« AnkstesnisTęsti »
preting, the public and university lib- "persecutors without a creed" in this
a raries of the city. A bureau of informa- post-war period. Freedom of speech is tion will constitute a central source of cowed, and facts are under a strangely facts concerning the various educational, effective embargo. Opinion was never so religious, philanthropic, and social or- regimented, save in war-time. Freedomganizations of the city, a valuable loving as our traditions lead us to be counter check to the tendency of a city lieve ourselves to be, we permit petty to scatter as it increases in size. The officials to become swash-bucklering building will foster a unique club for men czars of public thought and expression, and women of divers classes and inter- and meekly suffer a paternalism of ests, established to promote a finer pub- opinion that smacks suspiciously of lic spirit and a better social order, as it Prussianism. The ever-present press phrases its purpose.
agent has erected his toll-gate between But the heart of the building is an us and the sources of news. Stirrings idea,—the idea of common discussion of are heard in editorial circles demanding common interests,—and the home of this a return of the reporter to his place, idea will be the civic auditorium around which has been too much preëmpted by which the varied activities of the insti- the press agent and propagandist. tution will cluster and from which they We must somehow contrive to have the will draw their vitality. This audi- clean and antiseptic air of free discustorium promises to minister through its sion blow through the processes of our architecture and finish to that repose and national thought. A reaction against
. attention upon which sane discussion propagandized news is bound to come depends. Semi-classic in conception, it before long. Propagandized news is not gives a sense of space and quiet dignity essentially a sin of editors. We have of treatment, while soft colors harmon- simply drifted into a situation in which ize with the design, a combination dis- a thousand and one forces, appreciating playing consideration of the psychology the importance of public opinion, have of attention as well as the art of archi- organized to see to it that the sources of tecture.
news tell the “right" story. But it is But the justification of bringing a not enough to trust blindly to the New York venture to the attention of a salutary effects of such a reaction. national audience does not lie in the We need to set up again the machinery beauty and utility of this building, but for public discussion which has become in the idea of which it is a crystalliza- increasingly difficult as we have grown tion. In THE CENTURY for July last a big and complex and busy. The displea was made for the setting up of a cussion that came about of its own ac“parliament of the people" in every cord in the New England town-meeting American community. It was then or around the stove in the village store pointed out that as a people we lack must to-day be consciously planned for the machinery and have lost the habit and intelligently stimulated. In this lies of community discussion; that the soils
the significance of New York's town hall of policy have been worn thin; that we now in process of construction. read in head-lines and think in catchwo. ds. Here is an attempt to dramatize in brick and mortar this idea of a
OUR FOREIGN LANGUAGE PRESS parliament of the people. At no time in Much has been said and written about our national history has the need for the foreign language newspapers in the such a meeting-place of minds been so United States as an obstacle in the way essential. Public opinion is one of our of the ultimate Americanization of our national gods, but this particular god is foreign born population. It is to be just now suffering from pernicious regretted that much of this writing and anemia. We are far from having the discussion has been carried on in hyswell-informed and intelligent public terical disregard of the facts. Certain opinion that our complicated time re- professors and politicians have leaped quires. Public opinion is zealously doc- into cheap prominence by their demand tored by "bigots without a doubt" and for the immediate and absolute prohi
bition of every newspaper printed in the cent. in the circulation of the Ukrainian United States in any other language press in this country. Before the war than English. If this group had its way, these Ukrainian papers simply reprinted the moment an immigrant landed on our news from the home country, but now shores he would be cut off from the they carry an equal amount of copy on news of the world in general and of the American affairs and world politics. United States in particular until he had There was some difficulty with the learned the English language. It will be Scandinavian press in the early part of some time before we reach anything like 1918, but by the middle of the year efficiency in teaching the English lan- things were straightened out, and the guage to our foreign born, and we shall press as a whole, including some five hardly organize and finance a corps of in- foreign language groups, maintained a terpreters to keep the immigrants in- loyal attitude. This press, since the armformed in the interim. The time will istice, has probably carried less material probably never come when English will on Americanization than have other be the one language spoken and written sections of the foreign language press, in the United States. When immigration but on the whole the Scandinavian once again gets under way, we shall find press does not offer a serious problem. constant need of a foreign language press, In 1917 there were about 500 Gerunder stricter oversight it is true, in that man newspapers and periodicals pubperiod between the landing of the immi- lished here. The number has now fallen grant and the time he learns our lan- to about 344. Some ten papers forguage. The foreign language press pre- merly printed in German
now sents a genuine problem for the forces of printed in English, and a few printed Americanization, but the solution of the partly in German and partly in English. problem does not lie in its wholesale Twenty-nine of these 344 papers are prohibition.
