will not venerable falsehood, and stalwart corruption combined, and stimulated to desperation, by the knowledge that they are driven to the wall, and must ‘stand or fall together, prove an overmatch for all that can be opposed to them? Particularly, as there is no concert of action among the opponents of falsehood,’ and very little unity among those of corruption? In view of all this, is there any sure evidence that Positive and Associative Sociology will be able to constitute and maintain themselves, against such unscrupulous, malicious, wily, combined, and therefore powerful foes?
Answer.—Yes. The evidence is as sure, as that nature will not belie herself, abruptly disappoint all the expectations her promises have raised, and prove with respect to her chief work, ‘but an abortion; unless man is to turn out to be the most ridiculous and contemptible being in existence; unless instinct, nay, even vegetativeness, is to put proud reason to the blush; unless intellectual anarchy, rampant folly, and consummate villainy, are always to be uppermost; unless falsehood is a firmer foundation than truth; unless intellectuality is so much more stolid than palpable materiality, ‘as to be impervious to science; unless man is, forever, to be an ignorant, bamboozled, miserable, cowardly slave, or a cruel and almost equally miserable tyrant, impostor, quack, or humbug, Positive Sociology will be self-constituted.
Question 22.—What is law according to Positive Sociology?
Answer.—Simple-natural, or scientific-natural mode of action; whereby the whole; or any part of nature, developed or undeveloped, manifests its force, power or tendency. The study of law, consists in discovering, applying, directing, and, in a word; making the best and most of, without attempting to oppose, much less destroy, existing simple-natural forces or powers.
As natural force of power is so self-sufficing as to need no impulsion, so scientific-natural law is so self-enforcing as to need no compulsion. The governmental and legal quackery which now insults, vexes, bedlamizes, and impoverishes us, has its type in old, savage, unscientific, but happily fast dissolving, supernaturalism; according to which, nature has neither force or laws of her own; and all acts, seemingly hers, are arbitrarily predetermined, and despotically compelled, by her master. So long as legal and governmental quackery are allowed to be society’s master, to arbitrarily manufacture, or rather forge, laws, the enforcement of such laws, must be too despotic, for human nature, degrade her as low as ultra-naturalism and hotch-potch sociology can, to bear, without rebelling.
To the apostles of ultra-naturalism, and sham law manufacturers and mongers, we see, we directly: owe both the origin, increase, and perpetuation, of the anarchy they persuade their victims is chargeable to those who attempt to establish that which can alone put an end to it.
How strange it is, that even our present piecemeal caricature of science, has not taught mankind that neither order, progress, freedom, nor any good thing, can be had, except through science; and that demagogues, and legal, religious, moral, medical, mechanical and artistic, quacks and impostors, of every kind, must inevitably have it all their own way, and continue to make matters worse and worse, so long as questions of highest concern, and which consequently, require the highest science and art—religion and government—are primarily submitted to the adjudication of the people; the foundation of whose education is mystery; and the great bulk of whom are now almost wholly, and always must, and always should be, even when machinery is perfected to its utmost, and when even Positivistic Sociology is established, mainly engaged in some speciality, or absorbed in amusement.
So long as the people, after being ultra-naturalistically educated, choose their religion, and delegate to others the power, not only of manufacturing, but enforcing,whatever “laws” ignorance, corruption, self-interest, or the necessity of humoring the prejudices of their constituents may dictate, just so long will the dear people be most “gloriously” humbugged, robbed, and despoiled, and have their rights trampled under foot.
Question 23.—Will Positive Sociology sanction marriage?
ANSWER.—The soi disant advocates of marriage, have a sneaking trick of shirking the largest, most important, and by far the most difficult part of the question. Thus, and by dexterously presenting the remainder, from a theoretical point of view which reality does not warrant, they hood-wink their hearers,-and bluff off, or sorely puzzle, even their opponents,
If marriage means a joining of men and women by nature, to be parted only by her,* (and this is all its advocates seem theoretically to claim for it,) Positive Sociology will fully sanction it.
But the kind of marriage in question, though haughtily claiming no less than supernatural origin, practically dwindles down to a law of: the land; and, as such, affects all; either directly, as sub-contracting parties, or indirectly, as parties who, though apparently acting the individual sovereign in the case, are forced to abide by all the indirect consequences of the existence of the law, and of sub-contracts formed under it, by those in societary connection with them. For we must. never forget, that humanity is, for good or for evil, “for better or for worse,” one; and therefore whatever marriage law prevails, all within its jurisdiction, are married in accordance with it, either directly, or indirectly.
Is direct marriage conducive to the happiness of those most concerned, the sub-contracting parties? Let the records of our courts, the newspapers, and all directly married people, answer.
As to those indirectly married, they make three divisions: .
First, those who form the back ground of the marriage picture; the old maids and old bachelors; who cannot find partners to whom they dare to be chained for life, or who cannot afford the expense of that luxury. Does the marriage law affect such favorably?
Secondly, those who compose the marriage bankrupts; grass widows and widowers; the deserted and deserters; the runaway slaves. What a miserable fix the marriage law has placed them in.
Lastly, the prostitutes; the tail, the fag end, the rear guard of marriage; naturally as good as, and generally more amiable and confiding than, the average of womankind; but thrust into utter degradation, and debarred from getting an honest living, because they will not forego the highest natural enjoyment, or indulge it at the expense of their whole freedom, and’ by incurring the misery of encumbering themselves, and still further encumbering the world, with the miserable offspring of poverty, to gradually die on starvation wages, or fill the streets, prisons, and alms-houses, with beggars, paupers; and “criminals.”
Had not prostitutes better be free-lovers, and allowed to pursue useful occupations, instead of being married to the business of spreading, broadcast, the most fearful disease with which mankind were ever cursed?
But the marriage law is a part of, and so completely interwoven with, hotch-potch sociology, that it cannot be attacked, or even fairly viewed, separately.
* “God is all, and in all.” “What God hath joined, let not man part asunder.” “God does all things well,” &c., &c. ‘The legal English of which is—God is of no consequence; therefore what man hath joined together, let not God have the impudence to meddle with.
Question 24.—But neither science nor art have, thus far, very favorably recommended themselves to man. Labor saving machinery is depriving the people of bread by thousands; and impoverishing-and enslaving them, to constitute, enrich, and empower their tyrants and oppressors. From the first fruits of that on which Positive Sociology depends, are we to judge of what the full harvest will be?
Answer.—By no means. What would stand the test of such a premature judgment? Is first, unripe, unmatured fruit, ever other than deleterious? Are half way measures ever successful? ‘To the science which discovered labor saving machinery, must now be added, that of equitably adjusting the claims on it, of skill, capital, and labor; when, if nearly all labor was done by machinery, as it will eventually be, it would be all the better for every one.
The science and art of chemistry, now mainly misapplied to drugging and poisoning mankind, and to adulterating food and drink, will be used for directly contrary purposes under the reign of a universal science of sciences, and a corresponding art of arts.
In consequence of science being prohibited the highest, and cramped down into the lowest spheres, everything of a higher grade-in nature, is less developed, and less consistent with itself, then is everything of a lower grade.
This accounts for the fact, ‘that philosophers so often keep, what fashion manacled parvenuism calls “low company;” and love to dwell with simple nature. The higher classes are much more below what their circumstances would seem to warrant, than are the lower classes. The highest classes are, therefore, in the justest sense, the lowest; and animal, vegetable, and even physical nature, is thus superior to human nature, and fitter for the companionship of thinkers.
When science acts from the highest sphere, all this will be reversed, and with interest. For science, in proportion as it is cramped, and crushed down, has to expend its force in struggling for existence. It can, therefore, but partially show what it is capable of performing, even in the lowest spheres of action, so long as it is confined there, When it acts from the highest sphere, and triumphs over all opposition, it will influence the lower spheres, and with a power and effect we can now form but an approximative conception of.
Will nature always continue perfected inversely to what she is capable of being? Will she always use but her low, small, simple means, and waste most of her large, general, and immensely important ones? What can be more chimerical—absurd—low—mean, than such a supposition?
When science, instead of struggling from below, pours its influence from above, it will be as much more powerfully beneficent than now, as the sun’s rays are brighter than they would be if they had to fight their way from the low, dark center of the earth. Then, religion will guide, instead of dazzling and bewildering, and law and justice will accord.
Question 25.— How has man hitherto been governed?
Answer.—He has not as yet, as we have pretty conclusively shown, been governed, or regulated, at all. He has been brutally tyrannized over, impudently imposed upon, scandalously swindled, robbed, and humbugged. His sociological condition “has been but one of different stages of anarchy or confusion, in monstrous contrast with science, and the freedom and order it, alone, can secure,
Question 26.—Passing by subdivisions as irrelevant, or rather too special and complicated to be here applicable, in how many different conditions of anarchy has man hitherto groveled?
Answer.—Four. Savageism, absolutism, aristocracy, and demagogocracy. In the first, he is supremely ignorant; and, therefore, neither very happy nor very miserable. In the second, he is the helpless prey of falsehood, rapine, and gross cruelty. In the third, he becomes quite susceptible to the pangs of inflicted insult and impudence, and is most unsparingly plied with those; and in the fourth, he is, to the utmost power of endurance, the sport of fraud, corruption, wholesale villainy rampant, and the victim of medical, moral, and religious quackery and imposture, ad infinitum, Demagogocracy is the spur which will make the ridden throw the rider, despotism, from the saddle, never to resume it again.
Absolutism tyrannizes by “right divine;” aristocracy imposes by “right of birth;” and demagogocracy, backed by the rabble majority, and stimulated by all the force ultra-naturalism, spasmodically powerful during her dying throes, can lend, rides rough shod over mankind, by fraudulently palming off its. despotism, spoliation, imposition, and humbug, for the free government of the people, by themselves. And yet, this seeming procedure from bad to worse, is really progress towards perfection, as we shall see; for as every lie, and particularly every acted lie, requires two more to cover it, and so on in the same ratio, false action, like a too elevated inverted pyramid, must inevitably crash, or tumble, as it were.
The accumulating annoyances of each succeeding crash or tumble, by proportionably augmenting the desire to avoid their recurrence, stimulate the ingenuity which will greatly assist to supply the means. Nay, which has already assisted to supply a theory, quite sufficient for the commencement of practical operations in Positive Sociology, as we shall show, before we have done.
In savage anarchy, man grovels longer than in either of the succeeding anarchical conditions; insomuch, that many nations have not yet emerged from nature’s wildest state; and never will, till ‘‘civilization” sets them a more encouraging example.
Absolutism starts intellectual action into progressive or onward motion; aristocracy greatly accelerates it, and demagogocracy rushes it on, rapidly accumulating misery, vexation, and ennui; being, all along, the impelling power, and hope the dim guide.
