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By A. M. Dewey. Written for Appeal to Reason. The question of the reform of the crim- inal! classes in the United States is becoming «ne of the issues of the day, and many are 4 the associations organized for the purpose of making conditions better for the crimi- nal outcasts from society than are those en- joyed by the honest laborers in their own % neighborhoods. These associations are usu ally composed of that element in every com munity which is so deeply interested in the welfare of humanity as to warrant them in lavish expenditure of time, money and ef fort to further their avowed object to re form the criminal classes. The annual con ventions of the Association for Prison Re form brings together men and women from every quarter of the nation, and a commen dable zeal is displayed by all in attendance in the passage of earnest resolutions favor ing better quarters and better treatment for men and women who have been so unfor tunate as to violate the laws of man and transgress the rules of polite society. It is not the object of this article to criticise the actions of these good people, but rather to commend them for their zeal; and at the same time to call their attention to the fact that an expenditure of one-half the time, money or energy in another direction would * be productive of vastly more good to those in whom they profess to be so greatly inter ested. VICTIMS OF SURROUNDING^ Therc are three classes of criminals to be found in every community. One of these, and a large class it is, is made up of those men and women, who, through no fault of their own, have been born to crime. They are the unconscious and helpless victims of generations of vicious surroundings. Liv ing from birth in an environment of vice and crime, with little or no encouragement to break away from their surroundings, they grow into a belief that the only wrong in theft is in being caught at it, and, from pet * tv stealing when little more than babes, to burglary when full grown, step by step they become the confirmed criminals as we find ♦ them in the felon’s cell of the penitentiary. These are the people who commit such crimes as highway robbery, petty and grand larceny, burglary, and other forms of theft. The incentive is always money. Sometimes these will add the crime of murder to their offences; but this rarely accurs except as a means to cover up their tracks, or to divert suspicion to other channels, and thus render ■ escape somewhat easier. To such as these the sunshine of life has been an unknown quantity. Their only knowledge of the world is one which tells them of the bless ings which come only to those who are possessed of the money with which to pur chase them, and their only aim in life is to reap what others have sown, live as eas ily as they can without hard work, and es cape, if possible, the sleuths of the law, who have been trained by society to hunt down and ferret out the violators of the criminal *■* code. They have observed that the man who works hard, and endeavors to be an honest and upright citizen, is scorned by « the average member of society, and they | have, therefore, concluded that a life of TAKE TOO [REDICIjIE! Special dispatches from New York, the real seat of government of the United 7 States, announce the information of the formation of the great billion dollar rail road trust. The first step in the combina tion of railroads has been taken by con solidating seven leading railroads of the West, viz: Name of Road. Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul... Chicago & Northwestern Great Northern Northern Pacific Southern Pacific Union Pacific Total mileage • 4°>788 «* This gigantic combination of railroads will be under the management of four lead ing capitalists of the country, Comrades Hill, Morgan. Rockefeller and Harriman. What a debt of gratitude the world will owe these Napoleons of finance for bringing the railroad system under a central head ; and how much easier it will be for the peo ple to assume control when they are all Don’t kick, but take your medicine and look pleasant. crime with ease, was to be preferred to a life of honest toil, with poverty and privation the universal lot of the toiler for daily bread. They may also have observed that it was only the petty thieves who seemed to suffer at the hands of the law, and have therefore decided that it was best to be a great offender, if one hoped to secure im munity from punishment. ADVERSITY AND POVERTY. The second class of criminals to which attention is called is that very large num ber of men and women in every community who have met with unlooked for adversity, and have, through poverty or other misfor tune, become the victims of society’s un written law of exclusion and ostracism. Their only crime is their poverty, and yet the edict of society makes them convicts, though violators of no statute law, and they pay the penalty with a life more barren of sunshine than is that of the convict within penitentiary walls. Their children are to feel their poverty, and are snubbed by their more fortunate playmates, until in sheer despair they drift, almost uncon sciously away from the bright and sweet side of life into an environment which em bitters them against the world. It is but a step from this condition to that of the com mon criminal, and from there to the peni tentiary, where they are used in turn, through a pernicious contract labor system, to drive other men and women to despair, and to make of them criminals in their turn. The contract labor system of many states is a crime against society which is sure to come home to those who temporar ily profit by it. The employer of free la bor cannot hope to compete with the prison contractor who has his power, light, heat, shop room, and overseers furnished him by the state, to say nothing of the advantage in the price of the labor itself, which is rare ly ever more than