dailies, the rest are weeklies, bi-weeklies, Here, as in so many instances, agi- tri-weeklies, fortnightlies, or monthlies. tation has fallen into absurdity because The total circulation of German papers the facts in the case have been ignored. and periodicals has not fallen in proIt was, therefore, a real service that the portion to the drop in the number of New York “Evening Post" rendered publications. With characteristic Teurecently when, in a long and informative tonic tenacity, the remaining papers have special article it presented a survey of striven to capture the circulation of the the facts about foreign language news- suspended publications, and have in a papers in the United States. These measure succeeded. There have been facts deserve summarization for a more indications since the armistice of a rewidely scattered circle of readers. The vival of the German press. In the event facts bear out the conclusion that “the of any fresh imperialistic stirrings in the foreign language press in the United German fatherland, this section of our States has been and still is vitally neces- foreign language press may well bear sary; for every move it has made on the watching. wrong side it has made ten on the right; In 1915 there were about 100 Czechoit is an essential cog in the wheels of Slovak publications in this country. nationalization, and it must be neither That number has been somewhat didisregarded nor suppressed. It has its minished, largely because of stringent work to do, and when that work is fin- measures against the foreign language ished it will cease from being a necessity. press passed by certain middle-Western Until then let us be sane." Here are the legislatures. Many of the Czechofacts.
Slovak papers, thus suspended, were In 1914 there were five Ukrainian affording our Government its only papers, all weeklies, published in this authoritative medium of communicacountry. There are now ten Ukrainian tion with those people here. The Czechopapers published here. One is a daily Slovak press is now developing rapidly and four are tri-weeklies. In the last in the direction of part-English issues five years there has been an increase of that will help materially in our Ameri470 per cent. in the volume and 700 per canization.
The Jugo-Slav press in this country is terest, anxious to learn what the ballotrepresented by nine Serbian, eleven box would indicate regarding the scope Croatian, and thirteen Slovene papers. and virility of radicalism. At this disSeven of these are dailies, twenty-two tance from the facts hasty generalizaare weeklies, and four are monthlies. tion was fruitless and unwise. Time Six of these papers are in New York, enough has now passed, however, to fourteen in Chicago, three in Pittsburgh, render perspective possible. Even at three in Cleveland, three in San Fran- this date dogmatism is of doubtful value. cisco, two in Calumet, one in Joliet, and The best interpretative service probably one in Milwaukee. Save for two Social- lies in a simple summary of the facts, ist papers, this press played a thoroughly with a listing of such causes as may be patriotic rôle during the war, and is now set down with practical certainty. a helpful factor in the assimilation of our The world breathed a bit easier after Jugo-Slavs.
the French elections. Broadly speaking, The Hungarian press in the United the French elections registered a national States has supported all American move- verdict against radicalism and set the ments since the outbreak of the war. It feet of France in the path of orderly has helped the work of assimilation, and progress. This verdict was of peculiar has discouraged the emigration of Hun- significance in view of the fact that the garians from the United States. Aside elections were carried out under a new from its Socialist section, it is anti- voting system, scrutin de liste, that is Bolshevik. It is supporting Americani- designed to afford minority views the zation work.
fullest possible representation, the princiThe Italian press in this country has ple of proportional representation charsome 150 daily, weekly, and monthly acterizing the new system. There is, of publications. It has been uniformly course, a possibility that “gerrymanloyal. It served as a valuable medium dering” entered into the scheme. Again, of communication between our Govern- the verdict was of peculiar significance ment and our Italian citizens during the because there were virtually no clearly war.
