This Etext prepared by David Schwan
By Chris. Evans
In “Eurasia” the author describes an ideal republic where many of the problems that confront us are worked out. The book describes in an interesting and readable way how government is administered in this ideal republic. The government is one in which women take their full share of responsibility, the school children are trained in the problems they will meet in life, and more emphasis is laid on character building than on the dead languages. The children of both sexes are taught useful trades. All school children are taught to swim. The idle are employed in the construction of roads, canals and irrigation works. The problems of distribution are so arranged that the worker receives a more equitable reward for his labor.
The author, Chris. Evans, speaks with a firsthand knowledge when he discusses the army prison management and the administration of law. Mr. Evans, who was born in Vermont, is an old cavalryman, having served in the Civil War. After the war he served with the cavalry in the West, fighting Indians.
A GOVERNMENT OF THE PEOPLE.
One pleasant afternoon in the month of May, 19–, I launched my boat, and after rowing about half a mile from shore I shipped my oars, stepped the mast, hoisted sail and reclining on a cushioned seat at the stern with my hand on the tiller, I waited for a breeze to spring up, and whilst so doing I fell asleep. How long I slept I know not, for when I awoke my boat was close to shore, and to my’ astonishment I was in strange waters. I went ashore, when I was accosted in English with a foreign accent by a venerable looking man with the question: “Where did you come from?” I replied: “From the United States of America, and what country is this?” His answer was Eurasia, and beckoning to a man in uniform, who was passing by and who immediately joined us, he told him that I was from the United States of America and did not know what country I was in. The official addressed me very kindly and invited me to accompany him, and leaving the boat in charge of my first acquaintance, with instructions to take good care of it, he escorted me into the city and left me at a hotel with a request that I would permit him to call on me the next day at ten a. m., and he would show me all the principal buildings and introduce me to the President, “who I have no doubt will be delighted to see you.” At the appointed time he arrived, and, taking my place by his side in an automobile driven by electricity, we passed in succession the buildings occupied by the different Departments of State, and stopped in front of a modest building set back a short distance from the street, and at the gate we were at once admitted by the officer on duty, who informed us that the President was holding a Cabinet meeting and would receive meimmediately. The President’s private secretary met me at the door and introduced me to the President, who shook my hand warmly, and introduced me to his Cabinet in the following order:
Mr. __, the Minister of State.
Mrs. __, the Minister of Justice.
Mr. __, the Minister of Railways.
Mrs. __, the Minister of Education. Mr. __, the Minister of Finance.
Mrs. __, the Minister of Information. Mr. __, the Minister of Agriculture.
Mrs. __, the Minister of Health.
Mr. __, the Minister of Commerce.
Mrs. __, the Minister of Manufactures. Mr. __, the Minister of Mines.
Mrs. __, the Minister of War.
Mr. __, the Minister of Foreign Affairs. Mrs. __, the Minister of Labor.
I informed the President that I wished to learn all I could about the Government and Institutions of the country, to which he replied by handing me the Official Directory, and added that he and his Cabinet would assist me to the fullest extent. I expressed my heartfelt thanks for their kindness, and, going back to my hotel, I opened the, Official Directory. I found the country governed by a President elected directly by the people for five years, but the law provided that if his government was not satisfactory to the people, a petition signed by five per cent. of the voters called for an election, and if a majority voted against him, he was removed from office and the Minister of State assumed the Presidency for the remainder of the term. The Cabinet was composed of fourteen members-seven men and seven women-and were chosen by the Parliament, who were free to select them from their own members or outsiders, provided that the person chosen was a voter and twenty-five years of age. When the Parliament met, which it did on the first day of January, and adjourned on the first of March, sine die, the Ministers presented their reports of their work for the previous two years, and if the Parliament approved them, they continued in office; but if the Parliament by a majority vote disapproved of any of them, then the Minister resigned and the Parliament appointed another person to take his or her place. The members of Parliament were elected for two years and to serve without pay, but their expenses were paid by the Government and the amount necessary was fixed by law and could not be raised or lowered, only by two-thirds vote of the qualified voters of the Nation. The country was divided into districts and every district elected a member for every hundred thousand of population, provided that every other member from a district should be a female, thus giving both sexes full representation in the Government. Each district was governed by a Governor, elected for two years, and a Court of Judges, consisting of a Chief Justice, a Prosecuting Attorney, an Attorney for the Defense and twelve Justice Jurors, who tried all felony cases and civil cases that could not be settled by Arbitration, and who sat also as a Board of Equalization and as Supervisors.
