The Socialism of G. Lowes Dickinson
IT chanced that two sociological books published this spring fell into my hands at the same time; Morris Hillquit’s Socialism in Theory and Practice and G. Lowes Dickinson’s Justice and Liberty;1 and reading them together, I was led to ask myself how men of so diverse tempers could hold, or profess to hold, the same doctrine. Mr. Hillquit, I saw, was at least consistent with himself; his reconstructed society of the future is a natural outgrowth from his attitude toward that of the present. Whether he really understands the present, and whether his reconstruction of the future is humanly possible, are, of course, other questions.
Orthodox economy, in the person of the doughty M. Leroy-Beaulieu, contends that no communistic exploitation of labor would be sufficiently productive to maintain civilization; the economists may decide. So, too, the psychologist alone can determine whether any equalized system of distribution would create a condition of content among the individuals capable of stability. The historian must say whether evolution from a slave-holding régime, through the dominance of the feudal baron and of the “captain of industry,” points logically to a self-guiding society, or merely to another change of masters. And, finally, it remains for the moralist to ask whether a revolution based avowedly on class-hatred would not result in a grosser form of egotism, rather than in Mr. Hillquit’s beatific vision of a “ worldwide solidarity,” and of a state in which
“ the question of right and wrong is entirely obviated, since no normal conduct of the individual can hurt society, and all . acts of society must benefit the individual.”
These are brave matters, indeed, and whilst the debate goes on with words, and sometimes with blows, the mere man of letters might do well to hug the wall and chant his “ Ailinon ! ailinon ! — sing woe, sing woe, but may the Good prevail.”
With Mr. Hillquit and the honorable economists of his type, I have no argument; they are out of my range. But Mr. Dickinson, who is himself really just a man of letters, however high he may stand in the craft, I am able to follow; and I seem to detect an inconsistency in his procedure, something more than a logical fault, which, if I am wrong, he may some day in his suave manner quite explain away. Meanwhile, I should have supposed that he belonged to the class of M. Anatole France rather than of Mr. Hillquit, with less of irony and more of moral earnestness, no doubt, than the wicked Parisian, but still moved at bottom by the same irritated refinement of taste. If that be so, his descent into the political maelstrom ought to have ended in some such débâcle of horror as closes M. France’s L’Ile des Pinqouins, wherein the reader is left with the spectacle of a civilization crowded into a monstrous city, evidently suggested by New York, alternating with a state of barbarism into which it is periodically thrown by a socialistic insurrection, and from which it slowly emerges to the same hideous nightmare of commercialism. To be sure, M. France has himself sat on the pierre blanche, dreaming the dream of a regenerated world, and it may be that Mr. Dickinson will yet take the same step from fancy to despair. But for the present his profession of faith, as it may be read in Justice and Liberty, closes with an avowed adherence to that party of progressive materialism from whose temperament his own would seem to be of all temperaments the furthest removed. 1 I am perfectly aware that Socialists are all things against all men, and will at a pinch slip from socialism to anarchism, or from materialism to idealism, in a quite bewildering manner. But I believe that my thesis represents their most continuous argument.
In one respect Mr. Dickinson stands with the more practical socialists, in so far as he, like them, is exercised by a profound discontent with the present social order. That deep-seated feeling underlies all his discussions, rising at the last in Justice and Liberty to a clamorous outcry against a society which is “ a silly, sordid muddle, grown up out of centuries of violence and perpetuated in centuries of stupidity and greed,” but expressed more bitingly, if more judiciously, in the earlier Letters, wherein an imaginary follower of Confucius sets forth the lack of an ethical basis in Western civilization, its absolute divorce between religion and practice, its vain endeavor to accomplish through government meddling what in China springs naturally from the institution of the family, its inherent and suicidal unrest. “ Your triumphs in the mechanical arts,” observes this bland Oriental, “ are the obverse of your failure in all that calls for spiritual insight. . . . Ratiocination has taken the place of perception; and your whole life is an infinite syllogism from premises you have not examined to conclusions you have not anticipated or willed. Everywhere means, nowhere an end! Society a huge engine, and that engine itself out of gear! ”
No socialist could express a more complete animosity toward existing conditions, but the grounds of their discontent are utterly different, and it is precisely in this difference that I see the difficulty of associating Mr. Dickinson in any peaceful bond with such writers as Mr. Hillquit — to take the latest comer. These writers, it is clear, have no part in the regret for the past, such as troubles the imagination of the poet and scholar; rather they are of those who reach out passionate, protesting hands to make, as Mr. Dickinson says, “a cupidinous ravishment of the future.” Their quarrel with present ills is not because time affords so small a recompense for all it takes away, but because it withholds so grudgingly its promise of good. The tendency of things to them is altogether right; only by persuasion or violence they would hasten its course.
