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hatred made itself felt through their whole house- East London, only a symptom and a sign. It is hold. A state of demoralisation ensued when look- Nature crying to us in the only language she can ing through keyholes became elevated to the rank use, “ Ye have broken my laws, ye have allowed the of a domestic virtue. The household lived on the rich to grow over-rich, the poor to grow over-poor. brink of a volcano, and the wonder is that the Behold my punishment-vice and the misery of explosion was so long delayed.
abject poverty." Thank Heaven the whole unclean case is now out
Our aristocracy is well called a landed aristoof the way. Our sympathy remains with Lord and
cracy. From what it never puts into the land, it Lady Colin Campbell. She is still his wife, and so I takes out of the land the materials to build an we pity him ; he is still her husband, and so we pity aristocratic system, the foulness of which cries to her. Woe unto New Nineveh when the household
Heaven. The rich man uses the value which the of one of her nobles presents such a picture.
poor man puts into the land to corrupt the poor We are not yet near the end of the Divorce
man's daughter. The poor man toils from January Court revelations. Already the air is thick with to December in order that the rich man may upon rumours of men and women who are about to drag the corrupt stage of London play a part that each other to the bar of law. We do not doubt it.
covers the whole land with shame and disgrace. One-half of the husbands in Vanity Fair are only
are only As surely as we pay clergymen to teach us prevented from seeking divorces from their wives
righteousness, so surely havo we endowed an because their wives can produce such evidence
aristocracy to teach our young men and maidens against their husbands that they dare not face the
the way to Hell. Like Christ, we have very little Divorce Court. Woe unto New Nineveh !
to say against the vices of the poor. Their poverty We turn from the record of these horrors with
is the cause of their vice, just as wealth is the doubt and with alarm. Was Nineveh as bad as
cause of vice in the rich. Whenever the poor beLondon ? It is our smug custom to pity men of all come a little less poor they become patterns of climes and times who are not born Britons and who virtue. To make them less poor we must strike at do not call themselves Christians, God pity those the vast and overgrown fortunes that swallow up who in this fashion deceive themselves and would their humble fortunes. If we do not, if we let the deceive us. Rome at its worst had not poverty so poor sink deeper and the rich rise higher until wo deep, so wide, so continual as London, and it is have on one side more horrid heights of wealthy doubtful if Rome was more terribly depraved. men, and on the other more dangerous depths of
Now, is it not strange that we find poverty and miserable poverty, then woe unto Now Nineveh ! vice always together like awful Siamese twins? They sem to come together by some inevitable and irresistible law of Nature. It is as in the human
It must be very difficult for the Irish peasant, body; if we over-nourish, over-exercise, and over- under present circumstances, to treat his landlord develop one part, the other parts fall into lean
with even common civility. Upon my word, I
doubt very much whether, if I found a burglar feebleness, and the whole man grows miserable. In
entering my house, I should remember to say our social body we have allowed the aristocratic“ please” when I asked him to go out.-Truth. part to grow to fearful proportions, and so the What the Irish landlords are trying to do-by other parts fall into maciating decay. A rich every species of ruthless cruelty and oppressionman's dinner costs as much as would provide fifty
is simply this: to cheat the tenant into making a
| very bad bargain, i.e., to purchase the land on wholesome and abundant dinners for the poor man, | terms which if carried out must be ruinous to the who is fed so ill that when work does come to him
purchaser, – Truth, he is too feeble to lift pickaxe or shovel. We have The Ecclesiastical Commissioners received during utterly transgressed the law of Nature, and lo ! last year £111,083 for royalty on coal and other
minerals in Durham. It is an additional aggravaNature makes herself felt. An over-fed man
tion to the miseries of miners to know that not breaks out into blotches and ulcers; an over-fed only are they deprived of proper wages on account portion of society breaks out into the awful
of the demand for royalties, but that these royalties
go to support a Church in opposition to the blotch of vice. This frightful out-growth of religious teaching which the miners provide for Divorce Court vice is, together with the poverty of themselves.
FREEDOM AND CIVILISATION.
There's an island that's set in a northern sea, . And the ministers preach, aud the soldiers sloot, Its inhabitants call it the land of the free,
And return to their country with honour and loot, By a very “free translation;"
And all on the strength of boer! And by their own doings they set such store,
What blessings are shed on the world around
Wherever our gallant troops are found
And our glorious flag displayed.
