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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

dikes were more availing in times of flood than prayers as a protection from encroaching waters from overflowing rivers.

But the dominance of ignorance and the quackery of priests will hold China in slavery to an unreasoning fear and irrational faith for generations yet unborn. Yet the seeds of a better intelligence are being planted in this dark corner of the earth. The people observe that Europeans give no heed to imaginary devils, and still they prosper without the intervention of priests; and thus will eventually dawn upon them how grievously their forefathers have been hoodwinked, cheated, and robbed by the reign of demonology, created and perpetuated for their own gain by the army of Taouist priests.

 

LETTERS ON THE LAND QUESTION.
By HERBERT SPENCER, FREDERICK GREENWOOD, Professor HUXLEY, Sir LOUIS MALLET, and JOHN LAIDLER.

THE following letters, reprinted from the London "Times" of recent dates (from November 7 to 15, 1889), are of great interest on account of the light they throw upon some of the more important aspects of the question of land nationalization, and on the problems of socialism in general.—Editor.]

MR. SPENCER'S FIRST LETTER.

To the Editor of "The Times":

Sir: During the interview between Mr. Morley and some of his constituents, reported in your issue of the 5th inst., I was referred to as having set forth certain opinions respecting land-ownership.[1] Fearing that, if I remain silent, many will suppose I

  1. Extract from the Morley Interview.

    Mr. Laidler said their method of dealing with the land would be that the present owners should hold it for their time, and that it should revert back to the State. They remembered that Mr. Herbert Spencer had said that the land had been taken by force and by fraud. That gentleman had also said that to right one wrong it takes another.

    Mr. Morley.—Has Mr. Spencer said this?
    Mr. Laidler.—Yes; we all know.
    Mr. Morley.—You are aware that he has recalled some of the things he has laid down?
    Mr. Laidler.—If he has stated truth and recalled it, the truth will prevail.
    Mr. Morley.—Do you include houses?
    Mr. Laidler.—We include land, not houses. In houses there is labor, but in land there is not.
    Mr. Morley.—Not?
    Mr. Laidler.—There may be labor exerted in land, but as far as the labor is in the land we believe it ought to belong to the laborer. As the land has been obtained by the method I have named by force and fraud, as Spencer says—we contend that the land ought to be taken back by the community and handed over to the municipalities and county councils to be used in such democratic manner as the people may elect those bodies for.
    Mr. Morley.—I can not think that what is commonly called nationalization of the land