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ress, if we had seen fit to have and abide by such a classification of the word knowledge? The best definition we know of "knowledge" is, “clear and certain perceptions of truth and duty.” But then, that definition rests on proper one of the words "truth” and “duty," and humanity refuses yet to agree on any sensible, precise definition of truth, and so we remain in the thraldom of sin, with no conception of what duty can mean, in any fundamental, all-embracing and easily actualized living activity. Each man or set of men, organization, etc., in the religious or civil order, has its group of incidental duties, and they all seem to be compatible with a sinful progress, and sinful, idiotic human laws in each national compact.
If we wish to vividly realize the distorted conceptions of duty that are prevailing yet, not with the rabble of nations, oh no; but among select groups of people everywhere, see how they handle the important problem of dreadful poverty in the most important centers of wealth over all modern nations. Charity in this or that form, through such and such processes, under this or that name and combination! They all know well enough, or should know, that charity or any transfer of wealth without the principle of reciprocity or equity, is simply trying to transiently relieve the poverty of some by constant drafts on the stock of wealth produced by the bulk of people condemned to live and die in greater or less poverty, and so increasing the poverty of the many who alone produce the wealth that all charity, gifts, etc., represent. And the perpetual poverty, or absence of honest wealth, if you prefer it, with over 90% of the people everywhere, come from restrictions in production by order of human law. We thus decide and proclaim that men shall only be allowed to produce so much and no more.
The incidental duty of charity, perpetually glorified by civil and religious education, implies, then, the shameful neglect of a fundamental duty, that of establishing equity in law, as ordered by all divine laws, in the physical and
moral realm of the universe. We thus prefer yet to disregard and lay aside the simple wisdom of God. We thus insist upon having the most muddled conceptions of truth possible. We refuse to entertain any precise perceptions of fundamental, elementary knowledge. We think that piles of incidental and ornamental knowledge shall answer all practical purposes.
And what a mess we thus make out of our own beloved civilization!
As in centuries gone by, dead and buried long ago, the wisdom of the world or Madam Civilization tacitly but emphatically ordains yet the following absurdity: “On one hand, men, isolated individuals in detached groups, must work for the curtailment or suppression of any number of our incidental wrongs, and
do it through processes of the empirical, unscientific, inartistic kind, that is, taking
cognizance of relations between causes and effects, dealing simply with the symptoms or manifestations in this or that fragment of our social diseases, never descending to the apprehension of any of the primal springs of all wrong or vitiated human conduct, taking for granted that there is no essential link, no connection whatsoever between the different organic deformities in the organization or ensemble of each social or national group.
“On the other hand, the people of each nation, as a compact organism, shall perpetually bend all their energies and forces, in concensus and law, in traditions and standards of thought, through the despotism of all wild, senseless possible conventionalities, but in forms the most scientific; all efforts shall mean to prolong and intensify the fundamental evil with which to distort the life and conduct of every individual and domestic group, and thus produce a multitude of incidental evils, new ones to spring up in lieu of any we may happen to suppress now and then."
And when we call the attention of our friends of the upper-crust to the fact that the latter process, scientific, compact, fully organized, must work out
greater effects, in the prolongation of evil as a grand total, than the former process in their partial attempts to but partially suppress some fragments of evil; then such bright friends can not see the self-evident rationale of the contrast, the inevitableness of that double logical conclusion. Yet, the same friends know that a good army with millions of soldiers scientifically handled shall always easily overcome any one hundred or more detached mobs, each with but a small number of combatants. There you have it: unwillingness to deal with fundamental knowledge, refusing to know the truth with the fundamental duties it must imply, if God and human life are tangible, logical realities. And so we remain dangling in the vortex of all possible disagreements and complications, the inevitable results of the
perpetual quarrel we insist upon having between God's truth and Madam Civilization. Is not that the worst fatalism that can darken the human mind? And then, when we find some men exhorting humanity to drop their aberrations and sins and accept the simple wisdom of divine law, then we call those “pessimists," when they are the only real, sensible optimists possible anywhere
infinite! Of course, that we should logically commence to drop the aberrations and sins that we, important people, try to sanctify through our own laws, by which crooked lives are forced upon all. We prefer yet to waste all our supposed good energies by sticking to the wrong end, reforming the bottom people who need reform because we, top types, don't want to reform our own precious selves.
THE SUBJECTIVE NECESSITY FOR SOCIAL
JANE ADDAMS, HULL HOUSE, CHICAGO.
I have divided the motives which constitute the subjective pressure toward Social Settlements into three great lines; the first contains the desire to make the entire social organism democratic, to extend democracy beyond its political expression; the second is the impulse to share the race life, and to bring as much as possible of social energy and the accumulation of civilization to those portions of the race which have little; the third springs from a certain renaissance of Christianity, a movement toward its early humanitarian aspects.
