"Public men here are very reluctantly arriving at the conclusion that this country may be called upon to decide whether it shall become necessary to dsstroy liberty in order to preserve civilization."
Commenting upon it the former paper says: "This is one of the most astounding, and indeed the most startling declaration that has appeared in the plutocratic press." Farmers and working men, read carefully these lines. Weigh them well and reflect. Consider in what short time you may hare no voice in the affairs of this republic.
It may not be out of place to examine this "liberty" and "civilization." It will not be denied that there are several kinds of "liberty" and a "civilization." First, there is natural liberty and civil liberty. Then there is political liberty and religious liberty.
Natural liberty is defined as consisting "in the power of acting as one thinks fit, without any restraint or control, except from the laws of nature." Is this the kind of liberty to be destroyed by plutocracy in order to preserve civilization?
Political liberty is "the freedom of a nation or state from all unjust abridgement of its rights and independence by another state." Is this the kind of liberty which plutocracy proposes to destroy in order to preserve civilization?
Religious liberty is the "free right of adopting and enjoying opinions on religious subjects, and of worshipping the Supreme Being, according to the dictates of conscience, without external control." Is this also the kind of liberty which plutocracy intends to destroy in order to preserve civilization?
"Civil liberty is the state of men in a state of society, so far only abridged and restrained as is necessary and expedient for the safety and interest of the society, state or nation." Is civil liberty, then, to be destroyed by plutocracy in order to preserve civilization?
"Civilization is the state of being refined in manners from the grossness of savage life, and improved in the arts and learning."
Did the dispatch to the Inter-Ocean mean that liberty, whether, natural, political, religious or civil, is to be destroyed in order to preserve the people of this republic in a state of being refined from the grossness of savage life and improve them in the arts and learning?
No, verily! By "liberty" it meant the right of voice or vote in the management of governmental affairs, and by "civilization" is meant the maintainance of the present conditions brought about by the passage of unjust laws through the influence and power of corporations, capitalists and income classes.
The "civilization" to be preserved, by the destruction of "liberty" is meant the continuation of the present arrangement of affairs by which the farmers, and other producers have been, are now, and are yet to be deprived of the major part of their produce.
The "civilization" to be preserved by the destruction of "liberty" is intended the perpetual existence of the conditions whereby the laboring class have been, are now, and are yet to be defrauded of the greater part of their hire.
The "civilization" to be preserved by the destruction of "liberty" is meant the everlasting inheritance, to us and our children after us, of the national bank system, national bonded indebtedness, protection alone for the manufacturing interests, and government partnership with railroads, whisky trusts, and unlawful aggregations of incorporated and unincorporated capital of all kinds.
The "liberty" to be destroyed in order to preserve civilization is meant the destruction of all organized or unorganized efforts on the part of the farmers and producers to secure for themselves a living price for the produce of their fields.
The "liberty" to be destroyed in order to preserve civilization is meant the destruction of the liberty of the laborer or workman to obtain, with or without or organization, a just and living wage.
And the "liberty" to be destroyed in order that civilization may be preserved is meant that the farmer and the laborer shall be denied the privilege of uniting politically in the struggle for a competence, leisure and education for themselves and family while living, and a decent burial when dead. To successfully accomplish the failure such political union would be all that plutocracy could desire. Failing in this, it would only be necessary to pass a law disfranchising the labor vote. To ascertain whether this has not been thought of, let us read what the Indianapolis News (democratic) says: "If the workingmen had no vote, they would be more amenable to the teachings of hard times." Again, United States Senator Sharon, a republican, said: "We need a strong central government; the wealth of the country has to bear the burdens of government and shall control it."
The money power then seems disposed to perpetuate itself, if it has to take the ballot from the laboring class to do it. The right of suffrage being lost, the denial of the right to bear arms would easily follow. With both these rights lost, the laboring classes would be absolutely helpless at the feet of plutocracy. To be forewarned is to be thrice armed. Therefore, the sooner all farmers, laborers and workingmen unite in one common political party, and stand together, and vote together, the better it will be for them and this republic.--J. S. Allison, in Locomotive Firemen's Magazine.
- The Advocate, Vol. VI, No. 40, $1.00 A Year. Topeka Kansas, October 3, 1894. Official State Paper. Pgs. 12-13