Newer Ideals of Peace
CHAPTER III: FAILURE TO UTILIZE IMMIGRANTS IN CITY GOVERNMENT
We do much loose talking in regard to American immigration; we use the phrase, "the scum of Europe," and other unwarranted words without realizing that the unsuccessful man, the undeveloped peasant, may be much more valuable to us here than the more highly developed, but also more highly specialized, town dweller, who may much less readily acquire the characteristics which the new environment demands.
If successful struggle ends in the survival of the few, in blatant and tangible success for the few only, government will have to reckon most largely with the men who have been beaten in the struggle, with the effect upon them of the contest and the defeat; for, after all, the unsuccessful will always represent the majority of the citizens, and it is with the large majority that self-government must eventually deal whatever course of action other governments may legitimately determine for themselves.
To demand to be protected from the many unsuccessful among us, who are supposed to issue forth from the shallows of our city life and seize upon the treasure of the citizens as the barbarians of old came from outside the city walls, is of course not to have read the first lesson of self-government in the light of evolutionary science. It is to forget that a revival in self-government, an awakening of its original motive power and raison d'etre, can come only from a genuine desire to increase its scope, and to adapt it to new and strenuous conditions. In this way science revived and leaped forward under the pressure of the enlarged demand of manufacture and commerce put upon it during the industrial decades just passed.
We would ask the moralists and statesmen of this dawning century, equipped as they are, with the historic method, to save our contemporaries from skepticism in regard to self-government by revealing to them its adaptability to the needs of the humblest man who is so sorely pressed in this industrial age. The statesman who would fill his countrymen with enthusiasm for democratic government must not only possess a genuine understanding of the needs of the simplest citizens, but he must know how to reveal their capacities and powers. He must needs go
(64) man-hunting into those curious groups we call newly arrived immigrants, and do for them what the scholar has done in pointing out to us the sweetness and charm which inhere in primitive
domestic customs and in showing us the curious pivot these customs make for religious and tribal
beliefs. The scholar who has surrounded the simplest action of women grinding millet or corn with a penetrating reminiscence, sweeter than the chant they sing, may reveal something of the same reminiscence and charm among many of the immigrants. In the midst of crowded city streets one stumbles upon an old Italian peasant with her distaff against her withered face and her pathetic hands patiently "holding the thread," as has been done by myriads of women since children needed to be clad; or one sees an old German potter, misshapen by years, his sensitive hands nevertheless fairly alive with skill and delicacy, and his life at least illumined with the artist's prerogative of direct creation. Could we take these primitive habits as they are to be found every day in American cities and give them their significance and place, they would be a wonderful factor for poetry in cities frankly given over to industrialism and absorbed in its activities. As a McAndrews' hymn expresses the frantic rush of the industrial river, so these primitive customs could give us
(65) something of the mysticism and charm of the industrial springs, a suggestion of source, a touch of the refinement which adheres to simple things. This study of origins, of survivals, of paths of least resistance -- refining an industrial age through the people and experiences which really belong to it and do not need to be brought in from the outside would surely result in a revived enthusiasm for human life and its possibilities which would in turn react upon the ideals of government. The present lack of understanding of simple people and the dearth of the illumination which knowledge of them would give, can be traced not only in the social and political maladjustment of the immigrant in municipal centres, but is felt in so-called "practical affairs" of national magnitude. Regret is many times expressed that, notwithstanding the fact that nine out of every ten immigrants are of rural birth and are fitted to undertake that painstaking method of cultivating the soil which American farmers despise, they nevertheless all tend to congregate in cities where their inherited and elaborate knowledge of agricultural processes is unutilized. But it is characteristic of American complacency when any assisted removal to agricultural regions is contemplated, that we utterly ignore the past experiences of the immigrant and always assume
(66) that each family will be content to live in the middle of its own piece of ground, although there are few peoples on the face of the earth who have ever tried isolating a family on one hundred and sixty acres or on eighty, or even on forty. But this is the American way -- a survival of our pioneer days -- and we refuse to modify it, even in regard to South Italians, although from the day of mediaeval incursions they have lived in compact villages with an intense and elaborated social life, so much of it out of doors and interdependent that it has affected almost every domestic habit. Italian women knead their own bread, but depend on the village oven for its baking, and the men would rather walk for miles to their fields each day than to face an evening of companionship limited to the family. Nothing could afford a better check to the constant removal to the cities of the farming population all over the United States than the possibility of combining community life with agricultural occupation. This combination would afford that development of civilization which, curiously enough, density alone brings and for which even a free system of rural delivery is not an adequate substitute. Much of the significance and charm of rural life in South Italy lies in its village companionship, quite as the dreariness of the American farm life inheres in
(67) its unnecessary solitude. But we totally disregard the solution which the old agricultural community offers, and our utter lack of adaptability has something to do with the fact that the South Italian remains in the city where he soon forgets his cunning in regard to silk worms and olive trees, but continues his old social habits to the extent of filling an entire tenement house with the people from one village.