one-fourth that demanded by mechanics on the outside. Here, again, the incentive to wrong one s follows is the almighty dollar, and with it society is mak ing criminals every day of the year. And right here let us call attention to a few of the most notable crimes of recent years in the United States—crimes which are fresh in the minds of the present gener ation. Reference will be made to them later. In spite of the boasted progress of Chris tian civilization in this republic, we have to record the assassination of two presidents of the nation, one governor of a state and one mayor of a great city. One of them was the result of the passions born of war, the other three of the lust for public office and the emoluments of the same. Scarcely a week passes without its record of train and stage robberies, often within the very limits of a thickly populated city, while the blowing up of safes, the killing of bank cashiers in broad daylight, and the holding up of citizens on the streets of the larger cities, is also of daily occurrence. The incentive to this latter class of crimes is al ways money. Ruloff, hanged at Bingham ton, N. Y., some thirty years ago, was a university graduate, and the master of sev en languages. But Ire killed his own wife and child, the wife and child of his own brother, a clerk in a store he was robbing, and finally, in an effort to get away, killed his two companions in crime. And every crime he committed was for the purpose of gain. Holmes, the greatest criminal of modern times, was an educated man.' and centralized and the accounting system is systematized. If you wish to know’ with what rapidity the world’s industries are being centralized send 10 cents for a copy of “Book of Trusts,” which will give you an idea of what is being done in that line, and you may find a remedy, which the author thinks and believes is the only remedy, viz: Let the nation own the trusts. It is expected by those on the inside, that within a few weeks we will see the close of a deal which will cast all other combina tions in the shade. The new combination will control over 75,000 miles of railroad or over one-half of the railroad mileage of the United States. This new combination or trust will be the greatest the world has ever known. It will be a grand and fitting climax of the capitalistic development of the century. The combined capital of this stupendous combination surpasses compre hension. Its power will be greater than that exercised by any set of men on the face of the earth, save that of organized gov ernments. Us resources will be second only in this country to that of Uncle Samuel. The purpose of these large organizations may the thus summarized: It will establish remunerative rates, both passenger and freight, and maintain them on a permanent basis. Miles. 7,418 6,190 5>076 4.996 4*543 7*174 5*391 It will cut down the expenses of the pas- passed for a good member of society. Yet he was known to have wantonly killed more than a score of young women, coolly dis posing of their bodies with chemicals, and escaping detection for all of these crimes, with no other incentive than to rob them of the wages due them for labor in his office. Had he not attempted to secure the insur ance he had placed on the life of a victim before killing him at a later date, doubtless all his former crimes would have remained undiscovered. The truth is mighty and must prevail. And the truth of this matter is that the evil and crime stalking abroad in the land is a legitimate product of a system of industry which makes of sin and crime a perfectly natural condition. The commercial spirit which seems to permeate the majority of the people is a product of the competitive sys tem, and society is itself directly responsible for more than ninety per cent of the evil of the world today. Society brands the gambler who deals cards across a green covered table, and receives with open arms the greater gambler who deals in options and futures, and who wrecks thousands where the dealer at cards injures only him self. THE TRAMP AND THE PARASITE. Society demands that the tramp or vag rant, the social outcast upon the highway of life, be arrested and locked up, because he will not work. While the parasite in broadcloth, who never worked a day at useful labor in his life, is permitted to bask in the sunshine of plenty, for no better rea son than that he has been successful as a speculator in the necessaries of life, and is therefore able to occupy a mansion on the avenue of his chosen city. He may have ac :umulated his dollars by questionable meth ods. That matters not, so long as he has them. And the doors of polite society swing wide open to receive him, and he is the much respected member of the four hun dred. Society makes a standard for the meas urement of the virtue of the women and girls who are cursed by the sin of our mother Eve. Society is also responsible for the industrial conditions surrounding our sisters, and which offers to them a choice between slavery and poverty with honor or a glimmering hope of something better with dishonor. When one considers the envir onment of ninety per cent of e girls and women in the stores and factories of our great cities, is it any wonder that so many of our sisters and daughters are to be found bartering their virtue for bread, or for com fortable places to live, or for decent clothes, to wear ? Did the reader ever stop to think that the competitive system of industry is entirely responsible for this growing evil in every community, and that society is en tirely responsible for the competitive sys tem? SOCIETY RESPONSIBLE Society makes a money standard for the measurement of men and women. Society is therefore responsible for the saloon, and all its train of ulcerating sores on the body politic. The temperance people have taken h6ld of the wrong end of the problem. They are dealing with an effect of a diseased sys tem, and not with the cause