We have shown that the Balance of Power throughout Civilized Christendom is now in the hands of the Middle Class; that their Providential position is to be steward of all good transmitted by the Privileged, and guardian to (he People ; that the present era is their Trial Hour; that the Alternative is:
Industrial Feudalism and Social Revolution;
Organised Industry and Sooial Reformation.
Here is presented in tangible shape, the Politioal Problem of our age.
No person, man or woman, can practically hold aloof from its solution. In our whole tone of temper and conduct, through all domestic and civil intercourse, we must take one side or the other, and become enlisted under the banner of fate or of freedom. We cannot buy stock in a rail-road or fruit at a marketstall, employ a hundred " hands" in a factory or a single washerwoman, cultivate a farm or build a cottage, cast a vote at election or pay a pew tax, give a party or aid a poor neighbor, without helping or hindering the Social Transformation, through which the nations of Europe and the United States are destined to pass. Whether we are deaf or listen, the question comes homo to every conscience every hour of every day: "Will you submit to Nature, or cooperate with God."
Let us then, so far as brief space permits, unfold the significance of this choice between Industrial Feudalism and OrganizEd Industry.
To day of the former.
I.—Its Rise And Progress. All know, how when society settled into shape, after the irruption of barbarians, there appeared three bodies of ruling mon,— the Catholic Hierarchy, descendants of Roman Officials, and Chiefs of the conquering tribes; and how, while each had its peculiar spirit, method, aim, one attraction still tended gradually to organize them into the Theocratic Confederated Aristocracy, called Feudalism.
Variously, according to relative preponderance in numbers or power, and territorial and national jealousies, did these elements combine in the formation of governments; yet similar traits characterized all members of the Commonwealth of Christian States. German chieftains (brought with them from plains, forests, mountains of the North a gigantic energy, wonderfully combined of loyal haughtiness and indomitable independence. Roman nobility, military and municipal, retained though prostrate the prestige of former greatness, pride in citizenship, political skill, memories of world-wide unity, and habits of thought and action cast in massive molds of imperial jurisprudence. And last, through an Oligarchic Clergy, and servile Laity—though developed as yet in embryo only—were growing to full proportions the Bpirit of brotherhood, hopes of equal destiny, and longings for oneness with Humanity and God. Freedom—Law —Love—into what a mighty Order of Honor did they mold the Privileged, who became oentres of influence to Europe. In war, statesmanship, and throughout the range of public and private relations—spite of fierceness, sterness, boisterous license—they exhibited a masculine vigor of passion, a breadth and soundness of intellect, an efficiency, most commanding. Their style of character, so largely alive, so fresh and healthful, attested right to rule; and grateful reverence in the hearts of vassals was the seal of their legitimate sovereignty. One sees how manliness and heroism might thrive in societies like those of the Middle Age, and romantic charms yet hover about that old Feudalism like golden sunset round a ruined castle.
What wonder now, that Privileges, founded so much upon force, and so legitimate while suited to the times from which they sprung, should have been prolonged into an intolerable tyranny! And how inevitably did European institutions, laws, customs, manners, language, literature, become pervaded thereby with the spirit of Aristocracy. The history of Christendom has been a progressive expansion of this spirit. Gradually, by royal bounty or struggles for power, by party manouvres or economical necessities, was raised to the peerage a new order of Inferior Nobles, made up of successful commanders in army and navy, bold and artful politicians, eminent lawyers, enterprising discoverers and dashing adventurers—government contractors, miners, usurers, and monopolists. And finally, as industry, commeroe, wealth expanded under the influence of peace, was added the body of Citizen-Nobility, composed of large landholders, hankers, inventors, manufacturers, and merchants. It was by this interlocking of promoted leaders from the Middle Class with lower grades of the old Nobility, that Industrial Feudalism was generated; and by this it has multiplied with prolific increase, till it now threatens to absorb all rule throughout Christendom.
