Giants in These Days


THROUGHOUT the world the post-war period has been marked by two patterns: first, a persistent and as yet fruitless search for stability and security for individuals as well as nations; second, the acceptance by most peoples of a leadership which is at best, intellectually and spiritually, mediocre. These patterns are so uniform as to mark an era.

We recognize mediocrity more readily from afar. At home, a tiny individual in a glorified position can make himself resemble a Roman Senator on parade. We in America laugh at Mussolini’s postures, but he looks like the real thing to the Italians. We think of Hitler as a humorless Charlie Chaplin, but to the Germans he is a greater Bismarck.

So, here in the United States, we accept the leadership of the successors of Calhoun and Webster and Lincoln and Douglas as though they were men of the calibre of these giants. The current leaders make speeches too, but assisted by the microphone. Their timbre is like a crooner’s tinny voice, which can be made to sound heroic by the control room of a radio studio. One need only read the Congressional Record to be saddened by the looseness of thought and carelessness of speech there displayed. Remember, for instance, the horrifying discussion on the floor of the Senate of the quarrel between Mr. Hearst and the Black Committee. Said Senator Minton: —

But the question was raised by Mr. Hearst in the name of the Constitution, in the name of our ancient liberties, in the name of the freedom of the press. He would not know the Goddess of Liberty if she came down off her pedestal in New York Harbor and bowed to him. He would probably try to get her telephone number. (Laughter)

And they laughed. The august gentlemen apparently enjoyed the show. And when Senator Copeland asked that the statement be withdrawn because it was ‘a very unhappy personal reference,’ his request was rejected. Senator Minton apparently did not know that his remarks were crude. He just did not know. Just as Mr. Sweeney, in the House of Representatives, did not know how very crude it was to make a long speech protesting against a resolution of condolences on the death of George V.

I told them [the press] that I did not believe that it was consistent with democracy to pay such lavish tribute by adjourning out of respect to the memory of a foreign king.

These two quotations — and the Congressional Record is alive with similar improprieties — must not be considered merely as the personal opinions of individuals. That would not matter so much. Nor would it matter if they were isolated instances of the unfortunate selection of representatives by democratic electorates. That has happened before, as, for instance, when ‘Pitchfork Ben’ Tillman used to hurl his particular brand of vitriol. The point to be emphasized is that most people disliked the Tillman style and found it offensive. Most Americans today are not annoyed with their political leaders who reduce public debate to personal abuse and who sidetrack the discussion of great issues by amusing the populace with vulgarisms.

The Hearst-Black discussion is a case in point. Originally the question was quite clear: Has a Congressional Committee the right to seize and inspect the private papers of a citizen without due process of law? A matter clearly for judicial determination. Mr. Hearst not unnaturally rose to protest because his instructions to an employee by telegraph were among the seized documents. Instead of a calm, factual, honest discussion of the issues, we have been regaled with masses of mud slung back and forth in Congress and in the Hearst press. Mr. Hearst calls the Senators ‘Black-guards’ and ‘polecats.’ Senators Schwellenbach and Black and Minton denounce him for his money, his private life, his past history, his editorial policies — everything. The issue originated in the constitutional right of a citizen; it was swiftly obscured in a discussion of the private and public life of Mr. Hearst.

It all seems so unfortunate, for even if Mr. Hearst’s private life is as improper as Senator Schwellenbach says, and perhaps believes, the private papers of a citizen are still at stake. Has an employer the right to instruct an employee in privacy? The Senator recalled that Mr. Hearst once bought stolen private documents which were the property of the Standard Oil Company, but are we to understand that that is a justification for anything?

Here is a question of public morals and manners which cannot be ignored by decent citizens. A people takes on the characteristics of its leaders. Or, to put it conversely, we have the old truism that in a democracy the chosen representatives of the people reflect the characteristics of the people. Has, then, something happened to our people since the war that fills our public offices with mediocrities who belch forth personal abuse and reduce debate to the private squabbles of the unmannerly? Is there no dignity, no sense of propriety, left among us? Shall we take to throwing inkwells at each other as they do in the Japanese Diet? Shall we end up in fist fights? Rush Holt says that Harry Hopkins speaks untruths. Shall we soon be calling each other liars and thieves?

