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The Common Sense of Socialism A Series of Letters Addressed to Jonathan Edwards, of Pittsburg   By: (1876-1966)

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Transcriber's Note: Inconsistent hyphenation in the original document has been preserved. Obvious typographical errors have been corrected. For a complete list, please see the end of this document.

THE COMMON SENSE OF SOCIALISM

A SERIES OF LETTERS ADDRESSED TO JONATHAN EDWARDS, OF PITTSBURG

BY

JOHN SPARGO

Author of "The Bitter Cry of the Children," "Socialism: A Summary and Interpretation of Socialist Principles," "The Socialists: Who They Are and What They Stand For," "Capitalist and Laborer," Etc., Etc., Etc.

CHICAGO CHARLES H. KERR & COMPANY 1911

Copyright 1909 BY CHARLES H. KERR & COMPANY

TO

GEORGE H. STROBELL

AS A TOKEN OF FRIENDSHIP AND LOVE THIS LITTLE BOOK IS AFFECTIONATELY INSCRIBED

CONTENTS

CHAPTER PAGE

I BY WAY OF INTRODUCTION 1

II WHAT'S THE MATTER WITH AMERICA? 4

III THE TWO CLASSES IN THE NATION 12

IV HOW WEALTH IS PRODUCED AND HOW IT IS DISTRIBUTED 26

V THE DRONES AND THE BEES 44

VI THE ROOT OF THE EVIL 68

VII FROM COMPETITION TO MONOPOLY 81

VIII WHAT SOCIALISM IS AND WHAT IT IS NOT 94

IX WHAT SOCIALISM IS AND WHAT IT IS NOT Continued 118

X THE OBJECTIONS TO SOCIALISM ANSWERED 136

XI WHAT SHALL WE DO, THEN? 170

APPENDICES:

I A SUGGESTED COURSE OF READING ON SOCIALISM 175

II HOW SOCIALIST BOOKS ARE PUBLISHED 179

THE COMMON SENSE OF SOCIALISM

I

BY WAY OF INTRODUCTION

Socialism is undoubtedly spreading. It is, therefore, right and expedient that its teachings, its claims, its tendencies, its accusations and promises, should be honestly and seriously examined. Prof. Flint.

My Dear Mr. Edwards : I count it good fortune to receive such letters of inquiry as that which you have written me. You could not easily have conferred greater pleasure upon me than you have by the charming candor and vigor of your letter. It is said that when President Lincoln saw Walt Whitman, "the good, Gray Poet," for the first time he exclaimed, "Well, he looks like a man!" and in like spirit, when I read your letter I could not help exclaiming, "Well, he writes like a man!"

There was no need, Mr. Edwards, for you to apologize for your letter: for its faulty grammar, its lack of "style" and "polish." I am not insensible to these, being a literary man, but, even at their highest valuation, grammar and literary style are by no means the most important elements of a letter. They are, after all, only like the clothes men wear. A knave or a fool may be dressed in the most perfect manner, while a good man or a sage may be poorly dressed, or even clad in rags. Scoundrels in broadcloth are not uncommon; gentlemen in fustian are sometimes met with.

He would be a very unwise man, you will admit, who tried to judge a man by his coat. President Lincoln was uncouth and ill dressed, but he was a wise man and a gentleman in the highest and best sense of that much misused word. On the other hand, Mr. Blank, who represents railway interests in the United States Senate, is sleek, polished and well dressed, but he is neither very wise nor very good... Continue reading book >>




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