Starting with a thorough acceptance of the grande industrie as it now rules society, they aim only to carry this law to what they regard as its scientific conclusion. They are no recalcitrants against “ the proud magnificence of trade.” On the contrary, they are merely a part of the larger tendency, which for a century and more has been gaining visibly in acceleration, to glorify industry, commerce, labor, as things desirable in themselves and inevitable to progress. Their old testament is Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations, from which individualist and collectivist alike take origin; and their Messiah is Karl Marx, with whom they agree in this, if in nothing else, that the controlling forces of the world are material, that the changing social order with its creeds and professions is entirely the result of economic forces, and that productive labor is the sole economic measure of values.2 They can point to philosophers and grave historians as authority for their faith in the cash nexus — to Guglielmo Ferrero, to cite the scholar we are all reading these days, who accounts for the Roman conquest of the world by “ the growth of a nationalist and industrial democracy on the ruins of a federation of agricultural aristocracies.”
Now, the faith of these men in industrial evolution I can understand, but with the type of writers of which Mr. Dickinson is so eminent an example it is another matter. It may be a fault of interpretation, but as I read his books, even his profession of socialism, I involuntarily class him with the long line of philosophers who have averted their eyes from industry as from a degrading influence. To them the power that raises individuals and communities has been rather that honestum which Cicero defined as something laudable in itself, apart from all utility and without thought of reward or fruit. They are of the line of the witty Lord Halifax, who thought that “ when by habit a man cometh to have a bargaining soul, its wings are cut, so that it can never soar; ” of that clerk of the India House, honest Elia, who called upon earthquakes to swallow up the “ ‘ gripple merchants,’ as Drayton hath it, ‘ born to be the curse of this brave isle; ' ” of that anarchical vagabond, if the comparison may be offered without offense, who tramped about Concord and who in his Journal wrote down business as more opposed than crime to poetry, and as “ a negation of life; ” of the gravely ironical Cardinal Newman, who rebuked the political economists for their theory “ that the pursuit of wealth, that is, the endeavor to accumulate the means of future subsistence and enjoyment, is, to the mass of mankind, the great source of moral improvement.” In a word, for examples might be heaped up without end, they are by temperament inclined to believe that any true advance from an industrial stage of society must be through some force working contrary to the principle of industrialism and not within it. Whether, I repeat, their attitude is in harmony with the nature of things, is another question; I am concerned with their self-consistency.
Now, this is no fanciful opposition of classes, nor does it spring from any mere theoretical disagreement. I will not presume to say that I have tracked the dividing cause to its last secret lair; he who could do that would possess such a clue to the divergent ramifications of human character as no man has ever yet laid hold of. But it is plain to see that with this opposition goes the contrast of temperaments which we call loosely democratic and aristocratic, and which is perhaps more precisely defined by the dislike or like of distinction. Not labor itself, the labor improbus of the poet, makes the difference, for the true aristocrat, whether in politics or the arts, has often been addicted to the severest toil. It is expressed rather in the phrase laborvalue.
Adam Smith marked the point of divergence in his famous text: “ Labor alone, therefore, never varying in its own value, is alone the ultimate and real standard by which the value of all commodities can at all times and places be estimated and compared.” He himself, to be sure, has adverted in passing to the public admiration which makes part of the reward of the arts and sciences, and, indeed, some orthodox socialists have not denied this principle. As in all human theories, the question is one of emphasis; it is the stress laid on laborvalue that separates the socialist from the school to which Mr. Dickinson should seem to belong. For distinction is precisely that quality in man or object which is incommensurable by labor; it is, to wrest a word from the vocabulary of the enemy, the true plus-value.
On that estimation and reverence which has no basis in labor-value, which goes with the concealment of labor or at least with the suppression of labor-value, hangs the whole aristocratic ideal. You will find this theory set forth unmistakably in Castiglione’s portrait of the gentleman whose distinguishing trait is a grace arising from a certain sprezzatura or disdain of apparent toil. It is elaborated with endless repetition in the letters of Lord Chesterfield to his son, with their insistence on the Suaviter in modo, fortiter in re, and on the necessity of hiding a strenuous application under the arts and graces of life.
