The New Era of Industry (Vol. 1 No. 09 - 3 August 1848)

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The 3 August 1848 issue of the New Era of Industry (Vol. 1 No. 9).

Submitted by adri on December 22, 2023

Paris Correspondence of the Chronotype.1

Paris, July 13, 1848

Tomorrow is the anniversary of the day when some sixty years ago the people of Paris tore down the Bastille. Since that time what have they not endured and done! Tomorrow they will not destroy a Bastille, for they are imprisoned in one that is too strong for their feeble strength. This Bastille has grown silently and fatally around them; its walls and dungeons have been years in preparation; their inhabitants have not guessed the fate preparing for them, till suddenly they found themselves imprisoned. The Bastille I mean is the Bastille of poverty; its towers and cells are erected by the power of competitive labor.

Yesterday, on the Boulevards, about forty men came with their wives and children and sat down where the crowd of passers must behold them. Their faces were pale, and despair was written on their features. The bystanders asked them why they were there? "Would you have us starve in secret?" was the answer; "we prefer that the whole public should know to what French laborers are reduced." A policeman came up and told them they must not stay there, and that if they were suffering, the authorities would relieve them. "Charity!" said they, "it is not charity we want; give us work!" The police with difficulty made them withdraw from the spot where they sat, an exciting and dangerous spectacle.

Five minutes ago, on the corner of the street I saw a little written placard in a neat hand-writing. It was the humble advertisement of an ouvrier [worker]. He had been without anything to do for four months, and implored any reader who had any sort of work by which he might gain his food to employ him. These are the merest indications of the distress among the working population of Paris. This is their return for the blood they have shed for the country, and the sacrifices they have made. It is heart-rending to see a generous, brave, impulsive people in such a state.

One of the most noted of the leading radicals is M. Proudhon. He is a socialist, and not a socialist. He believes that the people must be saved, but that a commercial reform will relieve the present evils and settle the problem of France. I was at his house the other evening. He is a person of medium size, large head, and serious features; he speaks with warmth and decision, like a man whose convictions are ready for any trial. He explained his system in a rapid and clear manner, and he spoke of the crisis and what must be done. Against the moneyed class his eloquence was like a flood; they had slaughtered the people like brute beasts, rather than yield a sliver of their ill-got gains. Of theorists and students, he said, no more were wanted; they darkened counsel; of tinkering with political institutions they had too much; as to the question of one president, or three, he was indifferent; some said a good philosopher, a man of science, was needed to solve the tangled web, and bring light instead of darkness. A philosopher!—science! No, not a philosopher, but a Spartacus; not science, but the breaking of chains. No more discussing and talking, but action without rest!

Such is M. Proudhon, in private a man of the most gentle manners and of varied culture, but behind [him] all this revolutionary spirit, shooting up as in jets of flame. He has published the Representant du Peuple daily since the revolution. On Sunday last he proposed in it a petition to the Assembly, signed by such numbers as to make it a command, calling for the reduction of one-sixth from all rents about to fall due, one-half of the sum deducted to go to the state—the other half to the tenant. This was considered a direct attack upon property—which he has several times declared to be only a continuous robbery. Next day the paper was suspended by the order of the government. He will resume it again as soon as the siege is raised. The Fourierites, by the way, he dislikes very heartily; they are too quiet and pacific, and then they go for individual property.

What is the destiny of a country which contains many such men as Proudhon? One would say either to kill them, or be convulsed by them.

[Félicité de] Lamennais belongs to the same category. With less intellect, he has even more eloquence and passion. The government having revived the law of Louis Philippe, requiring each daily paper of Paris to pay twenty thousand dollars caution-money into the treasury, the Abbe [priest/abbot] not being able to command so much money for his Peuple Constituent, published his last number on Tuesday. It was in mourning; it had begun with the republic, he said; with the republic it expired, for the republic existed no longer. He concluded his philippic in these words:

As for ourselves, soldiers of the press, devoted to the defense of the liberties of the country, they treat us as they do the people—they disarm us. Not long since our paper was snatched from the hands of the carriers, and torn and abused in the public streets. One of our agents has been imprisoned at Rouen, and the journal seized without any further formality. The design of all is clear; it was at any cost to reduce us to silence. Now they have succeeded, by means of the caution-money. At this day it requires money, a great deal of money, to enjoy the right of speech. We are not rich enough. Silence to the poor!