But here comes the carrier of one of the daily records of our Pandemonium. Let us see what’s the news. Ah! it seems a committee has been appointed to enact the farce of investigating one of the “smart tricks” on poor “Uncle Sam,” played through the complicity, or criminal carelessness, or inefficiency, of the people’s “chosen representatives.”
“The Hon. __________ M. C., from the country district of ______ (in which this property is located) appeared as a witness before the Committee, and a rather swift witness for _______ he endeavored to be. We extract, from the close of his testimony the following:
Question.—If you had been the owner of the property, and knew that an act had been passed for the purchase of it, what would you have expected to get from the Government?
Answer.—-A pretty large sum. I would have got more than they did, if I could have possibly done it.
Question.—Would you have got more than $250,000?
Answer—I would have got all I could.
Question. With a knowledge that the appropriation for the purchase as $150,000, would you have expected to be paid $200,000 for it?
Answer.—If I thought the Government wanted it, and must have the property and could not possibly do without it, if I had only paid $15 for it, I would have asked $250,000, or as much more as I could have got. I would take advantage of the Government’s necessities, just as I would the necessities of a private individual in a business transaction.”
“We do not think, (the editor remarks) of questioning the truth of this testimony. In fact, we believe it implicitly. There are some who would act on the principle here avowed without asserting it, but no one would so needlessly blazon it who would not act upon it. But when Hon. Members of Congress make such proclamation so wantonly, can there be any marvel that the Government is swindled: from Aroostook to San Diego and from January to December? And can any but the greenest goose fail to see why our Federal Expenditures have run rapidly up to Eighty Millions, so that we are plunging heels over head in debt at the rate of Thirty or Forty Millions per annum.”
The business of that meek “servant of the people” the Demagogue, is, we see, to grab all he can not to spare, much less to take measures for replenishing, the public treasury, for the benefit of those who are so soon to succeed him:
Even Austria is not more expensively governed than is the United States; notwithstanding the former has an army of ‘50,000 men to support, and is about the most corrupt Imperial or Monarchical despotism in the world.
How much more impoverishing is demagogocracy, than is either imperialism or monarchy, either of which are bad enough, we may gain some idea, by the fact that, in the banks of the four largest cities in the United States, New York, Boston, Philadelphia, and New Orleans, there is not at this moment, (June 15, 1858,) but about seventy-five million dollars in specie; about fifteen months product of our California mines—about one tenth their yield, since they were discovered!
New-York in October, 1857, had but $7,843,230 of specie, against $35,585,613 of Paris and $35,850,110 of London. The cities of Boston, Philadelphia and New Orleans altogether had then only between seven and eight millions. May 13, 1858, New York had but $34,730,728, against $82,993,386 of Paris and $86,940,942 of London. Boston, Philadelphia and New Orleans at the same date had between twenty-six and twenty-seven millions.
If imperial France, or monarchical England, had our gold mines, what portion of their products, would probably find their way into our demagogocracy?
Question 27.—What small, but most important particle of truth, does the huge mass of ultra-natural, and necessarily absolutistic falsehood contain?
Answer.—Leadership; without which, man can neither acquire, nor keep if acquired, the perfection, to which the whole body of science and art, when fully constituted, and when approved, adopted, and supported, as it will then be, by society, can bring both human and other nature.
Question 28.—What great fact, most dignifying to human nature, does the aristocratic heap of impudence and insult contain?
Answer.—That leadership must be mundane, and consequently scientific and artistic; that therefore, man needs no redeemer but man, and external nature, and can have no other.
Question 29.—What great truths have struggled for, and obtained manifestation, through the ne plus ultra of all that is corrupt, vile, fraudulent, and impoverishing—demagogocracy?
Answer.—Society’s right to be the depository and fountain of power, and that all means, except scientific ones, for obtaining this right, have been exhausted, and to no purpose.
Perhaps, some great nation must, of necessity, go through the disintegrating’ process of demagogocracy, as ours has done, in order to show the rest of the world, that all means, save scientific ones, for obtaining perfection, have been vainly exhausted. But all nations need not go through the process; and even ‘savage tribes, instead of having, as heretofore, to mope their way slowly and miserably, through the theological, metaphysical, and demagogocratical stages, may be brought directly and rapidly into Positivism, as soon as that is established.
It is impossible to establish man’s right to what science and art, co-working with simple nature, cannot give him, without proving nature to be inconsistent with herself; which would be too absurd to be possible. Man cannot even truly desire, what his species cannot be so perfected as to obtain, by developing material means. Even supernaturalists admit it would be grossly unjust if man’s desires were never to be satisfied; but, inasmuch as they deny that they can be satisfied by natural means, they virtually say to the supernatural monster they have placed on the throne of the universe—“We cannot believe you are so bad as all your acts, so far as we can judge of them, declare you to be; we therefore are confident you mean hereafter to make amends for your present bad behavior; arid, on condition of’ your doing so, we will forget and forgive all, and even condescend to worship, flatter, and compliment you to all eternity, if you keep good so long.”
But we must make a wide distinction between real desires, and mere fancies. Man’s fancied desire for immortality, is really but his desire to live as long as his organism and its environments: are, under the most favorable circumstances which science and art can supply, capable of sustaining him in conscious existence; which will be from three to five ‘times longer than at present, or long enough to wear sensation out, and prove perfectly satisfactory; for if natural needs are not proportioned to natural means of satisfying them, eventually to be developed, all nature is, indeed, but an indigestible jumble of absurdities, humbug, and failure, and ought to slink meanly back to her fabled original nothing.
Matter is the sum of all phenomena; of which gravitation, as far as observation, direct or indirect, extends, is the most simple and general. From the influence of gravitation, phenomena as complicated as is even mind, or thought, cannot escape.
If it is asked—“Does not matter exist?” I, in reply, ask—“What is matter, apart from phenomena—divested of conditions?”
But natural phenomena can be precisely calculated on, which ultra-naturalistic mystery cannot; and the Positivist always keeps in view the fact that the will, and all other mental phenomena, are the joint effect of cerebral and other materiality; and cannot, therefore, be even conceived of, apart from brain, its physical, chemical, and physiological bases, and their environments.
The most simple condition, or phenomenon, gradually becomes involved in conditions or phenomena so special, that finally, cerebral and other material result—mind, appears, to the vulgar, altogether mysterious. But ignorance is impatient, and too egotistical and vain to acknowledge its incapability. It must be satisfied—must know all, and that instantly; it therefore makes mind supernatural, deifies it, and invests it, nay, even part of it, the will, with power over all, not even excepting its mental opponent, who thwarts nearly every purpose of the Almighty Phantom which ignorance has created.
To trace intellectual phenomena, in detail, will probably ever remain as impossible as unnecessary; though logically and rationally they can be traced down to the most simple and palpable phenomena—brain subjectively, and external matter, objectively; and we must by no means, lose the thread of positive science. If we do, we shall commit the absurdity of attempting to trace mind to—out of nature. Even those who boast that they have abandoned superstitious notions, carelessly so far lose sight of Positivism, where they cannot trace mind in detail, as to fall back into the common error of imagining the will capable of influencing the remainder of the mental phenomena, and even the body; not discerning that this is but a branch of the great primary lie, on which has been reared the vast, bottom upward pyramid of religious falsehood, and inconsistency, and of legal injustice and cruelty. On this blind and lazy hypothesis, vindictiveness and all its horrors depend; and to such fearful proportions has hotch-potch sociology grown from such a beginning, that it inflicts on the confessedly controlled body, the punishment the controller; the will, clearly “ought to” receive, if anything clearer than mud can come from the jumble of materialism and ultra-naturalism—the mixture of something with nothing—in short, the anarchy, which is most impudently called civilization.
All the more complicated phenomena depend on the simpler, positively; and are depended on by them, negatively. ‘Thus nature reciprocates, co-works, and is sufficient.
Ignorant, and consequently vain and egotistic man, unthinkingly imagines he absolutely thinks; he is so completely absorbed in self, in his own importance, as to be blind to the broad fact, that he performs but the positive HALF of the process of thinking; since objects, by being thought, evidently perform the other, equally important, negative half.
Man, having taken to himself the credit of absolutely performing the whole mental process, committed the further, and doubly unfortunate blunder of creating mind into an entity. To protect this egg of ignorance from: the dreaded influence of truth, interested falsehood covered it like a sitting hen; and it has, consequently, hatched a pyramid of learned stupidity, erudite nonsense, and respectable absurdity. But this immense pyramid is bottom upwards; and though rapidly increasing in height, and thus exciting the confidence and admiration of superficial beholders, it is proportionably spreading at the top, and therefore must, eventually tip over, or crush under its own weight.
But admitting mind to be an entity, encrusted by the body; would it be either economical, wise, beneficient, or desirable, to prolong self consciousness, in the same quantity of matter eternally? Has not each quantity of matter in existence, as much right to self-consciousness, as has any other equal quantity? Would it not be better in every respect, and more wise and just, to let all matter take its turn-in self-consciousness, as it does in every other condition which constant change produces? But Positive Sociology will, without recourse to eternity, give self-consciousness its just due; and then man neither will, nor can desire more.
The phenomena conveniently named the eye, positively see, because phenomena conveniently named objects, assist the process, by being seen. ‘The nerves feel, positively, because objects are felt, negatively. In short, we positively think, because all which presents the phenomena of things, negatively assist the process by being thought. Thought, mind, we repeat, is a process; and but one half of it belongs to man, since the other half as evidently belongs to all with which he is connected.
Throughout nature, the positive and negative are reciprocal, and necessitate each other. Nothings are inconceivable; so are unphenomenal, unconditioned things; and if the phenomena now presented by the solar system were ever simplified down to the subtlest gas, such gas was positive and negative and the phenomena of then must have been sufficient for the unfolding of those of now. Nature, however simplified or complicated, is both positive and negative—male and female—and must be so sufficient as to exclude the possibility of external aid, control, or even existence.
All nature seems to gravitate towards a center; and thus seems so like an illusion, that it is no wonder Berkeley wrote to prove that nothing existed. For example: All centers necessitate corresponding circumferences; but as we cannot conceive of nature’s circumference, so, neither, can we of her center, nor of gravitation absolutely thither. Besides, an absolute, still center, would produce absolute, universal stillness, or rest.
That nature uniformly seems to tend to a center positively, and to a circumference negatively, is a sufficient base for science, from the simplest up to, and including, Positive Sociology. But on ultra-naturalism, no science can be based, and therefore no systematic, happiness perfecting, sociology. It, consequently, when it condescends to attempt to be consistent, discountenances pleasure, except after death!
