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,
"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
"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.