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THE competitive system comes down to us from the I most ancient times. History does not tell us when
it began, but the history of life upon the earth, if recorded in detail, would doubtless be a record of active competition between living creatures, including man, for those things which have been demanded by the real or apparent needs of life. The rule of Mother Nature is lavish abundance, but notwithstanding the free and even lavish hand with which she has always dealt out her riches to her children, there has ever been a struggle, cruel and relentless in its methods and more or less fatal to the individual in its results. This struggle has not been caused by the scantiness of nature's stores, but it has been brought about by the stern fact that one life has demanded another life in order to subsist. The lion and the tiger cannot subsist upon herbs. They demend the lives of other animals, and nature has furnished them with the prowess to make good their demands. When the great cats are fed, and the graceful antelope is no more, has the world gained or lost? Who can say that earth-life has not suffered a loss, and that these cats are not a veritable clog to the wheels of progress?
But here we are confronted by the inscrutable. Our hearts cry against the cats and bleed for the antelopes. The wisdom of it is inscrutable-it is beyond us. But there are greater cats than those who roam the forests. They live in palaces and wear the semblance of man. Now, 'when it comes to these human cats we can speak with more assurance. When they demand the life of the ox or the hog to sustain their bodies, we may well wink at the demand. But sometimes the demand in its finality takes a human life, and this fact leads us to raise the finger of righteous condemnation. When we have pointed our finger at the deed, we have done much for the cause of truth and righteousness. The finger of wicked scorn has wrought much against true living, but the finger of the righteous critic is a power for good.
Our competitive system developed in the search for wealth is no respecter of persons. The human fox, the human cat, the human antelope, the human coyote, and the human Jack rabbit, all enter the contest on an apparently equal footing. The rules of business allow no favors to any one except to such as are able to pay a price for them. The great diversity of powers possessed by the competitors might be equalized by a like diversity in the fields of activity, and this condition would be natural and inevitable, if there was no dirturbing factor to throw nature out of joint. Under existing conditions our competitive system has produced unnatural accumulations of wealth, and sorely grinding conditions of poverty. This congestion of wealth is the root of most of our vexations, national and otherwise. Wealth is naturally and rightfully beneficent, and the reason it is sometimes a curse lies in the fact that it has gathered and exercises far too much power. The poor are so pinched by want that they are led to pander and bow down to those who have abundance, and this attitude on the part of the poor brings home to the rich man a vivid realization of his power, and he becomes more and more eager to add to his power, lest an unexpected reversion of fortune may reduced him to the servile condition he so despises in others.
It must be noted that the race is not so much in the production of wealth as it is in getting control of it after it has been produced. The production of wealth, in our own country at least, is running in natural and easy channels. Each year sees an abundance rolling into the marts for distribution. Here the struggle begins in earnest, and continues all along the line from producer to the most remote consumer.
It may seem to the unthoughtful a very simple matter to follow the lines of supply and demand in the distribution of our products, but to him who grapples the subject in earnest it will soon appear in its true light as the most momentous and complex problem any age has offered for solution. It is the problem of the twentieth century. To say that no one has made a direct attempt to solve the problem does not meet the facts. The problem has not yet been plainly propounded to the public mind. Many have given thought to the improvement of the financial system. But this is only a branch of the great problem of distribution. Transportation has been the subject of investigation and legislation. Yet this is only a minor portion of the same great problem of wealth distribution. High tariff, low tariff, free trade and reciprocity between nations have occupied the thought of publicists and statesmen. But these again are only incidents to the real vital problem of distribution. To attack this question by tampering with the tariff, legislating on transportation or money, is about as effective in the solution of the great problem of wealth distribution, as doctoring the leaves of a tree would be in removing worms from the root of it. It is a question with a vital core, and must be assailed centrally. I have pointed my finger at the problem. He that helps in its solution, helps the race, helps life, promotes happiness and serves God
A Roast. T HAVE been told that in a recent issue of PathI finder Mrs. Post, alias Wilmans, gives me a good,
dark-brown roasting. My informant said that she made her article very personal and abusive. I have not seen it, nor do I care to see it.
It seems it was brought out by an answer to a correspondent published in the November issue of THE LIFE, who asked information about Mrs. Post. After giving the information sought, I added:
"Let us now learn and know especially five things:
1. Inordinate greed for money leads to wrong conduct, sorrow and unrelenting desolation.
2. Free-lovism and disregard for all sexual continence and decency will always be followed by the harvest which belongs to them..
3. Deception and misleading claims of personal attention to the sick, while the one who makes such claims never hears of them, but turns the correspondence over to coarse clerks, who know nothing of the Science, is a fraud that cannot subsist long.
4. Vituperation, bullyism and abuse never win.
5. Loye, Principle, Honesty, Toleration, Purity, Gentleness, Desire to do good, will always win, while their opposites never do. Also, remember that we reap what we sow. There is no escape.”
Now, we cannot help agreeing that these statements are all true and correct in principle. But Mrs. Post seems to have taken it all to mean that she has been guilty of their breach. Well, let us see:
1. On this point I have nothing to say. I will leave those who know Mrs. Post to decide as to her guilt or innocence.
2. In this statement I did not intend to be understood as implying that Mrs. Post has been herself per
sonally guilty of the practice of free-lovism. I never have thought so; the venerable lady is too old for anything of that sort, being now near eighty years of age.
But I have been reliably informed by persons who have been at Seabreeze with her for many months that she did encourage it and counsel it in others. I personally know a man who was there for a long time, a writer for Freedom, and who left a good, plain wife for a younger, handsomer woman. Another young man says he was counseled to do the same, but did not. Both of these and other cases are charged up to Mrs. Post as advising and encouraging it.
3. No healer can take 1000, or even 100, patients at a time and give them personal attention, especially where there are numerous other interests to give attention to. I have been told by many eye-witnesses that it was the regular practice with Mrs. Post to open her letters, take out remittances, mark the envelopes and turn the letters over to clerks to answer by formulas furnished them, without even seeing the names signed to them. Here is a single instance of many that have come to my knowledge:- A man living in Oklahoma City says that he took treatments, as he supposed, of Mrs. Post for three years, paying her over $300, and had letters apparently from her. When they had that convention at Seabreeze some years ago, he went, anxious to meet his dear friend Mrs. Post. But, he says when he got there, to his great surprise and disgust he found that she had never heard of him before. I don't believe such practices to be honest. Do you?
4. As to Mrs. Post's culpability under this statement, I will leave you to decide after you read her furious tirades against the p. o. inspector, Mr. Speer. You remember she called him "pig head,” “idiot,” etc., and said he did not have brain enough to run a