Boers, Zulus, and Afghans, one and all
From Britain's Beery Brigade.
Blesses the men who go forth to fight
In the cause of civilisation.
And the “Gatlings” shriek and the “ Armstrongs." And the gaols are well filled in that happy land
roar Where crime and want go hand in hand,
When the soldier lands on the distant shore
To do the work of our nation,
From the wounded, who yet are living. And the toilers toil both night and day,
Then the Bishops who've heard the joyful sound Wearing their lives and their souls away,
Summon their flocks from all around
To offer a great thanksgiving.
For “we are not as other men,” say they;
“We do things in quite a superior way, For are they not free to die?
With much more excellent views; But the Peer and the Publican hold their own, Whenever we fight we are always right, . Those props of the altar, the cottage, and throne, And our doings are pleasing in Heaven's sightThe pride of a grateful people ;
Not even as these Zulus.” Who know that the real great end of man
What a tight little island it is, oh dear!
Strange if it weren't when it floats in beer!
And how noble its every plan !
And this is the way we shall still go on-
In the glorious way we have always gone
So dear to an Englishman.
For he worships a lord with all his soul,
And a brewer he puts at the head of the poll,
And a priest he follows with zest.
And when all has been said, and all has been told, It is the drink which fills the Chancellor's chest We yield to the power of sacred gold And provides for the Army and Navy,
And the Party which pays the best. And who but a fool would be found to care
His pride is great and his notions crudeThat the people with houses empty and bare
“Buncombe" and " bosh ” are his daily food Āre left to “stow in their gravy."
Which he swallows whenever he can. And what of the man who supplies the beer, And the “ Primrose League” is pleased to viewWhy, our Premiers hasten to make him a peer! It's constructed a patriot, staunch and true, To attend to our legislation.
“A Conservative working man"! And the nation of freemen bow the knee, And all who have sense to perceive, agree
What fear for the vessel of State is now ?
Safe through the water she'll grandly plough, That beer is the king of the nation,
Despising fortune's cuffs. And so both the Upper and Lower House,
For her sails are set to the Tory gale,
So long as that blessed wind prevail,
And she's manned by “ Salisbury's And there's not a man in the “ Commons” or
Then it's hey! for our country's lasting fame, Who is troubled with any forebodings and fears
And long may she well deserve the name,
The name of a Christian nation.
That glorious name she will never yield, And Bibles are borne there by earnest hands For beyond all doubt she holds the field, To bring to the heathen good cheer,
For "freedom and civilisation."
THE GERMAN LAND LEAGUE.
Germany had to approach Land Nationalisation Flürscheim's explanation is as follows: from a different point of view from that of Eng- (1) The purchasing power of the people is land,
continually decreasing when considered in connecIn England the land is in the possession of a
tion with the increase of production. Even if few thousand families, who rent it out at their
Giffen and others are right, and wages havo own terms to the inhabitants of the soil, or keep
increased as well as consumption, this would not it to themselves as pleasure or hunting grounds.
be of any benefit unless wages have increased in Millions of people who would desire nothing better
proportion to the increased productive power of than to cultivate the soil, to live on its fruits, and
labour. Supposing, for instance, 100 years ago a to create a living for other millions anxious to
“worker earned 2s. a day where he now earns 43.,
his wages would have doubled, but if 100 years exchange with them the products of industry and commerce, are thus kept idle. It does not require ago
ago he produced in the day 4s. worth of goods, a very deep insight into such a state of things to
and now produces 20s., his share in the value of explain why trade is dull, and industry crippled.
his production would have decreased from one
“: half to one fifth. This corresponds with statistics, Land nationalisation presents itself so clearly as the remedy that only those who are wilfully blind
which show a continual decrease of the relative can fail to grasp its truth.
w share of production which labour is getting.
In 1867 wages in Great Britain were 40 per cent. Matters are different in Germany and France, of the national income; now they are only 20 per where land is divided among a much greater cent. Thus in twenty years the share of labour in number of holders, and where“ free trade in land” the wealth it creates has decreased one half. makes it easy of access to all who have money to Whether money - wages have increased or buy it with. Yet the depression of trade is felt decreased during that period matters not. here as well as in Great Britain.
