RELIGION OF SCIENCE;
THE ART OF ACTUALIZING LIBERTY, AND OF PERFECTING AND SUFFICIENTLY PROLONGING HAPPINESS:
BEING A PRACTICAL ANSWER TO THE GREAT QUESTION,—
“If you take away my Religion, what will
you give me in its stead?”
CALVIN BLANCHARD, 16 NASSAU STREET,
The Religion of Science alone, can be the antidote to the Religion of Mystery, and to the arbitrary rule, unjust law, impracticable morality, and suicidal virtue founded thereon.
Religion to be true, to be Religion, must be a present, living, dynamical, intelligible, actuality; not a by-gone speculative abstraction, or moral fossil—a spectre of the past, beckoning man backwards, encouraging a rejection of the new for the old, and mysteriously pointing at life, through the dark portals of death.
The Religion of Science will be the constantly higher and higher law which knowledge, when harmoniously connected, when organized into a living body of doctrine, as it demonstrably must soon be, will ever clearer and more efficiently reveal and develop, up to the perfection point.
The Government of Science will be the regulation of voluntary action according to the Religion of Science; the direction of progress in consonance with order; the aider instead of the represser of desirable human action; and finally, the liberator of voluntary action from all obstacles—from all the hindrances which the discordancy of its own action, and the discordancy of the action of nature other than human, now oppose.
The Government of Science will find out nature’s laws, and facilitate, to the utmost possible, their operation; thus eliminating Despotism, which wholly consists in ignorantly making laws for nature to go by.
The Government of Science must, therefore, be the only possible free Government—the sole remedy for monarchical, aristocratical, and majority despotism, and for all quackery and imposture.
Scientifically and harmoniously organized, and scientifically regulated and directed collective man, and all nature or existence in the connection developed to the utmost, alone can fully actualize perfect liberty, goodness, and happiness.
Government is naturally the practice, to which the current religion furnishes the theory. Religion and government mutually expound each other, equally whether they profess to do so or not. Therefore, the State must inevitably be in either open or clandestine union with the inevitably co-existing church; the true church is indispensibly requisite to a tree state—nay, as soon as the first exists, the latter must inevitably co-exist, and wherever a people are restricted, either by monarchical, aristocratical, or majority force, the social theory—the Religion—is lame, incompetent, false.
Despotism and false, alias “mysterious” religion are inseparable; and the assumption that there is no union of church and state in the United States, is an impudent falsehood, a treacherous snare, and a most mischievous delusion.
Until wisdom and knowledge have, through the harmonious reorganization of the body politic, the faith and sustaining influence of the majority, popular government can but re-enact whatever follies, blunders and tyrannies absolutism may have instituted; and, (as disorder is the fundamental law of evil,) in a manner as much more mischievous as it is unavoidably more confused; and demagogism and majority domination must continue to settle back again to the monarchism from whence they periodically foam, till Science conquers Sociology. Until collective man is as perfectly organized as is, or rather will be, individual man, free government will be an impossibility; and until collective man commences to be so organized, individual man can no more commence to be free, than a clock can commence to run whilst every wheel and spring of it is out of harmony with every other.
The only effectual step even towards reforming or improving man, individually or collectively; towards making him better, happier, or more free; must be, to prevent him from the cradle, from being miseducated; to indoctrinate him, as soon as he is capable of being taught, in the principles of the Religion which Science, as a whole, reveals. Man’s first educationally stamped impressions, form the citadel which insures to those who command it, the empire of the world. Not Emperors, Kings, or Presidents, but the authors of man’s cradle hymns and nursery tales are, and ever have been man’s most influential rulers and law-givers; and ever must, and ever should be such.
Free discussion can, at most, but partially extract the poison of false education from the minds of a few peculiarly gifted individuals; all the good of doing which, inevitably becomes neutralized by the many, whose weaker, or at least differently constituted intellectual organs have been so effectually maimed, that they cannot, as experience has fully shown, be thus influenced.
The ballot-box, inexorably true to its lower law nature, has unswervingly resisted the oft repeated attempts of both good intentionism and moral alchemy; stubbornly refusing to be either coaxed or transmuted into anything but that modern Pandora’s box—political quackery’s medicine-chest. The elective franchise is the oppressionometer which tells how high the power of the majority rises; and, consequently, to what degree they whom the majority back, may safely tyranize over the minority.
The logic of elective government is, that the majority—the strongest—has a right to tyrannize, to the full extent of their power, over the minority—the weakest; that “to the victors belong the spoils.” The only general consolation being, that everybody is at liberty to avail himself of every artifice, fraud, or force which he and his fellow conspirators can employ, in order to oppress instead of being oppressed—to have the “legal” privilege to plunder, instead of being “legally” plundered.
Free Government can be nothing less than the Art of Arts, to which True Religion must be its corresponding Science of Sciences; and they who preach liberty from any other stand-point, are either circumscribed, weak, deluded, or so abominably corrupt, and so blind to real self-interest, as to mean spoils.
“Supernaturalism,” is, unconsciously, the quintescence of sensualness; it is, when stripped of its sophistical verbiage, distance-dimmed and incoherent view of, and an uncritical impatience for, those final creations of the substantial—perfect liberty, perfect goodness, and perfect and satisfactorily-lasting or “eternal” happiness, which will—
Constitute the completion of Development;.
Be to the Highest Conceivable, its Corresponding Possible;
Demonstrate that Omnipotency is not in a mere subjective abstraction, but in the Sensibly Existent;
Transform Earth to Heaven;
Be the fullfilling of Man, and thus, his reconciliation with Perceptibility;
Base the Subjective on the Objective, and, in short,
Manifest Nature’s Sufficiency.
In my Title-page and Propositional, I have striven most industriously to give some idea of the drift of my work. This, every author ought to do; particularly if his writings have a comprehensive meaning, or involve general principles: in order neither to inconvenience and uselessly disturb that vast number of readers who eschew meaning which requires unusual mental exertion to understand, nor annoy those with “established principles” which, “right or wrong,” are “felt to be true,” and, of course “safe.” Surely, the liberty to think as we please, (if we can do so,) as we are taught, or, even, not to think at all where we are incapable, equally with the right to think as we must, or as, from the best information obtainable, we can, is entitled to protection from guile, violence, or even carelessness.
If people were honestly apprised of the drift of books, sermons, discourses, orations, and plays, few would be betrayed into a mere smattering of what they are so incapable of comprehending distinctly, that they flounder about therein as ridiculously as an incapable swimmer roils up, spatters about, and chokes, or perhaps drowns himself and others in water deeper than that into which he should have ventured or been deluded.
It is, therefore, deeply to be regreted that, as a general rule, we might as well attempt to calculate the tonnage of ships from their names, as to try to find out anything respecting the meaning of books from their titles; worse still, it is the sole object of most books, and of most public teaching, preaching, and intellectual amusement, by decorating prejudices in the most attractive colors, to make the masses who entertain them, pay for flattery in the guise of instruction. Of course, neither readers nor hearers are ever apprized of all this.
The short title—The Religion of Science—would have been sufficiently significant to the very few who might have caught its import; but it would have led many into the supposition that this was but another of those ridiculous attempts to reconcile the fragmentary knowledge which so absurdly passes for science, with the Protestantish contradictions which exhibit “supernatural” Catholicity’s decay; and which with corresponding absurdity, are accepted for Re-ligion.
The original interpreters of original revelation, inspired by egotism, guided by feeling, and pressed by instant necessity for a decision, based the universe itself on mere subjectivity; pending the orthodoxy of that decision, religion, law, and morality, (of course poised on the same point no point) have been but mere impracticabilities and vain abstractions; and government, from the domination of one, to that of the majority, has been as despotic and anarchical as the entire lack of science therein could make it.
But I (not through any superiority of which I feel in the slightest degree boastful, but in consequence of inheriting an organism which under favoring circumstances, has enabled me to seize the meaning of nineteenth century revelation, notwithstanding its confusion and incoherency) have demonstrated, within the compass of these few pages, how to reverse the present bottom upwards, wrong end foremost, mutually condemnatory state of things. I have given an outline of a religious, governmental, and social system whose basis will be the knowable; and which is to displace that mockery of system which is based on that synonym for ignorance —mystery; on that original bold assumption of utter inexperience, now so monstrously incompatible; and to attempt to systematize which, millions of volumes, “religious,” “legal,” and “moral,” have been, of course, vainly written, and enough to make millions of millions more, as vainly spoken. Oh, how much paper, ink, leather, gilding—in short, time and labor, have been wasted in disgracing books? Oh, how man has been imposed upon—bewildered—” stuffed”—by words without meaning; b}T articulate sounds, devoid of either sense or music.
They who have hitherto advanced new views on subjects in which all are vitally interested, have thereby incurred a hatred too indelible for anything short of the adoption of, and long habituation to, those views, to eradicate; for men continue, often for generations, to hate those on whose account they have committed the folly of hating unjustly. Besides, there is nothing so provoking as the barren discovery that we have been befooled; and men will forgive, nay, even cherish, the very authors of their humiliation, provided that that humiliation has been so general as to be respectable, sooner than they will look complacently on those who made them sensible of it without showing them how to escape it.
But Pantheism, the half-way station between “supernaturalism” and the Religion of Science, is now, though generally under the name of “Christianity,” or “the prevailing religion,” all but universal in the scientific world; and even in many of the most fashionable “Christian churches” the masses sleep as quietly under that doctrine, but thinly disguised, as they used to under preaching the most orthodox.
And inasmuch, as I am amply furnished with the new and efficient with which to supercede the old and effete, and instead of warring on the interests of any, am going to demonstrate how those of all may be immeasurably benefited, I have no fears of experiencing the unhappy fate of my predecessors, who, under less auspicious circumstances, could not be thus fortified; and yet the more honor to them, stood unflinchingly in the cause of the human race, braving crucifixion, the stake, the rack, the dungeon, and the spite and malice of those to whose redemption they were devoting themselves.
Religion, from its incipiency to its full development, is naturally man’s highest law. Its evolution is divisible into three stages—the mystical, the opinionistic, and the demonstrable. Religion, we must not forget, was never so completely mysterious as to be wholly unscientific; had it been so, it would have been veritably “supernatural.”
Leaders of Mankind—You shall no longer be blind with respect to the suicidal nature of the policy your narrow selfishness prompts you to adopt. Those of you who are gifted with even a moderate degree of discernment have always been aware that your positions, like those of the “upper classes” of mankind throughout, avail you little or nothing in the way of happiness; you simply did not see why; you did not know, as you now shall, that there is an ample alternative between the unvarnished wretchedness and the gilded misery which have hitherto constituted the two horns of man’s delimma. You shall herein discover how to procure for yourselves, and by so doing for the masses whom you direct, the perfect and satisfactorily-lasting happiness of which you, in common with all mankind, have hitherto but faintly dreamed—in which you have merely believed.
Ye who, with a zeal worthy to be coupled with the highest knowledge, would impose on mankind individually, in addition to the specialties to which they have to attend, the mastery of the universal Science of Sciences and Art of Arts of their own perfection; and, (as moral evil is but the consequence of physical evil) of the perfection or full development of all else in the connection; —You are now the chief stumbling-blocks in the way of progress. How can you not see that great, general, all comprehensive views, and the practical application of all Science are so utterly beyond the capabilities of the many, that ‘tis incalculably easier to palm off on them a uselessly old religion, (and a system of government, law, or morals to correspond) than to wheedle them into purchasing even a second-hand coat—to swindle them out of the value of their heads, than to cheat them out of the price of their hats. That although they would not tolerate a fashion not “the very latest” in their clothes, the very oldest fashion—a fashion as old as human nature; and as uncouth as primitive savageism could invent—is good enough in their estimation, for their most important theories—for even their religious opinions. Nay, they actually value such theories or opinions, in consequence of the oldness of their fashion, and do not discern their entire inapplicability to human affairs in this age.
If a particularly accommodating pedler offers to sell a hat to one of “the people,” whom you consider their own best judges of religion, and competent to fathom that deepest and most complicated matter—Sociology; if that hat fits his head, and, like “supernatural” religion, “feels true,’- he will look all the more sharply, ere he pays for it, to see that it is not his own hat, which has been stolen and ironed over. But when the adroit thieves and smooth tongued peddlers of opinion on a matter (religion) as complicated as man’s salvation, lovingly offer to sell to him their mystical merchandise— their “supernatural’“ furnishing for the head, although every tatter of it fit human nature as naturally as an old hat, (so old, even, that its value has wholly departed,) fits its old head, and has, therefore, a perfectly natural appearance, he never suspects that it has been stolen from his own human nature, even when that nature was savagely natural; but readily buys the old trumpery for supernatural, and at an all but supernatural price; blind to its completely worn out condition, or easily persuaded to value it all the more highly on that account; and stone blind to the glaring fact that it is stolen merchandise—originally stolen from his earliest progenitors, polished over with mystery, palmed back on them for “supernatural,” and has been thus successively stolen, polished, and palmed off, ever since, by the predecessors of the pedling thieves and swindlers who now offer it to him, and who have the effrontry to demand a price for it, increased in the ratio of its delapidation.
But there is a point where falsehood, spite of the silly ingenuity of knavery and the combined force of folly, must caluminate; and “supernatural” religion and its corresponding governmental, social, and moral despotism have reached that point in decay where even the putty of virtue is utterly inadequate to their porousness; and where both Protestant and Elective-franchise varnish daub instead of polishing.
Victims of treacherous or blind leaders—“Masses”—“the People;”—My respect for opinions really yours —your special opinions—your opinions on things of such immediate importance that life itself depends on them, and my friendship for you are such, that I frankly tell you, that with respect to the general opinions which you simply “entertain,” without knowing any more about them than an uninquisitive host does about the business of his lodgers, I utterly dispise them; have altogether repudiated them; and you cannot too quickly do the same. Not that they were not worth something—nay, as good as circumstances would permit, originally; but they have been handed down from remote and savage ages, and hawked about by peddling thieves, till they are completely worn out; besides, they are as inapplicable to the intelligence of the nineteenth century, as bark canoes are to its commerce—as out of place as Comanches or Esquimaux would be in a printing office or steam-engine manufactory—as inefficient as bows and arrows would be in an attack on Sebastopol. Still as anything is better than nothing, you have acted wisely in clinging to the old balderdash till the Religion of Science was, as it herein is, revealed. For the provisional wooden arch cannot, without fatal consequences, be demolished, till the permanent stone one is in a condition to superceed it.
Mankind—So long as your most important principles exist only in words or on paper; and are, from age, too decripid for use, and fit but to be talked about, faught about, quarrelled about, hawked about, or prayed, sermonized, and sung over one day in seven: so long as your practical ethics, throughout, are s0 savage that success sanctifies crime, and misfortune principally marks vice; cowardice may applaud, and avarice may flatter, but the honest and thoroughly scientific, whilst they love and pitty you, must despise the rickety old notions you now unnecessarily cling to and call faith, the stale old fogyisms you dignify by the name of opinion, the wretched, superanuated, inventions you call law, the refined cruelty you call virtue and morality; and must most cordially hate the abominable compound of rascality, treachery, and brutality which yon mutually inflict and submit to, under the name of government.
I have shown how man may be governed by the highest wisdom and capability, instead of by the lowest, or even middle rate folly and the vilest quackery; by those with the science of human and all other nature for their aid, and whose selfishness will be so enlightened that the periphery of its radius will include and benefit all sentient beings, instead of by those whose selfishness is so contracted and narrow that it squeezes its owners out of all comfort, has no radiation, and converts human beings into moral darknesses, clashing antagonistically and miserably with each other.
Civilized man has hitherto been governed by permanent bands of gorged brigands, sustained by a sordid “supernaturalistically” ferocious soldiery, or by successive gangs of hungry furies, backed by the “supernaturally” blind prejudice and overwhelming force of the lowest and most brutal of mankind.
But an ample alternative is herein elaborated. Complete liberty and perfect and satisfactorily-lasting happiness are within the province of ART; the preliminaries of the corresponding SCIENCE to which, will herein be found fully explained; and the guarantee that this all-sufficient Science and Art will be used instead of abused by its high professors, will consists not in their “virtue,” not in their “honesty,” not in their “sense of duty,” but in their enlightened selfishness—in the full knowledge that their own perfect and satisfactorilylasting happiness can be secured only in connection with that of all.
Leaders of Mankind! whether such by right of birth, usurpation, majority force, or right divine; you shall at length fully understand your real interests. I ask nothing of you on the strength of what you ought to do. I defy you to pursue your absurdly short-sighted,” pennywise, pound-foolish,” equally murderous and suicidal schemes much longer.
Nature does not possess the power to be inert. Were all existence reduced to its elements—or attenuated to a condition the thinnest and weakest conceivable—it would of itself, thence proceed, not only to its present condition, but to the perfect one, the outlines of which we shall present.
Creation is that adaptation, through development, of supply to demand, which, in the very nature of All Existence of which we can conceive, cannot stop short of completion. Absolute creation, whether of matter, phenomena, or mere space and duration, is unintelligible.
Neither the earth, nor man, are yet created. Material constituents are still so far from being adjusted to their best capacity, that much of the surface of our globe is continually frozen; a greater portion perpetually scorched, and the remainder is but barely tolerable. Earthquakes and volcanoes do still fearfully devastate, and tempests destroy, except when gathering fury. Pestilence has not been banished, nor famine prevented. In short, developement is yet only preliminary; supply, except very partially, being still dormant or latent, and demand, consequently, being in dreadful excess.
Human nature, like its progenitor, is also at apparent war with itself. Man is a bundle of ill defined wants, quarrelling fearfully with his ignorance for satisfaction, and wrong and outrage seem to be inconquerably triumphant.
But let us give tongues to the passions, their opposers, their would-be pacifiers, and their will-be satisfier:
Reason. [To the Passions.] Blind and insensate furies, whose appetites feeding does but augment, what will content ye?
The Passions. That alone, which, to desire, though ever so insatiably, yet does pledge the power which made us to bestow, or model us to its capacity to give, or forfeit all claim to be considered just, or wise, or ought but malevolence or impotency.
That power, whom you call nature, and extol as highest, as yet has made us but a half, intensely furious for our complement. “We would have satisfaction. Feeding? Poor scrimp! Can you judge our capacities, and what should fill them? “We are not so insensate as to be wheedled into compromise. We will have all, or vengeance. We are not half so blind as our enemies—fools, whom even the dearest experience fails to teach—are lame. Since our existence we have been opposed, and thereby actually strengthened, instead of being conquered; whilst cowardly retreat, or worse disaster, has befell our foes. Still, they persist, and blindly think us blind.
Virtue. [To Reason.] Confer not with the Passions; ‘tis most dangerous. They listen not to persuasion. Compromise (so pure, so select, and holy is my nature) would so defile me, as entire surrender. Suspicion’s breath would soil my purity. Suspicion must not even look on me.
Science. Could all passion be sated, all must be well. How’s the question: and that, I alone can answer. The Passions unopposed, what harm would come, which warring with them does not now produce? The Passions conquered, nature would be dead. ‘Till all be had, which nature prompts to ask, nature will stand a failure so apparent, that the real will be scorned for the unreal, folly be rampant, ignorance supreme, religion be a fraud, law a hoax, government despotism, and man a victim— a greater or a lesser dupe.
Old Fogyism. What! let the Passions run riot? As though they did not cause misery enough now, in spite of all our efforts to keep them in subjection. It is impossible to satisfy the Passions. Anarchy would result from the attempt. They must be repressed. Constraint —force—law—both statutory and moral—are the only practical measures.
Supernaturalism. [To the Passions.] Continue to repose your faith in me, and I will give you, in the world to come, more satisfaction than you yet can ask; bliss too extatic to be now conceived.
Demagogism. And I will, for man’s suffrages, be his humble servant in helping the majority to all the liberty which freedom of opinion can bestow. What more can be reasonably expected? Hasn’t the majority a right to rule? Hurrah!
Reason. Believe not Supernaturalism’s promises. When stripped of their deceitful verbiage, they amount but to engagements to satisfy desire after it has ceased. Learn to be content with nature’s laws, as they have stood revealed, for countless ages.
The Passions. Reason, thou idiot. Can we be content with discontent? Or satisfied with dissatisfaction? Demagogism, you have sorely disappointed us thus far, but we are full of hope. Supernaturalism, we half mistrust you; but ‘till nature does fulfil her engagements with us, we will with you, cry shame upon her.
Science. Reason, ‘tis evident you can give man nothing; nay, you do but strive to reconcile him to what he now endures from lacking almost everything; you are utterly inefficient as a leader; and when the age of reason, that transition period, now culminating, which intervenes between the age of credulity and the age of certainty—the age of ought to and the age of how to—is passed, you will subside into your proper, very useful, but quite subordinate position.
If supernaturalism is ridiculously extravagant, you are absurdly parsimonious; if she is extremely wild, you are excessively tame. In short, you are too cautious to venture beyond what you so precisely know, that you understand only as much even about me, as one not a master builder, could comprehend of the most splendid possible edifice, from seeing its unjoined parts in detail.
Of course, you are too short sighted to see that supernaturalism at bottom, is, though unconsciously, the very kernel of naturalism; the husks of which, you are ignorant how to strip off: that, in the language of Humbolt, “in the early ages of mankind there manifests itself in the simple intuition of natural facts, and in the efforts made to comprehend them, the germ of the philosophy of nature.”
Man, even in his incipiency, instinctively, though unconsciously, constituted himself nature’s God; and instinct is, at bottom, always true. And when collective man, is organized or developed, all nature in the connection will actually have an intelligence whose modifying or creative power will be similar to that which the body of an individual possesses in a will.
Man’s supernaturalistic instinct does not materially differ from all his primitive notions or instincts. If man’s instinctive astronomy had been merely opposed, astronomy would still have been where religion now is —” as it was in the beginning.” Ignorance, error, and egotism are remarkably proportioned.
Except breathing, nothing could have been more natural to primitive man than “supernaturalism.” It was humanity’s common instinct, or religion. As such, it is therefore that law, to which all others must be referable and subordinate, which will constantly become higher, till scientific certainty, or the highest law is attained; and the utter destruction of which law, at any stage of its progress, would sink man below the meanest beasts, whom simple mentality leads directly to their goal.
“Supernaturalism” was the first advance which perfect ignorance could make towards understanding, or knowledge. It was the cradle hymn of humanity’s mental infancy. It preserved that infancy from statical error, or despair. It was, and is, man’s crude, yet (having nature’s guarantee,) full assurance of the perfection to which he will actually and of course on earth, arrive.
Man cannot conceive, and therefore cannot desire the annihilation of time, space, and means; in short, miracle. Thus, all that man really wishes, nature contains the rough material for; and, though man may long neglect and abuse, he eventually must use it. Human feeling is significant and prophetic of, and a guarantee for satisfaction—though it seems, at present to have existed for the especial purpose of being suppressed.
If supernaturalism was not natural, man could never have had anything to do with it; nor could he have exercised the least shadow of thought upon it.
Supernaturalism consists of naturalism in a condition so undeveloped and therefore mysterious, as to seem, except to the scientific seer, wholly out of nature; or wholly erroneous. Reason, therefore, allies itself with barren skepticism, which, mistaking my present partially developed and almost wholly unjoined parts for all I am capable of being, strives to reconcile man with what is considered from this point of view “practical.”
Reason and skepticism would indiscriminately annihilate supernaturalism; yet when asked humanity’s great question—“If you destroy our religion, what will you give us in its stead?” this is practically the answer:
“We will give you relief from the fear of future punishment, if you happen to have the leisure and ability to become philosophers. Learn to smother your wild aspirations, and to subdue those extravagant desires for perfect happiness, with which you are endowed but to tantalize and befool you.
Govern—nay, suppress your natural passions; curtail yourself down to the point below which would be suicide even in vulgar estimation.
You are but dreaming, when you think that nature’s power, whether in or out of nature, will not sooner fail, and prove bankrupt, than pay all which the impatient human passions “feel” they are that power’s pledges to pay.
Beware of Utopias, both spiritual and temporal.
Whenever, “in the course of human events,” monarchy becomes unbearable, the blood remedy will be at your service, and patriotism will be on hand to stir up popular folly, in the name of liberty, to transfer you, through glory and rapine, to demagogocracy; and when that, backed by the force of majority despotism, becomes too “smart” to be endured, you can wade through human gore back again to monarchy, via military dictatorship.
If you are poor, as nine-tenths of you must inevitably be, amuse yourselves by striving, by every possible means, to become rich. Keep it constantly in view that “a penny a day is a pound a year,” and that indulgence in pleasure will most probably end in deprivation of even comfort. You may thus, if you are uncommonly lucky, succeed in accumulating a fortune, to torment you through life with its guardianship, and be transmitted to your heirs, for them to be tormented with in turn, squander, or be cheated out of.
Jog along somehow, and at last stoically meet a painful—probably a lingering death, and philosophically resign yourselves back to the unconscious elements from whence you sprang.”
Is this nature’s ultimatum? History and experience, very narrowly and literally construed, say yes; and skepticism allows the blind and stupid verdict to be recorded without taking exceptions. But science, who sees best when the object is not stuck quite into its eyes, at length, most emphatically and demonstrably says no; even human instinct—faith—is longer-sighted, and therefore a better judge here than are imperfect reason and nugatory skepticism. For absolute evil has no existence; what seems to be evil, being either unused or misused good.
Is it not certain, that so long as supernaturalism is indiscriminately opposed, it will continue to ally itself wholly with popular folly, and that religious, political, and moral quacks and impostors will have it pretty much their own way, and keep earth such a hell, that man will continue to look beyond the skies, for the happiness, liberty, and perfection, which he knows are his due somehow, and which he will despair of obtaining here below?
Notwithstanding the helter-skelter knowledge which the nineteenth century boasts; and strives to disseminate in separate branches; notwithstanding the freedom of the multitude, to make whatever out of all this jumble of isolated facts, their leisure and hood-winked capacities permit; is not that basis of free discussion—Protestantism—losing ground? and do not Mormonism, Millerism, pseudo-Sabbathism, and a hundred other isms, demonstrate that it is as easy to deceive the many, even now; and that, too, as grossly, as it was during the darkest ages?
If the masses are as capable of reasoning as infidelity supposes them to be—could free discussion succeed in convincing all, that “divine revelation” is the fallacy it is—could even priestcraft be annihilated—what practical good would all this effect? Systems cannot, however absurd, be so bad, as not to be better than none; and, therefore, they who have no better ones to offer, have no right to destroy, or rather attempt to destroy, those which exist. What can mere negation do?
Man cannot need, cannot be imagined to have, and therefore does not, in reality desire, more than nature can give; for even eternity is substantially, through developement of nature, realizable in time; sufficient time is all that man can conceive or desire of eternity.
But primitive ignorance, systematically confirmed by popular education, so jumbles together man’s ideas, that he knows not what he asks, and therefore asks what he wants not; he misconceives his own desires, and consequently pronounces nature insufficient to satisfy them. He does not see that pleasurable self-consciousness is in its very nature adapted only to sufficient time; that it cannot rationally be desired to be extended eternally; nor that absolutely individual liberty, happiness, or goodness, are no more conceivable, and therefore, in reality, no more desirable, than are independent rotary and orbital motion for each ultimate particle of matter. The most selfish man always, though often unconsciously, associates even his happiness with that of others; and he never imagines himself disconnected, even as a disembodied spirit, from all other sentient beings.
Happiness and liberty are arts; and the business of the leaders of mankind—and man must have leaders, or sink below Zoophytes—is to find out the knowledge—the science—of those arts, and to instruct the people in their practice.
And the assurance that leaders will very soon lead the people right instead of wrong, happily consists in the fact, that henceforth, leaders cannot help very rapidly finding out the right way, and, simultaneously, that even pure selfishness will compel them to lead man therein.
Passions, I know your power. The universe, contains no force sufficient to even trifle with it, with impunity. Still, I fearlessly ask you to confederate with me, on these terms:
By nature’s laws as they will, through me, stand revealed, you shall have in this terrestrial sphere, all which you crave. What say you?
The Passions. Science, we know you only by report, which says you are a dry and tiresome fellow, composed of angles, squares, cubes, circles, Physics, Chemistry, Physiology——
Science. Spare further numeration. These, and more of equal dryness, are my elements; which separately though next to nothing, yet adjusted, organized, combined, leagued with you, with all of simple nature for our base, and reason (whom I perceive is getting disgusted with skepticism, and is more than half discouraged with his bad success as a motor) for our aid, will create man the veritable Supreme Intelligent Being, whose function it will be, to fully accomplish both physical and human nature—to end the apparently to be eternal war now raging throughout.
Supernaturalism. [To Demagogism.] If this confederacy does prevail, I shall be superseded. You, the mere effluvia of that decay which I have long been undergoing, will be naught. Our reign, though seemingly endangered by opposition, has long been thereby, actually secured; action against us has begotten reaction for us, and obscured the real cause of evil, and consequently the remedy; and our power has returned, and always with a force, proportionate to that which temporarily sent it from us.
If Science would, like Reason, attack us with the weapons of debate, and leave those to wield them, whose reasoning faculties, whilst in the bud, I fashioned or suppressed to suit my ends, this would innate vain folly yet again, place learned sophistry above plain sense, and thus disgust the Passions with their new allies, and send them back to our aid. This, could it be compassed, would continue subjectivity above objectivity; keep great ignorance still in power, and us, its directors, at the head, and man still tyranizing over, instead of scientifically perfecting himself. Man never is so much a slave as when he is riveting his own chains, and thinks it liberty. Majority force, under some of its aliases, has always backed those who governed—tyranized—and always must, till how to do, supersedes ought to do in Sociology as in simpler mechanics.
But science, even in her elements or lowest states, admits of no debate; popular folly, courteously termed opinion, is scouted thence. Least of all, can the Science of Sciences be evolved by, or submitted to, popular discussion. We are doomed.
Virtue. But, surely, I cannot be dispensed with. And yet I will never consort with the Passions. Proud Science, I defy you.
Science. I will soon and easily put an end to your mission of misery. You are so narrow, by your own confession, that this world, even now, contains no corner email enough for your convenience; and when it, and man, are complete, when development eliminates moral narrowness altogether, where will you be then? Die you must; and to console you, that which you made prominent, and so effectually served to keep in being—vice—shall die with you.
Can man, through me, not dispense with you, a mere smotherer of joy, at best striving to reconcile man to the permanency of evil? Poverty is your father, ignorance was your grandfather, and self conceit is your sponsor: these being in the majority, your influence is so dangerous that you cause even wholesale suicide to be committed unawares; and you and your family have hitherto managed to cause your system to be applauded instead of condemned, to an extent which man will hardly credit when he comes to his senses; for although your very existence depends on the sophistry which obfuscates all that is true in “supernaturalism”—on mere subjectivity—you have, somehow, more influence over the opponents of “supernaturalism” than over its friends. Neither St. Paul, Ignatius Loyola, Robespierre,* nor the simplest and most unpretending supernaturalists have ever loved you except for the sake of what you promised them: but skeptics have actually undertaken to love, and persuade others to love you, for your own sake; thus falling into the absurdity of adopting the most supernaturalistic part of “supernaturalism.”
I am able, through natural means, to fully liberate man. You have thus far with fatal effect, taught him that to war against and mortify his desires was noble; you have thus deluded him into self-enslavement, “self-conquest,” self-murder.
You have, indeed, forbidden man to put an abrupt end to his existence, as if on purpose to afford yourself the pleasure of gloating over the long torture you persuaded him to murder himself by means of, instead.
If poverty was banished, if nature was so scientifically developed and man so scientifically organized and harmonized that every desire could be gratified, what would be the plea for virtue? where would be vice? Could such absurdities be even conceived of? But for poverty, misery, and “vice,” surely “virtue” could not be even dreamed to exist.
It is as impossible to act against circumstances as it is to believe against evidence. Religious tyranny can but extort wordy assent, which is easily given; whereas virtuous tyranny requires active compliance; and that, too, by individuals; the latter tyranny is therefore as much more despotic than the former, as doing, by individuals, is more difficult than saying.
In the department of chastity, you are but a cover of consciously or unconsciously committed unmentionable and deathly crime. Oh, thou painted sepulchre! But your days, and those of your scape-goat—Vice, are almost numbered. Man, at length thoroughly sick of the cankerous moral philosophy of the Fox who didn’t know how to get the grapes, is about to be neither an ignorance-trammeled slave, nor a virtue and vice-maimed cripple, but his full, unrepressed self.
* “His [Robespiere] speeches are entirely on morality. He professes principles, nothing but principles.”—Lewes’s Life of Robespiere.
One of Robespiere’s cardinal virtuous principles was, that society had no right to inflict the death-penalty for any crime. How utterly unable did he afterwards’ prove to accord his practice with his principles? So much for “virtue;” so much for “principles;” so much for subjectivity’s governing objectivity; so much for humanity’s great scourge—individually attempted morality. Verily self-righteousness is, of all things, most comparable to “filthy rags,” and the individual, unless scientifically and accordantly aided by the almighty power of all in his connection, “can do nothing” but evil.
FUNDAMENTAL, AND ARGUMENTATIVE.
Sec. 1. Law is inseparable from existence. Nothing either subjective or objective can be devoid of mode or manner. We mistakenly pronounce the law of anything good or bad, in proportion as, through our faculties of perception, we are pleasurably or painfully affected thereby; not discerning that imperfection exists only in our knowledge; or rather consists in a lack of attainable knowledge. Law affects us as good instinctively, spontaneously, or in consequence of nature’s first and simplest method, to but a very limited extent; beyond which, the fact that nature’s laws affect us unfavorably, is only a proof that science, nature’s second and more complicated method, has not there, yet, done its office. Nature spontaneously does little more for man than to give him good desires—desires for happiness—and the rough material for the means whereby to realize their satisfaction.