On Tuesday an immense number of the paper was sold, and on Wednesday morning it became necessary to strike off another edition to satisfy the demand. That day the police seized it, and it is said that Lamennais is to be prosecuted for treason. I learn, however, that in conjunction with his friend, Pierre Leroux, he has obtained the means of paying the caution-money, the government having decided to reduce the amount to less than five thousand dollars. They intend to commence a new paper together, with the name of the Tribune Socialiste.

Though the government is generally reactionary, I am glad to say that there is one man of liberal views in it. I mean [Charles Gilbert] Tourret, the Minister of Commerce. He has in consideration, and intention too, a plan for a vast reform of commerce. It is necessary, he is convinced, to get rid of the intermediaires, that is to say, of the merchants whose practice it is to buy of the producer at less than the cost of production, and sell to the consumer for more than the actual value of the article. He thinks of establishing great entrepots in the interior of the country, where products can be deposited by the maker, and where the people can go for what they want, and have it without the addition of jobbing or retail profits, and without the adulterations and frauds which the merchants practice, especially on eatables and drinkables. The French trade in the United States he also thinks of arranging in the same manner, by the establishment of depots in the principal cities, managed by the agents of the republic, and furnishing goods directly from the manufacturers, at their prices, with the addition of commissions to cover the bare cost of transportation, storage, agents, &c. I say he intends to do this. I do not wish to speak too strongly; he is favorable to the plan, which meets precisely his ideas of commercial reform, but he may find difficulties in carrying it out. How the merchants would raise the shout of opposition if he should begin to do it! Great is Diana of the Ephesians! Sacred is the right of commerce to fleece the world!

[Alphonse de] Lamartine made a noble speech yesterday, according to all accounts. It was in the Committee of Foreign Affairs, on the policy which France ought to adopt in view of the march of the Russian army to the Danube. In his best efforts, say the members of the Committee who heard him, he never was more eloquent. Unfortunately the speech will not be published, as it related to movements of which the public cannot yet be informed. It is said, however, that it was decidedly in favor of French intervention in behalf of the Wallachians and Moldavians.

The official inquiry in regard to the insurrection has made known some interesting facts. The number of barricades constructed in the four days, was three thousand eight hundred and forty-three: this shows that the insurgents were able to work at something, though they were not very profitable in the national workshops. The number of cartridges issued to the troops and National Guard was upwards of two millions, and all of them were used. Besides this immense quantity of ammunition for small arms, there were also used above three thousand artillery cartridges: this of course was on the side of the authorities alone. The number of shots fired by the rebels can only be guessed at.

The proprietors of the Presse have held a meeting to protest against the stoppage of their paper. They say that of their 70,000 subscribers, they shall lose at least 30,000 by the suspension; this will cause a serious depreciation of the value of the property. The laborers connected with the paper, who are deprived of work, should also, they think, be considered: these consist of 20 editors; 25 clerks; 20 pressmen and assistants; 60 porters; 64 folders; and 500 carriers; all these persons are now out of employment. The stoppage also takes from the public treasury 2,200 francs a day, postages, and deprives the paper makers, ink makers and type founders of a daily demand to the amount of about 4,000 francs! You see that they have larger papers in Paris than we can boast of in America.

The National Assembly is inundated with all sorts of queer petitions. Yesterday one man asked for the abolition of the Episcopate, and of the celibacy of the priesthood; that every priest should be required to practice some branch of productive labor, and that the sacred vessels of the churches be melted and given to the poor! Another man asked a heavy fine to be laid on journalists who should publish false news. This last petition the Assembly laughed at.

The French have been hastening out of Paris in a steady stream for this fortnight, for fear of new insurrections. So great has been the demand for passports, that at the Prefecture of Police it has been necessary to appoint three men to issue them, whereas one is usually enough.

Salut et fraternite. - Bostonian.

Organized Trade in France.