It is not merely a matter of words, however. The conduct of public officials in a democracy must be above suspicion if government is to be respected by the masses. In my experience with the New Deal I have acquired considerable respect for the personality and integrity of the Secretary of Agriculture. As much as I dislike the AAA, I believe that Secretary Wallace seeks an honest man’s solution of an intricate and vexed problem. Yet Secretary Wallace has taken a stand on the question of publishing AAA data which, from the broad standpoint of public morals, is most unfortunate. At a time when the government, by inquisition and publicity, is humiliating citizens by forcing them to disclose their most personal relations, Mr. Wallace says, in effect, that it would bother him and his staff to have to dig out the data. And then, when a resolution is passed requiring him to disclose the desired material, a tricky joker is inserted which tones down the significance of the disclosures.

Now this may be good politics, but it is bad public morals. It gives the public the impression that there is something deliberately dishonest in the entire transaction. For, if there is no dishonesty, why cannot the facts be made available? Surely if Messrs. Grace and Irvin and Girdler and many others must stop everything and go up before a Senatorial Committee, a public official like Mr. Wallace, who is a servant of the government and people, has little excuse for refusing to make public any information which he is called upon to provide.

Again I reject political considerations. We have had recent corruption in municipal and state governments, but even rumors of corruption or dishonesty in the Federal Government have been rare. If public morals are to be upheld, there should be no speck of suspicion on the Federal Administration. Mr. Wallace has missed the point if he regarded the request for information simply as a Republican effort to badger him. That may or may not have been the motive of the resolution. Whatever the motive, public morals require that every public official subject his administration and conduct to public scrutiny while he is still in office.


The theory of American democracy has been that we are classless, that there is equal opportunity for every individual, and that in the eyes of the government all men are equal.

This theory has not always stood the test of practical application, but the leadership of the country has ever sought to make its application a fact. During the past five years, public leaders have time after time expressed a contrary view. The President in his inaugural address outlawed certain groups of citizens by calling them names—‘money-changers.’ Even if he did not quote Holy Scripture (as Father Coughlin always does), he moved away from leadership of the whole people to the castigation of one hitherto respected group.

In that speech he set a tone which only too many followed. Take, for instance, this statement of Mr. Burdick in the House of Representatives: —

As soon as the common people show a disposition to curb the power of the money barons, the cry immediately goes up that we are pitting class against class. The barons would have all of us sit with folded arms and with a forced photographer’s smile, while the mortgagee and the creditor suck out our lifeblood through interest and foreclosures. If perchance we move around slightly to avoid the pain, or to prevent the baron from completing his nefarious job, we are condemned because we ‘raise class against class.’ No; that argument is threadbare, and the power it once had is rather harmless to-day.

If Roosevelt deserves severe criticism it is criticism for not doing enough to stop the mad desire of the money class for more interest, more foreclosures, more money, more dollars, with a high premium attached, more homeless people. Roosevelt has, in this respect, paid too much attention to the money barons, and not enough attention to the protection of homes that have been built during the last seventy-five years by a patriotic people.

Now, Mr. Burdick is not a great national figure and his address has not attracted nation-wide attention. Its importance lies in the fact that it was not spoken by Earl Browder, Secretary-General of the Communist Party, but by a Republican Congressman of North Dakota. Here is a very definite plea for the class struggle by a Republican.

