The Physical and Social Structure
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A Contemplation of the economy of the human frame is more instructing than that of all external nature besides: for the man comprehends in himself all forms and kingdoms, the perfection of all force and beauty; and when the body is harmonized with, and developed to the extent of, its nature, it becomes a fitting temple for the indwelling of the spirit of the living God.
The body, though organized by Divine Wisdom, is nevertheless subject to incidental derangement. It is only while it lives and acts in harmony with the laws of its nature and of the universe, that it realizes fully the object of its existence. It is not man's duty to organize himself^but to see that he obeys the laws of his God-given organization. The inference from this is, that Human Society, which is properly represented by the human form, has in it the elements for a just arrangement, were the unfavorable circumstances and arbitrary contrivances of man removed, so as to allow an equitable distribution of the vital Huid^to all its parts. The race is a Brotherhood; its interests and enjoyments are so inseparably connected, that whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it, or one member bo honored, all the members rejoice with if Sectarisms of church or state, of clinic or color, may deny this, but their want of harmony ; their disorganizing results ; their wars, national, civil, religious and commercial; the diseases in the outward church, of spiritual pride, bigotry and intolerance, which seal up the very fountains of life to those churning to be God's elect; the miserable and inhuman results flowing from an exclusive legislation which starves and makes naked one portion, to surfeit another with luxuries and all the appliances of effeminacy ; the terrible catastrophes in the spiritual or social state, whether of the triumph of arbitrary authority or lawless anarchy.—are but the natural retribution which God visits on society for its lack of confidence in Him, its unholy tampering with his economy, which has made of one blood all nations of men, to dwell on all the face of the earth, and instituted a brotherhood on such principles that the good of one only consists with the good of all.
It would be interesting to follow the analogy in its details, but it will serve our present object to speak of society under the three general distinctions of "the head," "the hand," "the heart," corresponding to the wisdom, affections, and executive power, by which the affairs of society are devised and directed, effected and proportioned. In one of these divisions every member of the body politic may be arranged. It is not meant by this, that any considerable portion of the human race, or indeed any portion, are entirely constituted with brains, or bones and muscles, or with mouths and stomachs,—only that in most individuals one of these characteristics pf Jomimilis, and may therefore direct to which class they belong. It is the order of God that the head should rule, plan and direct; that the hand should execute, while the nutritive organs should assimilate and digest proper nutriment which should servo the general want. Two things, then, seem necessary to the general health.
1. That each department should discharge its appropriate functions, and,
2. That there should be an equitable distribution of the assimilated particles, which shall give to each part what is suitable and necessary.
Either of these principles being disregarded, disease is certain to ensue, and as we have already seen, the suffering of one member involves the whole. To the proper fulfilment of these conditions, it requires that the organization be understood, as well as the duties and deserts of each member. Because if there should be any mistake in regard to the just position of a member, or what were its proper office or reward, the most direful consequences must ensue. Attention is solicited to some reflections on these points of consideration.
The Head—irs U'iies And Its nicius. The head of Society consists of the concentrated wisdom of the whole body. The weakest intellect in the state is necessary to the completion of this department. Jior are the brightest minds to be separated, as individuals from the other spheres of exertion or affection. As it requires the united wisdom to give counsel and direction, so it n quires the united hands to execute, and the united affections to appropriate and secrete the wealth, which joint wisdom and labor has secured, to give life, strength and happiness, to the whole system.
In other periods of advancement, when it was necessary to associate in clans, or under feudal lords, the business of legislation was necessarily confined to a few. These, however, assumed their place, by whatever force was given them by the religion of the age. When the race followed war, their ruler was the most successful warrior ; when it took a more superstitious and mystery-loving turn, the ruler was the Priest and magician. And the only objection that can now be brought against these, is, that they have outlived their time, and they should have no place in a christian democracy. Society at present is not organized at all. The apologies we have for it, are but the relics of barbarism and feudalism, which, embalmed in the mere affections of men, are retained despite the wisdom of the head, or the oppressed labor of the hand. It is wisdom's right to rule. This is the prerogative of the head. But wisdom no longer dwells in abstract formulas or single individuals, but in the heads of the whole people. Only remove for once, the barriers' to a free exercise of the native powers, take away the false rulers and teachers which ancient wrongs and darkened systems have transmitted, and the race would immediately recognize who were capable of ruling and teaching. From the present mammon-organized state, we would become God-organized, and his heavenly kingdom of wisdom, peace and love, would be realized here below.
