Lost Language, Lost Liberalism

A review of the changes 1880-1940 to the central semantics of liberal civilization.

Generations

This website shows a shift in meanings. Did it come by individuals changing their way of talking, or by new generations, which talked one way, displacing older generations, which talked another way? The quotations of the Generations compendium indicate the shift was primarily generational; there seem to have been few cases of individual classical liberals moving much in the statist direction. Passages congruent with the claim that statism was a generational shift can be found at Willard Wolfe (1975) pp. 3 (n.7), 24 (n.3), 51, 180, 193, 218, 221, 271, 272, 273, and at Stanley Pierson (1973) pp. 28, 106, 107, 155, 249.

In addition to passages showing a generational shift, we also include some other quotations about what youth finds appealing, and about the ideological migrations of particular individuals.


Thomas Hill Green 1836 –1882) was an English philosopher, political radical and temperance reformer, and a member of the British idealism movement. Like all the British idealists, Green was influenced by the metaphysical historicism of G.W.F. Hegel. 

Thomas Hill Green 1836 –1882) was an English philosopher, political radical and temperance reformer, and a member of the British idealism movement. Like all the British idealists, Green was influenced by the metaphysical historicism of G.W.F. Hegel. 

Green, Thomas Hill. [1881] 1888. “Liberal Legislation and Freedom of Contract” in Works of Thomas Hill Green, Vol. III, edited by Richard Lewis Nettleship. Longmans, Green, and Co.: London.

[367] I have said enough to show that the most pressing political questions of our time are questions of which the settlement, I do not say necessarily involves an interference with freedom of contract, but is sure to be resisted in the sacred name of individual liberty, not only by all those who are interested in keeping things as they are, but by others to whom freedom is dear for its own sake, and who do not sufficiently consider the conditions of its maintenance in such a society as ours. In this respect there is a noticeable difference between the present position of political reformers and that in which they stood a generation ago. Then they fought the fight of reform in the name of individual freedom against class privilege. Their opponents could not with any plausibility invoke the same name against them. Now, in appearance—though, as I shall try to show, not in reality—the case is changed. The nature of the genuine political reformer is perhaps always the same. The passion for improving mankind, in its ultimate object, does not vary. But the immediate object of reformers, and the forms of persuasion by which they seek to advance them, vary much in different generations. To a hasty observer they might even seem contradictory, and to justify the notion that nothing better than a desire for change, selfish or perverse, is at the bottom of all reforming movements. Only those who will think a little longer about it can discern the same old cause of social good against class interests, for which, under altered names, liberals are fighting now as they were fifty years ago.

 

Alfred Jules Émile Fouillée (1838 – 1912) was a French philosopher.

Alfred Jules Émile Fouillée (1838 – 1912) was a French philosopher.

Fouillee, Alfred. 1884. “The Problem of Universal Suffrage,” Popular Science Monthly 26 (2): 194-204.

[199] The liberal progressive spirit corresponds with the age of youth and early manhood, which is especially distinguished by the development of the productive forces. The young man endeavors to assert himself, to produce, to take his place in the world. Liberal natures offer the same character, and the organizing power which they show is the infallible sign of true liberalism. The liberal loves liberty above everything else; but he suspects liberties that are granted or gotten up for the occasion. He has faith only in liberty that is innate, or that has been conquered by labor and effort. Progress is his aim.

The conservative liberal is the man, some forty or fifty years old, who is less concerned about acquiring new possessions than about improving and expanding those that he has. The conservative is less enthusiastic than the progressist, not that he does not appreciate his ideas, but because he more clearly sees the difficulty of realizing them. As the progressist above all loves liberty, the conservative loves pre-eminently the law which gives force and stability to relations that are recognized as necessary. Further, he attaches himself particularly to historic right, of which he maintains even the traditional form. He wishes the movement toward the future to respect the rights of the past. Thus he is little aggressive, and his particular force is the defensive. His natural place is after a revolution, or a fundamental transformation, when the living question is to preserve the conquests that have been made, and secure them against new abuses. Great legislators are generally progressists; great jurists are for the most part conservatives. Reactionary absolutism corresponds with old age, when life is declining and approaching its end, and the passive elements become preponderant. Its ideal is passive obedience; but, if its tranquility is disturbed, it becomes irritable and cruel.

 

Rae, John. 1884. Contemporary Socialism. Charles Scribner’s and Sons: New York.

[319-320] Under the influence of this experience economists of the present day meet socialism in a very different way from Bastiat and the economists of 1848. They entertain no longer the same absolute confidence in the purely beneficent character of the operation of the principles at present guiding the process of industrial evolution, or in the sovereign virtue of competition, unassisted and unconnected, as an agency for the distribution as well as the production of wealth; and they no longer declare that there is not and cannot possibly be a social question. On the contrary, some of them take almost as unfavourable a view of the road we are on as the socialists themselves.

 

Montague, Francis C. 1885. The Limits of Individual Liberty. Rivingtons: London.

[12] Whereas the reformers of the last generation sought to contract, the reformers of our own time are busy enlarging the activity of the state. They are silently abandoned the principles of laissez faire individual freedom to espouse the principle of common action for the public good.

 

Brown, Edmund Woodward. 1885. The Life of Society. G. P. Putnam’s and Sons: New York.

[237] The name of liberty is a great one among men, and has an enchanting sound to many ears, charming most often the youth.

 

McGuire, Thomas. 1885. “Mr. Chamberlain and Socialism,” Progress 5(July): 316-320.

[320] Mr. Chamberlain stands prominently to the front as the champion of progressive Liberalism—that is, Liberalism as opposed to Whiggism. … Your stagnant Whigs…belong to a bygone generation, and are pregnant of nothing but ‘barren criticism.’ Mr. Chamberlain…is alive to the fact that Democracy is of age, and comes to take possession.

 

Sir Henry James Sumner Maine, (1822 – 1888), was a British comparative jurist and historian. He is famous for the thesis outlined in Ancient Law that law and society developed "from status to contract."

Sir Henry James Sumner Maine, (1822 – 1888), was a British comparative jurist and historian. He is famous for the thesis outlined in Ancient Law that law and society developed "from status to contract."

Maine, Henry Sumner. 1976 [1885]. Popular Government. Indianapolis: Liberty Classics.

[78] In our day, when the extension of popular government is throwing all the older political ideas into utter confusion, a man of ability can hardly render a higher service to his country, than by the analysis and correction of the assumptions which pass from mind to mind in the multitude, without inspiring a doubt of their truth and genuineness. Some part of this intellectual circulating medium was base from the first; another was once good coin, but it is clipped and worn on all sides ; another consists of mere tokens, which are called by an old name, because there is a conventional understanding that it shall still be used. It is urgently necessary to rate all this currency at its true value ...

 

Anonymous. 1886. “The Greville Memoirs,” The British Quarterly Review 83(165): 67-95.

[82] The truth is that Peel, like Mr. Gladstone, had been placed in a false position by circumstances during part of his career. The son of a Tory, he was brought up in Tory traditions from an early age, and when in youth he entered the Tory camp, he identified himself with the Tory cause, and gradually became its most powerful advocate. Yet by nature he was a moderate Liberal; his instincts and sympathies were on the side of progress; and though his intellect moved slowly, it gradually freed itself from the narrow doctrines and ideas of Castlereagh and Perceval, and became converted to true Liberalism. Thus, so to speak, he contradicted himself; and in his later years his conscience revolted from the associations and party ties by which, nevertheless, he continued bound.

 

Herbert Somerton Foxwell (1849 – 1936) was an English economist.

Herbert Somerton Foxwell (1849 – 1936) was an English economist.

Foxwell, Herbert Somerton. 1887. “The Economic Movement in England,” The Quarterly Journal of Economics 2(1): 84-103.

[89] The nature of the change brought about in modern economics by this historical feeling need not here be considered at much length. … But, generally, it may be said that, whereas the older school of English economists contented themselves with deducing, more or less loosely, the consequences which would follow on a given set of assumptions, —partly ideal, but supposed in the main to correspond to the facts and institutions of the age, and to be in some sense ‘natural,or common to all ages, —the new school take comparatively little interest in the deductions, because they hold that the facts themselves are in a process of evolution and change, and that the nature and direction of this social evolution are a far more important object of study than elaborate and complicated deductions, too delicate for practical use, as to the action of economic forces in any particular actual or assumed stage of this evolution. It follows that writers of the historical school are strongly anti-doctrinaire; that is, they oppose arrogant and universal dogmatism resting upon crude reasoning and a limited basis of observation.

[96] The fair-trade agitation of 1849 has been revived with considerable successes. … But it is much aided by the remarkable success, may be doubted. Imperial federation is one of the most influential movements of the day. It is warmly supported by the press, spoken of by both political parties with respect, and taken up with enthusiasm by the younger generation.

[101] What the new school protest is: first, the unscientific and meager way in which deduction was used; secondly, the unwarrantable dogmatism with which loose ‘deductionwas applied to practice; thirdly, the exaggerated estimate of the importance of theory, even when applied with the greatest care. … Every one can see that laissez faire, formerly a forgone conclusion, is now scarcely even a presumption.


Sidney James Webb, 1st Baron Passfield  (1859 –  1947) was a British socialist, economist, reformer and a co-founder of the London School of Economics. He was one of the early members of the Fabian Society in 1884, along with George Bernard Shaw.

Sidney James Webb, 1st Baron Passfield  (1859 –  1947) was a British socialist, economist, reformer and a co-founder of the London School of Economics. He was one of the early members of the Fabian Society in 1884, along with George Bernard Shaw.

Webb, Sidney. 1889. Socialism in England, Publications of the American Economic Association 4(2): 7-73.

[13] In England, especially, we shall find that the progress of Socialism is to be sought mainly among those who are unconscious of their socialism, many of whom, indeed, still proclaim their adherence to Individualism, Self-help and Laissez Faire. … Not all of those who are now coming forward to claim the name Socialist can be admitted as such, whilst many thousands have become Socialists without knowing it.