Phenomena and their laws, from the most general and simple to the most special and complex of which the senses, directly or indirectly, can take cognizance, constitute all about which anything can or need be known; and to talk about existences, of the mode of which we confess ourselves hopelessly ignorant, is simply to perpetrate jargon. “We are concerned with phenomena alone,” says Auguste Comte, “and what we have to ascertain is their laws. In departing from this rule, we leave behind us all the certainty and consistency of real science.”
There are no perceptible yet inexplicable phenomena, at least no phenomena not explicable to the extent necessary, since, in the language of the great master just named, “in proportion as phenomena become complicated, they thereby become explorable under a proportionate variety of relations.” The only limit to human power to modify phenomena, will prove to be human desire; as we shall herein fully show.
Sec. 2 All science must have its corresponding art. The conceivable must be possible. There can be no such thing as an impracticable theory, nor need conceptions at first be minutely or fully elaborated as to details, to entitle them to the dignity of theories. Great scientific conceptions cannot, at first, be more than skeletons. But we must be sure that what we call theories, or conceptions, are really such; that they agree with themselves at the commencement, and that as they proceed, they do not aim to contravene any law of nature, or to transcend the intelligible.
The combination of all human and other natural power involved therewith for the perfection of human happiness on earth—the adjusting of all which now renders it impossible to do right so as to render it equally impossible to do wrong—will form a point in progress to which it is as evident that theory can extend, as it is that nature has not endowed man with desires but to mock him; and beyond this limit conception can no more traverse, than we can take cognizance of that, between us and which, there is no connection.
Sec. 3. All mankind, and all the rest of nature of which any conception can be formed, are theoretically, and therefore practically connected. Such connection, from the point whence mere instinct ceases to make it beneficial, being antagonistic and evil, until science makes it harmonious and good.
Though there is no point of complete separation between the individuals composing humanity, nor between humanity and the rest of perceptible nature, this is not saying that there is no variety in nature, nor that there should be no grades among the various races and individuals of which humanity is composed; and this does no more infer a unity of origin in the usual sense of the term, with respect to races, than it does with respect to individuals. But that this theory does infer that which is of vital and practical importance, will be made manifest in the course of this work.
Sec. 4. Sentient beings possess but half the faculty to think. Such faculty or power being a duality; mutually belonging to sentient beings, and to whatever else in perceptable nature is, in any conceivable way, connected with them.
The subjective, or receptive half of the faculty of thought, being the point whereon the whole force of the objective, or imparting half of the faculty is concentrated, the first half of the faculty receives an impression, which has obtained the name of memory. Memory, like the apparent fire which a swiftly twirled live coal leaves in its train, becomes objective for a longer or shorter time, in proportion as it was vividly or faintly produced. Both the first and last impressions which the subjective mental facilities receive from the objective ones, are incapable of producing memory; the mind, soul, spirit, or consciousness of existence vanishing almost simultaneously with its formation. The psychologic effect which lasts the longest, is that which results from the impressions which the objective or imparting psychical or mental faculties, make on the subjective or receptive ones, after the latter have become well used to, but not too long practiced on by, the former.
If what are now called old people, sometimes retain to the last, a power of memory somewhat approximating to what it was during what now passes for full human vigor, we must not forget that there are now no really old people, none who go back to their elements solely in consequence of old age. All, however, who reach the now middle age, know that memory, mind, soul, or spirit is not, even then, near so lasting or permanent as it was in youth. Only like any other purely subjective abstraction can mind be conceived of as objective; yet even such illusory objectivity as this, has given rise to the absurdity that mind is an entity.
Thought or consciousness is definitely attained or achieved, at points formed by sentient beings, or rather by the brains of such, in a manner somewhat analogous to that in which light is specially manifested at points composed by the spheroids which swim in universal ether in accordance with the laws both of themselves and of that ether from which they were agglomerated. Yet sentient beings endowed with speech, with here and there an exception claim, of themselves, to absolutely think; and to be able so to do even when there shall be nothing to be thought of;—as if the sun, or any other luminous body could shine, if there was nothing to be shone on. (don’t forget, here, that apparent space is something /) And the mass of such beings, and of course those who have the least to do with thinking, claim that their thinking is so important to be eternally kept up, that they feel that it must be an indestructible entity. “No one,” says La Bruyer, “ever thought small beer of himself, in consequence of being justly comparable to it.”
All man’s conceptions and desires are natural ones; and it is only because they are so ill digested, and have been so ignorantly tampered with, that some of them are insanely pronounced supernatural, or heavenly, and others sub-natural, or hellish.
Sec. 5. Man’s desires being but natural ones, are nature’s pledge or guarantee for their complete and entire disabuse, vindication and satisfaction. But we must bear in mind that nature works by means—through development—and that time, space, and circumstances cannot be annihilated, even to accommodate the overweening egotism inseparable from humanity’s components during the progressive and imperfect stages of man’s career.
Sec. 6. As man cannot go out of nature even in thought, and as nature, in man’s desires, has given him a pledge for perfect, and satisfactorily lasting, or, as it is called “eternal” happiness—a pledge for a happiness, the intensity and length of which, shall wear out the desire for conscious existence—shall ring, till they become irksome, all the changes possible to be rung on the five senses—man’s whole business is to find out, and put in execution, the law whereby nature may be made to redeem that pledge. That will be the veritable Highest Law, and one with The Religion of Science. Here, Church and State will re-unite; and the first, by being based on the comprehensible, will convert the second from a “necessary evil” to a positive good.
Sec. 7. The Religion of Science, even prospectively affords its professors a satisfaction worth vastly more than all the consolation which “supernaturalism” imports to its dupes. If The Religion of Science deprives its adherents of visionary hopes, it also relieves them from imaginary fears; and elevates them, through the contemplation of man’s glorious and real future, and through the consciousness that they are, as fast as circumstances will permit, hastening it on, above the most poignant miseries of the present. They may almost be said to live in the future, during the short time they stay in the present.
Sec. 8. Forced to concede the possibility of human perfection, man strives to hide his ignorance and excuse his laziness in the case, by postponing the whole matter to an incomprehensible state of existence, to which, it is insanely imagined man is destined after death!
Sec. 9. That the demand for perfect, and, as it is called “eternal” happiness, is a natural one, is self-evident. That natural demands can be met only by natural supplies, is also self-evident. But that nature will prove unable to pay the debts she has incurred, and allow the drafts she has accepted to be protested—that materiality will prove to be the sham, and immateriality the real—are assumptions, than which, more absurd ones cannot be imagined.
Sec. 10. The question as to whether matter originated from nothing, deserves not a moments consideration. The question as to ‘whether the mode or state of its existence proves the existence of an external motor, may be disposed of by asking how matter should act so as to disprove, or at least cease to prove such supernatural existence. For if no alternative to the present spontaneous action or laws of nature can be shown even in theory, the inference surely must be, that what is called the adaptation of means to ends, does not prove design. Besides, if the order and adaptedness which characterizes the perceptible proves a designer, the necessarily superior order and adaptedness of the supposed designer, must prove an antecedent one and so on. If gravitation proves the existence of an external motor, it must require its reversal to disprove the existence of one. If seeing by means of eyes, light, and objects, proves the existence of an ultranatural power, seeing without these, can alone disprove such existence. But are seeing without eyes, and the reversal of gravitation, imaginable? The entire reversal of the present order of nature could alone necessitate, and prove supernaturalism.
Sec. 11. Absolute destruction is as impossible as is absolute creation. Nature is one vast system of change, displacement, reorganization, working out perfection. Existence will work itself more and more refined till it developes to the perfection point indicated by the highest desires it has, for a guiding star as it were, implanted in its most intelligent creation—its cerebrum—man.
Sec. 12 Science annihilates mystery, development progresses, and man approaches his destination—perfection, with a multiplication of means, and an increase of speed, exactly proportioned to those which, directly as to quantity, and inversely as the square of distance, accelerate gravitation; except that the speed of development —of human progress—does not increase with the uniformity which characterizes that of gravitation; but time and velocity are each others exponents or indexes equally in both cases; and progress, like gravitation, is only manifest near, and felt at, completion; even when retrogression seems to be taking place in human affairs, the law that reaction must be equal to action is not broken as the event will prove; and nature cannot stop short of accomplishing what it is acknowledged that she, or her power, has begun and is constantly working at— human perfection. By asserting that she can do so, skepticism beats credulity at the game of absurdity.
Humanity-perfecting action will prove to be fully adequate to overcome all the old fogyistic or other counteraction which is or can be opposed to it; on the same principle that nothing could resist the tendency of ether in apparent space to agglomerate and finally permanently equilibriate our solar system. But more of this anon.
All, within the range of thought, being connected, there can be no such thing as isolated, or individual evil, wrong, or crime; the diseases of the collective, like those of the individual human organism, are general; and to attempt to cure them at the points, always the weakest, where mere manifestation occurs, is stone blind empiricism and quackery, or the imposture which, however cunning it may be, has but a glimmering and most narrow conception of the real interests of its practicer.
As medical science advances, general treatment supersedes the special treatment of all diseases; and empiricism and quackery, and the evils (diseases) of the collective body, which these do but augment and aggravate, will give way only to an enlightened, scientific, and general treatment. I most earnestly appeal to facts: when it was attempted, in England, to cure “crime,” or the disease of the collective human organism, at the point of manifestation, (the individual) by punishing it to the horrible extent of hanging for petty larceny, all “crime” was more prevalent than now; and “crime” has decreased in the same proportion as scientific general treatment has superceded empirical, quackish, and special methods; due allowance being made for disturbing causes, such as increased commerce, and increased machine-power, with no equitable arrangement between labor, capital and skill which these so pressingly, and constantly more and more so, demand.
Punishing, or rather attempting to punish “crime” does but augment it, and subject the inflictors of wholesale wrong on wrong, to the “damnation” which “doing evil that good may come” justly imposes.
If there was no vindictive punishment for murder, people would be more cautious how they offended each other. And few are so utterly destitute of magnanimity that in their calm moments, they would deal death on a foe for whose protection no statute law existed; and need it be said that statute law has no effect on the evil inclined when in a passion, except to enrage their passions still more, even to blindness?
Never trust human nature by halves. The instant it discovers that it is suspected, it feels released from honorary obligation; and the instant it finds itself opposed, it feels a sense of cowardice if it does not oppose in turn; and the question of right or wrong becomes of secondary consideration.
The only interests that would suffer from an immediate repeal of all law which has to be written, are those of its manufacturers, peddlers, and executors.
When to owe debts without being able to pay them ceased to be a crime, the force—the life of all written laws for collecting debts departed; and such laws should have been formally as they were really abolished, and buried out of sight and smell, like other dead bodies. Had they been so, unpayable debt instead of overwhelming the world like a deluge, would never have been known. But when man released himself from the penal obligation of debt, he, by law-craft, was bamboozled into committing the fatal blunder of releasing himself also from the honorary obligation of it.
The principal results of the punishing system are, that innocent people are convicted and hanged or imprisoned to a frightful extent; artificial crimes are created and punished or black-mailed; and whilst the immediate perpetrators of real evil can provide their straw bail before hand, they can, and with truth, tell their victim, after the fact—“if you dare complain, you will be imprisoned as a witness against me, whilst I shall only be subjected to the loss of one more customer.”
To talk about doing away with vindictive punishments when their necessity ceases, is to perpetrate the most pitiable twaddle. The vindictive punishment of “crime,” by civilized nations or communities, never was, is not,, and never can be, any more necessary than is the excision of those parts of the body where leprosy or confirmed lues venerea manifest themselves. Cure can be completed, through punishment or excision, only by annihilating the patient—the whole community. Punishing “crime” in France, culminated in the execution of the virtuous, the incorruptible, the most thoroughly principled Robespiere.
Owing to original ignorance, but mainly to the quackish manner in which that disease has been tampered with, it is necessary to apply palliatives and emollients to, and to take more tender care of, those parts of the collective human organism where evil manifests itself; as such auxiliaries to general treatment are now had recourse to in enlightened medical practice. All our gibbets should be immediately abolished, and all our prisons should be metamorphosed into hospitals for the cure, or industrial, associative, joint stock schools for the prevention of “crime.”
If there is a shadow of excuse for vindictiveness, it belongs exclusively to individuals, though arrogantly claimed by the body politic. Owing to the neglect of the collective body to take either general or palliative measures; but, on the contrary, the most aggravable ones, those parts in collective man, nearest to where moral disease manifests itself, become so outraged thereby, that excision by tbetn—they having none of the collective body’s means at command—way be necessary to self-preservation. But this can never, except during revolutions, and very seldom even then, be the excuse of civilized nations. Society has become so ashamed of her most abominable “crime”—cold blooded, judicial murder—that she generally commits it privately, instead of openly, as she used to do.
Ignorance is the only excuse which can be made for the vindictiveness exercised by nations on individuals; and as soon as the Religion of Science extends so far as even to render the knowledge of this most important truth general, the very foundation of all evil will have been sapped, and the superstructure will be displaced by one all good, with the rapidity with which practice always takes place after its theory is fully conceived of.
Christianism does not base the forgiveness of “sin” on an enlightened sense of the folly and barbarity of punishing it, but on the refined cruelty of punishing it eternally.
Sec. 13. But this vindictiveness now discountenanced by even fragmentary science, is kept up by the “prevailing religion,”—with most marvellous impudence named Christianity; consisting in a systematic emasculation of the highest intellectual faculties—in crippling the brain in infancy as effectually as the Chinese do the feet of their females. Modern Christianity is a perfectly organized and consequently most powerful corporation for carrying on the infernal business of keeping the knowledge of the masses strictly within the bounds of what man knew “in the beginning,” so far as matters of general and all important interest are concerned. The only open opponent to this giant evil is the little pigmy, free discussion; who, like an idiot holding a candle for a blind man to read by, is most unreasonably presenting reason to those whose brains, except for the commonest emergencies, might as well be so much blanc mange—whose reasoning faculties are so completely paralyzed as to be able only to appreciate, with respect to “the faith that is in them,” that “it is written,” and that their religious guides, who have studied the thing, and ought to know best, profess it.
At first, the giant in a passion treated the pigmy rather roughly; but revenge satiated, he now treats him with utter contempt, and seems rather amused than otherwise at his extreme simplicity. Science as yet being but in its elements, and consequently fragmentary, the managers of the “prevailing religion “ subsidize it, and indulge its professors in common with themselves, in Pantheism, which, slightly disguised, is in the most fashionable churches, now preached to them, and at the sleeping or completely bewildered and awe struck masses. What the “dear people” consider a “free press” is so directly or indirectly corrupted, that the villainous proceedings of the perpetuators of popular folly are daily chronicled under the respectable head of “Religious Intelligence” instead of under that of Wholesale Rascality. Or does “rascality” cease to be such, the moment it becomes wholesale? is the witch who deals out supernaturalism by the fifty cents worth guilty, whilst the clergyman who deals it out in five or ten thousand dollar parcels, is a worthy and honorable member of society?
With respect to the intrinsic value of reason;—man, like lower animals, has both reason and instinct; and these are so near akin at the point of connection, that that exact point has never been definitely settled; though at wide distances from it, the difference between instinct and reason is clear enough. Man is not endowed with a supersensuous faculty; there is therefore no possible absurdity, the blindest faith included, into which he has not reasoned himself. Supernaturalists reason even when decrying reason—they reason against reason, unaware; but skeptics accuse them of adopting, through faith, a set of principles without the aid of reason; the skeptic thus falls into the dilemma of acknowledging man’s mind to have something super-reasonable, super-sensuous, or, in short, supernatural about it; or else he proclaims the worse than inefficiency of his vaunted remedy—reason; which, in point of fact, unaided by the Religion of Science, is as useless as the fifth wheel of a coach; nay, it rather helps to destroy man’s happiness—deluding man’s leaders into that false selfishness which prompts them to mislead man to their mutual disadvantage, degrading humanity lower than mere instinct does any other animal. Man can be “saved,” “redeemed,” “born again,” “created anew,” in short, actually perfected, only by Science as a religion, and through faith or confidence reposed therein; reason will always be, as it always has been subordinate to faith or confidence; and skepticism and free discussion will slink to far less proportions under the regime of universal Science, than they enjoyed under that of Supernaturalism in its palmiest days. But this will be fully explained, as it alone can be, in connection with other matters, as we proceed.
Sec. 14. When the Religion of Science is inaugurated, man will confide in Sociologians as, during the palmiest days of the Catholic Church, he confided in theologians; with this grand difference, that the disciples of the Religion of Science will be their own judges with respect to results; which are to be produced in this matter of fact world. Under the Religion of Science, man will extend to the professors of the Science of Sciences and Art of Arts, the same confidence we now, without any fear of losing freedom, extend to the professors of every art and science separately. The Religion of Science will hold those who profess to be working at human perfection, responsible for its production where we can judge of it; this will be depriving them of all” chance of deceiving us by subterfuges, evasions, or shams.
We have probably by this time made it very apparent that Sociologians, those through whose leadership man is to become actually free—cannot be constituted through what is, with most insulting impudence, named the elective franchise. The professors of the Science of Sciences and Art of Arts,—the leaders in the body politic—must be, like professors of fragmentary science and art, and like the leading organs of the individual body, spontaneously constituted. How, I have very minutely explained in a former work, “The Essence of Science.”
Wherever the triumph of even any fragment of science is complete, freedom of opinion is destroyed; and certainly puts an end to free discussion; and the most stubborn opponents of faith submit like very lambs to their tailors and even barbers; whom they spontaneously and thus really elect such, simultaneously with, instead of before trial.
“The elective franchise” is an exploded Utopia; an experiment, the failure of which is most complete.
Error is legion, truth is one; wrong is almost infinite, right is but a point. To find this one, this point, is most difficult. To avoid this legion, this nearly infinite, is all but impossible. Let those who have discovered that supernaturalism is a delusion, beware of falling into the more fatal error of idolizing free discussion as an end, and of looking on that abomination—that wildest of Utopias—our present pseudo free government as a finality. Democracy is confessedly a subordination of the highest, to the lowest; and free and indiscriminate or promiscuous discussion is little more than presenting illuminated! objects to those whose organs of vision have been completely incapacitated to perform the function of seeing. Even if the majority were capable of reasoning abstractly, or on subjects not immediately and simply before them; still, reason cannot tell how to erect even a common edifice; much less the social one. Science must plan, and art execute; reason can at most but aid.
Sec. 15. The science and art of human perfection is now in the condition of a watch in sections; all ready to become itself as soon as its owners see the necessity of giving competent persons, instead of botches, a chance to put it in that religious condition which alone can enable it to fulfil its function—to keep time.
There is a deeper philosophy hidden under the faith, however blind, which the multitude reposes in leaders, however misguided, or even corrupt, when matters as complicated as religion are concerned, than in ail which either skepticism or elective franchise logic has ever advanced; a truth which can as easily withstand reason, ridicule, argument, or mere opposition, as Gibraltar can hold out against an attack with pop-guns; however confidence may primarily be abused, its entire lack would savageize mankind; and the dupes of no faith are therefore as much more ridiculous and foolish than are the dupes of the blindest faith, as statical error would prove more fatal than dynamical error possibly could.
Surely they who admire what they believe will fully gratify their desires though in a manner utterly incomprehensible, are less to be laughed at, than are they who admire what they confess can give them but sufficient promise of happiness to lure them on to the endurance of misery.
Skeptics admit that Mr. Hume was one of the most candid and exemplary of their order; yet he, in speaking of that period of his life which he confessed he should most desire to “live over again,” naively acknowledged, that being denied that privilege would only “cut off a few years of infirmities,” and that he was as ready to die when “Charon called on him,” as he could ever expect to be.
The incoherent, isolated facts and truths, the mere fragments of science, so much lauded by free inquiry, do but aggravate and mock the desire which supernaturalism promises to satisfy; and organization gives even chimerical religion the advantage which it always has held, and will continue to hold, till science claims religion for its own. How much longer will the disciples of reason remain blind to the dictates of the plainest good sense? How much longer shall science be denied that religious finishing—that arrangement—which shall fit it to its art; the art of imparting to man, in this world, the perfection he is determined to have in spite of death itself? How can the masses understand and apply all the specialities of science in detail?
The rational end of all the science? and arts is the perfection of human happiness; as the end of all the wheels, springs &c., of a watch is to keep time; and the organization of what is incoherently supposed to be ultranaturalism—something beyond or superior to substantial existence—which nothingists so absurdly condemn, and so ridiculously ridicule, was the embryo if that of all science as a coherent, harmonious whole; of the Religion of Science; which will triumph in spite of Protestantism, Skepticism, and demagogocracy; which will develop, combine, and adjust all the latent, and apparently antagonistic faculties of nature, and thus make them perfectly satisfy instead of balking, all man’s desires.
If man’s desire for perfect and substantially eternal happiness is a natural one, to pronounce its satisfaction on earth an impossibility, is not only an open declaration of war against nature, but it is to assert that nature is a stupendous hoax. If the desire in question is not a natural one, then the whole ground of naturalism is evidently surrendered. Let the skeptics^—the disciples of perpetual indecision and never ending free discussion— extricate themselves from this dilemma, except by embracing The Religion of Science, if they can.
I am well aware that negativists advocate the teaching of the branches of the sciences and arts, together with free discussion; and that many attempts to substitute departmental science and art, for religion have been made and failed. But the sciences, or rather their substance, must be made a religion of—a harmoniously connected whole, including all about which aught is pretended to be known; and until they are so, man will no more receive them in substitution for even the religion of supernaturalism, than a sane man would exchange a watch which kept ever so imperfect time, for a promiscuous handful of watch wheels, springs, chrystals, dials, &c., &c. Man will no more exchange even the miserable apology for religion which even the effluvia from the dead carcass of ultranaturalism still supplies, for the sciences and arts in their present incoherent and therefore all but fruitless condition from a happiness point of view, than he will accept, for music, those horribly discordant sounds, which even the best players would- make with the best instruments, were they—the players—to simultaneously attempt to play whatever tunes each might individually choose: and as to arguing or laughing man out of that which promises him eternal joys, in favor of what he plainly sees gives him next to-nothing; the experiment has been tried long enough, and failed badly enough.
Sec. 16. Supernaturalism is the bed on which man reposes provisionally; or, until he can find a better resting place, Supernaturalism, therefore, cannot be abolished or even, advantageously, to man, disturbed, except by the science and art which can substitute perfect knowledge for the mystery which promises to be such; which can actually give man that perfection which supernaturalism leads him to hope for.
Although we must constantly endeavour to substitute knowledge for ignorance (alias mystery) and science for sophistry, we must not suppose that we are going to perfect man through a gradual uniform process—that every step in improvement is going to produce its fruit as it is made. In proportion as the fruit of any measure is good, is it distant from the preliminaries which led to it. A knowledge of what the Religion of Science can produce, can not preliminarily extend except to the leaders in scientific sociology; nor can religious science ever be understood by the masses except similarly as a knowledge of any of the branches of science now extends to those who do not make such knowledge a profession.
The immense advantage which a civilized army possesses over a savage one, results from the conviction that each individual has, that his efforts are being sustained by those of the whole army; and that on the safety of his comrades, his own depends. This is, to use a military phrase, the esprit de corps: and is possible only through scientific leadership, and scientific faith, or confidence. How much longer must it be before faith and leadership exist for constructive, instead of for perplexing, aggravative, or destructive purposes; for mutual remuneration, instead of for plunder? How much longer must it be ere man will understand the simple truth that the science of sciences of how to be good, happy, and free, can no more be elaborated at the polls, and through the ballot box than can any of the departments of science—that scientific laboratories are the only possible, real legislative halls?
Why is it not attempted to vote men astronomers— mathematicians—physicians—artists? “Why not talk about patriotism, good intention, honesty, and virtue, in connection with mathematics? Moral principles are every bit as effectual in the calculation of eclipses, or in the regulation of a ship’s course at sea, as in the regulation of the affairs of humanity. In confirmation of the truth of this assertion, I appeal to the World’s history. Virtue and morality are based on gross ignorance of the laws of actual existence; they compose the great falsehood which science must eliminate, ere man can be free—good—in. short, happy.
Sec. 17. After mankind’s leaders shall have been indoctrinated in the theory of the Religion of Science its progress will be as much more rapid than now, as ‘the transmission of intelligence has been since the discovery of the Electric Telegraph. Mankind, in following their prejudices, do but follow their leaders; and whenever their leaders, or the most influential of them, understand and promulgate the theory of the Religion of Science instead of obfuscating the intellect over that of mystery the masses will follow them on the same principle they ‘now do; and after a “nine day’s wonder,” their “convictions” will be “all right and straight.”
Sec. 18. To suppose that primitive man could have possessed—could have understood—the true religion, is to suppose that the human race could, instantaneously, have been endowed with thousands of centuries of age.
Sec. 19. The speck of nature with which we have sensibly to do had, according to Geology, to work its way from the simple condition in which it filled the whole space now occupied by the Solar System. And our detachment of that speck,—the earth—has had to work its way through the granite, sandstone, and physical-monster animal epochs, and into the moral-monster man epoch. But it does seem to linger too long in the fog of super naturalism, Protestantism, skepticism, moral ism; in short, vindictivism and opinionism; and to be all but stuck in the abominable slime of demagogocracy; yet, its moral distance from these, we shall show, will be as great, as is its physical distance from even its etherial condition.
Sec. 20. As to the apparent physical obstacles to The Religion of Science: just below the surface of the earth, the temperature is not affected by those circumstances which cause the variety of climate above the surface; and Thermology and Electrology are not yet near understood.
Fourier attempted to particularize too minutely from a too distant point of view; and thus brought into disrepute his otherwise glorious and profound conceptions. However, it is sufficiently evident that climate is modifiable through human effort and improves through human progress; and what is called “spiritualism” has, making reasonable allowance for exaggeration, furnished some presumptive evidence that nature has, as she has so often done before revealed, or rather manifested the existence of some additional, and as yet wholly misunderstood laws.
Sec. 21. The masses can conceive of freedom, only as isolated, or absolutely independent action. Because our present elementary association imposes constraint, combined or connected action presents itself to the mentally short sighted multitude only as slavery. But absolutely independent action is a chimera; and the nearest approximation to it, ensures but the liberty of being savages; such slaves to want and deprivation, that they seldom know where their next meal is to come from; (what self-denying, virtuous and moral beings, savages must be) and have but a poor assurance of being allowed to finish the one they may be in the midst of. The liberty to trade where each individual choses, forces America to go to Europe for a market; and this is a specimen of what liberty always does, where it precedes knowledge.
Sec. 22. To differ in opinion is but a temporary shift. All talk about the right to difference or contrariety of opinion as a permanency, or about the liberty which can be thus secured or enjoyed, is humbug and clap-trap; and palming off the perpetual exercise of such pretended right for an end—for an absolute good:—for freedom, is the most insulting imposition; it is, in short demagogism. True liberty will consist in acting, in accomplishing our desires. The sum total of liberty is happiness.
That contrariety of opinion and contrariety of action must go together, and that contrariety of action must destroy freedom by collision, are truths too self-evident, it would seem, to need to be even stated.
That freedom consists in, or can be obtained through the liberty to differ from others in opinion, is a most mischievous snare and an all but fatal delusion. For the moment men attempt to act in accordance with a contrariety of opinion, mutual collision destroys nearly all freedom.
Whenever the liberty to differ in opinion comes to be considered as a.-right, what becomes of the right to act in accordance with conviction? Since the weaker party—the minority—have to succumb; and have to surrender their practical or active freedom to the mercy and discretion of the stronger—the majority, so soon as the weakness of the former and the strength of the latter are, by the ballot box—the lest of opinion—decided. The weaker, in virtue of the fancied right to think heterogeneously have to make an entire surrender to the stronger of their equally logical right to act in accordance with their own convictions; and this must be so, until collective man is so scientifically organized, that the unity of thought and harmony of action which now obtain* with respect to the lowest departments of human knowledge, obtains in the highest. To teach men to think freely, without teaching them how to act freely, is evidently as cruel as to teach hopeless slaves their rights.
Contrariety of opinion, instead of being a boon to be “fought bled and died” for, and to be cherished and perpetuated as an end, is a monster evil—an all but overwhelming misfortune. It is any thing but a right.
The religion of ultranaturalism attempted to cope with this giant evil, and did provisionally abate it, or human progress never could have made the first step; but its conquest was reserved for the Religion of Science. It alone can end that despotism which has thus far successfully presented itself, at least to the masses, as liberty. Science tolerates no freedom of opinion. It alone can, and it alone has a right to, abolish it. The respect which people imagine they so amiably pay to public opinion, is really paid to the impostors who shape that opinion. The public, now, has no opinion of its own; its ideas are wholly borrowed.
Sec. 23. As we historically trace man back towards the period when nature rough-formed him, we find him, more and more madly, searching for what, if discovered, would reduce him to a mere instrument, convert nature herself into a vast jumble of inertia, nullify motive, paralyse effort, and render existence stale and objectless. For desire would straightway die of surfeit, could it obtain all which fancy, supernaturalistically bewildered, and goaded on by egotism, imagines it would give it—an eternity to gratify itself in.
“Annihilation” is really as dreadful retrospectively as prospectively; yet no one trembles to think that once he did not consciously exist. Dying is all that is dreadful in the case; and that, we shall show, can and will be substantially done away with.
What possible good could it do man to know the absolute? By attempting to know the absolute, man is attempting to penetrate to the outside of everything. He is putting out his eyes, in order to gratify a barren curiosity to see what there is behind them. Man really wants but to so fully know the phenomenal, as to be able to modify it to the extent the fulfilment of himself requires.
Nature is more and more modifiable, as she becomes more refined. It has been demonstrated that light can be evolved by magnetic forces; also that the atmosphere, and even the clouds are influenced by these forces, which man is rapidly learning to modify. The Earth is capacitated to be supplied, through means which human effort can put into activity, with sufficient light and heat as near to both poles as shall prove necessary.
Throughout all the departments of nature, the head, the product, the end and aim comes last, and the rule will hold good with respect to the whole of nature, in man’s connection. Man organized as a harmonious whole will be the head and perfection of all nature in his connection.
But the wild chase after the absolute—the Ultima-Thule of dynamical error—we must by no means forgot, was primeval man’s only alternative to statical error, or an entire indecision which would directly have proved fatal. To man’s virgin perceptive faculties, all necessarily appeared supernatural.
But in proportion as, through the senses, externalities impart science or knowledge to man, phenomena become understood; and in the same ratio ultranatural vanities and absurdities vanish; and this process will goon, with a rapidity increasing in the ratio of the multiplication of numbers by their own product, till man shall find in simple, scientific and artistic nature—in the full development of himself and all with which he is connected—all the knowledge, all the goodness, and all the happiness he can understandingly desire, or of which he can really conceive.
Nature at first presents us with our statuary unchiseled—in the unpromising quarry; and all her benefits come to us at first, in the latent or disguised state; nay, many of them come in the shape of immediate injuries. But those things which seemed most destructive to our happiness, and even to our being, have been made favorable to both. The apparent enmity of fire, steam, and electricity, has proved to be real friendship; the only difficulty in the case was man’s ignorance. That which heals many of our diseases, pilots our ships across the trackless ocean, and carries our messages with the rapidity of thought, only a short time since did but destroy life, and reduce our dwellings to ruin.
Sec. 24. All obstacles to happiness will prove, when scientifically dealt with, as the simplest of them have already been, but the very, and only, comprehensible means whereby happiness could have been obtained; and in proportion as obstacles are complicated, and therefore difficult to convert to means of happiness, will they prove conducive to it when, by a combination of science, of art, and of effort, (of course proportionably complicated) they are converted to means; and the only obstacle to human perfection on earth is universally, though unconsciously, conceded to be the lack of the high science of combining, and thus to the best advantage using, means which are naively confessed to exist; as they most assuredly do, but in a latent, undeveloped, antagonistic state, exactly opposite their right and confessedly possible one. Else, what insulting mockery it is to exhort us to be so perfect, that nothing short of the imaginary author of our being, whom, we are told, will perfect all, is held up as our type. Nothing short of the full development, and perfectly co-operative combination of all natural power can effect this; and could nature exist at all, if she was not, at bottom, harmonious?
But man excuses his laziness, and blinds himself to his own ignorance and imperfection, by accusing nature of being “depraved”—a hoax,—a flunkey—an abortion; “a fleeting show for man’s illusion given.” He creates out of his own incoherent, hotch-potch imagination, a being, the very reflex of himself magnified, whom he locates out of nature, and then, under the guise of reverence, insults to the last degree. He says to him, in effect, if you did work “six days,” ages, periods, or some things, to make a “vale of tears”—a kennel in which to breed knaves and fools—tyrants and victims—humbugs and dupes—we, nevertheless are not so jolly green as to take you for the unmitigated dunce your performances seemingly proclaim you to be. As we are formed after you, don’t you suppose we can see through you? You can’t come it over us, by a long shot; you have over-acted in attempting to hide your manoeuvres; you think to come the surprise on us; and after you have done what you could to make us think we are dead, we are to be astonished by the discovery that we are still alive—we are expected to laugh and be laughed at for having been “scared for nothing.”
But you a’int half as “cute” as you think you are; for in spite of all your attempts to keep dark, we are up to your tricks, spy out all your sly capers, and get the hang of your jokes before you get ready to crack them. But as those who are well bred (as we are bound to suppose you to have been, considering the long schooling you have had) always accommodate themselves, good humouredly, to whatever predicament their jokes happen to bring them into, we hope you will excuse us for outwitting you; especially when we inform you that we shall thank and praise you every bit as heartily as we should have done, had your ruse been successful.
