Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 28.djvu/508

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but will "keep due on," until emperors, kings, and potentates will be as obsolete as the "tabards," "beevors," "brassards," and other trumpery of the mediæval Man on Horseback.

All life is battling—all society a conflict of forces. Little worth having is ever got without being wrung from the teeth of opposition. Particularly is this true of the ordinary possession of manhood. Every privilege and immunity which we enjoy to-day, without more thought than we enjoy the sunshine and the summer air, has been extorted—most frequently through bloodshed—from those who would fain withhold it. The student of history reading the Bill of Rights sees in every clause the result of some successful war fought to wring a concession of that particular principle from the dominant class. The musket has steadily led the way and supported every extension of the boundaries of freedom. Without so irresistible a weapon within reach of every man's hand, the world would still be prostrate under the hoofs of an equestrian aristocracy, whose despotism would only be tempered by the tyranny of kingcraft.

Artillery is monarchic, cavalry aristocratic, and infantry democratic. Armor and the horse brought about the rule of the few over the many; cannon helped make one man ruler over all; while the musket is the agent of the popular will and the pioneer of universal suffrage. "All free government," says an eminent philosopher, "depends upon the power of the majority to whip the minority." The fundamental principle of democracy is that the wishes of one thousand men shall prevail over those of nine hundred men, and the musket gives the thousand men the physical power to enforce their will upon the nine hundred men.


THE term discrimination, in its application to railroad rates, seems in the minds of some to have lost its original and true meaning—the act of distinguishing between things which are different. In the general affairs of life, the ability to discriminate is as commendable as the lack of it is discreditable. There appears no reason why the reverse of this should be true when applied to transportation. There must always be differences which fairly affect rates, as competitive routes and markets, the bulk and value of commodities, and the volume of the traffic. These differences demand recognition and require discrimination in fixing rates; but there should be no discrimination without a difference. This would afford a profit to a favored few, but would effect an injury to the many, and is therefore unjust.