This order of Citizen-Nobles is rightly denominated IndusTrial Feudalism. It has imbibed the haughty exclusivencss. appropriate to ancient Aristocracy, while superadding an insolence peculiar to upstarts insecure of position; and from uneasy sense of injustice, timidity connate with oppression, presumptuous power, and unscrupulous covetousness it wields a tyranny over unwilling serfs of toil, harder to bear, and more degrading than the service due from vassals to liege lords. Truly is it an Oligarchy, grudging torender, enger to claim fealty, at feud with the Privileged and the People, with the Middle Class and among themselves.
The present aim is to lay bare the peril to which society is exposed from the usurpations of this Order. It behoves us, then, with the eye of negative criticism unsparingly to scrutinize
II.- Its Temptations And Faults.
How natural it was, that the l: Parvenus" and 'Nouvcaux Riches" should seek to mingle their boorish blood in marriage with families made famous by long lines of ancestry ; that they should hasten to veil plebeian extraction under mysterious prefixes and affixes to I heir names, antiquated spelling, and fancy titles ; that they should painfully trace their descent to some notorious pirate or freebooter, and hunt up coats of arms in tho college of herald*, wherewith to hide in decoration the blacksmith's forge, aid the weaver's shuttle. It was a matter of course that they should build mock-gothic castles hung round with suits of mail, spears, swords, maces; grasp immense estates dropping from the hands of spendthrift lords; send their children to fashionable schools and colleges with an eye to future contracts of alliance between wealthy commoners and impoverished patricians; ply every art for securing diplomatic appointments and official preferment; bribe the'grcat by splendor and luxury for admission into their charmed circle; surround themselves with a retinue of servants, and in every way ape the manners, gestures, tone, look and outward polish of the highly born and idly bred. Above all, was it necessary, that they should cut off their native caste by strictest barriers to social intercourse, and prove by opulent leisure their entire independence of Labor.
Triumphantly indeed have these temptations been surmounted by not a few; but our business now is with tho faults of Industrial Feudalism. And how obvious is it, at a glance over European or American sooicty, that in a vast majority of instances tho Aristocracy of Wealth blends the defects of both Privileged and People, with but a saving remnant of the traces of either. Instead of being magnanimous from conscious ability to lead, it is mean from restless craving for undeserved honors; without the refinement drawn from culture amidst beauties of
art, intellectual society, ennobling mementos and gentle influences, it retains tho rudeness contracted from care, drudgery, petty savings, sharp conflict, and jealous pretensions; it is cringing rather than loyal, capricious rather than condescending. It pays alleigance to superiors not from reverent love but as the price due for patronage; its peers are regarded not with self balanced dignity freely rendering the courtesies which it modestly claims, but with the stinginess of a pedlar bargaining for civility; and deference is insultingly asked of dependents as the means of making distinctions, when benignant respect should bless the depressed classes, whose trials it has shared.
Few words indeed are needed to describe what is so notorious as the defects and extravagances of the Money-Lords. The importaut point to be illustrated is, that this passion for Wealth as means of Power is the very atmosphere of Actual Society throughout Christendom; and that its subtle infusions prompt all,—from children promenading in nurses arms through city pleasure grounds to parents bespeaking funeral monuments for rural cemeteries, from youth in school-studies and sports to manhood in worldly scrambles, passively to connive at or actively to conspire with the complete organization of Industrial Feudalism. This tendency we shall next proceed to trace.
It was our purpose to take up this subject in tho present number, at the point where we left it in the last; but our readers will be better prepared for what we have to say if they will first read attentively the following most significant passages.
I.—Hugh Dohertt On The Peace Congress. The friends of Universal Peace have lately been espoused by the Political Economists of England and of France, in their permanent crusade against the doctrines and the policy of war. Cobden and his friends have joined the Quakers and your countryman, tho learned blacksmith, Burritt. A Congress of Peace is now in session in Paris, of Americans and Englishmen in league with a few French Economists, to agitate the questions of Finance and War as dangerous to the welfare of all nations and the progress of Civilization. Cobden, I learn from one of the Committee, has proposed to treat the question of National Loam as a dangerous and ruinous system, which ought to be abandoned. He means to attack the root of war, in its resources What will the bankers and jobbers say to that? Will they not pay their quill-men double wages to repeat in all the journals of the world that Cobden is a silly fool, who thinks he is a statesman because he had a hand in agitating Corn-Law Abolition? Will they not say that he is mad with vanity .' That he has nothing of the talent or the knowledge of a statesman, and that a spouting Agitator is a dangerous maniac when he assumes the office of a leading Politician 1 This and more than this will be said of him and persevered in, if he carries out his notion of AntiLoan AGITATION.