Since I have become accustomed to view the sensibly existent from its self-sustaining and self-sufficing standpoint, and to spontaneously associate mind and organs—action and that which acts; and particularly when I consider the immensity of what exists even within our doubtless comparatively infinitesimal cognizance, and contemplate its self-action, from the action of celestial spheroids to that of ultimate atoms, I am instinctively T for the instant, shocked at the irreverence and “blasphemy” of those who dare pray to, or wag their tongues concerning the plans, schemes, and contrivances of “God.” Would these daring egotists care for the opinions which might be entertained of them by beings so diminutive, both bodily and mentally, that one thousand millions (about the number of the earths inhabitants) of them could exist on an ultimate atom, and be as prodigally wasteful of means, and consequently as miserable, as are the highest order of sentient beings on our speck of existence? Or will mankind dare think before their “All-knowing Almighty,” that my comparison is too severe on them?
Godists, to be at all logical, must associate the “Almighty” superfluousness whom they insult with their impertinent approval, with the motion of the molecules, of odours and substances so nasty that I always forbear to mention, or even allude to them, whenever I can refrain without sacrificing meaning highly essential to be conveyed.
If even an ultimate atom of ever so disgusting an effluvia can move without the special aid of the great Scape Goat of man’s egotism, ignorance, and mental laziness, so, on the same principle, can the celestial Spheroids.
What man dares to define to be “Almighty,” evidently becomes, as soon as named, subject to mere duration and space; since ideas cannot go behind these, even in search of any thing either subjective or objective.
If, in our Grammar schools, scholars were instructed to make a, just distinction between nouns substantive and nouns subjective, what an immensity of balderdash and insanity the world would be spared the infliction of.
Sec. 25. But Supernaturalists have not quite cap’d the climax of absurdity. That feat has been reserved for those who are endeavoring to admire nature, and to reconcile themselves and others to her, whilst she is in that state of transition in which she is precisely as hideous as she is capable of becoming loveable.
These “infidels,” claim to be philosophers, on no better ground than their capability to doubt. As no voluntary action can take place on the part of the victim of complete doubt, how can voluntary action occur in consequence of any degree of doubt? True, a man never voluntarily, alters his course, so long as he is perfectly satisfied that it is the right one; but it is equally evident that he never can voluntarily alter his course for the better, simply because he is satisfied that it is the wrong one; man sanely alters his course, only because he is more or less convinced that a different course must be the right one or an approximation to it, and because he has or imagines he has, at least some idea of what that course is.
Doubt—skepticism—constitute the most unfortunate predicament in which humanity, collectively or individually, can be placed. It is the 0 or zero of knowledge and of human progress; and it is lamentable to hear such authors as even Buckle, say—” they who do not feel the darkness, will never look for the light.” Well, how long, and how strongly must they who have no conception of what light is, “feel the darkness,” in order to make them “look for the light?” Again—“The doubt must intervene, before the investigation can begin.” “Would it not be more intelligible to say—the need of something better must be felt, and at least the hope of its attainment be conceived, “before the investigation can begin?” Admitting doubt does intervene; it is but a misfortune to be removed instead of augmented; since it might intervene to all eternity without suggesting any course of investigation. Doubt is essentially statical. Inspired by the perfection of doubt, a man would stand still, or act involuntarily—insanely.
Again:—“Skepticism disturbs their lazy and complacent minds—troubles their cherished superstitions— imposes the fatigue of inquiry—rouses sluggish understandings to ask if things are as they are commonly supposed.” Skepticism does none of these things; because as we have just shown, it does but just nothing at all.
Again:—“The more we examine this great principle of skepticism, the more distinctly shall we see the immense part it has played in the progress of European civilization.” The only thing which has played any useful part in European or any other civilization, is science; first in its embryonic, supernaturalistic faintest character; and, gradually growing more and more developed, positive and effective. Civilization commenced in the supposed comprehension of every thing, through faith; and will be completed, through the real comprehension of every thing necessary to be known, through science. Supernaturalism was the school teacher which had the charge of the infancy of science; and had not that primary teacher attempted to retain the scholar in the lowest class, after a higher class was required by improvement, the race of skeptics, or mere opposers of supernaturalism would never have had existence; and civilized man, even in the perfect stage itself, would have looked back on his primary teachers in civilization, with the same affection with which he now remembers those who taught him his A. B. C.
As to the “great principles of skepticism,” Johnson, quoting Dryden, thus defines them:—“Pretence, or profession of universal doubt;” and Webster calls them “the scheme of philosophy which denies the certainty of any knowledge respecting the phenomena of nature” Skepticism is therefore evidently a shade less sensible than “supernaturalism” can be conceived to be.
Those original human beings, to whose virgin perceptive faculties nature first introduced her phenomena, were the most perfect skeptics which have ever existed; but entire skepticism ruled, or was practiced on even in their case, but barely long enough to be named, ere super naturalism, with its faintest glimmer of knowledge, came to the rescue. Skepticism but confuses man’s ideas; and persistence in it, were that possible, would finally nullify them. The falsest hypothesis possible is more scientific, organic, and therefore more progressive, than skepticism.
Sec. 26. Nations would indefinitely grovel in savageism, unless spontaneous surplus production gave rise to a class of leaders released from the necessity of manual labor, and devoted to contemplation and study; or where neither soil nor climate are thus favorable, civilization remains in abeyance, until introduced by missionaries, foreign commerce, or conquest.
The non-producing classes, by their superior skill even under the present loose social organization, do something towards directing, combining, and economising the power of producers; and from those who have leisure, of which the clergy certainly have the most, will eventually arise two classes; the one wholly devoted to scientific discovery, and the other to scientific combination, direction, and adjusting, and, in short, making the most of, the discoveries which the first class make, so as to economise, and render co-operative and in the highest degree effective, the efforts of the operators—the great body of the people.
Sec. 27. It matters little, perhaps nothing, in the long run, whether political power is usurped, inherited, or delegated. It cannot be unduly collected at any one point, without being unduly withdrawn from all other points in the connection. Power, unduly possessed, must be abused; its very existence, or rather attempted existence, out of the natural equilibrium, is an abuse; it creates disturbances comparable to those which altering the law of gravitation would produce. Not power, but its scientific development, combination, and application should be entrusted to the leaders of mankind. En passant, power is of two kinds—positive and negative —the power of weakness and the power of strength; and both can all but equally damage each other, as we shall show in the proper place.
Sec. 28. The function of The Religion of Supernaturalism was altogether provisional; it was to partially civilize man; to rough hew him, as it were; teach him to be taught; and thus prepare him for the finishing which The Religion of Science is to give him.
Except sucking, nothing is so purely natural to the human animal as the religion of mystery, or supernaturalism. The church of the incomprehensible was the only possible first head of collective man—that continuous being, who, through the whole course of ages, will live; and, up to the perfection point, constantly learn.
The infancy of this great collective being, like that of the individuals of which it is composed, was characterized by that feebleness of intellect, which, utterly unable to grapple with scientific conceptions, has to be amused and pacified with those simple puerilities which address themselves to the wild and incoherent imagination—the forerunner of the understanding.
The first teachings of the church were therefore naturally “supernatural.” But in proportion as phenomena become understood, the imagination becomes displaced by, or rather transformed into, the understanding; as the tender and feeble infant, by the use of more solid nourishment, becomes lost in the man or woman; and the age of science succeeds that of superstition. When the knowledge of phenomena shall penetrate the most infinitesimal and complicated in nature—intellectuality— when all nature is fully developed, her laws harmoniously connected, and her force combined for man; when the highest law, that of the harmonious action of scientifically organized humanity and all else in the connection, shall be understood; when duty and virtue shall be set aside, and mutual guarantyism shall be dictated by enlightened selfishness itself; when man truly understands his interests and goes scientifically to work to promote them, leaving “ought to” wholly out of the question, the age of human perfection will have been ushered in.
Sec. 29. Social and intellectual phenomena, equally with those more palpable, are subordinate to physical and physiological laws; the former therefore, should be as the latter are, wholly matter of scientific research. But have any of our statute “laws” been predicated on Science? What science does our legislature acquire through the ballot box except that of chicanery? If astronomers had studied popularism as exclusively as do legislators, the World would still have been the grand center of all; and the study of popularism is as much more mischievous in sociology, than elsewhere, as all science is more important than any of its branches.
Sec. 30. Man inherits imagination, but has to acquire understanding. The more advanced society becomes, the more the understanding robs the wild and incoherent imagination of its sway, and in the same ratio do chimeras yield to realities. Until man understands that there is regularity connected with phenomena and that nature is not inert, its motion being spontaneous and inseparable from itself, he perforce attributes natural action to arbitrary design; and the impressions of man’s primitive folly are so indelible, because, at the time they were made, there was no opposition—no alternative— nothing to break their force. Man is therefore immensely more satisfied of the truth of those impressions which he has inherited, than of the truth of those which he has subsequently acquired. He rarely becomes aware of the falsity which encrusts what he incoherently imagines he feels to be true, but until mathematical certainty removes all doubt, he always has some lingering suspicions respecting truths he has only learned to be such.
Sec. 31. In proportion as man understands phenomena, they become, or, though combinations, and adjustings of discovered laws will become, his friends instead of his enemies. He confides more and more in the might which he faster and faster acquires, as armies take more and more courage the more victories they gain, and he proportionably loses the superstition incidental to conscious weakness. Devotion has greatly diminished, since lightning has been under the control of iron rods, since eclipses have been calculated, and since vaccination has disappointed the vengeance of offended Deity.
Sec. 32. In that part of the world where climate, soil, general aspects of nature, and the disposition of the people were most favorable to despotism, the now paramount religion in civilized countries, or rather those superstitions of which it is an embodiment, arose. Therefore, in those countries, superstitions different in little else than in name, from the one with which they have furnished Western Europe and the United States, still hold sway; whilst the transplanted one has lost nearly all its vitality, and now mainly depends, for such show of life as it still keeps up, on corruption, hypocrisy, and the sincerity of those whose intellects it has kept down to the Asiatic standard^-scarcely distinguishable from habit, or even instinct. To keep this superstition alive where it was not indigenous, it was the practice during the Middle Ages, constantly to draw fresh life to it from the original fountain, by means of pilgrimages; nor has the method yet been wholly abandoned. But ‘tis all in vain. The religion which will consist in the practical value of all science will gradually, and ere long very suddenly, displace every vestige of supernaturalistic religion throughout Western Europe and the United States; and it will finally extend its conquests to those benighted regions whose mystical penumbra has so long bewildered us.
It is nothing against this prophecy, that church building is still going on at a great rate and that what passes for religion wields such enormous sums of money. The lion roars loudest and to ordinary observers exhibits the greatest show of life after he has received his death wound. And all rotten concerns make the greatest show of business just before they finally collapse. The current religion has in reality, though not, of course, in appearance, altogether abandoned its trust insupernatural power, (in which trust, all it ever had of real life consisted) and clings with a death-grasp, which fully shows its desperate condition, to money, and to the lingering prejudices of the least thinking portion of mankind. Supernatural religion now lacks the active faith which once peopled deserts with hermits and cloisters with penitents of the highest rank. It can no longer boast of its Constantines, Alfreds, Charles Fifths, and Ferdinands and Isabellas. Its sun has all but set forever, and it is because it is so low in the horizon, that it so dazzles the eyes of ordinary beholders. All others see the vacant height from whence it has fallen, and foresee the dark abyss to which it is sinking. A petition signed by some three thousand clergymen of the now first class, was, on a memorable occasion, treated more scornfully, and that too, by mere demagogues, than the mightiest monarch of the Middle ages would have dared or cared to have treated a petition of the raggedest and humblest Monks.
Sec 33. “Do you not thank the Almighty Being who gives you all the good you enjoy?” asks the enthusiast. “If I supposed there existed such a Being” I reply, “I should not dare thus upbraid him—thus irritate his pugnacious organs”—(for mind, be it remembered, is inseparable from subjective and objective organs) “Upbraid him, how?” “Why, in the most keen and insulting manner possible. Would not this supposed Almighty Intelligence be conscious that if he sometimes did us good, he oftener, and of course wantonly did us evil? And would not our praises make him feel as did the wicked viceroy, whose king sent an ambassador to thank him for the righteous manner in which he executed his trust? Again; to thank an Almighty Being for any thing—to call him good—is to constitute our little, comparatively nothing selves the judges of his actions; and if he noticed us at all, it would appropriately be in the shape of a “dam your impudence.”
The reader will please take notice that in this and every previous and subsequent instance, if I have spoken or shall speak disrespectfully of an “Almighty Being,” I mean a bogus one; one who stands confessedly the facsimile except in magnitude, of man in a remote and necessarily barbarous age; and who not only did not lack, as such boguses do now, the all but entire faith of the more intelligent portion of mankind, but was even immensely more popular than any almighty incomprehensible unnecessary fifth wheel of a coach now is. For I wish to keep matters on such a footing that if ever Almighty Incomprehensibility and I meet, he will say:— “Friend, you have never either slandered or insulted me. Do whatever you please, as long as you please; since I know you cannot voluntarily do any harm; and when you get tired of repeating all the varieties of which your five-sense nature will admit, I will permit you to sleep to wake no more.”
Sec. 34. “Where there is the least spark of superstition, disease strengthens it; and sudden danger raises it to a flame. This is often fearfully exemplified in cases of disasters at sea. A ship springs a leak. Superstitious terror brings most on board to their knees, and all go to the bottom of the ocean, when, had they worked instead of praying, and trusted to themselves instead of to an incomprehensible “Almighty,” who never interferes in their behalf, the ship would have been lightened, or the leak staunched, and all would have been saved.
Sec. 35. Mental disease—superstition—is intimately connected with bodily disease. The sick chamber is where superstition confessedly obtains its greatest victories. From the most unhealthy portions of the globe, the healthiest inherited both their prevailing superstitions and their worst diseases. Europe and consequently the United States, have to thank “the Land of the East” for the Cholera, Small Pox, Plague, and immeasurably worse than all, bogus religion, and the Protestantism, Oppositionism, morality, virtue; in short, sociological humbug founded thereon.
Sec. 36. Collective, like individual man, has birth, infancy, youth, and will have maturity. Then, the parallel will cease; or, if it extends to old age, or second childhood, still, the period of the maturity of collective man will be coeval with the existence, in its corresponding condition, of our Solar System of which the most infinitesimal particle of every individual is a connected portion.
The type of the satisfaction which will guarantee the stability of perfected collective man, is the equilibrium which the celestial spheroids have found or attained to, and which guarantees their stability; a stability which is perfect, but not absolute. For the celestial spheroids are undergoing the double synthetical and ^analytical motion of formation and dissolution, though in a manner as gentle as is the motion of transformation between them and universal ether; and when man attains to the satisfaction of his nature to which he is tending he, collectively, will be as harmoniously and permanently equilibriated as is the Solar System; and individually, he will undergo the double synthetical and analytical motion of formation and dissolution without violence, and consequently without evil; analogously as the celestial spheroids and the aniversal ether in which they swim interchange conditions. But this will be fully explained in its proper place—in the last division of this work.
Sec. 37. The infancy of collective man, necessitated the guardianship of prophets; and the period of collective man’s intellectual youth required Popes, as infallible as the great Supernatural one whose representatives they claimed to be. Simultaneous with Popes, the tutorship, in active affairs, (religion and government being always social statics and dynamics) of kings, invested with soi-disant divine, and therefore arbitrary power, was necessary. Supernaturalism, thus systematized, necessarily remained, in all but permanency, for ages. Between this first and all but fixed regime of Supernaturalism, and the final and fixed regime of positivism, there lies an ocean of seeming anarchy or transition (there is, we must remember, no such thing as absolute anarchy, the mode in which any thing exists being its law, at least pro tern) the boisterous waves of which will dash back, wrecked, to the shore whence they started, every ship which sails, till one can be built of timber sound enough to avoid the dry rot of morality and virtue, and projected on a sufficiently magnificent scale to accommodate all mankind; and strong enough, not only to defy the winds of demagogocracy, protestantism, and infidelity, but whose opticians have brought their art to such perfection as to enable the pilots to discern the positive shore, and steer safely thither.
Sec. 38. Opinionism is tolerable, as a social basis, only during the transition period which must inevitably intervene between the age of mystery and the age of certainty; and the Protestant clergy are specially chargeable with the “crime” in which all others are now mainly included, of unnecessarily prolonging that period, and its consequent anarchy and misery.
Sec. 39. As the absolutely statical can have no conceivable existence, religion, to be true, must keep pace with, and thus be always true to, man; must be constantly what it was at first—man’s highest conception. Nothing can be more false than attempting to lead man backward, or than attempting to induce him to remain intellectually stationary; attempting to keep all “as it was in the beginning.” When the present religion was true to man, that is as true as he could conceive of, it was at the head; now, it is so false that it has sunk at least as low as the belly / all of it which has any thing to do with the head, can be estimated in dollars and cents as easily as can cotton, tobacco, codfish, or any other merchandize. Some religious houses or shops trade off $5000 worth of what now passes for religion annually j some not more than $500;—but the yearly cost of supplying the article in the United States is not less than $100,000,000
So sure as man is a progressive being, religion, to continue religion, must be also progressive; as a tree, to continue such, must grow. Stopping the growth of a tree, when it was but a twig, would reduce it first to a dead stick, and then to utter decay; would annihilate it as a tree. Thus religion owes all its odium to its self styled ministers, who, lazily mistaking its very nature, cramp it all but to death, and thus reduce it to protestantish and even opinionistic untenacity.
Sec. 40. Could the soi disant friends of religion fully succeed, man would be actually reduced to what he in effect, is—a savage, a very cannibal. Yes; man every where substantially eats man; and the difference between the Parisian, Londoner, New-Yorker, and the Feegee Islander is a mere matter of taste and convenience. The civilizee refrains from slaughtering and eating men directly, only because slaughtering them by a slower and crueler process costs less pains to the slaughterer, and procures him viands, the taste of which, suits his palate better than would human flesh; and tanned human skins would make but poor clothing, compared to that which is as bad as manufactured from human sinews, heart strings, and lung tissues, in the sewing girl’s garret, and in the fetid atmosphere of altogether unnecessarily murderous work-shops.
Sec. 41. So long as religion is a fossil, it will be only fit for mummies; and it will have to depend, for support, on those whose understandings, apart from their special avocations, are but a bundle of prejudices and habits— whose reason is scarcely above instinct; and on money, corruption, hypocrisy, fraud, and lying. Surely human nature cannot be or become so degraded, that a system reduced to the necessity of being supported by such means, can be indefinitely kept up. The contempt for each other, and for themselves, of the continuators of such a system, must eventually become intolerable. Clergymen, your glory, as conjurors, has departed forever. If you have even the virtue shame left; nay, if even the feeling of selfishness is not stone-blind within you, adopt the Religion of Science, and be again worthily at the head of mankind—of mankind redeemed —of mankind freed from the crushing tyranny of the mystery bewildered majority, and its most abominable ministers, now your masters—demagogues.
Sec. 42. As there exists nothing ultranatural, man never has, in reality, entertained other than natural ideas. Yet he has had, and, until they are gratified always will have, longings for perfection, and consequently some glimmering ideas of it. These ideas have been erroneous and faint, or just and clear, in accordance with the point of view from whence they were entertained. The savage’s idea of perfection consists in incoherent visions of hunting grounds, well stocked with game, where he will be free from dangers peculiar to savage life. The barbarian’s idea of perfection is a kingdom, whose monarch is so powerful as to cut off all hopes of successful rebellion, and whose subjects are fed with “angel’s food,” or “heavenly manna,” which excludes the idea of excrements, and clothed in “robes of white,” made of celestial satin and sewed with divine thread and needles, which exclude the idea of silk worms, or of Lowell or Sheffield factories; and whose organs of generation if they are allowed to carry them along, are useless; as, in fact, are all their other organs, except their eyes and tongues, as they have nothing to do but to behold and praise their sovereign, “day and night.”
Sec. 43. The civilizee or opinionist, begins to loose faith in things altogether impervious to the senses, in consequence of commencing to have conceptions of perfection, or at least improvement on earth; which improvement he, however, unfortunately imagines to be obtainable by means of substituting the government of the mystery-bewildered people through their delegates, (or those who fraudulently manage to get accepted for such) for that of Grand Lamas, Grand Viziers, Popes, Emperors, and Kings. The experiment of elective franchise resulting in nothing better than the utterly corrupt and worse than useless despotism of the vilest of mankind—demagogues—the scum of humanity, which agitation brings to the surface,—»the representatives of all the false notions which false education had entailed on the majority—but one other source from whence to look for any encouragement, remains—The Government of Science.
The majority, in popular government, is the standing army which keeps the minority in subjection. The President is only the cats-paw, or distributor of spoils to the oligarchy which nominates him, and to their abettors, who manage and direct the process by which the people are deluded into the idea that they elect.
Democracy asserts the right of the majority to govern; as though the majority had not always constituted the power through which mankind have been domineered over. Mere brute force always has been, and always will be the dependence of those who either usurp power, or fraudulently obtain it; and folly or knavery, or a compound of both, will always direct that power till the reins of government fall into the hands of those who understand The Religion and Government of Science, and men are taught how to be free, instead of being instigated to kill each other in order to acquire liberty.
Popular sovereignty is despotism so complete, that a few of the most idle and depraved among even primary electioneerers are more absolute than was ever the most divinely commissioned college of theocrats; the only alternative to their sway being fresh spoliation by another gang exactly similar except in being unsated.
The popular despots whose puppet the President is, and whose tools and victims the people are, are too arrogant to make even the miserable apology of right divine or even right of birth. Theirs, alone, is unblushing, purely arbitrary, right. Democracy is the crisis stage of that most dreadful political disease—despotism—the acme of that false selfishness which has no radius. True selfishness is that, the periphery of whose radius includes all mankind—which blesses in being blessed.
The problem now up, for solution, is, to find a government for the collective human body, which like that of the individual body—the nerves and brain—shall be spontaneously created; shall really depend, for support, on the understanding approval of the whole people; and which shall be constituted by men of the most scientific attainments and enlarged views; of course, with their whole time to devote to their high calling, and with the results of all discovered science, and with all available means for constantly increasing science at their command; instead of being “got up” at primary elections by the nose leaders of the ultranaturalistically bamboozled majority, and the vitiated rabble.
The even now common sense of the people would lead them to consider themselves grossly insulted and trifled with, were they called upon to decide, by bolloting, questions in astronomy, geology, anatomy, chemistry, or any of the branches of acknowledged science. Yet they consider it a sacred right, to be hoaxed into balloting on the question which involves all science present or to come—the question of human government—the question of discovering, and putting into practical operation the highest law—that of harmonious, collective, and so scientifically combined as to be the most advantageous which can be desired, human and other action. In fine, of discovering how the individuals composing humanity can be so adjusted to each other, and to the great whole in their connection, that means shall prove adequate to required ends, and man’s coherent and well defined desires shall prove to be but the measure of his acquisitions.
Sec. 44. Means, when developed, will be found to have been in exact proportion to ends. Wants, are nature’s guaranty that if the means for their supply are not manifest, they are latent, and forthcoming; else nature would be that impossible half thing, on absolute simple; a one-sided affair; a positive without a negative; a plate too thin to have more than one surface.
Creation is development. What has not been completely developed, is only undergoing the process of creation; and neither the earth nor man, are exceptions to the rule; popular, and even philosophic folly to the contrary, notwithstanding.
Countless billions of ages since, according to geology, the volcano and hurricane breeding mass of warring elements to which the name Earth is affixed, commenced from the simplest condition in which materiality can exist, that series of developments which will end in creation, when man, nature’s prospective head, scarcely yet rough sketched—little more than confusion on confusion heaped—is fully himself, and, through science, revises, perfects, and in short finishes, all with which he is ever so remotely or infinitesimally, connected.
When nature is complete, from Physics to Sociology inclusive, she will consist of two well adjusted halves—demand and supply. Now, little more than demand exists; as physical nature loudly and destructively, and human nature most painfully, attest.
As phenomena become numerous and complicated, the means for their solution become proportionably numerous and, when used, effective. But the obstacles to happiness which complications or rather man’s ignorance in the premises temporarily present, though instantly felt, necessarily require time and effort for their removal; else, all would be supernatural. As nothing in nature can be absolutely stationary, or indifferent, means must either be used or abused; and abuses, or neglect in any department, must be productive of evil, in the exact ratio in which uses would have been productive of good. Hence religion—a bond of union—which, if scientifically used, would have produced Heaven, has by being abused, produced Hell on Earth.
Stationary religion must necessarily be dead and inoperative, except detrimentally, like the world’s present religion; since the double movement of absorption and exhalation is as necessary to be kept up in intellectuality as in the vegetable or animal economy; though motion may be suspended longer in the vegetable than in the animal economy, and longer in the intellectual than in the vegetable economy, without fatal consequences.
Sec. 45. If nature was not elaborating a perfection which she will attain, her energy must have given out long since. The supernaturalists God fills, as it were, the vacuum out of which development is constantly crowding him. He is development roughly preconceived—faintly outlined. He will cease, like the provisional wooden arch which the stone mason uses, when development is perfected. The immaterial, incomprehensible “God” simply marks or indicates the vacuum which development has not yet filled; and sceptics might more scientifically attempt to annihilate any smaller vacuum without filling it, than that, the magnitude of which, is as immense as is want.
But if there is no God superior to existence, how come existence? Before I can rationally consider, or any one rationally ask that question, we must penetrate at least in thought, beyond existence—beyond space and duration even. But first, hear the philosophic Schelling:—“Of actual creation—of origin—the beginning of existence from non-existence, we have no experience, and can therefore form no conception. Nature is not an inert mass; and to him who can comprehend her vast sublimity, she reveals herself as the creative power of the Universe.” Never doubt that perfection, now latent in nature, is quitting that condition with rapidly increasing speed, and will become manifest with amazing suddenness. In the mean time, man will continue to put out his eyes—the eyes of his understanding—in the delusive hope of gratifying his curiosity to see what is behind them; to attempt to penetrate beyond actual existence, and from nothing nowhere, try to scan everything everywhere; to strive to sate a curiosity so much worse than barren, that its gratification, could that be possible, would prove the most woeful disappointment which poor thoughtless man could plunge himself into.
The reason why existence is so enigmatical is that its phenomena are at first (inevitably) crowded on man all at once, instead of in detail. From this perplexity, the only possible issue primarily was that provisionalism of the knowable—that primary cellular tissue of science —supernaturalism—which will be eliminated as man gradually comes to view existence as an inevitability—to justly conceive of agent and act. Here we see, in the words of Oomte, that “the Positive Philosophy never destroys a doctrine without instantly substituting a conviction, adequate to the needs of our human nature;” that “imperfection is in our knowledge alone,” that our intellectual system cannot be renovated till the sciences are studied in their proper order,” that true religion will be The Science of Sciences;
Sec. 46. As soon as the veritable highest law—the true Catholic religion—the Science of Sciences—is conceived of by the leaders of mankind, how to be free, good, and happy will be the whole religious, social and moral question; and patriotism, virtue, self denying morality —in a word£ duties, will vanish as did alchemy before chemistry, and charms and incantation before medical science. Man will do right in preference to wrong when he is sensible it is for his advantage; and man’s leaders will soon be sensible of this, and lead accordingly. Morality and duty have been harped upon from time immemorial; and without making the least perceptible progress. The great moral law of Confucius, since attributed to the mythical Christ, to “do to others as you would have others do to yon,” is confessedly the height of “duty;” yet there never was even a savage, of common sense, who was ignorant of the fact that, to be able to carry out that maxim, was desirable. But simply to preach to man what he ought to do, is as senseless, to say the least, as it would be to preach the duty of remedying the defect in the Atlantic cable; and equally useless, as history fully attests. Woe to that people whose rulers are governed by a sense of duty. Far better be under the dominion of the most unprincipled—such might be bribed, to do right’, but nothing can prevent “duty bound” fools from “paving Hell with their good intentions” to the extent of their power. Duty was parent to the Inquisition, and morality is the very bed of Procrustes. Give us self-interest for a motive, and a broad, enlightened, and full view of what it is.
“Morality is the basis of society; if man is a mere mass of matter, there is in reality neither vice nor virtue, and of course morality is a mere sham;” exultingly remarks that most able of Christianism’s advocates—Chateaubriand.
True, most emphatically true; let Christianism have all the praise of all the good its virtuous and vicious distinctions have ever produced. Neither virtue, vice, nor morality will have any thing to do in the social structure when science becomes master builder; for man is “a mere mass of matter,” and nothing else; though his is the most refined condition of matter, or rather is to be, and that, too, as soon as those clogs—virtue, vice, and morality are as far removed from man as they are from clocks, power looms, and steam engines. What should we think of the artizan who should break or bend the spindles of a spinning jenny in order to force them to work truly— justly—who should talk about the honest, and virtuous or dishonest and vicious action of machinery? Yet just such fools are our legislators and moralists.
Sec. 47. Of all the vanities, that of setting up for an original thinker is one of the most ridiculous, and one of the most mischievous to its entertainer. That a thought could wholly be originated by any one, is a notion so absurd, that I can scarcely see how one capable of retaining an impression long enough to pen it down, could ever have entertained it.
He who is original enough to imagine himself an original thinker, avoids reading or studying any thing on the subject which he intends to speak or write about, lest his style should indicate that his ideas were borrowed. He is unconscious of the fact that all his ideas are suggested by something objective to his half of the mental faculties, equally whether such objectivity consists in the ideas of others or in the coarsest externality. The thoughts herein expressed were penned down as externality suggested them. Not one of them were absolutely originated or even called up by the writer.
The entire savage, comes nearest to an original thinker, and his thoughts are worth very little to any one but himself. The profoundest thinker (so to speak in order to avoid repeated circumlocution) is likely to be he who is capable of making the most of the thoughts of all previous thinkers—of arranging all former great ideas into a basis from whence to commence his own mental operations.
We consciously or unconsciously, avail ourselves of the mental labors of those who have preceded us. Could we avoid doing so, we should of course have to labor unnecessarily, up to the point where previous mental laborers left off; and unless we were miraculously “smart,” we should in order to reach it, have to be miraculously old; as old, even, as the human race.
Sec. 48. Nature necessarily originated man in that all but utter ignorance, which inevitably enslaved him, not only to every misery, but to every “sin,” except the deadly one of perpetual indecision; that impossible depth in folly which those who glory in the name of infidel are striving so hard to bring themselves and their fellow men into. Imagining, however incoherently and unreally, every thing to be produced from nothing, by an Almighty incomprehensiblity, neither something nor nothing, was the lowest plane in absurdity on which man has ever been able to rest; was that first and consequently greatest of possible actual follies or sins, which has subjected him to the greatest of endurable miseries; which has doomed him to run the gauntlet through savageism, absolutism, aristocracy, and demagogocracy. But to remain in a condition of utter skepticism, is a feat of folly which mankind have never been able to perform.
Supernaturalism has always been in alliance with man’s passions; and never more so than when pretending to be at war with them; and its success surely ought to suggest its policy to all reformers who profess even common sense. Its policy has been simply to shape the human—the subjective part of the organs of mental action—to its liking whilst such organs were in a plastic and shareable condition. Then, reformers, is your time, (and your only time) to shape those organs right, and prevent them from being hopelessly maimed, or outrageously distorted.
Sec. 49. Until man learns how to obtain what he naturally desires—perfection or the fulfillment of his whole being—in, and through nature, he will persist in seeking his “beings end and aim” out of nature. Ultranaturalism is but the effect of undeveloped naturalism. As man’s supposed longing for heavenly, spiritual, eternal joys, is really but his impatience to be satisfied with sensuous, earthly delights, merely opposing him—even convincing him that be is deluded—is warring on his affections, fighting against his passions, and attacking nature in her strongest fortress; nay, at an absolutely invulnerable point, as uniform defeat or failure has sufficiently proved.
Sec. 50. After man relinquishes all hopes of freedom, goodness, and happiness in a supernatural world, and becomes an “infidel,” he can’t so suddenly forsake his old habits, but that he retains the most mischievous of them. He strives to obtain, on Earth, some show of what he before expected in Heaven, by means of his old fashioned egotistic, isolated, self-reformation. But though the crowds who people a supernatural hell, form no impediment to the course of the earthly individual who, sincerely, and with a “single eye to his own calling and election,” is spiritually journeying to a supernatural heaven, the isolated, egotistic, self-reformer in earthly affairs, finds his progress all but completely blocked at the first step, by his competitors, who, helter-skelter, crowd the earthly hell which good intention, devoid of system, creates; finds that, “when he would do good” “on his own hook,” he comes into instant preventive collision with others who would do so too, to the best of their individual abilities. Thus honesty and good intention, of themselves, mutually create the very evil considered insurmountable.
Still, individual persistence in the cause of right, however vain, demonstrates the existence of a force, ample to ensure success, when liberated, developed, exercised in concert, and in accordance with the high law of scientifically combined human action.
Sec. 51. Religion is essentially a universal, or catholic uniting tie—that which must vitally concern all. Religion has thus far been but the average understanding of mankind. The religion of primitive, perfectly ignorant man, must, therefore, have been the falsest possible. Religion, when fully revealed, will be found to have had three general stages. The first, perfect in ignorance and sincerity, and strongly characterized by simple good intention—the credulous stage. The second, (the present) destitute of the most essential characteristic of religion itself; its sole cohesiveness consisting in an agreement to disagree. It is the mutual bantling of popular folly, and the “smart” hypocrisy and corruption which unorganized, unconnected, fractional science engenders. Its fruit is a plentiful crop of cant, humbug, clap-trap, and skepticism—the opinionistic stage—reason’s saturnalia—folly’ s carnival. The third, and final stage will be The Religion of Science—the highest, instead of only the average wisdom of mankind—the stage of certainty or positivism— the human order which will be as lasting as its type— the order of the celestial spheroids.