of the distress and woe wbich follows in the wake of the saloon evil. No man or woman lives in the world today w}io would engage in the manufacture or sale of liquor, or keep a gambling house or a brothel, were it not for senger, freight and advertising departments by doing away with employes who will be of no use under the “Community of Inter ests” plan. It will do away with the various ticket selling agencies, and abolish the positions of traveling freight and passenger agents. It will also be able to settle all labor troubles satisfactorily to —itself. Again we say: Let the nation own the trusts. Gentlemen, bear in mind that it is a class struggle. It is a struggle between the wealthy and arrogant class and the poverty stricken workers. But, of course, the in terests of capital and labor are identical,” they always are, especially when the master can make a good profit off the labor of his workers. Beware of Socialism, don t read! don’t think about it, because the truth shall make you free, and you ain't yet ready for freedom! lowa, as well as Indiana, has children of tender years at work in its factories —600 of them according to the report of the state bureau of labor. Their general condition is said to be “weak and unhealthy,” too. How many of the most shocking crimes against humanity are committed in order that the people may get cheap goods, and the manufacturers big dividends, —Broad Axe. Casca St. John. the incentive to make money easy which those demoralizing businesses hold out to them. Will the temperance people ever learn that the surest way to cure an eruption on the surface of the skin is by an injection of medicine into the system to purify the blood? The liquor traffic will exist while the incentive remains. And Socialism is the only antidote we know of for the deadly poison of commercialism in the blood. Society makes criminals, and then de mands their punishment. Environment makes most men and women,what they are.. If society could purge the land of crime and of criminals, society must go to the root of the evil, and purge itself of that system of industry of which crime is a natural product. What incentive does society offer to any man to be honest and industrious? The penitentiary convict is better housed, more comfortably clothed, has better food on his table, enjoys a more sanitary habitation, and is better cared for when sick, than is the av erage honest workingman who labors with his hands. The men in every community who are most respected, and who enjoy the best things in life, are those who live by their wits, and who never perform any use ful labor of any kind. Is it any wonder that the day laborer sometimes abandons all hope, and becomes a tramp? We know that all are exhorted to do right for the sake of a reward in heaven. And those who are loudest in their exhortations to righteous living, as a rule, have their hands the deepest in the pockets of the dear peo ple, and themselves live in luxury from the proceeds of their schemes for the exploita tion of their fellows. How would it do to reward people while yet on earth? The Socialist believes this is the better plan. THE GREATEST CRIME. But the greatest crime of the nineteenth century has not yet been directly mentioned. It is the greatest because it is the father of all other crimes, and is the one crime for which there is no punishment provided in the law of the land. That crime is THE EXPLOITATION OF MAN BY HIS FELLOW MAN FOR PRIVATE GAIN. This is the crime born of the commercialism of the nineteenth century. And in this class of criminals are to be found a large percentage of the people. Men who would scorn to steal as much as a penny will de liberately engage in a commercial transac tion in which they will unblushingly take dollars from a confiding and uninformed customer, and believe they are doing no wrong. The merchant who misrepresents the quality or value of any commodity offer ed for sale, thus taking advantage of an in nocent purchaser, is as guilty of robbery as the highwayman on the road. The honor is with the highwayman, for the reason that he does not disguise himself as an honest man. The newspaper which sells its col umns to boom a dishonest project, or which misrepresents a candidate for a public office by telling an untruth about him, or by with holding a truth about him which ought to be made known, is criminal and should be sup pressed by law. The preacher or other pro fessional man who remains silent when he should speak, because it is to his financial interest to do so, is as guilty as if he had committed the greatest crime on the calen dar. The dealer in food products who sells adulterated goods, thus endangering the public health, is a fit candidate for the pen- WOMEN HELD FOR RANSOM. There is a wide-spread sympathy throughout the country at the misfortune of Miss Mary Stone, the American mission ary, whom the Bulgarians hold for a ran som of SIIO,OOO. It will not doubt be a matter of news to many of these people that thousands of American women are being held up every day for a ransom, called prof it. This form of brigandage is more civ ilized, to be sure, but the motive in each case is profit. The Bulgarian brigands may kill Miss Stone and they may not. But the American manufacturer is sure to kill the women who yield him profit by slowly crushing out their lives by unsanitary con ditions and excessive toil. —The Clarion. Slavery is likely to be abolished by the war-power and chattel slavery de stroyed. This I and my European friends are in favor of, for, slavery is but the owning of labor and carries with it the care of the laborer, while the modern or European plan, led on by England is capital control of la bor by controlling wages, this can be done by controlling the money. The great debt that capitalists will see to it is made out of the war must be used to control the volume of money. To accomplish this bonds must be used, as a banking basis. We