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from the business, possibly the banks with whom all of these deal, have an interest, and may be led to oppose the intended reform. When we undertake to suppress saloons, the brewers, distillers, property owners, bankers with whom these do business, newspapers in which they advertise or hold stock, lawyers who are retained by them, are aroused. Money, legal talent, careful organization make it possible to develop a system of opposition that is much more powerful than one would imagine, and more threatening than the reformer would suspect. This aggressive opposition can easily hinder public opinion from coming to expression; it can threaten, bribe, boycott, and punish in a way to hinder almost any reform. The same may be observed in any movement which affects the material interests of any class in a community. When the reformer studies carefully, and measures accurately, the resistance he may meet, he necessarily becomes cautious. He need not withhold all activity in the face of strong opposition, but he must adapt his activity to the situation, and work to head off quietly and effectively the main forces of resistance before undertaking battle. The wisest course may be in patience, in a quiet educational propaganda, in awakening the religious leaders of a city to their real duty. One need not give up all struggle, one need only organize, plan, and learn. Such work and such wisdom, too seldom found among even the noblest reform leaders, promise as much success as one can reasonably hope for in any given time.
The rôle that lawyers play in enabling business interests to fight reform legislation, and the power against frank respect for law found in their manner of dealing with law, should not be overlooked in following out this thought. The following from Collier's (March 11, 1905,) is to the point:
Are lawyers more moral than business men ; ordinary men of affairs than trust magnates; journalists than politicians; and so on through the grades and divisions of society ? Such questions arise constantly in discussion. Formerly the politicians were blamed exclusively for much bad legislation that is now charged in part to the business men who influence legislation. The rôle taken by the ablest lawyers in making legislation ineffective is being more vividly expounded than it ever has been before. Our laws-to take an example-forbid rebates and all kinds of discrim
ination between shippers. The railway men in general admit the desirability of such law. Yet they, and the shippers, and the attorneys for both, devote themselves to discovering devices for outwitting the law. There is no moral standard which restrains either lawyers or business men from any secret practice intended to help them escape from laws the passage of which they favor. The public faces the necessity of contriving laws so drawn that the very ablest minds in the country can invent no trickery to beat them, but probably public opinion on such matters is being educated by all the experiments now being made. The struggle for money is losing something relatively, and moral standards slowly make a corresponding gain.
.. (c) Resistance will be met from the very victims whom one seeks to serve. .: The laborer who does not believe in the Union is its worst enemy, and yet the Union has undeniably accomplished great results for the laborer. Those who live in unsanitary homes, surrounded by uncleanness, foul air, disease, and vice, tend to lose the very impulse of discontent which might aid the reform of such conditions. Tenants have been known to be in.dignant when forced from unsanitary to sanitary dwellings. In Belgium this indifference of victims is overcome by a society under the patronage of the King, which distributes annually, among workingmen's families, prizes for cleanliness, good order, and judicious use of income. Many men, if not the majority, prefer to be comfortable, and when they are adjusted to even bad surroundings, they tend to look upon the situation with indifference. If the victims in any social situation kept themselves blameless, and eagerly co-operated with those who wish to aid them, success would meet the efforts. But when one is compelled to threaten arrest or resort to violence in order to force suffering men and women to love what is noble and just and clean, and to demand it, the tragedy of reform becomes half comedy. In the whole problems or series of prob. lems which confronts modern society, this is perhaps the most disheartening feature; the tendency of the victim to lose his higher sense and nobler aspiration; his inclination to lose his dislike of the situation in which he may be placed, the danger of indifference and then of even attachment to his degradation or deprivation, and finally, the possibility of total loss of desire for better, loss of all sense of contrast between what he is, what he might be, and what others are. When this stage is reached, one is beyond the reach of social reform, if not beyond the reach of the grace of God. The social danger of this tendency is not rightly measured. When any slave begins to love his chains, he will never fight for emancipation. When society is producing classes of men and women and children, whose condition presents grave social, moral, and spiritual problems, delay to improve them gives opportunity to the victims to grow contented with degradation or wrong doing, and to lose all sense of contrast. Every day that reform is delayed but adds to the difficulty of the work because of this tendency. (d) Resistance