It is this emphasis upon class divisions, the differences among human beings on the basis of possessions or occupation, which characterizes current leadership. Upton Sinclair, for instance, is a Socialist. He leads a political party in California known as EPIC, but which has controlled and may still control the Democratic Party in California. Upton Sinclair is honest, sincere, self-sacrificing. He has devoted his life to the service of his fellow men, and some of his literary work has been of distinct historical significance. Unfortunately, Upton Sinclair’s entire emphasis is upon the class struggle. His EPIC plan is to end poverty in California by ‘production for use,’ which, in terms of economics, can only mean the abolition of the profit system. He advocates a complete revision of our current economic system. In an editorial in EPIC News he says: —

We EPICS assert that there is only one immediate way out of this depression. It is the way that private business itself would take, if it was forced by law to feed and clothe men whom it could not profitably employ. It would put those men at getting their own food and making their own clothing; and if anyone would oppose that course, the business men would say that he was crazy.

The government has the responsibility, and the government has to take that course. We are going straight into bankruptcy until we do take it. Bankruptcy of nation, states, cities, and counties. We may go on with this dole and the foolishness of imitation work for a year or for ten years — I don’t know how long the nation’s credit will hold out; but I do know that in the end we shall have to put the unemployed at work producing for their own use.

His policies are most succinctly stated in ‘The Twelve Principles of EPIC’: —

1. God created the natural wealth of the earth for the use of all men, not of a few.

2. God created men to seek their own welfare, not that of masters.

3. Private ownership of tools, a basis of freedom when tools are simple, becomes a basis of enslavement when tools are complex.

4. Autocracy in industry cannot exist alongside democracy in government.

5. When some men live without working, other men are working without living.

6. The existence of luxury in the presence of poverty and destitution is contrary to good morals and sound public policy.

7. The present depression is one of abundance, not of scarcity.

8. The cause of the trouble is that a small class has the wealth, while the rest have the debts.

9. It is contrary to common sense that men should starve because they have raised too much food.

10. The destruction of food or other wealth, or the limitation of production, is economic insanity.

11. The remedy is to give the workers access to the means of production, and let them produce for themselves, not for others.

12. This change can be brought about by action of a majority of the people, and that is the American way.

Particular attention should be called to items 3, 4, 8, and 11. In item 12, Sinclair makes an essential compromise. His nature, his essential goodness, revolts at revolution. He would abolish capitalism by votes. Upton Sinclair does not ask himself how he can operate his non-capitalistic state except on a Communist political basis; he does not consider that the oppression of the individual by that state would leave him worse off than he now is. That he cannot face frankly. Nor can he face the defects of capitalistic democracy as the price we pay for personal liberty. He wants liberty without paying any price for it at all.

The significance of Upton Sinclair politically is that his following in the states of California and Washington is huge and that a great many citizens in other states believe that his short cut to industrial democracy may lead them to economic equality and assured liberty.

In the search for stability and security, many men are prepared to follow any leadership, no matter how illogical its proposal. It is possible to attract a notable following by pointing to immediate injustice and offering a plausible solution. Upton Sinclair’s personality adds weight to his suggestions; yet no machinery can be devised in an economic system which we know how to operate that would make his proposal workable in any but a small, voluntary, enthusiastic community like the Oneida or Brook Farm groups.

It was this search for stability and security which led the farmers of Alberta into their already exploded experience of ‘Social Credit.’ Sinclair’s doctrinizing may even serve a useful purpose, but the experiments in Alberta can only lead to costly disappointment. And that is so often overlooked by those who see an immediate injustice and demand vast experimentation to effect an immediate cure. For, once an experiment is started, it alters existing situations and it cannot readily be stopped. The conservative fears experimentation because it so often involves speedy action before the cure has been thought out thoroughly. An experiment on guinea pigs costs nothing but the price of the guinea pigs; an experiment upon human beings may determine the fate of a nation. Upton Sinclair’s programme is so assuredly unworkable in American dimensions that experimentation with it will inevitably produce fantastic results.


Dr. Tugwell and Father Coughlin have much in common: they both speak in Fascist terminology; yet both deny Fascist inspiration. In his now famous speech at Los Angeles, Dr. Tugwell said: —

The autocrats must get out of the way along with the moral system which supports them; but it is our duty to prevent that being done with violence.