The law provided that eight Jurors or two-thirds of them (if any were absent through sickness or any other reasonable cause), in every case could bring in a verdict of guilty in criminal cases or for the Complainant or Defendant in civil cases, and if eight did not find the Defendant guilty, the case was dismissed-but if guilty the Defendant had only to say “I appeal,” and a copy of the evidence was sent immediately to the Supreme Court, composed of Judges, elected by the people, one from each district, to serve for five years.
The Court sat six days in each week, excepting four weeks inJuly-August, when all the Courts were allowed by law four weeks’ vacation. They were required to work eight hours each day beginning at eight a. m., with one hour rest at noon, and ending at five p. m.; but they could work longer if they so desired, but the law forbade any adjournment and to prevent bribery the documents in every case-civil or criminal-arriving daily were placed in a lottery wheel, and, on the Court assembling at eight a. m., the wheel was revolved, and in the presence of the Minister of Justice a blind boy and girl drew the documents out and handed them to pages who delivered them to the Judges in alphabetical order. Three Judges, forming a committee, decided every case that came into their hands on the same day. There was no delay in Justice, and, if any Judge misbehaved, the voters in his district could remove him under the same law that applied to the President.
The law of recall applied to all officers of the Government elected by the people. The salary of the Supreme Court Judges was fixed by law at ten dollars per day and that of a Chief Justice of a district at five dollars per day. That of the Prosecuting Attorney and Attorney for the Defense at four dollars per day, and that of Justice and Jurors at three dollars per day the year ’round.
No costs were charged to either complainant or defendant in any case, either civil or criminal, but if a person brought complaint without just and sufficient cause, the law provided that they should be examined by the Court, and if found sane, they should be imprisoned for one year at hard labor, and if insane, to be sent immediately to the Lunatic Asylum. In every case the complainant was first warned by the Court of what would happen if the charge proved to be unfounded.
I made inquiries among the people and was told that the law was a great promoter of peace and good will.
DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE.
During the following week I called on the Minister of Justice and informed her of my desire to learn the workings of her Department. She handed me a copy of the Penal Code, and I was astonished to find how simple the course of procedure was compared with that of my own country. Felonies ranked in the following order: Murder, Rape, Incest and crimes against nature, Arson, Robbery, Assault to Murder, Manslaughter, Mayhem, Bribery, Larceny and Perjury. The law held one degree of murder and that was with malice aforethought, but where a person killed a human being wantonly, without cause or malice, the homicide was committed to the Lunatic Asylum, and, after one year’s imprisonment, deprived of the sexual organs, and if his or her conduct endangered the peace or safety of the community, were to be chloroformed.
The penalty for murder was imprisonment for life, subject to parole after ten years. Rape fiends were sentenced to twenty-five years, and after one year’s imprisonment to be desexualizcd and subject to parole after five years.
Persons found guilty of Incest and crimes against nature received the same punishment as Rape fiends and subject to parole after five years. The penalty for Arson was twenty years, subject to parole after four years. For Robbery fifteen years and subject to parole after three years. The same penalty for Assault to Murder and subject to parole after three years. Manslaughter, Mayhem and Bribery were punished by imprisonment for ten years and subject to parole after two years. Larceny and Perjury were punished by five years’ imprisonment, and subject to parole after one year. Public officials who embezzled public funds were committed for Perjury as well as Larceny, and were debarred from ever holding office. The law provided that in the course of the trial of any person charged with Felony, if the evidence showed they had committed a felony, other than the one for which they were being tried, then the Court could sentence them for the crime that the evidence showed they had committed, even if there was not sufficient evidence to convict them of the crime with which they were charged.
Any person found guilty was remanded to the custody of the Governor of the district to await the decision of the Supreme Court. If they appealed, and the appeal was not confirmed, they were sent to the nearest State Prison, of which there are at the present time twenty-five.
No fines were imposed for any crime and no confiscation of property for any cause.
A Magistrate was elected in every sub-district, according to population. One for every ten thousand inhabitants, at a salary of three dollars per day the year ’round, and who tried all persons charged with Felony, and if proven guilty, committed them to the District Court-but a charge of Felony could be made before the District Court, and if probable cause was shown, the case came up for trial. The Magistrate was authorized by law to release any person charged with a misdemeanor on probation, or to sentence them from one month to twelve months’ imprisonment at hard labor within the district, and the prisoners were paid for their work from five to twenty-five cents per day, according to their ability and skill, and the money they earned was sent to their wives and children, if they had any. If they were single, what they earned was paid to them at the expiration of their sentence. No handcuffs, balls or chains or Oregon Boots were permitted to be used, but if the person in custody was violent, a jacket with straps at the waist to secure the hands at the side was provided and no punishment was inflicted for violation of the prison rules-but bread and water for three days at any one time. If a prisoner committed sodomy or other infamous crime against nature, while in custody, he was castrated, and if he still persisted in committing crimes against nature, he was chloroformed. No trial by jury was permitted in cases of misdemeanor-but an appeal to the Governor was allowed by law and a copy of the evidence in the case was sent to him and he had to decide according to the law and evidence within thirty days and publish his reasons therefor in the District Newspaper. By permission of the Minister of Justice I was granted authority to visit the State Prison, carrying with me a letter instructing every prison official to assist me and to furnish me all the information within their power. The prison was located in the center of a Military Preserve, consisting of ninety-two thousand one hundred and sixty acres, all in a high state of cultivation. Railways traversed the reservation, but no trains but military ones were permitted to stop within its limits.