Mr. Dickinson himself, in his Modern Symposmm, has somewhat grudgingly set forth, and in Justice and Liberty has caricatured, a society whose tone and march are given by those who are preeminent from no personal achievement, but from the deference bestowed on rank and possessions achieved in the past. The justification of such a society, if justification it have, is in the value of a distinction created or maintained by the imagination. It presupposes that the ideal of a family set apart by a certain illusion, if you please, of the people for the higher ends of life will, imperfectly no doubt, work itself out in a practice of honor and beauty and wise control. It believes that the concealment of labor in an inherited name may have this power of the imagination.
The difference is even more evident in literature and art. The common distrust of socialism among those who really cherish the imagination is soundly based; and socialists, in replying to that distrust, have fallen into the vaguest generalizations, or have frankly avowed that no scheme of socializing this form of production without destroying its inspiration has yet been devised. “ The domain of the arts is to-day practically the last resting-place of the ‘ superman,’ ” says our helpful friend, Mr. Hillquit: rightly as regards the implied attitude of his class; quite wrongly in so far as he affiliates the true distinction with a Nietzschean individualism rather than with a community of the imagination, giving and taking honor, which is the very opposite of a material or economic collectivism.
There was something more than grim humor in the remark of a socialist made in my hearing: “ We must first kill the poets! ” He meant to say that labor in itself affords no measure for valuing the production of the artist, as the tragedy and honor of life too openly shown Sir Joshua Reynolds, in his marvelously wise Discourses, has seen the force of this law. “ The value and rank,” he says, “ of every art is in proportion to the mental labor employed in it, or the mental pleasure produced by it. As this principle is observed or neglected, our profession becomes either a liberal art or a mechanical trade.” And further: “ The great end of the art is to strike the imagination. The painter, therefore, is to make no ostentation of the means by which this is done; the spectator is only to feel the result in his bosom. An inferior artist is unwilling that any part of his industry should be lost upon the spectator.”
Not the picture or the poem that has cost the greatest toil is most highly prized and rewarded; and indeed the manifestation of toil, however much may have been expended, is directly harmful to the finished production. The value depends on the innate sense of distinction, or on the bastard sister of distinction which we call rarity. Industrialism is entirely consistent with itself in harboring a secret or avowed contempt for those works of the imagination which escape its means of estimation; just as a democracy is inherently jealous of distinction of manners.
If I do Mr. Dickinson a wrong in placing him, a professed socialist, in the class of those naturally opposed to socialism, it will be because I misjudge his writings. I find in these, to begin with, a distinction of mere language, a style marked by a rare delicacy of phrase and cadence, even verging at times on a too refined self-consciousness. To pass, for instance, from Mr. Hillquit’s pages to this Cambridge don’s is like changing from homespun, very good spun in this case, to an attire of silk. His language is shot through with imaginative, above its utilitarian values.
And the ideas from which he starts are in accordance with his style. If you will open his early volume on The Greek View of Life, you will discover where his heart really lies. “ With the Greek civilization, beauty perished from the world,” he says; and although he admits sadly that the dissolution of that harmonious life was inevitable, yet he cannot avoid gazing back upon it regretfully, as upon the “ fairest and happiest halting-place in the secular march of men.” One observes, too, almost a secret satisfaction in his allusions to the Platonic and Aristotelian theory of mechanical toil as derogatory to the status of a citizen. “ To regard the ‘ working-class,’” he says — and his statement cannot be dissevered from his praise of the Greek state as the fairest memory and the highest hope of mankind, — “ to regard the ‘ workingclass ’ as the most important section of the community, to substitute for the moral or political the economic standpoint, and to conceive society merely as a machine for the production and distribution of wealth, would have been impossible to an ancient Greek.”
Temperamentally, it is evident, Mr. Dickinson is with the Greeks. The tragedy of his evolution — if tragedy is not too harsh a word — springs from his wistful admiration of that fair Hellenic harmony joined with a sense that it rested on ephemeral foundations. Excellence in Greece, he thinks with some exaggeration of the fact, was confined to a privileged class and demanded the subordination of the many to the few: —
“ But this limitation was felt, in the development of consciousness, to be selfcontradictory; and the next great system of ethics that succeeded to that of Aristotle, postulated an end of action that should be . . . open alike to all classes of mankind. The ethics of a privileged class were thus expanded into the ethics of humanity; but this expansion was fatal to its essence, which had depended on the very limitations by which it was destroyed.”