We shall see out of all the turmoil, confusion and revolutions of France, arise a completely new order of things. The process of birth is necessarily painful—is necessarily attended with much waste of substance; but of substance no longer useful, and which must needs be cast off. Yet France will ere long stand before the world in its regenerate form, the paragon of nations. The activity of mind in that nation is without precedent—an activity alive with social sympathies, with the largest purposes of good to the race. Where is the other nation—where has there ever been a nation, so distinguished for ideas as this same French people? They have given the world all the social impulse, which it has had since the dark ages. Our own revolution is well-known to have been the product of French ideas; and at this day, you hear in France a distinct announcement of all the great ideas and principles, which animate the thought of this teeming age. It is more than an announcement of these ideas; it is an earnest effort to synthesize them, to unite them into the single formula of a Unitary Reform. But our object is to call the attention of our readers to the correspondence of the Chronotype, which we give in our columns. We are thankful that at last we have a reliable source of information from Paris. The correspondent of the Chronotype we are intimately acquainted with, and know that his statements of fact are to be relied on, and we believe his conjectures as to the future fate of France will be found to be as well-founded as those of the mercenary editors of English and American papers.

We ask the special attention of our readers to his letter. They will see that the French people have studied the principle of true commerce, with better results as to ideas, than any other nation. And as they are the first people to recognize, even theoretically, the necessity for an organization of labor, so they are the first as a government to recognize the equally pressing necessity for organizing trade.

Tourret, the Minister of Commerce, has hit upon a plan of organizing commerce by the state, which does up in a trice all that the Protective Unionists are patiently laboring to establish here. He proposes to establish entrepots throughout the country, where articles of produce or manufacture can be deposited by the creator, and where the people can obtain what they want, without the intervention of a merchant and jobber. His plan is no less than to afford every person all articles at actual cost, and to supersede the entire class of merchants, jobbers and peddlers. he proposes to extend the same plan to the United States. Will it not be something worthwhile, when we can obtain French silks, broadcloth, and other manufactures at the actual cost of delivering them here from those who produce them, and give them in return the products of our hands, at cost? This would be a free trade which would mean something, and which would be practicable.

The fact is, fellow laborers, the day is at hand when commerce has got to quit its spoliation of labor. We have but little expectation that M. Tourret can carry his scheme into effect at present, on account of the opposition which it will meet with from the traders and mercantile classes, any more than the friends of the working classes have been able to carry out the plan of organizing labor for the same reason. But the crab moves backward, and so does civilization. The direct movement would be to organize labor, and all the other questions of exchange would follow as a matter of course. But we must get at the organization of labor through organizing commerce. When we make it necessary for the hordes of non-producers to become producers, or starve. They will be among the first to call for the organization of attractive industry, as they were the first to decry it. The course of justice is like the agility of a cat; however you may toss it, it always comes right-side up.

Whether Tourret is allowed to carry out his plan at present, or not, there is the new idea and the hospitality of French mind, which never turns any thought out doors, will ere long regard this humble stranger as an exalted guest—as a deliverer.

The Buffalo Convention.

This convention, to which all eyes are now turned with held breath, as the most important event in the way of determining the next presidential election, will have met the day before our next issue. It cannot but be regarded, so it seems to us, by men of all parties and of no party, as the oracle, whose word is to decide the impending contest. It strikes us that no American citizen can be indifferent to its issue, and that no one has a right to be so. We are by no means bound to support the nominee of the Buffalo Convention, and there is but one condition upon which we will support him, and that is that he shall in some good degree represent the claims which labor is so signally asserting in all Europe, as well as in these United States. We do not demand that a candidate shall come fully up to our idea in all things, for if we did, we should wait long before rendering our country any service at the ballot box, and in so far as any action were concerned, might as well be dead, as we should be politically.

The question of the non-extension of slavery, taken by itself, provided that could be done, is a great question. But it is only a very small part of the question of which it forms a part, which is the great question of labor—the question of humanity's right to live in its own free impassioned action—by the fruit of its own free and voluntary pursuits. It is not enough to plant oneself against slavery's extension, but upon its extinction; not against negro chattel slavery alone, but also against white and black wage slavery, wherever it exists. It is of no use to say that a man shall not work as a slave, until you can establish conditions whereby he may work as a free man. It is not negro emancipation alone which the age is calling for; but for the universal redemption of labor. It is not fragments of social architecture, built up into detached and isolated individualities, but its unity, integrity, and the synthesis wherein each fragment finds its complement, in its association with each other. We shall await the decision of the Buffalo Convention, and then we shall make ours. We cannot but wish that they may nominate a man who is a whole man. If they only use their best common sense, and leave unprincipled policy to the Whigs and Democrats, they may elect their candidate and rescue the country from further disgrace.