(2) This remarkable phenomenon would only tend The German Land League, in ascribing this evil
to increase the gap between rich and poor in to private ownership of land, found it more difficult
respect of their powers of procuring the necesthan the English League does to offer a clear and
saries and the luxuries of life. But it would not simple explanation. It could not say land is not
suffice to create an industrial and commercial crisis, accessible in a country where land is divided between
1 if the rich consumed their incomes. a multitude of owners. It could not explain the
(3) The crisis originates in the fact that commercial crisis by saying that land had become
the income of the rich is increasing so fast too dear to enable labour and capital to get hold
that their power of consumption does not of it, for all the direct connection that industrial
keep pace with it. They cannot consume their labour and capital have with land consists in get
income; they yearly lay aside a continually ting from it their raw materials, and it seemed im
increasing proportion which is put out at interest possible to say that these are not accessible at a
or rent! time of their unprecedented cheapness.
Let us, says Flürscheim, take an example. The
Rothschilds all over Europe are calculated to The problem as it presents itself in Germany can
possess a yearly income of at least six millions. be best stu lied in the works of .Michael Flürscheim, I suppose they spend only one million, laying aside a manufacturer in the Grand Duchy of Baden, the five. what does this really mean? It means that intellectual father of the movement. Upon his they demand from the producers a tribute of six reasonings, which it is the object of this article to millions a year, not in goods, but in money; to summarise, the principles of the new League are raise this tribute-money, the producers have to sell based.
six million pounds' worth of their productions in a He begins by showing that the present crisis market in which the Rothschilds purchase only one affects all countries independently of their political million's worth, having no requirements for more institutions, commercial policy, climate, population, goods, their spending capacity, viz., their demand resources, &c. The social question is now entirely for necessities and luxuries, not having increased different from what it was in the past. When so fast as their income. The producers—the poverty was due to the want of means to produce people at large-cannot fill the gap by purchasing goods; when with the utmost exertions a man could these remaining five million pounds' worth of not produce more than he needed; the misery of goods, much as they need them, because they have the multitude was the necessary corollary from the to pay the proceeds of their labour as a tribute to wants of the powerful minority, which by force the Rothschilds to the tune of £6,000,000 a year. took possession of a great part of the produce of Here, then, is the solution of the great problem, labour. But when misery results from a surplus of why goods are not saleable, why labour can find goods; when men are starving, naked, and house- | no employment, though the greatest need for goods less because there is too much food and too many exists. clothes and houses ; when "over-production” de- ! The amount levied yearly as a tribute from the prives men of the means of subsistence, the mean- producers, and not consumed, but put out at ing of the words “social question” becomes interest is calculated to exceed £500,000,000 a entirely changed.
year in the whole world (the national fortune of Great Britain alone increases at the rate of the same time preventing the consumption of £200,000,000 a year); and this enormous amount others, would be annihilated for ever. (22) Capital increases every year, for the interest of one year swells would be accessible to labour at a low rate of the figures of the next. It is true that the increased interest, viz., at the risk-premium. expenses of the owners of these incomes deduct Flürscheim here criticises Henry George's consomething from these figures, but comparatively
tention that the interests of capital and labour very, very little. We can now easily understand are the same, a low rate of interest always why the periods of commercial depression follow corresponding with a low rate of wages. But each other more and more quickly, lasting for a which interest is low ? Not the interest for longer period each time. In fact, we might say
capital used by labour, but interest paid for good they would not cease at all, and only get worse
securities; interest which is only another form from year to year, if the great waste of products by
of rent. Interest for capital used for labour is war and standing armies did not serve as leeches enormously b gh just now, is always high whendrawing off some of the superfluous blood. And ever wages are low. It is true that we cannot in the end these increase the evil by means of the
rightly call it interest, but a premium of risk. State debts, which help to swell the incomes of the But is not the effect on labour the same by whatgreat capitalists; but this evil effect is only felt ever name we call the tribute it has to pay for gradually, as the interest of the debts accumulates, the use of capital? At the time of issue these loans act as temporary When labour can get cheap capital it will be its relief, giving opportunity for work by consuming own employer, either by setting up on its own goods.