The aim of philosophy, then, is to discover some practice, or theory leading to practice, which may bring back to the world that vanished grace, while not circumscribing its benefits; in a word, to reconcile individual excellence with absolute justice. But, first of all, we must clear our minds as to what is the real goal and desire of humanity, about which the idea of justice plays; and to that end moves the discussion of The Meaning of Good, a subtle and somewhat perplexed dialogue after the manner of Cicero’s De Finibus. Fortunately for the reader, to this long pursuit of the summum bonum, which like a will o’ the wisp flickers now here, now there, over a vast illusory field, the author has prefixed a careful analysis of his argument. The negative and unphilosophical aspects of the question are first considered, and reasons are given for rejecting the opinion, on the one side, that our ideas about the Good have no relation to fact, and on the other side the opinion that we have such easy and simple criteria of the Good as infallible instinct or the course of Nature or current conventions or pleasure.
Some deeper experience of the heart must be discovered than these, some foundation in that conscious activity which is of the individual and yet pertains to the whole. It cannot be merely the good of future generations, for to be real it must be present. It cannot be merely the scientific notion of the benefit of the species, for this introduces an incompatibility between the one and the many, leaving the Good to hang, as it were, in the air, being the good of nobody at all. And so we are led by subtlest interrogatories to detect the inadequacy of theory after theory: — that all activities are good, and that what seems bad in each, viewed in isolation, is seen to be good in a general survey of them all; that the Good consists in ethical activity, in art, in knowledge.
Finally, we are left to the hypothesis that the Good must abide in our relation to other persons, and is nothing other than love. Here we have set before us, as the end of our conscious activity, not ideas, but objects, — objects which are good in themselves and harmonious to our own nature, and are alone really intelligible. Such love, indeed, to satisfy our innate craving must be more perfect than that which is possible to our present flawed existence, and must have an eternal endurance. Unless the soul as we know it is immortal, and love itself a perpetual possession beyond the bars of time, then are we baffled and abandoned of our aspirations; there is no Good, but only illusion and hope.
Such is the Christian ideal which superseded the decay of the ancient world ; it is religious, in the narrower sense of looking to a future recompense for present imperfections and of demanding a relation of separate personalities, in contrast to the philosophy of Greece, which was immediate and impersonal. But what if we have no assurance of this recompense ? To this doubt Mr. Dickinson applies himself in the next stage of his investigation, Religion: a Criticism and a Forecast. Our belief in revelation he admits to have been remorselessly exploded; supernatural knowledge of no sort can we have. There remains to us faith: —
“ When I speak here of faith, I speak, of an attitude which is not primarily intellectual at all, and which is quite compatible with — nay, which depends upon — intellectual agnosticism; for it presupposes that, in the region to which it applies, we do not know. The attitude I would describe is one of the emotions and the will — the laying hold, in the midst of ignorance, of a possibility that may be true, and directing our feeling and our conduct in accordance with it. In its broadest sense. I would say it is an emotional and volitional assumption that, somehow or other, in spite of appearances, things are all right. . . . Faith should stand always with the dagger of science pointed at its breast. It need not fear. It has its resurrections. . . . The frailest thing we know, it is also the least perishable, for it is a tongue of the central fire that burns at the heart of the world.”
We have, thus, On the one hand, our present unlovely civilization, as it seems to Mr. Dickinson, in which humanity has grown to a perception of this faith whose substance is the perfectibility of love; and, on the other hand, the lost harmony of life actually attained by some men under the pagan dispensation. The next step was to see that the salvation of society depends on the union of this newly learned summum bonum with the working of beauty; on the amalgamation, that is, of the Christian and the Hellenic ideals. Such a reconciliation Mr. Dickinson points to, in what is, to my judgment, the most perfectly composed of all his books, A Modern Symposium. Here, with a dramatic skill that deserts him in none of his dialogues, and with an added sense of fair play that he sometimes forgets, he allows the upholders of various theories of government to set forth their views in a series of marvelously sympathetic speeches. At the end, after Tory and Liberal, Socialist and Anarchist, and all the others, have exposed the evils of society and offered their remedies, the word is taken up by Geoffry Vivian, a man of letters, in whom it is not hard to recognize the author himself: —
“ Of which the chief [evil] is Property, most cruel and blind of all, who devours us, ere we know it, in the guise of Security and Peace, killing the bodies of some, the souls of most, and growing ever fresh from the root, in forms that but seem to be new, until the root itself be cut away by the sword of the spirit. What that sword shall be called, socialism, anarchy, what you will, is small matter, so but the hand that wields it be strong, the brain clear, the soul illumined, passionate, and profound. . . .