Anonymous. 1891. “The Individual and the State,” The Edinburgh Review 174(355): 271-294.

[274-275] It is to what are known as ' social questions' that the modern candidate of the Liberal party most readily turns. In every direction he calls for the intervention of the State to improve the material condition of those whose favour he seeks. … The change that has come over us must indeed be a great one; it must be a change which has completely transformed political theories, and profoundly modified the character and tendencies of British parties, if it can be plausibly contended by able and thoughtful men that we have reached a stage where Liberty itself is in danger from the attacks of aggressive modern Liberalism. … The thoughtful Radical, philosopher or working man, sees clearly enough the dangers towards which the bulk of his party seems determined to steer. … Yet there are amongst us some men of sterner stuff, some Liberals and Radicals inspired by the old spirit which animated their predecessors in days when the Liberal party was struggling for freedom.

[276] The demand, however, for an Act of Parliament to fix the length of a working day is but one among many evidences of the growing habit of Englishmen to look for the improvement of their lot rather to State regulation than to their own efforts. And let it be observed that this tendency is comparatively a very modern tendency amongst English reformers.

The efforts of the older Liberals and reformers, down almost to our own time, were aimed in exactly the opposite direction, viz. at striking off the legal fetters which limited the independent action of the individual. Men are very apt to forget how, in times more primitive than our own, the law attempted—undoubtedly in what was then believed by the ruling class to be the public interest—to prescribe in almost every direction the conduct of men's lives. To fix wages by law, to prescribe for men what they should eat and drink, and how they should be clothed, at what rate of interest they should borrow money, at what trades and in what places and in what manner they should work, seemed to our ancestors, at one time or another, to be fair subjects for the exercise of the wisdom of Parliament.


Clara Collet (1860–1948) worked as a civil servant working with the Board of Trade during which time she helped introduce many reforms including the introduction of the Old Age Pension and Labour Exchanges. During these years she worked with well-known politicians such as David Lloyd George, Ramsay MacDonald, William Beveridge and Winston Churchill.

Clara Collet (1860–1948) worked as a civil servant working with the Board of Trade during which time she helped introduce many reforms including the introduction of the Old Age Pension and Labour Exchanges. During these years she worked with well-known politicians such as David Lloyd George, Ramsay MacDonald, William Beveridge and Winston Churchill.

Collet, Clara E. 1891. “Moral Tales,The International Journal of Ethics 1(3): 370-384.

[371] Now that the Roman Catholic and English churches, our Ethical Societies and our agitators are teaching us all that our spiritual life is dependent on our material surroundings, that food and clothing and physical well-being are necessary for our souls redemption, that the well-nurtured slave is a higher being than the hungry freeman, that liberty must be surrendered for social comfort, it may not be unprofitable to take a glance at the old ideals which moved our grandfathers and grandmothers in the eighteenth century; which broke down the barriers between class and class, which established the independence of America, which wrought the French Revolution and made it an agent for good, instead of the destruction of France, which secured the abolition of slavery and won for us religious toleration. We are turning aside from the old paths, and it is only becoming that we should take an affectionate farewell of our mistaken forefathers who valued so highly the freedom we prize so little.


Amos, Sarah M. Sheldon. 1891. “The Women’s Sufferage Movement,The Contemporary Review 61(6): 773-778.

[774-775] Yet it is dismally true that the Liberal leaders are, as a rule, strangely adverse to the cause of woman's suffrage. It is unnecessary to accumulate evidence of this. The one striking instance of Mr. Gladstones letter is enough. But Liberalism has never been less influenced by any dictum of a great Liberal leader; and the chief result of that pamphlet has been to show once more that in Liberalism it is principles that stand, and that vindicate themselves when even the greatest men stumble and err, failing to see where principles lead, and permitting their clear vision to be befogged by old mists of Conservatism. Mr. Gladstone has himself said that his whole life has been a long learning of the meaning of liberty, and if his younger disciples, standing on the forward platform he has built for them, entering into the great heritage he has painfully won for them, have a larger hope in some directions than he has, their wider vision may be gracefully and gratefully counted a part of the debt they owe to him as an exponent of truths greater and higher than any man or any age. That is really a great fact in modern Liberalism, a fact paralleled by familiar facts in domestic life, and only new in politics because true Liberalism is not yet old. Succeeding political generations, while relying on what is solid and useful in the experience of the past, and trusting the old in some respects, can never allow the growth of opinion, the pressure of opportunity, to be cramped and counteracted by the stiffer and slower movement of earlier and more wearied workers. It is of the essence of Liberalism that the earlier generation should expect to be outstripped by eager successors, should seek to consolidate the gains of one generation, while already the new generation is adding to the heap.


Smalley, George Washburn. 1891. London Letters, Vol. I. Harper and Brothers: New York.

 [411] I know nothing that better shows how all-engrossing is the question of Home Rule than the relations between Mr. Gladstone and Bright since it came to the front, and also the relations between Bright and those [new] Liberals who followed Mr. Gladstone into the Home Rule camp. … But it was felt by the Gladstonians in 1886 that, more than any other single influence, Bright stood between them and victory. His was the most inspiring personality of all those which were on the side of the Union. Old Liberals hung back from the polls when they were asked to vote against the convictions of him to whom they had so long looked as a leader. His Liberalism was of far older date than Mr. Gladstone's. The purity of his motives was beyond question: neither politics nor political ambition had any share in determining his course.

[206] Most of my pilgrimages to Birmingham have been made to hear Mr. Bright. This one was to listen to a younger man, Lord Rosebery; one of that younger generation who are to have a hand in shaping English affairs for the next twenty years or more. Lord Rosebery is the man of today in Scotland; of to-morrow in England; on the threshold of the Cabinet, to which he is every day gazetted by the newspapers.


Edward Bellamy (1850 – 1898) was an American author and socialist, most famous for his utopian novel, Looking Backward, a Rip Van Winkle-like tale set in the distant future of the year 2000.

Edward Bellamy (1850 – 1898) was an American author and socialist, most famous for his utopian novel, Looking Backward, a Rip Van Winkle-like tale set in the distant future of the year 2000.

Bellamy, Edward. 1893. “The America of Today not the America of Yesterday,” The New Nation 3(14): 178-179.

[178-179] Goldwin Smith has published a letter in the London Times in which he tries to make a point against the Gladstonians by comparing the socialistic tendencies of the British electorate with the alleged "conservative" attitude of the American people, among whom, as he assures the Times, socialistic idea have not as yet taken any root. Mr. Smith's facts are all wrong. … It was true before the war that the possession of a fair competence [meaning, evidently, a secure livelihood] was common and the expectation of attaining it was pretty general among our people. So long as that was the state of things, it was in vain for the social reformer to preach a new system of wealth distribution. He would have found none to listen. Within the last 25 years however, the most remarkable economic revolution that ever occurred in the same length of time has transformed the condition of our people. Instead of being as once the country where the greatest equality of wealth prevailed, America has become the country where the inequalities of wealth are most excessive. Plutocracy has arisen, a proletariat has developed and the farmers are becoming a peasantry. The greater part of the wealth of the nation has passed into the possession of a handful of people, and the current sets that way with ever increasing rapidity. The great agricultural class is crushed with mortgages, the artisan has lost all hope of ever being more than a hireling, and the small business man lives only from day to day waiting for some combination of capitalists to get ready to swallow up his occupation and reduce him to a wage-earner.

This is the America of today. It is the America of 1830, of de Tocqueville, that Goldwin Smith is talking about.


Anonymous. 1894. “An Eirenikon To Socialists and Individualists,” The Westminster Review 142(6): 644-649.

[644] The formula which I desire to submit as an Eirenikon to the rival parties, is: Socialism for the Young and Old; Individualism for the Mature.

[644] The reasonable Socialist recognises that it is a choice of evils; and, while he differs from the Individualist as to the side to which the balance inclines, he must feel that his arguments are strongest in the case of those who from their youth or their old age have not the necessary powers for self-maintenance.


Clarke, William. 1894.  “The Fabian Society and its Work,” in Socialism: the Fabian Essays. Boston.

[xxxiii] Laissez-faire individualist political philosophy is dead.  In vain does poor Mr. Spencer endeavor to stem the torrent.  His political ideas are already as antiquated as Noah’s ark.  I do not know a single one of the younger men in England who is influenced by them in the slightest degree, though one hears of one occasionally, just as one hears of a freak in a dime museum. [Quoted by Greenleaf 1983, 82]

Brooks, George. 1895. Industry and Property. Sampson Low, Marston and Co.: London.

[211] It is a mistake to suppose that there is any gulf between the old Political Economy and the new; that is when they are properly understood. There has not even been any breach of continuity. The new Political Economy, so far as it is true, is a natural outgrowth of the old. As Professor Marshall puts it: ‘The new doctrines have supplemented the older—have extended, developed, sometimes corrected them, and often have given them a different tone by a new distribution of emphasis; but very seldom have subverted them.

[212] The New Political economy is misnamed. It is not the Political Economy in it which is new, but rather an emotion of sympathy, undefinable and unregulated, with the poorer and more unfortunate classes of society. This sympathy, although it is supposed in some way to be an outgrowth of some higher development of ecomomical knowledge, is really the product of altogether different causes, and has nothing whatever to do with Political Economy properly understood.

[214-215] We hear a good deal of jargon talked just now in certain quarters with regard to what is called the ‘new spiritwhich is alleged to have entered into the old body of Political Economy. This ‘new spirit,however, when fairly looked in the face is seen to be one of the old ghosts which have been flitting about in the world for hundreds and even thousands of years. It is simply the spirit of envy, of greed, of class hatred; the spirit which teaches men that instead of helping themselves they should be helped by others; the spirit, which, although it pretends to promote liberty, equality, and fraternity, would really make liberty impossible, create grosser inequalities than any which now exist, and drive the brotherly temper from amongst the children of men. The less we have of this ‘new spiritthe better.