The head has not now its rights It is in subjection to the affections, to avarice and every grade of sensuality. It is misplaced indeed, and made to do the work of the hands, or minister to the encroachments of worldly power and wrong; thus perverting its noble powers and bringing disease and woe upon the whole Body. It is under the control of Mammon. The heart has seized on all worldly possessions, and is determined to rule when this is not its function, and, by withholding the elements of life, makes the head and hands do its bidding, turning both and deranging the whole divine order of duties and compensations: surfeiting Borne portions with an overplus, and contracting others with cold and want. Thus the heart has assumed a control which the Creator never designed, and exercises a corrupted domination which enslaves and enfeebles the head and hands, while it renders itself sluggish and diseased. By this obstruction of the | currents of life, which carry energy and happiness to every part, the whole social economy is deranged. The head no longer plans the general good—nor do the hands labor for the common weal. They only devise and labor so as to obtain, what they must have or perish, the nutriment they crave. Thus the whole body is disorganized, and the parts from having a harmonious operation, have become antagonistic, as though they were not members, but independent and conflicting individualities. From this tendency has arisen most sects in religion and politics so that
" The natural bond of brotherhood is severed
As the flax, which falls asunder at the touch of fire."'
Existing tociul conditions, with all their inequalities and injustices, are but the results of this antagonism. All employments of the head arc bought or hired by gold, not to promote the general interest, but to minister to insatiate Greed. The dollar covers all questions of right or policy. It decides what laws you shall have, whether free trade or protection, though it is sure to decide what is worst for the race. So blind is the affection which rules society now, that not the best, but the worst possible of all things is produced. Tli6 Lawyer uses his knowledge to get money. It is his interest to get inexplicable laws enacted, that he may find employment in giving an exposition ; to foment divisions and quarrels, of a party or personal character, that thereby his talents may be had in requisition. The Physician is in a similar position. Society has made it his interest to desire sickness and disease, that his knowledge may I find a quick purchase in the market; to protract your diseases, and propogate deception, with regard to the nature of disease and the application of remedies. And the professed minister of Jesus ■' is bought with a price/' in a sense not altogether evangelical ; sold to Mammon, to do his work, not God's; to build up an earthly power and control, which shall keep the people bigoted and ignorant; to lie in wait like a prowling wolf, for the tender and innocent lambs, ere they grow up so as to discover the transparency of the sheep's-clothing, or arc borne away to some other sectarian den. by others still more shrewd and successful. Because, if the people should ever grow to a just conception of their spiritual relations, they would discover the unprofitableness of all these distinctions, and altogether flow unto the mountain of the Lord." where the God-appointed teachers, he who. at the same time, was superior to, and servant of all would instruct them into the ': right way." And as n consequence, the pauderers to a narrow superstition would be minus a calling: but where could they turn? all employments of the head are filled to overflowing, ami if they were not ashamed to be seen laboring with their hands or begging, they would even find the departments of manuel labor and begging occupied ; and if they should crowd in, it would only be like changes in office.—for as one would step in. another must step out.
But the pulpit of our land, is much more under the sway of the affections at present represented by Avarice, than is dreamed I it is generally acknowledged that scenes or acts displaying of by most persons. The vices of the time and place must not ] human passion, weakness, folly, or wisdom and virtue, exert an
man, is that deliberate, that calculating inhumanity which " murders human souls with bondage."
The head has not its rights : it is unfortunately situated with respect to its duties, as already shown. It labors not, to relieve the hands, but to oppress them. It contrives schemes of financiering tor Avarice, which shall hoard the wealth of society in the hands of the few avaricious and sordid mortals, who have no code of morals but legal enactments, formed for their benefit j and no God other than a Golden Calf. It does not its duty in the methods of instruction; but emits a partial light which' only bewilders and betrays. It must be emancipated from the thraldom of Avarice, or it can never fulfil its duties or its destiny.
It should not however, be thought, that our remarks apply to all individuals who live by their mental powers. The application is only general, not entire. There are minds which will labor under all the discouragements which the popular devotion can contrive, and to the sacrifice of worldly prospects of wealth and power, that they may promote the interests of man. There are followers of Jesus even in pulpits consecrated to his name. There are true teachers among all sects and parties. There are noble men in the profession of the law, and among financiers, and politicians, who blessed by nature or fortune, have not bowed the knee to Baa!. There arc physicians like one of Galilee, who really heal, and teach with a benevolent desire for the health and happiness of their kind. But this does not disprove the tendency of the system. It only proves that despite all your efforts to give dominion to lust, there are minds that can not be seduced from the right, or have their confidence destroyed in the awards of virtue ; that so far from human nature being totally depraved, it has god-like emotions and aspirations, which will find expression however you may labor to suppress them; and that what is truthful and holy in man, cannot be made subservient to error and sin, nor this God s-world be wholly transformed into a pandemonium of selfishness and pride. J. K. I.
TH£ PHYSICAL AND SOCIAL STRUCTURE.
[sOIIIiril FROM OUR LAST.] THE HEART, fTS RIGHTS AND Dl'TlES.
