Friday, April 20, 2007

Alfred B. Westrup, Let Us Emancipate the Race

Alfred B. Westrup, "Let Us Emancipate the Race," The North American Review, CCVIII, 752 (July 1819), 159.

LET US EMANCIPATE THE RACE

Sir,—I write you because of the imperative demand for a change in our economic system, which is the cause of all the evils we are suffering. Bellamy has shown very clearly in his master work, Equality, that if the wealth that is produced were equitably distributed, these evils would disappear! Lift the burdens that modern civilization has imposed and let us get a chance to surround ourselves with the comforts that man has invented, and the viciousness that dominates man’s efforts to acquire wealth would also disappear. The profit system is not a result of free competition, but of class legislation which our Government is criminally guilty of, and there is no way to get relief except by starting a system that will supply money on the mutual plan affording the borrower an opportunity to use his credit instead of being compelled to use the lender’s capital. I shall be exceedingly glad to hear from you on this point. There can be no question about an overwhelming majority favoring this idea if it could be put to the public so as to afford all an opportunity to understand it. Authority has not a single argument with which to defend itself for having established a monopoly of the medium of exchange; or, to put it more forcibly, prohibited the people from establishing a medium of exchange and compelled them to use a makeshift that was devised for speculative purposes in which the people were to be the victims. The fact is that governments are not established to sustain right, as the Declaration affirms, but to prevent man from getting his rights. It is the great delusion that we are dependent on government to get our rights. We will never get them until we take them and public opinion sustains the act. Oh, that a man could be found that has the influence and means to force this issue, and thus emancipate the human race!

Alfred B. Westrup.

Chicago, Ill.

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