That portion of cerebral and other material phenomena called will, is unceremoniously kicked out of the office of motor, as science approaches. And the utterly incomprehensible, supremely mystical, and therefore, in the opinion of ignorance, Almighty Will, (whose opponent is so extra-almighty as to generally circumvent him,) is the lounge, on which the mental slothfulness which science can but partially rouse, throws itself when it cannot find a better resting place. The Omnipotent Will, is the make-shift and last resort of the feeble minded; the refuge of the gaping, wondering, self-conceited and egotistical; the lingering relic of barbarism, which will die out as soon as those interested in keeping it alive, (and who blindly or knavishly misdirect education,) will permit it to.
Had ultra-naturalistic religion been preserved in its original purity, the nineteenth century would have remained barbarous, The Atlantic telegraph, steam engine, and printing press, demand a corresponding religion, and scorn that adapted to the age of dromedary expresses, bark canoes, and parchment; nay, even stone books.
Positivism connects social and even cerebral or intellectual, with all simpler phenomena; and thus brings the perfecting of humanity, and the establishment of heaven on earth, completely within the domain of simple, scientific, and artistic nature. In proportion as the Positivistic theory becomes practiced, as all real theories have been or must be, and very rapidly too, after their discovery or conception, society’s oscillations, between absolutism and demagogocracy will cease, and sociology will finally be as different from what it is in its present embryonic condition, as life is from mere physical an chemical action. Positive sociological phenomena will be as superior to all antecedent sociological phenomena, as animal is to mere vegetable life; nay, to chemical or even physical action. Then, the conditions necessary to man’s happiness will resemble the well adjusted string of a kite; which confines it down, only to the extent necessary to enable it to soar; and thus sustains it in freedom, though apparently retaining it in bondage.
Question 30.—But how can man be approaching perfection, and that, too, with a rapidly increasing speed, whilst the: masses are becoming more and more wretched, and more enslaved; whilst their “rulers” have reached the very acme of all that is corrupt and vile, whilst the higher classes are constituted such by wealth, no matter how obtained, and are so much the prey of care, vexation and ennui, that they are almost as miserable in their splendor, as the poor are wretched in their squalor?
Answer:—Human progress does not go on by uniform, rectilinear motion. Its path, to where sociological life commences, is so nearly circular, that superficial observers cannot see that it is not entirely so; but imagine humanity does but tread, over and over, the same hopeless, unchanging round; whereas the circle is spiral, now rapidly enlarging, and proportionably elevating its plane. But this will produce no immediate beneficial results, but the contrary, up to the point where positive sociological life commences. Semblably as a family receives no benefit from moving out of a miserable shanty, into a distant palace, whilst on the way thither; on the contrary, they are but more and more fatigued, up to the time they arrive at their destination.
Even in the small case of movement we have chosen for an illustration, break downs might occur, which would necessitate a return for repairs as the most advanced nations, in moving towards humanity’s destiny, have often broke down, almost disheartened, and returned nearly to where they started from, to recruit for a fresh effort.
But man, in his endeavors after perfection, has, as yet, proceeded no further than “representative government;” and only the majority of any nation has attained to even this; which latter circumstance is very fortunate, though deplored by those who seek liberty with more zeal than knowledge, as being among the worst of political difficulties. But if laws, arbitrarily manufactured by the representatives of only the majority’s incompetency, are so antagonistic to science, and consequently subversive of freedom and happiness, what would the be if manufactured by the representatives of the whole people’s good, but unscientific intentions? What, but a chaos, out of which we should never find our way?
Those who would not trust men selected from the crowd to cut their hair; and would never dream of employing people even to make shoes, who had not learned how, seem to imagine that the “smartness” of getting elected, sometimes by brute force, often by fraud, an always by humbug, qualifies men to govern even nations.
The multitude have never looked beyond despotism, for good government; consequently, they have but exchanged the despotism of one, or ‘a few, for that of the many, and got most confoundedly cheated.
Question 31.—Well, will not the real remedy for despotism consist in educating the people up to the point of being fitted to be their own sociologians?
Answer.—It would be much more rational to propose, as a remedy for swill-milk, badly fitting clothes, ill ventilated or insecure edifices, bursting steamboat. boilers, railroad slaughters, disappointments in telegraphic despatches, and every other evil, that the whole people should, individually, be qualified for, and actually become, cow boys, tailors, architects, machinists, engineers, electricians, and every thing else.
Demagogocracy ignores the vital truth that the business of government is to do for society, what society en masse, individually, or by elective franchise action, cannot perform. [See Question 10, and answer, on page 22.) Not merely to pander to, flatter, and speculate upon, mystery-taught society’s foibles, or be the mere weather-cock which tells which way the wind of popular prejudice blows.
Society, when organized into operators, scientific discoverers, and directors, will prove the Almighty Self-governing Being, who alone can perform that Herculean, all-important task, “everybody’s business;” now, alas! attempted by such scoundrels or botches, that it is a grave question whether it had not better be wholly neglected.
The way to this real self-government is now clearly open, and society gets cheated into the despotism of the majority, at shorter and shorter intervals, owing to the fact that each succeeding, is more villainous than the preceding cheat. Besides, at each succeeding revolution, absolutism or monarchy becomes more and more tainted with demagogocracy, and is therefore rapidly losing itself in that slough of anarchy, and all that is detestable. Is this to be the finale?’ With the door of Positive Sociology wide open, and all other avenues closed, will man long endure demagogocracy? Who that is capable of thinking, can believe it?
The human body is capable of feeling needs, and also of feeling the satisfaction of needs; but the head alone can find out and apply the means of their satisfaction, Exactly so is it with humanity as a whole: the main body, the masses, feel the lack of what they want, but their struggles to get what they feel they want, especially when they try the oft repeated experiment of elective franchise, resemble the violent, undirected spasms of a galvanized headless trunk; or rather the self destructive efforts of one whose head is disabled, The collective, like the individual body, must be organized, and have a suitable head. The main question we have undertaken to solve is, how can the collective body be organized, its head formed, and so adjusted to its trunk, that all shall harmonize, and be as mutually beneficial, as are the members of the organized individual body; or rather as these latter will be, when all shall be perfected by Positivism.
All that the masses, can, or need understand, respecting the science of Sociology (and but few can, or need, understand even this much) is, that it is a science, or rather the soul or essence of the whole body of science; the science of sciences; that like the various departments of science, it is purely mundane; that there is, therefore, nothing arbitrary or tyrannical in the case, and that there need be no more surrender, or even delegation, by them, to sociologians, of power, than in the case of availing themselves of an almanac, a chemical analysis, a physician, a railroad passage, or a telegraphic despatch; and above all, that their longing for “heaven” (happiness) and all that is or can be read in their longing for “immortality”, must and can be satisfied by the natural changes and reorganizations which science and art are capable of effecting, with the materials composing this chaotic, “present evil world.”
Only in the case of savages and barbarians, is it necessary for government to be despotic, or the repository of power. Yet even civilized nations, have thus far strove, not against despotism itself, but only against either the absolute or aristocratic form of it; and found the despotism of the majority, which escaping from simpler despotisms brought them under, the worst, and most expensive; from its delegated power continually changing hands, and: consequently from having often to gorge fresh and hungry swarms of office holders, who make the most of their opportunity, knowing their time is short; and to whom, the future prosperity of their only now dominions, is of little consequence. The “government” of delegated power, and, above all, the precautionary measures against the consolidation of power; quick rotation in office—has divested despotism of all the good it had, as a whole, somewhat permanent and systematic thing, and left us only its augmented evils, in an aggravated form. The recipients of delegated power, can rob the treasury, in the shortest possible time they can be restricted to having their fingers in it; but were they ever so honest, and even capable, they could do little good, during the short term allowed them.
What we really want, is, the science of sciences, the highest law, true, comprehensible religion, and a government in accordance with these; whose whole time shall be devoted to finding out, and informing us, how to live, from three to five times longer than we now do, and in a state of perfect happiness, and entire freedom. Would any amount of honesty, on the part of our “rulers,” as now constituted by the majority, give us this? Would the good intentions and average wisdom of the whole people, fairly brought to bear, by their delegates, or by themselves personally, be any more likely to accomplish this?
Evidently not. To do right, we must know how, and be in possession of the means, Well doing, requires no less than the whole power of the Supreme Being, Scientifically Organized Humanity. Individuals have tried it long enough, and failed. ‘They have done wrong on a small kale, in spite of all the tortures vindictive malice could inflict, and the fear of eternal torments; or in their social capacity on a large and respectable scale, despite the certainty of infernal consequences. Shall we persist on in experiments, expedients, and failure? Why not immediately apply pence to religion, law, and government?
Poor, down trodden humanity! “Awake from they sadness;” make but this last, this rational, this scientific effort, and thy foes shall oppress thee no more.” You have been so long and so terribly abused, and have tried so many “cures,” expedients, and experiments, which only made matters worse; (in fact, you have tried all but the right thing) that this cup of salvation you push from you, with the despairing exclamation, “can human nature be changed by natural means?”
No; human nature, “‘depraved” as it even now appears, in consequence of the quack religious, moral and legal drugging it has hitherto received, cannot, need not, nay, must not be changed, by any means. And here, let me again call attention to the change which, to the vulgar eye, matter undergoes, in becoming animated. Matter is always but matter, and cannot absolutely change, even in the’ case of the complicated phenomena or modes of action called animal life; nor will, nor can, human nature change, in passing into sociological life, when organized humanity will accomplish, what individual humanity has vainly attempted.
As there is nothing ultra-naturalistic in either vegetable, or animal, including human life, so there will, nor can, nor need, be any thing ultra-naturalistic in Positive Sociological life—in human perfection.
Matter is a short word for the summum bonum of all phenomena—all conditions. Absolute matter, divested of phenomena—of conditions, like absolute mind, divested of matter, has no existence, and is no more an entity, than are light, electricity, gravitation, the plane of a mathematical circle, or the axis of planetary revolution.
Question 32.—But is it really possible that man can live from three to five times longer, and proportionably happier than now? Can science, art, and nature, co-working with all their inherent might, accomplish perfect happiness, and all the essential, the real, of immortality?
Answer.—Yes. The possibility of all this is really conceivable, and consequently must be possible. No axiom in mathematics is clearer than this will prove to be, when examined. The impossible alone, is inconceivable. Besides, such possibility has been ‘proved by other evidence, so corroborative, that even actual accomplishment can add nothing to the certainty which now exists. But a verification of this, in all its minute details, would require a review of all developed science. So a few facts, and arguments, so broad as to strike the mental view, and so conclusive as to extort conviction from any capable examiner, must suffice.
