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The RAILWAY CONDUCTOR, PUBLished MonthLY AND ENTERED AS Second Class Matter AT THE Peste
OFFICE IN CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa.-Subscription $1.00 per year.
W. N. Gates, Advertising Agent, Garfield Building, Cleveland, O.
C. D. KELLOGG, Associate.
"THE SUBMERGED TENTH” AND THE SUBMERGERS.
“'I have my own ideas about the submerged tenth," says Andrew Carnegie, "but I am not quite ready to give them to the world. At present I want to help the swimming tenth." There is a deal of philosophy, common sense and insight into humanity in the above quotation. The fact is admitted tacitly that the submerged tenth will always be with us, always has been, and always will be in the land. When one rides over this vast country, so full of possibilities, and growth, of potentialities of success and of the negations of poverty, one is filled with wonder and at the same time incredulity as to the existence of a submerged tenth. Again, upon looking over the provision markets in the great cities, or indeed the small ones, one is struck with the exceedingly generous prices asked for the common necessaries of life, and the thought will come that if there is a submerged tenth why is it so and being so it must be from desire or worse, so that Mr. Carnegie's determination to help the swimming tenth seems to us logically sound.
Mr. Robert Hunter, in his recent very interesting book, “Poverty,” assures us that ten million people, or about oneeighth of the population of the United States, are in a condition of what may
It is pre
be considered extreme want. sumable that as New York City is the largest City in the United States that it contains more poor people than any other city, yet there is good statistical authority for saying that within a hundred miles of that city there are hundreds of abandoned farms, containing thousands of acres of idle land. Not only is this true, but we venture to say that in the confines of the territory named there are allowed to go to waste each year thousands of bushels of apples and other foodstuff, which would probably go a long way toward relieving the hungry poor.
Nor do we suppose that the territory surrounding New York City is an entirely isolated example, but something like this can be said of nearly every city where unemployed people, or those living in extreme shiftlessness, are to be found in large numbers.
We venture the assertion that if all the unemployed persons who could get work in the cities if they wanted it, were earning wages, and all who could not find employment in the cities would seek it in the country, there would be a decided diminution in pauperism. Of course we are aware that many men hunt work and pray they won't find it, and then seek to charge it up to some
once become so. The door of hope and opportunity seems indeed to be closed to them, and restoring that lost hope and again kindling the fire of independence in such an one, is one of the most difficult problems of those who work for and give to the submerged.
And who will dare to say that our great and complex industrial system is not to blame for much, yea, very much, of the poverty of the submerged. Nay, is it not only simple truth to say that fierce competition, inordinate ambition and business piracy is responsible for a vast amount of the poverty in this country? If the great fortunes which have been accumulated had been done so with greater humanitarianism and far more deliberation, then the possessors would not now be so anxious to get rid of it before death overtakes them. A few more dollars in each pay envelope at the end of the week or month would be of vast help to the submerged tenth and at the same time effect ually and righteously remove the horror of dying rich, which have.
higher power when it is not forthcoming. It is idle to assert that great numbers of able-bodied poor are
so because they cannot find work, the trouble is they are not willing to enter any steady employment and they refuse to work because they cannot get the sort of employment or the wages they demand.
Of course no free man can be forced to labor against his will, and we opine that Mr. Carnegie really means, or is trying to formulate a way to awaken the pauper's pride and put in him the spirit of independence and aspiration, which he has found to be a delicate one and one that money cannot accomplish. That is to say, the giving of money to one without pride is only a transitory good at best, and may turn out to be a positive evil.
There is no reason for a submerged tenth in so far as reasons inhere in conditions in this country. Indeed, conditions would seem to be absolutely against it, for it is a free country, with universal education, with the richest natural resources of any in the world, needing only development by means of labor and capital to produce enough to lift the entire population above want, so that the natural conclusion would be that all that remains to eliminate the submerged tenth is energy and inclination to take advantage of the resources which lie dormant but full of potentiality in every section of the land. Surely the door of opportunity is open to all alike; nor does it open only once and then close forever; but it opens every morning to all-yea, it stands open all the time and beckons with insistent finger, always. That intuition or foresight may not see and grasp the main chance of a lifetime, is only too true, but that none others are to come, the following in whose paths will lead to freedom of thought and action, integrity and independence of life, is not so.