Tho Jews themselves will advocate the peace system, but not the anti-loan league. War is no longer necessary to increase the national debts of Europe; railway jobbing and police establishments, raining companies and all the mechanism of shares and public grants and stook-exchange manoeuvering will satisfy the wants of money-mongers and contractors, if tho arts of peace are rightly managed by the statesmen who arc leagued in unity with money-feudalism and the Barous of financial strategy. It is a movement in the right direction, therefore, to abolish armies or an organized military-police establishment.
Cor. New-York Tribune.
II.—Me. Cobden On Loans
The Congress strongly disapproves of all loans and taxes destined to promote wars of ambition or conquest.
Mr. Cobden, M. P. said:—" I have the honor to submit to your consideration a motion condemnatory of loans for warlike purposes. My object is to promote peace by withholding the sinews of war. I propose that this Congress shall make an appeal to the consciences of all those who have money to lend [hear, hear.] I do not allude to a few bankers who appear before the world as loan contraators. They are the agents only for collecting funds from smaller capitalists. It is from the savings and accumulations of the merchants, manufacturers, traders, agriculturalists, and annuitants of civilized Europe, that warlike governments can alouo supply their necessities, and to them wo will appeal by every motive of self interest and humanity not to lend their support to a barbarous system which obstructs commerce, uproots industry, annihilates capital and labor, and revels amidst the t«ars and blood of their fellow creatures. Wo will do more; we will in every possible way expose the character and objects and exhibit to the world the true state of the resources of every government which endeavors to contract a loan for warlike purposes. The time is gone by when barbarous nations devoted to war, could conquer civilized Europe, unless, indeed, the latter will be so complacent as to lend the money necessary for- its own subjugation [hear, hear.) War has become an expensive luxury. It is no longer a question of bows and arrows, sword3 and shields, [cheers.] Battles are now deoided by artillery, and every dig
charge of a cannon costs from twelve to fifteen francs; I wish The Bankers and the Jews have no prejudices. They serve alike With all my heart it was ten times as much, [loud applause.] the Skeptic and the Fanatic, the Despot and the Liberal, the The consequence is, that when countries behind the rest of Jesuit and the Philanthropist. Their God is money, and they Europe, in civilixation eater upon hostilities, they are obliged j know no other. Save the National credit and funds, and never immediately to draw upon the resources of more civilized states j mind what form of government prevails. That is the only policy —in other words, to raise a loan; and how is the money thus of the loan-contractor.—[Cor.N. Y. Tribune.
borrowed from the saviDgs of honest industry expended? But we address ourselves to those, who by their loans really hire and pay the men who commit these atrocities, and we say, 'It is you I who give strength to the arm which murders innocent women and' helpless old age; it is you who supply the torch which reduces j to ashes peaceful inoffensive villages, and on your souls will rest the burden of these crimes against humanity.'
"I shall be told that it is useless to make an appeal to the sensibilities of men who, with money lying unproductive at the bottom of their pockets, are thinking of but fivo per cent. I will undertake to prove, though I shall not weary you with an opinion upon the subject, that peace will offer a far better field for the employment of the savings of agriculture than the field of battle, and that she will afford a much more profitable investment for the accumulations of industry than in partnership with Haynau & Co. This discussion will be raised again and again in various places. The Congress of Nations will make the tour of the civilized world."
Mr. Doherty thus proves himself a very Daniel.