Well kept statistics arithmetically prove life to be long, or short, in proportion as circumstances favor it, or the contrary; and as it is equally in evidence, that the frost favorable circumstances have not yet been more than from a third to a fifth as favorable as they are capable of becoming, the fact that conscious existence is capable of sustentation, from three to five times longer than is its present term, would seem to be pretty conclusively established, at the outset. And will any one deny the power of the faculties of man and his environments, to produce happiness, at least five times greater than now takes place, under the most favorable circumstances? What we now mainly strive for is happiness here; and in thus striving for it, we acknowledge its possibility. But so far, as yet, are we from having obtained happiness, that the world is pretty universally conceeded to be but a ‘vale of tears.” From the palace to the hovel, from the wages or chattel slave, up to the autocrat or millionaire, the alternative is but squalid wretchedness, or splendid misery; individual man can neither be tortured nor bullied into well doing; humanity scientifically organized, the Supreme Being, alone can do right.
Ossification can be retarded, and old age and death put off. But the best means for doing this, fall very far short of the perfection they are evidently capable. of; and were they perfected, they would be-almost impracticable, until Positive Sociology so far constitutes itself as to begin to receive the sanction and support of society. In proportion as Positive) Sociology obtains the ascendant, the sexual relations will be put on a scientific-natural basis; this will not only give a very long extension to life’s lease, but oh! how it will enhance its joys; which will, in turn, lengthen still more, life’s lease. ”
That grief, care, and the longing of unsatisfied desire, “drieth the bones,” was known thousands of years ago: and it is a simple fact in science, that premature ossification produces premature old age, and premature death.
Must the benefits which science has bestowed on cattle, horses, and even grains, fruits and vegetables, and which are capable of augmentation, in man’s case, in proportion as he is higher than these, be forever withheld from our suffering race? Shall the eloquent pleadings of medical science, in behalf of youth and beauty, writhing and dying under the cruel tortures of unsatisfied natural longing, be forever, smothered by the ravings of an ultra-naturalistic, bogus morality? Oh! how life will lengthen, as science conquers obstacles to its happiness, and renders it worth lengthening.
Who has not seen ladies, and sometimes even middle class females, shrouded and coffined, at from twenty-five to thirty years of age, after having been years in dying, because society would not indulge them, except through what it arbitrarily defined to be marriage, with the use of those means which, competent physicians declared could alone save them; none offering to assume the onerous responsibilities! of husbands, except such, as neither parents, friends, nor that monster of iniquity and injustice, society itself would allow them to accept? Now, I ask, in all sincerity and earnestness, if any pains should be spared, to prevent the necessity for perpetually committing such unnatural and abominable murders?
The scientific-natural regulation of the sexual relations will conquer that formidable enemy of long life—hereditary disease. Short life itself is hereditary.
Those secret, and except in medical works, unmentionable practices, which ‘fill lunatic asylums, and destroy human life by wholesale, will cease, under the scientific-natural regulation of the sexual relations.
Diseased meat, milk, and the poisonous adulterations of food which, with other things, either slay us in our childhood, or so cripple life as to make it incapable of enduring for more than from a third to a fifth its rightful time; all these and a thousand other foes to life, science can, and therefore will, conquer.
In proportion as we become emancipated from that dreadful foe to life—ennui, alcohol and tobacco, tea and coffee, will cease their ravages on longevity. Stimulants, and stupifying narcotics, are resorted to, to deaden the sense of our present poor and miserable, or rich, tasteless, tiresome, careworn, and vexatious, condition. How the Americans chew and smoke tobacco, especially during business suspensions? No nose escapes its fumes—no face its spatters, when the wind blows.
The wonder should be, not that man can be enabled to live infinitely happier, and from three to five times longer, than now, but that he now lives a third, or even a fifth, as long as he does.
Question 33.—But does not man really desire to live always?
Answer.—No. By imagining so, he deceives himself as badly as did the boy, who fancied he wanted to swing on the gate, and lick ‘lases candy all his life… An hour on the gate, and six ounces of candy satisfied his desire to lick or swing for the first day; each succeeding day he became satisfied with less, and soon got incurably sick of. both gate and candy. So it is contrary to the nature of any, and everything, even life itself, and those things on which its happiness depends, not to wear out, or become tiresome, by repetition. But things will wear long, in proportion as they are good; and life and happiness are best of all. As we desire things in proportion as they are good, we long extravagantly for them in proportion to the Stinginess with which they are dealt out to us. Now, life and happiness are not only our best things, but also those of which we are most stinted; and this explains the whole mystery of our “longing for immortality,” and “eternal happiness.”
Question 34.—Why should the church be expected to lead on the religion of science, and inaugurate Positive Sociology?
Answer.—Because, under it, and by its means, progressive intellectual action first germinated. Because it was the only School master which could have taught savage man the A, B, C, of that perfection to which he is to arrive. Because its function to lead is indisputably indicated, by the fact that it always has led. Because as, throughout nature, the use of a thing is, or can be, good, in proportion as its abuse is, or can be, bad, the use of the church’s function judging from its abuse, must be, to lead to the production of perfection itself, BECAUSE IT SWAYS THE INFANT MIND, AND SHAPES EDUCATION; and therefore, mankind generally must follow wherever it leads. Because it is evidently discovering that it must lead right. Because its means of doing so, are perfect. Because the church is the head, as government is the spine, of the body politic, or Supreme Being, und the three must go together “for better or for worse.” They cannot be separated without as fatal consequences to the body politic, as would result to the individual body, were the head and spine to be detached, It.is worthy of remark, that both the religion of mystery and science were originated or revealed, by the Supreme Being, Humanity.
To suppose the church necessarily depends, for existence, on teaching mystery is a fatal mistake, which both it, and its opponents, equally commit, The influence of the church must be great in proportion as it teaches the highest; and such, now, is not mystery, as it was in ages long past; when, consequently, the church was all powerful. When the church teaches, as soon it must, the highest science and its completory art, it will, immensely more influential than it ever has been, be the head of a body of Positive Sociological directors and scientific discovers, which by abolishing all other “governments,” will make man really self-governed.
That there is no union of the false, worn out, excrescent church, with its progeny, the equally false “government” of this country, is but one of the numerous false pretences of demagogocrats. The sub rosa union of “church” and “state,” here, is closer than is its ostensible union, even in Rome, Our district schools, supported from the public treasury, are hot beds of ultra-naturalism; nearly all our school books are saturated with that poison, small quant[it]ies of the; very quintessence of which, are often inflicted on them in the form of prayer. Prayer is also openly bought, and unblushingly paid for, from the public treasuries, by our legislators, who take a dose of it every morning, before they commence sham law manufacturing; and laws to prevent labor or amusement from interfering with the business of superstition mongers on the first day of the week, are more stringent in this, than in any other country in the world!
Question 35.—Has, then, the church hitherto produced nothing but evil, and taught nothing but falsehood?
Answer.—Nothing; with an exception so important that it cannot be over estimated. The church taught mankind to be taught; and thus initiated social organization and leadership; without which, improvement or progress, of any kind, could never have ‘commenced; without which, we should retrograde back to savageism, even after having reached perfection itself. In her organization and leadership, the church has furnished the only means by which she can be purged of her falsehood, and humanity cleansed from its’ original sin of ignorance. But she must organize on a comprehensible basis.
The anarchy which is tormenting the civilized world, is consequent on the fierce conflict now raging between science and mystery. But science, single handed, has carried every field up to the very citadel, edification; and this is more than half conquered. When it is fully so, which is but a question of time, mental physics will take the place of mystery and metaphysics; the sciences will evolve a science of sciences, or essence of science: a high law, in accordance with which humanity will be so organized, that its whole force will be available for good instead of evil. Well doing will then be prosecuted, as it were, by steam and on a scale too magnificent to be, now but faintly conceived of. The preference which, all mankind have practically shown for realities, is a pledge for this consummation, as soon as science fully commands education. Ever after that, man will do well as spontaneously as he, now does ill. We only want to know how to do right, and to be able so to do.
Ultra-naturalism, which was the church’s only alternative ere science began to dawn, has become so stale, nay, so putrid, by age, that it has diminished her influence, But we need entertain no fears of her entire destruction—of the failure of organization and leadership—for the church evidently shows an intention to throw the gangrened rottenness, ultra-naturalism, overboard, and allow mankind to void their mental excrements as soon as circumstances will admit, which they are rapidly preparing to do. For intellectual modes, being of as provisional a character, as are material ones, and intellectuality having grosser materiality for its base, sociology, or rather its caricature, cannot much longer remain as it now is, in monstrous contrast with, and flagrantly antagonistic to, more tangible material science.
As soon as the church displaces her old, worn out, putrid mystery, by young and thrifty science, her influence will be as much greater than it ever was before, as truth is better than falsehood, or that which we can understand is better than that which but confuses, defies, and obliterates the understanding. What can successfully oppose such an influence? Before it, even “total depravity,” “original sin” and their parent, ignorance, will “dry up,” nor leave a trace behind, except on the page of history, The true church (directory) will have, as the false one had, and still has, to a great extent, the training of children; and when from infancy, children, instead of being bewildered and crazed by ultra-naturalism, (or having but the caricature of science, and that, even, presented to them in such a dry and uninteresting form as to need enforcement by the rod and ferrule,) are taught as much science as they are capable of receiving and practicing, and of the kind to which their organization is adapted, and when such teaching becomes intermingled with, and even introduced by, all that can delight and amuse, what, that is good, will be impossible?
The church, as we have seen, begat leadership and organization, and these begat the present, fragments of science; and the unnatural feud which has been so long and so fierce, between the grand parent and grand child, the church and science, must cease; and that soon. The moment this reconciliation is effected, humanity will have entered the haven of its happy and glorious destiny; and until then, nothing practically good will have been gained; till then, goodness will only be used to “point a moral, or adorn a tale,” or be caricatured once a week, for the benefit of the religions and moral quacks, who point the way that leads directly from it. For instance:—It is attempted to force man to be good in his individual capacity, and, at the same time, to be bad, in his social or corporate capacity. A soldier, according to hotchpotch sociology, may .be hanged for committing on his own account, a single murder, by the same tribunal which, just before, awarded him the highest praise for being engaged in a wholesale human slaughter on society’s account. A man may be imprisoned for five years, for issuing in his individual capacity, one dollar in paper, which has no specie to back it up; whilst, in his social capacity he may be considered a good citizen and a public benefactor, for issuing and helping to circulate millions on millions of paper dollars, more than there is specie to back up! And so on to the end of the whole catalogue of “crime.” Now all this must be changed, before any good, worthy of notice, can be done. Torture or punish individuals, as much as possible, or threaten them with even eternal torments; still, they cannot be good, in opposition to the united force of mankind. Nothing short of the essence of science, and its corresponding art of rendering the whole force of mankind available for good instead of for evil, will effect any good worth living for.
Question. 36.—But how can mother church, who now poisons the minds of children with her putrid, and excrescent: falsehood, and crazes them with mystery as soon as they are capable of thinking, be transformed into a corporation which shall nourish their intellectual faculties with that which will perfect both the mental and physical?