That is why I regard the coming campaign as so important. It may very well determine whether, some years from now, we shall do as other nations have — throw over completely the democratic and evolutionary process — or whether we shall find then that our leadership, our Administration and our discipline have been equal to the task of creating institutions suited to the world in which they are expected to operate.

Reaction at this time would commit us to a future uncertain in many ways, but certain enough in this; that there would be a vast rising of rebellious, exploited people after we had revived for a while the game of getting rich at one another’s expense.

In a word, if his doctrine of ‘the autocrats must go’ is not accepted, there will be a revolution. He does not wish the revolution to come. He seeks a disciplined state to avert revolution. He wants stability and security, but he wants them in a disciplined state in which speculative competition is eliminated.

Dr. Tugwell may be silent during the forthcoming campaign, but his resettlement plans are not to be ignored or forgotten. He is the only individual in the New Deal who has stated its philosophy in understandable and potent terms: —

For the sickness of our system is not yet cured. We have made some diagnosis; we have got some partial remedies; we have made a good beginning. That it is not yet enough must be admitted — we still have the testimony of poverty, debt and unemployment; but, with what it is, we shall soon be required to ask for a new mandate.

And what is needed in these months to come is an access of confidence among all progressives, a submission to discipline under leadership, and a drive for complete victory against the most powerful reaction ever organized in this nation.

It is the doctrine of a revolution that is to be effective but bloodless, like Mussolini’s revolution. There is to be no terror such as Lenin and Trotzky, but there may be such an election as made Hitler a leader. Tugwell knows what he wants exactly; and that is very much more than can be said for nearly anyone else these days. This speech, from which I quote, is a Fascist speech, as clearly defined as anything that has appeared in Italy or Germany.

Now Father Coughlin does not possess Tugwell’s intellectual clarity. His mind seems to become befogged by his oratory, but his oratory gives him a greater mass control than Tugwell can ever win.

Father Coughlin preaches Social Justice, and that undoubtedly is a function of a priest. Furthermore, he contends that his preachments are based upon Papal Encyclicals, and that certainly is the right of a Catholic priest, although a non-Catholic may ask whether the foundation of American thinking is to be a Papal Encyclical or the Constitution of the United States. Father Wilfrid Parsons, S. J., denies that Father Coughlin really adheres to the Encyclicals, but Bishop Gallagher of Detroit, provides an imprimatur which is sufficient for the priest of the Church of the Little Flower. With the rights and the wrongs of Coughlin under canon law we have no concern. Canon law does not govern the United States, nor does it control our morals.

Father Coughlin remains an important figure in American politics in spite of the blows to his popularity which he sustained at the hands of General Johnson. After the JohnsonHuey Long-Coughlin debates in 1935, the worthy Father began to lose his following and to-day he does not wield the influence he did two years ago. Still he is there to be heard. I shall take a few paragraphs from that debate in an effort to present his thoughts in logical sequence: —

The money changers whom the Priest of Priests drove from the temple of Jerusalem both by word and by physical force have marshaled their forces behind the leadership of a chocolate soldier for the purpose of driving the priest out of public affairs. . . .

The object of the National Union for Social Justice is secure economic liberty for our people. So well is this truth known that the concentrators of wealth are resorting to musty methods long since in disrepute to preserve America for the plutocrats and to retain its quarreling citizens for their exploitation. . . .

In the meantime, therefore, let the Tories of high finance learn from their prototype, George III. Let the unjust aggressors who for generations have mismanaged the economic affairs of our nation assume the entire responsibility of their Tory stubbornness. The laborer has not sabotaged our factories! The farmer has not created a man-made scarcity of food! The 80,000,000 crybabies have not concentrated our wealth! These people, played upon by paidfor propaganda, did not hurl us into the seething maelstrom of a bloody war. . . .