The great occult power of the present age is that of the loancontractors, jobbers and bankers of Europe, leagued together in one system and by common interest. All other powers are subservient to this, for the time being, though each party seems to think itself all-powerful and independent. The Roman expedition of the French was mainly'plotted and supported by the Bankers. That is my opinion Their only object was to help the Austrians, and prevent the loss of Italy and its resources to j merely the commissioners through whom thousands and tens of the treasury of Vienna. The bankruptcy of Austria would be I thousands lend to governments. Tho great banker negotiates the ruin of the Jews who feed on its resources and the jobbing j the ban; the holder of Bmall sums seeking investment, buys his of its funds. The pope and his dominions ore of secondary in- \ hundreds or thousands at a premium, which is part of the bank
IV.—Tue Great Bamcers.
Finally, The Philadelphia Ledger gives us the truth in a nutshell.
The correspondents of newspapers, dating from Europe ascribe the failure of the late attempts to overthrow monarchies, to various and inconsistent causes. One ascribes the whole failure to the fundholders, or rather the I: loan-jobbers," another to the priests, another to the socialists, another to the red republicans, a fifth to France, a sixth to England, a seventh to the United States. With the exception of the last, we believe that all had some share in the work, though probably the two first had the most. The " loan-jobbers" are an important class in Europe, and will continue to rule it so long as they maintain standing armies
Every monarchy in Europe is in debt, far beyond its means of payment. Every one of them has repudiated in some mode, and not one of them has ever done what the United States hare done—paid its debts. So long as these nations tolerate monarchies and aristocracies, they must maintain armies; those armies cannot be maintained without loans, and loan-jobbers will lend so long as interest can be paid. The loan-jobbers alone are fewA "house" in London, another in Paris, another in Vienna, another in Petersburg or Hamburg or .Frankfort, constitute tho majority of these props to monarchies; and as lending to governments is the source of their immense wealth, they arc directly interested in maintaining the system. But while the jobbers axe few, the fundholders are numerous; for the great houses are
terest in themselves; but Rome set free, as an example to all Italy, would ruin Austrian ascendency and Austrian fundsLombardy and Venice are required to pay the dividends of Vienna, and the Jew must have his pound of flesh. Shylook must have his bond, whatever happens to the Christian. That is the secret of the Roman expedition, undertnken by the Ministry in opposition to the Chamber, in defiance of the leading sentiment of the whole Nation.
The Jews made use of the Jesuits in this instance to work upon the fanaticism of the people and the fears of the privileged classes of all parties. Now that the Republic has been crushed at Rome, the Pope may govern as he likes, and those who do not like his government may squabble about paltry questions of Reform. The Jew has saved his point. Lombardy and Venice will continue to supply the treasury of Austria; the dividends will still be paid, new loans contracted, and the Bankers will still Buck the blood of Labor, through the mechanism of the Stock Exchange, all over Europe. As long as the credit of Austria was threatened by the example of Rome to the other States of Italy, the Jews supported Falloux and the Jesuits in the French Ministry. Now that question is settled, they have abandoned Falloux to himself, and side with the other party. The reason of this obvious. Tho Roman expedition and the policy of the Jesuits have spread a sort of consternation through Franco, which paralyzed all confidence and put a stop to industry. The Bankers now wish Commorce to revive in France, for they feed on Commerce ns Commerce feeds on Manufacturing and Agricultural industry. Now the Austrian funds are saved, they wish to save the French resources. They like fat kine to prey upon—not lean ; rioh blood and plenty of it is heir object; they do not like to soe the cattle die of inanition
ers profit. Thus is almost every man or woman in Europe who has money at interest, directly interested in sustaining governments that daily eat out the substance of the toiling millions.
The instruments of thesegreat loan-jobbers are national banks. They control these bonks, and these banks control the governments. Thus the French government is at tho mercy of the Bank of Paris; that of England at the mercy of the Bonk of England, and so on.
We have seen how the passion for Wealth, as a means of power, has grown so rank in this generation.
Certainly it is amusing, for an observer of society to trace the ramifications of Aristocracv, from the august circles, where born raillionaries condescendingly admit parvenus, to the extremities, where cooks claim precedence of chambermaids. Yet let us not cynically sneer at what after all is hut a groping towards air and light of man's ineradicable love of Honor.