“ Therefore, the gods [of Greece] are eternal; not they die, but we, when we think them dead. And no man who does not know them, and knowing, worship and love, is able to be a member of the body of Man. Thus it is that the sign of a step forward is a look backward; and Greece stands eternally at the threshold of the new life. Forget her, and you sink back, if not to the brute, to the insect. Consider the ant, and beware of her! She is there as a warning. In universal Anthood there are no ants. From that fate may men save Man!
“But the pagan gods were pitiless; they preyed upon the weak. Their wisdom was rooted in folly, their beauty in squalor, their love in oppression. So fostered, those flowers decayed. And out of the rotting soil rose the strange new blossoms we call Faith, and Hope, and Charity. . . . That was the Christian Trinity, the echo of man’s frustration, as the other was the echo of his accomplishment. Yet he needs both.”
I have quoted at length because in this confession of the man of letters I seem to come closer than anywhere else to his real habit of thinking. In that angry revolt from a form of civilization dominated by the cruel and ugly laws of property, in the passionate desire of noble self-development symbolized to him by Hellas, in the longing backward glance toward a grace of the vanished past, in the feeling that somehow, in some faraway Advent, this self-development may be wedded with universal charity, — in all this I see the inspiration that is drawing many troubled minds to these preciously wrought dialogues. Nor is it the least significant part of his manifesto at this stage that the promise of redemption is left so vague and emotional. Socialism or anarchy — either will do, so that it wields the dividing and healing sword of the spirit. Only it is clear that the idea of socialism fills him with a certain apprehension, in so far as such a régime threatens to absorb the individual in the mass and to reduce mankind to the level monotony of the ants and bees. And, in fact, of the speeches that precede this closing confession of the man of letters, the most persuasive, the one that seems to flow most warmly from the author’s own breast, is that of the anarchist.
To the reader of Mr. Dickinson’s successive volumes it must therefore have appeared as a kind of volte-face when, in his next book, he ranged himself frankly with the socialists. No doubt it would be possible to discover in his earlier works signs that pointed in this direction as in other directions, but, unless I have misread his meaning, there is a real inconsistency in the step from the Symposium to Justice and Liberty. I am confirmed in this view by the actual picture of the state he draws in prophecy. To be sure, the theorems of the party are not blinked.
“ Property is theft,” he says with Proudhon; with the socialists he makes no sharp distinction between the slow evo-. lutionary alteration of human character, if such there be, and the quick change, under the influence of new institutions, in the outward manifestation of unchanged nature; he believes that, in a government planned for the equal good of all, all will be content, and the desire to exceed will cease; he predicts prettily a time when various occupations will not create various interests, and the dock-laborer, the carpenter, the professor, and the financier will lie down in peace together; yet withal, like other socialists, he feels the difficulty of according an artificial scheme of distribution with any conceivable state of human nature, and for a solution gropes in the ways of a dark psychology. In all this, he is at one with his professed creed.
But there are signs of uneasiness. He himself is aware, or so appears to be, of the different route by which he has traveled to this golden land. Class-hatred, which has been the slogan of the party, and which forms not only its political driving force but its principle of solidarity, — as nothing so unites men as a common object of fear or envy, — he openly repudiates. “ Where it [socialism] errs,” he thinks, “ is in the attempt — in a reaction against utopianism — to eliminate altogether the appeal of the Ideal, and to imagine the industrial forces of themselves, independently of human choice, delivering from the womb of the class-war a babe of fraternity and peace.” There is only one thing to say to such a statement as this, that it is a flat contradiction of what, to the orthodox socialist, makes of his hope a scientific fact.
And when, waiving the lip homage of Mr. Dickinson, we examine his proposed state, it turns out to be equally removed from the outgrowth of socialistic evolution. This amiable society, which is to “preserve the utmost liberty compatible with the necessary regulation,” wherein men wander about from occupation to occupation as whim or desire moves them; this republic of flowers, like the world evoked in William Morris’s undisciplined imagination, is at bottom a dream of anarchy; it lies, if the word may be spoken without offense, in that happy country of Heine’s, where roast geese walk about with apples in their mouths and spoons conveniently tucked under their wings. With the true socialist Mr. Dickinson has only one thing in common, — the feeling of supreme discontent.