I shall draw my reasons from that school of militancy presided over by Jesus Christ, who, 1900 years ago, refrained not from attacking in scathing terms the scribes and pharisees. ‘Woe to you scribes and pharisees, hypocrites, because you devour the houses of widows, praying long prayers. For this you shall receive the greater judgment. For you bind heavy and insupportable burdens and lay them on men’s shoulders; but with a finger of your own you will not move them. . .‘

But there are times when certain classes must be forcefully reminded that there is such a thing as Christian charity which bids us love our neighbors as ourselves, and that warns us that whatsoever we do, even to the least, we do to Christ. That is what the pharisees refused to learn. That is what their descendants in Wall Street refuse to accept as they continue to devour the houses of widows and tax our citizenry into slavery and idleness.

Stripped of his verbiage, Father Coughlin’s doctrine seems to be: —

‘There is social injustice in this country. The main responsibility for this condition rests on those who control the operations of the financial system. They also control the government because of their wealth. If social injustice continues, a revolution will occur. Revolutions are to be avoided because they do not limit themselves to economic and political changes. They also affect religion and morals. That is my special field. Therefore I shall lead the revolutionary forces into still waters by attacking the economic system. Should the revolution come, my attitude with regard to economics will save religion and morals.’

It will be noted that Upton Sinclair, Tugwell, and Coughlin fear the oncoming revolution. Each in his own way would lead the masses to still waters. So did Father Gapon in Russia attempt to lead his people to still waters. So did Hitler seek to avoid Communism. The question that poses itself in any appraisal of Father Coughlin is whether his particular cure will not kill the patient. He would so completely destroy our financial stability that private enterprise, as we know it, would cease. He and Tugwell would wittingly or unwittingly force us into a state-controlled economy — in a word, into Fascism. It is difficult to reach any other conclusion.


Olson of Minnesota, Talmadge of Georgia, the La Follettes of Wisconsin, La Guardia in New York, and a host of other local leaders have found in the popular temper a response to their own impatience.

La Guardia has suggested a labor measure which would virtually make him a dictator in industrial relations. Already manufacturing firms are escaping from New York City because of racketeered labor unions and an unreadiness on the part of the police to maintain the ordinary rights of the citizen to be unmolested. If New York’s form of picketing remains legitimate, one wonders how long business houses can maintain themselves in that city. The other day I saw a motor truck drawn up in front of a motionpicture theatre; mounted on the truck was a loud speaker announcing in strident tones that that house did not employ union labor. The truck was a public nuisance if ever there was one. The shouting pickets in front of WPA headquarters and before certain department stores are a nuisance. It is impossible to walk on the sidewalks in these vicinities, although a taxpayer is surely entitled to walk on sidewalks. Children have to be diverted from these streets if they are not to be endangered. All this is peaceful picketing in the eyes of Mr. La Guardia.

Now it may be argued that New York has never had a better mayor than Mr. La Guardia. But he does not like the use of the police power and he is impatient to see justice done. His acts may destroy the markets in New York; hardly will he see the problem of social justice solved in the few years at his disposal as mayor. But he must rush. He must try to solve every problem quickly and by his own arbitrary will.

La Guardia and the La Follettes are of a type. Honest, competent, brilliant, but impatient. They have no time. They cannot wait. They must have some immediate power to do their will.

Talmadge is of another type. He is definitely a politician, attacking President Roosevelt not because he hates Roosevelt but because he wants to make Talmadge stronger. Even that would not matter, because our political system is based upon the assumption of free political competition, were it not that Talmadge stirs up racial hatred in the South. His entire campaign is based upon a sentence: ‘Roosevelt likes niggers.’ His underlings spread a photograph of Mrs. Roosevelt walking with a Negro. They even attack Clark Howell, editor of the Atlanta Constitution, because a nephew in the WPA or some other Ickes bureau is said to have a Negress as a stenographer.

I was told in Atlanta that the WPA employed Negro foremen over white relief workers. I could not substantiate the charge, but the Talmadge underlings repeat it wherever they go.

Talmadge is building a political career on race hatred. And, no matter what kind of hatred is poured into the public vial, it is a poison for the body politic. These people are advocating poisonous doctrines. They all say that they do not want revolutions, but they preach hatreds, and hatreds are bound to result in time in riots, lynchings, street fighting — in all the paraphernalia of revolution.