Hake, Alfred Egmont and O. E. Wesslau. 1895. The Coming Individualism. Archibald Constable and Co.: Westminster.

[94] Before the extension of the Franchise in 1867, most British voters knew that all government interference, the object of which was to exterminate social evils by authoritative measures, was certain to aggravate such evils. But, after the accession to power of the democracy, this truth seems to have been completely ignored. The antiquated, grotesque ideas of rendering the people virtuous and sober by Act of Parliament, and of rendering the working-classes prosperous by driving capital out of industry and out of the country, and by persecuting employers, do not appear to present anything illogical to the present generation.


James Mavor (1854 – 1925) was a major Canadian economist of late 19th - early 20th centuries. He served as a Professor of Political Economy of the University of Toronto from 1892 to 1923. He played a key role in resettling Doukhobor religious dissidents from the Russian Empire to Canada.

James Mavor (1854 – 1925) was a major Canadian economist of late 19th - early 20th centuries. He served as a Professor of Political Economy of the University of Toronto from 1892 to 1923. He played a key role in resettling Doukhobor religious dissidents from the Russian Empire to Canada.

Mavor, James. 1895. “Labor and Politics in England,” Political Science Review 10(3): 486-517.

[486] Political Parties in England are even now in the throes of a great change. A coalition, if not even a fusion, has taken place between the Conservatives and a group of men who ten years ago represented themselves as the pioneers of ‘advanced liberalism,and who were widely regarded as the extreme radical wing of the Liberal Party.

[494-495] Although comparatively young men have all along had much more to do with the detail management of the trade-union movement than the older men, the very young men have had during recent years acquired more potency than formerly. While trade-unionism was still under the ban of the law, and while risk attached to active work in the movement, it was inevitable that men with responsibilities should shrink from too conspicuous position, and that young men should take these.

[494n.1] This is usually the case in revolutionary movements. Upwards of half of the members of the government of the Paris Commune of 1871 were under twenty-six years of age.


Sir Henry John Wrixon  (1839 – 1913) was an Australian barrister and politician.

Sir Henry John Wrixon  (1839 – 1913) was an Australian barrister and politician.

Wrixon, Henry. 1896. Socialism. Macmillan and Co.: London.

[88-89] "The Independent Labour Party" is one of the most active of the Socialist bodies, though its influence in practical politics appears to be small. But the important question with regard to such movements is, not so much their immediate political strength, as whether they are likely in time to impress the people. Their Secretary, Mr. Tom Mann, says: ‘What we aim at is such a reconstruction of society from its base as shall make the existence of poverty in our State an absolute impossibility.’ … Its members are chiefly young men, whom the Secretary considers are more amenable to reason than old men.

[140] My other friend, the artisan in the United States, held an important position in the labour world, and was a firm supporter of the rights of the workers. He had been for some years active in the Socialist ranks, but had come to disbelieve in the solution of the problem of the day which that party offers. He said that he saw clearly that it meant slavery for all, and even if they were fed and clothed, what better would they be than the negroes before the war of emancipation.

[150] Leaving now America, for the present, I will revert to some interviews that I had with representative Socialists in England. One gentleman whom I met held a high position in the Labour party, and no one hearing him could doubt his sincerity, though his opinions were evidently coloured by his feelings. As a boy, he said that he had heard much of Cobden and Bright, but he had never believed in them. He and his party were at eternal war with the property classes, but they regarded the workers of all nations…as their brothers.

[154] I had heard much about Christian Socialism, and so was glad to be allowed a conversation with a reverend gentleman who held an official position in one of the social unions. He was a Church of England and an Oxford man, and gave the impression of a noble feeling of sympathy with the poor. He said that all the young clergy were Socialists, that the movement was as strong at Oxford now as the High Church outbreak was seventy years ago. Most of the clergy about London were the same.

[157] Even with the thinking Socialists their clearest ideas are all destructive, and the immediate impulse that actuates them is compounded of a sympathy with poverty and a hatred of competition and its complement, private property, which they accuse of being the cause of poverty. They sketch plans of the new social state in which these evils are to cease, and where all are to be equally well off; but they do not seem to be oppressed with anxiety as to how it will really work out. … The pioneers who fought for freedom in the past, would be astonished at the turn things have now taken, and we may at least be certain that the observer in the future will be surprised by equally unexpected developments.


Anonymous. 1897. “Mr Jowett and Oxford Liberalism,” Blackwoods Edinburgh Magazine 161(979): 721-732.

[724] The mere circumstance that for many years it was the fashionable thing for young men of parts and promise to call themselves Liberals is conclusive evidence of its strength, and of the powerful influence exercised by its champions.

[726] Liberal principles, or what pass for principles, are naturally attractive to ingenuous youth….

[727] Jowett] had a liking for Lord Beaconsfield, but always distrusted Mr Gladstone, in whom, it is true, the Oxford Liberals, suspecting his clerical proclivities, reposed but little confidence.


Anonymous. 1897. “The Political Transformation of Scotland,” The Quarterly Review 185(369): 269-293.

[282-283] [William McEwan, M.P.] kept the most effective portions of his speech, however, for the misdeeds of his Party.

'At present we have neither a creed nor a policy; and until we have one or other, no effective concerted action is possible. It was a dark day for Liberalism when we drifted away from the Liberal creed. I say drifted away, for it was done unconsciously. The creed simply dropped out of sight, and the younger men of the Party scarcely know what it is. ... Ten years ago the Party became tainted with the New Liberalism, which is really Collectivism. In ordinary circumstances the leader would have endeavoured to stamp out a heresy so subversive of the principles of the Party, but his attention was engrossed by one great question, and little notice was taken of this new departure. The Collectivists outside, however, quickly perceived their opportunity; and being strong in Liberal Federations and all-powerful in Liberal Conferences, and mistaking their own noise for the voice of the nation, boldly dictated a policy to the Party. . . We must purge ourselves of the heresies of the past few years—dissociate ourselves from all intolerant and socialistic proposals. In so doing we shall again put ourselves in line with historic Liberalism, the principles of which are the palladium of liberty. ... It is evident that we have now in the Liberal Party two antagonistic forces—the one the Old Liberalism based on liberty; the other the New Liberalism based on Collectivism, based on Socialism and tyranny. These two forces can no more be harmonized or blended than water with oil. Sooner or later they will come into collision, and when that day comes I am afraid a reconstruction of Parties will be inevitable.


Webb, Sidney. 1901. “Lord Roseberys Escape from Houndsditch” The Nineteenth Century and After 50(295):  366-386.

[366-367] What then is the matter with the Liberals? For fifty years, in the middle of the last century, we may recognise their party as ‘a great instrument of progress,wrenching away the shackles—political, fiscal, legal, theological and social—that hindered individual advancement. The shackles are by no means wholly got rid of, but the political force of this old Liberalism is spent. During the last twenty years its aspirations and its watchwords, its ideas of daily life and its conceptions of the universe, have become increasingly distasteful to the ordinary citizen as he renews his youth from generation to generation. Its worship of individual liberty evokes no enthusiasm.

[368] It [Liberalism] held that position for so large a part of the last century that it came to believe that it held it by natural right. How is it that it has now lost it? The answer is that, during the last twenty or thirty years, we have become a new people. ‘Early VictorianEngland now lies, in effect, centuries behind us. Such things do happen. The processes which make one generation differ from another operate sometimes slowly and imperceptibly, sometimes quickly and even suddenly. At one period centuries may pass without any discoverable difference in the mind or character of a nation. At another new ideas are precipitated and new parties crystallised almost before the old parliamentary hands have time to prove their visionariness.

[373] Ten years ago, had I been then writing such an article, I might have persuaded myself that only in the rise of an independent Socialist party could the alternative be found. For Democratic Socialism, as a theory of economic and political State organisation, has at least the double merit of being based on the latest political science, and in accord with the aspirations of the new England of to-day. Indeed, we can now see that the rise of the organised Socialist movement in England after 1880 was only one symptom of the political change of heart which the nation was experiencing. Just for this reason the propaganda of practical Socialism has, during the last twenty years, had a great effect on English thought. In my judgment it has powerfully contributed, and will certainly continue to contribute, to the decay of the old political creeds. But, looking back on the last two decades, we see that this effect has come, not so much in causing people to abandon their political parties, or to abstain from using the party watchwords, as in forcing upon their attention an altogether novel criticism, and in changing their whole way of looking at things.


Mahood, Hattie E. 1901. “The Liberal Party: A Menace to Democracy,” The Forum 31(5):  587-598.

[590] Few people would be bold enough to assert that Liberalism has progressed during the last five years. But the very recent history of the Liberal party goes far to prove that political life is subject to the same great law which governs moral and physical life, and which is generally regarded as an axiom. It is impossible to remain stationary; progress offers one alternative only — retrogression.

But retrogression, even as an outward and visible sign, takes us back [591] much farther than that. It began fifteen years ago, or appeared to do so, with the famous Chamberlain apostasy. … The opportunity was seized by a large body of men within the Liberal ranks to draw back from a party which had been progressing too fast for them. The apostates were chiefly men who had been born Liberals, who had inherited the Liberal tradition in much the same way as they had inherited the name of their family. Men of this stamp are often the most faithful not only to party, but to principles, so long as party issues hang upon principles whose form is familiar and understood. But they fail when old principles change their form, and present themselves in new guises and in new lights. These men were all careful to explain that they were still Liberals, and in harmony with the policy of Mr. Gladstone in every particular except the one question of Home Rule for Ireland. Truly, principles and beliefs are slight things so long as they are not brought to big practical issues.

[592] Gladstone passed, and with him Liberalism, that is, a certain conception of lofty ideas which had done a marvellous work for England and for the world. It was buried with him, as some one mournfully said. But in the widest and truest sense Gladstone was necessary, is necessary; Gladstone is undying, and the great truths underlying Gladstonian Liberalism are undying, though ever changing with the changing ages of the world.

