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DR. WALLACE AND SPIRIT
The very interesting article on Alfred Russel Wallace, printed on another page, The Outlook here accompanies with three statements of what it regards as fundamental truths which are either not recognized or impliedly denied by the opinions of Mr. Wallace as reported by Mr. Northrop.
1. Investigations have demonstrated beyond all question that many of the phenomena regarded by the spiritists as produced by unseen visitants from the invisible world have been the product of deliberate and vulgar frauds. Neither the philosopher nor the scientist is exceptionally prepared to investigate frauds. They should be investigated by a detective familiar with the tricks and devices of a certain class of criminals. The opinion of Mr. Wallace or of Professor James on the question whether such phenomena as table-tipping, slate-writing, and rappings are due to spirits or to fraud is not particularly more valuable than the opinions of other clear-minded, intelligent, and acute observers. These frauds must be eliminated before the verdict of the philosopher or the scientist is of exceptional value upon what remains.
2. We agree absolutely with Mr. Wallace 'that man is more than an animal, that he has a spiritual nature which distinguishes him from the rest of the animal creation, that he has specifically a perception of the invisible world, a clear recognition of the distinction between right and wrong, a reasoning faculty which enables him to deduce general laws from observed phenomena, and a love not independent of, yet superior to and master over, all the physicial sensations which accompany love. But it does not follow that he may not derive this spiritual nature by the process of spiritual evolution from the instincts and the passions of an earlier stage. There is much reason to think that this is the case. Whether it is the case or not is not a question of moral or religious importance. However man derived his eyes, he is now bound to use them in accordance with the moral law. So, however he derived his faith, his conscience, his reverence, his love, they are to be used by him, now that he possesses them, in accordance with the spiritual laws of a spiritual being.
3. The spiritual evolutionist by no means believes that development is due only to the
struggle for existence, nor that the spiritual forces in man have been developed by a purely selfish instinct for self-preservation. Henry Drummond has shown very clearly in his "Ascent of Man" that the struggle for others has played as important a part in the development of man as the struggle for self. Neither of these two struggles can be left out of account by any one who is endeavoring to understand the problem of life. And Henry Drummond has also shown that the struggle for others and the struggle for self, working together, at least help to account for the development of man from a lower animal progenitor.
If, therefore, by Spiritualism is meant the belief that disembodied spirits communicate with the living through persons called mediums, then The Outlook absolutely dissents from the statement attributed by Mr. Northrop to Alfred Russel Wallace, "The religion of the future will be based solely on Spiritualism."
If, however, by Spiritualism Dr. Wallace meant the belief that man has à spiritual nature and is therefore higher than the animals, then we absolutely agree with that statement. The religion of the future will be based on the conscious possession by man of a spiritual nature which he is bound to use in conformity with the laws of the spiritual
If future investigations should show that man is able to hold communication with departed spirits, that fact would not add anything to his moral obligations, though it might add a new incentive to him to fulfill those moral obligations. We are not able to see that so far it has furnished any such incentive to those who hold this Spiritualistic faith. If, on the other hand, future investigation should demonstrate that the so-called Spiritualistic phenomena have no connection with any invisible world, but are wholly due to material forces, that demonstration would add nothing to lessen the obligation of man to fulfill his moral obligations, and certainly would not deprive men of the great motive which inspires them with the desire to fulfill those obligations. Men did justly, loved mercy, and walked humbly with God before modern Spiritualism was conceived of, and they will continue to do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with God if modern Spiritualistic phenomena should disappear entirely and the modern Spiritualist philosophy should disappear with them.
MEXICO: A REVIEW
HE vast region south of our southern
border has practically always known the rule of blood and iron.
Six hundred years ago the Aztecs, and four hundred years ago Cortés, and then other Spanish conquerors, ruled that way. The subsequent Spanish viceroys ruled that way; even Iturbide, hailed as "the Liberator" and priding himself on a bloodless revolution, found himself forced by rebellion in his own ranks to resort to blood and iron once more. When, in 1824, the Republic of Mexico was definitely established, the blood-and-iron rule was still followed. The new Constitution was quickly disregarded. Though it provided for a presidential term of four years and no immediate re-election, there were no less than nine changes of administration within the first ten years.