Sec. 52. Reader excuse me for repeating, from every possible different point of view, not only the substance of the last paragraph, but also:—That man is practically connected; and must be either harmoniously or antagonistically, “for better or for worse” so, not only with his kind, but with all of nature, or existence, about which he can know any thing; and it will require The Religion of Science, to determine the law of the harmony of that connection. All attempts at isolation, or absolute independence—opinionistic government, with reason for a religion or basis—demagogocracy—are as vain as are attempts at undue consolidation; and are so much more mischievous, that they always end in being relinquished, after all the disturbance and misery they cause, for the very extreme of the evil they rebelled against and sought to avoid.
Facts, truths, and all power, both human and other, must be scientifically and harmoniously combined. And until science, from base to apex—from physics to sociology—is a harmoniously connected whole—a religious encyclopaedia—and the basis of human law and government, man can never be either free or happy.
For man’s perfect freedom must consist in the satisfactory accordance of his acts, not only with those of his fellows, but with the action of all with which he is connected, even in thought; as the freedom of machinery consists in the avoidance of all friction except (if it can be called such) the friction on which its power to act at all depends—that caused by gravitation. And absolutely isolated, or individual action, isolated goodness, isolated “virtue,” isolated “vice,” isolated happiness, isolated misery, isolated slavery, and isolated freedom, are impossibilities.
None are so base as to hate freedom; though most people are so blind as to attempt to monopolize it. But liberty cannot be hoarded up for private use. It must be free as air, or cease to be. Seclude it, and it turns to despotism. Constrain it, and it dies.
But the most stubborn advocates of self-reformation —the most vindictive sticklers for a revengeful distinction being kept up between virtue and vice, are compelled to admit that there are some things, which no amount of virtue power can accomplish. To illustrate:—all the virtue, honesty and sincerity in the world, concentrated in one man, could not enable him to rush through a brick wall ten feet thick, even to prevent his wife or daughter from committing the greatest of possible “crimes” which a woman can perpetrate against the false religion, sham law and bogus morality now current. We might cite several other “virtuous” actions which, we doubt not, the most obtuse virtuosos would admit to be impossible of performance. In fact, I believe none of them insist on an individual doing more than to persist, even to death, in the attempt to practice “virtue” isolatedly. But singly persisting in the practice of “virtue,” to the extent of suffering more in one’s own person than desisting would cause another to suffer, appears to me to be outvirtueing virtue, at least so far as the intrinsic value of virtue is concerned, even if, as is rarely the case, the virtue in question happens to have any sensible virtue in it. Why cannot man’s leaders see that to be good, people must simply know how; and that to wish to do evil is but evidence of insanity?
With respect to the main “virtue”:—If conjugal partnerships are not mutually satisfactory, both parties will, in their imaginations, during the act of cohabitation, substitute others; and thus, not only commit moral adultery, but damage their constitutions almost as much as they would by downright masturbation. Does promiscuity even Dow, do worse than this, either morally or physically?
There is nothing which both physical and intellectual nature so abominates as constrained love. Murderers, thieves, and “villians” of every kind, together with most of the diseases peculiar to the human animal, are nucleated by constrained love.
Horses, cattle, grains, fruits, and vegetables, are scientifically provided with the means of being good. Does man consider himself of less consequence? Or does he think himself capable of being good without means—nay, in spite of all the obstacles which all nature abused can oppose? Or has not that experiment been tried quite long enough?
When husbands or wives poison each other, or men commit rapes on children, “hang them,” says society; “‘tis expedient.” But I tell you, society, that these “crimes” and all others, are all but wholly yours; and whether you believe it, or not, I defy you to read the record of “crime” any day, and feel and think that your hanging and imprisoning expedients are not entire failures.
But without entering into any argument, as to whether a man cannot refrain from drunkenness, from looking on a beautiful woman with adulterous or fornicative eyes, or from any or all other “vices,” easier than he can walk through a brick wall ten feet thick, I will simply ask:—has not individual “virtue” and goodness—isolated self-reformation—been preached from time immemorial? and has not its enforcement been attempted by inflicting the moat horrid temporal, and by threatening inconceivably horrid eternal cruelties? And if we except what of reformation in the connection can be clearly traced to even fragmentary science, is the world now any more “virtuous” than it ever was? And has the example and preaching of him in whom, the great majority of the “virtuous,” and nearly all the “vicious” claim, was concentrated all the “virtue of “God” himself, made the Christian part of the world more “honest,” more temperate, or less gallant, than the rest of it?
An eminent scientific writer remarks, that no matter how many and how grave the warnings, the same errors and crimes occur in exactly the same proportion one year after the other, relatively to the population. Of course; telling people that right instead of wrong ought to be done, is telling them nothing which they do not know. They want to be told how to be able to do right.
The religious and moral, and social and political hypothesis, that people ought, isolatedly and individually, to do right, logically assumes that justice requires revengeful punishment to be inflicted on those who do not come up to the fashionable standard of right; and law and government, being based on the current vindictive religion and its consequent morality, and on the hypothesis of individual responsibility and “duty,” necessarily persist in the cruel blunder of punishing “crime.”
The doctrine of the forgiveness of sins, is simply an absurdity, inasmuch as there are no “sins” to be forgiven; and the philosophy which that doctrine incrusts is contradictory and unjust, except as part and parcel of the religion and government of science; according to which, well doing to any extent worth mentioning is matter of knowledge, and to be achieved only by the combined and entire force of scientifically organized humanity, in alliance with the scientifically developed and combined force of all the rest of nature in the connection; and therefore what are now called “sins,” are simply manifestations of the blundering and inefficiency of those who manage our social architecture.
True, positive, comprehensible sociology will include both religion and government—eschew both virtue and vice, or rather include them in good and evil, and be nothing less, than the art of arranging man’s material, political, social, industrial, and personal concerns, so harmoniously and scientifically, as to secure liberty, and, in short, perfection, throughout. So as to leave no part of nature—least of all man—in the predicament of being imperfect, in consequence of the imperfection, or false, inharmonious position, of something belonging to itself, or to the connection.
Sec. 53. To the masses we must look for the indications of actual progress. It is a most mischievous delusion to suppose that because the few whose intellects are above the average, and whose opportunities happen to correspond, are emancipated to the extent of Pantheism, any progress practically useful, has been made. How free can those be, who have to enjoy their liberty clandestinely? Until the masses are free, the upper classes will have to suppress their free thoughts or sneakingly clothe them in language enigmatical to the masses, who, if they understood it, would soon convince their superiors (?) of the folly of supposing that freedom, or any other good thing could be enjoyed whilst the rest of mankind, or any of them, were, either directly or indirectly, deprived of it.
Man, in the aggregate, is the superior portion of the subjective intellectual organ of all nature or existence in the connection as a grand aggregate or whole. Suppressing the function of an individual brain in infancy, as supernaturalism does, affects the individual exactly as disastrously as the aggregate of such suppression affects all in the connection; and fostering intellect will consequently produce throughout all existence with which we are connected, effects, good, in exact proportion as those now produced are bad. Can imagination itself paint anything more to be desired? Is it impossible to displace intellect killing by intellect fostering? Is abuse alone practicable? especially in the highest department of nature? Let the teaching in the nurserys, Sunday schools, and churches be reversed, and “nature from her seat” will “give signs of” joy “that all is” found. Nature says to man in thunder tones, in volcano tones, in tornado tones, and whispers loudly through the Aurora Borealis which is spasmodically producing destructive frost in Summer:—“If you will not use me, I will abuse you till you do.”
Sec. 54. As soon as man is persuaded that sociology is a science and art, he will simultaneously see that it is nothing less than the science of sciences and art of arts, which includes all science and art. He will see, also, the radical futility of all attempts at individual, districts town, county, or even country salvation, except approximatively. Human salvation is an operation so extensive that the whole world is required for its field, and the whole power of fully developed and most advantageously combined nature is required for its motor.
When man sees this, he will throw his case wholly, as he now does partially, into the hands of the most scientific, with this all important reservation:—that results are to be judged by himself; on the same principle that although none but tailors can make clothing, all men—nay, each human limb—can feel whether or not it fits.
Should the understanding of any be so obtuse as to object, that collective man is a kind of theoretical everybody, who, practically, is nobody; and that individual action, after all, must be the thing; I reply, that individual action is an entire chimera; that man is inevitably connected, not only with his fellow man, but with all nature of which he can conceive; that that connection is simply modifiable, and needs only to be rightly, instead of wrongly—harmoniously instead of antagonistically— scientifically instead of opinionistically modified. He ■who merely strives to preserve his individual freedom, thereby loses it. Only when man in concert shall strive for the freedom of man will freedom have any existence worth naming.
Sec. 55. As religion is the theory the practice of which is government, every species of government, even that of the greatest possible anarchy, must be founded on some sort of religion, or on the fragments of it; and must be good or bad, free or despotic, in proportion as that religion is true or false; and must furthermore be anarchical, in proportion as the religion on which it is founded is fragmentary.
The pretended separation of religion from government—church from State—in the United States, is the most transparent humbug ever perpetrated; it is but a divorce a mensa et toro, with the sub rosa understanding that maintenance shall be made up in reality, for its lack in appearance.
The church’s property is exempt from taxation, and its ministers from military and jury duty, under the most pitiable subterfuge; prayer, the main pillar and support of ultranatural religion, is openly paid for from the national and every State treasury; the general principles of ultranaturalism have at length obtained the name of the “paramount religion,” are taught in all the public schools, and are thus supported by taxation; and a seventh portion of time is set apart by sham law, for the exclusive use of mystery-mongers. And all this, is in accordance with law so shammy that it is even contrary to the “constitution.”
Here, again, I must ask the reader’s patience, whilst I repeat, that the freedom to which every human being has a right, is the freedom to have that length of life and perfection of happiness, which his or her natural desires indicate the necessity for, and (unless nature is a hoax) the possibility of; to fulfill the law of his or her nature y which can only be done, as we shall show, by fulfilling the law of all nature in the connection; which, surely, must be the art of arts which requires the aid of all science, past, present, and to come, combined; and the united and harmonious co-operation of all mankind, and of the power of all nature in the connection fully developed. Can, then, the true architects of human liberty and happiness receive their diploma from the majority through the ballot box? admitting for the sake of the argument, that the majority could thus actually give any diploma, instead of being swindled into being made the tools of “smart” “scoundrels.”
The liberty of individuals, then, to pursue either goodness or happiness, except in concert, and aided by the highest science, and all the power of nature as fast as it becomes, though science, available, is sham liberty; it is the most insulting and cruel mockery; it is as chimerical as is the liberty of paupers to board in the best hotels.
Sec. 56. Even when nature shall be perfectly developed; when man shall be as free, happy, and long-lived, as combined and organized science can make him; when supply—the natural passions being the judge—is fully adequate to demand: even then, memory will, as it now does, invest the past in the life of individuals with more charms than it really had, and anticipation will lend the future more delight than it will prove able to pay. As experience teaches man this, he will, when he arrives at perfection, without any painful disappointment, but with that happy good nature with which one relishes a good joke, feel that he is, as it were, being amused by a series of sensuous illusions, which, like the scenery in a theatre, are pleasant, mainly because they are not fully exhibited; but the eternal repetition of which, would be first stale, then irksome, and finally intolerable. Even could man be assured by natures combined power personified, that he was to be unendingly treated to variety; such assurance would carry its own absurdity—nay, impossibility, on its face; and the most short-sighted would be instantly conscious of what it now takes the longest sighted a good while to comprehend; that that variety could not, after all, exceed the changes possible to be rung on the senses, only five in number, without entirely changing the individual.
The spirit or substance—not the absolute of immortality, is all which man really wants. In the language of some old writer, “the spirit giveth life, but the letter killeth;” and the letter of eternal life, would so inconceivably worse them kill, that man would, after enjoying infinitely less than an eternity of conscious existence, be willing to purchase annihilation with a thousand deaths.
Sec. 57. Shams, or counterfeits, indicate the existence, actual or prospective, of realities; which realities must be good, in proportion as their counterfeits are bad.
Because those who first undertook to regulate humanity were shams—because collective man’s first head was all out a counterfeit, it was hastily concluded that a head for collective man must de facto be a false head, and utterly pernicious. But abruptly rejecting collective man’s incipient, arbitrary, soi disant supernaturalistic head, instead of substituting a scientific one for it, almost destroyed the nucleus of the collective human organism which had begun formation; and for the commission of this bungling sin of attempting to create vacuity where nature most abhors it—of attempting to dispense with a head for collective man, the perpetrators and their descendants have been punished by a threefold hydra-headed infliction:—The hydra-headed absurdity, Protestantism; the hydra-headed fool, Skepticism; and finally, the hydra-headed abomination, Demagogocracy—a complication, in a chronic form, of sham religion, sham law, sham virtue, sham vice, and sham every thing but evil; summing up in that most mischievous of all shams— sham liberty; the liberty to be as enslaved and miserable as the utmost possible antagonism, negativism, opposition and let-aloneism can make us.
Sec. 58. The meanest demagogue that ever spouted his murderous (yes, emphatically, wholesale murderous in its consequences) clap-trap from a stump, knows that it is natural and therefore inevitable for mankind to be led. It is only the more zealous than wise friends of human progress, and of course the unthinking masses themselves, who imagine the contrary.
Let us illustrate the principle, reduced to so small a compass that we can see it at a glance, of all the government that ever has existed; or ever can exist, till mankind are led by those who understand that the length and value of their own lives depend on the length and value of the lives of all mankind; and who found the highest science and art—religion and government—on all the lower sciences and arts:—In June, 1859, about six ruffians organized, (mind that) and went on board a Staten Island ferry boat, selected one out of three or four hundred passengers for their victim, knocked him down, trampled on him to their entire satisfaction, in presence of all the others, (as court sentences confessedly unjust, and constitutional decisions and government orders which all know to be at variance with right, are enforced by the organized few who govern, whilst the unorganized millions who suffer or are insulted thereby look peaceably on) and afterwards made all on board clear a space in which they held a triumphal dance; no one, all the while, interfering, as they well knew they would not, having no organization or common understanding among each other.
Need I proceed to illustrate the philosophy of all this? The six ruffians understood it, though probably not three more in the whole crowd did. There was no organization for good and therefore so very small an organization for evil had it all its own way till it had carried out its designs. Thus the strongest man in a tribe, or one who has done some terror-inspiring or wonder exciting feat in a nation, becomes the nucleus of, and organizes a hierarchy; or a gang of idle and dissolute fellows nominate some one as chief of a republic; that is, a distributor to them of its spoils; another is nominated for the like purpose by an opposition gang, and the people stupidly vote for and bear the alternate spoliation of one or the other, till it so very sensibly touches so many of them that a row ensues, and a military chieftain seizes the reins of power from both parties of spoliators, and the peaceably disposed masses submit to be led and robbed by him as the least of two evils.
Is it not as clear as the multiplication table that some dozen or so of cunning, “smart” scoundrels can wield the destinies of any nation once delivered over to what is called popular rule? The two gangs of villains who nominate their chief spoil distributer form the focii of the eliptic whirlpool into which all the nation must as things now are be drawn, though a few scattering individuals may attempt not to be. And this is popular suffrage—this the scheme of wholesale rascality which the religion and government of science can alone prevent.
Government is but very slightly more a matter of will, or a thing to be regulated by unscientific opinion, than is gravitation. All natural (i. e. all) forces, are linked together, the succeeding depending on the preceding, from the most tangible physics to and including religions and political force. The few have always, under whatever form of government, turned against the many their own force—made the people their own enslavers; and always will do so until they truly understand their own interests.
In all popular governments, with respect to any great question, so soon as the majority’s decision is known, the taciturnity of individuals on that question exactly resembles that which the Inquisition so notoriously produced in Spain; and if anyone doubts whether the Inquisition itself was or was not a popular measure, let him go to Spain and ask the first hundred people he meets if they would have it abolished. Had the Inquisition existed in the United States, at the time of the Revolution, and had our institutions been in accordance therewith. would the people have abolished it? No more than they have Sabbathism, Bibliolatry, or conjugal, wages, and chattel slavery.
The president of a railroad company which had been prosecuted for running cars on Sundays, says:—” the board of directors would regret to do any act at variance with the views of any large and respectable class of their fellow citizens, except at the call of what they supposed to comprise avast majority of the public.” Also, an influential daily newspaper in the city of New York, in commenting on the attempt to force the Bible into the public schools, naively remarks:—” There are many who have too profound a reverence for the Bible to approve of its use as a school book. If they should happen to be in the majority in any ward, surely their feelings ought to be respected” Exists there a person of common understanding incapable of comprehending the intensely despotic logic of all this? Yet such is the doctrine, not, probably, of the persons above referred to who uttered it, but of pseudo popular government, to which scientific direction, which will be, after established, really popular, will be the antipodes. The ballot box, judged by its effects, without reference to the history of its origin, is an infernal contrivance of the leaders of the majority—of force—by which to ascertain the utmost stretch to which they can tyrannize; it is a veritable oppressionometer.
Sec. 59. Not only human nature, but all nature within the range of thought, is theoretically, and therefore practically connected. Everybody, therefore, in minding his or her own business, must simultaneously intermingle in the affairs of everybody else; and however we may rebel against, and thus disarrange, the collective human organism and antagonize its environment, there is no escape from our connection with both. All mankind form, from a scientific social point of view, one continuous being; each so called individual is, during conscious existence, indissolubly wedded to every other, and to all nature in the connection, “for better or for worse;” and absolutely isolated individual liberty to have, or even “pursue” happiness, or to do right or wrong, is an entire chimera. The question, then, is to find that Highest Law, which shall dynamically, (instead of statically, as the embryo of Highest Law attempted to do) harmonize humanity, and all existence in the connection; displace sham by real liberty, and secure to every individual—
I. The Right to have been begotten in the day time, by perfectly healthy parents, circumstanced amidst all that can please, enliven, and cause joyousness.
II. Right to enjoy, in infancy, the healthful and soothing contact of other infants, and to be tended in all respects, in the best possible manner, which whole science and combined love can suggest.
III. Right to be educated so as to fully develop both the physical and intellectual faculties, to the mutual benefit of both individual and collective man.
IV. Right to eat the most wholesome food, and drink the most wholesome drink.
V. Right to breathe pure air; as pure, even, as the earth will be furnished with through means which we shall herein indicate.
VI. Right to reside in apartments sufficiently large to be both commodious and healthful; and to have the enjoyment, in common with others, (as we now have of roads) of architecture in the highest degree magnificent.
VII. Right to sleep, rest, or exercise, so as best to promote both physical and mental health.
VIII. Right to dress in accordance with health, comfort, and enlightened taste.
IX. Right to think, speak, or print, sense instead of nonsense; and without having sneakingly to resort to evasion, subterfuge, or double meaning.
X. Right to enjoy the benefit of a due equilibriation of power, and to avoid being robbed of active power, though its exercise being either inherited, usurped, or delegated.
XI. Right to require of Sociologians the value—the benefits—of combined science; and to hold them responsible for practical results, as we now do professors of fragmentary science and art.
XII. Right to the property we can acquire, though an equitable arrangement between the claims of labor, capital, and skill.
XIII. Right to all which our real coherent desires, indicate the necessity for, and therefore the possibility of; and consequently,
XIV. The Right to live so long and so happily, on Earth, as to perfectly satisfy our desire for conscious existence—to substantially realize Heaven on Earth—“eternity” in time—to ring, ‘till we are willing to finally stop so doing, all the changes possible on the five senses.
Sec. 60. The results of the sham or demagogocratical liberty to secure any or all of the foregoing rights are so glaringly before the world, that I shall portray them no further than is necessary in order to expose the speciousness by means of which they are continued to be inflicted on mankind.
I. The sham, or ultranaturalistico-demagogocratically jumbled up right to sexual intercourse, [Marriage is a civil contract, substantially enforcible by criminal process] results in the liberty to make a bargain so abominably unnatural, that nullity is stamped on its very face, by every law of right, and by all the real laws of nature in relation thereto; and in the liberty, on the part of offspring, to inherit, and perpetuate, all the physical and mental diseases which the original sin of ignorance, and all the complications which quack treatment has added thereto, have inflicted on mankind; and in the additional liberty to be begotten in the night by parents who are so toil-worn or care-worn as to be half asleep; and who perform the act of generation by way of assuaging their sorrows and chagrins, or by way of killing ennui, or patching up a matrimonial quarrel; to be literally begotten in “iniquity” and “conceived in sin,” and to have the” teeth set on edge” by the “sour grapes” of matrimony which human beings are now condemned to chew whilst becoming parents—the right to be born predisposed to evil.
II. The sham liberty of parents to bring up their children in their own way—in the isolated household— is productive of evils—slaveries—to specify which, would require an immense volume. The immediate result of this, and the preceding sham liberty, is, as shown by statistics, that of all children born, one in four die before they are one year of age; and the life power of the remainder is so crippled, that it gives out before it has any thing near finished its scientific-artistic-natural course.
In the City of New York, however, more than half the children born die before they are ten years old; and though this extraordinary mortality is clearly traceable to swill-milk, neither “the predominant religion” nor the morality founded thereon, abate the horror in the least. “The law” has also been invoked against it, but the upshot was that its terrors were turned against those who sought to protect helpless infancy from the deadly poison, and its shield was thrown over those who, for lucre, dealt it out. Each rotting, stump-tailed cow, from whose festering udders the death-virus was sent forth on its mission of murder and woe, had, in effect, the power to exercise “the elective franchise”—to VOTE; nay, a majority of said cows constituted church-members; church members, too, some of whom gave liberally to enable missionaries to go to China, to preach down Paganistic infanticide! And this is a fair specimen of the efficacy of the prevailing false religion, sham law, and bogus morality; and a perfect exemplification of the practical workings of “elective franchise” throughout.
III. The sham liberty with respect to education, with which skeptics are so elated because it has made a feint of throwing off a particle of its shamminess, still results in the perpetuation of all the nonsense, with but few of the benefits which supernaturalism has ever produced. For special proof of which, see Cobbets History of The Reformation in England, which is generally corroborated by all cotemporaneous and subsequent history.
IV. The sham liberty to eat and drink, of course according to the previously depraved taste or judgment of the individual, results in the general impossibility of getting any thing fit either to eat or drink. This inflicts an immense amount of sickness on humanity, and, like shams No. 1 and 2, takes a tremendous slice from the length of human life. But a recognition of the Religion of Science has obtained in some cities, to the extent of furnishing, by the collective body, pure water for the use of all; of attempting to prevent the sale of diseased meat; of constructing sewers for the benefit of all, and of doing a sufficient number of things by the collective body, which seemingly contravene individual freedom but really augment it, to put beyond all question the practicability of The Religion of Science throughout all human concerns; and it is now clearly demonstrated, that just in proportion as science, (always”) n opposition to, instead of elected by, popular prejudice) establishes its rule, sham liberty gives place to real liberty. Capitalists and inventors, if you would make such an arrangement with laborers that none should be idle, and allow them a share of profits sufficient to purchase for them all necessaries of real life, it would be a better speculation, from a purely business point of view, by one thousand per cent, than the most cunning, underhanded one you ever entered into.
V. That first of human right—the right to breathe pure air—is ruthlessly trampled on by sham liberty in respect to architecture; and human right to health and life is here, again, subjected to a fearful curtailment.
VI. The sham liberty with respect to residence, is a most insulting and cruel sham to nineteen twentieths of mankind. There is, to be sure, literally, nothing in the “constitution” or “laws” to prevent working carpenters, masons, or hod carriers, from residing in elegant and well ventilated houses; but there is really nothing in all the “law and liberty” of which we boast, to prevent these from having to crowd themselves into apartments, or rather holes, utterly unsuited to any animal with lungs.
VII. The sham liberty to sleep, rest, or exercise, is liberty so very shammy, that its results are, that sleeping, resting, and exercising, are done inversely to their necessity.
VIII. The sham liberty with respect to dress, subjects all to ridicule, who do not make themselves so ridiculous, and such slaves, as to yield blind obedience to the monthly changing caprices of the Paris tailors, dress makers and milliners. This is one of the most expensive tyrannies to which even sham liberty subjects its dupes. It is constantly ruining men, more than any thing else, prostituting (for life or for a shorter period) women, and contributes largely to periodical national bankruptcy.
IX. The sham liberty to think, speak or print, practically results in the liberty of thinking, speaking, and printing only what ultranaturalistico-demagogocratically befooled mediocrity approves.
X. The sham liberty to keep power equilibriated—to prevent its “stealing from the many to the few”—results in the despotism of the scum of humanity, with majority force for its backer and dupe, and minority slavery for its sustainer.
XI. The right to hold sociologians responsible for results, is, in sham sociology, as shammy as is the right of weakness trampled under foot, to ask want-driven force to let up its iron heel.
XII. The sham liberty to acquire property, is the liberty to acquire it in accordance with the rule that “to him who hath, shall be given, and he shall have more and more abundantly; but from him who hath next to nothing, shall be taken away even what he hath.
A volume ten times as large as this is likely to be, would be required to show up, in detail, the despotic results of the sham liberty to buy as cheap and sell as dear as possible.
Trade can truly exist, only between producer and consumer: all the intermediate, with the exception of that which appointed agents should effect, must be fraudulent, cheating, false trade; the universally failing trade of the United States, is the offspring of that “free trade” which places producers and consumers as far asunder as are Europe and the interior regions of America.
Sham “free trade” also monopolizes all the public land in the United States worth having, and holds it uncultivated, till sales for taxes, non resident heirs, bonds for deeds, &c., &c., render a clear title impossible. In the vast West, over a territory sufficient, under Scientific Sociology, for the luxurious accommodation of the present population of the World, there straggle here and there, hovels, unfit for the accommodation of even four footed mules, wherein lodge ragged, often starving, and generally ague-shaken human bipeds, a great portion of whom are ready, any day, to exchange their situations for even the most forlorn chance at gold digging or even filibustering. Behold sham free trade. Behold demagogocracy.
Under the auspices of sham liberty, there exists, throughout the whole domain of labor, capital, and skill, or brigandage to which legitimating piracy on the ocean, or what is acknowledged to be robbery, on land, would be mere innocent child’s play.
XIII. The sham liberty to accomplish our natural desires, each on his “own hook,” and without interfering “unlawfully” with others^ results in our so entirely failing to accomplish them, that the present life is universally considered such a sham, that a life after death is the excuse which is generally made in behalf of the supposed author of all things—the “almighty” getter up of the failure and humbug which “virtue” and “morality” strive to reconcile us to, or try to persuade us to be content with making the best of.
XIV. The right to live long and happily enough, in this world, to satisfy the taste which nature has given us for happiness and conscious existence, is uniformly conceded, by the “virtuous” and “moral” sticklers for hotch potch sociology, to be the wildest Utopianism. And surely, they thus virtually surrender their whole case; at least, so far as to leave themselves nothing worth contending for in “this vale of tears,” and therefore no grounds for quarreling with me.
The present religious, political, and social hotch-potch, we see, is made up of the most miserable shams, snares, delusions and failures; and what is most unaccountable of all is, that its dupes confess it, without abandoning their opposition to those who propose any intelligible measures for displacing it by something really good.
But the sum of the results of sham liberty are, in short, wages slavery, or unrequited labor, enforced by the starvation penalty; Chattel slavery, or almost as unrequited labor, enforced by the lash penalty; extending which, is now confessedly extending the area of what passes for freedom in the most popular government in the world. The largest portion of “The Model Republic” has always been composed of what were confessedly “Slave States;” and an Honorable member of Congress has, in 1860, moved that the remainder shall be called “Servile States; “ s0 that slavery and servility is all that the ballot box has left for the “star-spangled banner to wave over.
The prominent institutions of sham liberty are:—A plentiful supply of gibbets; the iron pulleys of which do not rust for lack of use; spacious prisons well filled with victims; still more spacious alms houses, equally well filled with wretched and degraded paupers; a frightful array of shops where poisoned rum is sold to the unsuspecting; mystery shops and quack-medicine manufactories in great abundance, and remarkably proportioned to each other; and it is well worthy of notice, that on Sundays, the only days, when full half the rum holes are shut up, but all the mystery shops are open, crime is uncommonly abundant. Armies of quack doctors, lawyers, judges, and policemen; and more than thirty State houses, or sham law manufactories, and hundreds of halls for city sham law manufacturing, the bulk of the inmates of all of which might, with great benefit to society, exchange places with the state’s and city’s prisoners.
The “respectable advocates of a system of which such is the fruit, may apply to each other the flattering title of “good citizens; but when man shall be worthy the name he bears, they will simply receive credit for lacking the courage, boldness, and comparative honesty and humanity of the pirate or highway robber.
Many of the above institutions, in a milder form, were inherited, ‘tis true, from the mother country; yet adopted and augmented by sham liberty, which is thus reduced to the wretched alternative of pleading, and in the main, falsely too, that it is “no worse” than the despotism to be “free” from which, rivers of blood have been shed, and millions of treasure spent.
Sec. 61. Because absolutism’s attempt to regulate individual concerns arbitrarily resulted in despotism, man. committed the worse error of running into the opposite extreme of adopting, or rather attempting to adopt, the let-alone system; and setting up the motto that “the world is governed too much,” the soi disant sticklers for the least possible quantity of government, have entangled their dupes with “laws” till it is impossible to decipher them; and have ground their constituents into the very dust with government. Each State manufactures several hundred additional “laws” every year!
But the most lamentable blunder of “Democracy” is, that it has not only adopted, but clings with a death grasp to, the most onerous of the regulations of absolutism, and even of ultranaturalism; (the marriage laws) laws which, more effectually and cruelly than any others, curtail liberty, and destroy human happiness.
It is not freedom in love which causes the evils laid to its charge; it is man’s ignorance of the law of that freedom. Besides, what evil does love freedom engender worse than that which results from virtue? Prime virtue consists, in a poor girl sitting fourteen hours a day, stitch, stitch, stitching, with the head down, the stomach bent, the blood stagnating, and the vitals consequently decaying. Is continence an absolute good? or is there any absolute evil in sexual indulgence which marriage neutralizes? Evidently, the foundation of what passes for both virtue and vice is ignorance; ignorance of how to gratify our natural desires without evil consequences; for wherein consists the moral difference between having two wives or husbands above ground, and between having one above, and the other under ground? Not that I am going to advocate that more barbarous form of marriage—Polygamy—but how can those who believe in “departed spirits” justify the “morality” of having two consecutive wives or husbands, or even lovers, even though the former wife, husband or lover be dead, on principles which would not equally justify the simultaneous having of such? Is it not the refinement of cruelty, (to say nothing of the “vice” of the thing) to torture the feelings of poor disembodied hovering spirits, who cannot avenge their wrongs or insults, by second marriages, or even loves? Evidently, the evils laid to sexual gratification result from man’s ignorance of the Jaws in relation thereto.
Sec. 62. Isolated facts are not only of little use, but are often even hurtful to be known. To be useful, facts must be systematically arranged, connected, and combined. And only when they are so, from physics to sociology, will knowledge have attained to its aim—the perfection of human happiness on earth, and the true Religion and government of Science have triumphed over the false religion of mystery, the bogus religion of protestantism, the opposition religion of infidelity, and the opinionistic government of demagogocracy.
Nature declares nothing more emphatically than the propensity of the mass of mankind to confide in, and mentally repose on, leaders. The people are necessarily employed in specialities; and for the rest, they want, and need to be amused; and to have the general theories which they are to practice, ready made to their hands. They eschew nothing so much as abstract, comprehensive, intellectual exercise; and in spite of all the science which can be disseminated among them piecemeal, the great body of mankind will remain as much the sport and prey of religious and political quacks and impostors as they now are, or ever were. Have the masses ceased to be imposed upon by Popery, except to be equally imposed upon by Protestantism? Has the divine right of majorities ever yet proved less onerous than the divine right of kings? Has not Mormonism fully proved that the masses, in spite of public schools, printing presses, and even free discussion, are as easily imposed upon in the nineteenth century as the y were during the “Dark Ages?” (En passant, Paganism has made a really greater demonstration in Christian California, than all Christendom, through missionaries and millions on millions of treasure, has ever made on Paganism.) The thing to be done is, to show mankind’s leaders that it is for their own benefit to lead their charge right, instead of wrong.
The mass of mankind, will continue to be the alternate victims of successive setts of religious, moral and political quacks and impostors, until The Religion and government of Science extricates them; the professors of the sciences, meanwhile, “minding their own business,” as they blindly imagine, and laughing at what they are so short-sighted as to suppose “does not concern them;” whilst infidels are throwing away their strength in battling with the Bible, apparently blind to the fact, that twenty or thirty years ago, when anti-Bibliolatry was more of a novelty. Frances Wright could fill the Park Theatre with her listeners; whilst now, one hundred people can seldom be congregated in New York to listen to the fruitless ravings of those afflicted with Bibliophobia.
These “infidels” also seem unaware that before the Bible existed, and where it does not, equally with where it does now exist, folly and imposture were and are equally rampant; due allowance being made for circumstances extraneous to Bibliology.
The proportion which those who have neither taste nor capacity for those comprehensive views necessary to human regeneration bear to those who have, is strikingly manifested in the statistics of the book trade. Works, written by the same authors decrease in sale, in proportion as they address themselves to the reader’s intellect; and increase in sale, in proportion as they address themselves to, and please his feelings. The few think, the many feel; and when the few think as deeply as they are capable of, and become as scientific as they are capable of becoming, they will find that it is as much as even they can do to comprehend and work out the science of human regeneration or perfection. As soon as man’s principal leaders—the clergy—are ripe for the change, the masses will transfer their faith from the religion of absurdity and its corresponding government of humbug, to The Religion and Government of Science.
Nature classifies mankind into operators, scientific discoverers, and directors, as I have perspicuously shown in “The Essence of Science:” and the fact that operations not more complicated than house building cannot be carried on without such classification, is conclusive evidence that when sociology rises above the present hotch-potch of protestantism, demagogocracy, and “infidelity,” it must be through such classification.
