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    April 8, 1903

    “What Do These Things Mean?” The Signs of the Times 29, 14, pp. 2, 3.
    II.

    WHEN from Nimrod onward the despotism, the combine, of a one-man power, had afflicted the world for a long series of ages, there arose a people who renounced all that as akin to it, and established a government of the people. They threw off all kingship, and declared that they needed no such figment to govern them, but that they were capable of governing themselves, and so established a government of the people, by the people, and for the people—individual self-government, the republic of Rome. They were right. The principle was sound, and the government was a grand success—while the people really governed themselves. But the grandeur of the their success brought results which caused the Roman people to lose the faculty of governing themselves; and the government fell to cliques, coteries, and combines. These presently merged in the first triumvirate—government by a special three.SITI April 8, 1903, page 2.1

    And who were these three?—One of them was the chief capitalist, the head of the trusts, the combines of capital, of the empire; another was the pride of the populace, and the combines of the unions and of the envious crowd; and the third was the pride of the army;—Crassus, Cesar, and Pompey. These three men sat down together and agreed that nothing should be done in the Roman State but by their consent. This held for awhile, but Crassus was killed in a battle. Pompey was afterward killed, and Cesar alone was the government—a one-man power. But a one-man power was dreaded. Cesar was murdered to escape it. But immediately a new triumvirate was formed: Antony, Octavius, and Lepidus. Lepidus was soon shelved; Antony and Octavius fought the battle of Actium; Antony was defeated and shortly afterward committed suicide; and Octavius was the government—a one-man power which permanently remained and which became the most terrible despotism ever till then known. This one-man power, its despotism, and its empire sank in annihilating ruin by the floods of barbarians from the forests of Germany, and upon that ruin was built the one-man power of the Papacy, the completed combine and the greatest despotism ever known on earth.SITI April 8, 1903, page 2.2

    The Barbarians established kingdoms in Western Europe. And again there was a long series of kingships expanding into empire, with their consequent tyranny, though these tyrannies were so far overtopped by the one greatest of all tyrannies—the Papacy—that they were but slightly felt in comparison. Then after that series of ages of kingships and imperialism there arose another people who cast off all kingship and established a government of the people. They declared that men are capable of governing themselves, and that, therefore, governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed. Accordingly, they established a government of the people, by the people, for the people—individual self-government, the republic of the United States. These men were right. These principles are sound. The government was a grand success so long as the people governed themselves.SITI April 8, 1903, page 2.3

    But how many of the people of the United States to-day are self-governing? And it must not be forgotten that the majority is, in effect, the government. In a government of the people, when a majority fail to govern themselves, the government is gone. In the world of business and traffic in the United States to-day, how many of the people are governing themselves in their own business?—The vast majority are governed by the trusts. In the world of labor to-day, how many of the people govern themselves?—The vast majority are governed by the unions. In the realm of government itself in the United States, in politics, how many of the people govern themselves?—Almost the whole body of them are governed by “the party,” by “the machine,” by “the boss,” and according to “the state.”SITI April 8, 1903, page 2.4

    Then where is self-government in the United States to-day? Where is government of the people in this “government of the people” to-day—It is absolutely gone; gone to the combines—to the business combines, the labor combines, and the political combines. And do not forget that the logic of the combine, of whatever sort, is a one-man power. And how far are we form this even now?—The condition of things in this nation to-day is such that in a crisis any day the head of the trust, the head of the unions, and the chief of the national, political machine, can form a triumvirate as quietly and as absolute as was that of Crassus, Cesar, and Pompey. And of such a triumvirate the only outcome that there can be is a one-man power.SITI April 8, 1903, page 2.5

