The accuracy of this reference was challenged by a young Socialist, after the address. I have not read Capital for many years but think I cannot be far wrong in my statement and, in any case, the conception as stated, whether accurately Marxian or not, is the conception of all who give vitality to Socialism in this country. Hence, I do not take the time to verify my recollection. I am a busy man and it is no light thing to tackle Capital with intent to extract its precise meaning. Multitudes who have tried it have failed. Perhaps I was one of them. Of course Marx recognized the value of Labor other than manual, but his appeal was to manual workers and it is mainly they who have responded.
 Some of these counts would bear subdividing but they would come out all right. Any syllogism will come out all right when you assume the premises.
A Critique of Socialism
To the Ruskin Club
When your Mr. Bamford wrote me that the Ruskin Club was out hunting trouble, and that if I would come over here the bad men of the club would “do me up,” I confess my first impulse was to excuse myself from the proffered hospitality. In the first place, as I have never posed as a social champion I had no reputation at stake and I was horribly afraid. Secondly, while my reading of Socialist and Anti-Socialist literature is the reverse of extensive, I am very sure that nothing can be said for or against Socialism which has not already been said many times, and so well said that a fair collection of Anti-Socialist literature would make a punching-bag solid enough to absorb the force of the most energetic of pugilists. Finally, the inutility of such a sally presented itself forcibly, since there is, so far as I know, no record of the reformation of a Socialist after the habit is once firmly established. But while at first these considerations were all against my putting on my armor, in the end the instinct of eating and fighting, which is as forceful in the modern savage, under the veneer of civilization, as in our unpolished progenitors, overcame all considerations of prudence, and here I am to do battle according to my ability. I promise to strike no foul blows and not to dodge the most portentous of whacks, but to ride straight at you and hit as hard as I can.
A Critique of Socialism
While it is doubtless true that no one can live in the world without in some degree modifying his environment, it is also true that the influence of a single person is seldom appreciable or his opinion upon Social questions of sufficient importance to excite curiosity, but I confess that when I listen to an address intended to be thoughtful, I enjoy it more or at any rate endure it better, if I have some knowledge of the mental attitude of the speaker toward his general subject. Thinking that possibly those who hear me this evening may have the same feeling, I begin by saying that I earnestly favor a just distribution of comfort. I suppose that if I should analyze the mental processes leading to that wish, I should find toward the bottom a conviction that if each had his due I should be better off. The objection to the Socialistic program is that it would prevent a just distribution of comfort.