The affections have dominion over the wealth of society. Could we conceive a portion, the great majority, to be without loves or wants, we might say that the rights of the heart and stomach were better protected than all others ; hut as men with brains and hands have also wants, this could only apply in truth to the class who more especially represent the affections. In this restricted sense it may be said that there is no social guaranty for any rights. The head is restricted in its rights of accumulation and dispensation. It may not speak, and may scarcely think, on the most momentous questions that ever occupied the attention of our race. It is proper to speak of the just sphere of the heart, that its rights and du ies may be more readily conceived. Representing the order of receptacles, the heart has the right to control the wholj wealth of society, whether it be of mere animal comforts or whether it he of ideas. The treasuries physical and mental are its own. B it it h is not merely the duty of receiving, but also of dispensing. Should the stomach glory only in its capabilities of mere reception and retention, neither the head nor hand could work to supply it with food ; and it would itself wither of want if it did not congest with surfeit. So if the heart should rc'nin the blood, and refuse to propel it to every part of the system, the very source of its supply would ultimately fail, even though it burst not in the sordid attempt. Supposing such a thing possible, and the affective organs only yielding back a portion of what is furnished by the skill und labor of the head and hand, as a condition of more and more inordinate contributions, until the head is drooping and the limbs falling with weariness and want, and the nutritive organs swelled to bursting, all fevered with disease; and you have a feeble representation of the present antagonism of society. The healthy body, as organized by nature, presents no such enormities. What the organs received is carefully prepared, and equitably distributed throughout then-hole frame. Each part has all that is necessary to enable it to discharge its functions for the general good. Monopoly is unknown in nature's organizations. Only perverted affections, and disastrous antagonisms, have wrought these things in human society.
These have periled human rights and happiness. There is no wrong, which they hare not sanctioned by law ; no crime or injustice for which they have not furnished an excuse, or justification. The sources of sustenance of human life have been monopolized; the products of labor—the legalized currency— every right to labor, to think, to exist—the earth, the air, the water,—nay, the right to self is made a subject of traffic and speculation. Heaven itself is put up for sale, and seats and passports meted out by a certain few, who are supposed to have a monopoly in the business transactions of that higher sphere This usurpation of rights is the great source of the antagonism which all deplore. Remove this, and all disorders would in time be rectified ; but continue this; recognize the principle which enables the worshipers of the past—whether it be of accumulated wealth or mental attainments—to hoard the common elements upon which existence or the mental growth of mankind depend; and no wisdom can organize a harmonious system. This is the only reason of a political character, why men do not coalesce, so as to form a harmonious Brotherhood now. Society is not naturally disorganized, but would arrange itself into harmonious conditions, were freedom and justice first established omong the members. Were the body emancipated from the wrongs which uninstructed, misplaced and diseased affection has perpetrated against the head and hands, a plan of society would naturally flow out of the more just relations, which would make possible the practice of Christianity, and realize the predictions ol the prophets bringing the race into a> state of reciprocal and equitable co-operation and enjoyment, which should reflect the harmony of the stellar universe, or rather, of the healthy human frame, in which every member performs its allotted duties, and receives, as a compensation, the necessary elements which enable it to repair the waste of toil and decay, to grow in strength and vigor.
Not only then, must the head be freed and enlightened, bnt the great heart of humanity must be cleansed of its greedy selfishness, and taught to beat with catholic impulse, and to acknowledge its duties in distribution, as well ns assert its rights in accumulation. Upon the heart depends, in the greatest degree, the regeneration of society. Could th it be made right in the sight of God ; could all-grasping avarice be made to relax its hold upon the means of labor and education,—iipon the human mind and human body, the heart would soon devise, and the hands execute, a social fabric after a model handed down from the skies.
THE HAND; ITS RIGHTS AND DUTIES.
We are not contending for the right of the hand" to slay, to torture, or forge chains, in, a social sin e. The only one we would imperatively detu md for it here, is the right to do what all will ac nowledge is its duty—to labor. It may at first be regarded as a novel position to say that this right is infringed. If is however, not only infringed, but absolutely subverted. Out of 'hp millions of hinds which are el .bomting this nation1* wealth, in t one in twenty enjoys any such right. A third, more or less, are owned, and bought and sold. And among the other class, who are hind, there is not a sm ill portion which might covet the condition of the slave. In Europe, indeed, thcgeneral condition of the hands is scarcely better, if as good, as the chattel bondage of the south. No government, of ancient or modern time, has guaranteed to its members the right of toil. It is therefore useless to speak of the rights, in this respect, except as they exist in Nature, for the existing laws of society know nothing of the rights of labor, denying the fundamental principle upon which the duty itself is based. Only when labor becomes capi'al, is it deemed worthy the protection of a system organized by Mammon.