Answer.—She must, as we have seen she can, be thus transformed, in order to save the remnant of her influence from annihilation. This is so perfectly clear, that every day’s delay is astonishing. She barely missed abandoning mysticism, and adopting Positivism, in 1831, when Stephen Girard bequeathed $2,000,000, with which to found a-college, in Philadelphia, in which mystery and falsehood should not be taught. But science had not then been conceived of, as a whole, a religion; or the conception had not been elaborated, and consequently had not been extended, even in theory, into Sociology; and therefore, Girard’s splendid attempt proved a failure, as all merely negative measures, in their very nature, must.
But had the Positive Philosophy, and the theory of Scientific Association been then in existence; and could Stephen Girard, Auguste Comte, Charles Fourier, and either of several professedly orthodox clergymen whom I could name, together with about two hundred ladies and gentlemen, of the right stamp, (who now, in any of our large cities, wait but the opportunity, though professed members of orthodox churches,) have met and worked together, the teaching of the church would by this time have been as changed by science, as is navigation and the driving of machinery, by steam; or the transmission of intelligence by electricity.
The church tells us revelation was wisely and beneficently adapted to man’s capacity; surely, then, a revelation eighteen centuries old, and thus confessedly adapted to savage, or at least barbarous man’s capacities, must be as unfit for the age of printing, steam engines, and ocean telegraphs, as the food of infancy, or even its clothing, are unfit for adults.
What was once progression, is now, evidently, retrogression; and the church, by confessedly teaching the same she did “in the beginning,” stands self convicted of the crime, on which all others are consequent, of propagating ignorance; her direct influence is therefore now confined to the degraded masses, through the instrumentality of whom, she keeps science and intelligence, to some extent, in most humiliating, companionship; and thus prolongs barbarous hotch-potch sociology, and its corresponding crime and misery.
Science has to affect to shape itself, somewhat, by that which is most unscientific, absurd and ridiculous; and so low do the enlightened few, have to stoop to the ignorant many, that even the newspapers, daily chronicle, in most respectful terms, the progress, and even minute details, of “revivals” of the ultra-naturalistic nonsense which prolongs all that degrades and vitiates man, and keeps him miserable.
But in spite of all this, science rapidly progresses, and the influence of the church as rapidly decreases; she is not ignorant of this, and will therefore adopt the religion of the comprehensible, and give that of mystery the “go by,” in time ‘to save her leadership from annihilation, and devote it to that which shall incalculably elevate it, as it rapidly ushers in Positive Sociology.
Question 37,—-Do hasten to the main point. I am impatient to know exactly how all we can desire of heaven and immortality may be had here on earth? How well doing, may be carried on, as it were by steam?
Answer.—You shall be perfectly satisfied, and without unreasonable delay. But a question of such magnitude, you must by this time see, cannot be answered, as the king’s son expected to be taught to read, in a moment, and all at once.
Intellectuality being based, or rather consequent, on coarser materiality, the progression of the latter, cannot long be unaccompanied by the progression of the former. Steam and electricity have changed the more palpably material modes very suddenly. The change in intellectual modes will be, in like manner very rapid, when all things are completely ready, which they cannot be far from being.
Here ft us again repeat what, if not constantly remembered, we shall lose the very thread of Positive Sociology, nay, even its foundation. When we use the word mind, or intellect, we must no more take these for entities, than the mathematician does planes of circles, lines, or points; or than’ the thorough physicist does gravitation, light, or electricity. Also, when we use the word matter, we must not’ try to imagine such a thing as independent, unconditional, characterless matter to exist. Unconditional matter and unconditional mind are alike impossible. We cannot go beyond, or out of, phenomena—conditions, even in imagination; and when language essays the unconditional, it becomes simply
The notion of gravitation as an entity, or fluid, I believe has never been entertained. Why should not water run down, and ponderable bodies fall? How could they do otherwise? are the ready, ever present ideas of every one. In like manner, the truly scientific are impressed with—why should not electrical bodies approach? why should not luminous bodies shine? why should not animated bodies, with nerves and a sensorium, and all in good condition, and assisted by natural surroundings, think? How could they do otherwise? We could not think, however, without things to think of, any more than we could feel, without any thing to feel of. What did the lone, immaterial, Eternal think of, during the first part of his existence? Nothing. What did he hear? Nothing. What did he see? Nothing. What did he taste? Nothing. What did he smell? Nothing. What did he feel? Nothing. What must he be, without the existence of something? Nothing.
As soon as the science and art of applying steam power became constituted, all opposition gave ‘way; and people, who were before “sure” that to travel more than ten or twelve miles an hour was an impossibility, afterwards needed no argument to convince them of the possibility of traveling from forty to sixty miles an hour. All “free discussion” on that question suddenly died out, and people rushed to the cars, as they will to Positivism, as soon as they see something of it.
People have a natural leaning to Positivism, which even miseducation can but theoretically counteract. Six days in the week, do mankind, to the extent they can do so as individuals, practice Positivism; whilst they only give themselves up to the bewilderments of ultra-naturalism on the seventh.
Many pastors of fashionable orthodox churches, are now evidently disgusted with poor old ultra-naturalism. No doubt some of them are pretty thoroughly indoctrinated in the abstract of the Positive Philosophy. As soon as a few capitalists, also thus indoctrinated, meet such pastors, men in every department of science, will be found anxious to join them, and a Positivistic Church will be the result, which will clear away the remains of ultra-naturalism much more rapidly and effectually than steam has banished old modes of driving machinery or propelling vessels and travelling conveyances. For then, all science, the palpably material, the intellectual, and the religious, will combine, and yield their essence, to form the science of sciences; and a force will be generated, which will cause old things to pass away, and all things to become new,” to an extent, and with a speed, we can now but faintly conceive of. Good will be done with a combined humanity power. The leaders of humanity must be gained over to right, and the masses will surely follow. ‘The science of well-doing must be applied’ to its art, at head quarters.
People, who have been looking “beyond the grave” for the “kingdom of heaven,” must find it “nigh, even at the door.” The intellectual faculties of children, it will bear repeating, will then no longer be smothered in the bud by mystery. Instead of being contracted over, and almost to, nothing, they will be, oh! how expanded, by being exercised over useful realities! And as their physical will be correspondently developed, what Herculeses and Venuses will the sons and daughters of humanity become, when science shall be reinforced by the acquisition of all the means which the false church now opposes to it? Nay, with the ten fold greater means with which directors will be invested the moment they cease to be false guides, are assisted by scientific discoverers, and when both are approved and sustained by the operatives—the people?
When science equitably adjusts the claims of skill, capital and labor, (and Positive Sociology, after it. fairly begins to be constituted, will not for a moment delay commencing’ to do this,) vice will find no incentive, and crime, either real or imaginary will be no more. Woman will then be found to be equally indispensable in government as man. Man will furnish the rough material for the temple of science and liberty, and woman will contribute that without which it would be nothing. Without the beautiful, the useful can never fructify—never even be the useful.
Science has hitherto been such a dry, wearisome, up hill, and almost fruitless study, because it has lacked its head, and of course the seat of beauty, the face. Its body alone has undergone parturition; and as soon as its head does so, and science becomes a fully born whole, and permeates, as it will, law, government, religion—nay, becomes these, it will be associated with the gay, the beautiful, the melodious, and all that can enchant; and woman, the incarnation of all that can give value to existence itself, will find and occupy her sphere.
If science performs such wonders when, as now, struggling from the lowest, what can it not do, when enthroned in the highest, and sustained by the combined power of the human race? Then, it will be as impossible for individuals to do wrong, as it now is for them to do right. Wrong action then, as right action does now, will have to contend against the combined power of mankind.
If music of the coarsest kind, and gaiety, such, even, as we now have, make the trade of banded murderers—uniformed, plumed soldiers—enticing—if they draw the bulk of humanity even: into an atmosphere charged with the moral putridity of festering ultra-naturalism into churches—what will they not do for Positive Sociology, when perfected, and enlisted in its service, escorting, as they will, woman, and her all powerful influence? Then, the word impossible will be obsolete, and put down in every dictionary as but a relic of the past.
Question 38.—Will it not be impossible to extend Positive Sociology to the north and south poles, and among Negroes and Hotentotes?
Answer.—That we can determine only after we are sure we have elicited and used all the power of nature. Anything which cannot be accomplished by such means, cannot properly be termed an impossibility; it must be simply an absurdity; in vulgar jargon, a miracle. After Positive Sociology has been extended to all but the frozen and equatorial regions, if it shall be found necessary or desirable to extend it thither, it will certainly be possible; for as we have oft repeated, nature would herself be but an absurdity, if she was not self-sufficing; if she raised desires she was incapable of satisfying. It would be but quibbling to object, that nature does not immediately, and therefore will not ever satisfy the desires she raises in her present unfinished specimens of particles of humanity. Nature might as reasonably be required to produce a three year old colt in five minutes.
Question 39.—But must not the whole people be fully convinced of the falsity of ultra-naturalism and its accompaniments? Must not every man, woman and child, be roused to a sense of the usefulness of Positive Sociology, by argument and free discussion?
Answer.—You forget, as do all negativists, who look to the universalization of free discussion as the panacea for superstition and moral and political evil, and to a complete representation and application of the hoodwinked, and falsely educated people’s average wisdom, through their delegates, as an ultimatum, that mankind have never been rationally convinced of the truth of ultra-naturalism. The masses have been but bewildered, frightened, overawed, and cowed down by the impudence and incomprehensible jargon of mystagogues; and are impressed that the church is right; that such pomp and learning surely cannot be for nothing; and men will certainly be not less thus impressed when the church is right. To ensure spiritual safety, or make gain out of this majority, the timid and unprincipled follow in their wake. The ladies chime in with mystery in order to be in fashion, get rich husbands, enjoy the music, gayety, and splendor, with which it is associated, and because they are shut out from participating in government.” The crowd fancy there must be “something somehow” in that which is backed up by such respectable authority, and such a power of learning! which learning mainly consists, in such a smattering of the Hebrew, Greek, and Latin languages, as would have excited the contempt and derision of the butcher boys and fish women of those ancient nations, But let some few of the most “dignified” among those in whom the multitude confide, backed by sufficient capital, and aided by the science and art which now awaits but a chance to use, rather than prostitute talent, start a Positivistic Church, the magnificence of which shall eclipse any neighbouring mystery shop, and, as before said, blend useful and appropriate instruction with music, and all that is delightful and charming, and the people will follow in the wake of intellectual science, as rapidly as they have in that of simpler material science; and much more eagerly than they now do, or ever have done, in that of mystery; and this will give all science an impetus of which we can now form but a faint conception; and ultra-naturalism which was established without free discussion, will be abolished without it.
