The more I have seen, and the more I have conversed with Maximilian, the more clearly I perceive that the civilized world is in a desperate extremity. This Brotherhood of Destruction, with its terrible purposes and its vast numbers, is a reality. If the ruling class had to deal only with a brutalized peasantry, they might, as they did in other ages, trample them into animal-like inability to organize and defend themselves. But the public school system, which, with the other forms of the Republic, is still kept up, has made, if not all, at least a very large percentage of the unhappy laboring classes intelligent. In fact, they are wonderfully intelligent; their organizations have been to them clubs, debating societies and legislatures. And you know that all the greatest minds of the earth have come out of the masses, if not directly, at least after one or two removes. The higher aristocracy have contributed but very few to the honored catalogue of men of pre-eminent genius. And therefore you will not be surprised to hear that in these great organizations there have arisen, from among the very laborers, splendid orators, capable organizers, profound students of politics and political economy, statesmen and masterly politicians. Nature, which knows no limit to her capacity for the creation of new varieties, and, dealing with hundreds of millions, has in numerable elements to mingle in her combinations, has turned out some marvelous leaders among these poor men. Their hard fortunes have driven out of their minds all illusions, all imagination, all poetry; and in solemn fashion they have bent themselves to the grim and silent struggle with their environment. Without imagination, I say, for this seems to me to be a world without a song.
And it is to the credit of these great masses that they are keen enough to recognize the men of ability that rise up. among them, and even out of their poor, hard-earned resources to relieve them of the necessity for daily toil, that they may devote themselves to the improvement of their minds, and the execution of the great tasks assigned them. There is no doubt that if the ruling classes had been willing to recognize these natural leaders as men of the same race, blood, tongue and capacity as themselves, and had reached down to them a helping and kindly hand, there might have been long since a coming together of the two great divisions of society; and such a readjustment of the values of labor as would, while it insured happiness to those below, have not materially lessened the enjoyments of those above. But the events which preceded the great war against the aristocracy in 1640, in England; the great revolution of 1789, in France; and the greater civil war of 1861, in America, all show how impossible it is, by any process of reasoning, to induce a privileged class to peacefully yield up a single tittle of its advantages. There is no bigotry so blind or intense as that of caste; and long established wrongs are only to be rooted out by fire