Caesar's Column eBook

Ignatius Donnelly
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 287 pages of information about Caesar's Column.
but who have inspired the others to make demand after demand upon the government for increased pay, knowing that they held everything in their power.  The Oligarchy has been constrained to yield to these demands, which have only led, under our inspiration, to still greater claims; and it is our hope that before long the rulers will refuse to go farther in that direction; and then, in the discontent that will inevitably follow, the men will yield to our approaches.  It will be the old story over again—­the army that was called in to defend effete Rome at last took possession of the empire and elected the emperors.  This is the fate that cruelty and injustice ultimately bring upon their own heads—­they are devoured by their instruments.  As Manfred says: 

     “’The spirits I have raised abandon me;
     The spells that I had recked of torture me.’”

“You are right,” I replied; “there is nothing that will insure permanent peace but universal justice:  that is the only soil that grows no poisons.  Universal justice means equal opportunities for all men and a repression by law of those gigantic abnormal selfishnesses which ruin millions for the benefit of thousands.  In the old days selfishness took the form of conquest, and the people were reduced to serfs.  Then, in a later age, it assumed the shape of individual robbery and murder.  Laws were made against these crimes.  Then it broke forth in the shape of subtle combinations, ‘rings,’ or ‘trusts,’ as they called them, corporations, and all the other cunning devices of the day, some of which scarcely manifested themselves on the surface, but which transferred the substance of one man into the pockets of another, and reduced the people to slavery as completely and inevitably as ever the robber barons of old did the original owners of the soil of Europe.”

CHAPTER XII.

GABRIEL’S UTOPIA

“But what would you do, my good Gabriel,” said Maximilian, smiling, “if the reformation of the world were placed in your hands?  Every man has an Utopia in his head.  Give me some idea of yours.”

“First,” I said, “I should do away with all interest on money.  Interest on money is the root and ground of the world’s troubles.  It puts one man in a position of safety, while another is in a condition of insecurity, and thereby it at once creates a radical distinction in human society.”

“How do you make that out?” he asked.

“The lender takes a mortgage on the borrower’s land or house, or goods, for, we will say, one-half or one-third their value; the borrower then assumes all the chances of life in his efforts to repay the loan.  If he is a farmer, he has to run the risk of the fickle elements.  Rains may drown, droughts may burn up his crops.  If a merchant, he encounters all the hazards of trade; the bankruptcy of other tradesmen; the hostility of the elements sweeping away agriculture, and so affecting commerce; the tempests

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Caesar's Column from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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