We also exhibit all the Anglo-Saxon distrust of any experiment with land tenure or method of taxation, although our single-tax advocates do not fail to tell us daily of the stupidity of the present arrangement. It might, indeed, be well to make a few experiments upon an historic basis before their enthusiasm converts us all. For centuries in Russia the Slavic village, the mir system of land occupation, has been in successful operation, training men within its narrow limits to community administration. Yet when a persecuted sect from Russia wishes to find refuge in America, we insist that seven thousand people shall give up all at once a system of land ownership in which they are experts. Americans declare the system to be impracticable, although it is singularly like that in vogue in Palestine during the period of its highest prosperity. We cannot receive them in the United States, because
(68) our laws have no way of dealing with such cases. And in Canada, where they are finally settled, the unimaginative Dominion officials are driven to the verge of distraction concerning registration of deeds and the collection of taxes from men who do not claim acres in their own names, but in the name of the village. The official distraction is reflected and intensified among the people themselves, to the point of driving them into the mediaeval "marching mania," in the hope of finding a land in the south where they may carry out their inoffensive "mir" system. The entire situation might prove that an unbending theory of individualism may become as fixed as status itself, although there are certainly other factors in the Doukhobor situation -- religious bigotry, and the self-seeking of leadership. In spite of the fact that the Canadian officials have in other matters exhibited much of the adaptability which distinguishes the British colonial policy, they are completely stranded on the rock of Anglo-Saxon individualistic ownership, and assume that any other system of land tenure is subversive of government, forgetting that Russia manages to exert a fair amount of governmental control over thousands of acres held under the system which they so detest.
In our eagerness to reproach the immigrants for
(69) not going upon the land we almost overlook the contributions to city life which those of them, who were adapted to it in Europe, are making to our cities here. From dingy little eating-houses in lower New York, performing a function somewhat between the eighteenth-century coffee-house and the Parisian cafe, is issuing at the present moment perhaps the sturdiest realistic drama that is being produced on American soil. Late into the night speculation is carried forward -- nor on the nice questions of the Talmud and on quibbles of logic; but minds long trained on these seriously discuss the need of a readjustment of the industrial machine in order that the primitive sense of justice and righteousness may secure larger play in our social organization. And yet a Russian in Chicago who used to believe that Americans cared first and foremost for political liberty and that they would certainly admire those who had suffered in its cause, finds no one interested in his story of six years' banishment beyond the Antarctic circle. He is really listened to only when he tells the tale to a sportsman of the fish he had caught during the six weeks of summer when the rivers were open. "Lively work then, but plenty of time to eat them dried or frozen through the rest of the year," is the most sympathetic comment he has yet re-
(70)-ceived upon an experience which, at least to him, held the bittersweet of martyrdom.
Among the colonies of the most recently immigrated Jews, who still carry out their orthodox customs and a ritual preserved through centuries in the Ghetto, one constantly feels during a season of religious observance, a refreshing insistence upon the reality of the inner life, and upon the dignity of its expression in inherited form. Perhaps the most striking reproach to the materialism of Chicago is the sight on a solemn Jewish holiday of a Chicago River bridge lined with men and women oblivious of the noisy traffic and sordid surroundings, casting their sins upon the waters that they may be carried far away. The scene is a clear statement that, after all, life does not consist in wealth, in learning, in enterprise, in energy, in success, not even in that modern fetich, culture, but in an inner equilibrium, in "the agreement of soul." It is a relief to see even this exaggerated and grotesque presentation of spiritual values.