This desire for Hierarchy, in the good time coming, shall rear a series of distinctions, based upon broad grounds of justice, made stately by graduated uses, glorified with grateful courtesy, which will serve as a ladder from heaven to earth for descending and ascending angels.
Meanwhile it surely betokens progress, that steel-clad knights have turned to bankers, the baron's castle to the teller's counter, and the tournament to the bourse. Long heads rate higher in the market than tough skull's. The sign of production already takes lead of the sign of destruction. Will it be long ere the plough conquers the sword?
Feudalism of Force gives way to Feudalism of Industry.
The tendencies to the full establishment of this Oligarchy we are now to trace.
In the fifth number of The Spirit of the Age, p. 74, the four great practical problems of the age are distinctly stated. Briefly, they are the problems of Larob—Exchange—Currency— Proprietorship. Any attempt to solve them leads us at onoe to recognize four ascending classes of Industrial Feudalism.
1. The First Class consists of Masters Of Labor.
Advocates of Protective Policy,—in America and Europeare eager to prove by their organs—journals, and legislative debaters—that the manufacturing system is favorable to the happiness, health, intelligence, virtue, freedom, self-respect, of operatives; and that the profits of factories arc widely diffused among stockholders of moderate means. Whence we are to infer, that the Presidents, Directors, Agents, &c, of Corporations, are self-denying paasMs and philanthropists, who give in time, skill, capital, not for tho sake of income to themselves, but for the benefit of laborers, needy annuitants, widows and orphans, trustees of charitable societies, and the country at large. Certainly, there is no reason for questioning that the benevolence of this generation is on a par with average humanity. But why attempt to cheat conscience and common-sense by most transparent sophistry 1 Are not two facts very plain; first, that the tendency i" swift and sure to the substitution of Joint-Stock Companies for individual enterprise, in every branch of industry; second, that in degreo as this system extends, Isolated Labor is everywhere brought to terms, and to all intents and purposes enslaved?
The explanation of this is simple. Combined capital can use the economies of complete arrangements, of water or steam power, buildings, fixtures, tool shops, to a degree, which enables it easily to beat the wealthiest single competitor, and of course to distance the poor. Companies too can avail themselves, to the full, of most skillful superintendents, shrewdest businesstalent, favorable seasons for wholesale purchases, opportunities for storage or swift transfer according to the state of markets, wide agencies, commission houses, insurance, advertisements, and a great name, so as to crush small producers and command the business. What can a single handed laborer do against the. pressure of this monstrous power? Just in degree, as its managers come to a mutual understanding and concert, he finds himself pitted against follow craftsmen who underbid each other in the wages market,—cut off from any chance of large independent operations,—thwarted, by the demand for articles of highest value at cheapest rates,—and meanwhile compelled by sternest necessities to take, thankfully, the first job that offers, no matter at what sacrifice of health, judgment, conscience, feeling. Even supposing Masters to be tolerably wise and kind, is not serfage still degrading as bitter, when the "Hand," under peril of dismissal, must board, lodge, go to church, vote at elections, act, speak, and make-believe think, according to the dictate of the ••Head'-' who owns him?
The scepter whereby Combined Masters control scattered labor is M'ichincrtj; and inventors or patentees are inevitably pensioners of the rich who risk capital to test labor-saving, Honey makin : instruments. Thus with the very progress of scientific an-1 mechanical discovery,—providentially meant to emancipate the Working Men—grows and strengthens the first olass of Industrial Feudalism.
tical changes and the ups and downs of luck—can most easily, under the free-tradesystem, outwit his younger or poorer neighbors, corner his rivals, run risks, outride bankruptcy, forestall and monopolize, undersell and depreciate, crowd auction shops, hire vessels, secretly and suddenly increase or dispose of his stock, and use the thousand and one arts of commercial gambling. Thus within the mercantile profession itself is gradually established an oligarchy of large dealers, who from land to land, city to city, and firm to firm, play into each others hands, give law to the small fry on change, and through town and country hold under order the retail trader.