    And even for this outcome the way is already blazed. The great coal strike in the summer of 1892 brought the nation to the brink of such danger as could not possibly be risked. As a government the state of Pennsylvania failed. There was no way by which the national government could constitutionally reach the case. Then he, who is the head of the national government, intervened—not as head of the government, but only as “a private citizen.” And when he intervened only as “a private citizen,” his intervention was promptly accepted and every suggestion was respected—not because he was a private citizen, but wholly because he is head of the national government. If he had been indeed only a private citizen, he would not then been listened to for a moment; any more than were the many other private citizens, who had offered suggestions. Therefore, here is an instance of the head of the national government, in a case of a national danger, acting only as a private citizen, yet with all the prestige of the head of the government; an instance in which official and constitutional government is left behind by the head of the government, yet that same head of the government, acting as a private citizen with all the prestige of official and constitutional head of the government. This is nothing else than in principle the direct intimation of a one-man power.SITI April 8, 1903, page 2.6

    This is not to say nor in any way to intimate that this has been in any way intended, nor that President Roosevelt would intentionally do such a thing to any extent. It is not in any way to criticize what he did. It is only a study of the principle that is in what has been done. And this is the principle. And these great strikes, with their consequent complications, are not by any means over with. Indeed, things have now only fairly begun. A victory has been gained that will be pushed to the utmost limit. Other such strikes with their perplexing complications will certainly arise. Other men will occupy the place of head of the national government. They too, will act “as private citizens,” yet with the prestige of head of the government. They, too, will act “pas private citizens,” yet with the prestige of head of the government, but with the important difference that over the course where President Roosevelt cautiously, and, as it were, tremblingly, felt for the way for his feet, the other man will, on horseback and in fully panoply, ride rough shod.SITI April 8, 1903, page 3.1

    And what a fearful pass it is to which this nation has already come, when the only escape from a ruinous danger is the taking of a course that carries in its train ruinous danger; in other words, when the only escape from ruinous danger is a mere temporary palliative?SITI April 8, 1903, page 3.2

    As in this consequence of the coal strike there has already been blazed the way to a one-man power, so also in it there has appeared even in sight the religious despotism that attaches to the one-man power. In the choosing of the commission to settle the coal strike, it was stipulated that the commission should consist of five men, each chosen from a certain calling that would make him in a sense an expert. However, when the five had been chosen, the President went beyond this, and added a sixth member. This sixth member was added “as a commission to the strikers.” It is Bishop Spaulding, of the Catholic Church, for the reason that he “should be an imminent Roman Catholic prelate, nearly all of the miners being adherents of the Catholic Church.” In addition to this, the President appointed a recorder to the commission. And this recorder was a man who “freely admits his admiration for the magnificent organization of the Roman Church and his appreciation of its strong and elevating influence upon artisans and wage-earners,” and who “has been for many years an active teacher in the economic department of the great Catholic university at Washington.” In addition to all this, the President appointed two assistant recorders, and one of the two “is professor of political economy at the Catholic university, located near Washington.”SITI April 8, 1903, page 3.3

    And yet even this does not exhaust the list of Catholic influences connected with the commission, so that it is safe to say that the Catholic Church held the dominating influence in connection with that commission which originally was to consist of five men chosen from specific callings. Under the circumstances, with “nearly all the miners being adherents of the Catholic Church,” and they being one of the principals in the controversy; and with the large Catholic influence attached to the commission; it was in no small degree simply the Catholic Church arbitrating her own cause and settling her own case. And when thus stands her power and her influence at the very outset, in the very nature of things her power in these things will grow as these troubles grow upon the government, and when from it all there is developed the inevitable one-man power, there will she be close beside him, the same perpetual Papacy. This is not to say that the Papacy herself will be the one-man power. It is only to say that she will be the inspiration and the directing voice of that which, apart from her personally, will be the one-man power.SITI April 8, 1903, page 3.4

    Yet this power and influence which she has gained and will hold in connection with the strikes, combines, and complications is only a part of the true standing of the Papacy in connection with the United States Government of to-day.SITI April 8, 1903, page 3.5

    ALONZO T. JONES.

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