A VISIT TO A STATE PRISON.
The Minister of Justice placed an automobile at my service, and when I arrived at the boundary of the reservation, I was stopped by a military officer. I handed him my letter from the Minister of Justice, and, glancing over it, he replied, “You are welcome,” and, taking a seat by my side, we drove to the prison grounds, where I was introduced to the Superintendent, and invited by him to be his guest during my stay. I found the prisoners garrisoned in company quarters. One hundred and thirty-five privates, nine corporals, three sergeants and one company clerk constituted a company, with a captain in command of them holding the same rank and pay as a captain in the army, and who was chosen from the non-commissioned officers in the army for distinguished services. The prisoners were classified in twelve companies. Four companies formed the first grade, consisting of Companies A, B, C and D; four companies formed the second grade, consisting of Companies E, F, G and H, and four companies formed the third grade, consisting of Companies I , K, L, and M. The first grade received fifteen cents per day and the third grade five cents per day, and no pay was forfeited for violation of prison rules and regulations, but prisoners received no pay during the time they were on bread and water. Corporals received fifty per cent. more pay than privates, and sergeants and company clerks one hundred per cent. more. Prisoners were required to work eight hours each day, Sundays excepted-commencing at eight a. m., with one hour for dinner, and ending at five p. m., and to attend night school from six p. m. until eight p. m. five nights in the week, and once a week musicians and singers visited the prison and gave entertainments.
The company quarters were only one-story high, but were large and well ventilated, being eighty feet square with wide verandas and furnished with steam and hot water pipes for cold weather, and lighted throughout by incandescent lamps.
The beds were all singly arranged in rows and well furnished with mattresses, blankets, sheets and pillows, and the room had nine large wash basins at one end of the room, where all the company could wash their hands and faces and comb their hair.
The captains were required to sleep in the same rooms with the prisoners, and to eat with them in the dining-room, and were held responsible for their care and good conduct. He could sentence them for misconduct to three days on bread and water, but for serious offences they were tried by a Court of three Judges, appointed by the Minister of Justice.
The regimental dining-room where all the companies dined was divided into three sections, with partitions eight feet high between them, each section having a door connecting with the kitchen, and the food furnished of good quality, but differing in degree according to grade.
The hospital was on one side of the square, and was fitted with every modern appliance and at the distance of half a mile was a pest house, to which all prisoners suffering from leprosy, cancer, syphilis and other malignant diseases, were consigned. What most attracted my attention was the bath house, a one-story building, one hundred feet long, adjoining the laundry. It had a swimming tank in the middle of it sixty feet long, forty feet wide and twelve feet deep. At the two ends were porcelain bathtubs for the old and feeble, with hot and cold water faucets, and on one side were shower-bath nozzles overhead, with hot and cold water connections; on the side next the laundry were rows of shelves reaching to the ceiling and numbered from one to eighteen hundred, holding a change of clothing for the entire regiment of prisoners, with a passageway and counter in front, and every prisoner was compelled to bathe on every Sunday, passing over the counter the clothes worked in; when they had undressed and when they had bathed, they received clothes, washed and ironed, to put on. Any prisoner who did not bathe was placed in solitary confinement for three days on bread and water, then taken to the bathhouse and well scrubbed.
Two prisoners were assigned to work as chiropodists to keep the feet of the prisoners in good condition, and the laundrymen, besides washing and ironing all the clothes, sheets and pillowcases, had to wash and disinfect all the blankets once a month. There were no walls surrounding the prison building, but the reservation being the headquarters of an army corps with barracks on all sides, escapes by prisoners were very rare.
On marching out of the dining-room after breakfast the roll was called, and also after supper, by the captains of companies, and after nine p. m. the doors were locked and no smoking or talking was permitted.
A parole commissioner appointed by the Minister of Justice resided at the prison, who was also Superintendent of the Night School, with authority to parole any prisoner according to law that in his judgment was a fit person to be paroled. A paroled prisoner, if he did not have friends to take care of him, was given employment by the Government, and no money deposit was required. The Government paid over to him what money he had earned, and gave him a dress suit and a working suit of clothes and two changes of underclothing-by those acts of justice giving him encouragement to become a useful member of society. He was required to report by a letter once a month to the Governor of the District from which he came, and the Governor was authorized by law to pardon him when he thought proper. Those rules and regulations applied equally to both sexes.
