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[Liberty, November 19, 1887.]

Ladies and Gentlemen:—Some four years ago I had occasion to write a criticism of a work then new,—Professor Ely's "French and German Socialism in Modern Times,"—and I began it with these paragraphs:

It is becoming the fashion in these days for the parsons who are hired, either directly or indirectly, consciously or unconsciously, to whitewash the sins of the plutocrats, and for the professors who are hired, either directly or indirectly, consciously or unconsciously, to educate the sons of the plutocrats to continue in the transgressions of their fathers,—it is becoming the fashion for these to preach sermons, deliver lectures, or write books on Socialism, Communism, Anarchism, and the various other phases of the modern labor movement. So general, indeed, has become the practice that any one of them who has not done something in this line begins to feel a vague sense of delinquency in the discharge of his obligations to his employer, and consequently scarce a week passes that does not inflict upon a suffering public from these gentlemen some fresh clerical or professorial analysis, classification, interpretation, and explanation of the ominous overhanging social clouds which conceal the thunderbolt that, unless the light of Liberty and Equity dissipates them in time, is to destroy their masters' houses.

The attitudes assumed are as various as the authors are numerous. Some are as lowering as the clouds themselves; others as beaming as the noonday sun. One would annihilate with the violence of his fulminations; another would melt with the warmth of his flattery and the persuasiveness of conciliation. These foolishly betray their spirit of hatred by threats and denunciation; those shrewdly conceal it behind fine words and hon eyed phrases. The latest manifestation coming to our notice is of the professedly disinterested order. Richard T. Ely, associate professor of political economy in the Johns Hopkins University at Baltimore and lecturer on political economy in Cornell University, Ithaca, N. Y., comes to the front with a small volume on "French and German Socialism in Modern Times," the chapters of which, now somewhat rewritten, were originally so many lectures to the students under his charge, and substantially (not literally) announces himself as follows: "Attention! Behold! I am come to do a service to the friends of law and order by expounding the plans and purposes of the honest but mistaken enemies of law and order. But, whereas nearly all my predecessors in this field have been

  1. An address delivered before the Boston Anarchists' Club on November 6, 1887.