Until science, from base to apex, from physics to sociology, is a religious, or connected whole, nature will remain developed inversely to her means. Science first permeates the simplest, or coarsest, and will seem to be laboring in vain until she all but finishes her undertakings. If I have, in effect, repeated this often, recollect that the dolefully monotonous opposite has been repeated, with no variation as to sense, for untold ages.
Sec. 63. In the vegetable and lower animal worlds, nature reaches maturity very rapidly. Plants bear their seeds and fruits generally in one year; in which short time, they become as perfect as they can be theoretically shown capable of becoming. Man will be as much longer in reaching the perfection which his nature is capable of, as he is, or rather will be higher in the scale of nature, than are those. In the mean time, the lower departments of nature, where ends quickly answer to means, will be more satisfactory objects of contemplation to the thinker, during his sensitive moments, and when he wishes to relax his mind from deep abstraction, than will the to be highest department, where means, whilst waiting to be used, are so extravagantly wasted. Who, that is capable of any degree of reflection, does not, like Rousseau, love retirement amidst rural scenery, better than the haunts of man as he now is?
Until science is a whole, mankind will continue to be miserable among its fragments; similarly as if a crowded theatre was on fire, all might perish or get more or less injured, not for lack of power, both to extricate themselves, and put out the fire, but for lack of a scientifically regulated, religious, or unanimous use of their power; because they exercised their power in accordance with sham liberty—isolatedly; each striving singly, to save himself, and thus blocking the vomitories with squeezed to death bodies, instead of religiously, and in concert, marching safely out, and extinguishing the fire.
Sec. 64. Every field of inquiry has been pronounced, by faithless, unbelieving old fogyism, impervious to science ‘till science has conquered it. Talk about miracles? Human progress has been and will, till completed, continue to be, a series of miracles—of “impossible” performances—of realized Utopias. Sociology will be the conquest of science which will crown all science with success, rectify supernaturalism, and annihilate old fogyism, protestantism, infidelity, and demagogocracy. The highest Law will supersede and displace the present” beggarly elements” of law.”
Nature is neither the impotency which supernaturalism takes her to be, nor the scrimp which old fogyism pronounces her. She will prove to be sufficient; and she even now shows that she is profuse, to the verge of prodigality. The zosperms which she pours forth in the production of a single animal, are superabundant by myriads; and from the semen in which man is nucleated, throughout perceptible nature, the means for his perfection, equally lavish, wait but to be used. Some of them brilliantly becken him on, like the Aurora Borealis; the destructive frosts, accompanying which, when it makes an uncommon demonstration in Summer, seem to make luminous and thermal action say:—” develop us-unchain us —let ns benefit you, or we will abuse you till you do;” whilst the lightning, the tornado, and the volcano, more roughly spur man forward, and in thunder tones seem to say, behold the evil which man’s ungregated, antagonistic, consequently wasted and therefore too passive power produces; and know, that reversing the process, organizing, and operating on coarser nature, instead of being all but wholly operated on by it, will produce a like proportion of good. Actual existence is full, even to bursting, with the means for its development and man’s perfection; and natural evil is but good outrageously impatient, as it were, to be manifested as such; and determined, at all events, not to be inactive, lest it should die outright; and then, the World and Man would have to look to the supernatural for help.
The Religion of Science will be inaugurated by extending certain and exact knowledge into the highest which thought can reach; where folly, mystery, and uncertainty now reign; and where, consequently, religious, political and moral quacks revel to their own and their victims’s mutual disadvantage. Man must repose as full faith in complete science, as he now does in its fragments; he must accept science in full—in the highest—precisely as he now accepts it in parts,—in the lowest. He must trust the scientific and artistic in the most complex of human concerns—in religion, law and government—not as he now trusts religious impostors and moral and social quacks therein, but in as good faith as be now trusts science and art in matters as simple as tailoring, house-building, railroad travelling, and telegraphing. He must transfer his allegiance from the opinionistic to the certain; from the mysterious to the comprehensible; from that, the value of which can only be decided after death, to that, the value of which can be decided in this world. Only in The Religion of Science, can we have a religion, the results of which will be tangible, and sufficiently immediate, to prevent imposition on the part of its ministers from becoming chronic. The abuses of the Religion of Science can never become venerable; and will always therefore be very quickly and easily remedied; and the action of a government founded thereon will be as calculable as that of a clock.
Mankind, with reverence sometimes amounting to awe, do I behold your steam-engines, your electric telegraphs, your architecture, your machinery, your navigation. With profound respect do I look on your agriculture, and your special sciences and their corresponding special arts, even to boot blacking; and your music enraptures me. But the sociology which you perpetrate whilst attending to every thing else, is as awful botchery as would be my attempt to cook a dinner, or navigate the largest ship through the most dangerous waters, whilst writing this book, and aided only by the general science of sciences, which I am herein unfolding. As to the dinner, I should inevitably spoil its good materials; and with respect to the ship, its cargo and its crew, myself included, I should prove to be to the sharks what you are to demagogues—their purveyor. Nay, I might by the merest chance, not wreck the ship—whereas you always have wrecked the “ship of state,” whenever you have taken charge of it. Read even common school history and deny that if you can.
Ye leaders who love mankind, or who would understandingly love even yourselves, henceforth teach that good and free government must he founded on science— on the whole of science—on The Religion of Science; instead of on popular folly, and the prejudices manufactured by ultranaturalism, directed by demagogism, as changeful as the wind, as despotic as majority-force and parasitically termed opinion. The motive power of true religion must and will be refined and enlightened, instead of gross, narrow, ignorant, selfishness.
Let these truths go forth till they can be refuted, or till in all the churches and Sunday schools, they are taught, instead of mystery—ay, hymn’d instead of the horrid nonsense which now degrades even music:
I. That attempting to “mind your own business” or become free, good, happy or “virtuous” isolatedly, or “on your own hook,” is chronic anarchy, wholesale murder or at least manslaughter, and inevitable suicide; a scheme of heterogeneity, the inevitable results of which have uniformly been mutual swindling, mutual tormenting, and mutual killing.
II. That man in concert, must pursue reform; and, guided by all science combined, and aided by the force of all nature in the connection fully developed, must enable individuals to fulfil the law of their being, and accomplish, in their natural sphere, the perfection of goodness and happiness, of which their natural desires are the measure. Surely, masses are responsible for their particles in sociology as in Physics. If the principles attempted to be carried out in present religion, law and morals, were essayed in Physics, every particle of matter would be required to have a rotary and orbital motion of its own.
The particles of the collective human body—individuals—are as powerless for good by virtue of their isolated or individual action, as are the particles of the individual human body. Parts can do nothing generally good of themselves. It is only the harmonious action of the whole which can produce universal good, and thus, perfection of parts. If the individual human body was subjected to experiments analogous to those which have thus far been tried on the collective human body, dissolution and death would instantly occur. Our quackish religious, legal moral and medical experimenting, is as much as the combined power of collective man can possibly stand without fatal results.
III. That mankind are, and inevitably must be, connected. That until they are harmoniously connected for good, they must be antagonistically connected for evil. That until they mutually promote their own and each other’s happiness, they must mutually produce their own and each other’s misery.
IV. That to punish poor, weak individuals in the real world, or threaten them with punishment in an imaginary one, because their single forces do not individually overcome obstacles which their combined force, owing to false, inharmonious direction, throws in their way, is the height of injustice and cruelty.
Proclaim, then, the principles of The Religion of Science, till mystery mongers, infidels, and demagogues see that their own perfect, and as good as eternal happiness depends on that of the whole human race. Then, “the kingdom of heaven” will come, as unexpectedly by the multitude, as “a thief in the night.”
Sec. 65. It is acknowledged by all, that “crime’* can arise only from motives. To pretend that motives, when effective, are not motors as well, and that their subject acts voluntarily, is plain contradiction, and the most pitiable shystering and subterfuge.
Let us briefly inquire how much any individual can have to do with the creation of the motives by which he or she is impelled, moved, incited, or “tempted.”
That individuals have nothing to do with the creation of their organisms, is conceded. That on the organism depends the strength or weakness of internal or subjective motives is conceded unawares, even by those who stubbornly deny it. They are often caught remarking,, that such an one could safely be taken for a rogue, such another for a fool, and such another for an honest man, as far as they could be seen with a spy-glass.
The only other motives or motors which operate on individuals, ‘tis conceded, are external, or objective ones. Now, to what extent can an individual overcome, these? Certainly only to the extent of the infinitesimal proportion which individual force—the force of, an ultimate atom of humanity—bears to that of all the rest of humanity and also to that of all coarser nature in the connection. If I had a soul to save from eternal torments, I would risk it on the truth of this assertion.
When the effete remains of defunct ultranaturalism shall have been entombed, their pestiferous effluvia—Protestantism, demagogism, moralism, and “virtue” will be no more; and then, people will hardly believe that folly could ever have gone the length of saying:—”Had I been you, I would not have acted thus;” or that cruelty and injustice could ever have been brought lo the perfection of punishing individuals for yielding to the force generated in their systems for not by them; and for not overcoming obstacles surmountable only by the scientifically combined force of the whole body politic, and the fully developed aid of all the rest of nature in the con section.
If individual force is not as exactly proportioned to the force of all the rest of nature in the connection as individual bulk is proportioned to the bulk of all the rest of nature in the connection, the difference is at least too infinitesimal to admit of measurement; yet such difference constitutes the whole absolute independence of the individual, and is all for which any one can be justly held responsible. Here behold the difference between the injustice of punishing an individual because his force—the force which he actually created—did not bear a greater or smaller proportion to that of all the rest of nature in the connection, and between the injustice of punishing him because his bulk—the bulk which he entirely caused —did not bear a greater or smaller proportion to that of all the rest of nature in the connection.
Virtue and vice, we here see, are equally illusions—the mutual creations of ignorance and “malice”—the pretexts for favoritism and cruelty; for the rest, they serve but to befog the real question involved—that of human perfection on Earth.
Honour is but a snare. Generosity is never what those who claim to possess it imagine it to be. It is almost always as bad as ostentation, and not unfrequently as mean and contemptible as is the desire to make others feel inferior to us. Disinterestedness is simply jargon. Bravery and cowardice are but qualities as physical as are strength and weakness. The most consummate cowardice is the main ingredient in what popularly passes for the greatest bravery. As to truth, why, life itself is now little better than one continuous lie; and it is because of the prevalence of real cowardice and actual lying that mankind are so exceedingly sensitive when the epithets coward and liar are applied to them; and all the glorious ado about liberty, is mere clap trap and bunkum; for ‘tis mathematically certain, that individuals can have no perceptible absolutely isolated freedom. Nor do people want such freedom; what man really desires being, simply, happiness; and the freedom to possess it in full, we shall show, ere we have done, can never be won by “independence,” but through the alliance of the whole human race, systematically organized, and sustained by the fully developed and most scientifically and advantageously combined force of all the rest of nature in the connection.
But all the clap-trap, humbug, and bunkum which is perpetrated in the name of liberty has some foundation in nature, as has every thing else, however jumbled up. What then is, or rather will be, human liberty? We will answer by an illustration:—
Machinery works as freely as it can, when it is in harmony with itself, and when all which can properly be called friction is avoided. (If the seeming friction which arises from gravitation was avoided, the freedom of machinery would be where human freedom would be, were individuals absolutely independent?) So, individuals will act as freely as they can understandingly desire to do, when they are as scientifically and as harmoniously adjusted to collective man and to all nature in the connection, (all being fully developed,) as are the wheels and spring of a perfect time-keeper or watch, to themselves and their environment—as will be the parts to the whole of the perfectly healthy human being that is to be.
But perhaps I shall be asked:—“Are not you, yourself, at this instant, individually striving to do right?” I answer:—“Forced, by external and internal impulses, I am striving to persuade the world to form itself into a grand corporation fur carrying on the business of well-doing. My mental action in this respect may form, as it were, a nucleus around which similar mentality (so to speak) may accumulate, ‘till the thoughts of the most influential leaders of mankind shall turn from immateriality to actuality—from subjectivity as a primary, to objectivity as coeval with space and duration—from ought to to how to—from the false impracticable religion and government of mystery and humbug, to the true, comprehensible, practicable Religion and Government of Science. And, doubt it not, the people will follow their leaders as naturally when they lead them rightly and intelligibly, as they have during the long reign of mystery and error; and as inevitably as the planets move round their Suns.
What if, whilst the “virtuous,” “moral,” “disinterested” and, in short, old fogyistic generally, are “conscientiously” striving, each on his or her “own hook” to be “honest,” and “do as they would be done by,” some scape-grace should discover how to counterfeit so perfectly, that banking, and the gambling credit system, and all their superincumbent evils and woes would have to be sent to the tomb of the things that were?
What if some one should “feloniously” succeed in so completely imitating the coinage even, that the only possible measure or certificate of value would have to be labor and skill; and the only possible evidence of ownership, except of personal property, would have to be the stock-books, witnessed by competent persons, and kept by those who were trusty because they had no inducement to be false?
What if measures, contrary to precedent, and therefore “felonious,” should be unexpectedly taken, whereby wages-slavery and matrimonial bondage should be sent where Negromaniacy will surely be by John Brownism if not by milder means?
What if labor should incendiarily force capital and skill into an arrangement immeasurably more profitable to them than the best speculation which they have ever yet made—an arrangement which would insure them against all future dangers from labour at starvation prices, and save them the expense of dragooning, hanging, imprisoning, and supporting human beings in idleness or worse, to the amount of $450,000,000 annually in the United States? An arrangement, in short, which would make wealth really valuable and perfectly secure to individuals, whether they were possessed of more or less?
A system of religion and government, the very antipodes of any that the world’s leaders have hitherto dreamed of, is herein plainly revealed. I have discovered a new world; and should not be astonished if the now most despised should compel the “Scribes Pharisees and hypocrites” of the “present evil world” to enter therein; and thus demonstrate to even the weakest comprehension, that morality is but the fifth wheel of the car of progress, and that “virtue” is the rust on the axles of the other four. But I hope that “The Kingdom of Heaven” will be entered by milder means. At all events, it will not be my fault if abuses are heaped on abuses till “the violent take it by force.”
But I may be further asked:—“Well, is not this striving of yours your individual act?” I reply:—“Circumstances, internal and external—subjective and objective —compel me to think and write as I do. Were it possible that I could be wrong in thus thinking and writing, is any thing plainer than that I ought not to be punished for it?
But I am right, as sure as nature is not an abortion—a “fleeting show, for man’s illusion given;” I am even so highly right, that I am not fool enough to entertain any egotistic pride, or rather vanity in consequence of being right. Even should my efforts be the immediate cause of establishing the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth, I should not—nay, I could not experience any of that puffed up feeling which all who are elected to office manifest.
When the world comes to the full use of its senses, those capable of dealing with the most complicated questions, and of entertaining the most enlarged views will, of course, have to attend to its directing; and the specially scientific, from physicists up to and including physiologists, will have to furnish them with the data to go by. The directors, discoverers, and operators will then form a scientifically and harmoniously adjusted whole, from which, the feelings of both contempt and meanness will equally be banished; until when, popular government will be but synonymous with humbug and imposture, and offices will be obtained through gambling and fraud, or dealt out as rewards for political “rascality” and meanness.
He who has got but a glimpse of the extent to which human improvement can go, and who comprehends the nature of the causes whereby it is to be effected, cannot possibly despise his fellow man; and as to punishing “criminals,” pshaw; I would not have even demagogues or mystery-mongers punished.
To attempt to educate all up to the same point—to try to teach all, alike, to see through or understand every thing, as do reformers of the “virtuous” and “moral” school, is to attempt the most hopeless of miracles, and to rebel against the plainest laws of nature. Every pedagogue knows that by far the greatest number of his scholars had rather chop down trees or tame wild colts than study grammar, chemistry, physiology, &c.; and if he is not underwitted himself, or blinded by prevailing follies, he also knows that such are as bright as are those of a different turn—as worthy of respect as are those whom nature has predisposed for different stations in her varied domain.
I will here remark, that if in the course of this work, I sometimes make use of the slang phrases of the “virtuous,” “moral” and vindictive—such phrases, for instance, as ‘“ rascal,” “knave,” &c. without quoting them, I do not, nevertheless, feel the maliciousness which engendered them, and generally accompanies their use.
“Am I my brother’s keeper?” is popularly believed to have been the naive declaration of principles of the first murderer; and to the full extent to which there is any meaning in the word criminality, those who similarly dispose of the great question of human brotherhood are chargeable, not only with all the murder, but with all the other crime which has ever been perpetrated. But the mutual guarantyism (not communism, but something much further removed from it than is our present social structure) which fully enlightened selfishness will ensure, will banish both “virtue” and “vice,” as the rising sun banishes the silly or horrible spectres which haunt sickly imaginations during the shades of night.
Only when sociologians see that their function is wholly scientific, and get a glimpse of the great art of arts of human perfection which is to correspond to and crown the science of sciences, will humanity be delivered from those popular, sleek-tongued impostors who steal man’s old opinions, furbish them over, and sell them back to those from whom they were pilfered, for new; only then, will society be purged from a set of fools whom “a little learning” makes not only dangerous but so impudent as to despise their fellow-men because they are not all capacitated to obfuscate history, forge laws, scribble nature-murdering romances for the mediocrity-stuffing papers, turn tragedy to burlesque on the stage, humbug at elections, bamboozle in the Senate, play the Monkey at foreign courts, talk jargon, or revamp popularism in the pulpit, spout smartness at the bar, murder justice on the bench, and “pour drugs, about which they know little, into stomachs, about which they know nothing.”
The author of The” Religion of Science feels that he spends his energies as he does, instead of in “making a fortune,” because he cannot help so doing; and he will here take occasion to remark, that were the Presidency (the office of purveyor or cat’s paw general to legal robbers) of the United States, or even of the World itself offered to him through the ballot-box, he should feel compelled by disgust therefor to refuse it; he would not relinquish his present employment, even to become the largest bubble in all the scum which agitating the entire folly of the human race might bring to the surface. He had rather try, however unsuccessfully for the present, to make folly less popular, than to float ever so high on it in either the clerical or demagogical balloon.
Sec. 66. Clergymen: Don’t you wish that it would pay as well to teach what rational beings could understand and be benefited by, as it does to befog the human intellect with mystery? I know well that some of you do, and that in consequence of pursuing your present course, you feel meaner than ought to, those who tell fortunes or pimp for a living. Your whole time and your immense advantages you abuse to the extent of making yourselves precisely as hurtful as you might be useful. Just in proportion as you divert attention from “things below” to “things above,” do you postpone the very Millenium in which you pretend to believe.
Some of you have considerable zeal to be moral heroes, but unfortunately coupled with so small a quantity of hero-material that salaryism carries the day. The preaching of such is a cross between burlesque and tragedy. Your attempts to intermingle cheerfulness with the preaching of the orthodox creed, resemble grinning at the corps at a funeral in order to “divert the melancholy of the mourners. You attempt to introduce some show of sense into your discourses; just enough to let the knowing ones understand that you are not the fools you pretend to be; but “smart preaching stirs up your congregations generally, only as the Galvanic battery rouses up dead bodies; as soon as the clerical or Galvanic battery is withdrawn, back go both the morally and physically dead to where they were before they had been experimented on.
You preach “morality” and “virtue,” and attempt thus to make this world preparatory for Heaven; but after a trial of 1859 years, and at an expense of countless millions, you have not succeeded in making it other than an actual Hell.
Can’t even shame arouse you to fulfil instead of abusing your high function? When you taught the highest which man was capable of appreciating, though that was but merely initiatory to what he is now prepared to receive, you were justly mightier than kings. Teach now the highest instead of the lowest—the intelligible instead of the incomprehensible. Expand, instead of contracting the infant mind, and be the head of veritably redeemed humanity instead of the scorned tools of the foulest dregs of mankind—demagogues—who revel in human misery through catering for the folly which your degrading, sense- destroying teaching causes to abound.
A certain demagogue whose fame will be as lasting as will the reign of sham-law and kindred abuses, thus, in substance, eulogizes the clergyman of his parish, who seems to have made up his mind to remain just the nullity with which demagogism is entirely satisfied;—“I have watched you closely, my good fellow, and must do you the credit to say, that never in any hymn, prayer, sermon, or in any other way, have you, in the whole course of your ministry, taught or even hinted at any thing practical, or even intelligible. Your preaching has been a tissue of perfectly indefinite vagaries. In short, you have done your best to keep man amazed, stupified and blinded to that degree that myself and compeers could pick their pockets to our hearts content, without their perceiving it.”
At the close of this eulogium, which was of course clothed in language which the gaping multitude understood crosswise, the orator presented the sermonizer with a large sum of money, and a splendid piano; which ended all, in this precious affair, with which the public were allowed to be edified. But is it too much to suppose that when the religious impostor next met the legal and political quack in private, and that after the spontaneous burst of roguish laughter was over, and when each had, as well as he could, smothered the scorn he felt for the other, and reduced self-contempt back to its average condition, the politician patted the priest on the shoulder and said:—“Good fellow, continue to keep the attention of the rabble so directed towards “things unseen” that I can manage their intelligible affairs in my own way, and I’ll continue to go snacks with you.
Sec. 67. Religion and government, until matters of science, must be but the arena of imposture and quackery. Never was delusion so fatal as the assumption that the church can be severed from the co-existing state, or that man, individually, can attend to his own government, except as to results. In comparison to this, the assumption that man could, individually, and without any theory or plan, furnish himself with every thing necessary to his comfort and happiness, from a pair of shoes to a comfortable mansion, and even a passage in a steamer across the Atlantic, would be good sense.
“Democracy” is, rightfully, but a state of transition; and can therefore be legitimate, only for the shortest period during which government can be transferred from worn out absolutism to positivism.
Whenever decrepit absolutism drops the reins of government, experience has always shown, that even if they happen to fall into the hands of the well disposed and honest—the raisers of horses, sheep, hogs, cows, corn, and potatoes—the dealers in cotton or sugar—paints and oils —the house and ship builders—the tallow chandlers, soap-boilers or butchers—the electricians—the sailors— the stevedores—the pavers, &c., &c.; all these are at a loss what to do with the State’s affairs; and, from necessity, instantly drop the whole matter into the hands of constitution tinkers, sham law manufacturers and mongers, and, in short, those too idle and dissolute to pursue any useful occupation, and who pass off their “cunning, trickery and “smartness” for wisdom; and place delusive, virtuously twanging impracticable abstractions or “principles” where should be the Science of Sciences; and thus what need be but transient anarchy becomes chronic demagogocracy; and the whole business of government dwindles to contriving how to rob the nation to the last degree to which the most refined “knavery” can cause man to submit; and those even one degree above Monkeys, but possessing all their trickery, can soon get the hang of all which now constitutes the business of governors, from a constable to a senator, foreign minister, or even president of the United States.
Sec. 68. Scientifically organized collective man—perfected man—will give no more forewarning of his advent to the generality of mankind, than does individual man, to any but the experienced. If a child four years old should see an individual launched into the world, it would think the whole process occurred then; his ignorance with respect to the preliminary of the process, the end of which he but saw, would exactly resemble the dullness of those who ask—” where is the sign of any real human progress? Are not men now, as ever, knaves and fools—tyrants and slaves? “But scientifically organized collective man is in the womb of progress, and will be born apparently (to the multitude) all on a sudden. After the long, slow, and unpromising preparation, the stock very rapidly produces the ripe grain; so will the coming of human perfection be. The scientific seer now beholds humanity balancing as it were, where it is more difficult to tell how it can long remain, then to point out how it might suddenly pass into a condition in which every individual would live long and happily enough to be fulfilled—to secure the payment of all the drafts which nature, through his desires, has authorized him to make on her—and neither wish, nor need, to go to another world, after death, to get compensated for having had to run the gauntlet through this—to go to the chancery of a supernatural Heaven, the chief justice of which is said to be the author of, and indorser for, nature, to recover, with interest and cost of suit, the amount of the dishonoured or protested drafts of nature.
Sec. 69. When the religion of combined ignorance led, that basis of all law—order—to some extent reigned; but it was little more than statical order, which dynamical order must constantly be attempting to supersede in human affairs; thus causing anarchy in a more and more violent, or at least perplexing form, until it does succeed. Dynamical order—the result of the leadership of combined science or knowledge, will rapidly displace both the acute anarchy of revolutions and insurrections, and the chronic anarchy of demagogocracy, whenever a respectable number of mankind’s spiritual guides begin to teach the comprehensible and true, in the same manner, in the main, in which they now teach the mystical and false.
Sec. 70. Man’s natural yearning after perfection, it will bear repeating from every possible point of view, is a guaranty for its latent existence in, and eventual development through, nature; or else a proof that nature is that impossible absurdity—a one-sided, half thing leaning against vacuity.
With respect to the most disheartening theory of Mackintosh, (advanced in his “Electrical Theory of The Universe,” a most valuable work, otherwise,) that the orbits of the planets are constantly diminishing, and that all the secondary planets will finally fall to their primaries, he certainly brings many indisputable facts tending to prove that all things are approximating towards this end. Still, we are without any experience on the subject, and his facts no more prove what he claims that they do, than the fact that the human foetus starts from the apparently common nucleus of all animal nature— the vermiform—as a fish, proves that human beings are fishes. In a vast number of instances, nature pursues a course very different from the one which she, in due time, so abruptly takes as to disappoint or sorely chagrin the too specially—too short-sighted scientific—all who cannot take encyclopedical views. But hear the accomplished author of the “Vestiges of The Natural History of Creation,” on this head:—“Judging by analogy, we might expect to see several varieties of the being homo. There is no other family approaching to this in importance, which presents but one species. The corvidae, our parallel in aves, consists of several distinct genera and sub-genera. It is startling to find such an appearance of imperfection in the circle to which man belongs, and the ideas which rise in consequence are not less startling. Is our race but the initial of the grand crowning type? Are there yet to be species superior to us in organization, purer in feeling, more powerful in device and art? * * * * There is in this nothing improbable on other grounds. The present race, rude and impulsive as it is, is perhaps the best adapted to the present state of things in the world; but the external world goes through slow and gradual changes [he forgets how rapidly these changes succeed each other as they approximate to the consummation of their object] which may leave it in time a much serener field of existence. There then may be occasion for a nobler type of humanity, which shall complete the geological circle on this planet, and realize some of the dreams of the purest spirits of the present race.”
Sec. 71. Except to the scientific seer, all development—all progress—has been a series of “impossibilities.” When the Solar system was but an attenuated mass, (if such ever was its condition all at once) had there been any old fogies in existence, it would have been pronounced “impossible” for the celestial spheroids to be developed. At the granite epoch, vegetation would have been “impossible.” When only monsters, or the lowest animals existed, the future advent of even savage man was apparently “impossible.” And from even now, “impossibilities” will still continue to vanish, as the views of the few who lead the many enlarge, in spite of old fogyism, and consequently the views of the many alter, so as to give a fair field in which for combined science to work. The few, be it remembered, naturally shape the views which the many uncritically entertain, and as near as they can, act in accordance with.
Agriculture remained an “impossibility” among savages, until a conception of its usefulness and practicability became so general, that the crops of grain of those scientific enough to raise them were respected—were protected from blind cupidity by enlightened selfishness, to the extent that raisers could afford to take the risk.
Even after a glimmering idea became entertained among savages, that crops of corn might be raised, and that johnnycakes would be a reliable resource when game failed, no doubt the old fogies were on hand with their “impossible;” “pray, Mr. Theorist, tempt not our watering mouths with your Utopian johnnycakes, ‘till you can tell us what will prevent our neighbours, who now steal or take by force even our Bear skins, from helping themselves to our corn before it gets out of the milk?’’
At length however the conviction of the superiority of the reliable johnnycake over more and more uncertain game, becomes general; and cornfields are respected, nay, even protected, by the same selfish principle which, when but partially understood, would have ravaged them—by enlightened self-interest. Johnnycakes become an actuality and a particle of the Religion of Science has been nucleated.
“Impossible” roads, are next built, by “Utopian” public co-operation, and this same Utopianism has at length produced “impossible” public schools, to the great dismay of the old fogies and sticklers for extreme individual freedom, whose liberty is so trampled on thereby, that they are forced to pay for educating other people’s children, instead of for hanging, imprisoning, and supporting in the alms house or as street beggars, a still greater number of them.
But we come now to the last of the “impossibilities;” when this is conquered, all the conceivable will be possible; “Utopia” will be realized, and old fogyism will be stone dead. The last impossibility will be to harmonize antagonistic man; to scientifically organize, for universal co-operation, the whole human race; develop and harmoniously connect all the laws of nature, and thus avail humanity of the beneficial, instead of the hurtful, operation of their combined force.
Whew! Here’s “impossibility,” here’s “Utopianism,” here’s madness, even; eh? Well, this has got to be done, though, as sure as man is to live more than from a third to a fifth as long as it can be scientifically demonstrated that he is capable of living and would live, but for foolish, self-conceited, blind old fogyism; as sure as he is to attain to the perfection of happiness which he uniformly yearns after; nay, so absolutely expects to obtain, that he pursues it, even by means absolutely impossible; by means which he unconsciously yet naively acknowledges to be impossible; for through that most impossible of all means—death, man believes he shall achieve that perfect happiness to obtain which, in life, and with all the conceivable to assist him, he pronounces impossible and Utopian!
But the gospel of nature’s sufficiency—of man’s latent, and therefore to be developed almightiness—has begun to be preached; and when the mathematical certainty—that the perfect and substantially eternal happiness of every individual depends, under science, on that of all, becomes understood by man’s leaders, and of course, simultaneously becomes a general conviction, that true religion—that highest law—according to which man, in all his transactions, will operate for, instead of against man —will be put into active operation; and from even the present point of view, such a condition of things surely appears less impossible than did the simple johnnycake from the most savage point of view.
All nations, at similar stages of civilization, produce political and social phenomena strikingly analogous; and varying little, except according to climate, soil, food, and the general aspects of nature. This remark may seem rather abrupt, but as our ideas are suggested from without, subjectivity must accept them as objectivity presents them.
Sec. 72. The most general law of nature is gravitation. It is sufficiently broad to form the basis for all law; for when the earth was considered flat, the great question was, to find out on what it was based; having done which, it was tacitly admitted that all else could be accounted for.
Now, as gravity is as inseparable from all the bodies in apparent space, as is their volume or amount, and is moreover that whereby they attain and preserve equilibrium, their only conceivable basis; as it thus extends its power and influence even into physiology and intellectuality, it not only is the absolute, but supercedes the necessity for, and the possibility of, any principle or imaginable existence, more absolute, It is sufficiently absolute for all the purposes for which a universal basis can be required.
Sec. 73. Human progress is generally divisible into three periods. The first is characterized by blind faith. The second, by cunning, “rascality,” humbug, clap-trap, hypocrisy, cant, and “smartness.” The third will be characterized by the universality of that enlightened faith, which will rely for perfect results on perfected science, as it now relies on fractional science for partially good results.
Perhaps it would be more just to class human existence under two ages; the age of credulity, and the age of certainty; between which, there must necessarily intervene the transition period, or age of reason, opinionism, skepticism, protestantism, constitutionalism, statute or sham-law, in short, gammon.
In the first period, fear is the great moral motor. In the second, gross, short-sighted, suicidal, false selfishness and corruption rules. In the third period, refined, farseeing, true selfishness—the esprit de corps will, under science, prevail.
Chattel slavery naturally belongs to the first period of human progress; though, with respect to black skins, it is extended into the second. But it is too blunt, straight forward and unprofitable to find universal favor there, and has consequently been about half displaced by wages-slavery, which can extort from its victims at least fifty per cent, more unrequited toil, except in those localities where but the coarsest kind of labour can be carried on.
The abominations which result from chattel-slavery are:—Severing, often at the auction block, the family ties of uneducated savages. The prostitution of the wives and daughters of such. Occasional application of the lash to human beings and, in some rare instances, roasting them alive.
The abominations which result from wages-slavery are:—Severing the family ties of civilized beings, to avoid, or oftener to merely postpone starvation. The prostitution of educated wives and daughters to avoid or postpone starvation, or to enable them to dress so as to escape general contempt and ridicule. The summary arrest of such, by worse than brutal police officers—those blood hounds of wages slavery—who drive through our fashion and “respectability”-thronged streets to gloomy prisons, females endowed with as keen a sense to insult as are any of their sex, and expose them, to the sneers and odium of the blind supporters of a civilized barbarism which had made them what they are.
The alms house, where human beings, many of them as refined as wages-slavery will permit them to become, are crowded together like cattle, and fed on swine’s fare. Asylums for children which wholesale illegitimacy impudently styles “illegitimate;” where infants, often those of the now most refined parents are degraded so far below negro slave infants, that whilst the latter are valued at from $100 to $150 as soon as born, and cared for somewhat accordingly, the former are considered so much worse than useless, that they are put into the hands of nurses who treat them in such a shocking manner, that most of those who do not die in six months, get so damaged, that they would not Bell for enough to pay the auctioneer’s commission, if their skins were as black as ebony.
Prisons, where are sent, as fast as they can be caught and by sham law convicted, all who do not chose to die of privation, be worked to death, or who cannot, by rules laid down by successful, fashionable, and therefore double distilled cunning and rascality, or by good luck, manage to live in such style as to avoid the scorn, ridicule and contempt of those who batten on wages-slavery. In which prisons, privations to which chattel-slaves are rarely subjected, are the rule; and in which, the most horrid tortures, often ending in death, are inflicted.
Within three months from March 22, 1859, one man “of naturally mild disposition” has been slowly tortured to death; and two had been shot dead and several wounded, because they had more goodness than tamely to see another of their number taken to the death-torture; this is exclusive of flogging, yoking, showering, &c., &c., ad libitum, in only one of our infernal prisons, of which “institutions” we have some hundreds, well stocked with victims, in the “Free States.”
Abolitionists, like the opponents of superstition, must take far higher ground, before they either can, or ought to, succeed.