The system by which this second class of Industrial Feudalism builds up its power, is that of swift transfers, Bmall profits on large transactions, and especially buying cheap to sell dear, by dexterous use of storms and currents in the business world. Its brief name is Speculation.
Commerce tends to prostrate the many and raise the few by periodical earthquakes of failure ; and largest) fortunes are most quiokly made by sudden changes in nominal values. Thus oppears before us,
3, The Third Class, who are Financiers.
What more certain, according to all moral calculation, than that holders of past industry in the form of capital, and of means of exchange in the form of money, ought to be devoted allies of Labor and Exchange? Yet what so sure, by the arithmetio of experience, as that Currency is made a magician's wand to transmute all substantial good into shadowy good, all articles of real use into useless symbols? In the crucible of the
banker's vault, by wondrous necromancy, bread stuffs and fruit, This tendency is hastened by the feverish excitements of | tools and utensils, clothing and houses, material and intellectual
products, of all kinds, turn to gold, silver, paper. The Midastouch of the money-changer is fatal. Now in this clumsy world, it so happens that producer and consumer can come into relations only by medium of this very changing of money. Hence the holder of the sign of values is so far owner of all who create and all who use the necessaries, oomforts, luxuries of life. The very dependence of both parties makes the mediator their common master.
trade. We are led then to notice,
2. The S'cond Class, which is that of Merchants.
Pains ore taken by political economists to demonstrate, that the interests of Manufactures and Commerce arc coincident. Doubtless they were intended to be by God, would so become in any well organized society, and in the long run really are even now. But the whole spirit of competition compels men to look at the nearest relations of cause and effect, and to slight or forget remote results. And as a matter of fact. Merchants are continually prompted to combine with Merchants to command Masters of Labor. So long as by the Protective System, Exchangers eon be sure of good markets at home for domestic produce or foreign importations; and so long as by the immense increase of manufactured fabrics at low prices, they can flood the ports of civilized or barbarous nations with goods, they patronize the Manufacturer. Most intense indeed is the reactive stimulus of traffic upon industry. A new article appears, its name is spread abroad by puffery, a market is made for it, and the tide of success must be taken at the full. How machinery groans and labor sweats! Large profits are realized. Presently competitors appear, however, and prices fall. Next follow flimsy counterfeits and adulterations. The stores and shops, wholesale and retail ore glutted; and machines may rest while laborers starve. Thus sommerce commands both lord and serf,—alternately elevating or depressing the former, and steadily grinding down the latter to starvation point, by fluctuations of demand and supply and the mystery of Over-production.
But the tendencies of the times are towards Free Trade. This is not solely or mainly, it may be suspected, on account of the growth of Christian charity, brotherly kindness, the humane desire to interlink all people, and pious purposes of diffusing good—though such motives doubtless swell the momentum of commercial reform—but because in degree as exchanges are unrestricted, chances multiply for successful competition. The experienced, far-seeing merchant,—who has accumulated capital,
The financier fattens on mercantile speculation and the rise and fall of industrial products. Change is his element. Wars, pestilences, fires, short crops, emigrations ; or on the other hand peaceful prosperity, health, abundance, internal improvements, perfected institutions, all may be turned to profit, if only sufficiently alternated. The art of money making is to avail oneself unscrupulously alike of tho extravagance of success and the desperation of failure. To fabricate news, breed delusive security, engender panic, stimulate excessive toil, create fictitious demands, run down or up the reputations of individuals and companies, dictate to a hired press, give the cue to public orators and suggest measures of policy, are some among the many tricks whereby fortunes are shuffled, cut, and dealt out to his fellows by the financier. He is a cool croupier, raking in the heaped bills, gold and jewelry of gambling traders, whose lust for gain his own rouge et noir table forever maddens. What a trial of wit, observation, knowledge of character, presence of mind, ready resource, "prudence, boldness, is the meeting of a board of brokers. How immense the temptation to make a prophecy oome true, by pulling the strings of the puppets behind the scenes. What fatal bribery offered to conscience by chances to purchase or the wish to get rid of stocks, notes, bills. How keen the espionage established over the most intimate domestic concerns, as well as open public acts of rising aspirants and the falling great. What subtle influences are brought to bear on all classes, by forced embarrassments or offers of loans and lucky investments. How terrible the vengeance, how se
gained a name, established his oredit, formed extensive business tractive the favors, of the magi of the mint.