I confess that sometimes the thought of this discontent, gnawing at the very heart of our civilization, strikes me with a kind of vague terror, as if I had strayed into a land swept by armies clashing ignorantly in the night, or had fallen into some dream of the streets of Troy where friend and foe surged together under the same standards. This is no slight current that sucks into its vortex minds so diverse as Mr. Dickinson’s and Mr. Hillquit’s ; it is a terrible rebuke to those canting optimists who cry, “ All’s right with the world,” a warning to those who sit at ease in Zion.
In one sense, as Mr. Dickinson avers, the strength of the movement is “ the weakness of the ruling class, the skepticism of the rich and the powerful, the slow, half-conscious detachment of all of them who have intelligence and moral force from the interest and the active support of their class.” It is true, in a sense, that “ those who deny socialism are most under its power; their hollow cries of rage and desperation, their intellectual play with the idea of force, betray their bitter sense of a lost cause.” And such a state of affairs may contain an element of comfort, in so far as the defection of these men to socialism means the broadening of its policy and the impossibility of any attempt to carry out the narrower industrial programme. But it contains also a cause of alarm in so far as it betrays so wide-spread an unsettlement of ideals; and threatens, if unstayed, to create a period of sheer chaos. At least, until assured that they have not been dragged by their emotions into the camp of their natural enemies, these idealistic malcontents — their number is increasing with amazing rapidity — should put a guard upon their words, and should consider how dangerous a thing it is
In valgum ambiguas.
He needs be a more cunning physician of souls than I, who will offer a remedy for so insidious a malady; my purpose has been simply to call attention to a curious inconsistency in a certain class of radicals. Yet, withal, it seems to me that I can at least lay my finger on the point where the lesion occurs. To Mr. Dickinson, as we have seen, socialism is no necessity of evolution, but the voluntary reaching of men toward their highest ideal. Well, I would make bold to say, after following his course step by step, that his acceptance of socialism is due to a condition, or diathesis, of uneasy idealism, if my meaning is plain, without a definite ideal—quærebam quid amarem, amans amare.
It is at bottom a religious question. This faith that is an emotional and volitional assumption, contrary to experience, that things are all right, this faith that stands so tragically with the dagger of science at its breast, — what is it, in simple English, but the longing regret for an ideal that has perished ? And this finding of the supreme Good in the love of man for man, what is it but the absence from view of any definite goal, the praise of action for the sake of activity without any ultimate purpose ? For love, unless it be a mere selfish indulgence of egotism, must desire the good of the beloved, and still leaves the nature of this good itself to be determined. To lengthen the period of love by continuing it through an eternity of personal duration is only to set the difficulty at a distance, not to rise above it. And, indeed, Mr. Dickinson’s Ingersoll lecture, in which he discourses on the immortality of the soul as a thing probably true and certainly desirable, leaves with one the uncomfortable feeling of a spiritual void. When I read his concluding appeal to await the discoveries of the Society of Psychical Research for our certainty of religion, I was reminded — no doubt unjustly — of Emerson’s scorn of that itching curiosity to peep in at the back door of nature.
Is religion to be a servant to the evidence obtained from trances and mediums and the mumbling of ghosts? Rather, must not faith which is effective in human life be the immediate experience in the heart itself of some infinite reality that gives a meaning and a centre to all our acts. It is because such religious groping is an emotional and volitional assumption without knowledge, a state of idealism without definite ideal, that the mind, deprived of certain guidance, falls a prey to the dominant party of discontent, and we behold the disconcerting spectacle of idealist and materialist fighting in the same ranks.
How great a service Mr. Dickinson might perform if, instead of adding to the confusion of standards, he would turn his subtle intellect to discovering, and his eloquent pen to describing, the true Good that many desire and some to-day seek and cannot find! Then indeed we might follow him in his adventure of social reform, with the assurance of true progress; but it would not be into socialism.
- The order of Mr. Dickinson’s publications will be found significant: From King to King: The Tragedy of the Puritan Revolution (1891); Revolution and Reaction in Modern France (1892) ; The Development of Parliament during the Nineteenth Century (1895); The Greek View of Life (1896) ; The Meaning of Good: A Dialogue (1901); Letters from a Chinese Official: Being an Eastern View of Western Civilization (1901); Religion: A Criticism and a Forecast (1905); A Modern Symposium (1905); Justice and Liberty (1908). Since then, he has delivered at Harvard his Ingersoll lecture, Is Immortality Desirable ? which was printed in the Atlantic Monthly for May, and which is to appear this spring in book form. The important development of his ideas begins with The Greek View of Life.↩