Comfort for the Rich.

When the time drew nigh that the oxy-hydrogen microscope should be shown, at the Newcastle Polytechnic Exhibition, one night last week, a poor old woman, whose riches will never retard her ascent to heaven, took her seat in the lecture room to witness the wonders that were for the first time to meet her sight. A piece of lace was magnified into a salmon net, a flea was metamorphosed into an elephant, and other marvels were performed before the venerable dame, who sat in astonishment, staring open-mouthed at the disk. But when at length, a milliner's needle was transformed into a poplar tree, and confronted her with its huge eye, she could hold in no longer. "My goodness!" she exclaimed, "a camel could get through that! There's some hopes for the rich folks yet."—English paper.2

Declaration of Women's Rights

The women of Seneca County, NY have recently held a convention at Seneca Falls for the discussion of the existing political, social, and religious disabilities to which woman is now subjected. The subject was discussed for two entire days with the greatest candor, intelligence and dignity, by some of the first women, of this or any other country. Mrs. Lucretia Mott, of Philadelphia, took a conspicuous part in the proceedings of the Convention. Few are willing to admit the fact, and many are not aware of it, that woman in all civilized countries is politically, religiously, and socially enslaved; but we challenge anyone to deny it, after reading the following statement of her grievances, which we take from the Declaration of Sentiments, put forth by the aforesaid Convention. This Declaration, by the way, is not a parody upon our world-famed Declaration of Independence, as the Transcript calls it, but an improved edition, the complement of that instrument. Deny the truth of the following statements who can! We rejoice in that Convention as a significant indication of the tendencies of this age.

Such has been the patient sufferance of the women under this government, and such is now the necessity which constrains them to demand the equal station to which they are entitled. The history of mankind is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations on the part of man toward woman, having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over her. To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has never permitted her to exercise her inalienable right to the elective franchise.

He has compelled her to submit to laws in the formation of which she has had no voice.

He has withheld from her rights which have been given to the most ignorant and degraded men, both natives and foreigners.

He, having deprived her of the first right of a citizen, the elective franchise, thereby leaving her without representation in any house of legislation, has oppressed her on all sides.

He has made her, if married, in the eye of the law civilly dead.

He has taken from her all right in property, even to the wages she earns.

He has made her morally an irresponsible being, as she can commit many crimes with impunity, provided they be done in the presence of her husband. In the covenant of marriage she is compelled to promise obedience to her husband, he becoming to all intents and purposes her master, the law giving him power to deprive her of her liberty and to administer chastisement.

He has so formed the laws of divorce, as to what should be proper causes of divorce, and in case of separation, to whom the guardianship of the children should be given, as to be wholly unjust and regardless of the happiness of woman; the law in all cases going upon the false supposition of the supremacy of man, and giving all power into his hands. After depriving her of all rights as a married woman—if single and the owner of property.

He has taxed her to support a government which recognizes her only when her property can be made profitable to it.

He has monopolized nearly all the means of profitable employment, and in those which she is permitted to follow she secures but a scanty remuneration.

He closes against her all the avenues to wealth and distinction which he considers most honorable to himself.

As a teacher of theology, medicine or law, she is not known.

He has deprived her of the facilities for a thorough education, all colleges being closed against her.

He allows her in church as well as state, but a subordinate position, claiming apostolic authority for her exclusion from the ministry, and with some exceptions from any public participation in the affairs of the church.

He has created a false public sentiment, by giving to the world a different code of morals for man and woman, by which moral delinquencies [that] exclude woman from society are not only tolerated but deemed of little account in man.

He has usurped the prerogative of Jehovah himself, claiming it as his right to assign for her a sphere of action when that belongs to her conscience and her God.

He has endeavored in every way that he could to destroy her confidence in her own powers, to lesser her self-respect, and to make her willing to lead a dependent and abject life.