From error, must truth learn How to prevail; and rationalism must make use of mystery’s means—education, organization and leadership. “Thus, owing to organization, education and leadership, and to the multitude’s natural, nay, instinctive disposition to follow and confide, with respect to matters of such intricacy as religion and government, (which instinct negativists aim to destroy,) can be formed the nucleus of Positive Sociology, under whose auspices nature, in all her grades, will be rapidly developed to her utmost, capability, and as we have before shown, this will suffice. It will accomplish what was faintly conceived by the ancient seers; realize the “heaven” of the multitude, and satisfy our longing for “immortality.” For a life of perfect happiness, from three to five times as long as is the miserable existence we now go through, will so satiate us with everything, so blissfully wear itself out, that we shall calmly sink to sleep, our whole being so completely fulfilled, that we shall be content to wake no more. We even now spend “a third of life in sleep,” without regret!
Society will approve, and willingly support, without previously electing, Positivistic Government, as soon as its nucleus is constituted on a scale even approximating to what future Positivistic Government will be, and shows evidence of beginning to produce results like these. Mankind have always sustained what experience has convinced them was good. They readily pay for communicating with their friends, thousands of miles distant, in a few minutes, without knowing any thing of the modus operandi; and the same may be said with respect to all the sciences and arts thus far, and the science of sciences and art of arts will not be exceptions.
That error may safely be tolerated, where truth is left free to combat it, is a favorite maxim with the worshippers of free discussion. Now as much as I dislike intellectual pugilism, I will consent to exchange a few blows with its admirers on this question.
Is error so good, that it has as much right to the field of intellectuality as has truth? Is it so fair and honorable, that it ever extends to truth, the same toleration the latter imagines it so magnanimously extends to it? The only field where the combat between truth and error could fairly take place is the untaught infant mind. Did error ever tolerate truth there? Could anything be more ridiculous than for truth to tolerate error there? Evidently, a combat between truth and error, with the weapons of free discussion, can never take place on a fair field. Free discussion is, therefore, at best, but a medicine which can be administered only after the disease is so seated that not more than one case in two or three thousand can be even partially cured. Error has no rights, and is entitled to no respect—no toleration; the only rational way to deal with it is, to smother it in the bud; nay, prevent it before it buds; as it has always attempted, and with all but complete success, to prevent or smother truth. .
Before a child begins to wonder where all things came from, it must be taught the elements of Positivism and mental physics; and the true church, the Positivistic Directory, will prepare a course of instruction for that purpose.
Though nothing is more difficult than to clear the mind of metaphysical and mystical absurdities, nothing will be easier than to prevent these from ever entering it.
Friends of free discussion, if an ounce of prevention is generally worth a pound of cure, it will here prove to be worth at least a ton. Suppose you help hitch the all powerful engine—organization, to the car of progress, instead of trying to tow it along with your miserable one horse team of free discussion. If half the free thinkers, in any large city, should join any one church, we could. have a true religion, and a system of education in accordance therewith in short order; an example would permeate the whole community like magic, and we should have the long promised millenium instanter.
If any opponent imagines he completely smashes me with—“but truth must first be ascertained,” I receive the blow unmoved, and dash this back in return:—Are scientific truths to be ascertained through indiscriminate popular free discussion? Were the simplest of all laws,—those of planetary motion, thus ascertained? Then what madness can equal that of expecting thus to evolve the most complex of all laws, those of human action?
If Sociology is not a science, ultra-naturalism is right, and hotch-potch sociology is a finality.
If Sociology is a science, it is equally evident that it is the last, the head science, and consequently its evolution depends on that of all the other sciences.
If you could annihilate your great bugbear—the Bible—it would do no good, for neither ignorance nor superstition depend on that; on the contrary, the Bible, or rather the estimation in which it is held, is but one of the absurdities which depend on ignorance and superstition.
Under Positivism, each individual will be able to fill his or her sphere harmoniously. Young ladies to whom the voice of an owl or that of Jenny Lind are equally harmonious, will not be constrained to disgrace a piano, and torture all musical ears within hearing; nor will Latin verbs, Greek particles, or Hebrew roots be rattanned into lads who had rather make hay, train horses, or build stone wall.
It is evident, that if the most enlightened, intelligent, scientific and earnest thinkers, clergymen, capitalists and people of both sexes, should consult with each other on the subject, there could now be a Positivistic Church formed, which would immediately be respectable, and very soon show such intellectual, physiological, in short good results, that it would prove to be the identical prophesied “stone cut from the mountain, which would fill the whole earth,” as Positivism surely must.
Its deacons should consist of a scientific college, sufficiently full to understand, and its clergy should know how to generally apply, most or all existing science, and it must not, above all, be forgotten, that the gay, the beautiful, the amusing, and all which can cheer, delight, and encourage, must be the escort, without which, the substantial cannot possibly be introduced, or even be the substantial.
Although even the nucleus of Positive Sociology must, in all respects, be sufficiently imposing to take the wind out of the sails of any of the neighboring false churches, and make sham law odious by contrast, it can, nevertheless, be no more in comparison to what it will become, when perfected, than the first steamboat was, in comparison to the Leviathan steamer, just built.
Whether the world will have one grand, central Positivistic Church and government, or ‘whether there will be many central or head boards of directors and scientific discoverers, it is now unimportant to determine. All we need to know, on that head, is, that a center must be sufficient to make use of all existing science, to. distribute its formula or substance to sub-churches, and to keep up the pursuit of science and the application of its art.
It is not more natural for matter to gravitate towards a center, than for the mass of mankind to centralize and depend on leaders, or heads, to do for them, what they have a common sense instinct they cannot do for themselves, This. instinct has hitherto led them to bestow their confidence on ignorant or unprincipled pretenders, only because there has been, till recently, no alternative. But the people have by no means thrown away their confidence; for, by means of it, the church has been invested with means, (still formidable, notwithstanding the wanton waste of them through abuse,) which means are about to be wrested from the hands of the falsehearted traitors and ignoramuses who have misused them, and given to the church’s true sons and daughters, who will rescue our holy mother from the degradation of being a mere bawd, or panderer to the foibles of overgrown folly, or the tool and slave of the false and unnatural desires of wholesale criminality.
In pursuing their science, astronomers have found it necessary to mention planes of circles, axis of planetary revolution; &c., well knowing no such things exist. In like manner have I, in speaking of mystery and sham law manufacturers and mongers, humbug stuffers, &c., &., talked as if guilt was involved.
To prevent myself from being misunderstood, I here declare, once for all, that I am no vengeful condemner of either individuals or classes, from highest to lowest; or even of the supreme monster himself; and that I do not consider any of the victims of hotch-potch sociology as but little, if any, more blameworthy or praiseworthy than their fellow-sufferers. The foetus of collective man is as far advance in utero-gestation as its own and external nature thus far permits.
“The Ethiopian can as easily change his skin, or the leopard his spots,” as any one evil doer can, isolatedly, turn from error, and fulfill the high law of his being. No one can do this without the aid of the whole force of the fully developed Supreme Being, Scientifically Organized Humanity.
Humanity, those who now praise and flatter you, are your bitterest enemies; who would keep you where and what you now are; the man has never lived, who loves you better than I really do, prospectively—in that future in which I mainly live, though staying with the present. Whoever pretends to love you now, is either a fool, a deceiver, or has a most perverted, or rather uncultivated taste.
Clergymen and politicians! If my most ardent desires were gratified—if the chief efforts of my life were crowned with success—if Positive Sociology was realized, you would be raised to positions as superior to those you now occupy, as truth and science are superior to falsehood and quackery. Capitalists, your wealth would be as much more valuable than now, as that which fulfils our expectations is superior to that which mocks and disappoints them. Mankind, you would be as happy as you can wish, and for as long as you could desire. But what would become of me, both here and hereafter, if the desires of many of your religious and political guides were gratified? And what would become of your institutions, both religious, moral, civil, and political, if they actually accomplished their professed aim? Where, then, would be the churches, the moral reform societies, the alms-houses, the legislatures, the law courts, the present use of the liberty of speech and of the press, the prisons and gibbets, and the army, navy, and police?
Disdainful of Utopias, hotch-potch sociology attempts the wildest of them all—those of reconciling science with mystery, and creating freedom out of the rotten remains of despotism. Wary of experiments, mankind persist in those which are not doubtful, because they uniformly fail; they stick to those only, the success of which could Cause disappointment; to those, on the failure of which, depends the stability and perpetuity of nearly all present institutions.
Having ascertained the fact, (how astonishing it is, that even demagogues could ever have raised a doubt as to it,) that mankind naturally do, and must, follow leaders, nearly the whole business of scientific, upward, constructive revolutionists, must be with the most prominent, influential, and natural of those leaders; and such, surely, are the clergy; many of whom now long for a chance to deliver themselves and the church from the power of the traitors in their camp: traitors, not in the fullest sense, for they do not know how to serve the church and mankind; they simply do not care to serve any one but themselves, and do not believe in the perfectibility of humanity by natural means.
When a majority of the clergy understand that it is within the power of science and art, co-working with nature, to extend conscious existence to from three to five times its present length, and to make it perfectly happy, and further know that this boon cannot be exclusively secured for self alone, any more than a hand, foot, or finger can be perfectly: well, whilst the rest of the body is diseased, to suppose they will delay a moment to begin this work, is altogether too monstrously absurd. Sane men could not possibly delay the commencement of such a performance for a single day.
The directors need not master much special science; they must be capable, of very comprehensive views, and possess great powers of, and uncommon talents for, generalization. They must be the reservoir of, and from whence, must be distributed, the ascertained science which the scientific discoverers, having charge of the different stages or departments of it, unfold; analogous to the clouds, which do not generate, but receive, water, mainly from special reservoirs below, to be distributed, for general benefit; as science, and corresponding art, once ascertained, may, by the head or central directory, be communicated, or distributed to the heads or pastors of any number of Positivistic sub-churches and governments, who will, in turn, distribute the substance, and show the use-of it to the people, whose laws such science and art will constitute; and by obeying which, all the benefits hereinbefore described, will be obtained. Need it be repeated that these laws will be self-enforcing, and abrogative of the military, police, gallows, and prison brutality inseparable from hotch-potch sociology and its bogus laws?
The execution of Positive Sociological law, instead of being intermingled, as that of hotch-potch sociological law is, with groans and. tears, and dying shrieks, will be accompanied with music, dancing, gayety, and all that can delight, gladden and charm; for enchanting woman will now enact her part, and be her own free self, and not another’s slave. Apropos of this, Positive Sociology will FULLY SECURE THE RIGHTS OF CHILDREN.
Our negative friends may object, that laws by being acted as soon as enacted, will kill popular free discussion stone dead; such objectors will find themselves in most miserable company; for despots and quacks of every description will array themselves in deadly opposition to those same laws, the scientific certainty of which, will put an effectual end to the intellectual confusion whole armies of “priests,” “rulers,” and “teachers,” have made so much money, and gained so much applause by ineffectually opposing.