are now waiting to get the secretary of the treasury to make this recommendation to congress. It will not do to allow the “greenback,” as it is called to circulate as money for any length of time for we cannot con- itentiary, and should be sent there; All these, and many others who might be men tioned, are but the products of the competi tive system, however, and are permitted to continue in their crime without fear of pun- ishment. It is popular to assail the employer of la bor because of seemingly unjust conditions surrounding those who toil. But he is as much a victim of the system as the man who does the work. He is engaged in the competitive struggle himself, and if Brad street is reliable authority, he has but three chances in a hundred of avoiding failure. THE FATHER OF EVIL. In a few words, then, it is society, and the inhuman industrial system upheld by it, which is responsible for crime and crimi nals. The incentive to make money, or rather to get money, impels men and women to destroy their fellows. This incentive is the father of the dvils of which society so bitterely complains. Desire for the spoils of office led to three of the assassinations before referred to. Desire for gain leads to all the crimes of the calendar, from the cor ruption of a legislature to the petty thefts of the sneak thief. The competitive sys tem of industry cannot be defended by any code of morals or ethics. Here are seme of the counts in the indictment against k: It arrays every man against his fellow in the scheme of life. It puts a premium on dishonesty and dis counts the truth. It has raised false standards of measure ment. Industrial, moral worth has been subordinated to wealth. It has corrupted the courts and legislative councils. By this we do not mean to say that bribes are offered or accepted. But we do mean to say that the influence of commercial interests are given more weight than are the interests of humanity whenever those interests clash. It robs men of their manhood and our women of their virtue. It takes from labor the fruitage of honest toil. The producer receives but a fraction of his product. The balance is expended in wasted energy and in profits to the non-pro ducer. “Muzzle not the ox that treadeth out the corn” were the words of the great Commoner. It dwarfs the intellect, and will destroy the state. Need we furnish the specifications to sus tain this indictment. Not if the reader will apply the light of reason to what he has read. We have reached the parting of the ways in our industrial life. The competitive road surely leads on to anarchy and blood. The co-operative highway just as surely leads to universal brotherhood, plenty for all, and no man in want. By the adoption of this plan no one would be injured, while mil lions would be blessed. Socialism is the only scientific solution for the labor, temperance, criminal, immi gration and social problems. And it would solve all these by removing the incentive, without which all these evils would cease to exist. Will the people ever stop in their mad race for dollars long enough to con sider the welfare of the nations yet un born? Are those who are on earth today to be permitted to steal the God-given heri tage of His children, and deprive those who are to follow after us of the right and the opportunity to live? trol them; but we can control the bonds and through them the bank issue. We have arranged the program for both parties, and are willing that the people should exercise their choice of men.-James Buel, Secretary National Banker’s Association. “ It is astounding, yea, startling the extent to which faith prevails in money circles in New York that we ought to have a king.”—N. Y. Tribune, 1874. “ Railway corporations are justified in black -listing men.” Pioneer Press. St. Paul, Minn, (rep.) “We need a strong centred government. The wealth of the country has to bear the burdens of government and shall control it.”—Senator Sharon. “ These brutal creatures (strikers) can understand no other reasoning than that of force. What they need is force, and enough of it to be remembered among them for generations.”—N. Y. Tribune. “ The capitalists have bought and are buying largely of the associated press, and are controlling the ave nues of intelligence.”—William Windom. I know that the bondholders and monopolists of this country are seeking to destroy all the industries of this, people in their greed to enhance the value of their gold, fknow that the act of 187* did mors than all else to ac complish that result, and the demonetization act of the Revised Statutes was an illegal and unconstitutional consummation of the fraud. I want to restore that money to where it was before, and thus aid in prevent ing the consummation of their designs. —Senator Beck, Scribner’s Monthly said of the man who is compelled to travel in search of work: “He has no rights but those which society may see fit to bestow. He has no more right than the sow that wallows in the gutter, or the lost dogs that hover around the city squares. We should recommend the farmers to take the laws into their own hands and organize themselves into vigilance committees and turn sharpshooters, and bring down at least one of these Bread-©-Blood gentry with every fire.” —N. Y. Independent. The American laborer must make up his mind hence forth not to be much better off than the European la borer. Men must be contented to work for less wages. In this way the workingman will be nearer to that sta tion in life to which it has pleased God to call him.—N. Y. World, (dem.) » Is not a dollar a day enough to buy bread? Water costs nothing, and a man who cannot live on bread is not fit to live. A familv may live, laugh, love and be happy that eats bread in the morning with good water; and water and good bread at noon, and water and bread at night.” Rev. Henry Ward Beecher. If we die, shall 'we live again? Write for sample copy of Light of Truth, Colum bus, Ohio.