CHAPTER II

WHAT OTHERS THINK

     The following is a copy of a letter from a prominent newspaper writer, sent me the day before my talk on the Money Trust at Carnegie Hall.  It is so apt I take pleasure in offering it to my readers, so that as they read the following chapters they can have my view-point on the awful conditions of to-day, the findings of Samuel Untermeyer, and also the opinion of this newspaper man -- these ideas, the ideas of a builder, the ideas of a great corporation attorney, the ideas of a newspaper man of New York:

"A. E. Stilwell,
               New York.
"Dear Mr. Stilwell:
   "In pagan days it was the custom to propitiate the gods.  The gods were simply idols.  It seems absurd that rational men and women should have made sacrifices at such shrines.  But we are worse than the heathen, for we have set up gods, and more powerful gods, and have invested them with more potency, more power for evil or for good, than ever did the pagans.
   "The greatest power in America today is the money god.  He rules the Government; he rules the factory; he rules the railroad, the farm, the home.  The center of Government of the United States is not in Washington.  It is in Wall Street!  From every section of this broad land of ours, men who think they are free, men who pride themselves on this being a republic, come with their gifts in their hands and abase themselves before this money god.
   "You cannot build a mile of railroad in the United States today without permission from the money god.  You cannot establish a great industry anywhere in the United States unless you have the sanction of the money god.  This is not a republic.  It is a money oligarchy.  It is the most absolute money monarchy the world has ever known.  It has the finest working system that big business ever has known.  It levies tribute on rich and poor.  The greatest industry pays a price to the money system for protection, and the most wretched tenement dweller pays a price to the money system for the privilege of living.
   "You and I have raised our hands and our eyes in holy horror at the stories of the police system -- the horrible system of bribery and corruption that evil men pay to the officers of the law who are sworn to enforce the law.  You and I have read of the protection-money paid for the privilege to practice vice and crime.  We have thought this was the meanest of blood money.  But how does it compare with the blood money of Wall Street -- the blood money exacted by the great gods of the money system?
   "The largest amount ever collected by the most powerful head of the police system was picayune, paltry, not to be thought of, in comparison with the price paid to one of the money gods for one job!  He got eight millions of dollars.
   "Can you conceive of what $80,000,000 represents?  We have had some great men in this United States.  We have had George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson, Abraham Lincoln, William McKinley, Grover Cleveland, Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft.  We have had Edison; we have had Stevens; we have had Field; we have had Westinghouse; we have had Morse.  But all the earnings of all these great men, all the products of their hands and of their brains, brought less to them than the work of one of the Money Trust in the organization of one of the great Trusts.
   "And you are paying for it!  Think of it!
   "I cite this as one example only, because it is a significant one.  I have no quarrel with a man for the amount of money he may get for his work.  But I have a quarrel with a man who uses his power to prevent others from working.
                                             "Yours Truly"

 

Arthur Edward Stilwell, Visionary

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