But the statesman shuts himself away from the possibility of using these great reservoirs of human ability and motive power because he considers it patriotic to hold to governmental lines and ideals laid down a century and a quarter ago. Because of a military inheritance, we as a nation stoutly
(71) contend that all this varied and suggestive life has nothing to do with government nor patriotism, and that we perform the full duty of American citizens when the provisions of the statutes on naturalization are carried out. In the meantime, in the interests of our theory that commercial and governmental powers should have no connection with each other, we carefully ignore the one million false naturalization papers in the United States issued and concealed by commercialized politics. Although we have an uneasy knowledge that these powers are curiously allied, we profess that the latter has no connection with the former and no control over it. We steadily refuse to recognize the fact that our age is swayed by industrial forces.
Fortunately, life is much bigger and finer than our theories about it, and, among all the immigrants in the great cities, there is slowly developing the beginnings of self-government on the lines of their daily experiences. The man who really knows immigrants and undertakes to naturalize them, makes no pretense of the lack of connection between their desire to earn their daily bread and their citizenship. The petty and often corrupt politician who is first kind to immigrants, realizes perfectly well that the force pushing them to this country has been industrial need and that
(72) recognition of this need is legitimate. He follows the natural course of events when he promises to get the immigrant "a job," for that is undoubtedly what the immigrant most needs in all the world. If the politician nearest to him were really interested in the immigrant and were to work out a scheme of naturalization fitted to the situation, the immigrant would proceed from the street-cleaning and sewer-digging in which he first engages, to an understanding of the relation of these simple offices to city government. Through them he would understand the obligation of his alderman to secure cleanliness for the streets in which his children play and for the tenement in which he lives. The notion of representative government could be made quite clear and concrete to him. He could demand his rights and use his vote in order to secure them. His very naive demands might easily become a restraint, a purifying check upon the alderman, instead of a source of constant corruption and exploitation. But when the politician attempts to naturalize the bewildered immigrant, he must perforce accept the doctrinaire standard imposed by men who held a theory totally unattached to experience, and he must, therefore, begin with the remote Constitution of the United States. At the Cook County Court-House only a short time ago a can-
(73)-didate for naturalization, who was asked the usual question as to what the Constitution of the United States was, replied: "The Illinois Central." His mind naturally turned to his work, to the one bit of contribution he had genuinely made to the new country, and his reply might well offer a valuable suggestion to the student of educational method. Some of our most ad vanced schools are even now making industrial construction and evolution a natural basis for all future acquisition of knowledge, and they claim that anything less vital and creative is inadequate.
It is surprising how a simple experience, if it be but genuine, gives an opening into citizenship altogether lacking to the more grandiose attempts. A Greek-American, slaughtering sheep in a tenement- house yard, reminiscent of the Homeric tradition, can be made to see the effect of the improvised shambles on his neighbor's health and the right of the city to prohibit the slaughtering, only as he perceives the development of city government upon its most modern basis.
The enforcement of adequate child labor laws offers unending opportunity to better citizenship founded, not upon theory but on action, as does the compulsory education law, which makes clear that education is a matter of vital importance to the American city and to the State which has
(74) enacted definite, well-considered legislation in r yard to it. Some of the most enthusiastic sup- porters of child-labor legislation and of compulsory education laws are those parents who sacrifice old-world tradition, as well as the much needed earnings of their young children, because of loyalty to the laws of their adopted country. Certainly genuine sacrifice for the nation's law is a good foundation for patriotism, and as this again is not a doctrinaire question, women are not debarred, and mothers who wash and scrub for the meagre support of their children say: sturdily, sometimes: "It will be a year before he can go to work without breaking the law, but we came to this country to give the young ones a chance, and we are not going to begin by having them do what's not right."
