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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 35.djvu/656

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

fighting is a foolish waste of blood and time and money, especially money, and before long fighting will be abandoned, because when men once are thoroughly convinced that a thing is foolish, or that it costs more than it comes to, they stop doing it. The few men who are now in favor of war are practical men who believe that war conduces in some way to national prosperity or helps trade. They would like to see things torn down, if they could have the opportunity of building them up. The theorists, the philosophers, are all opposed to war; they know it does a great deal more harm than good.

War, then, which has so long been the chief form of protection adopted by nations, is doomed. Men began some time ago, when peaceful communities were fully established, to see that it was doomed; but the old idea of protection, growing out of the distrust of humanity for humanity, had its hold upon them, and they set themselves at work to devise some new method of protection which would meet the new conditions and not destroy what we may call the industrial type of society. The practical men of the day put their heads together and said that the chief thing now was trade, and that they must not permit any rivalry in trade. The enemies of their special community were no longer the men who were better armed or better fortified; the enemies of their community were the men who could make things they could not make, or supply things they could make at a lower price.

"Let us," they said, "keep trade to ourselves. Let us make everything we want, be sufficient to ourselves, and be independent of the rest of mankind. In that way we shall grow rich and prosperous, and the rest of mankind may supply its wants the best it can."

How were they to do this? The days of war were going by. They could not establish guards and shoot every one of their fellow-citizens who bought anything of a foreigner, or shoot every foreigner who brought goods to sell within their borders. They could not do this, because it would be ruinous and expensive, but they could fine every person who engaged in trade with any person outside their own nation, and this they proceeded to do. They established a new form of protection, and called it very properly a protective tariff. The word tariff comes, so some philologists tell us, from Tarifa, a town in Spain at the entrance of the Strait of Gibraltar, where passing vessels were detained by force and obliged to pay tribute to the inhabitants. The citizens of Tarifa were the first of the modern protectionists. When we speak of protection nowadays, we mean a system of tribute imposed upon a whole nation by a certain small but powerful class of its practical men. The system is so devised that it takes money out of the pockets of the people and puts it into the pockets of the practical