But, says someone, these are thoughts and aspirations utterly unknown to the ones of whom you speak, and it is a curious fact, says Mr. Hunter, which psychology alone explains, that those who suffer most at the thought of becoming paupers never care to be anything else when they
While believing that the condition of the submerged is due largely to themselves, nevertheless such condition presents, in most cases, a strangely incongruous spectacle, and we
must admit one that gives color to many of the wild vagaries of socialism. And also it is easy to see how that condition, being situated within a stone's throw of the palace of some multi-millionaire, whose millions were made possible only by the help of these, or others like them, should be to such a man an ever-present misery, Indeed, to believe otherwise would be to sanction the grim teaching of the inferno, or the orthodox heaven, where the sweet songs of the saved mingle with the discordant groans of those writhing in the sulphurous flames of hell. Or is may be that the man who has by his accumulation of millions added largely to the submerged, possesses a diabolical obtuseness under the protection of which he gloats, but if a man who has possession of most of what most people most desire, as Miss Tarbell puts it, and has neither the trait of self-belief for justifi
cation, nor the impenetrable stupidity the means employed. The possession of of self-sufficiency for protection, then wealth which has been gained unfairly he'must surely suffer self-contempt and cannot atone for the want of respect feeling the force of the world-criticism which mankind refuses to accord to the must perceive its logic and concur therein possessor, unless, forsooth, the possessor with a consequent pain for which there is one with sensibilities so dull that they can be no balm. :3
predicate a large negation of intelligence. The possession of wealth is undoubt- Perhaps this in a large measure accounts edly good when it comes in a fair, for the generally accepted belief that straightforward way, and not from a the happiest and most contented people lifetime of grab' and get regardless of are not found among the very rich.
MARRIAGE AND DIVORCE.
It may seem like a bold statement for one to assert that marriage is responsible for divorce, but of course it is only a truism to say it, for if there were no marriages there would be no divorces. Or, to put it another way, if there were only true marriages there would be no divorces. True, we know that we would be charged at once with idealism or utopianism to advocate the latter proposition. But let us see.
Recently there came under our notice a new application of the old poetic admonition, “Let not the sun go down on your wrath." And the application was this way—a story, in fact (a true one, we hope). A gentleman (he must have been one), we'll call him Mr. Smith, for short, who was well educated and full of energy met a lady (she must have been one), and whether we ascribe it to the microbe theory, or "natural selection,” or what not, according to the good old fashioned way of putting it, they “fell in love"-now mind you, they didn't merely stub their toes and think they fell, but, as the old darky said, "they sure did fall.” And by the way, allow us to remind you that these cases of “surely falling in love" give practically conclusive preliminary evidence that such union will never be severed in a divorce court. Mr. and Mrs. Smith, after making the marital vows, before the minister and friends, made with themselves this unique compact-not to “let the sun go down on their wrath"; that they would not close their eyes at night with any difference
unsettled between them.
After years of wedded life the pledge has been kept inviolate, and so it is pretty certain the honeymoon promises to last to the end of life and into the beyond.
Now, we can imagine someone, possibly many, saying that if Mr. Smith had had this or that to contend with, or Mrs. Smith likewise, he or she would have seen him or her in the bottom of the Dead Sea before they would have "made up” the same day, at least. But hold! We don't suppose this twain were particularly nearer perfection than the average run of people, but they had good sense. They made chums and rades of each other. They had made a good working agreement. They were wise and brave and patient, and therein is the moral of the story. We will admit that it may be hard to fit this compact to every case; indeed, we opine that Mr. Smith did not stay out nights till the wee sma' hours and come home smelling like the condensed fumes of a saloon and a tobacco factory, and with thin excuse of “having been out with the boys." Indeed, we can imagine that Mr. Smith never clouded of befuddled his brain by the use of fermented or distilled wet goods, nor Mrs. Smith never completely depleted the exchequer by the purchase of too much dry goodstwo fruitful sources of divorces, by the way We are willing to admit that they both had mothers-in-law and that he even told her sometimes that he longed for some bread like “his mother used
to make," and that she suggested to him at such times that she “wished he made 'dough' like her father used to"yea, we will admait all this, but with it all, and back of it all, there stands that luminous and basic ideality, they “fell in love" and they “did not let the sun go down on their wrath." It's too bad more people don't try the Smith way.
Now, that we may not be accused of “seeing things” that certainly forebode no good for the future welfare of society --the country, we cite such to the fact that recently the daily papers of Chicago gave the divorce record for one week as follows: Fifty-one
heard and twenty-one
started. We opine no one will disagree with us when we assert that the menace is a serious one. A grain of comfort is supposed to inhere in this condition, however, from the fact that a new law is to go into effect in Illinois on July first, which will prohibit divorced people from remarrying within a year, or for some causes for two years, after the decree of separation is granted, and to avoid this delay accounts for the rush.
It strikes us that the Illinois legislature did a good work; but it is a pity, in our estimation, that they did not make the time limit for remarrying ten fifteen years.