connections, opened a wide foreign correspondence, distributed Money,—useless as a commodity, powerless as a machine, un
hi» agents, carefully studied the run of seasons, marketB, poli-' productive at once and passive, still grows at the expense of in
dustry and commerco by the mysterious power of Interest. A I taxes by force and exact liege service like tho old barons; their process of accumulation, resistless as gravity, perpetually fulfils serfs, bog the favor of paying them any sum for the chanoe of
the proverb, "unto him that hath shall be given;" and thus by steady deposit of stone, after Btone brought by troops of unwilling or unconscious bondsmen, rise the palaces of the third •lass of Industrial Feudalism.
But none know so well as the bankers what a bubble is credit, what a figment is even solid metal, however assayed, coined, ■tamped, unless readily transmuted into permanent realities. The successful financier hastes therefore to become a holder of estate. So are we brought to consider
IV.—The Fourth Class, Or Proprietors. Smooth and pleasant is tho road by which holders of funds ascend to the rank of lords of the land. There is just risk enough in the adventure to keep excitement alive The farmer would stock, fenoe, fertilize his grounds, or raise new barns and dwellings, he wishes a loan on mortgage; the mechanic would buy » lot in the city, and build a house, for a home while he lives and as a legacy to his family, he too wishes a loan on mortgage. Sickness, premature death, accident befall them; interest has accumulated; tho debt cannot be paid; then follows foreclosure; and :: presto change •' the benevolent lender steps legally into ownership of property, conveniently improved to his hand. Clearings lead the way to vast uncultivated regions, whereinto the tide of emigration must speedily pour. What so easy as to over with title deeds the richest sections, and wait till poor hard working settlers have cut roads, built bridges, and established communications with markets, before selling out at a hundred fold advance! Canals, rail-roads, it is surmised Will be opened in certain directions, or plans are laid that they shall be. How safe to buy up the land which must be traversed and paid for with damages, or the very spot that nature marks out for a depot! Cities inevitably grow around factories, harbors or at t'i'! terminus of great lines of travel. Fortunate the capitalist of forecast sufficient, by the transfer to ready owners of a few dollars to become possessor of acres, which companies, spoculiMjrs, municipal authorities will gladly purchase by the foot ami inch, at any price!
The Aristocracy of force founded its hereditary power by ■oixin^ on conquered territory, and taking from vassals in return for its use, taxes and service. The Aristocracy of industry has iiot forgotten the lesson; and although for the moment city lots may rate higher than meadow and forest, grazing uplands and loamy plains, yet financiers have an eye to the future, when ehemistry and mechanical inventions shall make agriculture an art more lucrative than even manufacture or commerce. Throughout civilized nations large proprietors are slowly displacing small landholders, and absorbing the homesteads of once independent yeomen into monster estates. Are wo far distant from the time when Combined Capital will take possession of the country, as it has already done of manufacturing towns and of sea-ports, and by a vast system of co-operative culture swallow up small farmers, as it has'mechanics and tradesmen?
The silent ministry by which Proprietors grow rich and transmit to their children enormous fortunes, without stirring a fingor or passing an anxious day or a sleepless night, is Sent. Singular process this of laying claim to one of the elements and saying to fellow men, "You may win thereon by the sweat of your brow daily bread for your family, if as compensation you return to us a tithe of your earnings." Certainly futurity will ■mile at the cool assumption of the capitalist, who having by
livelihood, or, if refractory, the law and its instruments soon apply motives as stringent, as thumb-screws and the rack.
The four grand classes of Industrial Feudalism are then MasTers, Merchants, Financiers, Proprietors.