But the Liberal party of to-day does not grasp this; it is hide-bound by tradition. It looks back instead of forward. Liberals assure us that they have given up nothing; they hold to their old beliefs. Precisely: but that is merely a phase of Conservatism. There are fresh conceptions of human liberty and progress, but the Liberal party does not accept them; and meanwhile the age with its new and tremendous ideas is rushing past, leaving Liberalism itself stranded high and dry. The men who in the days to come will shake themselves free and help to found a great new National Democratic party must be daily finding their fetters, as nominal members of the Liberal party, more and more intolerable.


Sedgwick, Arthur G. 1901. “English Political Development in the Century,” in The 19th Century: A Review of Progress. G. P. Puntnams Sons: New York.

[43] The remoter causes which have led to the present reaction against Liberal ideas, the tide of which has been swelling for twenty-five years, are no doubt numerous and diverse. Following upon a regime of reason, it seems in some respects like a reaction against reason itself; as if the new generation had got tired, as an individual might, of being reasonable, and were resolved to try something else.

[46] The enthusiasts of the last century were laughed at for putting these ideas into people's heads. The reactionaries of to-day are trying to disprove them.


Herbert Louis Samuel, 1st Viscount Samuel (1870 – 1963) was a British politician and diplomat.

Herbert Louis Samuel, 1st Viscount Samuel (1870 – 1963) was a British politician and diplomat.

Samuel, Herbert Louis. 1902. Liberalism. Grant Richards: London.

[31] From time to time the State undertakes fresh duties. As new wants arise, and as government becomes more efficient, the province of State action is gradually enlarged. For this reason the Liberal programme of to-day is very different from that of a century ago. It makes no claim to finality. Liberalism, indeed, is no stereotyped collection of fixed proposals. It is a living force that applies itself in turn to all the changing phases of national life, in ways conditioned by the character and the customs of the people. As times alter, the proposals of Liberalism must alter as well. Of the measures which we are about to discuss, some cannot fail to be sooner or later carried into law; they will be replaced by others. Some perhaps will be superseded in time by better proposals along similar lines. But although programmes change and the practical aims of each generation of Liberals must needs be different from those of its predecessor, the root ideas that underlie them all, the doctrine that the State exists in order to help men to live well, the belief that it is able, within certain limits and among other agencies, to lighten the burdens which poverty imposes and to do much in other ways to enlarge the opportunities for right living—these fundamental ideas are not transitory and will not soon change.


Sidney and Beatrice Webb, (respectively, 1859 — 1947; 1858 — 1943) were English Socialist economists (husband and wife), early members of the Fabian Society, and co-founders of the London School of Economics and Political Science. Sidney Webb also helped reorganize the University of London into a federation of teaching institutions and served in the government as a Labour Party member. Pioneers in social and economic reforms as well as distinguished historians, the Webbs deeply affected social thought and institutions in England.

Sidney and Beatrice Webb, (respectively, 1859 — 1947; 1858 — 1943) were English Socialist economists (husband and wife), early members of the Fabian Society, and co-founders of the London School of Economics and Political Science. Sidney Webb also helped reorganize the University of London into a federation of teaching institutions and served in the government as a Labour Party member. Pioneers in social and economic reforms as well as distinguished historians, the Webbs deeply affected social thought and institutions in England.

Webb, Beatrice Potter and Sidney Webb. 1902. Problems of Modern Industry, new ed. Longmans, Green, and Co.: London.

[229-230] English students of the last generation were accustomed to think of Socialism as a mere Utopia, spun from the humanity-intoxicated brains of various Frenchmen of the beginning of this century. Down to the present generation, every aspirant after social reform, whether Socialist or Individualist, naturally embodied his ideas in a detailed plan of a new social order, from which all contemporary evils were eliminated. Bellamy is but a belated Cabet, Baboeuf, or Campanella. But modern Socialists have learnt the lesson of evolution even better than their opponents, and it cannot be too often repeated that Socialism, to Socialists, is not a Utopia which they have invented, but a principle of social organisation which they assert to have been discovered by the patient investigators into sociology whose labours have distinguished the present century. That principle, whether true or false, has, during a whole generation, met with an ever-increasing, though often unconscious, acceptance by political administrators.

[230-231] In the present phase of acute social compunction, the mal-adjustments which occasion these modifications appear to us in the guise of ‘social problems.But whether or not they are the subjects of conscious thought, or conscious action, their influence is perpetually at work, silently or obtrusively modifying the distribution of social pressure, and altering the weft of that social tissue of which our life is made. The characteristic feature of our own age is not this constant evolution itself—for that, of course, is of all time— but our increasing consciousness of it. Instead of unconscious factors we become deliberate agents, either to aid or resist the developments coming to our notice. … Hence the growing value of correct principles of social action, of valid ideals for social aspiration. Hence, therefore, the importance, for weal or for woe, of the change in social ideals and principles which marks off the present generation of Socialists from the surviving economists and statesmen brought up in the ‘Manchester School.

[233-234] But although the principles of Individualism have long been tacitly abandoned by our public men, they have remained, until quite recently, enshrined in the imagination of the middle-class citizen and the journalist. Their rapid supersession in these days, by principles essentially Socialist, is due to the prominence now given to ‘social problems,and to the failure of Individualism to offer any practicable solution of these. The problems are not in themselves new; they are not even more acute or pressing than of yore; but the present generation is less disposed than its predecessors to acquiesce in their insolubility. This increasing social compunction in the presence of industrial disease and social misery is the inevitable result of the advent of political democracy. The power to initiate reforms is now rapidly passing into the hands of those who themselves directly suffer from the evils to be removed; and it is therefore not to be wondered at that social re-organisation is a subject of much more vital interest to the proletarian politicians of to-day than it can ever have been to the University professors or Whig proprietors of the past.

 [250] Two generations ago it would have been assumed, as a matter of course, that the most efficient life for each community was to be secured by each individual in it being left complete personal freedom. But that crude vision has long since been demolished. Fifty years of social experience have convinced  every statesman that, although there is no common sensorium, a society is something more than the sum of its members; that a social organism has a life and health distinguishable from those of its individual atoms. Hence it is that we have had Lord Shaftesbury warning us that without Factory Acts we should lose our textile trade; Matthew Arnold, that without national education we were steering straight into national decay; and finally, even Professor Huxley taking up the parable that, unless we see to the training of our residuum, France and Germany and the United States will take our place in the world's workshop. This ‘difficultyof Individualism can be met, indeed, like the rest, only by the application of what are essentially Socialist principles.


Jamison, Franklin. 1902. “The Influence of Universities Upon Historical Writing,” The University Record 6(4): 294-300.

[297-298] The world cares far less for eloquence than it did a generation ago. It seems to care less for noble sentiments than for scientific facts. In the seventeenth century the high enthusiasms of the earlier years gave place, long before the century had ended, to the rule of sober reason; after the founding of the Royal Society there would be no more Miltons. So before the close of the nineteenth century we have witnessed, all the world over, the distinct decay of political liberalism, the inspiring creed which prevailed almost everywhere from 1830 to 1870, and on which our fathers founded their hearty enthusiasm for liberty and for democracy. Old-fashioned whiggery is dead; the political theories that have taken its place borrow their postulates from the domain of physical science. If in times of literary transition it is difficult to say what is cause and what is effect, at least we can perceive that certain phenomena arrive together. The rise of professional or professorial history-writing coincided with the rise of realism in fiction. We may fairly maintain that both had the same cause, a discontent with rhetorical and imaginative presentations of human life, bred in the minds of a generation to which Darwin and his fellows had taught the cogency and the pervasiveness of scientific laws.


Rogers, J. Guinness. 1903. “The Nonconformists And The Education Act,” The Nineteenth Century and After 53(311): 14-25.

[17] There has been an all but universal uprising among all who can fairly be regarded as representing Nonconformity against a measure which is directly opposed, not so much to their sectarian interests, but to those great principles of religious equality without which there can be no true liberty. It has been a great surprise as well as satisfaction to many of us to find that among the most pronounced of the opponents are men who belong to the Liberal Unionist camp. … A second and more suggestive feature still is the fervour with which the younger Nonconformist ministers are throwing themselves into the crusade. For the first time we have a considerable Wesleyan contingent in the Free Church ranks, and these men, not Sir George Chubb, represent the spirit of young Methodism. I speak from direct personal knowledge when I say that the younger Congregationalists are more resolute than were numbers in 1870. I confess that personally I have been greatly struck with the new spirit which has been revealed by many of them. They have grown up in a different environment from their fathers, and the change is shown in their temperament. They are no longer content with toleration, or even with graceful concessions, when questions of right are at stake. Events have been helping them to realise their true position in our free Commonwealth. Those who reproach them for their strenuous advocacy of right, and regard them as rivals for the status and power at present belonging to the Establishment, fail to understand their position altogether. They have simply shaken off once and for ever the idea that they are asking a favour when they demand the ordinary rights of citizens.

In my earlier days, there was a society ‘for the protection of civil and religious liberty,which in its very title indicated the limit which the Dissenting idealist had reached. The new generation has happily gone far beyond that. Its representatives feel the stimulus of the new blood of liberty which courses through their veins, and they refuse to acquiesce in the continuance of any State privilege to a particular Church.


Richard Theodore Ely (1854 – 1943) was an American economist, author, and leader of the Progressive movement who called for more government intervention, especially regarding factory conditions, compulsory education, child labor, and labor unions. 

Richard Theodore Ely (1854 – 1943) was an American economist, author, and leader of the Progressive movement who called for more government intervention, especially regarding factory conditions, compulsory education, child labor, and labor unions. 

Ely, Richard T. 1903. Studies in the Evolution of Industrial Society. The Macmillan Co.: New York.

[403] As Adam Smith's philosophy of liberty is an expression of the eighteenth century, Thomas Hill Green's view may be looked upon as an expression of the philosophy of liberty with which the twentieth century opens. 


