(The Crimson invites all men in the University to submit signed communications of timely interest. It assumes no responsibility, however, for sentiments expressed under this head and reserves the right to exclude any whose publication would be palpably inappropriate.)
To the Editors of the CRIMSON:
These are grave times for true Liberalism. When the fashionable fervor of some undergraduates draws the admission that Liberalism is a curtain behind which they conceal the propagation of plans for radical action; that there are only two parties to the struggle for "domination," viz., the Conservatives and the Radicals; and that the Liberals drift a vacillating course through the wake of the struggle of the first two, it is time it be understood what Liberalism is. The knowledge may serve the purpose of showing the folly of the juvenile antics of those anaemic undergraduates who parade to class with 'The Liberator" displayed around their note-books.
Liberalism is both destructive and constructive. It destroys those institutions and practices which do not lend to the greatest public good; but on top of it erects institutions which do serve this purpose. Both destruction and construction are secured by state intervention. Radicalism plumes its conception of itself with the declaration that it isn't essentially revolutionary, but merely "bound to go to the roots of everything." It not only goes to the roots, as Radicalism does, but it would tear up by the roots any tree in sight, regardless of the fruit it bears, and merely because it is a tree in existence. If it does attempt to plant another, it starts with a new and untried seed, for it has destroyed the seed of the old trees. As in Russia, the tree dies, and the prospects of impoverishment are met with the good fortune of having found some remnant of the stock of seed of the past. Lenine has accepted the necessity of granting the two concessions of private peasant ownership of land and a fir rate of interest from the Peasants' Banks.
In the operations of Liberalism there is no room for either Conservatism or Radicalism. Liberalism is not a retreat for either. It is a definite system of civil polity. the Radical of today is not the Liberal of tomorrow. Milyoukov is still a Liberal. Liberalism does not seek a compromise between the two extremes. Its fundamental belief is the goodness of the system of private ownership of the means of production and distribution. Simply because it holds this belief does not establish that it was taken from Conservatism. It realizes that there are evils in the system, but contends that they are superficial and not inherent, and that they are remediable and are being remedied by state intervention. It believes in justice for all to the end of public benefit, and seeks to aid labor, not by way of compromising labor or Radicalism, but because it is concerned with society as a whole rather than with one class of society.
True Liberalism not only believes-it acts. It not only sheds light, but it also radiates heat. It combines both forms of energy. And because the "zeal for zeal's sake," on which Radicalism prides itself, is happily lacking tin Liberalism, is Liberalism sanely dubbed as a compromise, a vague inactivity? RALPH R. WEAVER '21