Thus the first Presidents-Guadelupe, Guerrero, Bustamente, Santa Anna, and the rest-followed along in the old path of blood and iron. Even the more enlightened Miramon had to use it. In the transformation of Mexico into an Empire the well-meaning Maximilian was forced to it. Maximilian
was executed in 1867, and-Mexico now again a Republic—the great Juarez died in 1872 without having established a real constitutional government, but only the semblance of that government resting on force. Then came Lerdo, who at first had a seemingly greater show of success. to re elect him led to an
But the attempt outbreak of civil
Porfirio Diaz. In
Then, in 1876, came some respects he was the greatest ruler Mexico has ever had. With the exception of the four years between 1880 and 1884 he ruled Mexico continuously until his resignation in 1911. He had distinguished himself in the battles with the French, and did as much perhaps as any one to put an end to Maximilian's pretensions. In 1874 he started the revolution against Lerdo, but did not succeed until 1876, when he was made Provisional President, quickly thereafter becoming permanent President. When his first term expired, he helped to elect Gonzales President. But after this presidential term, in which the country's credit suffered, Diaz was almost unanimously elected for the succeeding term. He now caused to be changed that constitutional provision pro
hibiting a President from succeeding himself, and continued his own presidency, term after term, until his resignation.
Diaz was the most interesting representative of blood and iron, because he well knew how to mask the fact. The result was that his thirty-odd-year period of presidential power saw a change from the rule by fear to one which had largely the appeal of reasonableness. He began as a practical dictator; he ended as apparently a constitutional President. He was not. Schools, courts, the Legislature, the elections, were under his really autocratic power. He had a way either of conciliating his rivals and enemies or of putting them to one side; but this was never done in the open if it could be avoided. He did this until almost the end with notable success, but when finally he was forced to lay down his power, at the age of eighty-one, he was broken in health, deserted by political friends of many years' standing, and was assailed as the chief cause of the Madero revolution.
What were the causes ? In the first place, Diaz had slighted the conditions of the lower classes in his attempt to give the country economic prosperity-and it is undeniable that he did much for the material prosperity of the country. Most of the people of Mexico are worse than peasants. They are peonshalf slaves. They have hardly any chance to hold land of their own. More and more an unrest had grown up in Mexico as a middle class came more and more into being and as a few reformers found voice. This unrest demanded reforms in the land laws. Secondly, it demanded the abolition of the arbitrary rule which had characterized many of the acts of the President. Thirdly, it demanded the restoration of a single presidential term. Fourthly, it demanded fair elections.
At first the Madero revolution did not attract attention because the President's military power was supposed to be invincible. Little by little it developed that the Mexican army was an army strong only on paper; and from that time forth the success of the Maderists was assured. At the beginning of 1911 the movement had attained sufficient proportions to cause concern in this country, especially as the seat of the revolution was just across our border. Hence there was a special necessity for our Government to insure neutrality—
to prevent our territory from being used as a recruiting place for the Mexican insurgents. In addition to this President Taft and the War Department decided upon making a demonstration on our southern border, to show the Mexicans, other countries, and our own citizens that we were ready and able to act promptly and effectively, if need be, in the protection of foreign life and property in Mexico. Accordingly, our military maneuvers took place that year in Texas.
Though an armistice was arranged between the Mexican Government and the insurgents, destruction continued in widely separated parts of the country. By this time the insurgents held a large number of towns, and even had a force within a few miles of the capital itself.
The Government found itself so pressed that President Diaz issued a declaration of the Government's desire to make ample concessions. As to the request of the Maderists, however, that he resign the presidency, he replied, "To allow the presidency of the Republic to become the sport of the will and pleasure of more or less armed groups would not certainly conduce to the restoration of peace.'
The armistice now ended, the Maderists attacked the town of Juarez. It fell, and the circumstances of its fall were tragic enough even in El Paso, the Texan city across the Rio Grande from Juarez, to call our Government's attention to the necessity of security for life and property in our own territory.
The Maderists continued their course with success. Finally President Diaz resigned. The former Mexican Minister at Washington, Francisco de la Barra, became Provisional President, and remained so for several months, until Madero was elected permanent President. This election was probably the fairest Mexico had yet had; but it was far from being fair in our sense of the word.
No sooner had Madero become President, in November, 1911, than his troubles began. It is true that he did not put down bandits with the firing squad, nor did he put people in jail and class them as outlaws just because they had some idea as to the advantages they should have. But he did three things which undermined his influence.
First, Madero put the members of his own family into high office; under his brother Gustavo the treasury was gradually emptied.