defined issues before the voters save the The Lithuanian press began in this issue of approval or disapproval of revocountry before it began at home. Rus- lutionary socialism. The French Chamsian oppression had made a free Lithuan- ber is composed of a medley of parties ian press at home out of the question. differing by almost imperceptible shades Here it came into being as a sort of shout of principle. The last Chamber was of victory. The Lithuanian papers are split up into no fewer than ten political very narrowly Lithuanian in their in- groupings: Unified Socialists; Repubterests, but they have been loyal to the lican Socialists; Radicals; Radical SoUnited States.
cialists; the Radical left; the Republican, These facts do not reveal the sinister Radical, and Socialist Union; the Resituation that has been charged. Sym- publicans of the left; the Democratic pathy, sanity, and statesmanship in our left; the Republican Federation; LiberAmericanization work will go farther als with Royalist tendencies; out-and-out than hysterical suppression.
Royalists. Normally, this medley of slightly differing groups makes against
clear-cut election issues. When, thereTHE EUROPEAN BALLOT-BOX
fore, a national election gives a clearALTHOUGH a thousand and one forces cut result on one issue, as the present besides reason and principle are regis- issue of revolutionary socialism, the tered in election returns, the ballot box election clearly voices a dominant nais regarded as a measurably good index tional opinion. It is true that the varito the fundamental temper and condi- ous Republican groups took steps before tions of a country. In the closing weeks the elections to get together in a Bloc of 1919 the European ballot-box was National Républicain to present a solid kept busy, with many complicated and front against all revolutionary forces significant results. The entire world and tendencies. But it did not pracwatched these elections with keen in- tically work out as an effective com
bination, so the fact remains that the Two groups alone won dramatic sucnational verdict was essentially a spon- cess at the ballot-box, the Socialists and taneous expression of the major opinion the Catholics. In the new Italian Chamof France.
ber the Socialists increased their seats In the French elections the Catholic from forty to one hundred and fiftyelectors threw their weight into the six; the Catholics increased their seats scales against radicalism and in the from thirty to one hundred and one. interest of order. Many prelates issued The Nationalist element, the party of appeals to the Catholics of France to imperialism, received a black eye. This vote thus. The Cardinal Archbishop of latter fact is interesting, coming as it Paris is reported as urging all voters to did just at the time when Italian world avoid abstention from the ballot-box as politics seemed tarred with imperialism's an unpatriotic desertion of duty, and to blackest stick. So we have, at first vote for such candidates as gave promise glance, an Italian Chamber semi-papal, of an orderly and useful policy, although semi-Bolshevik, and anti-imperialistic. they might not satisfy the voters in How did it come about? every respect, rather than vote for can- The answer springs from the widedidates whose theoretical program might spread abstention from the polls. But be more desirable, but who would prob- why this abstention? Some Italians say ably fail, and in their failure open the it was because the Italian masses lack gates to the enemies of religion and the education and have little political consocial order.
sciousness; others say parliamentary The Italian elections tell a different government in Italy has gone to pieces; story. In France the election rendered others say that the Italians have been a typical middle-class verdict for law driven into a sulking mood by the manand order. In Italy the middle-class ner in which the Allies have denied and seemed virtually inarticulate in the elec- blocked their ambitions. The ablest tions. In Italy, as in France, the scrutin students of the situation seem to think de liste system was used in the elec- that the Italian politicians have overtions. The new system apparently left played their hand, and by subtle jugthe rank and file of Italian voters glings of issues and parties have brought wool-gathered. The mass of Italian Italian politics to a condition of convoters have never been a politically fusion worse confounded, so that the minded folk. That is to say, they have average Italian voter has been brought never been enthusiastic followers of the to a pass where he could not tell which intricacies of parliamentary political was which among parties and party machinery, despite the fact that the questions. In short, the Italian voters are essentially a democratic People. had become disgusted with party politics Never an enthusiastic voter, even under and passed the whole affair by. There the simpler voting system, the Italian were doubtless thousands upon thouwas more apathetic than ever in the last sands of intelligent Italian voters who elections, when the new voting system were as much for law and order and as robbed politics of its personal element much anti-revolutionary as were the mass to no slight degree. Barely fifty per cent. of French voters, but these voters had of the 11,115,441 Italian voters appeared no clear-cut leadership that they could at the ballot-box. Only twenty-nine trust; they faced only a party confusion.