But to these should be added Two ambiguous bodies, who serve as Transitions between higher and lower orders. The first is made up of politicians, office-holders and office-seekers, lawyers, ministers, paid writers, whose prompting is to chant tho praises, varnish the characters, further the projects, mature the pi ins, of the Nobles of Capital by whose patronage they expect to rise. The second consists of needy dependants, toadies, tools, servants, hangers on of all kinds, who humbled in spirit, crushed in will, meanby necessities, tied up in perplexity, hope for nothing better in this crooked life, than to creep on from year to year, without utterly losing position, and sinking into beggary. The function of both is to uphold the dynasty of Respectability, and to denounce factious dreamers of Reform.
Thus complete is the Organization of the Moneyed Aristoorocy. It remains only to point out briefly the ways and means of confirming its power, throughout Civilized Christendom.
What is involved in those four words, Machinery—SpecuLation—Interest—Rent?
Suppose there were no laborers, no producers, no applicants for the sign of values, no tenants needing a place whereon, houses wherein to live and toil,—what would become of Industrial Feudalism then 1 It would vanish utterly, like a fallen dome whose foundation walls are swept away. Its four classes rest on the Working Class.
The Wealth, that constitutes their power, is slowly gathered, by hidden and most subtle processes, from Productive Labor Masters. Merchants, Financiers. Proprietors, add not one grain of corn, one fibre of cotton to heaps of raw material,$forge not a bolt nor plane a board, raise no coal or iron from the mines, weave not a yard of cloth nor fashion a garment, rear no houses, grade no railways, dig no water courses. They produce nothing; increase not one tittle actual values. They superintend and stimulate labor, facilitate exchange, exercise a general guardianship; and for this use of skill, Pay Themselves, by means of laws favoring property, banking, commerce, manufactures. In polite speech they are pensioners on the bounty of the People. In plain speech they are plunderers of the Poor.
The People know this; the People feel this. In their clear judgment, heart, conscience, they believe themselves befooled, cheated, robbed, by a vast Organization of Spungers. They understand well enough that Skill and Capitol, in so far as AcTive in new production, should receive the recompense exactly due to their efficiency. But to each other, in their own souls, and before heaven they say:—" The pressure of these Upper Classes is intolerable. Toil as we may, we cannot support this multitude of Idlers. Society is a huge groaning pyramid, of which we are the under tier; and God knows that our very manhood, —affections, intellect, energy,—oozes out from us in bloody sweat. Brethren! wo ought not, we will not enduro this inhuman condition, longer. We mean you no harm, but this whohi System must be changed, from top to bottom, through every department of social relations. Look ye to it, that this bt straightway done. The power of government is in your handc; the responsibility of government rests with you. Fulfil your
means of hired carpenters and masons built a house, lets it to duty,—or
tenants, on condition that they shall keep it in repair and at the end of each ten years more or loss build for him another tenement, every way as good. Yet this is what practically happens in tens of thousands of cases throughout all civilized communities.
Land-lords, shop-lords, house-lords, have littlo need to levy
On the other hand Industrial Feudalism thus ponders and plots. "Yes! We have the power: the very moving force of government, to-day, is Money; money we can wring out by Kent, Interest, Speculation, Machinery, however much Labor may twist and writhe; we hold bridle, spur, whip, provender and our mule however stubborn will be made to march, by bribes or else by blows; tbePeople are stupid, slothful, sensual, and need to be guided, stirred up, chocked; the Paupers must be forced to work ; the Poor may bo sufficiently helped to keep them from starvation, but not enough to tempt them to idleness; the Industrious and Economical, if dooile and pliant, can bu raised to swell the Middle-Class; the Middle-Class should be managed and made our earnest helpers by loans, political preferment, flattery and sooial privileges j the Statesmen, Preachers, Editors, Authors, shall be kept in full pay and active service. Meanwhile let the true Aristooraoy of the Age,—Money Holders and Money Makers—fully organize,—interlink interests,—form a perfect system of joint-operations,—mold public opinion.—shape legislation, and control government. We are the Providential Rulers. Down with all who question the rights of Property. If they dare to deny our Right, they shall learn to fear our Might."
So stand tho two great parties; such are the tendencies.
Oh Middle-Class ! can you discern herein any germs of Social Revolution?"