Yet under all these embarrassments, labor does its dnty and more. It has executed whatever has been realized, although the very construction Bhould decrease the opportunities of employment. Untold wealth is all its own production ; although it may be seldom a matter of reflection to the brainless fop or the purse-proud aristocrat, that all which inflates his self-estenn has been produced by the despised laborer. The dress which makes the former feel that he is a being of some consequence, has passed through the hands of the spinner and weaver, and been fashioned into its present tasteful form by the tailor. The labor of these, and many more, has been requisite to clothe this apology for a man, who, without their assistance, would be unable to cover his nakedness. The quizzing glass which he sports, with a supercilious air, the gold watch and chain, and every article of elegance, has been produced by the arduous labor of muscle and of brain.
The palace, which is the pride of the millionaire, has been designed and executed by unceasing application. Every stone and brick has been carried to its place by human toil. In short, every possession of the rich or poor has been the product of labor. Whatever of worth you can plape your eye upon ; whatever is coveted by the high or low; whatever is regarded as giving character to men, in a worldly point of view, is the production of physical or mental toil. Strange it should appear, that while the creature is sought and gloried in, the author, the laborer, should be despised and outlawed, oppressed and degraded. For if the laborer is despicable on account of his work, the product* should carry with them the stigma, by whomsoever possessed. Bat it must be remarked that while labor has been so universally beneficial, and heaped such honors and riches on its oppressors, it has not yet done itself justice, nor required a recognition of its rights. It has not done too little, in a productive point of view, but too much. Under the present relation it sustains to its own productions, (capital) it is not blameable for not having been industrious; for it is refused longer employment oujy because every branch of business has been overdone, and even Avarice itself is unable longer to store away the surplus product* of labor and skill.
But what is worse than all, it pays all rents and usury, besides sustaining all waste and decay of different descriptions of wealth. Not a penny does the merchant pay for the use of his place of business or residence, or for the capital he employs, but what its value must be, in some way or other, wrested from the hand of toil. Not a Wall street broker shaves a note, but what labor must foot the bill. We have no positive data from which to judge; but from observation, BOmewhut limited, indeed, we are satisfied that in this city five-eights or two-thirds of all the products of every man's labor is wrested from him by the employer, sharper, capitalist and landlord. And can any one tell why labor should be required to produce so much and realize so little? Why, its only guilt consists in having labored to produce, and in having submitted to be robbed of the means by which it is at present oppressed !
Oh, if Labor could only become emancipated from this unnatural thraldom, what a paradise it would soon make of this sinstricken earth I The desert places would be made to blossom as the rose; and peace, plenty, and unspeakable beauty would take the place of the horrid warfare which man now carries on every where with his brother—of the degradation, wretohedness, famine, pestilence, and fell despair which now pervade all classes of the toiling, and turn to ashes every home joy of the poor. Will not Labor sometime wake to a sense of its rights and godlike dignity? Having performed so much for its oppressors, will it not ask soon, what it can do for its self and for the race? First of all it must be freed. Though it should pile up gold mountain high for its oppressors, it will only be the more degraded and despised. You can do little to exalt labor and make it respectable, until you strike off the shaokles with which it is bound.
Although the hand has never been raised to a just membership in the body politic, yet it has consented in a sort to its own enslavement. It has, for gold, forged its own chains, and being its self unorganized, has warred with itself, and its parts have toiled for the subjection of each other. Only when the head shall rule, the affections possess and distribute, in accordance with principles of eternal right, and tho hands become united in all good works, will a truly Godlike creation of the social structure be unfolded. And this soon must be, or the most deplorable results will follow.
We can not long pursue this antagonistic course. If the crimes of society are great, the result will be correspondingly terrible. And if We may sever the bonds of brotherhood, so as to pursue isolated and antagonistic interests, we can not sever the chain which distributes the penalty. When a Scottish City decides that a poor Irish woman is not a sister, and permits her to perish of want and disease in the streets, the falsehood and inhumanity is disproved and pnnished at the same time, by the infection which spreads from the dying one, and communicates its virus even to Scotsmen and women. When we consent to the enslavement of an other race, denying their claims to the sympathies of brethren, we, at the same time, doom the labor of our own families and friends to a destructive competition with the manacled hand and limb.
It is the greatest folly to suppose that we oan violate the very first laws of, social economy and yet prosper. What God hath joined together, man can not put asunder or derange without corresponding fatalities. And the world is beginning to see this, and to appreciate the true relation of men. "Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity," has become the watchword of all true friends of man. The Hand has had its day of rule, of slaughter, warfare and violence. The Heart has also reigned its time and more; and by some mutual understanding, or terrible revulsion, the Head must assume the reins of government. Under its auspices, the love-principle in man's nature shall expand to fraternal and universal Love; and the hands organized and freed, shall move with one impulse in the labor made divine by the spirit and intelligence which prompts to toil.
J. K. I.