Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 42.djvu/256

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will be honestly carried out, that each and every man will do his duty, that there will be no "combines" on the part of overseers and administrators to turn the means of production to their own use and defraud the masses. For it is very certain that state socialism administered or superintended by such a class of men as that which recently met at Minneapolis to nominate their man, or the class that usually control the machinery of government in this "free" country, would not only fail in its purpose, but result in civil war, or the conditions of life would be worse than humanity has ever experienced.

Similarly, philosophical anarchism and the doctrine of non-invasion must fall short of its purpose unless all men confine themselves to their own business, and do not interfere with their neighbors. But the presence of a handful of men in an anarchistic community, who determined to live by plunder, would suffice to destroy either anarchism or the community.

Anarchy reminds one of a certain Chinese puzzle, the solution of which depended upon getting a number of different-shaped blocks together and dropping them at the same instant, so that they fell exactly into their respective places. If one happened to fall slightly out of place, it upset the entire number. Philosophical anarchy can only exist when all men have attained that condition where each fits his place and is content to remain in it.

I contend that no science of economics will elevate society to the condition its advocates believe, unaccompanied by a system of ethics. It is more a question of every man doing right, fulfilling obligations, guiding his conduct by some standard, than it is of the nationalization of land or the abolition of privilege. When every one is governed by his noblest impulses, in place of selfish instincts, poverty and misery will begin to disappear. Then the so-called science of economics will be rewritten, and a new basis of human action accepted. And, without this, no reform system will accomplish the purpose of its author.

"Whether it is possible," said Prof. Max Müller, at the International Oriental Congress, "to account for the origin of languages, or rather of human speech in general, is a question which scholars eschew, because it is one to be handled by philosophers rather than by students of language. I must confess, the deeper we delve the further the solution of the problem seems to recede from our grasp; and we may here, too, learn the old lesson that our mind was not made to grasp beginnings. We know the beginnings of nothing in this world, and the problem of the origin of language, which is but another name for the origin of thought, evades our comprehension quite as much as that of the origin of our planet and of the life upon it, or the origin of space and time, whether without or within us. History can dig very deep, but, like the shafts of our mines, it is always arrested before it has reached the very lowest stratum."