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himself. Many see that economic knowledge is a desirable thing, but they do not see how desirable. They do not see that it is desirable before all other things, and at the present moment beyond all other things. That it is so, and why it is so, is what I shall now endeavor to show.

The extraordinary importance, for its power of practically affecting the situation, which I claim for the study of economic science can be plausibly questioned on various grounds, and it is by considering these that its reality can be most sharply exhibited. The most obvious and most important objections are as follows: It will be said that the labor movement did not originate in scientific theories, does not derive its stimulus from scientific theories, and cannot, accordingly, be controlled by scientific theories; and different people, in urging this, will have foremost in their minds different aspects of the question. To some the main factor in the labor movement will seem to be philanthropy, and the main requisites for bringing it to a successful issue to be a passionate pity for suffering and an indignation against injustice, which will never be appeased till suffering and injustice are done away with. To others, again, the movement will seem mainly due, not to pity for suffering, but to the temper of the sufferers themselves, who, it is said, under the régime of capital, find their condition growing constantly worse and worse, whilst their social tastes at the same time are developing, and their sense of their own power increasing. We shall thus, broadly speaking, be met by two classes of objectors: those who regard the labor movement as depending on sympathy and agitation from above, and those who regard it as the outcome of volcanic passion from below. The first will urge that economic science is a secondary requisite only, and that its frigid speculations can do little for the laboring classes compared with what can be done for them by passion, zeal, and perseverance; wbilst the second will urge that such science can never affect the laboring classes at all, not only because its teaching could never be generally brought home to them, but because, even if it were, their conduct and their demands would be limited only by their desires and their own experience of their power, not by the gossamer chains of a philosopher's abstract arguments.

But though all this is plausible, yet if we look at the matter more closely, we can easily see that it is the very reverse of true. It must be plain to every one who will consider the labor movement for a moment, that its vitality depends on three separate classes. It depends on both those of which we have just spoken -on those who openly promote it from above, and on the troubled multitude below—and farther, on a third class, consisting of those who, though not belonging to any definite labor party or distinctly assenting to any revolutionary theories, yet give the move. ment a certain amount of encouragement, the exact extent and grounds of which they are themselves unable to define.

Of the first class such persous as Mr. Henry George are examples, or, again, socialists like Mr. Lawrence Gronlund.

Of the second class no examples need be given. It may be said to consist of the laboring masses generally.

Of the third class, a good example may be found in the Eng. lish Radicals. These men, or at least the most eager among them, are continually, in the press and on public platforms, indorsing and emphasizing the more general language of the socialists with regard to the injustice of existing society, the claims and wrongs of the poor, and the tyranny and false position of the rich ; and they have during this winter actually joined hands with the socialists for the purpose of organizing labor demonstrations in London. And yet these men, with regard to certain points, and those the very points which the socialists think most essential, are not only not adherents of socialism, but are bitterly and irreconcilably opposed to it. A good specimen of this class is Mr. Stead, the editor of the "Pall Mall Gazette." No socialist could declaim with more energy than he against the tone and influence of the capitalistic classes, and the implied iniquity of riches and luxury generally. But whereas the socialists, in using such language, have a definite economic theory at the back of it—a theory which maintains that all interest and all profits are illegitimate, and simply represent so many thefts from laborMr. Stead, and others like him, whatever their own theories may be, certainly consider this a most fatal and monstrous heresy; for not only do they never join in any definite attack upon capital, but they always treat capitalistic enterprise with the quiet acceptance of ordinary business men, and without any concealment, apology, or self-reproach, are active in the pursuit of profitmaking themselves. But this class I am speaking of is not composed only of Radicals. Many of its members are by natural temper conservative, but a vague misgiving assails them that the times are out of joint. Though they cannot accept for a moment the formal theories of the socialists, yet they are haunted with ideas of some widespread social injustice, and what the Radicals proclaim with exultant bitterness these men echo in dejection.