The “glorious uncertainty” not only of “law,” but of everything else in hotch-potch sociology, is the base of popular free discussion. ‘To banish this uncertainty, would undermine the exercise of such freedom as effectually as the devil’s decease would kill orthodoxy. Both parties having enough to find fault with, and neither, party knowing what the remedy: should be, when they are talking about it, is the very life of intellectual pugilism; and on the devil’s existence, that of the false church depends. What significance would our present religion, law and morality have, if poverty was abolished, and every human desire satisfied on earth, as we are told will be the case in heaven?
“Democracy” is villainy’s holiday; the harvest time of those wholesale swindlers and robbers, compared to which, all who bear the odium of such, are mere nothings.
But the foreshadow of a better state of things is very evident. The Atlantic telegraph is the most significant and suggestive triumph, science and art have achieved. Special science and art, fill the purses of the few, and almost proportionably empty those of the many; and only when science and art shall become general and the equitably adjusted, (not equal, or common) property of all, can they transform the distinctions of “rich and poor,” into “wealthy and less wealthy;” supply the wants and satisfy the tastes of all, and make wealth, other than either a cause of vexation, anxiety and care, or of envy, to be gratified by disappointment.
In the Atlantic telegraph, science and art have, in some slight degree, united the civilized world; and even thus faintly general, and still more faintly equitably adjusted, they have begun to operate in favor of the interests of the many, rather than of the few; and that, too, to the heartfelt satisfaction of all!
Even if the present cable fails, others will surely succeed; and then news of rises or falls in cotton, flour, stocks, &c., &c., cannot be monopolized and taken advantage of, by a few.
The fact, that ships of war laid the Atlantic cable, is gloriously significant. That, whose function has hitherto been to devastate and destroy, is beginning, not only to -create, but to create that which foreshadows the general, almighty creative power of science and art, which, when perfected, will be immeasurably more creative than war has been destructive.
The celebration in New York, in honor of the Atlantic telegraph, is prophetic. The military, the type of that order, without which, even destruction cannot be carried on, on a grand scale, heads the procession.
Even the ministers of ultra-naturalism, too, are borne along in the procession, like the fly on the mail coach. They sit in the same car with the representatives of this great achievement of science and art, and feel flattered and honored by that whose glory is their present shame.
Even the officers of demagogocracy, and every element of hotch-potch sociology, swell the triumphal procession of science and art; of that which will as surely end the reign of humbug and evil, as truth and right will prove more powerful than error and wrong.
Question 40.—But will not the Positivistic center or centers and even the subs, degenerate to scientific despotisms, which will extort whatever price they please to demand for their labors?
Answer.—No. The equitable adjustment of the claims of labor, capital and skill, will prevent all this; besides, the horrors of the competitive, or cut throat system will always be historically in view. Having escaped that hell, nothing could induce sane men to plunge back into it, and insane men could not do so. But talking of prices, Positivism must be cheap, as we have seen, could it be purchased by the world’s wealth; so we might safely dismiss our fears on the subject of its price, was there ever so much foundation for them; but, happily, there is not a shadow of danger that Positive Sociology will ever be either despotic or extortionate. The policy of extortion—cut-throatism—in fine, everyone-for-himselfism, besides being suicidal, is too murderously cruel to excite anything but the eternal abhorrence of Positivism. Free competition, every-one-for-himselfism, is the demagogues cat’s paw.
Demagogocraey is such an unnatural thing, that in it, the passional, the beautiful, the artistic, has less prominence than in either autocracy or aristocracy. Woman, the representative of the passional, the beautiful, in a word, all that is charming, and therefore all that can endow any and everything with value or worth. Woman, the type of all which renders existence itself even endurable. Woman, who will be the very soul of Positivism, of which science will be the life. Woman is denied all participation in the “government” of demagogocracy. But let her not lament, but rejoice that a vestige of purity has been saved from that horrible slough of corruption.
Could woman have been degraded to a level with demagogocracy, all must have been lost. Humanity never could have recovered, had its totality sunk thus low.
Materiality will be the Father, science and art the Son, and woman the Holy Ghost, the inspirer, in Positivism; and demagogocracy will be its Devil. But, happily, its Devil will be locked up in eternal darkness, and the key of Hell irrecoverably lost.:
Question 41.—But how will you dispose of mankind’s seeming, nay, may I not say evident, natural tendency to worship?
ANSWER.—Worship naturally and rationally, means spontaneous, self-delighting devotion. Now, the highest: we can conceive of, is, or rather will be, humanity. Humanity has hitherto been so hideous, that the gods it has created, necessarily after its own image, have been, more or less, objects of terror, and therefore worshipped through cowardice. Whether, when our race shall have been perfected, the contemplation of it, as a whole, will extort an adoration which shall take form, we need not now enquire. If such worship ever does take form, woman will undoubtedly be selected for the visible object of it; she being the most perfect embodiment, or incarnation, of all which can excite us to adoration. This is sufficiently indicated by the fact that though the rights of woman have been almost disregarded, by the various despotisms which have held sway, she has always been man’s beau ideal of loveliness—his idol. Even Demagogocracy has not been able to disfranchise her of this right.
Question 42.—But what will be the object of woman’s worship?
Answer:—Woman is more inclined to be worshipped than to adore. Her piety, when not excited by fashion, and the desire to be seen, admired and brought into market, (for thus low does hotch-potch sociology degrade the loveliest,) partakes largely of the character of timidity.
From a historical point of view, we shall perceive that woman’s inclination to worship is but slight, compared to man’s; during the middle ages, the deserts were peopled by male hermits, and men inflicted, oh what pious tortures on themselves; whilst women did but little in this way. Women will accompany men to churches, especially to fashionable ones; but seldom will their piety, or love of devotion, prompt them to share deserts or voluntary flagellations, with them.
Man worships and adores, but woman goes little, it any, further than to admire, or love; and who has not observed how women admire each other? How they ‘love to kiss each other? And in ball rooms, they often have to be requested to relinquish each other for partners of the opposite sex. I might enlarge on this subject, but this must suffice.
Question 43.—But until Positivism becomes general, what provisional arrangements need be made for the detection and punishment of crime, and for enforcing the fulfilment of Contracts?
Answer.—None. Of all our expensive humbugs, that of collecting debts, enforcing the fulfilment of con tracts, and preventing or punishing crime, by “law,” is the most barefaced and insulting. If honor was invoked, instead of “law,” in the fulfilling of contracts, and paying of debts, nearly all contracts would be fulfilled, and few debts would remain unpaid. Gambling debts and contracts, are now much more: scrupulously paid and fulfilled, and that, too, by those not famed for conscientiousness, than honest ones are. As to preventing crime by ‘‘law,” society, as we have seen, is now little else than an immense laboratory of iniquity —a mammoth association for the wholesale perpetration of every species of crime. The “law,” therefore, does not really attempt either the suppression or punishment of downright crime; its terrors are wholly aimed against imaginary crime, or else against dabbling in crime on a scale: so small, and by individuals so low, mean, and poor, as to bring crime itself into universal contempt and dishonor. Society punishes “one-horse” criminals, and holds them up to contempt, from the same motive respectable shop-keepers despise and persecute peddlers.
The “law” forges a great many fictitious crimes, by raising a hue and cry against, and attempting to punish which, it diverts attention almost wholly from, and confuses the minds of men as to, what crime, on either a large or small scale, really is;* and finally, not five per cent. of what the “law” defines as crime, does it succeed in detecting and punishing, notwithstanding all the expense incurred for that end; though it manages to imprison a great many victims of, and mere witnesses to, single handed crime, and often to impoverish, and even hang, innocent persons,
Our gibbets and prisons ought very rapidly to be dispensed with. To protect ourselves from peccadillo and individual enterprise in the crime business, we even now depend wholly, unless we happen to be “jolly green,” on our bolts, bars, revolvers, and faithful dogs; and the enterprise of the gigantic crime concern itself, we often have to employ a vigilance committee or mob to somewhat abate, † and we shall have to resort to these latest and best palliatives, at shorter and shorter intervals, till hotchpotch sociology gets wholly worn out, and is no more.
The modesty, meekness, forbearance, and magnanimity of arraigned “criminals,” are truly astonishing. If one could be found, guilty of but a single perpetration, not only of every real crime monopolized by, ultra-naturalistic society, but also of every fictitious one known to the “law,” if he had but a tithe of the brass, impudence, and hardihood of the arraigning power, and a sense of his own comparative merits, he would say:
Gentlemen of the court and jury, and society generally:—If, on the principle of curing evil by inflicting it, of Preventing crime, by making the perpetration of one, a precedent for committing another, and so on; if, according to this, your own rule, I deserve to be hanged, or even imprisoned, you deserve to be eternally damned.
Your wholesale crime establishment monopolizes the world. How can an individual escape it? You spread the plague everywhere, and then punish, to the extent you can and dare, all who catch it. I am here, to be tried, to begin with, for the perpetration of a single murder; and I see some of the jury who are engaged in a traffic (swill-milk) which, from population of less than half a million, sends seven thousand innocent children to their graves annually.
I poisoned my victim, and for money; and I see »members of this court, whose business it has long been, for money, to drug and poison not only liquor, bad enough in itself, but every article of food; or to sell it in a damaged state; thus murdering by wholesale, and causing an amount of pain and sickness, altogether incalculable. Look at the statistics of mortality of the different trades your hunger penalty forces people to work at, and you will find, that your very clothes are as bad as spun from the muscles and sinews of human beings, and sewed together with the lung tissues of the beautiful portion of humanity; that your food, and particularly your luxuries, are produced or imported at a great and needless expense of human life.
The mildest form of murder any of you commit, is reading a book or newspaper; to produce which, the lives of printers and book binders are robbed of one third the length human beings even now average; and the other two thirds are miserably spoiled in damp, noisome vaults, or over the health destroying fumes of burning charcoal. But you and your families want necessaries, and even luxuries and elegances, do they? So, equally, do I and mine; and I murdered to procure them, but not by wholesale, or by lingering torments as you do.
I robbed and stole, but not on a scale sufficiently magnificent to ensure impunity, as I see some of my accusers, and judges, have done; nor with anything like so much criminality. I was bold, and neither betrayed a trust, or was guilty of treachery or ingratitude; and above all, I was innocent of perjury. I did not run in debt for thousands, or hundreds of thousands, and then, put my plunder into the hands of an accomplice, and swear I was worth nothing.