Upon some such basis as this the Hebrew Alliance and the Charity Organization of New York, which are putting forth desperate energy in the enormous task of ministering to the suffering which immigration entails, are developing understanding and respect for the alien through their mutual efforts to secure more adequate tenement-house regulation and to control the spread of tuberculosis; both these undertakings being perfectly hopeless without the intelligent co-operation of the immigrants them-
(75)-selves. Through such humble doors, perchance, the immigrant will at last enter into his heritage in a new nation. Democratic government has ever been the result of spiritual travail and moral effort. Apparently, even here, the immigrant must pay the old cost, and he seems to represent the group and type which is making the most genuine contribution to the present growth in governmental functions, with its constant demand for increasing adaptations.
In the induction of the adult immigrant into practical citizenship, we constantly ignore his daily experience. We also assume in our formal attempts to teach patriotism to him and to his children, that experience and traditions have no value, and that a new sentiment must be put into aliens by some external process. Some years ago, a public-spirited organization engaged a number of speakers to go to the various city schools in order to instruct the children in the significance of Decoration Day and to foster patriotism among the foreign born, by descriptions of the Civil War. In one of the schools, filled with Italian children, an old soldier, a veteran in years and experience, gave a description of a battle in Tennessee, and of his personal adventures in using a pile of brush as an ambuscade and a fortification. Coming from the
(76) schoolhouse, an eager young Italian broke out, with characteristic vividness, into a description of his father's campaigning under the leadership of Garibaldi, possibly from some obscure notion that that, too, was a civil war fought from principle, but more likely because the description of one battle had roused in his mind the memory of another such description. The lecturer, whose sympathies happened to be on the other side of the Garibaldian conflict, somewhat sharply told him that he must forget all that; that he was no longer an Italian, but an American. The natural growth of patriotism based upon respect for the achievements of one's fathers, the bringing together of the past with the present, the significance of the almost world-wide effort at a higher standard of political freedom which swept over all Europe and America between 1848 and 1872 could, of course, have no place in the boy's mind because it had none in the mind of the instructor whose patriotism apparently tried to purify itself by the American process of elimination.
How far a certain cosmopolitan humanitarianism ignoring national differences, is either possible or desirable, it is difficult to state; but certain it is that the old type of patriotism, founded upon a common national history and land occupation, becomes to many of the immigrants who
(77) bring it with them a veritable stumbling-block and impediment. Many Greeks whom I know are fairly besotted with a consciousness of their national importance, and the achievements of their glorious past. Among them the usual effort to found a new patriotism upon American history is often an absurd undertaking; for instance, on the night of one Thanksgiving Day, I spent some time and zeal in a description of the Pilgrim Fathers, and the motives which had driven them across the sea, while the experiences of the Plymouth colony were illustrated by stereopticon slides and little dramatic scenes. The audience of Greeks listened respectfully, although I was uneasily conscious of the somewhat feeble at tempt to boast of Anglo-Saxon achievement in hardihood and privation, to men whose powers of admiration were absorbed in their Greek background of philosophy and beauty. At any rate, after the lecture was over, one of the Greeks said to me, quite simply, "I wish I could describe my ancestors to you; they were very different from yours." His further remarks were translated by a little Irish boy of eleven, who speaks modern Greek with facility and turns many an honest penny by translating, into the somewhat pert statement: "He says if that is what your ancestors are like, that his could beat them out."
(78) It is a good illustration of our faculty for ignoring the past, and of our failure to understand the immigrant's estimation of ourselves. This lack of a more cosmopolitan standard, of a consciousness of kind founded upon creative imagination and historic knowledge is apparent in many directions, and cruelly widens the gulf between immigrant fathers and their children who are "Americans in process."
A hideous story comes from New York of a young Russian Jewess who was employed as a stenographer in a down-town office, where she became engaged to be married to a young man of Jewish-American parentage. She felt keenly the difference between him and her newly immigrated parents, and on the night when he was to be presented to them she went home early to make every possible preparation for his coming. Her efforts to make the menage presentable were so discouraging, the whole situation filled her with such chagrin, that an hour before his expected arrival, she ended her life. Although the father was a Talmud scholar of standing in his native Russian town, and the lover was a clerk of very superficial attainments, she possessed no standard by which to judge the two men. This lack of standard must be charged to the entire community; for why should we expect an
(79) untrained girl to be able to do for herself what the community so pitifully fails to accomplish?
