The Unpopular Review, Volume II Number 3 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 220 pages of information about The Unpopular Review, Volume II Number 3.
service, is becoming a compromising possession.  We are already somewhat suspicious of the personal integrity and political honor of those who receive their incomes from railways or electric lighting plants; and the odor of gas stocks is unmistakable.  Even the land, once the retreat of high birth and serene dignity, is beginning to exhale a miasma of corruption.  “Enriched by unearned increment”—­who wishes such an epitaph?  A convention is to be held in a western city in this very year, to announce to the world that the delegates and their constituencies—­all honest lovers of mankind—­will refuse in future to recognize any private title to land or other natural resources.  Holders of such property, by continuing to be such, will place themselves beyond the pale of human society, and will forfeit all claim to sympathy when the day dawns for the universal confiscation of land.

III

The existence of categories of property interests resting under a growing weight of social disapprobation, is giving rise to a series of problems in private ethics that seem almost to demand a rehabilitation of the art of casuistry.  A very intelligent and conscientious lady of the writer’s acquaintance became possessed, by inheritance, of a one-fourth interest in a Minneapolis building the ground floor of which is occupied by a saloon.  Her first endeavor was to persuade her partners to secure a cancellation of the liquor dealer’s lease.  This they refused to do, on the ground that the building in question is, by location, eminently suited to its present use, but very ill suited to any other; and that, moreover, the lessee would immediately reopen his business on the opposite corner.  To yield to their partner’s desire would therefore result in a reduction of their own profits, but would advance the public welfare not one whit.  Disheartened by her partners’ obstinacy, my friend is seeking to dispose of her interest in the building.  As she is willing to incur a heavy sacrifice in order to get rid of her complicity in what she considers an unholy business, the transfer will doubtless soon be made.  Her soul will be lightened of the profits from property put to an anti-social use.  But the property will still continue in such use, and profits from it will still accrue to someone with a soul to lose or to save.

In her fascinating book, Twenty Years at Hull House, Miss Jane Addams tells of a visit to a western state where she had invested a sum of money in farm mortgages.  “I was horrified,” she says, “by the wretched conditions among the farmers, which had resulted from a long period of drought, and one forlorn picture was fairly burned into my mind....  The farmer’s wife [was] a picture of despair, as she stood in the door of the bare, crude house, and the two children behind her, whom she vainly tried to keep out of sight, continually thrust forward their faces, almost covered by masses of coarse, sunburned

Copyrights
Project Gutenberg
The Unpopular Review, Volume II Number 3 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
Follow Us on Facebook