Now in view of this entire disfranchisement of one-half of the people of this country, their social and religious degradation, in view of the unjust laws above mentioned, and because women do feel themselves aggrieved, oppressed, and fraudulently deprived of their most sacred rights, therefore they do insist upon an immediate admission into all those rights and privileges which belong to them as citizens of these United States. In entering upon this great work, we anticipate no small amount of misconception, misrepresentation and ridicule, but we shall use every reasonable instrument within our power to effect our object. We shall employ agents to circulate tracts, petition the state and National Legislatures, and endeavor to enlist the pulpit and press in our behalf.

Ireland's Prayer. By Augustine Duganne.3

With spirit burning,
For action yearning,
I often think on older Ireland dear,
Whose woes and curses
My heart rehearses,
And weeps forever its bloody tear.
Her brave men dying,
Her maidens sighing,
Her orphans crying,
Great God! to thee,—
Whilst foes insulting,
O'er all exulting,
With shackles bind her who once was free.

O, Power Eternal,
Whose heart supernal
Inclines from heaven when the ravens cry;
Whose arm protects us,
Whose word directs us,
O, God of Justice, look from on high!
Behold a nation,
In tribulation!
In supplication
We bend the knee.
In the name of Jesus,
O God, release us!
From cruel tyrants, O set us free!

O, Christian brothers,
If ye have mothers,—
If ye have sisters or children dear,—
Should famine blight them,
Should plague affright them,
Would ye not call on the world to hear?
O, would ye falter
At Freedom's altar,
When axe and halter
Your eyes might see,
Or cast behind you
The chains that bind you,
And swear by heaven that ye will be free!

O, Ireland! Ireland!
O, suffering sireland!
Arise! arise! from your bloody dust!
No longer single,
Let freemen mingle!
Let green and orange in union trust!
With hands upraising,
With bosoms blazing,
Jehovah praising
For Liberty,—
Once more in grandeur,
Through death and danger,
Our glorious island we'll arise and free!

Note: spelling and punctuation have been slightly modified.

  • 1The Chronotype was a reform-minded newspaper published in Boston, MA by Elizur Wright, who was its founder and editor.
  • 2This humorous bit is in reference to Luke 18:25, "For it is easier for a camel to go through a needle's eye, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God."
  • 3According to the text, it seems Duganne composed this work for the New Era.

Comments

adri

5 months 3 weeks ago

Submitted by adri on December 22, 2023

The first piece above mentions Proudhon if it's of any interest. The Paris correspondent for the Chronotype apparently met with him:

One of the most noted of the leading radicals is M. Proudhon. He is a socialist, and not a socialist. He believes that the people must be saved, but that a commercial reform will relieve the present evils and settle the problem of France. I was at his house the other evening. He is a person of medium size, large head, and serious features; he speaks with warmth and decision, like a man whose convictions are ready for any trial. He explained his system in a rapid and clear manner, and he spoke of the crisis and what must be done. Against the moneyed class his eloquence was like a flood; they had slaughtered the people like brute beasts, rather than yield a sliver of their ill-got gains. Of theorists and students, he said, no more were wanted; they darkened counsel; of tinkering with political institutions they had too much; as to the question of one president, or three, he was indifferent; some said a good philosopher, a man of science, was needed to solve the tangled web, and bring light instead of darkness. A philosopher!—science! No, not a philosopher, but a Spartacus; not science, but the breaking of chains. No more discussing and talking, but action without rest!

Such is M. Proudhon, in private a man of the most gentle manners and of varied culture, but behind [him] all this revolutionary spirit, shooting up as in jets of flame. He has published the Representant du Peuple daily since the revolution. On Sunday last he proposed in it a petition to the Assembly, signed by such numbers as to make it a command, calling for the reduction of one-sixth from all rents about to fall due, one-half of the sum deducted to go to the state—the other half to the tenant. This was considered a direct attack upon property—which he has several times declared to be only a continuous robbery. Next day the paper was suspended by the order of the government. He will resume it again as soon as the siege is raised. The Fourierites, by the way, he dislikes very heartily; they are too quiet and pacific, and then they go for individual property.

What is the destiny of a country which contains many such men as Proudhon? One would say either to kill them, or be convulsed by them.

There's also some (not very positive) commentary on a book by the American anarchist Lysander Spooner in Vol. 3 No. 9.