Such are the three classes concerned in the labor inovement; and it is almost an identical proposition to say that, in a certain sense, the most important of them is the mass of the laborers themselves. Not only is this movement a movement in their behalf, but from them, if from anywhere, must come the strength which alone can bring it to a conclusion. The voting strength must be theirs, and, in the last resort, the physical strength. Now, without speaking of the education of the laborers at large in any terms of undue disparagement, it may safely be said that they are not, as a body, profound and critical students of the science of political economy, either of the orthodox version of it or of the socialistic. The latter especially, as being comparatively new and strange, requires considerable time and concentration of thought to master it, and the average socialist workingman has as little accurate knowledge of its doctrines as an Italian peasant has of the philosophy of the Athanasian Creed. But are we to conclude from this that economic science plays but a small part in the labor movement; that it has done little to stim. ulate and direct it, and can do still less to curb it? Those who think thus fail to understand one of the chief facts of the situation.

No social revolution can be made by a theory: it is equally true that it can never be made without a theory. The most ignorant men, stimulated into revolt against their circumstances by mere physical suffering, are obliged, if they would combine for any continuous action, to unite themselves and direct themselves by a general principle of some sort, by some common theory, however rude or crude.

• When Adam delved and Eve span,

Who was then the gentleman?"

Even there we have some attempt at a social philosophy, something beyond the mere cry of hunger or the momentary passion of a street fight. The French Revolution shows us the same thing; so does the Nationalist movement in Ireland, and the recent land agitation among the Crofters in the Scotch Highlands. Mere hunger and suffering may produce a riot; a creed is needed as well to produce a sustained movement. And if this is true of the most ignorant populations, much more is it true of the modern laboring classes as a whole. The artisans and factory hands in the great centers of industry may not have assimilated the actual teachings of science to anything like the extent that some optimists suppose; but they have, at any rate, learned to respect science, if not to understand it; and if any scheme of revolution is to win their adherence, it must have the semblance of a scientific basis. The modern revolutionary workingman, however scantily educated, knows that science is too complex to be shut up in a couplet, and he does not ask to master the body of its doctrines himself ; but he does ask to be assured that such a body of doctrines exists, and that they are capable of holding their own in the world of research and controversy. His scientific theory and his scientific programme of revolution he may get at second or even at third hand; but he must get them somehow, and they must be derived from sources which he believes to be authoritative.

We shall perhaps realize the state of the case more vividly if we turn for a moment from the social question to religion. The laboring classes, as a body, are certainly not readers either of Strauss or of Colenso, of Darwin or of Herbert Spencer; but contemporary atheism, as found among these classes, is backed up by, and takes its special tone from, a more or less vague impression that great scholars and great scientific philosophers have proved the Bible to be of purely human origin, and man, like the other animals, to be a mere creature of evolution. No impression can be falser than that thought produces its main influence directly. Its great practical influence is almost entirely indirect. Wbo, for instance, has affected the thought of the age more powerfully than Darwin ? Our modern socialists, among others, confessedly owe half their theory of life to him.

And yet more copies probably are sold of a sensational novel, or book of travels, in one year, than are sold of all Mr. Darwin's works in ten. The circle to which the philosopher directly appeals is small, but in countless ways it is active, and influences a larger circle, and that circle a circle larger yet. From the volume the thought passes to the review, to the pulpit, to the newspaper; from these again to the leaflet, to the tract, to the debating society, and to common conversation. Thus do doctrines and theories, no matter how abstruse, where they have pushed themselves to the front in the narrow world of thinkers, at once begin to filter downward, ever extending the area of their influence.

But though the case of religion may offer us the most obvious example of this, that afforded by social and economic questions is in many ways even more striking. They exhibit a far more rapid and a far closer connection between theory and action, and with regard to the labor movement we may with truth say this : that if popular passion is the metal out of which it is made, theory is the mold into which the metal is run. Theory gives an agitation its shape, and determines how far it shall be useful or useless, how far it shall be for good or evil. Of course theory will not fill empty stomachs, or make people contented who are bitter with penury and privation; but on the nature of the theories accepted by such people depend the direction and the temper in which they will seek for a remedy. There is this farther to add: Though there are some sufferings wbich mere theory by itself never can alleviate, inasmuch as mere theory has not caused them, there are others which it has caused, and which it consequently can alleviate. Such are the sufferings which come, not from physical hardship, but from mere comparison of what is with what ought to be or what may be. The labor movement, then, is produced by both these causes, bodily suffer. ing and mental suffering; and theory, whether it be true or false, base or poble, determines the character of both, and actually produces the second.

Thus the doctrines of the labor movement depend, not, as at first sight they may seem to do, on ideas that originate in the mass of the laboring multitude, but on ideas which that multi

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