George Jacob Holyoake (1817 – 1906), was a British secularist and co-operator. He coined the term "secularism" in 1851 and the term "jingoism" in 1878.

George Jacob Holyoake (1817 – 1906), was a British secularist and co-operator. He coined the term "secularism" in 1851 and the term "jingoism" in 1878.

Holyoake, George Jacob. 1905. Bygones Worth Remembering, Vol. I. E. P. Dutton and Company: New York.

[134-135] Young men of to-day enjoy advantages unknown to their forefathers, and the new generation are mostly ignorant how their good fortune, which Liberalism brought them, came to them—and they make no inquiry. Not only have they no pride in sustaining the political traditions of their family, but their base ambition is to give the influence of the position they have attained to that party who put every impediment in the way of their ever emerging from social and industrial obscurity —a condition from which they did not deserve to be rescued.


John Griffith "Jack" London (1876 – 1916) was an American author, journalist, and social activist. He was a pioneer in the then-burgeoning world of commercial magazine fiction and was one of the first fiction writers to obtain worldwide celebrity and a large fortune from his fiction alone. London was an advocate of unionization, socialism, and the rights of workers and wrote several powerful works dealing with these topics.

John Griffith "Jack" London (1876 – 1916) was an American author, journalist, and social activist. He was a pioneer in the then-burgeoning world of commercial magazine fiction and was one of the first fiction writers to obtain worldwide celebrity and a large fortune from his fiction alone. London was an advocate of unionization, socialism, and the rights of workers and wrote several powerful works dealing with these topics.

London, Jack. 1905. War of the Classes. Regent Press: New York.

[viii-ix] What happened to me has been in no wise different from what has happened to the socialist movement as a whole in the United States. In the bourgeois mind socialism has changed from a terrible disease to a youthful vagary, and later on had its thunder stolen by the two old parties, — socialism, like a meek and thrifty workingman, being exploited became respectable.

[267] It is quite fair to say that I became a Socialist in a fashion somewhat similar to the way in which the Teutonic pagans became Christians—it was hammered into me. Not only was I not looking for Socialism at the time of my conversion, but I was fighting it. I was very young and callow, did not know much of anything, and though I had never even heard of a school called " Individualism," I sang the paean of the strong with all my heart.

[269] And because of all this, exulting in my young life, able to hold my own at work or fight, I was a rampant individualist. It was very natural. I was a winner. Wherefore I called the game, as I saw it played, or thought I saw it played, a very proper game for MEN. To be a MAN was to write man in large capitals on my heart. To adventure like a man, and fight like a man, and do a man's work (even for a boy's pay) — these were things that reached right in and gripped hold of me as no other thing could.

[272] In short, my joyous individualism was dominated by the orthodox bourgeois ethics. I read the bourgeois papers, listened to the bourgeois preachers, and shouted at the sonorous platitudes of the bourgeois politicians. And I doubt not, if other events had not changed my career, that I should have evolved into a professional strike-breaker, (one of President Eliot's American heroes), and had my head and my earning power irrevocably smashed by a club in the hands of some militant trades-unionist.

[274] And as I listened my brain began to work. The woman of the streets and the man of the gutter drew very close to me. I saw the picture of the Social Pit as vividly as though it were a concrete thing, and at the bottom of the Pit I saw them, myself above them, not far, and hanging on to the slippery wall by main strength and sweat. And I confess a terror seized me.

[277-278] I think it is apparent that my rampant individualism was pretty effectively hammered out of me, and something else as effectively hammered in. But, just as I had been an individualist without knowing it, I was now a Socialist without knowing it, withal, an unscientific one. I had been reborn, but not renamed, and I was running around to find out what manner of thing I was. I ran back to California and opened the books. I do not remember which ones I opened first. It is an unimportant detail anyway. I was already It, whatever It was, and by aid of the books I discovered that It was a Socialist. Since that day I have opened many books, but no economic argument, no lucid demonstration of the logic and inevitableness of Socialism affects me as profoundly and convincingly as I was affected on the day when I first saw the walls of the Social Pit rise around me and felt myself slipping down, down, into the shambles at the bottom.


Albert Venn "A. V." Dicey (1835 – 1922) was a British jurist and constitutional theorist, and was the younger brother of Edward Dicey. He is most widely known as the author of An Introduction to the Study of the Law of the Constitution (1885). Dicey popularised the phrase "rule of law", although its use goes back to the 17th century.

Albert Venn "A. V." Dicey (1835 – 1922) was a British jurist and constitutional theorist, and was the younger brother of Edward Dicey. He is most widely known as the author of An Introduction to the Study of the Law of the Constitution (1885). Dicey popularised the phrase "rule of law", although its use goes back to the 17th century.

Dicey, A. V. 1905.  Lectures on the Relation Between Law and Public Opinion in England During the Nineteenth Century. Macmillan:  London.

[245] It is to-day [1905], at any rate, perfectly clear that from 1848 onwards an alteration becomes perceptible in the intellectual and moral atmosphere of England.  A change we can now see was taking place in the current of opinion, and a change which was the more important, because it influenced mainly the then rising generation, and therefore was certain to tell upon the opinion of twenty or thirty years later -- that is, of 1870 or 1880.  Nor can we now doubt that this revolution of thought tended in the direction of socialism.

Stanton George Coit (1857 –  1944) was an American-born leader of the Ethical movement in England. 

Stanton George Coit (1857 –  1944) was an American-born leader of the Ethical movement in England. 

Coit, Stanton. 1907. National Idealism and a State Church. Willaims and Norgate: London.

[194-195] It is infinitely harder to convert a man from the doctrine of laisser-faire to the doctrine of State ownership and control than it is to convert the extremest Tory believing in a strong State into a democrat. Tory democracy is not half so much a self-contradiction as Liberal socialism. For the whole tradition of Liberalism, so far as it has promulgated philosophic theories of statecraft, has been that of non-interference on the part of the State. … This principle of laisser-faire, of non-State-interference, which is the historic principle explaining the evolution of the old-fashioned Whigs into modern Liberals, is the very life-principle of the Free Church movement. It not only led the Nonconformists at the first to become reconciled to their being separated from the State. It has, despite the spread of the new social philosophy of the State during the last twenty years, been drawing the Free Churches together in an intimate union under a Free Church Council.


Frederick William "Fred" Jowett (1864 – 1944) was a British Labour politician.

Frederick William "Fred" Jowett (1864 – 1944) was a British Labour politician.

Jowett, Frederick William. 1907. The Socialist and the City. George Allen: London.

[16] The successful management of the affairs of any public body depends largely on the ability and fidelity of its officials, and the more nearly we approach to the Socialist city the greater is the necessity for good officials. As the scope of municipal activity extends, greater demands are made on the ability and enterprise of the individuals in charge. Generally, it may be said that the municipal councils in this country are served by men of great capacity, most of whom are equal to the new requirements. A few, however, belonging to a past generation, and appointed when the current ideas of the functions of a municipal council were more restricted than they have since become, fail to meet the added responsibilities that are being laid upon them, and to these the opponents of Socialism point, as evidence in support of their case. The responsibility for these failures rests chiefly with the anti-Socialist administrators who appointed them, in many instances, through favouritism.

[17] As for the new generation of officials, they are almost uniformly good, if one may so express it without offence to the old ones, of whom, as I have said, the majority are good also.


Barker, J. Ellis. 1908. British Socialism. Smith, Elder, and Co.: London.

[231-232] Before the general election of 1906 Socialists wrote: ‘The political force of Liberalism is spent. During the last twenty years its aspirations and its watchwords, its ideas of daily life, and its conceptions of the universe, have become increasingly distasteful to the ordinary citizen as he renews his youth from generation to generation. Its worship of individual liberty evokes no enthusiasm. Its reliance on ‘freedom of contractand ‘supply and demand,with its corresponding ‘voluntaryismin religion and philanthropy, now seems to work out disastrously for the masses who are too poor to have what the economists call an ‘effective demandfor even the minimum conditions of physical and mental health necessary to national well-being. Of all this the rising generations of voters are deadly tired, and Liberalism has collapsed in consequence.


John Spargo (1876–1966) became a renowned expert in the history and crafts of Vermont. Spargo is best remembered as an early biographer of Karl Marx and as one of the leading public intellectuals affiliated with the Socialist Party of America during the progressive era of the early 20th Century.

John Spargo (1876–1966) became a renowned expert in the history and crafts of Vermont. Spargo is best remembered as an early biographer of Karl Marx and as one of the leading public intellectuals affiliated with the Socialist Party of America during the progressive era of the early 20th Century.

Spargo, John. 1908. The Common Sense of Socialism. Charles H. Kerr and Company: Chicago.

[156] This was not always the case. When the scientific Socialist movement began in the second half of the last century, Science was engaged in a great intellectual encounter with Dogma. All the younger men were drawn into the scientific current of the time. It was natural, then, that the most radical movement of the time should partake of the universal scientific spirit and temper. … In a very similar manner, the present generation of Socialists have nothing to do with the attacks upon religion which the Socialists of fifty years ago indulged in. The position of all the Socialist parties of the world to-day is that they have nothing to do with matters of religious belief; that these belong to the individual alone.


Mann, Newton. 1910. Import and Outlook of Socialism. James H. West Company: Boston.

[194] A chief distinction of socialism is that it is an ethical system, a system through and through suffused with a moral purpose. Its supreme watchword is Justice, Social Justice. It works for the equal rights of all without regard to class. Its advocate is not thinking of the benefit he may personally derive from its adoption, he is thinking of all his fellows up and down the earth, and of them in the degree of their need. Indeed it is hardly the living that he expects will enter upon the full realization of his hopes, but a generation as yet unborn; a fact which gives to his earnestness and his devotion a high spiritual significance. Hard to match in disinterestedness, in generous ardor, in self-effacing toil for a remote end, are the people, plain and homespun for the most part, often chivalrous youth, who have taken up this propaganda.