Senator Minton would be the first to denounce revolution as a weapon; yet he is capable of saying: —

The blight of the cold, dead hand of the Court must not be permitted to contaminate the blood stream of the Nation and destroy the right of the people to live and prosper.

Now the Supreme Court is as much an organ of our government as the Senate. If we are to destroy the Court, we destroy our system of government. We cannot have the same system without the Court as we have with it. To end the usefulness of the Court would be revolution. The learned Senator does not seem to understand that. None of the impatient ones, who fear revolution but want quick changes, seem to understand. In a word, no matter how sincere these men may be, their impatience urges them to perilous conceptions.


Dr. Townsend is not confronted by this danger. His is not an impatience. His doctrine is almost childlike in its simplicity, and yet as dangerous as any baby playing with fire. He says, in effect : —

‘If you remove the aged from employment, then the young will have jobs. But if you force the aged not to work, you must give them money, $200 a month. To prevent the aged from growing rich, you must require them to spend the $200 each month. This money is to be obtained by a transaction tax of 2 per cent.’

In effect, this measure provides for three things: a sales tax, an inflation of the currency, and an old-age pension system, based not on a scientific analysis of the problem, but upon an arbitrary assumption as to when old age occurs and what are the economic implications of the occurrence.

To many this plan offered stability and security and they poured their dimes into the Townsend treasury to support it. Townsend and his associates admit that they have no knowledge of economics. They admit that they do not know what the effect of their doctrine upon the fiscal system of the state will be.

At first it was assumed that the Townsend leaders were sincere in their plans — sincere but misguided. Then the Senate investigation of the movement occurred and now there are grave doubts even as to the sincerity. Too great a money prize influenced the organizers.

The Townsend movement is now down, but it is not out. It will surely be revived in full force when it is discovered that the Social Security Act cannot function — as it cannot, because the existing bill is not practicable. Then those who seek stability and security in old age will make demands which cannot be granted, and the Townsendites will ever be ready to offer a simple remedy—so simple a remedy that it serves no curative purpose. The Townsend Plan is mad — but its followers are not. They know what they want: something for nothing from the government.

And therein lies a terrible dilemma for our democracy. The soldiers got their bonus; cotton and sugar growers got fat checks; workers got WPA checks for doing no useful work; silvermine owners got fat subsidies for no good reason. Why should not those who reach sixty get something for having lived so long? Herein lie the strength and danger of this movement. Why should we all not live on the government? And if enough of us do, what will become of the government and of us?


And across this very black picture runs the amusing incidence of religious movements. In distress and perplexity men always turn to religion. And every day some new religion appears in answer to the quest for stability and security. I once received a pamphlet, the first page of which read: —

$50 REWARD — If you can find a single flaw in this New Holy City Perfect Form of Government.


Unquestionably 100 per cent Perfect and All-Satisfying to All Concerned.

The Wise Men of the Far West at Holy City say: That any new or old Leader or Government that Fails to Establish True Peace and Contentment to all Sane-Minded People Concerned, is not the True Leader or Government in this age. A Good Government Business is to successfully Direct all of its People in a Harmonious Social Progressive Way, and so far all of them have failed.

This Form of Government Has Been Practised for 12 Years in Holy City.

This particular government destroys what is known as Communism, Socialism, EPIC Plan System, and all the weakness in the Capitalistic System, which is the true System.

Lots of pamphlets appear which are more curious than this one. And many plans appear which are as unbelievable. All these movements have followings, and there are those who argue in their favor and who insist upon the righteousness of the cause.

The most successful religious movement is led by Father Divine, a Negro, of Harlem, New York City, whose followers are both Negro and white. His theology is simple. Christ said: ’I and my Father will come and make our abode with you.’ The followers of Father Divine believe that God has come on earth in the physical form of Father Divine.