account or by uniting in co-operative societies unless Thus far Flürscheim has travelled a road quite
employers give as high wages as can be made in these different from that of Henry George and other land
ways. Wages would thus tend to reach the full nationalisers; but at this point the lines of argu
value of production, only deducting the value of the ment begin to converge. For in asking the question
employer's work, of his risk, and of rent paid to the how this state of things originated, in investi
State. This latter item could not be called a deduce gating the foundation of these fatal accumulations
tion, as the equivalent given in return by the State of capital, he comes to the conclusion that they
would balance it. Production and consumption originate in private ownership of land, and in the
would balance each other; commercial and agriabolition of private ownership he sees ühe only
cultural depression would be things of the past. remedy. Land, he says, is the only safe invest
These, in rough outline, are the reasonings of ment, for mortgages are also indirect forms of land
Flürscheim adopted by the German Land-Liga. possession (" Hypothek ist Grundbesitz ''), and
He comes to the same conclusion as the English State-debts are the offspring of landlordism, for
Land Nationalisers, but the way by which he they would not exist if the State collected the
reaches it allows, according to his opinion, an rent. And Rent is the parent of Interest. It is
easier answer to a great many objections, only through the possibility of changing capital
which are urged against Henry George's arguinto landownership, and thus getting rent, that
ments. The further advantage is claimed for capital, accepting other modes of investment, re
this method that it permits the conversion of quires interest as a compensation for the rent
socialists, who do not accept Mr. George's rentwhich it might have obtained if invested in real
theory, and who cannot see how the nationalisaproperty. The rate of interest asked for in trade
tion of rent will help them so long as they are is always higher than the rate of rent, viz., the
robbed in the shape of interest of the products rate at which rent is capitalised, because the in
of their labour. Flürscheim shows them a way vestment is less secure; and for this reason a pre
of getting the full value of their production, mium is added which Flürscheim calls the premium
leaving to the employer only what they would
have to pay him even if they employed him of risk, or risk-premium.
as manager, or what he would get in the shape If there were no investment in land and its
of salary if employed by the State producing on equivalents (mortgages and state-loans) there would
its own account. They would indeed be foolish exist no interest, but only the premium of risk; for if they did not prefer private production, giving capital, increasing faster and faster with the pro
In the pro- everyone the full advantage of his own exertions, ductive power of labour, would be looking eagerly giving much better results to everybody by means for investments, and no longer finding them in real
er finding them in real of emulation and competition, if they did not estate or in state-loans, would accept any chance
with pleasure renounce their ideal of a “ universal of reasonable investment, and by competition
workhouse" if they saw a better way of attaining would gradually reduce the rate of interest, until
vastly better results.* it reached the level of the risk-premium. This
GERMANICUS. would have two results: (1) Capitalists would not be able to increase their fortunes without working • Exigencies of space have compelled us slightly to abridge our themselves, by levying a tribute of interest or
German correspondent's interesting communication. For further
particulars the reader may consult Flurscheim's two work : 1 rent from the workers, but would have to live by Staatsmonopol des Grundpfandrechts (Minden i. Westf., Bruns consuming their capital like the ant, the bee, and
Verlag, 1885 ; 44 Seiten), and Au friedlichem Wege (Baden, Oscar
Sommermeyer, 1884 ; 494 Seiten.) the squirrel. The moment their work ceased, their capital would decrease, and the largest fortunes would be spent in a few generations if their SELFISHNESS DEFINED. - The blasting upas, owners became idle. Their power of preventing which when planted in the garden of life destroys production by not themselves consuming, and at the flowers that would otherwise grow there,
COBDEN ON LAND AND TAXATION.
TO THE EDITOR OF THE DEMOCRAT.