Archibald Henderson (1877 – 1963) was an American professor of mathematics who wrote on a variety of subjects, including drama and history. He taught at the University of North Carolina, becoming a professor of pure mathematics in 1908.

Archibald Henderson (1877 – 1963) was an American professor of mathematics who wrote on a variety of subjects, including drama and history. He taught at the University of North Carolina, becoming a professor of pure mathematics in 1908.

Henderson, Archibald. 1910. Interpreters of Life and the Modern Spirit. Mitchell Kennerley: New York.

[290] On hearing the American evangelists, Moody and Sankey, the young sixteen-year-old Shaw was driven to protest in Public Opinion—his first appearance in print —that if this were Religion, then he must be an Atheist.

[293] To the Socialist revival of the 'eighties, the world owes the credit for the discovery of Bernard Shaw.

[295] From 1883 on, Shaw was daily coming in contact with the brilliant spirits of the younger generation in Socialism, and with the leaders in thought and opinion on the side of vegetarianism, humanitarianism and land nationalization.


Rudolf Christoph Eucken (1846 – 1926) was a German philosopher, and the winner of the 1908 Nobel Prize for Literature.

Rudolf Christoph Eucken (1846 – 1926) was a German philosopher, and the winner of the 1908 Nobel Prize for Literature.

Eucken, Rudolf. 1911. Socialism: An Analysis. Charles Scribners Sons: New York.

[56] Since Socialism aims at this vitalisation and rejuvenescence, it naturally turns in the first place to the rising generation and seeks to win its allegiance. The old may have the qualities of wisdom, experience, and prudence, but Socialism turns rather to the young, who are nearer to the sources of life, and seem to have more powerful and more original ideas. Hence it seems so important to have their support and co-operation. The age-limit is brought forward as much as possible, and the young are brought into their counsels. In all this there is a firm belief in an unceasing progress of the human race. All the glories of the past pale beside the ideals and hopes of the future. The great problem is the rejuvenation of the race and the expulsion of all insincerity from the minds of men and from the institutions of our collective life. We shall have to consider these matters later, but there is an undeniable truth in the saying: whoever has the young has the future.


Herbert George "H. G." Wells (1866 – 1946) was an English writer, now best known for his work in the science fiction genre. He was also a prolific writer in many other genres, including contemporary novels, history, politics and social commentary.

Herbert George "H. G." Wells (1866 – 1946) was an English writer, now best known for his work in the science fiction genre. He was also a prolific writer in many other genres, including contemporary novels, history, politics and social commentary.

Wells, Herbert George. 1911.  New Worlds for Old. The Macmillan Company: New York.

[209] Our present generation is less buoyant, perhaps, but wiser. However young you may be as a reformer, you know you must face certain facts these early Socialists ignored. Whatever sort of community you dream of you realize that it has to be made of the sort of people you meet every day or of the children growing up under their influence. The damping words of the old philosopher to the ardent social reformer of seventeen were really the quintessence of our criticism of revolutionary Socialism: ‘Will your aunts join us, my dear? No! Well, is the grocer on our side? And the family solicitor? We shall have to provide for them all, you know, unless you suggest a lethal chamber.

For a generation Socialism, in the exaltation of its self-discovery, failed to measure these primary obstacles, failed to recognize the real necessity, the quality of the task of making these people understand. To this day the majority of Socialists still fail to grasp completely the Herbartian truth, the fact that every human soul moves within its circle of ideas, resisting enlargement, incapable indeed if once it is adult of any extensive enlargement, and that all effectual human progress can be achieved only through such enlargement. Only ideas cognate to a circle of ideas are assimilated or assimilable; ideas too alien, though you shout them in the ear, thrust them in the face, remain foreign and incomprehensible.

[211] The early Socialist literature teems with rash, suggestive schemes. It has the fertility, the confusion, the hopefulness, the promise of glowing youth.


Boyle, James. 1912. What is Socialism? The Shakespeare Press: New York.

[178-179] Modern Political Socialism made its appearance in America some years after Utopian Socialism had practically died out. The movements were totally independent of each other, and yet, of course, the public attention which had been developed by the communal experiments led to a trend of thought in the direction of Scientific Socialism. Unlike Trade Unionism, Socialism was foreign in its origin. The movements in New York in 1868-9, which were the pioneers of present-day Socialism in America, were confined almost exclusively to foreigners by birth, Germans principally, with a sprinkling of other peoples of Continental origin. Nearly all of the first real Socialists in America were recently-arrived immigrants; but it has been noted that the second generation are seldom Socialists. This drifting away from Socialism on the part of ‘AmericanizedGermans, for instance, is to be observed in the history of the ‘Turnerorganization, which originally was semi- Socialist. Socialism never became important as a possible political or economic force until its personnel in organization, its methods, and its expression had become relatively ‘Americanized,although there are those who insist that Socialism proper can never be made adaptable to or be in harmony with ‘the American spirit.


Lonergan, Thomas S. 1912. “Socialism Spells Revolution,” The Common Cause 1(4): 31-37.

[34] There are ten Socialist Sunday schools in New York and a large number scattered throughout the United States. The Socialist Primer is one of the text books and a most dangerous one it is. In one of the reading exercises in that book—intended for the teacher as well as the child—the following frank statement occurs:

‘There is no doubt but that we Socialists will have to start work with the child. The old people, with their traditions and prejudices, will have to make way for the rising generation. The future citizens of our republic, the foundation of the co-operative commonwealth, are the very children who are about us now, this every day. We look to them. They are our hope!


Orth, Samuel Peter. 1913. Socialism and Democracy in Europe. Henry Holt: New York.

[70] There was a continuity of proletarian ambition. In this respect the old movement was resurrected in the new. But in every other respect the old movement was dead. The abstractions about property and the rights of individuals did not interest the new generation. They were more concerned with wages than wage theories, and in the purchasing power of their wages than in a theory of values. Even the spirit of the class consciousness had changed. Marx's organization was the source of the old; national consciousness was the source of the new.


Ellen Karolina Sofia Key (1849 – 1926) was a Swede, and a difference feminist writer on many subjects in the fields of family life, ethics and education and was an important figure in the Modern Breakthrough movement. She was an early advocate of a child-centered approach to education and parenting, and was also a suffragist.

Ellen Karolina Sofia Key (1849 – 1926) was a Swede, and a difference feminist writer on many subjects in the fields of family life, ethics and education and was an important figure in the Modern Breakthrough movement. She was an early advocate of a child-centered approach to education and parenting, and was also a suffragist.

Key, Ellen. 1914. The Younger Generation. G. P. Puntnams Sons: New York.

[7-9] Such an age existed all over Europe in the middle of last century. The young man who then entered, for instance, upon university life, did not encounter there any rallying movement of the young, nor again did he meet with any of the currents of ideas that directed his own life. … Then came the 'eighties, with lively discussion of the problems of European civilisation; with burning zeal for freedom of thought and speech; with the education of the people, regarded as the task of the young, now awakened to a social sense.

Indeed, our age gives the more receptive among the young such a sense of social responsibility that one is inclined at times to fear that social interests may encroach upon individual development, that a knowledge of all the ills affecting the community may act as too powerful a damper on the joys of youth. For youth is truly light-hearted only so long as it can forget all ‘questions’ for the moment.

[9-10] The most serious among the young have eagerly hearkened to the demands of the time. The work of popular education, the temperance movement, the peace movement, are to a great extent carried on by the young. Their meetings show that the young understand one of their tasks, that of bringing together the different classes through social intercourse.

However we may compare the present state of things with that of forty years ago, the comparison proves that our time has given youth weapons and implements that it previously lacked. Until our day, earnest Christians alone possessed both weapons and implements; but these were of an entirely different kind and served a purpose entirely different from the social one. … Even in the richest periods of our race—at the Renaissance, for instance—similar elderly souls have been found, lamenting over the ‘disappearance of old landmarks...or of the old-fashioned Christmas! But the sociologist knows as well as the meteorologist that, if the ‘old landmarksno longer hold good, this is not due to the ‘depravity of the times,but to changes in the atmosphere, terrestrial or social.

[20] The young are working in the cause of peace; but peace can never be attained so long as greedy Capital, visibly or invisibly, directs the fate of nations. And even those measures which directly affect the conditions of labour—unemployment insurance, employersliability, labour contracts, arbitration—can become really effectual only in proportion as social policy is conducted upon new principles.

When the young have considered these and other allied facts seriously and from every point of view, they will perhaps hesitate before answering Yes to the question, whether they are willing to devote their young powers to the work of repairing existing society. If the young man finally answers this question in the negative, he will probably become either a Social Democrat or democratically social, which means that he will not march under the banner of class war, but will co-operate fully and freely with the Social Democracy in the transformation of society.


Gardner, Augustus P. 1915. “Herbert Spencers From Freedom to Bondage,” The Forum 54(Dec.): 715-742.

[719] If Spencer were alive to-day he could not fail to note another phenomenon quite as paradoxical. In this day and generation, when men more than ever before are impatient of restraint, the demand has amazingly increased for a social system which of necessity must curtail their liberty.

[724] The institution of private property will not be abolished in this country, so long as the penniless boy sees a reasonable chance to get some of it. But if ever the young men get it firmly fixed in their minds that they never can possess their own homes, then look out for trouble. It is ill arguing with empty stomachs and angry men will blindly destroy that which many generations cannot replace. Thank the Lord the rising generation has no right to say that the door of opportunity is other than wide open. The rapidity with which wealth is acquired even by the uneducated immigrant is nothing short of marvelous.


McClure, Archibald. 1916. Leadership of the New America. George H. Doran Company: New York.

[180-181] He himself says that there is much socialism among the new Jewish immigrants, though not among the old who have money; and that the socialists and radicals represent the best element among the Ghetto people. It is impossible to meet such a man and not realise that socialism is a growing power among these people. … At this same school there was a young Jew who, as secretary of the Young People's Socialist League (Jewish branch), had come to get some pointers that would enable his organisation to start up similar schools for more Jewish children. To many of these young men the interests of socialism and their socialist ‘brothersare the paramount interests of the day.