All the members of the community are equally stupid in throwing away the immigrant revelation of social customs and inherited energy. We continually allow this valuable human experience to go to waste although we have reached the stage of humanitarianism when no infant may be wantonly allowed to die, no man be permitted to freeze or starve, if the State can prevent it. We may truthfully boast that the primitive, wasteful struggle of physical existence is practically over, but no such statement can be made in regard to spiritual life. Students of social conditions recognize the fact that modern charity constantly grows more democratic and constructive, and daily more concerned for preventive measures, but to admit frankly similar aims as matters for municipal government as yet seems impossible.
In this country it seems to be only the politician at the bottom, the man nearest the people, who understands that there is a growing disinterestedness taking hold of men's hopes and imaginations in every direction. He often plays upon it and betrays it; but he at least knows it is there.
The two points at which government is developing most rapidly at the present moment are naturally the two where it of necessity exercises
(80) functions of nurture and protection: first, in relation to the young criminal, second, in relation to the poor and dependent. One of the latest developments is the Juvenile Courts which the large cities are inaugurating. Only fifteen years ago when I first went to live in an industrial district of Chicago, if a boy was arrested on some trifling charge -- and dozens of them were thus arrested each month -- the only possible way to secure another chance for him by restoring him to his home with an opportunity to become a law-abiding citizen, was through the alderman of the ward. Upon the request of a distracted relative or the precinct captain, the alderman would "speak to the judge" and secure the release of the boy. The kindness of the alderman was genuine, as was the gratitude of all concerned; but the inevitable impression remained that government was harsh, and naturally dealt out policemen and prisons, and that the political friend alone stood for kindness. That this kindness was in a measure illicit and mysterious in its workings made it all the more impressive.
But so much advance has been made in so short a time as fifteen years, toward incorporating kindly concern for the young and a desire to keep them in the path of rectitude within the process of government itself, that in Chicago alone
(81) twenty-four probation officers, as they are called, are paid from the public funds. The wayward boy is committed to one of these for another chance as a part of the procedure of the court. He is not merely released by an act of clemency so magnificent and irrelevant as to dazzle him with a sense of the aldermanic power, but he is put under the actual care of a probation officer that he may do better. He is assisted to keep permanently away from the police courts and their allied penal institutions.
In one of the most successful of these courts, that of Denver, the Judge who can point to a remarkable record with the bad boys of the city, plays a veritable game with them against the police force, he and the boys undertaking to be good without the help of repression, and in spite of the machinations of the police. For instance, if the boys who have been sentenced to the State Reform School at Golden, deliver themselves without the aid of the Sheriff whose duty it is to take them there, they not only vindicate their manliness and readiness "to take their medicine," but they beat the sheriff who belongs to the penal machinery out of his five-dollar fee. Over this fact they openly triumph -- a simple example, perhaps, but significant of the attitude
(82) of the well-intentioned toward repressive government.
The Juvenile Courts are beginning to take a really parental attitude towards all dependent children, although for years only those orphans who had inherited at least a meagre property were handed over to a public guardian. Those whose parents had left them absolutely nothing were allowed to care for themselves -- as if the whole body of doctrine contained in the phrase, "there is no wealth but life," had never entered into the mind of man. Because these courts are dealing with the children in their social and everyday relations they have made the astounding discovery that even a penniless child needs the care and defense of the State.
The schools for Reform are those which are inaugurating the most advanced education in agriculture and manual arts. A bewildered foreign parent comes from time to time to Hull House, asking that his boy be sent to a school to learn farming, basing his request upon the fact that his neighbor's boy has been sent to "a nice green, country-place." It is carefully explained that the neighbor's boy was bad, and was arrested and sent away because of his badness. After much conversation, the disappointed parent sometimes understands, but he often goes away
(83) shaking his head, and some such words as these issue: "I have been in this country for five years, and have never gotten anything yet." At other times it is successfully explained to the man that the city assumes that he is looking out for himself and taking care of his own boy, but it ought to be possible to make him to see that if he feels that his son needs the education of a farm school, that it lies with him to agitate the subject and to vote for the man who will secure such schools. He might well look amazed, were this advice tendered him, for these questions have never been presented to him to vote upon. Because he does not eagerly discuss the tariff or other remote subjects which the political parties present to him from time to time we assume that he is not to be trusted to vote on the education of his child, although there is no doubt that the one thing his ancestors decided upon, from the days of bows and arrows, was the sort of training each one should give his son.