I passed counterfeit money, and thus inflated the currency and stimulated trade, to the detriment of labor, as do all dealers in paper money. True, my currency proved, in the end, to be worth nothing, as does much of yours. But if your legal paper, together with the legal notes founded thereon, was brought to the test of specie payment all at once, as my paper was, and if you were not allowed, as I was not, to keep putting out bad money with one hand, whilst discounting it with the other, how much difference, in specie value, would there prove to be, between your paper and mine? Besides, when my paper was ail tested and failed, the bad consequences were very slight. But when your paper is all tested, as it is every ten or fifteen years, as near as your more adroit and complex villainy will leave, it possible to be, and, as it always turns out, proves to be worth next to nothing, it produces universal distress, and of a kind more poignant than even your victims are generally used to.
I committed adultery and fornication; and if such “crimes” are not about as common as eating, pray what supplies the tide of prostitution which now deluges society?
The difference between you and me is, my criminality is so simple, as to be somewhat easily detected; and I am so weak as to be easily punished 5 whilst your rascality is so vast, so complicated, so infernal, as to render vindictive punishment out of the question, except, occasionally, by other gangs or mobs, or by vigilance committees. You got a good drubbing by the French revolution; but it did you no more good, than hanging or imprisoning does individuals like me.
But I will degrade myself no further in my own estimation, by condescending to admit, as I thus far have done, tor the sake of the argument, that my crimes are anything at all, in comparison to yours. I am in your power, and you will no doubt do whatever injustice, cruelty, and cowardice shall dictate. Do so. I hate, I despise, I almost even pity you. I am ashamed of nothing so much, as that I belong to the same race you do,
You will meanly and vindictively sentence me to instant death. But first you shall hear the sentence which I pronounce; which justice approves, and which nature, from whose almighty power you cannot escape, will execute. Your sentence is, (until you completely reform your conduct, and so thoroughly repent, as to look on yourselves as infinitely more disgraced than I shall be ‘whilst dangling on the gallows) to endure the increasing torments of the hell of hotch-potch sociology; to go through life, cheating, robbing, devouring, and mutually tormenting each other in pursuit of happiness, and to die pitiably whining that you have not found it “here below,” and with the horrible foreboding that all the happiness you will get “hereafter,” may prove to be most damnably over the left.
* Whilst this is being penned, (September 28th, 1858.) the monster criminal is diverting the attention of the gawkies of New York from his wholesale enormities, by endeavoring to entangle a few individuals in the meshes of bogus law, for the “crime” of stereoscoping men and women as nature made them, instead of as tailors, milliners, and dressmakers caricature them.
† Vide recent examples in San Francisco, New Orleans, and Staten Island.
Question 44.—What will be the test of right, goodness, and virtue, under Positive Sociology? .
Answer.—Happiness, not founded on misery.
Question 45.—What is the ultra-naturalistico-demagogocratico test of all these?
Answer.—Success. The sum of all villainies, is honored with the title of civil government.
Question 46.—But will not Positive Sociology be very expensive?
Answer.—Expensive, let us see. After Positive Sociology shall have been fully established, the expense of keeping up a grand central head, furnished with a sufficient scientific college, and all the requisites for exploring and reducing to formula, for distribution, and practical application, all discovered science, and for pursuing it to perfection, may cost, we will say, fifty millions (though it may fall short of this by one half,) annually. The expense of keeping up the requisite number of Positivistic sub-churches, or societies, or boards of directors and scientific discoverers, as hereinbefore described, cannot exceed that of the various false churches to be superseded. True, even the sub-churches of Positivism must be on a scale of magnificence, far exceeding that of the ultra-naturalistic ones; but each true church will accommodate the congregations which now assemble in from six to eight superstition shops.
If it is objected that this rule will not work in the rural districts, where the population are so scattered, it must not be forgotten that when the competitive, or cutthroat system, is abandoned, and when a friendly co-partnership is formed between skill, capital and labor, now such deadly foes, neither city nor country-will be what they now are. Cities will not then be excrescences on the body politic, nor will the rural districts be, as now, but limbs, dry and shrivelled, from having their blood—(wealth)—drawn from them, to supply corruption and putridity for the body politics’ issues.
False, unnecessary, mischievous industry will cease, and the seaboard cities will be but points of entrance and departure for necessary commerce, and for voyagers and travellers. The wealth which now swells cities and commerce to such morally gouty and dropsical proportions, will, immeasurably augmented, dot the country all over with villages, and eventually with phalanxes; and producers and consumers, farmers, mechanics, manufacturers, and the scientific and artistic, will thus be brought into close proximity. The people of the United States will not then be, vulture like, praying with all their hearts, that war or famine in Europe will furnish them a market for their grain. Positivism can then extend its dominion, equally well, everywhere; and mankind will no’ more fight, cheat, or oppress each other.
The seventh portion of time, originally set apart for the worship of the sun, and since devoted to the service of a far gloomier and more mischievous superstition, will be a day sacred to all that can delight, elevate, and benefit man, either physically or intellectually; and then, “morality” will take care of itself; we shall want no homilies on what we ought to do; in proportion as universal wealth displaces almost universal want, we can dispense with the poverty stricken, suicidal “morality” of self-denial.
Individuals can no more, do wrong’ when the whole body politic is right, than they can do right when the whole body politic is wrong.
Duties must necessarily be enforced by penalties; they are, therefore, but pretexts for all that is vindictive, spiteful, malicious, and revengeful.
I do not even write this, and strive to elevate mankind, whilst I might be, by a different use of brain strength, contriving plans for getting the better of them, and thus amassing wealth, and gaining all which now constitutes respectability in their estimation. I say, I do not act from a sense of duty, but from pure inclination.
“You ought to,” to be ever so slightly effective, must be followed by “you shall, or be punished;” and they who act, or refrain from acting, from fear of ought external, are either slaves or cowards,
After eighteen hundred and fifty-eight years of exhortation, with at least a fifty million parson power, to the duty of loving our neighbor as ourselves, and notwithstanding the penalty for the non performance of this duty is eternal damnation, do the moral quacks who vend the nostrum, duty, love mankind, or even their immediate neighbors, with more fervor than do those they impudently stigmatize as sinners?
Give us the science and art of being good, and the quacks who now vend the duty of being so, will soon find neither sinners to buy, nor fools to take, their nostrum.
As soon as real laws emanate from so respectable a source as even the nucleus Positivistic Church, government, or society, must and will be, such laws will be obeyed to the utmost possible extent; and: the will to obey them fully, will be so determined, that it will soon, aided by science, find a way. Science must soon find a corresponding art. The ladies will discover, that in proportion as they obey these laws, their charms will increase; and people of both sexes will find health, happiness and long life to depend on obeying; not blindly, but understandingly.
Ultra-naturalism has become the scorn of the more intelligent portion of the civilized world, and is rapidly becoming discredited among its teachers; who are thus rendered still more capable of imposing on the multitude whom they lead; and the cause of the human race would indeed seem hopeless, but for two vitally important facts, which infidels to mankind have never taken the pains to consider.
First Fact—When nearly all who deceive mankind, do so knowingly, and each discovers the other to be but a contemptible scoundrel, their abhorrence will be mutual, and as hearty as their contempt for those whose confidence they abuse; but no consideration can induce men, however depraved, to continue a course which they are aware makes them abhorred by all except those whose friendship or good opinion they themselves despise.
Second Fact—When the leaders and more intelligent classes are thoroughly convinced as above, they will almost simultaneously that the misery consequent on error and deception, must be all but equally the lot of deceivers and deceived; that the perfect, and, in effect, eternal happiness, which is obtainable on earth, must be shared by all, in order to be enjoyed by any, and that they actually hold the keys to the real kingdom of heaven. This will be the turning point from whence all the world will be suddenly led into Positive Sociology.
In Positive Sociology, human beings will wonder how our race could ever have existed in antagonistic, hotchpotch sociology: and the incredulity with respect to the past, will be far greater than it now is with respect to the future. If the science of man’s future now seems too good to be practical, the history of his past, will hereafter, seem too dad to be possible; and a full half of it will doubtlessly be rejected as fabulous; as too infernal to be natural.
Obstacles which now seem insurmountable will vanish rapidly, when they begin’ to give way in good earnest; mankind will rush on, as if by steam power, from one improvement to another, when, from their very infancy, all their faculties, both mental and physical, will be expanded, and all their senses delighted, by Positivism; and when reason destroying ultra-naturalism, Which now shades all with gloom, and almost wholly blocks the wheels of the car of sociological progress, will be no more, and when all that can benefit shall be introduced by and commingled with, all that can delight and gladden; under such an impetus, science will, as we have shown, conquer even death itself; or leave it but a nominal existence; for without pain or grief, we shall, perfectly fulfilled, perfectly satisfied with life and happiness, both as to quality and quantity, having obtained “our being’s end and’ aim,” as calmly resign ourselves to eternal forgetfulness, as we now nightly do to a forgetfulness of from six to ten hours duration.
Positive Sociology will have the essence of science for its base, and will provide against failure. Hotch-potch sociology has mystery for its base, and a jumble of short sighted expedients and failing experiments for its superstructure; if those can be properly called failing experiments the failure of which is clearly foreseen, deliberately provided for, and constantly and understandingly reproduced.
Demagogocracy has transferred religious infallibility from Popes to everybody, and shifted absolute authority, or divine right, from kings to majorities; but, as confusion itself must take some form, constitutionalism resulted; which, though flexible as caoutchouc, is, in connection with that opaque entanglement, statute law, considered such a perfect basis for the political structure, that the suggestion of any improvement is sneered at as Utopian.
Our federal experiment, soi disant government, including our army, navy, and custom-house nuisances, and the clumsy manner in which the post-office is managed, now cost about eighty million dollars annually. Estimating our state, county, town, and superstition shop bamboozling, and our gibbet, prison, and alms-house abominations to cost three hundred and sixty million dollars more, (and it cannot be less than that, as superstition alone, exclusive of the expense of new mystery shops, costs two hundred millions) we have a total of four hundred and fifty million dollars per annum, plundered from us, by the rascally or ignorant recipients of freely delegated spiritual and temporal power, and by them expended in keeping us as miserable as we possibly can be—so wretched that we despair of happiness till after death!
And they who produce, and are endeavoring to perpetuate such results, sneer at all attempts to. produce better ones, as Utopian! and have the insulting impudence to caution the world against experiments which might fail!
Four hundred and fifty million dollars a year for humbug and misery! My dear fellow sufferers, admitting that misery and imposition are fixed institutions for earth, we shall lose even our character for “smartness,” if we do not contrive to get our hoaxing and tormenting done at least fifty per cent. cheaper.
But. away with half measures—the blindest of experiments—the most absurd of Utopias; and know, that it is axiomatically certain, as has herein been demonstrated, that the evolution and application of a high law, through which political, and all other evil, will be banished, and the reign of truth, justice, freedom, and universal, and as good as eternal happiness inaugurated, awaits but the action of the scientific and artistic, the leadership of those who shape education—the clergy—the support of capitalists, and the co-operation of people of good sense; and that all these means are in such a state of forwardness, that their spontaneous realization is but a question of time.