And still we would rot prohibit the granting of divorces, but we would fix it so that the divorced ones could not step from the room in which the decree was granted into the next room and procure a license to remarry and then across the street and have the ceremony performed, as is done in some states. Of course there is quite an air of business about this way of doing-in fact, so much business that it savors largely of the “done while you wait" way of many repairing schemes. If the time limit for remarrying were ten, fifteen or even twenty years, then those who marry would do so with an eye single to the divinity of the sacrament, and not with one eye (at least) on the divorce courtwould enter the married state with a full knowledge of (so far as possible) and determination to meet with heroic endeavor and sublime fortitude all the trials and tribulations which come into
the passing years whether we will or no, but leaving an avenue of escape for those who have entered the married state with a feeling of serene confidence that they have made a deep study of the character of their intended and of their own feelings, but have subsequently found, alas, that there exists imponderable though potent differences in spirituality, idealism and tastes, commonly expressed by "incompatibility of temperament," that makes companionship or friendship positivaly out of the question, out of the sphere of human possibility. For such persons so mated there should be profound pity, because these fundamental differences in kindred likes and dislikes could not have been discovered, or indeed may not have existed prior to the marriage—tastes and inclinations that had lain dormant in the previous years may have been called into action by some unforseen happening, and henceforth the paths diverged quickly and at large angles.
That we may not be accused of too much generalization, let us particularize. We note that cruelty, desertion and drunkenness are the causes for most divorces, and of course in those there may be many shades and degrees of other
Now, to compel one person to live an ordinary lifetime with another who is a besotted, habitual drunkard and possessed of all the etceteras that go with it, seems to us a crime, the commission of which no state or country should be guilty.
Cruelty and desertion, it seems to us, are prima facie evidences that the legal bonds of marriage should be severed
as the spiritual bonds certainly have been already. It is not to be denied that drunkenness, and perhaps even cruelty, are developments or heredities which at or before the marriage could not have been foreseen, so that at the time both may have earnestly believed they were acting for their best future welfare. Few of those, perhaps, who have made such an awful mistake would ever care to again marry, and so the time limit of ten or twenty years would cut no figure with such, but upon those who were tempted to rush into wedded
life without due thought and examination of themselves and a fair and sensible study of the prospective companion, extending over a reasonable time of acquaintance, such a time limit would have a very salutary effect and would no doubt very materially lessen the work of the divorce courts.
A more healthy public opinion and treatment of the divorce evil and of divorcees is also badly needed. If those who are competent to perform the marriage ceremony were more careful regarding marrying divorced peoplewould perform the ceremony only upon an intimate knowledge of all the circumstances connected with and the reasons for granting the divorce-if there could be a uniform divorce law throughout the United States, so that people could not go from one state to another where there are very lax divorce laws, or none at all-if the divorced ones knew that so
cial ostracism awaited them—if a healthy public opinion frowned upon and denounced divorces, then we might expect to see the evil quickly and very materially decrease. But in all these conditions the ifs stand in the way, for as a matter of fact there is not a generally healthy public opinion on the subjectin fact, too often the public gingerly lays it aside as we do a not overclean garment. Those who are competent to perform the marriage ceremony are not generally very careful, albeit the agitation going on among many ministers is a healthy sign. The lack of uniformity throughout the country in divorce laws is deplorable. And could the great if of social ostracism be entirely removed, so that when they became divorced persons they knew that absolute, persistent and open ostracism was to be their lot, we seriously believe that this alone would'decrease divorces fifty per cent.
THE NEW LABOR MOVEMENT JUST STARTED IN CHICAGO.
bership of the Brotherhood of Railroad
The expression of the Convention of the Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen, states our position to a “T” on this new Industrial Union. It reads:
“The purpose of this organization is open and avowed, so there is no mistaking in what it proposes to do if it can. Starting out ostensibly for the purpose of destroying the American Federation of Labor, we positively know that it proposes to attack the organizations of railway labor in the hope of adding the membership of the old organizations to the new movement.
“The men who are in charge of it are well known to all of us, who have followed the history of the organization of labor in the United States. In the main, they represent a class that is radical, and inclined to go to the extreme, in the hope of placing all labor at such a disadvantage as to cause a revolution in sentiment, and drive a majority of the wageworkers into the new movement.
"The ideas expressed openly by the leaders of this movement, and their performances on the quiet, are directly in opposition. We trust that our members will not forget the lessons they learned during the time the American Railway Union was in existence, and the disastrous results that followed the participation of a part of them in that movement that started out with exactly the same purpose that is supposed to give reason for the organization of the Industrial Union.
“We trust that our organization will place itself on record as opposed to this new organization, and that it use every honorable method to protect its members from the influences of the officers and missionaries who will go among the established organizations seeking to bring them into their own.
“The entire proposition is disreputable, dishonest and misrepresentative when its purposes are known, and we believe it eminently proper to place the mem