John Ramsay Bryce Muir (1872 – 1941) was a British historian, Liberal Party politician and thinker.

John Ramsay Bryce Muir (1872 – 1941) was a British historian, Liberal Party politician and thinker.

Muir, Ramsay. 1918. National Self-government, Its Growth and Principles. Henry Holt: New York.

[211-212] The bulk of the trade unionists who joined in this movement were not, indeed, Socialists in the continental sense at all. But they had made up their minds that the power of the State must be used, not merely to secure that the old functions of government should be carried on in accordance with the public will, but to obtain a far-reaching social betterment. The great mass of the nation, whether trade unionists or not, remained loyal members of the old traditional parties, Liberals or Conservatives, and hesitated to follow the lead of these more enterprising innovators.

But the significant thing is the emergence of a new spirit; and because this new spirit was inconsistent with some of the traditional doctrines of Liberalism, Liberalism passed for a time under a cloud. On the other hand, the Conservatives, who had never fully shared the Liberal distrust of any enlargement of State action, were not unready to show some sympathy with the new spirit.


Canby, Henry Seidel. 1919. “Radical America,” The Century Magazine 98(1): 577-583.

[578] We have been exposed to every germ of radicalism ever hatched in the Old World; yet neither the young professor, lecturing on the redistribution of wealth, nor the Russian stevedore, who in lower New York awaits the proletariate revolution, truly represents American radicalism. These are the ideas and these the men our restless youth are borrowing from, but they are not yet, they may never be, American. … We ‘old Americans,at least of this generation, are poor material for Bolshevism; even as socialists we are never more than half convinced. Our radicalism, has been of a different breed.

[582] I do not believe that the youths who will make the coming generation—the youths that fought the war—are going to be radicals in the sense that I have called European. …The new generation is not like the old. It is more sensitive to the winds of doctrine. It is less empirical, less optimistic, less self-assured.

[582-583] Already one can divide into two classes the undergraduates as one finds them in American colleges. The smaller group their elders would call radical. But they are not socialists, not anarchists, not even consistently liberal. … They are painfully aware of the difference between their ideas and the conditions of life in modern society, and are determined to test one by the other. Their native idealism has become intellectual. The other group is far larger, but, if less restless, is no more static. Most of its members are indifferent to the new ideas scintillating all over the world, if indeed they are not ignorant of them. Nevertheless, their faith in society as it was is curiously weak. If few of them are likely to become socialists, few also will be inspired by the idealist-radicalism of their fathers. The naive enthusiasm of those fathers for ‘movements,’ ‘deals,’ ‘progressis not (unless I miss my guess) common among them.


Stearns, Harold. 1919. Liberalism in America. Boni and Liveright: New York.

[74-75] It is obvious that the basis of most of the forces to which, in the above paragraph, I have given the chief role in the development of American liberalism lay in economic protest. … New doctrines had to be invented to meet new conditions. New doctrines, however, imply a background of a certain degree of inventiveness and flexibility, both conducive to the liberal spirit, and furthermore, since the parties of protest in the beginning were necessarily in the minority, that position of itself made them partly tolerant of opposing views, something also conducive to the liberal spirit.

[78-79] The real attack, however, was reserved for the younger generation. From 1904 to 1914 was a decade of rebellion on the part of many youngsters. H. G. Wells was beginning to be read; the ferment of the ‘1890s,as Holbrook Jackson called that period of revolt on the Continent and in England, had crossed the Atlantic. Our girls were often aggressively feministic; the influence of Shaw and Ibsen and Nietzsche, for all the grotesque and imitative aspects of it in the American scene, had become a genuine thing in most of our colleges. Critics like Huneker and Mencken, and younger ones like Francis Hackett and Walter Lippmann (especially before he joined the staff of the New Republic) and Waldo Frank and Van Wyck Brooks, eager spirits like Randolph Bourne, new writers at war with the whole commercialized scheme of fiction — all these were joining in the assault on our pioneer assumption that activity and objective accomplishment were enough. They boldly were at war with the dominant possessive impulses of the day, boldly questioned the assumptions of our national life. … Innumerable were the young Americans who hoped through a ‘newdrama to change the entire tone of our national life. The yeast of the younger generation's discontent with the American philosophy of practical success had begun to stir the whole doughy mass of sluggish acceptance of a merely outward active life. … Such, in brief, seems to me the strength and the fragility of American liberalism as it met the challenge of 1914.


Leacock, Stephen. 1920. The Unsolved Riddle of Social Justice. John Lane Co.: New York.

[36-37] Individualism of the extreme type is, therefore, long since out of date. To attack it is merely to kick a dead dog. But the essential problem of to-day is to know how far we are to depart from its principles. There are those who tell us—and they number many millions— that we must abandon them entirely. Industrial society, they say, must be reorganized from top to bottom; private industry must cease. All must work for the state; only in a socialist commonwealth can social justice be found. There are others, of whom the present writer is one, who see in such a programme nothing but disaster: yet who consider that the individualist principle of ‘every man for himselfwhile it makes for national wealth and accumulated power, favors overmuch the few at the expense of the many, puts an over-great premium upon capacity, assigns too harsh a punishment for easy indolence, and, what is worse, exposes the individual human being too cruelly to the mere accidents of birth and fortune. Under such a system, in short, to those who have is given and from those who have not is taken away even that which they have. There are others again who still view individualism just as the vast majority of our greatgrandfathers viewed it, as a system hard but just: as awarding to every man the fruit of his own labor and the punishment of his own idleness, and as visiting, in accordance with the stern but necessary ordination of our existence, the sins of the father upon the child.


Harper, George McLean. 1920. John Morley and Other Essays. Princeton University Press: Princeton.

[4] There is one member of this famous ministry who illustrates in his person the evolution of old-fashioned Liberalism into its present form. Mr. John Morley, a disciple of Cobden and Mill, a friend of Gladstone, and a member of the House of Commons so far back as 1883, now Viscount Morley of Blackburn, and maintaining in the House of Lords an unflinching and joyful allegiance to the whole Liberal programme, is an epitome of progressive policy during the last fifty years. His views have changed less than the views of his party, because he entered public life from a very high level of Liberal theory. His associates have been overtaking him. He has had the satisfaction of seeing the ideals of his early manhood generally adopted, and to a considerable extent put into practice, by a triumphant majority. His ideals have mellowed, indeed, but have lost hardly any of their original distinctness. This is remarkable, not only because he is seventy-three years old, but because he has, in three positions, been subject to influences which tend to convert the most radical Liberals into Conservatives.


Arthur Jerome Eddy (1859 - 1920) was an American lawyer, author, art collector, and art critic.

Arthur Jerome Eddy (1859 - 1920) was an American lawyer, author, art collector, and art critic.

Eddy, Arthur Jerome. 1920. The New Competition. A. C. McClurg and Co.: Chicago.

[3] Socialism as Socialism probably has little if any greater appeal to-day than it had a generation ago. It will always have its ardent followers, but in its more logical form it is too abstract a theory to be understood and attract generally. Its practical suggestions are absorbed by older political organizations, with the result that the Socialist party is ever a band of enthusiasts ‘crying loudly in the wilderness.

The strength of Socialism at the moment lies in the fact that some of its demands coincide with the tendencies of the hour. Say, if you please, the world has caught up with Socialism in certain directions, and propositions that seemed revolutionary twenty-five years ago—yes, ten years ago—are now debated as reasonable, are even turned into laws.


Mereto, Joseph J. 1920. The Red Conspiracy. The National Historical Society: New York.

[350] The success or failure of the Marxian movement will, to a great extent, depend upon the ability of the revolutionists to gain control of the schools, colleges and universities of the United States. That they have been long active in spreading their pernicious doctrines among the young is evident to all who are closely in touch with Socialist activities.

In our country there exist what are known as Socialist Sunday schools. The revolutionists themselves tell us that the aim and purpose of these schools is the destructive work of tearing down old superstitious ideas of territorial patriotism, and that such schools should be founded in as many places as possible, to counteract the influences of churches, synagogues and public schools. Page 68 of the ‘Proceedings of the 1910 National Congress of the Socialist Party,clearly indicates the exceptional importance which Marxians attach to their training of the young:

"Among the special fields of Socialistic propaganda the education of our boys and girls to an understanding of the Socialist philosophy is one of the most important. The ultimate battles of Socialism will largely be fought by the growing generation, and we must begin early to train the latter for its part. The Socialists of Europe have long appreciated the importance of the task, and in almost every country they have built up a strong organization of young people. The Socialists of America are just beginning to turn their attention to the problem..."

[350-351] "The teaching of infants is a task which requires a good deal of professional training, and no Socialist ‘Sunday schoolsfor very young children should be established where we do not have experienced and reliable teachers to conduct them..."

"It is quite otherwise with children of the maturer age of, say, fourteen years and upward. Young people of that age normally possess sufficient strength of mind to grasp the main philosophy and aims of our movement intelligently, and their training into the Socialist mode of thought and action cannot be conducted with too much zeal and energy. Young people's clubs, societies for the study of Socialism should be formed all over the country as regular adjuncts to our party organization, and very serious consideration should be given to them by the adult Socialists. But they should remain primarily study clubs, and should not be encouraged to engage in practical political activity, which can do but little good to our movement, and may tend to arrest the intelligent growth of the youthful enthusiasts. When they will reach a maturer age they will be better and more efficient workers in the movement for having made a more thorough study of its theory and methods..."


Lasker, Bruno. 1922. “What has become of Social Reform?” The American Journal of Sociology 28(2): 129-159.

[133] And not only in times of national danger but as a general tendency in recent decades, the older creeds have become blurred, sometimes obscured to the vanishing point. The numerical progress of socialism throughout the Western nations, for instance, is only in part due to a larger penetration of the masses with socialist doctrines; it is largely due to the fact that on the one hand liberal radicalism has become more socialistic and, on the other hand, socialists in practical politics have assumed the slow, progressive tactics of liberalism and organized labor. In England, socialists and liberals have for years accused one another of stealing each others thunder; in the test of convictions and policies during the war, many of the ablest younger liberals have gone over to the labor party, and many of the ablest member of that party, whose political origin had been the soap box of the socialist propagandist, moderated their views on practical questions almost to the point of conservatism.