Sec. 74. Human law can no more be “enacted” than can physical law; it must be discovered; and the pre-requisites to this discovery, must be discoveries in physical and physiological law. The special sciences must be the basis for the science of sciences or The Religion of Science; and all sociology not based thus is false; and not only creates, but renders chronic, that disorder—that anarchy—which it is the function of the true law, which scientific laboratories alone reveal, to remedy.
False religion, sham law, bogus morality, and that most “vicious” of all moral nuisances—“virtue”—defeat their professed aim to the extent of producing a state of things so damnably evil, that periodical war in civilized countries, and the constant practice of infanticide in barbarous ones, have to be had recourse to; and the abomination of abominations—war—actually does afford relief! Relief from a condition of things engendered under the auspices of supernaturalism and its consequent government, virtue, and morality.
Nature, when fully developed—when all her laws are manifested, will determine the number of inhabitants which the earth can sustain in perfect bliss; as science has already sufficiently proved; which number will be immensely greater than it has ever yet been, even at the point where war or infanticide had to be resorted to, in order to thin off superfluous humanity—to slay or prevent paupers, constrained idlers, unlucky traders, and duplicate laborers?
But instead of studying the laws of nature, simple, scientific and artistic, in all their complications, varieties and combinations, man has arrogantly forged what he absurdly calls laws, and is engaged in the vain and ridiculous attempt to coerce nature into obedience to them.
Owing to this stubborn and absurd war on nature, more than nine tenths of man’s rightful self, and by far the best part of both manhood and womanhood, are as repressed as is the life of serpents in the winter time; with this vast difference in favor of the serpents, that they do not feel the repression, whereas human beings constantly do.
Constraint but engenders commensurate falsehood. Instead of trying to corrector, still worse, to suppress the natural passions, as do religious, political, and moral quack?, the means, and combinations of means, for their satisfaction, should be studied- Just when, against any law of nature, man imagines his law is about to succeed, nature disappoints him, and always with a vengeance proportioned to the importance of the law which is attempted to be subjugated, and to the progress which has seemingly been made in its subjugation. The main reason why man is afflicted with so many more diseases than is any lower animal, is, the ennui and constant mental torture which attempting to subdue his natural desires inflicts on him. This alone, undoubtedly shortens his life a full half, besides rendering the remainder all but useless.
Mankind, can you, as rational beings, conceive of a religions governmental and moral system more infernal than that, to enable you to endure which, requires nerve-stimulation and sense-stupefaction to the frightful extent which the incalculable amount of health-destroying tea, coffee, alcohol and tobacco consumed, indicates, and which is rapidly invoking the more complete obliviousness which swiftly-destructive Opium and suicidal Hasheesh produce? How dare you insult and blaspheme the only Almighty Power which you can conceive of, by pronouncing the Hell which you either positively or negatively, cither through headlong action or through sheer laziness produce, that power’s ultimatum?
Our laws for regulating the sexual relations, are ostensibly to prevent promiscuous sexual intercourse. Now, this is a most pitiable subterfuge; for, in the first place, such laws do not prevent such intercourse, but only force it into such irregularities, as to cause all the resulting mischief. The truth is, man is (I had almost said criminally) ignorant of how to provide for the consequences (children) of freedom in love; and therefore drives such freedom into ways and means which are, indeed, to a great extent, unproductive of children, but produce, instead, the lowest human degradation, the most horrible of diseases, and an untold amount of secret wrong, which, by being occasionally discovered, instigates the bloodiest assassinations. Behold the vengeance of nature, which she executes on those who undertake to make laws for her to go by.
If one jot or tittle of nature’s laws should be altered, all possibility of man’s perfection, would be at an end; but the more we become acquainted with nature, the more we shall become reconciled to her, till, finally, we become perfectly so; but the longer we war against her, the more dreadfully shall we get beaten.
Imagine, for a moment, the human race in that state of passional, intellectual, and of course physiological apathy, to which false religion, sham-law, bogus morality, and “self-denying,” suicidal “virtue” would reduce it. But we must pass over the mutilations which false religion, bogus morality and “virtue” would inflict on human nature, as these would leave nothing at all for sham law to work upon; and the first article of sham law, would also do man’s business up with a round turn, could it really carry out its ostensible aim,—did it inflict the punishment of death on every real murderer; for there is not a human being in existence, who is not, owing to the false position in which false institutions place him, at least an accessory to murder or manslaughter before the fact.
But let us suppose that the marriage-law, and all laws auxiliary thereto, could be, for twenty-four hours, suecessfully enforced; that out of indissoluble monogamic marriage, there was no possibility of sexual intercourse. Does any sane person suppose that every one of those “laws” would not, at the end of the said twenty-four hours time, be trampled out of existence, regardless of consequences?
Mankind are, owing to the false relations in which they stand to each other and to all else in the connection, the victims of two of the most amiable tendencies of ‘their nature. Tendencies, without which, human nature would not be endurable for an instant. These tendencies are, love of gallantry and coquetry, and love of the beautiful and elegant.
But ‘tis our ignorance of the laws of these, which makes us their victims. But the taste for magnificence and the love of pleasure will not always supply “moral” texts for the apostles of “virtue,” “self-control,” mediocrity, and contented dissatisfaction. We have, oh how much worse than vainly, spent more money to hire religious and moral quacks to preach down extravagance, and in getting sham laws manufactured to put down gallantry, than would be necessary, if scientifically applied, to establish the means for the perfect satisfaction, unattended with any evil consequences, not only of the human taste for gallantry and elegancy, but also of every desire of which humanity is capable of conceiving.
Religious, political, social and moral quacks! Yon would shrink, appalled, at the horrible dullness which would prevail, if your efforts were crowned with success; if you could banish from human nature that love of gallantry and that taste for the elegant which now, owing to our ignorance of their laws, impoverishes the men, prostitutes (either wholesale or retail—for life or by the job) the women, and periodically bankrupts all civilized nations.
“Ah,” says the popular suffrage radical: “give to the head of each isolated household, 160 acres of land in some State in the wilderness, far removed from “the oppressor’s wrongs, the rich man’s contumely,” and the corrupting influence of luxury, and you shall have a specimen of a free and virtuous people.”
Well, and by means of what newly invented tortures, would you repress the first risings of the luxurious disposition? For the instant a woman succeeded in wearing with impunity, even a bright pink calico frock, or a boy was allowed to play on a jews-harp, don’t you see that the very foundation would have been laid for a luxury which would soon grow to be as rank as it is anywhere? And by means of what tortures would you repress, within the bounds of monogamic marriage, that gallantry, but for which, even that “holy” institution itself would die out?
The joys which gallantry and luxury will cause when their laws are developed, will be proportioned to the misery which now results from our ignorance of those laws, and our consequent attempts to smother our natural, most important, and therefore, happily, most imperious and too-powerful to be conquered passions.
But, say our virtuosos, we must not go to extremes; we must preserve a just medium. Say you so still? Well, try it a while longer, then; and when you succeed in effecting a permanent compromise between your de sires and their satisfaction, when you prove that nature excites desires, and the most impetuous ones too, to peaceably remain half satisfied, call me a fool. Half satisfied, did I say? Why, man’s compromises with his passions have never yet availed the most lucky individuals of their gratification by nine-tenths.
The most imaginative painter could now but faintly sketch the magnificence and voluptuousness which will reign unalloyed by evil consequences, when the Religion and Government of Science establishes that true Higher Law, in accordance with which, man’s whole nature will be fulfilled. But as to the dullness which the success of present religious, legal, and moral means would produce—a mop saturated with mud, and drawn over a rough board by an idiot, would do its picture full justice.
Until humanity obtains the full satisfaction of its undepraved passions, it will continue to smother the horrible sense of their suppression, in tea, coffee, bad rum, worse tobacco, and swiftly destructive opium; and fornication, adultery, prostitution, and tippling will thrive, in spite of Maine-laws or any other laws of that ilk. And until an equitable adjustment of the claims of labor skill and capital, and a scientific elaboration of the latent resources of nature shall Enable all to obtain as much wealth as they are capable of appreciating the use of, theft, robbery, swindling and murder, both wholesale and retail will be rife, and that double distilled iniquity—that most abominable of all crime–punishment, will add its horrors.
The human virile powers are now sometimes fretted into sickly sensitiveness, utterly prostrated by self-abuse, half deadened by abstinence, palsied by constraint, or partially or wholly destroyed by diseases consequent on the quackish manner in which, legally morally and physically, the sexual relations are fooled with.
Man is engaged in attempting to confine amorousness within bounds which there is no disputing that nine-tenths of the human race are simultaneously longing to burst. Is not this insanity? Is not the world now an immense madhouse? Oh, that the married, or even those who are making up their minds to become such— who are “courting”—could but read each other’s thoughts. How often would not—”I love you of all others” dwindle to—” I suppose I must take the risk of your alliance for fear of having to do worse?” This must be so till human beings are so perfected that love will be universally reciprocal.
Human beings are now no more in comparison “to what they are capable of becoming, than are Ourang-Outangs in comparison to human beings at present. In the perfect future, there will be different styles of human beauty, such as the fair or black haired; the blue or black eyed, brunettes or the fair skinned. But there will be none homely; none, even, not absolutely enchanting; and the different styles of perfection will constitute just the variety requisite to keep love always alive, and universally reciprocal; and the sexual delights of even Ninon de L’Enclos and her lovers, or of Antony and Cleopatra, will sink into insignificance in comparison with those which will be common to every one under the reign of the perfection which The Religion and government of Science will inaugurate and sustain.
Impossible, eh, old Fogy? But spinning-jennys, power looms, sewing-machines, printing-presses, steam-engines, electric telegraphs, floating palaces—Savoy cabbages from something like mullen stalks, strawberries thrice as large as, and proportionably sweeter than, wild ones, double roses from hedge-roses, luscious pippins from something like crabb-apples, blood-horses worth $1000 each, from wild ones not, in themselves, worth the catching; these, and a host of other things, are not “impossible.” Yet savage men shivered, and starved, and tomahawk’d each other for untold ages, unconsciously amidst the requisites not only for these, but for improvements to which these are but initiatory. Poor Old Fogy! Is complete, whole, self consistent, perfect man, the only impossibility?
Anatomy, physiology, and, in fact all the departments of science, show that the human organism is capable of lasting from three to five times longer than it, at present does; and there is no question, in the minds of those not stone blind through prejudice, that what is most impudently called marriage, fearfully shortens human existence, and prevents the human race from attaining that physical and intellectual perfection of which they are capable.
Nature declares nothing more emphatically than that with precious few exceptions, men and women are as fond of change in sexual matters as in every thing else except that holy friendship which marriage, more than any thing else, destroys; and that attempting to force amorous constancy, has the effect of destroying the constancy which tender affection would otherwise maintain, and to make men and women loathe and hate each other even to the poisoning-point—nay, even to that horrid degree which causes them to torment each other to death; to murder each other through cruelty too refined for the clumsy law or the minutest chemical tests to take cognizance of. The assassin who resorts to that sure, and most murderous of all means—mental anguish, always escapes hanging.
‘Tis known that even vegetables and grains cannot be forced into constancy to the same lands, year after year; that attempting to thus force them will “run them out;” and improving the breed of cattle and horses, through sexual inconstancy, has become a science, which might be carried to far greater perfection, if the object was to perfect the subjects of it for their own sakes, instead of to minister to the wants, and even the depravities of their owners; for the cruelty of castrating animals will not be practiced when man is no longer depraved.
Amorousness is a natural taste; and when individual responsibility for the care of progeny is done away with, and when property shall have no connection with loving, differing in love-tastes will not sever friendship.
What we now call splendour—luxury—magnificence —are, even apart from the dreadful means by which they are procured, the perplexity by which they are attended, and the frail tenure by which they are held, absolutely pitiable, in comparison to what scientifically organized collective man, and fully developed nature will furnish every one with.
Even should labor-saving machinery do no more than it now does; (and it will eventually do nearly all labor, even to tending itself) if the duplicate labor and constrained idleness which now wastes nine-tenths of human power, were done away with, as they eventually will be, mankind would, with half their present pains, procure for themselves nearly four times the amount of luxuries which they now enjoy. Enjoy? why, we can now form but a faint conception of the luxury, magnificence, and pleasure, which will characterize the full triumph of The Religion of Science and Government in accordance therewith. Then, man will look on what we consider magnificence, with incalculably more pity than we behold what the wild, uncouthly painted and decorated Indian calls such.
RATIONAL PHILOSOPHY OF WORSHIP.
Sec. 75. Man naturally loves to adore woman. “Woman as naturally loves to be adored by man. The man who has not at least one goddess, and the woman who has not even a single worshipper, suffer the crudest martyrdom.
The stomach requires satisfaction in order that life may be simply retained. Man’s passion to give, and woman’s passion to receive, adoration, requires satisfaction in order that life may be worth retaining.
Where woman is most worshipped, there humanity is most advanced, and vice versa; and when our race is perfected, man will be in a constant ecstacy caused by giving, and woman in a perpetual thrill of delight caused by receiving adoration. The few who now adore or are adored, will bear me testimony that, even between acts of adoration, the luxury of it is unconsciously constant; that the rapture naturally resulting from man’s kneeling and woman’s permitting him to kneel to her, and to lavish voluptuous kisses on her very feet does not cease to thrill for days; nay, years, of unavoidable absence.
Reader, you may perhaps have observed women whose beauty did not strike you as remarkable to suddenly grow enchanting. Enquire into the cause; and, my life on’t, you will, in nine cases out of ten, (if your inquiries are successful) find that such women have had the extraordinary good fortune to fall in with, and attract men who were gifted with refined feeling and discernment enough to worship them.
But have not many of the beautiful women and girls which you have known so suddenly lost their bloom a year or two after marriage, as to strike you with astonishment—sometimes even with horror? Mark well; these have been chained to partners too unenlightened, or too supernaturalistically savageized by “wives be obedient to your husbands,” to comprehend the natural philosophy of woman-worship.
To adore and be adored is an absolute necessity of man’s and woman’s nature; and I will venture to affirm that when society is so organized that the sexes can, unconstrainedly, resign themselves to amorous voluptuousness and to the extatic bliss of worshipping and being worshipped without evil consequences, life’s lease will, from that cause alone, receive an extension of at least a quarter part more than its present term; and oh, what an inestimable additional value will conscious existence be invested with.
Woman will cease to be vain in consequence of being adored, as soon as she understands the natural philosophy of worship. It is because worship has been slavishly bestowed on the personification of the worst of the human qualities magnified to infernalism, that it has been considered a degrading, or at least a pusillanimous thing, and has therefore been but very stintingly, and never in the right spirit, bestowed on its legitimate object—woman.
A very few have no taste for sexual delights; a few others may not desire to vary them. Excepting these rarities, I ask every man and woman—” Do you not heartily wish that matters could be so arranged that you could, without injuring either the feelings or the interests of others, enjoy a continual succession of “honey moons,” instead of only a single short one during a life-time?” I would bet the salvation of my immortal soul, (if I knew I had one) that if superstition, hypocrisy, and poverty-stricken prudence were out of the question, your unanimous answer would be most emphatically yes.
Nature, in whatever department she is buffeted, always becomes detestible in proportion as she would otherwise have been loveable; and so long as indissoluble monogamic marriage continues to slap nature in the very face, or seat of beauty—to buffet the passions—nature will frown, and scowl, and grimace, in the shape of prostitution, wife and husband poisoning or worrying to death, and all else that is detestable or ugly.
But what will become of the family-ties and the home-affections, without indissoluble marriage? Are, then, family-ties dear because they are so circumscribed and so tightly and onerously drawn, or do we submit to have them thus drawn, only because they are so dear?—because, in fact, humanity is, when closely connected, so dear to humanity, even now? With what bliss would the family-ties thrill our bosoms if the whole world was an equitably, harmoniously, and of course scientifically regulated family? Mind, now, I don’t mean Communism, but that which is vastly further removed from it then is our present sociological hotch-potch.
Do you love home because it is so little and inconvenient? Is it an absolute pleasure and good to have home so very restricted, and to have to defend it from the inroads of the members of other homes, as the Barons and their retainers had to defend their castles during the Feudal Ages? or is it only a miserable necessity to which you reluctantly and grumblingly submit? Come, now, ye monogamists, answer me truly.
Woman, unlike man, is but little, if any, inclined to worship. How perfectly awkward and unnatural are all her attempts at extempore praying? In the Middle Ages, when the human disposition to worship was most abused, it peopled the deserts with male hermits exclusively; and if women sometimes sought, instead of being frightened or forced into, the cloister, such instances were most rare exceptions; nor did women, like men then torture themselves in order to propitiate the horrible object of orthodox Christianism’s adoration; and women now attend Church from any motive but that of worship, unless that may be called worship which is extorted by terror.
Woman is the type of the beautiful, as man is that of strength. Violating nature to the extent of denying women their rights, has made them attempt to turn politicians; but the type of all that is lovely has, fortunately, been able to be transformed but very imperfectly into the most abominable which even man could be degraded to.
When the true religion—The Religion of Science—supersedes all false religions, the type of the beautiful in nature, instead of that of the horrible, will be the object of both private and public worship; even the destructionists of the French Revolution had a glimpse of this much, of true religion. The goddesses of Paganism were suggestive of the truth of what I have advanced, and the worship of the Virgin in the Christian phase of Paganism is quite significant of the naturalness of woman worship.
Kneel proudly, then, at the feet of her whom yon love, if you are so fortunate as to be permitted so to do, and there expound to her the philosophy of your attitude j. and, my life on it, you will double her beauty; and when your impassioned, up-turned glance meets hers, her perhaps before dim eye will sparkle with an astonishing brilliancy, and radiate back, to the point of ecstacy, the joy with which you fill her to overflowing.
Women suffer as much from not being adored, and men from not adoring them, as do plants and flowers from being deprived of light. Yet worship has alas, thus far, been (and is likely to be for a while longer) mainly associated with degradation and cowardly fear; still, the bravest of men have been woman-worshipers.
From the time husbands cease to adore their wives, and wives cease to desire the adoration of their husbands, true marriage has ceased between them; and the penalty for their continued adulterous intercourse is, that their lives become a continual crucifixion; and such abominable unions engender all that is deplorable both physically and morally. Children are begotten depraved, of such marriages. Woman suffers much more than man from the constrained sexual relations which cause passional starvation; but in accordance with nature’s law of compensation according to service rendered or the contrary, woman transmits the dreadful effects of her sufferings to posterity. The greatest want of the world is, the conditions requisite to amorous freedom.
Sec. 76. The religion of mystery was the germ—the embryo—of the Religion of Science; and we cannot lose sight of this, without forgetting the vital truth that it is the function of the latter to accomplish what the former—raised a glimmering idea of—human perfection.
Show me your religion, and I will show you your government. Show me your government, and I will show you your religion. Religion is the theory, to which government is unavoidably the practice; the chronic anarchy called democracy, therefore has a corresponding anarchical religion—the religion of protestantism—its very name is a mere jumble of contradiction, as the characteristic without which religion would not answer to the etymology of its name is its catholicity—its universality. Religion is a common ligature, tie, or bond of union in its very nature; and all talk about the benefits arising from a plurality of religions in the same state, or about the propriety or even possibility of a separation of church from state, is simply the twaddle, humbug and clap-trap of infidels, protestants and demagogues. But supernaturalism’s attempt, arbitrarily to coerce man into stone blind unanimity of religious faith, we must not forget, gave rise to all the absurdities which have been perpetrated in the name of the right to differ in opinion in religious matters. Here, again, behold nature’s retaliation on those who attempt to make laws for her to go by.
The Religion of Science, by an appeal to the understanding, will not only satisfy natural passion or feeling, in this tangible sphere, but it will ensure, without resorting to arbitrary means, a unanimity of faith. And as soon as the all-important truth—that religion and government are The Science of Sciences and Art of Arts, which must be under the supervision of the most gifted and thoroughly prepared few—is taught in Sunday schools and Churches, instead of that science of demagogocracy—Protestantism, the sure foundation of human perfection will have been laid.
Science, in its very nature, excludes difference of opinion; and the most stubborn advocates for the permanency of such difference, renounce opinion in favor of mere fractional science. Men do not quarrel for the right to know a thing to be true, but for the supposed right to guess it to be so, and to bore, irritate, and befog each other with their blind conjectures, where combined science can alone avail.
Sec. 77. “Popular government” is the theory, of which combined rascality .is the practice; the science, of which concentrated humbug is the art. It is as much worse than absolutism, as moving is, pro tem, worse than being in a house which has any kind of a roof. Popular government is a crisis, which demagogues and their tools—the Protestant clergy, attempt to make chronic in all its virulency,
Demagogocracy has, in the United States, arrived at that point in abomination where ‘tis difficult to determine whether it, or even Asiatic despotism can tyrannize with most effrontery, or degrade its victims lowest; and ‘tis an unsettled question, whether demagogues cannot inflict, with impunity, even on those in whose veins runs the Anglo Saxon and Celtic blood of the Puritan Fathers, not only as ruinously expensive wrongs as does the most barbarous despotism, but also indignities, insults, and outrages, sooner than submit to which, even the lowest castes in India would rebel.
One of the chosen representatives of that out and out “democracy” which has decreed that the highest law may be one thing to-day and its opposite to-morrow, as the ever changing ipse dixit of popular folly backed by majority force, and directed by its sycophantic flatterers may determine, and that the acme of liberty consists in the right of the strongest to enslave (either by means of purchase of body or purchase of the body’s time and life,) the weakest, and further consists in the right of the affirmative majority to bayonet the minority into assisting them to carry out their measures; I say, one of the representatives of even such perfect “popular sovereignty” as this, has, with impunity, within a short period, and in the very capitol of the home of the refugee from foreign oppression, shot one of his own constituents, an Irish waiter, dead, for not obeying his high demagogocratical mightiness’ commands quite promptly enough.
Another of these specimens of the moral scum which rises to the surface of agitated human folly has also in the very capitol of “the land of the free and the home of the brave,” openly murdered one of the same kidney, under circumstances which would undoubtedly have consigned any one not a successful demagogue, or an effective tool of such, to the gallows. Yet even though it was apparent enough that there was a reason other than the more popular one plead in justification, no one doubted, from the first, that he would escape, as he did, with impunity; s0 imperially above even the sham which the vulgar have to accept from their hands as law, are these representatives and apostles of “the largest liberty.”
If the trial of this fellow had been a special attempt to show up the absurdity of all prevailing legal and judicial proceedings, and to “go it” in respect to all that could mock justice, nullify good sense, and disparage man, it could not have been better planned.
And these creatures of all grades in the political scale, though they profess to be the servants of the people, are in the practice, as the records of our Pandemonium daily testify, of wantonly assaulting and maltreating whomsoever they please, and always with impunity, so far as the “law” which they themselves manufacture or administer is concerned; their brother justices! often refusing even to take the depositions of complainants against them; and even grand juries, being composed of tax payers, refusing, in despair, to indict, in order to save the expense of the sickening farce which they well know would otherwise be enacted, under the name of a trial.
Public work is not only farmed out for four or five times its value, but the figures in the contract are often erased, double their amount inserted, the whole thing clearly proved to the public, who grumble and pay the money notwithstanding, well knowing that no power exists before whom a prosecution for forgery in the case would end in any thing but a tedious and most disgusting farce, the expense of playing which, by other just such knaves, the public would also have to pay.
State governments have even reissued, to the amount of millions, state bonds which had been once paid, and pocketed the proceeds with impunity, of course, as the chief thief in the case, legally and constitutionally possessed the pardoning power.
Even the decisions of the courts of “civil law,” are often based on party interests.
Now, the only way in which such tyrannical practices as these can be successfully inflicted even by Hindo despots on the lowest orders of Asiatics is, by educating those who are to be the victims, in the belief that they are naturally, and therefore rightfully, and even by the ordination of the Gods, subjects for such practice. The physical pain, and the expense, are therefore about all which the victims of Asiatic despotism feel. Whereas demagogocracy educates its victims, at least its white ones, in the belief that all men are equal before “God,” nature, and the “law.” This creates in them the keenest sensibility to wrong, insult, and outrage, which are then dealt out to them as unalloyed and, thus far, with greater impunity, than they have ever been by Pagan, Mahomedan, or even Hindo despots. And were human beads as plenty in the United States, and particularly in that part of the “model Republic” called Kansas, as they were in Asia at the time of Ghengis Khan, demagogocracy might ere this, have had its pyramid of Anglo Saxon, Celtic, Galic, and Teutonic skulls.
These scourges of the human race—demagogues—they who flatter and delude “the Sovereign People” as court-sycophants and favorites do monarchs—(and as much more mischievously as it is worse for a multitude of sovereigns to be duped than it is for a single one to be,) though, in the main, the rakings of the foulest dregs of the populace, have the audacity to set themselves higher above even the faint shadow of law, the authority of which they force others to recognise, than ever have any despots who professedly reigned by right divine.
In Philadelphia, one of “The Sovereign People” was, by one of those political nuisances who profess to be The Sovereign People’s servants, subjected to a long and dreary imprisonment, in direct violation of even “constitutional” law; and even that last hope of the legally oppressed—the writ of habeas corpus—was sneered at.
Corruption is scarcely attempted to be disguised, in contracting for public works, and in enacting special laws for the benefit, at the public expense, of corporations; and even individuals, provided they have done party service, or can pay roundly, are thus favored.
In no less than two of the Sovereign States of “free America,” and in many of the largest cities, the chief officers of government have been convicted of crimes, a hundredth part of which, would have consigned any one, not a successful demagogue, or an effective instrument and supple tool of such, to ignominious imprisonment, if not to the gallows.
In order to reward those who do its nastiest party lobs, demagogocracy not only creates sinecureships in so reckless a manner as to outdo Austrian despotism, but has even undertaken wars against weaker neighbouring nations and fitted out armaments against distant provinces, which have cost hundreds of millions, in order to bestow large tracts of land, and army-contracts, on its minions; and an attempt has recently been made, and. barely failed for the present, under the transparent subterfuge of purchasing additional territory, to place thirty millions of dollars at the disposal of the chief dispenser of the spoils of a nation, which is regularly subjected to conquest, and fresh spoliation by the victors, every four years. Can these things last? Is infernalism nature’s end and aim? Will the “sovereign people” persist in mistaking that for freedom at which they have always grumbled, and which, at length, extorts from them one continuous groan?
THE TWO EXPERIMENTS:
THE “PRACTICAL” FAILURE, AND THE “IMPOSSIBLE” SUCCESS.
In a vision, an immense dancing saloon, full of people, seemed to spring into existence.
After a moment’s pause, in the all but utter bewilderment consequent on the first introduction of nature’s inanimate and animate—objective and subjective intellectual faculties to each other, each individual of the assembly began to sing, or rather scream; and, simultaneously, to try to dance.
As little except mutual collision resulted, the strongest (of course the strongest) adopted the “practical measure,” as they were pleased to term it, of knocking down, and trampling flat under foot, all whose dancing interfered with theirs; provided, of course, that the “offenders” could not manage to dodge the blows which were aimed at them; which, happily, they soon learned how to do, and with a dexterity which guaranteed the Terpsichorean race from being quite exterminated.
The harder and more zealously they strove, the worse they succeeded in any thing which deserved the name of dancing; and the belief gained universal credence, that tripping “the light fantastic toe” (unless brutally trampling on their fellow-beings in their dying agonies, and awkwardly blundering over their maimed and putrifying bodies might be called such) was “impossible.”
But the attention of all was now suddenly drawn towards a very extraordinary and uncouth apparition; which, those declared, who were privileged to see it most clearly, was no less a personage than an ambassador from the divine Terpsichore herself.
This apparition, as it flitted through the room, seemed to converse hurriedly and incoherently, with some dozen or so of the wretcheder sort, and then was gone.
The purport of the “revelation,” as near as it could he made out, from the awkward and enigmatical manner in which it was delivered, was, that Terpsichore had another and “infinitely superior” hall in reserve, in which for her “faithful” votaries to freely exercise their heels to “all eternity;” and that she never intended that dancing should be performed in the “present hall,” except of that simple kind which would serve to stimulate an unbounded desire for that diversion; in fact, dancing was all but prohibited; it was restricted to accordancy with music Bo dolefully monotonous and slow as to have but two notes, and those both semibreves; which music, those who undertook to interpret the mysterious ambassador’s meaning, straightway proceeded to discourse, by means of the rudest and harshest toned instruments imaginable.
Of course, the only motion which could match with this doleful music, consisted in slowly, and in the awkwardest manner possible, bobbing up and down.
The weaker party saw at a glance, that this kind of dancing, however dull and stupid, would, by avoiding collisions, be far better for them, than the liveliest, or rather deadliest dancing of which they had been able to form any conception; and when the interpreters further announced that the dancers would “very shortly” be transferred from the present saloon to that infinitely superior one which Terpsichore had in reserve, they commenced, with great unanimity, to bob to the time of the doleful music.
And now, dancing, such as it was, seemed in a fair way to go on without creating quite as much harm as before; still, schism did gradually creep in; in consequence of which, the interpreters of the enigmatical messenger, still farther announced, that all who did not curtail their dancing in exact accordance with their doleful music, would be, in the splendid saloon to which all were shortly to be transferred, trampled under foot by those who did.
Dreadful havoc now took place between those who refused to conform their dancing strictly to the doleful music, and those who attempted, in their own defence, and also for the good of the recusants themselves, to force them so to do. But the combined force of the adherents of dullness, added to the terror which their now powerful and influential leaders inspired, finally carried the day.
However, the transfer to the splendid saloon did not take place as predicted, and ages seemed to roll by in a dullness as awful as the former activity had been cruel. At length, a few of the musicians, (for they had by this time become a separate class, the condition of the higher interpreters being altogether above that of even the enigmatical messenger) had discovered how to sound three, and some even three and a half notes, instead of the original two. But this stage of “progress” was so far from the actual “improvement” or “reform” which it was claimed to be, that it rendered the doleful music discordant, and thus destroyed the “order” of the motion which had so long accompanied it.
And now, slaughter still more dreadful than any which had formerly taken place, became a regular business.
At length, matters were arranged on the ridiculous basis, that those who preferred the “established dance” might continue its practice; and all the dissenters might dance, with as much freedom as they could exercise, without interfering with their neighbours. This agreement being with great accuracy written out and solemnly sworn to by both parties, the friends of “liberty” held great rejoicings over it, considering all difficulty, wrong and oppression, as at an end.
But this absurd scheme, the instant it began to be put into practice, proved, of course, an entire delusion to both parties. For the two kinds of music did, in spite of all possible care, all but completely confuse the two kinds of dancing. However, the parties being now pretty equal, as to power, bore with the privations which they mutually inflicted, with most edifying charity and patience in the main; chewing and smoking tobacco, and swallowing intoxicating drinks, most lavishly, by way of killing ennui, and smothering chagrin.
But from time to time, as ages rolled on, terrible outbreaks of violence did nevertheless occur; only, however, to subside again pretty much to where things had been placed by the delusive compromise.
At length, Terpsichore herself arrived. She stated that when her supposed messenger, whom she now declared was herself, came, she was, like her subjects, in such a sleepy and confused condition, that she spoke of a transfer to another hall, indeed; but she did not, nevertheless, mean one absolutely different; she did not know definitely what she did mean; nor could her hearers have then understood the real purport of what she uttered, had it been ever so clearly expressed.
She was now wide awake, and the most beautiful being imaginable; she brought with her the finest toned instruments, on which she played music of enchanting sweetness, and proclaimed, that if her votaries would cease the heterogeneous clashing or “dancing” which they absurdly and so disastrously supposed to be “exercising their individual rights,” she would soon teach them all how to dance to their heart’s content, in the present hall.
Reduced to utter despair by chronic failure, the dancers, with but little opposition, acquiesced. Terpsichore then, after a short preliminary discipline, systematically arranged her votaries first into quadrilles, then waltzes, then polkas, &c., &c.; and astonished all, by converting the very force which had thus far seemingly prevented dancing, and which the old fogies had always contended was as good as it could be without being absolutely changed, into the very means for its performance; and ere my vision ended, every one in the hall was dancing to his or her entire satisfaction; each, owing to the dynamic order which the reign of science had introduced, enjoying all the (hitherto “impossible”) freedom which they desired; and finally desisting from dancing, only because they were so completely tired of it, that not a wish was entertained for resuming that amusement elsewhere.
MISERY INCALCULABLY MORE DIFFICULT
AND EXPENSIVE THAN HAPPINESS.
In my second vision, it seemed as though I was among a people who, instead of studying how to make nature their friend and ally, were carrying on a war of subjugation against her; insanely imagining her to be “depraved,” and hostile to their highest interests. Confusion of course had a continuous holiday; folly was rampant, and ignorance supreme.
Although in this country, food ready cooked grew spontaneously and in great abundance, I observed that the people were ravenously hungry; and that very many were actually dying of starvation, or languishing on beds of sickness in consequence thereof.
I was not long, however, in discovering that the cause of all this was the prevalence of a notion that spoiling the appetite in every possible way, and denying the stomach the food it naturally craved, was the most sublime and meritorious of virtues, and the surest and most approved mark of “practical piety”—a sort of subjective commodity of no determinate value, yet held in the highest repute.
The instant I prepared to appease my own appetite, I was most unceremoniously apprized that, contrary to all appearances, nothing was more difficult—that there was a “law” written out in due form in their frightfully ponderous statute book, prohibiting people from taking any food, except by sucking it through a very narrow tube.
