There are many who believe that America should be the asylum for only the oppressed of the world, but it is not generally known that the oppressed are the unsuccessful, unfit, unintelligent, who are crowded out of Europe by the dominant types. Public opinion has even been reflected in our militia law of 1903, which contains the following paragraph: "Provided, That nothing in this act shall be construed to require or compel any member of any well-organized religious sect or organization at present organized and existing, whose creed forbids its members to participate in war in any form, and whose religious convictions are against war, or participation therein, in accordance with the creed of any said religious organization, to serve in the militia or any other armed or volunteer force under the jurisdiction and authority of the United States".
That is, there are commensal organisms among us unable to fight for themselves, and we must protect them like the Jew, and when our country is invaded by enemies some of us must die to save the women and children whose husbands and fathers will not protect them. It seems strange that there is a man so lacking in virility that he would prefer to see a band of invaders burn his house, and kill his wife before his eyes, rather than take up arms in organizations to defend them - but it is so, and the law says we must protect them. They render good now, much good, in promulgating the modern idea that wars must cease, and that nations must struggle for existence in other ways. The law can stand until the non-fighters are so numerous that there are not enough of the fighters to protect them. As soon as European nations see that state of affairs, our Monroe Doctrine will crumble to pieces and they will invade the territory to which they have cast covetous eyes so long. As in the case of Poland, the people will not be strong enough to resist them. Before this state of affairs comes about we will revoke the law, because we will not stand idly by and see our homes stolen when there are millions of men to defend them. We will simply call for conscription, and if the men drafted organize to resist the draft they must be killed off.
Our intense altruism and generosity in giving protection and power to the lower commensal organisms has thus caused them to multiply unduly in environments unsuited to them, and they have produced our municipal diseases. Our cities arc like abscesses full of parasites, our towns are pustules, and our villages are "bumps" without pus but with the germs under partial control. We are suffering from chronic, ethnic furuncu-losis or boils, and like Job must suffer a long time and get worse until, perhaps, we go through a course of purging with sulphur, saltpeter and charcoal, and venesection, too. As yet we do not know what is wrong with us, we feel the fever and the chills and the pain (when the city grafters steal our taxes), and have a headache, and bad taste, and do not like to talk of it. We are afraid of the knife and do not like medicine, so we are poulticing the boils with "improved reform" charters, and only make them worse. Learned statesmen write abstruse articles, even books, on the topic, but few of them understand the case, for like the medieval doctors, they know nothing of biology.
Another law violated by our municipal corporations is the division of labor of all organization. We cannot do good "team work" unless each man is placed in the nook he can fill, and is kept there. A baseball team would be a farcical thing if the players changed places every inning. Likewise, modern civilization demands specialists in limited spheres, who must be kept there, just as nature keeps one cell in the liver and never promotes it to the brain. So the cities must find specialists for every kind of service, and keep them at it for life.
The town of Ansonia, Conn., was sorely punished for its violation of this law. Some brainy managers and capitalists organized manufacturing concerns, which made it possible for 13,000 people to live there, mostly union workmen, of course. They all forgot that though a workman has rights which must be respected, he is not necessarily a better manager than the managers themselves. So they concluded to turn over the city administration to the workmen and run it on trades-union ideas.
The result was prompt. The city was loaded with an enormous tax rate, and there were no improvements to show for it; there were shortages of funds, illegal appointments, indictments of the mayor for conspiracy against public property, and the meetings of the council were weekly opera bouffe proceedings.
In San Francisco, the mechanical workers organized themselves to such a degree as to be injurious to the guiding and directing element and reflexly injurious to themselves. They even elected their own members to office, but when the earthquake disaster came the Mayor did not turn to his own party for aid, as they were not men of intelligence, but the committee of public safety was composed almost exclusively of the type of men whom the workingmen had excluded from control of affairs. If stupid popular clamor should ever drag us into a prolonged war, the same phenomenon will be seen - as it is the rule - the guiding elements will guide and the lower will be guided. Perhaps a great war might reform our whole political system to a natural basis.