The fine education that is given to a juvenile offender may indicate a certain compunction on the part of the State. Quite as men formerly gloried in warfare and now apologize for it, as they formerly went out to spoil their enemies and now go to civilize them, so civil governments, while continuing to maintain prisons, have become
(84) more or less ashamed of them, and are already experimenting in better ways to elevate and reform criminals than by the way of violence and imprisonment. We have already said in America that neither a gallows nor an unmitigated prison shall ever exist for a child.
In the matter of public charities, also, we are not timid as to extending the function of the government. We build enormous city hospitals and almhouses; we care with tenderness for the defective and the dependent; but for that great mass of people just beyond the line, from whom they are constantly recruited, we do practically nothing. It has been said that if a workingman in New York falls a victim to pneumonia, he is taken to a hospital and given skilled treatment; if it leaves him tubercular the city will have a care over him, and valiantly will stand by, putting him into a public sanatorium, providing him with nutritious food and fresh air until his recovery. But if he is turned away from the hospital without tuberculosis, merely too depleted; and wretched to go back to his regular employment, then the city can do nothing for him unless he be ready to call himself an out-and-out pauper. We are afraid of the notion of governmental function which would minister to the primitive needs of the mass of the people, although we are
(85) quite ready to care for him whom misfortune or disease has made the exception. It is really the rank and file, the average citizen, who is ignored by the government, while he works out his real problems through other agencies, although he is scolded for staying at home on election day, and for refusing to be interested in issues which really do not concern him.
It is comparatively easy to understand the punitive point of view which seeks to suppress, or the philanthropic which seeks to palliate; but it is much more difficult to formulate that city government which is adapted to our present normal living. As over against the survivals of the first two, excellent and necessary as they are, we have but the few public parks and baths, the few band concerts and recreation piers -- always excepting, of course, the public schools and the social activities slowly centering around them; for public education has long been a passion in America, and we seem to have been willing to make that an exception to our general theory of government.
While governmental functions have shown this remarkable adaptation and growth in relation to the youth, whether he be in the public schools, in the Juvenile Court or in the reformatory, we hesitate to assume toward the adult this temper of
(86) the educator who humbly follows and at the same confidently leads the little child. While the State spends millions of dollars and employs thousands of servants to nurture and heal the sick and defective, it steadfastly refuses to extend its kindliness to the normal working man. The Socialists alone constantly appeal for this extension. They refuse, however, to deal with the present State and constantly take refuge in the formulae of a new scholasticism. Their orators are busily engaged in establishing two substitutes for human nature which they call "proletarian" and "capitalist." They ignore the fact that varying, imperfect human nature is incalculable, and that to eliminate its varied and constantly changing elements is to face all the mistakes and miscalculations which gathered around the "fallen man," or the "economic man," or any other of the fixed norms which have from time to time been substituted for expanding and developing human life. In time "the proletarian" and "the capitalist" will become the impedimenta which it will be necessary to clear away in order to make room for the mass of living and breathing citizens with whom self- government must eventually deal.