It is not difficult to see that although America is pledged to the democraticideal, the view of democracy has been partial, and that its best achievement thus far has been pushed along the line of franchise. Democracy has made little attempt to assert itself in social affairs. We have refused to move beyond the position of its eighteenth-century leaders who believed that political equality
alone would secure all good to all men. We conscientiously followed the gift of the ballot hard upon the gift of freedom to the negro, but we are quite unmoved by the fact that he lives among us in practical social ostracism. We hasten to give the franchise to the immigrant from a sense of justice, from a tradition that he ought to have it, while we dub him with epithets deriding his past life or present occupation, and feel no duty to invite him to our houses. We are forced to acknowledge that it is in only our local and national politics that we try very hard for the ideal so dear to those who were enthusiasts when the century was young.
We have almost given it up as our ideal in social inter
There are city wards in which many of the votes are sold for drink and dollars; still there is a remote pretence at least a fiction current, that a man's vote is his own. The time may come when the politician who sells one by one to the highest bidder all the offices in his grasp, will not be considered more base in his code of morals, more hardened in his practice, than the woman who constantly invites to her reception those alone who bring her an equal social return, who shares her beautiful surroundings only with those who minister to a liking she has for successful social events. In doing this she is not just as unmindful of the common weal, as unscrupulous in her use of power, as is any city “boss" who consults only the interests of the "ring"?
In politics“bossism arouses a scandal. It goes on in society constantly and is only beginning to be challenged. Our consciences are becoming tender in regard to the lack of democracy in social affairs. We are perhaps entering upon the second phase of democracy, as the French philosophers entered upon the first, somewhat bewildered by its logical conclusions. The social organism has broken down through large districts of our great cities. Many of the people living there are very poor, the majority of them without leisure or energy for anything but the gain of subsistence. They move often from one wretched lodging to another. They live for the moment side by side, many without knowledge of each other, without fellowship, without local tradition or public spirit, without social organization of any kind. Practically nothing is done to remedy this. The people who might do it, who have the social tact and training, the large houses, and the traditions and custom of hospitality, live in other parts of the city. The clubhouses, libraries, galleries, and semipublic conveniences for social life are also blocks away. We find workingmen organized into armies of producers because men of executive ability and business sagacity have found it to their interests thus to organize them. But these workingmen are not organized socially; although living in crowded tenement houses, they are living with
a corresponding social contact. The chaos is as great as it would be were they working in huge factories without foreman superintendent.
Their ideas and resources are cramped. The desire for higher social pleasure is extinct. They have no share in the traditions and social energy which make for progress. Too often their only place of meeting is the saloon, their only host a bartender; a local demagogue forms their public opinion. Men of ability and refinement, of social power and university cultivation stay away from them. Personally, I believe the men who lose most are those who thus stay away. But the paradox is here: when cultivated people do stay away from a certain portion of the population, when all social advantages are persistently withheld, it may be for years, the result itself is pointed at as' a reason, is used as an argument, for the continued withholding
I find it somewhat difficult to formulate the second line of motives which I believe to constitute the trend of the subjective pressure toward the Settlement. There is something primordial about these motives, but I am perhaps overbold in designating them as a great desire to share the race life. We all bear traces of the starvation struggle which for so long made up the life of the race. Our very organism holds memories and glimpses of that long life of our ancestors which still goes on among so many of our contemporaries. Nothing so deadens the sympathies and shrivels the power of enjoyment as the persistent keeping away from the great opportunities for helpfulness and continual ignoring of the starvation struggle which makes up the life of at least half the race. To shut one's self away from that half of the race life is to shut one's self away from the most vital part of it; it is to live out but half the humanity which have been born heir to and to use but half our faculties. These longings are the physical complement of the *Intimations of Immortality" on which no ode has yet been written. To portray these would be the work of a poet, and it is hazardous for any but a poet to attempt it.
You may remember the forlorn feeling which occasionally seizes you when you arrive early in the morning a stranger
in a great city. The stream of laboring people goes past you as you gaze through the plate-glass window of your hotel. You see hard-working men lifting great burdens; you hear the driving and jostling of huge carts. Your heart sinks with a sudden sense of futility. The door opens behind you and you turn to the man who brings you in your breakfast with a quick sense of human fellowship. You find yourself praying that you may never lose your hold on it all. A more poetic prayer would be that the great mother breasts of our common humanity with its labor and suffering and its homely comforts, may never be withheld from you. You turn helplessly to the waiter. You feel that it would be almost grotesque to claim from him the sympathy you crave. Civilization has placed you far apart, but you resent your position with a sudden sense of snobbery. Literature is full of portrayals of these glimpses. They come to shipwrecked men on rafts; they overcome the differences of an incongruous multitude when in the presence of a great danger or when moved by a common enthusiasm. They are not, however, confined to such moments, and if we were in the habit of telling them to each other, the recital would be as long as the tales of children are, when they sit down on the green grass and confide to each other how many times they have remembered that they lived once before. If these tales are the stirring of inherited impressions, just so surely is the other the striving of inherited powers.
