A large audience assembled last evening in Sever 11 to hear Mr. John G. Brook's fourth and last lecture on Modern Socialism. It was the most interesting of the course; perhaps from the earnestness shown by the speaker, as well as from the subject matter itself.
The lecture was an earnest attempt to show how the head and heart can work together and furnish an answer to the question "What can be done in solution of the Social Problem?" There is the old school of political economy which considers that the so-called natural laws of labor and capital are not to be controlled by human agency. The new or ethical school considers political economy an ethical and moral science. The ground we should take is one between these two. Sympathy, years of agitation, legislature have been the factors in lightening the load of evils with which the workingman is overburdened. The spirit of the "laisser faire" economist is that it is useless to work for a better condition, as the present is the "natural order of things." After science has pointed out certain results, sympathy comes in and teaches how to use these results. The sphere of sympathy is as wide as humanity. The new political economy shows that no ideal standard of man need be omitted. Years pass before the beautiful adjustments between capital and labor, on which the optimists dwell, come to pass. Legislation may do much to help in industrial crises. As witnesses of this, the good effect of the establishment of coffee houses, savings banks, etc., on the continent is cited. Labor has learned in this country to know its power, and how by holding the balance of power politically it may accomplish its end. The leaders of labor associations desire to use their political power to further their economic ends. But the danger lies in their dense ignorance of the laws of political economy and of kindred sciences. That this ignorance exists may be clearly seen by a glance at statements, glaringly false, made in their best and most representative publications. In England laboring men have frequent opportunities to hear lectures from and to talk with men trained in the knowledge of these subjects. This is what is needed in America. Let practical economists come in contact with the organized laboring classes and teach them the fundamental principles of the science. The revolutionary socialist cannot help us. There is still time for our efforts to be preventative. The deepest wrongs will be remedied only as we assent to the evils and bend all our efforts to remove them.