Sir,- Mr. George seems to share the prevalent to the Corn Law itself. An hon. gentleman below opinion that the ideas and motives which actuated me (Mr. Childers) has alluded to the fact that, under Richard Cobden in the movement for the abolition despotic governments, taxation falls chiefly upon of the Corn Laws were identical with those enter the land. Our own country has illustrated this, tained by Mr. Bright and the majority of his as a brief review of the proportion of the land tax fellow-workers and followers. In my opinion this to the whole revenue will show. For a period of is a mistake. Cobden did not, like Mr. Bright and 150 years after the Conquest, the whole of the other Free Traders, regard the substitution of a revenue of this country was derived from the land. revenue for a protective tariff as the final appli- For the next century, down to the reign of cation of the Free Trade principle. I think Richard III, it was nine-tenths. During the I can prove from a great speech which next seventy years, to the time of Mary, it fell to Richard Cobden delivered in the House of three-fourths. From this time to the end of the Commons on the 14th of March, 1812, and Commonwealth, land appears to have yielded onewhich, strangely enough, is not to be found in half of the revenue. Down to the reign of Anne any of the collections of his speeches, and is not it was one-fourth. In the reign of George I. referred to in his biography by Mr. John Morley, it was one-fifth. In George the Second's reign the M.P., that he took a broader and profounder view land yielded one-seventh of the revenue. From of the problem, of which the abolition of the Corn 1793 to 1815 (during the period of the propertyLaws was only a partial solution, than most of his tax) land contributed one-ninth; from which time disciples have done. Indeed, I think it is only a to the present one-twenty-fifth only of the revenue just and necessary inference from this speech that has been derived directly from the land. Thus the the great Free Trader regarded the abolition of the land, which anciently paid the whole of the taxaCorn Laws as the practical commencement of the tion, pays now only a fraction of one-twenty-fifth, struggle for the recovery of the land by the people notwithstanding the immense increase which has which has since set in, and is now rapidly approach- taken place in the value of the rental. The ingits consummation. Cobden, in my opinion, was in people had fared better under the despotic England the immediate precurseur, or fore-runner, monarchs than when the powers of the State had of those Radical reformers of the land laws who fallen into the hands of a landed oligarchy, who to-day are striving to establish true Free Trade and first exempted themselves from taxation, and next Free Labour on the only substantial and solid basis claimed compensation by a corn-tax for their heavy on which they can rest, -namely, the right of all to and peculiar burdens !). The land-tax was in free access to the land—which is the passive factor reality a substitute for the ancient feudal services, of production - or the treatment of the land as the The land was formerly held by right of feudal common property in usufruct of the whole people, service.” whose inalienable and indispensable heritage it is. I need not reproduce the sentences Cobden For my part, I have not the slightest doubt that if quoted from Blackstone, relating to the commutaRichard Cobden's life had been spared for another tion of feudal services into a land-tax, culminating twenty years he would have been the great Eng- in the imposition of a tax of 4s. in the pound of Tish champion of land resumption, and that Mr. real rental, by which the landholders in 1692 John Bright would have followed his lead and in- relieved themselves of their then remaining obligaspiration in the greater matter of radical land tions, and transformed themselves into landlords reform, as he did in regard to the Corn Laws. or landowners. The readers of THE DEMOCRAT
What I specially want to direct attention to in will know that the last-mentioned tax is the this almost forgotten speech of Cobden is the sur- existing land-tax. Referring to it, Cobden provey it comprises of land taxation in England from ceeded : the time of the Norman Conquest down to the “Now, could anyone suppose that land would date of its delivery, which would form a fit- always remain at the valuation of 1692 ? And yet ting introduction to the history of the land laws in it was upon that valuation that the land-tax was this country. I pass over the opening portions of charged. The land-tax was now levied upon a this speech, which had for their ubject to show that rental of £9,000,000 a year, the valuation of 1692, " the landowners sustained no special burdens which whereas the right lion. gentleman (Sir R. Peel), entitled them to tax the rest of the community, in bringing forward his budget, had estimated the bat that, on the contrary, it was notorious through- value of real property in Great Britain at out the world that they had been employing them £72,000,000 a year. Why, then, should not the selves as legislators in placing the burdens on four shillings in the pound be levied on this others for the purpose of exempting themselves" ; amount, instead of on the rental of 1692 ?" and come at once to those passages which deal/ It is not necessary for me to remind iny readers directly with the land tax.
that there has been no valuation of the land for “ The only peculiar State burden borne by the land taxation purposes since Cobden spoke, and land," he declared, “ is the land-tax; and I will that the land-tax is still levied on the nine millions undertake to show that the mode of levying that at which the actual rental of the land was valued tax is frau lulent and evasive-an example, in fact, in 1692, notwithstanding the enormous increase of legis'ative partiality and injustice second only 'in the revenue from the land that has again taken