THE plea that a people cannot govern themselves is the tyrant’s justification of his usurpation of power. Christianity affirms the right and the duty of every man to govern himself; and to say that a people cannot govern themselves is therefore to deny the truth of Christianity. A people who have had little contact with civilization may not be able to govern themselves in the complex fashion of “highly civilized” nations, but their government will be no less self-government because it must needs be simple. Very much that pertains to “advanced” civilization might be dispensed with vastly to the profit of the losers. Even the beasts and birds of the forest have the capacity to govern themselves according to their natures, and are a good deal happier and better of in doing so than when under the control of man.
SCARCELY a day passes without the announcement of the consolidation of business enterprises in a certain line of industry, into a “trust;” the object in every case being, of course, to control the output of the goods, and through that to dictate the price to the people. All restrict the sphere of individual enterprise, and by this interfere with individual independence. All are essentially bad; but the worst one of all is the religious trust, which aims to freeze out and stamp out by legislation every religion except its own.
WE have failed as a nation to live up to the high ideal of government set forth in the Declaration of Independence, as shown by various practices, institutions, laws, and court decisions contrary to this ideal, which mark the nation’s history from 1776 to 1899. Therefore let us throw that ideal aside altogether and set up a different one with which these failings can be harmonized(!) This is the sum and substance of one of the main argumnents put forth in favor of imperialism.