But I instantly perceived that the real basis of all this “piety,” “virtue,” and “law” was the fear that if people ate as much as they pleased, they would consequently grow so large, that both clothing and even shelter, would be inadequate; these being produced only in such niggardly quantities as the all but wholly isolated efforts of individuals could furnish them; the government devoting itself entirely to the business of being, by some means, and in some shape no matter how or what, at the head of affairs; and never dreaming that it was its business to take measures for securing to the governed, abundance of clothing and shelter, and thus exemption from evil consequent on eating their fill; too much present delight, it was generally feared, might divert man’s affections from the eternal revel in which he was instructed to expect to indulge after death; besides, for government to interfere with individuals, except by way of taxing, humbugging and punishing them, would be to distrust the people’s capability to take care of themselves, each on his or her “own hook;” and would be such a gross infringement on the people’s individual rights, and such a death blow to “individual responsibility” or “virtue,” that it was most strictly guarded against in their vaunted Palladium of liberty—” The Constitution.” The policy was, to compel every individual to clothe and house himself or herself and family, as he or she, with the least possible co-operation with others, best could; and of course to scrimp all in food, and thus curtail them in size, to that degree that they might, without public aid or private charity, and above all without reciprocal assistance, and consequent damage to private “virtue,” “morality” and “independence,” be as well housed and clothed as they ought to expect to be in “the present evil world.”
In some of the Provinces or States, the government furnished tubes at a price fixed by statute; in other parts of the country they were sold by a class privileged to demand the statute price for them; and in a very few places any one might give them away, upon certain conditions, provided that they were of the legal dimensions.
But this absurd law, instead of preventing natural eating, did but augment surreptitious gluttony to such a degree that what obtained the name of “the shameful disease” was, either virulently or in some of its chronic forms, almost universal. It became even transmissible by contact; and there was scarcely a family, however punctilious, which was untainted.
Also, food taken through “the tube,” as might rationally have been foreseen, irritated, stimulated, and unnaturally enlarged, instead of satisfying, the appetite. And as all eating sans tube, had, under severe penalties, to be done in secret, it was performed in such hot haste, in order to make the most of the opportunity, that many thus ravenously swallowed more food in a single day, than they would, if left to their own free choice, have eaten in a month; thus often making themselves so sick, however, that they actually diminished instead of increasing in size; which was considered both a public gain—a “necessary evil”—and a just punishment of those immediately concerned.
From the best information obtainable, it was a safe calculation that more than half the people dispensed with the use of the tube whenever they got a sly chance, despite the legal penalties, and notwithstanding the care with which they were educated to look on a violation of the tube law as the lowest disgrace. And it must be obvious, that in order to prevent the unscrupulous, especially when half starved, from breaking such a law, a constable would be needed for every citizen, a deputy sheriff for every constable, a high sheriff for every deputy, and. so on. The “conscience” was the main dependence, after all; (although it became a standing proverb, that” an empty stomach had no conscience;”) and no pains were spared by those short-sighted enough to imagine it for their interest to perpetuate this unnatural, absurd and hypocritical state of things, to prepossess the “conscience” in “the law’s” favor.
But the horror with which the ignorant masses and weak minded people were taught to behold a breach of the tube law will best appear from the following extract from one of their favorite poets:
“The only way such guilt to cover,
When on it glares the public eye,
Is, for the beef and mutton lover,
To slink into some hole and die.”
Although, as I have said, more than half the people were guilty of a breach of the tube law, and all would be if they dared, still, whenever one chanced to be caught in the act, the reproaches heaped upon ““one more unfortunate” were unbounded, and always came thickest from those who sought thus to divert suspicion from their own guiltiness. Parents, though themselves half rotten with the shameful disease, abandoned their children, if the “misguided youths” became disgraced by, that is surprised at, “free eating;” and public opinion justified even stabbing or shooting those who helped others to “illicit’’ food, if the affair leaked out.
I saw an old and “highly respectable” man become incurably mad in consequence of his child having been caught eating an apple without having it half spoiled by the cooking necessarily preliminary to the nauseous process of sucking it through the lawful tube; for so destitute of a sense of justice had the tube law rendered the subjects of it, that the disgrace of discovered illicit eating, tainted every member of the delinquents family.
Yet, strange to say, of every novel or play written, a breach of the tube-law formed sometimes the tragic, but generally the comic part; and as if to show to what a depth they could sink in inconsistency, hypocrisy and stupidity, the people, almost without exception, heartily relished a joke at the expense of the nevertheless cherished statute.
The tube-law was as murderously cruel as it was absurd and unnatural, for the obtaining of tubes depended, after all, greatly on tact, and even on chance; consequently, many of the simple-minded, timorous, and “law-abiding,” died of starvation.
Tubes had also to be taken blindly, and retained exclusively for life, or whilst a vestige of them remained, however unfit they might be for use. Also, under certain circumstances, which very often occurred, they might be forfeited; when it became the duty of the forlorn individuals from whom they were taken, to live as long as they could without eating, and then die like good citizens, true to their “principles.”
But need it be said that instead of so doing, most of these made it their chief business to seek out evasions of the tube-law, or to improve every chance of secretly transgressing it? A few however did not do so, and it was dreadful to behold these famishing wretches, these “martyrs to principle,” in their agonies making the motions of eating—chewing the wind—till some of them, frantic, bit, often unconsciously, at whatever vile and even poisonous substances bore any resemblance to food; and they ground their teeth together and wagged their haggard jaws till they lost the power to do so, became maniacs, and died raving mad.
As a specimen of the senseless and absurd subtilties and impracticable, abstractions which this deluded people allowed themselves to be entangled in, and which they accepted for “law:”—The highest court decided that no one could be convicted of a breach of the “tube-law” on the strength of proof that the accused had vomited up food in chunks twice or three times as large as could have been taken into the stomach in the lawful way; nor was such proof allowed to be even offered in evidence. Neither could people be prosecuted or held to answer for a breach of the tube law in consequence of being more hale, stout and cheerful than they could possibly have become through the use of the tube. Even to express suspicions of such, was, by that most opaque and sophistical of possible entanglements which passed for “common law,” decided to be libellous.
As new tubes of course worked better than old, clogged up ones, there was a great temptation to destroy the latter; to do so was therefore, by statute, made the highest crime; which, on conviction, was punished by death. Corrosives were at first resorted to with great impunity, by those desirous of getting rid of their old tubes, and who understood the knack of immediately getting new ones; but chemical tests, after a white, put an end to the use of the coarsest of them. There remained one, however, and the most efficient of all, which, on account of its subtility, no chemical test could detect. Its use was mainly confined to the more refined and intelligent classes.
My pity was very much excited by the case of a poor innocent looking young lady, who had not the tact requisite for the procuration of a tube, and who was consequently in the last stages of starvation. Yet her own mother sternly refused her the use of food, declaring that she should go to her grave sooner than live disgraced by eating contrary to law; yet this same mother had “used up” no less than three tubes, was “working her card” for a fourth, and was, besides, in that robust and sprightly condition which could be accounted for only on the hypothesis of sub rosa “free eating.”
A few were in favor of abolishing the tube. But these were opposed by those who led the multitude by the nasal organ, who asked: “If people are so gluttenous with the tube, and grow so big that charity often has to clothe and house them, what would become of them without it?” “Doubtless,” admitted the few, “if tubes were suddenly abolished, people would, to make up for long deprivation, at first gormandise frightfully; since, throughout nature, action must have its corresponding reaction; but their unnatural or excessive appetites would gradually subside, after the withdrawal of the exciting cause; and then few or none would eat more than was necessary and proper; and, under a right condition of affairs, capable of being amply provided for.”
But the tube law had been in vogue from time immemorial, and hence a sort of infernal charm seemed to sanctify it in the opinions of this besotted people.
Could they “set at naught the wisdom of ages, and consider their progenitors, who had tubed it so respectably through life as but a pack of fools?”
The tube law, by continually mortifying the appetite, soured the temper, and vitiated the feelings every way; and as parents transmit their bad qualities to their offspring, (and in a constantly more and more aggravated form, until the original cause of the evil is removed) drunkards, fools, lunatics, murderers, and miscreants of every grade, were actually begotten such; and the sticklers for the infernal tube carried their presumption so far (or rather, insanity so generally prevailed) that they accused “The Almighty” (an immensely magnified photograph of themselves; including, of course, all their depravities,) of thus “visiting the iniquities of the fathers upon the children.”
At length, sickness from starvation so crowded the public hospitals, dead bodies so blocked up the streets, the “shameful disease became so general, and detected infringements of the tube law, so taxed the public for prisons and their keepers, that the said law thus rendered itself impossible to be enforced, and became a dead letter, wholly disregarded, either from motives of shame or fear; people grew up naked and homeless, from being too weak to furnish clothing and shelter for even their diminutive bodies.
What was to be done? Of course, but one resource remained: the facility for the production of clothing and shelter must be increased. The public, as a body, now took this view of the case, and, in good earnest, set about testing its correctness, in spite of the warnings of sage old fogies who declared that nothing could be done except what already had been done, unless some way could be devised by which nature could be “absolutely changed?’’ The half naked, houseless wretches who mainly composed the community, and the capitalists and the skillful who, to some extent, in spite of all obstacles, still existed, now organized their combined force; an equitable arrangement for mutually co-operative wholesale productive purposes was made, and the best clothing, and the most magnificent shelter immediately became abundant, through mere necessary exercise on the part of operatives, a little attention, by way of amusement, on the part of the skillful, and no vexation or care on the part of capitalists; and eating, to the full extent which nature required, and of course, in utter disregard of the restrictive tube, became an honour instead of a disgrace; large people were emulated, and soon superseded altogether the half dead wretches who, equally foolish, egotistic, and contemptible, had set themselves up for facsimiles of “The Almighty.” Sickness, including even “the shameful disease,” it is hardly necessary to add, soon became wholly unknown.
In my third vision, it seemed as though I was in the interior of an immense edifice: so vast, indeed, that though the single room into which I first entered was about two thousand five hundred miles square, there were several others larger, and numerous smaller, yet quite extensive ones.
In this immense room, which I instantly perceived to be one of the wards of a hospital of no less dimensions than the whole edifice, lay, apparently in the last stages of exhaustion, a single patient; no less a personage, however, than the soi disant “smartest” member of the family of The Great Being who continually lives, and incessantly, however slowly, learns.
This afflicted creature—this groaning mass of self-conceit, notwithstanding the long course of schooling which he, in common with some of his brothers, had gone through with, had some how or other failed to acquire sufficient practical wisdom to find out how to extricate himself from the miserable dilemma of being, like all the rest of the family who had grown into notice, alternately victimized, and thus kept a perpetual invalid, by the charlatanry, and blind and reckless experimenting of two arrant quacks; the practice of the first of whom was to stealthily poison and stupify his patient till he became manageable, and then pick his pockets, by way of securing his “lawful” fee for forcing the nastiest and most abominable “stringent” doses down his throat; and this system of practice was kept up, till the gripes brought the sufferer to his pluck, and made him kick, scratch, and bite most valiantly; which uncommon exercise, stirring up the bile throughout his whole system, he vomited the long pent up foulness of his stomach full into the doctor’s face; and sneezed so violently, purged so furiously, and let drive such putrid blasts from his nether entrails, as to frighten and stink his tormentor into some obscnre corner of the Great Edifice; when the other impostor who, Ghoul-and-Vulture-like, loved nothing so much as the sight, smell, and taste of all this, and who cf nsidered it so “glorious,” even, that he wrote voluminous histories of all the disgusting details, entered, and took his turn at the Great Patient.
His bouts however, were always comparatively short; for he urged on, by every possible means, the puking, purging, and other discharges which his predecessor had unintentionally, and so unfortunately for himself, as well as for his patient, caused to be begun; did not spare the lancet, even, and was so insatiably greedy, so abominably nasty, and so wasteful withal, that it did not take him long to devour the whole contents of his subject’s stomach and bowels; and to suck and waste his blood, till it became so scarce and thin that on it, he grew too weak to be able to sustain himself; when the banished impostor, his predecessor, who had all along been watching his opportunity, reentered, kicked him in turn into obscurity, and re-commenced his own before-mentioned system of operations.
In the most comfortable, or rather least uncomfortable place in the whole ward, a decrepit, wrinkled, idiotic old hag sat in a crib of gold, diamonds, and precious stones. Evidently from choice, she was wallowing in all the nastiness which her foul carcass had ever excreted.
Whilst I was seriously apprehending that the resulting stink must prove fatal to me, I was somewhat assured by observing that the Great Patient snuffed it up with eagerness; and seemed actually comforted thereby.
The old woman, I found, was the mother of the two quacks just mentioned, (the first of whom was a legitimate, and the second a bastard son) and was queen of the whole edifice; in every room of which she was, in virtue of her magical power, simultaneously present, and as magnificently provided for as in this.
On the bare floor reclined, naked and uncared for, a female just entering her teens, of such enchanting beauty as to leave no doubt that when she arrived at maturity, she would be the incarnation of perfection itself. That she possessed a charmed life, was evident from the fact that she survived, unblemished, her most abominable surroundings.
The Great Patient, notwithstanding his manifold afflictions, was by no means dead to that most delightful of sentiments,—adoration; as was evident from the devout obeisances which he ever and anon made to the old woman; yet so depraved had that sentiment become, that whenever his eyes wandered in the direction of the very embodiment of loveliness, he seemed to be even unconscious of her presence; and whenever the old woman looked that way, she scowled so as to appear more ugly, if possible, than ordinarily. In fact, the detestable old wretch had, from her habit of tossing her head aside, maliciously, from whatever was beautiful, at length fix’d it hind side before; so that she could look only backwards.
Under the immediate surveillance of the old woman, and contiguous to the Great Patient, was a huge something, the use of which, I did not even attempt to guess, through a window of which I beheld on a table curiously and artistically composed of silver dollars and gold eagles, a most ponderous tome; as if to preserve which, by all earthly means, its cover was of massive gold, and its edges were not only as thickly as possible gilded, but deeply embedded in gold dust. In short, all that gold and silver could do for the preservation and honour of this great book was done.
This precious volume was, according to the lettering on its cover, (the only portion about which ordinary observers knew any thing) “The Book of Practice;” to cure disease in accordance with which, this great hospital, its Great Patient informed me, had been founded. On opening The Book, however, surprise and astonishment absolutely, for the moment, bewildered me; for its interior, despite the power of even gold, was too rotten to bear to be touched; in fact, it was so badly rent, that not a whole sentence remained intact; and from time immemorial, no two examiners of its contents had been able to come to the same conclusion; nay, so diametrically opposite were those conclusions capable of being, that the two quacks both equally claimed to draw their doctrine from The Book; and so precious was the method of The Book in itself considered, that any amount of sickness was thought amply compensated for, in being treated in accordance with it; and to such an extent was this mania carried, that a famous assistant, and most efficient catspaw of the nasty bastard declared that, with respect to a speciality which he, quoting the language of a preceding brother chip, designated as “the sum of all villainies,” he had rather it would go on fifty years longer than have it removed except in accordance with the rules prescribed in The Book; the meaning of all this, however, was, that the said assistant was receiving, for tickling the prejudices of his hearers with his half-serious, half-comic expositions of those precious rules, the snug sum of five thousand dollars per annum, perquisites to double that amount, and any quantity of fulsome admiration from the members of his clique.
The contents of “The Book,” despite the efforts of the most learned scholars to fit them to a meaning, presented a mass of jargon, balderdash, self-contradiction and absurdity so utterly unintelligible, and so baudy withal, that with the exception of some common place, evidently extraneous matter which had, as if surreptitiously or by accident crept therein, the whole might have been the work of the nasty old creature who occupied the gold and diamond crib. How could so much science, art, labour and expense have been perverted to the honour and perpetuation of such worthlessness? The contrast between the cost of the means and the value of the end was so utterly monstrous, that for an instant I fairly doubted the testimony of my very eyes.
“Why, in the name of all that is neither stark staring madness nor slavering idiotcy,” asked I of the Great Patient, whisperingly, for fear of arousing the ire of the old woman, but more from dread of the damage to my olfactory nerves, which stirring up that mass of putridity would most assuredly produce,” is not the incarnation of loveliness, whom I see so neglected, queen here, instead of”——
“Ah,” he interrupted, “I, too, have sometimes dreamed after that fashion; but awoke, alas, to find that I has been deluded into the wild regions of mere theory and imagination, by that tantalizing phantom,—the Queen of Utopia; who sometimes is fancied to linger hereabout. She,—the beau ideal of perfection, queen here? Impossible. Our dreams of perfect bliss are realizable only after death. Stranger, look about you; take & practical view of things as they naturally exist, and judge for yourself.”
“Perfect bliss impossible during life, yet realizable after death?” “Evidently,” thought I, “the connection between the speaking and thinking faculties of this mass of misery is clean severed. For where, except beyond anywhere,—outside of duration and space even, could such driveling balderdash have any significancy?”
Just now the reigning impostor entered.
“Your most Humble Servant, my Honored Master,” said he, bowing to the floor before the Great Patient, rolling up his eyes devoutly towards the old woman, scornfully sneering at the young beauty, and taking care to exhibit, as glaringly as possible, his vaunted medicine box
After licking up, with evident relish, (so utterly depraved had his vocation rendered his appetite) a large pool of saliva, the consequence of a stupefying weed which the patient, to assuage his anguish, was in the constant practice of chewing, and after filling a bottle which held as much as he could carry off with blood, which was pouring from lancet wounds which he had, from time to time, made in all the patient’s accessible veins, without knowing or trying to find out how to close them up, (that being the last thing which he wanted to do) he resumed:
“How did the last application of the great remedy effect you, my Sovereign Master? But why do I ask? As it was exactly what your supreme wisdom wished for, of course it must have been “all right;” just” the thing;” “bunkum;” eh?”
“Ah, Doctor,” groaned the miserable patient, “If the application of your ointment to the ulcer in one of my vital members so gangren’d it—so widely spread the corruption that I thought it must be all over with me, my torture has been so much more excruciating since you made your ointment so strong, that in penetrating, it cuts my every fibre, and attempted to lay it on thick enough to smother—
“I tell you,” impatiently interrupted the quack, “that my great remedy—pardon me, your great remedy, which I, the humble instrument of your sovereign will, do but apply—is infallible; and what is more, there is no other; the only difficulty is, that it has never been fully used.”
“Fully used?” retorted the patient, “Pray, to what part of my poor body has not been applied the remedy of which your all promising medicine-box is the reservoir? I am so completely enveloped in, and so thoroughly permeated by it, that I feel as though I was in the very throes of dissolution. I scarcely know my head from my heels; and what I take for my heels to day, marvelously resembles my head to morrow, and vice versa; and I am s0 crazed, that when I start to go one way, I find myself, before I am aware of it, going in exactly the contrary direction.”
“My Dear—My Honoured Sir,” coaxingly, and with lamb-like mildness, replied the Doctor, completely non-plussed. “Pray don’t further endanger your precious health, by falling into a passion with your very humble servant, who, you must assuredly know, can do nothing which you do not command, and who most respectfully and deferentially recommends you to do only whatever your sovereign self thoroughly, and beyond all question most wisely, approves. My Supreme Master, under our common Providence, [bowing very low both to the Great Patient and the old woman] deign to permit the unworthy instrument of your Supreme Wisdom’s Will, in all reverence to ask, for his guidance and “instruction,” a calm and detailed account of the symptoms of your case—a somewhat minute description of your feelings. Surely there can be no evil for which your transcendent wisdom cannot suggest a cure; and I but submissively wait, and most assiduously study to find out and obey your wishes.”
“Symptoms, feelings, descriptions,” roared the agonizing sufferer, in tones which made the great chief of empirics stagger, aghast, and hug, convulsively, the darling box, from which he still desperately hoped to conjure a quackery deceptive enough to hide, and broad enough to cover, all former ones, “a thousandth part of them would exhaust your patience to hear, and my power to relate. Read the Daily Bulletins of the rapidly accumulating infernalities by which I am constantly more and more tormented. Starvation—pauperism—bankruptcy—repudiation—defalcation—murder—rape—prostitution—robbery—forgery—swindling, and imprisonment of the swindled instead of the swindler. Bribery and extortion throughout. Corruption at my very heart. Oh-O-O-0-O-O O.”
And the groan was so horrible, that I at first thought it must surely be a dying one; but instead of growing fainter and fainter, it waxed louder and louder, till it seemed to be echoed from every part of the vast hospital. Instantly, the scene of my vision changed, and I beheld, through the length and breadth of “The Model Republic” every demagogue of note, including the President himself, with their necks in halters, the other ends of which, were fastened to limbs of trees, at the height of about twenty feet from the ground. The pale and trembling wretches stood on little platforms about five feet high; each platform being so constructed, that a single blow of a mallet would demolish it, and leave its incumbant pendulous.
“All ready?” sternly demanded the head, vigilants. “All ready,” still more sternly responded the executioners pro tern, firmly grasping their mallets. “All ready,” seemed to echo from thousands of miles of gleaming bayonets which guarded this wholesale treason, which was now instantly untreasoned, by being fully sanctioned by the vast multitude of spectators, and in tones which seemed, like thunder peals, to reverberate from the very heavens.
The tumult, however, was quickly succeeded by that breathless stillness to which the most turbulent resign themselves whilst in momentary expectation of witnessing the violent death struggles of their fellow beings.
The head demagogue now respectfully requested to be heard in his own defence, and promised to set up no justification based on what had hitherto passed for law, but to confine his pleading strictly within the bounds of that justice, reason, and equity, by which his triumphant judges themselves, professed to be guided.
This caused some slight signs of impatience on the part of the multitude, and the bayonet and mallet men; but after a short and hurried consultation among the chief vigilant?, the request of the demagogue in chief was granted, accompanied by the caution, that any departure from its terms would be the signal for the execution both of himself and his confederates.
Had the Ex-President been the meanest of cowards, it was now perfectly evident that that dare-devil audacity which always passes for courage with the multitude, could alone save him.
“Is there a man in all this vast assemblage, who, twenty-four hours since, would have refused the situation of President of this great nation?” asked the ex-chief humbug, in a tone of “neck or nothing” boldness. He paused a moment to see the effect of this on those whom he had often before edified from a platform or a stump; and perceiving that he had made “a lucky hit,” he proceeded:—” Had the spirit of the immortal Washington himself, inhabited the body of him who, for the last three years, has had the misfortune to be President of this great Republic, were these the last words I shall ever utter, I swear, that results could not have been better for the nation, than they have been.”
“Admitting that I might have tried to stem the tide of corruption which has overturned the proudest Democracy the world has ever seen, and brought its magistracy to ruin; honesty, good intention, and virtue, had all the world has ever possessed of these been concentrated in me, would have been as useless, as pity would be to the head devil in the infernal regions.”
“Myself, and those your suffrages have made not only what we were, but what we now are, are accused of impoverishing the nation by our prodigality, and of trampling law and justice underfoot. Gentlemen, what kind of law, and what sort of justice have we been disregarding? Is it not that kind of law and justice in accordance with which you are the mutual impoverishers and despoilers of each other, and in accordance with which, the strongest are the crushers into the very dust, of the weakest? If I have rewarded my partizans with unnecessary offices, at the nation’s expense, are not nine-tenths of your “merchant princes” equally unnecessary? Will you reply, that had any of you refrained from burdening society with one more merchant, stock-jobber, broker, quack doctor, sham lawyer, or creed monger, you would thereby but have relinquished the situation to some one else? Well, supposing I had declined the situation of President? Would not your suffrages have given the place to another? Or had I refused to accept the nomination, except on a more honest platform than I did? Would not some one, with his scheme for enlarging the area of freedom,” or some such clap-trap, have been sure to have defeated me?”
If I am so detestable as to deserve death by the halter, I will die, hurling this in your teeth:—That I am but the head of a constituency, nine-tenths of whom are, as near as they can be, what I was two hours since.”
“Again:—Having accepted the position which your free suffrages bestowed on me, had I refused to reward, as I have done, those most actively engaged in helping me thereto, poison,—the dagger,—impeachment,-t-or at least your own contempt, scorn, and condemnation, would have been my reward. I should have been stigmatized as a traitor to the party (of course composed of the majority) to whom I owed my position.”
“During many preceding Presidential terms, has not every public officer of note, who has attempted “retrenchment and reform” been sneered at as mean, or falsely accused, by his jealous and less conscientious compeers, of the most atrociously interested motives? And have not such accusations been very generally credited by the people, the very improbability of their being true, seeming to confirm their truth, in the opinion of those too simple minded to suppose it possible that the majority of honourable members of the government could tell such abominable lies about one of their own number? no amount of counter testimony being sufficient to remove all suspicion but that where there had been such a tremendous smoke, there must have been some fire.”
“Gentlemen, from highest to lowest; that is, from richest to poorest, among you, reckless prodigality has long since been christened generosity, and the reverse has been sneered at as meanness; and I have but been perpetrating, on the largest scale, what every one of you have been perpetrating on a scale as large as you could. The only exceptions to this have been, a set of merely denunciatory cynics, whose principles are too self-nullifying and therefore absurd, to deserve to be even laughed at, and a few constructive sociologians, to whose “theories” you have never even deigned to listen.”
Finally, gentlemen, the justice and equity which you have steadily contributed to produce, may be summed up in the reduction of the masses to either chattel or wages-slavery; to the necessity of laboring for the maintenance of those who do not do so productively from fear of the lash, or from the dread of starvation; without always being able to avoid the first penalty, and without ever being able to more than approximate towards an avoidance of the second one. Such, gentlemen, is your justice, and your equity. Now, consummate them on your principal agent. I am ready.”
The unanimity, both of the vigilants and their supporters, was now very sensibly shaken, and demagogocracy seemed on the point of triumphing once more, when the counter revolution was checked by the appearance, on the scene of action, of that immense army of men and women who had hitherto constituted the prison population of “the laud of liberty;” and who, in the general uproar, had risen on their keepers, and freed themselves. These, instantly catching from those who had heard it, the purport of what had just been delivered, claimed, that its logic was as applicable to them, as to any of the new fashioned criminals.
A vast multitude of “prostitutes” further claimed, that the amnesty should be made general, by including “vice” as well as “crime.” This brought matters to a crisis.
“Sooner than abolish the distinction between virtue and vice, innocence and crime,” exclaimed all the moral and virtuous in concert, “perish the whole human race.” *
Instantly, this horrible alternative seemed on the point of being consummated. But ere the virtuous and vicious, phrensied with fury, could fasten a death grapple on each other’s throats, the most intelligent and noble men and women rushed forward, took the despised affectionately by the hand, and “brother”—“sister”— tenderly pronounced, not only quenched the thirst for vengeance where “vice” and “crime” held their lowest Beat, but, as if by magic, the mallets dropped from the hands of the executioners, the ropes vanished from the necks of the demagogues, and the bayonets were thrust deep into the earth, as if the very steel which composed them-was ashamed of its murderous form, and impatient to be converted to implements of husbandry.
All now, including finally even the “moral” and “virtuous,” indulged in one long, mutual embrace; during which, each seemed to personify, to each, the whole human race. Universal love, hitherto fragmentary isolated and pent up, now gushed communicatively from all hearts, and streamed spontaneously and in concert from all eyes. It seemed as though man had, after agonizingly searching for ages, at length found his beloved fellow man, with whom he had never before been permitted to be acquainted.
Oh, there was religious science; there was knowledge; there was practical wisdom and understanding; but not a particle of “virtue,” “morality,” “principle,” or “disinterestedness;” the entire motive power in the case was pure, true, enlightened, far-seeing selfishness.
There was, at length, the first ripening fruits of development—refinement—art; there was a foretaste of the true “state of nature,” which, could Rousseau have looked forward to, instead of looking backwards after, he would never have been the apostle of mediocrity; or the advocate of that “disinterested,’’ “self-sacrificing” “virtue,”—that vindictive moralism, which furnished the text for The Reign of Terror, and which has always been the cruelest scourge which the hand of ignorance, even, has ever wielded.
Long before the rebellion against demagogocracy broke out, supernaturalism had become the derision, not only of those with any just pretensions to science, but to all the clergy who were not too low and ignorant to be tolerated in the society of such; and the only adherents to the ridiculous and nonsensical opinions which had their rise in primitive and savage times, were the “poor in spirit” among the masses. A few of the most enlightened among the clergy and men of science had also become indoctrinated in the knowledge that all mankind and all nature in the connection constituted one organism, no part of which could be indifferent to all the other parts; and that every part of this immense organism, was capable, as it, in turn, arrived at the stage of human development, of being enabled, through science, in concert with every other protempore human part or individual, to perfectly fulfill all its functions; the sum of all of which functions being, the enjoyment, on Earth, of perfect and satisfactorily-lasting happiness.
This enlightened few now came forward, and offered their services to the human race, on the following conditions:—
Article I. Mankind shall repose, in the professors of The Science of Sciences and Art of Arts of adjusting, harmonizing, and regulating the Universal Organism, comprising Man and all Nature in the connection, (or all which can, ever so slightly, be the objective organ of thought) not the blind faith required by the teachers of Supernaturalism, nor the halfway confidence reposed in the apostles of the subjective, vague, speculative, opinionistic, vain and delusive sociology based thereon; but the enlightened, wide awake faith now reposed in the professors of even fractional science and art. Man shall judge his sociological and universological professors, as he judges ordinary professors—by results.
Article II. It is provisionally agreed, whilst the Religion of Science, and law and government in accordance therewith are being fully elaborated, and whilst an equitable arrangement (or union) between capital, labor, and skill, (the true Father, Son, and Holy Ghost) is being made, that the immediate wants of the needy shall be amply supplied; and that those whom former abuses have rendered so insane that no amount of good treatment can make it safe to leave them at large, shall be detained in asylums, and taken care of in the tenderest manner that their cases will admit of.
Article III. Virtue and Vice, except as provided in Article IV., are henceforth banished from the Earth.
Article IV. Each individual as one party, and all Mankind as the other, shall be held mutually responsible for their acts, either of omission or commission, in the ratio of their power.
The Provisional Scientific Dictatorship required that the body politic (for whom they laboured, and for whom they engaged to perform positively useful service, instead of being that which had hitherto degraded man below vegetables—” a necessary evil”) should, whilst The Universal Organism was being put into harmoniously working order, provide for, and sustain them, similarly as the individual human body provides for and sustains the brain, nerves, spine, and other organs, without which, it would be a mass of as dead equality, as would be the social or even The Universal Organism under practical democracy.
The Provisional Scientific Dictatorship also issued the following Circular, to be read in all the churches and public places:—
People:—The ballot-box, that opposite abomination to absolutism’s scepter, is no more; that last relic of the error which encrusted supernaturalism—demagogism— is eliminated.
The Universal Organism at length preliminarily exists. All things are on the verge of full creation. Law will henceforth, really, because spontaneously, emanate from the governed. It will be discovered and modified, instead of “enacted,” and by those with all science or knowledge, as fast as it can be evolved, for their guide, instead of either absolutistic or popular prejudice.
The guaranty for the fidelity of those who will henceforth discover and declare law will be the certain knowledge, that on your full liberty, and perfect and satisfactorily-lasting happiness, their own inevitably depends.
Education will, with all possible despatch, be placed on such a footing, that both those whose tastes and capabilities are general, and those whose tastes and capabilities are special, will elect themselves to, or spontaneously find, their true positions; † and as, henceforth, honour is banished, and well-being will depend, not on positions, but on the capability with which they are filled, fear not that we shall be inclined to hold over, after it is demonstrated that others can fill the places which we occupy, with more benefit to you, and, of course, to us, than we can. We will not wreck the ship which we sail in purposely, and we have now the requisites for preventing us from doing so accidentally.
People, the area of actual freedom can have no earthly boundary. A faith self-evidently true, a system of law necessarily just, and a government practically free, require the compass of the whole world: within nothing short of which immense space, as liberty cannot be realized, it has never, hitherto, existed, except speculatively, or as a vain illusion.
The following “Confession of Living Faith” was, by the clergy, proposed in all the churches, instead of the dead old creeds:—
I believe, so firmly that I will, with all my might, act in accordance with that belief,—
- That nature, or all which can, ever so slightly, be the objective organ of thought, is all sufficient.
- That development will prove adequate to all for which miracle can be understandingly invoked.
III. That Man, Nature’s highest consciousness, can, through universal organization, become, objectively, the God which he instinctively created himself, subjectively; that is, as almighty as he can coherently desire to be.
This faith, the people unanimously accepted, as soon as they saw that the clergy and higher classes subscribed to it. This, momentarily astonished me. But as soon as I recollected how the masses have always rushed into revolution, no matter of what kind, after it was organized, (witness the French Revolution) and what a powerful impulse the esprit du corps is, even when the task it imposes is most onerous, (witness the fire engine companies) I was astonished only at my own astonishment; and the only wonder in the case seemed to be my own momentary dullness. Man’s narrow, suicidal selfishness, is engendered by his present false position; and when the present position of things is reversed, the only danger will be, that the reaction will be too powerful; and that man, in the exuberance of his openheartedness, will rush into communism.
The downfall of demagogocracy had always before resulted in a military dictatorship. Now, however, Man had spontaneously placed himself under a Scientific Dictatorship, and nature, or all the humanly conceivable, had entered on a new phase of creation; and all this, without a single voice being raised against it; without one “hurraw” for that leveling equality, and isolated or individualized liberty, which all seemed to have a more or less vivid impression, had hitherto but deluded and enslaved the world; had kept man in that vicious circle of misery, vexation and humbug, whose aphelion was absolutism, and whose perihelion was demagogocracy. The impression seemed to be general, that liberty could be nothing short of the Science of Sciences and Art of Arts; and that well-doing required the whole force of nature most advantageously organized. Certain of the sect of eternal indecisionists, however, were noticed to shake their heads somewhat dubiously, evidently not liking the idea that the professors of sociology should make a living thereby, and itching to exhibit their adroitness at intellectual pugilism, in a promiscuous “free discussion” of the whole vast subject now newly before the world. But that was skepticism’s last flicker, and consequent more on the force of habit than on reflection.