per cent. of the voters of Rome cast a So they did not vote. This conclusion ballot, and only thirty-five per cent. in is strengthened by the fact that abstenNaples. In Orlando's constituency only tion from voting was greatest in the fifteen per cent. voted. The abstention most intelligent quarters. from the ballot-box in Italy was dramat- But while all this confusion was on, ically large. And it is interesting to two groups appeared with definite pronote that abstention was least in the grams and effective party organizations. country districts and most in those These were the Catholic Popular party centers of culture and education where and the Socialist party. By assiduous political thought and interest would be work and sedulous advertising they won most expected.
their victory while the vast middle classes slept, as above noted. These facts in- farmers of the United States is bound to dicate that the new Italian Chamber may come. Farm labor has never been ornot at all represent the major opinion of ganized in the sense that other labor has Italy. It may be doubted whether the been organized. Such organizations as masses of Italians in the country dis- the National Grange are, after all, ortricts are any more revolutionary than ganizations of employers more than the farmers of the United States. If a laborers, although the line that divides verbal inelegance may be pardoned, the employers from laborer on the farm is Socialists won on a fluke. The middle not a sharp line. Farmers have yet to classes may have learned their lesson create a National Chamber of Agriculfrom this election and may effect a ture, as the business men have created political house-cleaning and general the Chamber of Commerce of the United clarification of parties and party issues States. Here is a genuine need that that will give the Italian masses clearer challenges the agricultural leadership leadership in the future. It may well be of the country. When such an organithat parliamentary responsibility will zation shall function at maximum effisober the Socialists, a thing that has often ciency, we shall be obliged to revise this happened in parliamentary history when famous paragraph from Ecclesiasticus: the agitator has become administrator.
How shall he become wise that holdeth the The Catholic Popular party will cer
plow ... that driveth oxen ... and whose tainly not play into radical hands. This
discourse is of the stock of bulls? He will set party stands in a good trading position in the new Chamber. So it appears that
his heart upon turning his furrows; and his in domestic policy the outlook is not as
wakefulness is to give his heifers their foddark and revolutionary as first reports
der. . . . All these put their trust in their
hands; and each becometh wise in his own seemed to indicate. Conservative blocs may be formed in the Chamber. If the
work. Without these shall not a city be inCatholics collaborate astutely with the
habited, and men shall not sojourn nor walk scattered forces of the Chamber, aside
up and down therein. But they shall not be from the Socialists, the Catholics may
sought for in the council of the people, and in well nigh dominate Italian policy.
the assembly they shall not mount high; In foreign policy the grounds for hope
they shall not sit in the seat of the judge, and are not so clear. It is not at all impos
they shall not understand the covenant of sible that the Catholic leanings toward
judgment; neither shall they declare instrucAustria and away from France may
tion and judgment, and where parables are unite with the Radical dislike of
they shall not be found. But they will mainbourgeois England and France in the
tain the fabric of the world; and in the handi
work of their craft is their prayer. formation of a foreign policy that will ultimately prove anti-French and anti- As agricultural leadership broadens Entente. But prediction is a difficult its vision, and agricultural organization task in view of the fact that these Ital- proceeds apace, the farmers will not ian elections probably fell far short of only maintain the fabric of the world, expressing the real Italy. We may dis- but will have more and more to say cover that these elections gave no clear about its pattern. verdict upon either Italy's radicalism or Mr. Roosevelt well said that "our Italy's imperialism.
civilization rests at bottom on the wholesomeness, the attractiveness, and
the completeness, as well as the prosAN AMERICAN AGRICULTURAL PROGRAM
perity, of life in the country.” The outOUR time is marked by the awakening standing need to-day is increasing initiof every class and group of our national ative among the leaders of agriculture life to a greater consciousness of its rather than increasing dependence upon function and importance. That awaken- government initiative. There is now an ing is producing no end of unsettle- opportunity for a great American to ment, but it will ultimately mean a more achieve greatness of action in the statesintelligent direction of our common life. manship of rural affairs. A more coherent organization of the But while we are waiting for states