JTEALTII AND CAPITAL.
TO THE ranon or THE HERALD.
Sir,-I read Mr Abbott's effusion of to-day with a smile. It is most interesting and amusing, and it affords a striking exemplification of "where there is no case abuse the other side." Judging from this production however it is scarcely to be expected that capitalistic advocates of this type can be classed amongst the most amiable or agreeable of men. To use for the purpose of controverting an argument the epithets illogical wishy-washy, Domain loafers, drunkards, incapables, &c., may no doubt be the easiest and most natural method available to the writer in distress but Mr Abbott is more to be pitied than blamed. He gives us his best and choicest
With regard to having shirked answering his ques- tion whether it was a sin for a working man to save £1 per week the reason I did not notice it was that it appeared to me too silly a question to be asked seriously. I thought he was only what is called "poking borac" or joking. However, if it will prove any balm to his ruffled feelings, I must admit that I cannot see any special wickedness in his doing so but I shall require the loan of Mr Abbott's spec- tacles before I shall be able to perceive the possibility of his doing so, and I don't think his chances in that direction will improve if there should be any increase in political economists of Mr Abbott's type.
Of course with patriots of a certain class, with whom self is the first and most important object of interest, everything is for the best in this best of all possible worlds, especially when one is on the sunny side of the hedge. To those, however, who are not blind to the stern facts of life the position of the modem workman is more wretched than the slave of olden times and as competition increases, the condition of the mass of workers will become still more so, for the serf was fed by his master, but the modern worker is fed by no master, and if his position is one of more liberty than that of the serf, it is principally the liberty in times of depression of sleeping in the Domam, and dying of semi-starva- tion and exposure. Consider, again, the position of those unfortunates in the over-crowded so-called liberal professions, who, under the prosont cruel system, trample one another into the dust until joyous and happy life, the gift of a beneficent Creator, becomes a hideous struggle of swine in a trough-a fierce battlo for existence, in which all good feelings are stifled, where justice is a delusion and charity a snare, and selfishness, brutality, aud avarice reign supreme. Existence is beginning to assume for such its gravest and most hideous form, and the startling increase in the number of suicides points to the terrible condition of society. So under existing social conditions, with the spread of education, will the terrors of existence increase and be augmented. Owiug to the fact that educated individuals feel more intensely and are capable of increased moral suffering, they feel existing injustice more keenly, and are better able to trace the cause; they therefore bear with more impatience than the wages-receiving class the burdens imposed upon them by the present in- ternal economy of society. These are the failures who, as Mr. Abbott would say, aro not worth their salt, and whom rich men who measure worth by wealth generally despise but they are the vanguard of that army now besieging the proud army of society, and who will either reconstruct it or perish
in its ruins.
In conclusion, the doctrine of unrestricted compe- tition, including the theory "iron law of wages," with its corollary " survival of the fittest," when applied to human souls is horrible and diabolical. How can any civilised, not to say Christian, community support a theory which, being manifestly selfish, ruthless, nay, even devilish, cuts away the roots of all religion, and con- stitutes justice a mockery and charity a farce? Such a development of natural law is suited only to the capacity of the natural savage, whose doctrine is "Might is right," and whose only God is brute force.
I am, &c..