It is constantly said that because the masses have never had social advantages they do not want them, that they are heavy and dull, and that it will take political or philanthropic machinery to change them. This divides a city into rich and poor; into the favored, who express their sense of the social obligation by gifts of money, and into the unfavored, who express it by clamoring for a “share”—both of them actuated by a vague sense of justice. This division of the city would be more justifiable, however, if the people who thus isolate themselves on certain streets and use their social ability for each other
gained enough thereby and added sufficient to the sum total of social progress to justify the withholding of the pleasure and results of that progress from so many people who ought to have them. But they cannot accomplish this. “The social spirit discharges itself in many forms, and no form is adequate to its total expression.” We are all uncomfortable in regard to the sincerity of our best phrases, because we hesitate to translate our philosophy into the deed.
It is inevitable that those who feel most keenly this insincerity and partial living should be our young people, our so-called educated young people who accomplish little toward the solution of this social problem, and who bear the brunt of being cultivated into unnourished, over-sensitive lives. They have been shut off from the common labor by which they live and which is a great source of moral and physical health. They feel a fatal want of harmony between their theory and their lives, a lack of co-ordination between thought and action. I think it is hard for us to realize how seriously many of them are taking to the notion of human brotherhood, how eagerly they long to give tangible expression to the democratic ideal. These young men and women, longing to socialize their democracy, are animated by certain hopes.
These hopes may be loosely formulated thus: That if in a democratic country nothing can be permanently achieved save through the masses of the people, it will be impossible to establish a higher political life than the people themselves crave; that it is difficult to see how the notion of a higher civic life can be fostered save through common intercourse; that the blessings which we associate with a life of refinement and cultivation can be made universal and must be made universal if they are to be permanent; that the good we secure for ourselves is precarious and uncertain, is floating in mid-air, until it is secured for all of us and incorporated into our common life.
“There is nothing after disease, indigence, and a sense of guilt so fatal
The third division of motives which I believe make toward the Settlement is the result of a certain renaissance going forward in Christianity. The impulse to share the lives of the poor, the desire to make social service irrespective of propaganda, express the spirit of Christ, is as old as Christianity itself. We have no proof from the records themselves that the early Roman Christians, who strained their simple art to the point of grotesqueness in their eagerness to record a "good news” on the walls of the catacombs, considered this "good news" a religion. Jesus had no set of truths labelled “Religious. On the contrary, His doctrine was that all truth is one, that the appropriation of it is freedom. His teaching had no dogma to mark it off from truth and action in general. He Himself called it a revelation
to health and to life itself as the want of a proper outlet for active faculties. I have seen young girls suffer and grow sensibly lowered in vitality in the first years after they leave school.
In our attempt then to give a girl pleasure and freedom from care we succeed, for the most part, in making her pitifully miserable. She finds "life" so different from what she expected it to be. She is besotted with innocent little bitions, and does not understand this apparent waste of herself, this elaborate preparation, if no work is provided for her.
We have in America a fast-growing number of cultivated young people who have no recognized outlet for their active faculties. They hear constantly of the great social mal-adjustment, but no way is provided for them to change it, and their uselessness hangs about them heavily. Huxley declares that the sense of uselessness is the severest shock which the human system can sustain, and that, if persistently sustained, it results in atrophy of function. These young people have had advantages of college, of European travel and economic study, but they are sustaining this shock of inaction. This young life, so sincere in its emotion and good phrases and yet so undirected, seems to me as pitiful as the other great mass of destitute lives. One is supplementary to the other, and some method of communication can surely be devised. Mr. Barnett, who urged the first settlement—Toynbee Hall, in East London-recognized this need of outlet for the young men of Oxford and Cambridge, and hoped the settlement would supply the communication. It is easy to see why the settlement movement originated in England, where the years of education are more constrained and more definite than they are here, where class distinctions are more rigid. The necessity of it was greater there, but we are fast feeling the pressure of the need and meeting the necessity for Settlements in America.
Our young people feel nervously the need of putting theory into action, and respond quickly to the Settlement form of activity.
I believe that there is a distinct turning among many young men and women toward this simple acceptance of Christ's message. They resent the assumption that Christianity is a set of ideas which belong to the religious consciousness, whatever that may be, that it is a thing to be proclaimed and instituted apart from the social life of the community. They insist that it shall seek a simple and natural expression in the social organism itself. The Settlement movement is only one manifestation of that wider humanitarian movement which throughout Christendom but pre-eminently in England, is endeavoring to embody itself, not in a sect, but in society itself.
If you have heard a thousand voices singing in the Hallelujah Chorus in Handel's “Messiah,” you have found that the leading voices could still be distinguished, but that the differences of training and cultivation between them and the voices of the chorus were lost in the unity of purpose and the fact that they were all human voices lifted by a high motive. This is a weak illustration of what a Settlement attempts to do. It aims, in a measure, to lead whatever of social life its neighborhood may afford, to focus and give form to that life, to bring to bear upon it the