Father Divine is God. He lives in Heaven. Each of his houses is a Kingdom of Heaven. When he speaks, God speaks. He is sweet. He is glorious. He is all knowing. Once, in court, a judge sentenced Father Divine. Three days later the judge died of heart disease. That proved that Father Divine possessed the power of life and death.

His correspondence contains this amazing paragraph: —

Wishing you all success, and that as I AM, so might you be, this leaves ME well, healthy, joyful, peaceful, lively, loving, successful, prosperous and Happy in Spirit, Body and Mind, and in every organ, muscle, sinew, vein and bone and even in every atom, fibre and cell of MY Bodily Form.
Respectfully and Sincere, I AM
(Better known as FATHER DIVINE)

Two passages from one of his speeches can be cited as examples of his contributions to human thought: —

Cease to think negative thoughts, but concentrate on the POSITIVE: Rid yourselves of all envy, malice, hatred, resentment, bigotry, deceit, jealousy, covetousness and all undesirable tendencies, and visualize the POSITIVE; gaze upon the PERFECT PICTURE, that you might produce PERFECTION in your own physical bodies, and in the things which concern you. . . .

Every place where there is segregation and prejudice manifested, I shall cause these conditions, or allow them to come by the prejudicial mind of men. Such conditions as they would not desire to be among them. It is indeed wonderful! Since they will not hear ME while speaking in the Spirit of Meekness, as Moses did, they will hear GOD when he thunders down from Mount Sinai. As in the days of Moses, so shall it be in this day, when men shall rise in opposition, refusing to hear the Spirit of Mercy pleading, the very destructive Forces of Nature will be speaking automatically, and they will no longer desire to hear GOD speak when HE speaks through the Cosmic Forces of Nature.

When a member joins the sect, he may place at the disposal of his colleagues all his property — houses, life insurance policies, possessions of any kind. These are unnecessary for one who is to live in the Kingdom of Heaven. Forever afterward, Father Divine is to provide food, clothes, and lodgings. And Father Divine does do that now. And he does it amply and well. Nobody has complained of being robbed or swindled, except a few husbands whose wives have cleared out. No one has been able to discover a money prize in this movement.

It is not to be laughed at as charlatanry. It has a very definite emotional value and that is why it has white as well as Negro votaries. Most organized religions no longer satisfy the stepped-up emotional requirements of the age. Father Divine offers a short cut. He is not the representative of God on earth; he himself is God. If that one premise is accepted, the rest becomes simple.

And the rest is part of the Messianic hope which has provided such an emotional lure for men in all ages. It is not unlike the Hassidism which made the Polish rabbi so powerful a figure in the post-mediæval ghetto. Read Sholom Asch’s Salvation to understand the emotional ebb and flow that make a Father Divine possible.

In his Kingdoms an uninhibited ecstasy is possible which does not exist elsewhere. You sing and shout; you see God; you hear his voice and speak to him. You have stability and security because nothing matters and nothing counts and nothing can happen to you. Eternal life has come and it will not cease. Madness? No! Emotional hunger, fear of physical starvation, sexual stagnation, distress and disgust with existing conditions — these explain the need for exhilaration. These Father Divine satisfies.

Rut will he always satisfy them? Suppose his automobile or his airplane crashed to-morrow and killed him? But it has not crashed and he is alive and one can sing: ‘Peace! Father Divine is God!’

Here is a characteristic mass movement which serves a host of human beings. Similar movements are springing up throughout the country. Not only the followers of Father Divine, who find in his doctrine a source of happiness in these times of distress, but even the wealthy and powerful are supporting organizations founded in the hope that some programme, some catch phrase, or some emphasis on a particular hatred or prejudice, will produce security, stability, and leadership. Yet, leadership has not appeared and stability is not within view. And this perhaps is what so few understand — that stability is really unwanted, and security would mean death to a people who have lived by competition and the struggle of each individual in his own interest. We speak of stability and security, but what we really want perhaps is peace and a release from the restraints which lessen our competitive abilities. And we lack giants as leaders because we really do not want to be led. We want to be left alone.