may be met from interests and individuals which professedly stand for law and order. If reform activity, zeal in purifying city life, tend to give to a city undesirable notoriety, and make it known generally that taxes are high, values are unstable, capital is apt to become timid. Industries may be driven from the city, and industries that might have come in may be frightened away. When this happens, business interests are apt to fall out with reform movements, and may even try to suppress them. Recent periodical literature, devoted to an exposition of the evils of city government, contain illustrations of this paradox. Scarcely a reform is undertaken against which some determined opposition from any one of many sources does not develop. One political party may not wish to see another inaugurate a successful reform ; one church may be reluctant to give the quiet aid which would enable another to effect some reform to which it is pledged. There are many strong and good men and organizations which withhold aid and sympathy from reform work, simply because all such work seems hopeless. They see the problems, understand their gravity, but the impression which they receive is that of helplessness, not that of strength. They do not advocate reforms, do not support them when attempted, do not even encourage others to undertake them. Any one who is at all acquainted with the large class of quiet, noble men and women to be found everywhere, who look for reform, hope for it, and pray for it, will surely be struck by the sense of helplessness found among them. Their
thoughts and aims are noble and true, yet they are prevented by practical insight from complete abandon to the despair which hovers around them. But they talk helplessness and feel it, and thereby show us, by inference, what great strength reform might win could the prospect of success but be held out.
It should not be forgotten that reform is sometimes unfortunate in its representatives, and that opposition to reformers is not necessarily opposition to reform. It has been said that socialism would be most welcome, except for the socialists. Similarly we find at times that reform would be welcome, except for the reformer. The lawyer, the banker, the business man generally will show, in all important transactions, foresight and accurate appreciation of means at command. Such men mistrust impulse, rarely mistake enthusiasm for judgment, await results patiently, and govern themselves by practical sense. While they may themselves meet disaster in personal affairs, they will judge others by these traits. And when, as is often the case, they find in the reformer bounding impulses corrected by no practical experience, and judgment tested by no complex problems, they are inclined to withhold the sympathy and support that might otherwise be given.
2. One should ascertain, in advance, the resources at one's command when undertaking a reform.
The thoughts here suggested are implied largely in the preceding. Not all well-minded persons, not all the moral and spiritual forces of a community, may be counted on for active support of a reform movement. It needs ability, organization, plan, money; it must educate and, if necessary, fight. Some men will give money, but not personal attention; some will lend the influence of their names, and others refuse it, through fear of injuring business. The organizing and directing of the movement is a question of business arithmetic which the leader should work out before attempting anything.
Those who read the newspapers and periodicals with any care, are familiar with the history of reform work and with the facts of life which reform aims to modify. It is gratifying to note that periodical literature and newspapers give unlimited space to news of this kind, and that the readers eagerly look for it. It is a misfortune that the people at large have not yet acquired the habit of interpreting the social facts about them. Radical movements, such as socialism, are built upon interpretations of these facts. While the socialist can tell us in a moment the meaning, to his mind, of our corrupt politics, tenements, sweatshops, social immorality, and like problems, we stop with the knowledge of the fact and fail to interpret it by linking it in its relations to past and to present.
The habit of interpreting social facts, of discovering their meaning and relation to progress, will come only from judicious training. Hence, while the thought is not closely related to these papers, which have a practical aim, it may not be out of place to refer to it. A generation can solve the problems of the following generation more easily than it can solve its own. Attempts to remedy present problems will result to some extent in makeshifts. But wise foresight, careful calculation of the trend of things, will enable a generation to secure to its successor the advantages of preparation for problems to come. If this be true, education assumes at once a command. ing rôle. It and religion have a specific social duty to the future. Our best wisdom, our holiest influences, our dearest treasures should be concentrated in the schoolroom, and our noblest characters, conscious of a splendid mission, should there mould hearts and minds to meet the duties of life with wisdom and strength. If Church and School and State commence to-day the solution of to-morrow's problems, we can tolerate the evils which we now see, in the hope that they at least who follow us may see goodness universal, social service a respected law, and brotherhood a fact.