In the second place, Madero did not-and
could not-immediately bring about land reform. Many Mexicans had supposed that laws would be immediately framed to help the small man to become a landowner, and to take away from a few rich men the control of the granting of privileges and concessions. These grants, under Diaz, had been made more for the benefit of private interests than for public welfare.
In the third place, Madero showed himself merciful when he should have been stern. He did not put down revolt, as Diaz would have done, with relentless immediateness. He thus brought upon Mexico a greater misfortune.
Accordingly there were renewed disturbances. In the north the insurgents against Madero were called Vasquistas because their leader was Vasquez Gomez. In the south the insurgents were known as Zapatistas because they supported the claims of Zapata. In the north the insurrection started with the mutiny of soldiers; in the south it grew out of the union of bands of raiders and brigands. Madero, alarmed on the approach of the northern rebels to Juarez, asked the United States to forbid commercial intercourse with that town so as to cut off the rebels' supplies. This absurd request was promptly refused, although our Government was very friendly toward the Madero Government. Our Government also forbade the transmissal of arms to Mexico. The net result to Mexico was that the country was in no greater state of peace than a twelvemonth before.
From one end of the country to the other disorder prevailed. Naturally the large number of Americans in Mexico, and also the large number of capitalists interested in Mexican industrial and transportation affairs, were impatient to see an end put to the semi-anarchical conditions. In addition, those who had felt that Mexico might exist as a democracy if the rule of a Diaz were removed were also disappointed at the seeming failure of the democratic plan of government which had been substituted for a practical autocracy. Any progress made towards easing the conditions of the peasants had not been properly advertised, and the corresponding disgust on the part of the peasants boded little good to President Madero.
As might have been expected, aside from the insurrectionists in the north and the south, the military element in the City of Mexico was not oblivious to its opportunity. Although the fighting strength of the Mexican
army had been put at forty thousand and the soldiers were supposed to be well equipped with modern arms and ammunition, the Madero revolution showed that the President was unable to put more than twelve thousand men into the field, and even these were found to be inadequately clothed and were equipped with defective ammunition. But there was enough left of the army to constitute a formidable revolt under Generals Felix Diaz and Victoriano Huerta. Madero was captured and treacherously slain. This was in February, 1913. Though many observers at the City of Mexico doubted the possibility of disproving the denials of Huerta of complicity in the killing of Madero, the feeling in this country was that the Provisional President for so Huerta had become-was not to be trusted. At all events, the new Government rested on assassination and treachery.
The new Government immediately met a stout resistance in the north, where Governor Carranza, of the State of Coahuila, took up the Maderist cause-the cause of constitutionalism and declared that he would never compromise with Huerta. On the other hand, Huerta came to an agreement with the Vasquistas, hitherto the strongest force of malcontents in the north.
While no approval of Huerta had been given by either President Taft or President Wilson, Mr. Henry Lane Wilson, our Ambassador to Mexico, expressed his belief that the provisional Mexican Government was innocent of the charge that it had instigated the killing of Madero, and recommended our Department of State to recognize it as the most direct way in which to bring about immediate security. Ambassador Wilson's recommendations were disregarded, and he himself, some months later, was relieved of his functions. Meanwhile the Second Division of the United States Army had been massed in Texas under the command of General William H. Carter, who had commanded the mobilization of our forces in Texas the year previous.
Governor Carranza now formed a government of his own. He declared that Huerta's power would fall if the United States should recognize belligerency and allow arms to be sent from this country to the insurgents. Doubtless Carranza represents the few really politically educated Mexicans. But the trouble is that there is no Mexican people in the sense in which there is an American people. There has been no training for self-government.
The question arises: Are there really enough Mexicans who can be called constitutionalists to secure self-government?
The pressure upon our own Government to mediate or to intervene became continually greater. Huerta indignantly spurned any such suggestion, saying, as is reported: "I will accept neither mediation nor intervention of any kind. . . . On no account will I make any compromise with the revolutionaries. We are strong enough to bring about peace at an early date."
But his Government was not strong enough and there has been no peace. At the same time, Huerta has largely had his own way, first because of his own strong personality, which seeks an end by the old-fashioned brutal methods; second, because many landowners have supported him as the only man who stands between them and spoliation. The difficulty with the situation, however, is that the time for the old blood-and-iron policy as a permanently successful policy has passed away.