That wildest of Utopias, the helter skelter popular government experiment, had previously failed, both in Greece, Rome, England, France, and everywhere else where it had been tried; and virtue and morality, under the auspices, it must be confessed, of reason, had rivalled even superstition in persecution and cruelty; nay, superstition itself, being opinionism instead of positivism, never prosecuted unaided by reason. But it was reserved for America to pile up the oppression of demagogism so high, that its fall crushed all recuperation out of it; and thus to put an end to a human scourge which had become such an intolerable infliction, that it was difficult to determine whether “free labourers” or “slaves” had the most uncomfortable time of it, or whether the wealth-vex’d or the poverty-stricken were most to be pitied.
Whilst the empire of mystery and its resulting opinionism and humbug, was being overthrown in America, a corresponding movement was, as though sympathetically, going on in Europe. The Pope, sustained by the Cardinals, the Bishops and the Catholic sovereigns, at length demonstrated that the power of any thing, or system, to produce evil, when abused, is always in the ratio of its power to produce good, when used; that the Church was, at bottom, founded on the rock—organization—against which the hell of disorganization had never quite prevailed, and against which it might now well despair of prevailing. Even England was now anxious to become Catholic; and, after a “nine day’s wonder,” the people, everywhere, joyfully received the very nut of science, from those who had hitherto fed them, like swine, only with its husks; and drank the cream of “the sincere milk of the word” of living truth, much more naturally than they had hitherto gulped down the vile slops which had been given to them tor such.
I here give a sketch of a dialogue which I overheard, about a week after the events just related, in order to show with what ease and rapidity “old things passed away,” after the matter was earnestly and practically; that is scientifically, and artistically taken in hand.
One of the Masses.—[addressing his compeers.] The New Heaven and The New Earth to be created out of old Terra Firma! The process fairly under way, and Man finishing it!
I guess, neighbours, that there was’nt much napping in church last Sunday, for the telegraphs inform us, that substantially the same gospel was preached everywhere.
Another.—Well, no doubt it is all right; at all events, we are safe in believing it, as the Scriptures, should they after all, prove to be true, declare nothing more plainly and emphatically, than that we, laymen, must hear and heed whatever the Church teaches. Besides, I must confess to a glimmering conception as to the how of the new faith; which is more I am sure, than any of us can say with respect to the old one, over the expositions of which, we therefore, you know, always fell asleep.
An Ex-Old Fogy.—At last! Heaven to be on Earth! Nay, already begun! And Hell nowhere! And sin, simply a disease more than half cured! And virtue and vice both dead and buried in the same grave! Well, I’m done now.
A Promiscuous Discussionist.—I have hitherto supposed that man was a reasoning being, who was to be convinced, each singly and for himself, by a long course of argument, ere he changed his course voluntarily. But 1 find that he follows his leaders as naturally as mere inanimate matter falls into the train of larger masses; as thoughtlessly as sheep follow the bell-weather of the flock.
The First Speaker.—[to the Discussionist] My friend, pardon me for suggesting, that if you had not been stone blind, you would have known all this long ago. But who do yon call reasoning beings, if we are not such? The only difference, in respect of reason, between you and us, evidently is, that we can reason more and better in a minute, than you, professed reasoners, can in a lifetime. Our reason, (unless you allow that we have a mental faculty more than you have) always told us, instanter, that the power which created us was almighty and sufficient; and that that power stood pledged for Heaven at last, if man performed his part.
Children in Chorus.—Oh, Mama! Oh, Papa! what a Sundy School we had. Such gymnastics—such music —such dancing—such delightful lessons, all about how to be happy. And such a love of a Catechism, in place of the old one about the Devil, and Hell fire, and an angry God. Such a fine time altogether. May’nt we always go to Sunday School?
Parents in Chorus.—Let us burn up the birch rods at once.
A Wag.—Ay, annihilate them, by all means. The Museum of human folly will be sufficiently full, without the addition of a huge bundle of switches, labeled “the youth’s instructor under supernaturalistic civilization.”
I saw a few of the most stupid and ill-educated among the preachers, persist in braying and drawling about an immaterial Heaven of inconceivable bliss, and a Hell of equally inconceivable misery, and in passing the hat round for the pennies of those demented enough to part with them for such an equivalent. But these preachers were, with all possible dispatch, put under medical treatment, and it was perfectly astonishing to behold with what rapidity nine-tenths of them became rational.
The scene of my vision now rapidly shifted from stage to stage of development and progress, till it reached the thirtieth century; the substantial glory and magnificence of each succeeding stage, increasing in the ratio (in which science and art within our own observation does,) of the multiplication of numbers by each succeeding product; till finally, the ice in the Polar regions disappeared, and the superfluous thermal activity in the Equatorial regions proportionally diminished. Sciences on sciences and corresponding Arts on Arts bad, working with, or according to, nature, developed all her laws, and availed Man of the use of all her force.
The whole earth was cultivated in a manner far superior to that in which any portion of it now is. Splendid and joyous palaces, about six miles apart, had displaced all the isolated abodes of misery and ennui. Children were no longer dreaded as a burden by either parent, and were hailed as precious and valuable acquisitions by the State; which not only provided for their perfect development as members of it, but honoured and remunerated mothers for their bearing and suckling, by an equivalent for the loss of time to which they were thereby subjected. This remuneration did not consist in silver or gold dollars—the coinage of barbarism—nor in all but or quite worthless shin-plasters—the currency of pseudo civilization—but in certificates of value based on actual production; or, which amounted to the same thing, in stock, by which nearly all property was represented.
Prostitution, either for life, for a single night, or by the job, was of course banished. Volcanoes were silenced, tempests were hushed, pestilence and disease had ceased, and the earth’s circulations were as genial as were those of the at length perfectly healthy human body.
Nearly all labor was done by machinery. The balmy air was navigated by gorgeous balloons. No clothing, except for ornament, was necessary, and none other was worn. The women, released by science, the State, and public opinion, from every inconvenience connected with maternity, were all more enchantingly beautiful than the Houris with which even Asiatic imagination has furnished Mahomet’s Paradise; they were very Goddesses; re* veiling most voluptuously in the adoration which the equally faultless men as voluptuously yielded them.
All were equally beautiful without being alike; so that the only reason for choosing one rather than another was the love of variety. The great problem of the reciprocalness of love was solved, by all being so faultless, both physically and mentally, that love was universally reciprocal. Restraint was banished, virtue was no more, and vice was obsolete.
Throughout preceptible nature, all was perfection; desire was the measure of fulfillment; to will was to have.
Would that I could portray, somewhat in detail, the magnificence, the luxury, the bliss, which resulted from the full triumph of the Religion and Government of Science. But our now paucity of objects of comparison prevents me. Give your imaginations the reins, ye who are most gifted in that respect; stick to coherency, and you cannot go amiss; though the most sanguine will fall very far short of the mark.
The following is the first Lesson of The Catechism, which I heard the children (actual angels) in a primary school reciting:—
Question.—Wherein consists the value of all existence?
Q.—To what should all human endeavour, therefore, aim?
A.—To the acquisition, perfection, and sufficient prolongation of happiness.
Q.—How do you know that happiness is rightfully the sole object for which you should strive?
A.—I feel it to be so. I cannot desire any thing, else. Besides, there is nothing else worth aiming at, or even living for.
Q.—Is it right for you to strive to promote only your
Q —How do you know it to be right?
A.—From the fact that it is impossible for me voluntarily to strive for any thing else.
Q.—What guarantee have mankind from the first had that perfect and satisfactorily lasting happiness as to the individual, and perfect and eternal happiness as to the species, were attainable?
A.—Nature’s; whose highest consciousness, and intelligence, man is. The seed, the hope, the glimmering foreknowledge, of the great harvest of happiness which we are now reaping, nature planted in man when, through development, she first rough-created him; and so deep, that it never could be uprooted; but must necessarily have come, as it now has, to full maturity; to complete verification; where, in virtue of nature’s law of laws, it must remain; as inexhaustible as tn”e race of man is eternal; as perpetual as the equilibrium of the celestial spheroids.
Q.—During the age of mystery, when man was in his primitive imperfection, in his physical and therefore intellectual heterogeneity—what name did bis bewildered imagination give to the object of his existence?
Q.—In what consisted his mistake?
A.—In not comprehending the Social Organism, or collective man—The Eternal Being to whom alone, eternal happiness could be happiness; and in not knowing that temporal happiness could be made to last long enough to be quite sufficient for the temporal beings which, through nature’s law of individual change, take their turns in helping to constitute eternal Humanity.
Q.—How do you know that our present harvest of perfect happiness is inexhaustible; and that our race is fixed in eternal happiness?
A.—The laws of the intellectual world follow the rule of those of the physical, on which they depend; and all the constituents of Humanity are now adjusted to their whole as harmoniously, and therefore as permanently, as the ultimate atoms of coarser materiality are adjusted to their whole. Man’s spontaneous yearning for satisfaction has, aided by all nature in the connection, produced in the world of man, that necessarily eternal order which answers to the equilibrium, which gravitation has, thus aided, produced in the planetary world. The happiness of collective man is therefore as permanently fixed as is the order of the celestial spheroids.
Q.—In what relation do you stand towards all mankind?
A.—All mankind, from the first inseparably, though for a long time heterogeneously connected, are now, happily, an harmoniously organized whole; of which I am a part, in as strict sympathy with all the other parts, as the minutest tissues of my body are in sympathy with all the rest of it.
Q.—It seems, then, that you cannot do an act which will promote your own happiness, without simultaneously doing one which must promote the good of all mankind; nor can you do an act fraught with evil to others, which will not surely redound to your own hurt. Do you comprehend all this?
A.—As easily as I understand that my whole body shares the sensation of dissatisfaction caused by the prick of a needle on the end of my little finger, or that of satisfaction, caused by the contact of my palate with food; or that of delight, caused by my eyes beholding, my ears hearing, and my brains understanding, the pleasure which all around me experience.
Q.—But though you are as really, you are not as closely connected with mankind, as the parts of your body are with yourself. Besides, the parts of your body hare nerves, which instantly inform the whole body of any wrong action in any of its parts; which wrong action is therefore, instantly corrected and put a stop to. But how are you thus instantly preserved from acting wrongly, to your own detriment, and that of the great body of which you form a part; And how does that body immediately bring its all-sufficient power to bear in preventing such action?
A.—By means of that body’s nerves and brain—its Scientific Discoverers and Directors. By means of these I acquire the aid of the whole force of the body politic and of all else in the connection, and am thus enabled to shape my actions in accordance with the social organism’s welfare, and simultaneously with the welfare of every part of it, including, necessarily myself. My functions, like those of the bulk of mankind, are special; those of a few, but naturally sufficient number are general.
Q.—Are you and your compeers, then, but mere blind followers of your superiors?
A.—Blind? no indeed. Our understandings, and particularly our feelings, are constantly wide awake to the results which acting in accordance with the directions of our general functionaries produces. For the rest, we have no superiors in any arbitrary sense of the word.
Q.—But what guarantee have you that your general functionaries will not misguide you, or shape your action for their own special benefit?
A.—The same guarantee that my hand has, that my nerves and brain will not misdirect it into the fire.
Here the first Lesson ended; and music, instrumental and vocal, incomparably more fairy-like than any I had ever yet heard, fell on the charmed ear, and the rest of the session was spent in all that could enliven instruction and render it attractive.
The next Lesson related to how both the special and general functionaries, and every member of the social compact, spontaneously found his or her true position, and to man’s connection with all the rest of sensible nature. But the attentive reader has already been made well acquainted with this, or is to be, further on.
* “Let the colonies perish, rather than a principle.” “The only basis of civilized society is morality.” “The idea of The Supreme Being and of the immortality of the soul is a continual appeal to justice.”—Robespierre.
Can any thing be plainer than that however lovely “moral principles” may appear in the abstract, revenge, malice, cruelty, and cold-blooded murder are the legitimate fruits of practical virtue and morality?
† Brute force is alone “practical” in governing savages; trickery or cunning is the “practical” resource in the government of the “civilized.” It is as natural for the “civilized” generally, not to believe in the practicability of a scientific governmental or social basis, as it is for savages not to comprehend, till experience teaches them, how trickery and cunning can successfully cope with brute force.
In order to demonstrate the truth of The Religion of Science, it will not be necessary to enter very minutely into details.
Science has, as yet, excited all but immeasurably more curiosity than it has gratified; there is no single department of it, not excepting Newton’s splendid contributions even, which may not prove to be a mere advance; or which can be exhibited to much practical advantage, till all the knowable is harmoniously adjusted.
No just idea of social dynamics—no practical conception of human liberty—no coherent view of human happiness, could have been entertained before the discovery of the law of gravitation. Even now, the mutual reciprocalness of cause and effect, the inseparableness of actor and action, and the inevitability of existence, are so little understood, that people of no mean talents are, or pretend to be, considering the question of an unconditioned, absolutely independent first cause; and nothing, except, perhaps, the supernaturalistic notion itself, is more vague and indeterminate, than is the popular conception of development, progress, liberty, and happiness. So hard it is, owing to education and consequently government, being still on the supernaturalistic basis, to grasp the idea that nature, or all which to Man can exist, is self-existent; and to conceive of science as a whole; to unmoor from the long-entertained absolutely statical idea that the world was created and is sustained and governed by mere subjectivity / by an all-foreseeing, absolute, unconditioned mind; and that therefore, whatever is to happen, is fated so to do; at least it is in no degree within the control of Man. Order and progress are utterly incompatible with the chimerical old substructure of all things; as they are, like all science, the logical deduction, so to speak, of gravitation. Our political, legal, and moral abortions are the legitimate offspring of our superannuated religion. The social system of the nineteenth century must be based on nineteenth century revelation, ere success can be inaugurated.
When the granite formations manifested the highest progress which had been made on our planet, it was less apparent that nature could elaborate the terrestrial flora, than, having done so, that she could produce the fauna.
Between the period of the nucleation of the Solar System from the ether which constitutes the lowest conceivable condition of materiality, and the epoch of our granite formation, far longer duration must have intervened, than between the granite phase of improvement, and vegetable manifestation; and it is demonstrable that the same rule held with respect to nature’s subsequent creations, and must continue to hold with respect to all her forthcoming developments.
The most unscientific, or at least the blindest proposition that ever was advanced, therefore, surely is, that the present condition of things is substantially immutable; that Man is inevitably the shuttle-cock between absolutism and demagogism; that nature has expended all her creative energy, and revealed all her laws or rather all their possible combinations; that she has ceased to labor, except reproductively, just at the point where, ‘tis generally acknowledged, that she has only produced a state of things so inadequate to any end but evil; so far short of what her highest consciousness declares ought to be produced; that her performances are generally taken for evidences of a “fall” from perfection.
However long since, according to Geology, rudimentary Man (for that surely, must be all which the Universal Organism has as yet presented) commenced existence, it evidently was but a moment in comparison to the time which it took nature to produce his prerequisites from their most unpromising condition—the universal ether. What though no practical improvement of much consequence has taken place during this moment? Does that furnish a shadow of rational suspicion, even, that nature is beginning to flag—that she will not go on creating, as she has done, till she finishes her undertaking; till Man, or the race which he will be transformed into, is actually liberated, fulfilled, or perfected, and all else in his connection becomes so developed, that demand and supply shall be mutually completive. How can the result of a process be obtained, till the process is completed?
Mr. Darwin has fully shown, in his “Origin of Species,” that species are not immutable. Of course they are not. The present human species are not what Man, in due course of nature, is capable of becoming, by the difference between the actual and the coherently desirable; else, man can really desire the supernatural; which of course must therefore exist, and all is absolute and arbitrary, instead of being relative and calculable.
The languid thermal action in the Polar regions, and the consequently (and almost equally destructive) too great thermal activity in the equatorial regions, every one must observe, bears a striking analogy to the withdrawal of active power from the extremities, or “lower orders” of the body politic or Social Organism, and its consequent undue accumulation by the “higher circles” or richer portions of the human race.
Similarly analogous, also, are the effects which are produced throughout the individual human body, (the prototype, as far as it goes, of the social, and even of the universal organism) by disturbing the equilibrium of its thermal action.
Power is of two kinds—positive and negative. Power-action, like thermal action, is almost as mischievous where it is too violent, or positive, as where it is too feeble, or negative. Want, among the lower classes of society, must have its corresponding vexation among the higher classes, as sure as cold feet and hands indicate inflammation, or the constant danger of it, of the parts of the body on which life immediately depends. The positive oppressor must be equally, though negatively, oppressed; and there are no better terms which nature, glory be to her, will ever give to oppression.
If any one doubts the reality of, or does not fully understand what I mean by negative power, let him lean too overbearingly against a too feeble wall; or impose his weight on a bridge too weak to resist it; and see if the results are not as analogous as any two things can be, to those produced by the actively powerful against the passively powerful; from the attempts of Man against his fellow, to those of the coarsest material nature against weak, because unorganized, humanity.
Visit the abodes of squalor, at the Five Points or in Water Street, and ask the poor and despised the cause of the misery which they are attempting to drown in bad rum, worse tobacco, and the din of tambourines and squeaking fiddles. The sum of their reply will be—the overbearing (positive) power of the opulent
Visit the up-town palaces, and you will easily discover that the misery which the rich and respectable are attempting to drown in insidious Champaigne, treacherous cigars, the soft tones of the piano, and in soirées where, such is the constraint and formalism, that in spite of the ostentatious gaudiness, “The heart, mistrustful, asks if this be joy,” is owing to the passive, or negative power of indigence; that to prevent themselves from falling into the pit of indigence, the opulent have to be perpetually subjected to a care and anxiety often so much worse than poverty itself, that the costliest stimulants and narcotics, and music’s softest strains, fail to dissipate their misery to the extent that the vilest whiskey and tobacc o, and music to match, dissipate the misery of the poor. Laborers, slaves, and even sailors, often whistle and sing in the midst of their toil; and their dancing really is such. But who ever caught a banker or “merchant prince” at spontaneous whistling or singing? and whenever, which is rarely the case, they attempt dancing, what funereal motion they make.
Man is both the necessity for nature’s crowning work, and the means through which she will finish it. Collective man instinctively aims to bear a relation to all nature in his connection, similar to that which the head of the perfect individual that is to be will bear to his body; to be, in short, perfectly free; that is, really happy. Is instinct natural or supernatural? But the head of the universal organism is now only analogous to that of the individual foetus in utero.
The question, therefore, is, how to put Man into a condition to favorably and sufficiently influence his vast body; (all which influences him) to constitute him the organ by which, aided by lower nature, to produce a due equilibriation of thermal and luminous action on the Earth, and, simultaneously, its correlative—his own due equality, harmony, and perfection. And how this may be accomplished, I claim to have fully demonstrated in the preceding subdivision of this work.
In speaking of equality, let me be expressly understood to mean due equality, as the complete equality which demagogism preaches would reduce the body politic to the condition in which the individual body would be without organs; to the condition in which the universe would be, if it was a perfectly equal mass. The social system which even professes to attempt to put all on a par having no warrant, in nature, has of course always proved the most miserable of all abortions.
There is no lack of power, by which to produce Man’s perfection in the only sphere in which he can possibly be man—in this world; for since all power for evil, is but the abuse of the power for good, what conceivable good is there, which lacks the power by which to be produced? Can Man desire happiness more exquisite than misery is at present intense? Oh, what a monster fallacy is the assumption that Man cannot, in nature, work out his own salvation as man; that nature is under a curse from which she cannot extricate herself. Is she not, to our own observation, perfecting herself as fast as she can be conceived to do without becoming supernature?
If man could really, however faintly, conceive the immaterial, the supernatural would stand proven; the effect of all action would be incalculable; the absolutely arbitrary would have sway; effects would be produced without causes, ends without means, or even without motives; and time and space would have no meaning.
Whatever, throughout entire nature, affects us, is in some way in turn, either positively or negatively, affected by us.
If the present physical condition of things makes man what he is, man’s negativity with respect to the present physical condition of things is equally the reason why their action is thus too positive. Evidently, man thus influences all nature, from the equator to the poles, and from the center to the surface of the Earth; thence through the atmospheric belt with which the Earth is surrounded; nay, through the attenuated matter which lies between our Planet and the furthest sensible starry, nebulous, or other matter. But has man’s instinctive protest against the present condition of things no practical significancy beyond a vain and tantalizing one?
Man now influences the universal, or, to him, all, entirely too negatively. Human action, on courser materiality, is now, owing to a want of harmonious unanimity; owing to a lack of life and strength giving organization; altogether too passive. Here is the fountain of evil; and the fountain will never be dried up, till Man, through scientific organization, avails himself of the benefit of nature’s force, to the extent of creating himself the Almighty One, objectively, which he instinctively created himself, subjectively; and reacts on coarser materiality as positively, or nearly so, as the latter now acts on him. Not through the gates of death, but through the portals of new life—through the new form of law which nature is about to develop—will man arrive at the perfect happiness which he instinctively aims at, and establish himself in a satisfaction, the prototype of which is the equilibrium to which inanimate matter has attained in its planetary character.
It is already in evidence, that even almost wholly unorganized human action has positively influenced physical nature to the extent of altering climate; greatly, as to healthfulness, and more feebly, but still quite sensibly as to temperature.
If the influence of mere physical nature on human nature was absolutely unmodifiable, it is evident that human progress never could have made the first step. But inasmuch as that step has been made, and all subsequent ones have been easier and easier, and made at shorter and shorter intervals, where, short of the perfection which desire can coherently measure, can progress stop?
“External nature may be opposed to the intellectual world,” says Humbolt, “as if the latter were not comprised within the limits of the former; or nature may be opposed to art, when the latter is defined as a manifestation of the intellectual power of Man; but these contrasts which we find reflected in the most cultivated languages, must not lead us to separate the sphere of nature from that of mind, since such a separation would reduce the physical science of the world to a mere aggregation of empirical specialties. Science does not present itself to man, until mind, conquers matter, in striving to subject the result of experimental investigation to rational combinations. Science is the labor of mind applied to nature, but the external world has no real existence to us, beyond the image reflected within ourselves through the medium of the senses.” “The fruits hitherto yielded by direct observation and by the careful analysis of phenomena are far from having exhausted the number of impelling, producing and formative forces.” “The surface and the interior of the Earth, the depths of the ocean and the regions of air will still, when thousands and thousands of years have passed away, open to the scientific observer untrodden paths of discovery.”
Surely all this knowledge is not going to be mere scientific pastime. Discoveries in steam, electricity, and every thing else have, to a certain very significant extent, been applied; and all discoveries combine to form a basis for other discoveries, and must do so, till the basis for perfect and satisfactorily-lasting happiness, the aim of all discoveries, is attained. Nature cannot do less than what, through man, her consciousness, she wills to do, confesses, as it were, that she ought to do, and can be complete, whole nature, only through doing.
“Each age dreams,” continues Humbolt, “that it has approximated closely to the culminating point of the recognition and comprehension of nature. I doubt whether on serious reflection, such a belief will tend to heighten the enjoyment of the present. A more animating conviction, and one more consonant with the great destiny of our race, is that the great conquests already achieved constitute only a very inconsiderable portion of those to which free humanity will attain in future ages by the progress of mental activity and general cultivation.” ““What has been already perceived, by no means exhausts that which is perceptible. If, simply referring to the progress of science in modern times, we compare the imperfect physical knowledge of Gilbert, Robert Boyle, and Hales, with that of the present day, and remember that every few years are characterized by an increasing rapidity of advance, we shall be better able to imagine the periodical and endless changes which all physical sciences are destined to undergo. New substances and new forces will be discovered.”
Again I ask:—Is the immense amount of knowledge which is here truly prophesied, never going to be connected, and combined into what may be truly termed science? Is it always going to remain so unjointed that a few can filch and abuse it? Is the final end of all science mainly to amuse the scientific, and to make the poor poorer and the rich richer, up to the point where revolution or aggressive war forms the crisis which reduces the plethora of wealth, throws science and human progress temporarily aback, and kills off the victims of poverty till man spares his fellow man from mere exhaustion, and the same round is begun again?
None of the wiseacres who have worried their brains, wore out their pens, and bored their readers on the subject of the late war between Austria, and France Italy and Sardinia, have even approximated towards its cause; a cause, the periodical occurrence of which, the Religion of Science, and government in accordance therewith, can alone put an end to. Here it is:
In consequence of the social system (?) which gives more and more abundantly to those “smart” enough to understand the tricks of money-getting and money-keeping, and which proportionably takes from the others what little they have, the latter are forced to turn soldiers, until armies are accumulated which it is impossible to maintain in peace, and a system of direct or violent plunder and slaughter is instituted under one pretext or another; the true reason never being given, as that would cast too much odium on “civilized” institutions; endanger their stability; and might, even, tempt mankind to try other social systems which might “prove failures.”
Even in the United States, nay, even in the agricultural portions of it; armies as great in proportion to the population, as any in Europe, could be now formed, and that, too, by enlistment; as filibustering expeditions, and the desperate abandonment of agriculture for all but hopeless trade and gold-seeking, clearly prove.
All changes are but mere modifications; and however strange, difficult, and “impossible” they seem before hand, every one, afterwards, wonders why they had not been thought of before; so simple and easy of accomplishment do they appear; and people will more than ever thus wonder, after thermal, luminous, and electrical action are modified to the extent which they are capable of being through combined human action and the means which will thus be developed.
Through combined human action, nature will, throughout, take on a form of law as different from, and superior to, any thing which now characterizes her, as the law of animal life is different from, and superior to, any pre-existing law. And to doubt that man will become as superior to what he now is, as the present best specimens of humanity are to the worms which manifest their nucleation, is to shut our eyes to nature’s whole course of procedure hitherto.
Phenomena are susceptible of modification inversely to their simplicity; still, to assert that even gravitation is unalterable—that means will not be unfolded for reducing the obliquity of the plane of the Earth’s axis with respect to the plane of the ecliptic, if that shall prove to be necessary, would be stupidly bold. Don’t throw “impossibility” at me, ye supernaturalists. Is there any thing in all this which even approximates to the impossibility which is contained in your proposition that Man is alive when, judging by the direct evidence of all the senses, he is know to be dead?
Ye skeptics, you see what I mean by development and progress. Pray what do you mean by these? Any thing out of the vicious ellipse, whose aphelion is monarchy, whose perihelion is demagogocracy, and whose whole course is either unvarnished wretchedness or gilded misery?
When the causes of both luminous and thermal action, including those in some way referable to the Sun, are, to the full extent of Man’s capacity, and therefore sufficiently, known, and when, consequently, the thermal equilibrium which now exists but a few feet below the surface of the Earth is established at the surface and throughout the atmosphere, and when luminous action shall be sufficient in the Polar regions, and all this, through means which man’s acting harmoniously, and under the auspices of Scientific Sociology will develop, the human race will stand amazed at nothing so much as that things could have so long remained in the condition in which they now are.
“Even now,” says Humbolt, “the Earth becomes self-luminous, and as a planet, besides the light which it receives from the central body, the Sun, it shows itself capable in itself of developing light.” “The portion of this planet (Venus) which is not illuminated by the Sun, often shines by a phosphorescent light of its own. It is not improbable that the Moon, Jupiter, and the comets shine with an independent light, besides the reflected Solar light, visible through the polariscope.” All natural phenomena—all the changes to which terrestrial matter is subject, are connected with modifications of heat, light, and electricity.”
Speaking of magnetism and the electro-dynamic forces, Humbolt observes—li As yet, we can only boast of having opened a greater number of paths which may possibly lead to an explanation of this subject.”
Ampere was of opinion that “electro-magnetic currents exist in the interior of the globe, and that these currents are the cause of its temperature. They arise from the action of a central metallic nucleus, composed of the metals discovered by Sir Humphry Davy, acting on the surrounding oxydized layer.”
According to Poison, “in cooling by radiation to the medium surrounding the Earth, the parts which were first solidified sunk, and by a double descending and ascending current, the great inequality was lessened which would have taken place in a solid body cooling from the surface.” The opposite theory is that the Earth, from an intensely heated liquid mass, gradually cooled from the surface, leaving all below a comparatively thin crust, still in an intensely heated liquid condition; yet so compressed that it sustains, except when it volcanically rebels, the weight of the cooled crust, the ocean, and the atmosphere.
Again, says Humbolt—”The extraordinary lightness of whole nights in the year 1831, during which, small print might be read at midnight, in the latitudes of Italy and the north of Germany, is a fact at variance with all that we know, according to the most recent and accurate researches in the crepuscular theory, and of the height of the atmosphere. The phenomena of light depend upon conditions still less understood, and their variability at twilight, as well as in the zodiacal light, excite our astonishment.” “Who will venture to affirm that we have any positive knowledge, in the present day, of that part of the atmosphere which is not oxygen, or that thousands of gaseous substances affecting our organs may not be mixed with the nitrogen, or finally, that we have even discovered the whole number of the forces which pervade the universe?”
Surely, nature’s three great phenomena—luminous, thermal, and electrical action, together with the odic-magnetic force so ably treated of by Baron Reichenbach, the phenomena so absurdly named “Spiritualism “ and the rapidly increasing speed with which even fractional science advances, are giving hints with respect to the objective significancy of the subjective God which Man created, which must, ere long, commence to be acted upon.
Once more, in this connection, I quote from Humbolt’s Cosmos—“The electricity of the atmosphere, whether considered in the lower or in the upper strata of the clouds, in its silent, problematical diurnal course, or in the explosion of the lightning and thunder of the tempest, appears to stand in a manifest relation to all phenomena of the distribution of heat, of the pressure of the atmosphere and its disturbances, of hydrometeoric exhibitions, and probably, also of the magnetism of the external crust of the Earth. It exercises a powerful influence on the whole animal and vegetable world; not merely by meteorological processes, as precepitations of aqueous vapour, and of the acids and ammoniacal compounds to which it gives rise, but also directly as an electric force acting on the nerves, and promoting the circulation of the organic juices.”
The doctrine that the Sun has absolutely and unalterably fixed the Earth with respect to its luminous and thermal condition, is of a piece with the old barbarous— nay, savage doctrine that all existence is governed by a great central, independent, tyrannical and capricious will, the immensely magnified likeness of that fancied entity, the human mind, soul, or will, which, according to the great apostle of a religion which had its excuse in the absence of modern science does, or ought to, keep that mass of supposed inertia and inconsequence—the human body—which he likens to potter’s clay, “in subjection.” And the monster delusion, that subjectivity originated and sustains objectivity—that the mere properties of matter are its basis—is the substructure of those religious, moral and political vagaries and impracticabilities which compose our social abortion, and postpone the solution of the great liberty-problem.
The stage of religion which was compatible with the infancy of the Social Organism is as practical a failure in the nineteenth century, as would be the attempt to roll the ages backwards; and opinionism can no more solve the problem of liberty, than subjectivity explains existence.
The light which the Earth now has is, through electrical action, mainly actualized in the atmosphere and proximate ether, and distributed by the former; and this electrical agency has been, as all know, to a wonderful degree of practicalness, already modified through human effort.
There is not a single obstacle to man’s perfection, which will not prove to be an indispensable Means of it; not an iota of nature’s power (“depraved” as she is pronounced) which needs absolute annihilation; even old fogyism has served a purpose; it is the ballast of the ^hip of state, and now merely wants transferring from the present rotten craft to the new and superior one which is about to supersede it.
The “heat” of Summer and the “cold” of Winter are so far from being absolutely dependent on the obliquity of the plane of the Earth’s axis with respect to that of the ecliptic, or on Solar distance and position, that there is no year in which there are not many days in Winter which are as warm as are many days in Summer and vice versa; and there can be no doubt but that that obliquity, should it prove to be unalterable both by human and spontaneous means, is only what will be required to produce that circulation which a healthy state of the atmosphere will always require. But melting the ice at either of the Poles would alter that obliquity; would it not? Is that decidedly impossible? Already, the production of light, and of course fire, from water, is under the consideration of the most scientific men of the age. Ere the perfection which man instinctively sighs after, can be shown to be impossible of realization on Earth, all means must be developed and combined, and scientifically organized Man must fail as badly and as repeatedly as has supernaturalistically, monarchically, and demagogocratically bamboozled Man.
All the remote and ill understood obstacles to human perfection are almost always presented by those who never show the least disposition to remove obstacles over which they actually stumble rather than shove them aside.
There is sufficient agricultural-chemical science already in existence to fertilize the deserts of Arabia; and human force enough thrown away in the shape of pauperism and constrained idleness, to apply that science to its art. And if it was as “constitutional” as is wholesale destruction or war, and as “lawful” as is humbug, for the ration to organize for productive purposes even those of her paupers who are stigmatized as such, on an equitable basis, what, that is desirable, might not even that unveil the means of doing?
But if matter is—to use a vulgar term,—eternal, why has not its utmost capability been yet developed? Why has not perfection been realized long since?
I answer:—Inasmuch as we are self-evidently possibilities, why were we not sooner realized? Why has not everything happened at once? In short, why have not duration, space, means,—all but ends, been annihilated?
Is the fact that perfection has not yet been produced, a reason why we should not strive for it, any more than the fact that we have not done any thing before we have done it, is a reason why we should not try to do any thing until after we have done it?
As to the stability of perfection:—The universal ether does not, as Encke and Mackintosh suppose, resist planetary motion, but obviates it. It is a part of the great “whole,” or all which to Man exists, which we name the Universe. It is to the celestial spheroids which swim in it, what the liquid secretion which lubricates the human joints and even the minutest tissues, is to the whole body; otherwise, nature would be a destruction-elaborator instead of a perfection-producer; and Man would have been extinguished an “eternity” or two ago.
Nature seems to say to Man:—“What good could it do you to minutely foresee means too remote for present use? Have you not always found that using means has developed means? Press forward, then, to perfection. Your will alone, is the measure of your power, and of my resources.
The minor typographical errors, those which do not alter meaning, are, as the reader will see, too numerous to mention; also, the belles lettres scholar will perceive that it has been no part of the intention of the announcer of the Religion of Science, to trespass on his province.