There is no doubt that the existence of the mass, , the mere size of the modern city, increases the difficulty of the situation. Charles Booth's maps
(87) portraying the standard of living for the people of London afford almost the only attempt at a general social survey of a modern city, at least so far as it may be predetermined from the standard of income. From his accompanying twelve volumes may be deduced the occupations of the people, with their real wages, their family budget and their culture level, and, to a certain extent, their recreations and spiritual life. If one gives one's self over to a moment of musing on this mass of information, so huge and so accurate, one is almost instinctively aware that any radical changes, so much needed in the blackest districts, must largely come from forces outside the life of the people. An enlarged mental life must come from the educationalist, increased wages from the business interests, alleviation of suffering from the philanthropists. What vehicle of correction is provided for the people themselves, what device has been invented for loosing that kindliness and mutual aid which is the marvel of all charity visitors ? What broad basis has been laid down for a modification of their most genuine and pressing needs through their own initiative ? The traditional Government expresses its activity in keeping the streets clean and the district lighted and policed. It is only during the last quarter of a century that the London County Council
(88) erected decent houses, public baths, and many other devices for the purer social life of the people. American cities have gone no further, although they presumably started at representation a hundred years ago, so completely were the founders misled by the name of government, and the temptation to substitute the form of political democracy for real self-government dealing with advancing social ideals. Even now London has twenty-eight Borough Councils, in addition to the London County Council itself, fifteen hundred direct representatives of the people, as over against seventy in Chicago although the latter city has a population one-half as large. Paris has twenty Mayors, with corresponding machinery for local government, as over against the New York concentration in one huge City Hall, too often corrupt.
In Germany, perhaps more than anywhere else, the government has come to concern itself with the primitive essential needs of its working people. In their behalf, the Government has forced industry, in the person of the large manufacturers, to make an alliance with it. The manufacturers are taxed for accident insurance of workingmen, for old-age pensions and sick benefits; and a project is being formed in which they shall bear the large share of insurance against
(89) non-employment when it has been made clear that non-employment is the result of an economic crisis brought about through the mal-administration of finance.
Germany proposes to regulate the maximum amount of rent which landlords of certain types of houses may be permitted to require, quite as the usury laws limit the maximum amount of interest which may be demanded. And yet industry in Germany has flourished, and this control on behalf of the normal workingman as he faces life in his daily vocation has apparently not checked its systematic growth, nor limited its place in the world's market. As a result of this constant supervision of industry, the German police although a part of a military government, are constantly employed in the regulation of social affairs; and in these branches of government it is remarked that they are dropping their military tone and assuming toward the people the attitude of helpers and protectors. The police force in Germany is the lowest executive organ of the interior government and there are, therefore, as many kinds of police departments as there are different departments in this interior government. They follow the Government inspectors of the forest, the railways, the fields and roads, to see that their instructions are obeyed. In the De-
(90)-partment of Public Health it is the police officers who finally enforce instructions in regard to vaccination, meat inspection, sale of food-stuffs, and the transportation of animals; in the department of factory inspection the police not only enforce the provisions of the factory laws, but they are responsible for the books in which the wages paid to minors are recorded; and it is from the police stations that the cards of the Government insurance for working-people are issued. Any special investigation ordered by the legislature is, as a matter of course, undertaken by the police. These varied activities, of course, require men of education and ability, and the very extension of function has broken down the military ideal in the country where that ideal is most firmly intrenched. But in a Republic founded upon a revulsion from oppressive government we still keep the police close to their negative role of preserving order and arresting the criminal. The varied functions they perform in Germany would be impossible in America, because it would be hotly resented by the American business man who will not brook any governmental interference in industrial affairs. The inherited instinct that government is naturally oppressive, and that its inroads must be checked, has made it a matter of principle and patriotism to keep the functions of government
(91) more restricted and more military than has become true in military countries.
Almost every Sunday in the Italian quarter in which I live various mutual benefit societies march with fife and drum and with a brave showing of banners, celebrating their achievement in having surrounded themselves by at least a thin wall of protection against disaster, upon having set up their mutual good will against the day of misfortune. These parades have all the emblems of patriotism; indeed, the associations present the primitive core of patriotism, brothers standing by each other against hostile forces from without. I assure you that no Fourth of July celebration, no rejoicing over the birth of an heir to the Italian throne, equals in heartiness and sincerity these simple celebrations. Again one longs to pour into the government of their adopted country all this affection and zeal, this real patriotism. A system of State insurance would be a very simple device and secure a large return.
Are we in America retaining eighteenth-century traditions, while Germany is gradually evolving into a Government logically fitted to cope with the industrial situation of the twentieth century? Do we so fail to apprehend what democracy is, that we are really afraid to extend the functions of municipal administration? Have we lost that
(92) most conservative of all beliefs -- the belief in the average man, and thereby forfeited Aristotle's ideal of a city "where men live a common life for noble ends"?