Last evening in Sever 11, Rev. Mr. Brooks delivered the second of his series of lectures on Socialism. State socialism does not interfere with private property, but preserves the competitive system. In Germany the passage of so many of Bismarck's governmental monopoly schemes has shown the power of state socialism there. The perfect organization of the German army has aided the growth of socialistic schemes, for acquiescence to authority has become a part of the German mind. In England, however, socialism is democratic; it has grown up from experience. Although Englishmen have always objected to state interference, yet they have fallen into ideas that border very closely on state control of railroads and other public enterprises. English professors and writers all show a tendency to throw off the old laissez-faire conception and take up a mild form of socialism. All men cannot help themselves; state help is necessary. The old state of society is inadequate to the new. The invention of steam and improved machinery has changed the relations between employer and employee. The interference of the state was necessary in order to adjust these new relations which were crushing the working man and his family.
There seems to be no decrease of self-reliance among those who have been afflicted by the interfering laws of the state. The death-rate, however, has considerably decreased in those districts. The English leaders in politics have begun to see that a voluntary system is not sufficient. Gladstone says that economic grounds cannot always prevail, but morality and charity must be considered. The English socialist now wishes to have the state take control of hotels, banks and ultimately the land. The increase of the amount of machinery in use, rolled up money for the rich, made the poor poorer, and destroyed the lives of many of the powerless laborers. So the German government took charge of many private corporations.
The tendency of State Socialism has been toward success. There have been but few mistakes, and the advance of this moral sentiment has been regular, and rapid. The opening of the suffrage has added to the power of the movement. The ideal of the sentiment is to make the state an organism composed of many parts, each of which shall have wishes and desires of its own embodied in the state.