With the 'recall of the American Ambassador it seemed desirable that a special effort should be made to persuade Huerta to agree to certain measures of reform. Accordingly, the Hon. John Lind, ex-Governor of Minnesota, was selected as the President's personal representative and proceeded to Mexico, where he submitted the following proposals:
(a) An immediate cessation of fighting throughout Mexico, a definite armistice solemnly entered into and scrupulously observed;
(b) Security given for an early and free election in which all agree to take part;
(c) The consent of General Huerta to bind himself not to be a candidate for election as President of the Republic at this election; and
(d) The agreement of all parties to abide by the results of the election, and co-operate in the most loyal way in organizing and supporting the new Administration.
The Government of the United States will be glad to play any part in this settlement or in its carrying out which it can play honorably and consistently with international right. It pledges itself to recognize and in every way possible and proper to assist the administration chosen and set up in Mexico in the way and on the conditions suggested.
These proposals were refused, the Mexican Secretary of the Interior, Señor Gamboa, declaring in behalf of the provisional Government that they were humiliating, that the provisional Government was absolutely constitutional, that it was in control of twenty-two out of twenty-seven Mexican States, that its eighty thousand men (a wholly exaggerated
number) in the field could take care of the rebellion, and that Huerta should not be asked to pledge himself not to be a candidate at the forthcoming elections. Moreover, the Minister asked that we withhold arms from the rebels and maintain strict neutrality.
Despite this, President Wilson's opposition continued the same; he held that the Huerta government was not a de jure government because it was initiated by crime and founded on crime, and that it was not a de facto government because it had not the power to perform the most elemental functions of government. Accordingly, as intervention by one nation in the domestic affairs of another should never be undertaken if it can be avoided, and because in this particular case intervention might arouse against us the hostility of all Latin America, there remained to our Government the policy of "isolation.' This was to refuse moral support to an immoral and incompetent government, to prevent the shipment from the United States of munitions of war to any of the Mexican factions, and to advise Americans to leave Mexico because the country was in a condition of anarchy, with no government able to assume governmental functions.
In September President Wilson appeared before Congress and read a Message declaring particularly that what our Government has done and should seek to do is "in fulfillment of its obligation to Mexico herself as a friend and neighbor, and to the American citizens whose lives and vital interests are daily affected by the distressing conditions which now obtain beyond our southern border."
This is all very well so far as we are concerned. But how about the rest of the world? Twenty-six other nations have recognized the Huerta government.
a sharpness to Huerta's intimation that our battle-ships would not be welcome in Mexican waters after the expiration of the six months' permission to remain there. Of course this was a defiance of the right of any government to exercise its privilege of sending warships wherever it might seem that its citizens needed protection.
But a more remarkable defiance occurred in October, when Huerta's soldiers seized over a hundred Deputies of the Mexican Congress and threw them into prison, simply because the Deputies had passed a resolution warning Huerta that if he did not give them protection against personal injury they would adjourn to another city and hold their legis
lative sessions there. Now Huerta's real purpose was doubtless not so much anger at this proceeding as because he wanted to prevent any interference by Congress with his mastery over the forthcoming elections, and Congress had already questioned the constitutionality of those elections.
The Mexican Constitution declares that the elections shall take place only in the time of peace. Perhaps Huerta concluded that his Minister's declaration of a supposed control of twenty-two out of twenty-seven provinces constituted enough peace for the election. But if he thus indirectly disregarded the Constitution, his action in imprisoning the Deputies directly disregarded it, for its first article guarantees the liberty of Deputies and Senators.
Under these circumstances the world. was not surprised at the following message from President Wilson.
The President is shocked at the lawless methods employed by General Huerta, and as a sincere friend of Mexico is deeply distressed at the situation which has arisen. The President believes that an election held at this time, and under conditions as they now exist, would have none of that sanctity with which the law surrounds the ballot, and that its result, therefore, could not be regarded as representing the will of the people. The President would not feel justified in accepting the result of such an election or in recognizing the President so chosen.
The elections took place. As was anticipated, the political state of the country had become more and more confused, and on the day of the election it was seen that the various candidates for the presidency-Gamboa, Felix Diaz, and Calero-were sinking into insignificance in the Mexican mind compared with the fact that the old Aztec blood-andiron policy, which had so long infamously ruled Mexico to the death of all hope of government with the consent of the governed, was now again enthroned in Huerta. A new dictator had arisen.