[137] Talk to the young men and women graduating from the colleges…! What are they thinking about poverty, about government, about class war, about crime, about education, about social morals, about public health, about armaments, taxed, school boards, finance, the cost of living? If you are old enough, think back twenty or thirty years—what were the same kind of people saying then about the same kind of subject? If there is a change in their prevalent state of mind, what is it?


Sir Alfred Eckhard Zimmern (1879-1957) was a British classical scholar and historian, and political scientist writing on international relations. He was a supporter of Zionism.

Sir Alfred Eckhard Zimmern (1879-1957) was a British classical scholar and historian, and political scientist writing on international relations. He was a supporter of Zionism.

Zimmern, Alfred Eckhard. 1922. Europe in Convalescence. G. P. Putnams Sons: new York.

[32] Unable or unwilling to dig deeper, to re-analyse the nature of modern man, and to assess, in terms of quality rather than of quantity, the values of modern civilization, and faced with the crude and garish competition of the Socialist gospel, Liberalism surrendered its integrity and took refuge in compromise. Thus it survived, both in Britain and on the Continent, not as the pioneer of a new world of personal freedom and social justice, but as a party of moderate and ameliorating reform. … Social progress, young Liberals were told, must come slowly and by installments, by the same gradual, and indeed imperceptible, stages as marked the advance of modern London upon ancient Athens, and of a mammoth American factory upon the workshop of a Phidias and a Fra Angelico. Progress, so interpreted, is the creed of a middle-aged and disillusioned movement. Small wonder that by 1914 youth and enthusiasm were being attracted to other and ruddier banners.

[35-37] Socialism has made its way in modern society much after the same fashion as Christianity made its way in the Roman Empire. Its message has appealed to the same section—the more restless and aspiring members of what were considered the inferior classes—and it has brought the same good tidings of a better time to come. … So it is piquant to observe how it has suffered, and is now suffering more than ever, from a disappointment, and an intellectual embarrassment very similar to that which confronted the first generation of Christian converts as the date of the Second Coming seemed to be receding year by year. The modern Socialist is indeed in a far more difficult situation than his predecessors; for, whereas they could do no more than sit still and wait on the event, the duty of the modern apostle, who has pitched his promised denouement in the midst of this worlds affairs, is to labour to bring the transformation about; and this involves the creation and maintenance of a vast and necessarily material organization, which requires to be kept at a religious level of faith, enthusiasm, and expectation by a constant reiteration or variation of the Messianic promise of a new world. For those who are old enough to have watched the rise and wane of the hopes and ideals of more than one generation of young Socialist enthusiasts there is something inexpressibly melancholy in the spectacle of the power still exercised by what one of its Oxford exponents has, with unconscious cynicism, entitled ‘the revolutionary traditionover the minds of simple and credulous men and women. … When the time and place of their delivery are considered, they may be taken as summing up, not inaptly, the whole strength, and the whole inner weakness and contradiction, of the modern revolutionary movement.

[40] Both on the Continent and in Britain the war has brought an awakening, especially among the younger generation, which spells the death of the old Conservatism, and of the vis inertia, and the respect for custom and authority, which were its strongest bulwark. The old world has been reluctant to die; nevertheless it has passed away beyond recall.


Henry Louis "H. L." Mencken (1880 – 1956) was an American journalist, essayist, magazine editor, satirist, critic of American life and culture, and scholar of American English. He is regarded as one of the most influential American writers and prose stylists of the first half of the twentieth century.

Henry Louis "H. L." Mencken (1880 – 1956) was an American journalist, essayist, magazine editor, satirist, critic of American life and culture, and scholar of American English. He is regarded as one of the most influential American writers and prose stylists of the first half of the twentieth century.

Mencken, Henry Louis. 1922. Prejudices, third series. Alfred A. Knopf: New York. 

[297-298] The Supreme Court, had it been so disposed, might have put a stop to all this sinister buffoonery long ago. There was a time, indeed, when it was alert to do so. That was during the Civil War. But since then the court has gradually succumbed to the prevailing doctrine that the minority has no rights that the majority is bound to respect. As it is at present constituted, it shows little disposition to go to the rescue of the harassed freeman. When property is menaced it displays a laudable diligence, but when it [298] comes to the mere rights of the citizen it seems hopelessly inclined to give the prosecution the benefit of every doubt. Two justices commonly dissent—two out of nine. They hold the last switch-trench of the old constitutional line. When they depart to realms of bliss the Bill of Rights will be buried with them.


Haldane, Richard Burton. 1929. An Autobiography. Doubleday, Doran and Company: New York.

[100] After that half a dozen of us younger Liberal M.P.s began to draw together under [Asquiths] leadership. Mr. Gladstone was magnificent over Home Rule. But he was not, old as he had become, really interested in the news ideals of social reform which were beginning to stir us younger ones.


William James Durant (1885 – 1981) was an American writer, historian, and philosopher. He is best known for The Story of Civilization, 11 volumes written in collaboration with his wife Ariel Durant and published between 1935 and 1975.

William James Durant (1885 – 1981) was an American writer, historian, and philosopher. He is best known for The Story of Civilization, 11 volumes written in collaboration with his wife Ariel Durant and published between 1935 and 1975.

Durant, Will. 1929. The Mansions of Philosophy. Simon and Schuster: New York.

[470] We older ones cannot hope any more; our hearts have been too blasted and withered with disillusionment that we smile at every enthusiasm, and laugh at every ideal. But in our colleges another generation grows, less romantic than we were, and yet braver and more informed. When there are a million of them they will be strong enough to come out into the open and smash the infamy that stifles our public life.


Rexford Guy Tugwell (1891 – 1979) was an agricultural economist who became part of Franklin D. Roosevelt's first "Brain Trust," a group of Columbia University academics who helped develop policy recommendations leading up to the 1932 election. Tugwell subsequently served in FDR's administration for four years and was one of the chief intellectual contributors to his New Deal.

Rexford Guy Tugwell (1891 – 1979) was an agricultural economist who became part of Franklin D. Roosevelt's first "Brain Trust," a group of Columbia University academics who helped develop policy recommendations leading up to the 1932 election. Tugwell subsequently served in FDR's administration for four years and was one of the chief intellectual contributors to his New Deal.

Tugwell, Rexford G. 1930. “Human Nature and Social Economy I,” The Journal of Philosophy 27(17): 449-457.

[452] The old assumptions were merely accepted. Marshall and Clark, in their generation, seem to have been completely anesthetic to William James, for instance. But the generations which have followed have been, during their collegiate years, made aware of psychology. They have learned that excogitation concerning the human mind is at least as dangerous as a similar treatment of the interest rate. And there has been a growing impatience with the cavalier treatment older economists still accord the study of human nature, together with some amusement over the naïve conclusions which still seem, to some older minds, sufficient.


Neblett, Thomas F. 1937. “Youth Movements in the United States,” Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 194(Nov.): 141-151.

[143] A young person coming of age in the prewar era found his fathers frontier closed, and new problems of adjustment confronting him. Resentment and skepticism began to color his philosophy. There was little leadership or organization, but there were those who saw in the inertia of laissez faire and an absolutist attitude threats to necessary change, if progress were to be orderly. They spoke out, called conferences, wrote articles. Youth was urged to rebel. … Youth movements before the World War were not strongly felt or widely recognized. Efforts of young idealists were mostly within the college group, and there is evidence that their ideas and organizations were neither readily accepted by the students not approved by the faculties. Perhaps the best illustrations of the earlier student movements is that lead by Jack London, Upton Sinclair, and Clarence Dow. The efforts of these young radicals resulted in the organization of the Intercollegiate Socialist Society ion 1905.

[144] After the war, youth in practically every nation rallied around some idealistic movement to bring order out of chaos of a war-torn and profit-mad world.


Élie Halévy (1870 – 1937) was a French philosopher and historian who wrote studies of the British utilitarians, the acclaimed book of essays, Era of Tyrannies, and a history of Britain from 1815 to 1914 that greatly influenced British historiography.

Élie Halévy (1870 – 1937) was a French philosopher and historian who wrote studies of the British utilitarians, the acclaimed book of essays, Era of Tyrannies, and a history of Britain from 1815 to 1914 that greatly influenced British historiography.

Halevy, Elie.  1951.  Imperialism and the Rise of Labour, Volume V of A History of the English People in the Nineteenth Century, second edition.  Trans. E. I. Watkin.  Ernest Benn: London:

 [6] [Gladstone’s] retirement [in 1894] left the leaders of his party [the Liberal party] a prey to disunion.  On one side were those who remained faithful to his tradition, convinced opponents of expenditure and war, of bureaucracy and state socialism.  On the other were the younger men, who vied with the Conservatives in their zeal for the consolidation of the Empire and who at the same time, as though with the deliberate intention to appear, in contrast with the old-fashioned Gladstonians, progressive, displayed leanings towards collectivism, of an indefinite and very moderate character it is true.
 

Neill, Thomas P.  1953.  The Rise and Decline of Liberalism.  Bruce Publishing Co.: Milwaukee.

[250-51; see also 230] Old men like Bright and Spencer . . . remained true to the principles of classical liberalism . . .  Young liberals were not satisfied with the society their predecessors had established, of course, and they set about finding new bases for further reform . . .  Classical Liberalism had created big business, we have seen, and the younger Liberals saw that this had become the real danger to individual freedom.

4L is authored by Daniel B. Klein, Professor of Economics, JIN Chair at the Mercatus Center, George Mason University, Associate Fellow of the Ratio Institute; email: dklein@gmu.edu

Quotations compiled by Ryan Daza & Daniel B. Klein