THE BANK OF EURASIA.
Leaving the prison, I returned to the Capitol and, calling at the Department of Finance, was given a copy of the laws governing it, and learned that it operated under the name of the Bank of Eurasia, with headquarters in the capital, having a branch in every district and in every town of one thousand inhabitants or more. It paid out all money owed by the Government and received and receipted for all taxes due, and accepted all deposits from one dollar upwards, and issued all banknotes and bills of exchange, and in consequence there were no panics and no necessity of issuing clearing-house certificates. To avoid the folly of locking up large amounts of money received for taxes each year on the one hand, or permitting stock-gamblers and money-sharks, on the other hand, to use it, each district was allowed by law to issue district banknotes of one dollar denomination, guaranteed by the Government, drawing two per cent. a year interest up to eighty per cent. of the yearly expenses of the district. The taxes were payable on the first day of November, and if not paid on that day a delinquent tax of ten per cent. The banknotes issued by the district were called in and canceled by this means, keeping the money of the people in circulation.
Every branch bank in a district was required to send daily accounts of all money received and paid out to the central branch bank of the district, which in turn sent a daily account of all bank transactions in the district to the Bank of Eurasia at the capital. No district treasurers were required, nor treasurers in any department of the Government, but vouchers to be paid by the Government had to be signed and scaled by the proper authorities. The bank also conducted a National Lottery, with tickets for sale at every branch bank for one dollar per ticket; drawings monthly, and the highest prize drawn was five thousand dollars, and the lowest five dollars. Five per cent. of the gross proceeds going to the Government for the maintenance and education of orphan children. The amount received each month and the names of the prize winners was published in the National Gazette (a weekly paper), and a copy sent to every prize winner. This paper was published by the Government and every voter was free to subscribe for it without cost, but no advertisements were allowed in it. It published the work of every department of the Government and all bills approved by Parliament, and all laws recommended by the Parliament for whilst the Parliament could approve and legalize all Government expenditures, it could only recommend by a two-thirds vote the amending or creating of any acts pertaining to the Political, Civil and Penal Codes, which had to go before the people at the next general election, when they became the law of the land by a two-thirds vote of the qualified voters who took part in the election, and had a universal circulation, as the Government owned and operated all railways, telegraphs, teleposts, telephones, wireless telegraphy stations and levees, all water power, steamers and boats for freight and passenger service, and, in fact, all public utilities.
Besides, the Government manufactured and sold all liquors, tobaccos, drugs, teas, salt, sugar, coals, petroleum, lumber, iron in pigs and steel in plates and bars. It is easy to see that the Bank of Eurasia transacted an immense volume of business daily.
The bank coined gold in denominations of fifty dollars, twenty dollars, ten dollars and five dollars; silver in dollar, fifty and twenty-five-cent pieces; nickel in ten-cent and five-cent pieces, and aluminum in one-cent pieces. All money coined with ten per cent. alloy and at bullion value. The coinage was readjusted every ten years and silver, nickel and aluminum coins were exchangd for gold at their face value. The Government issued banknotes drawing two per cent. a year, and loaned money on land and on goods in the Government warehouses and conducted a fire insurance business, but no insurance was paid on any property that was insured in the building where the fire broke out, and on no buildings that were not fireproof. No life insurance was allowed and no corporation or individual was allowed to carry on an insurance business and no person was permitted to insure property or life in the country in any foreign corporation, and no stock exchanges or gambling in futures were allowed.
The Bank of Eurasia published every month in the National Gazette the amount of money on hand, so that the people might know when it was necessary for the Government to make a new issue of banknotes, so as not to cripple the circulation.
I was greatly, impressed with the reply of the Minister of Finance when I asked him why he published those statements, “We deal honestly with the people and they trust us.” In answer to my question if there were any trusts in his country, he smiled and replied, “One trust: the People.”
Corporations are allowed, but no watered stock and every stockholder has the same vote in electing officers of the company, whether he holds one share or any other number of shares, and any conspiracy to corner the market or to enhance the price of any article produced or manufactured is punished as a felony, the penalty being five years at hard labor in prison.
DEPARTMENT OF INFORMATION.
I called at the Department of Information, and when I was introduced I realized that I was in the presence of one of the world’s greatest teachers. She gave me a warm handshake and said, “I have been expecting you, and now that you are here, I will take pleasure in showing you the workings of the department over which I have the honor to preside. There are no Government or private detective agencies in our country, but a constant watch is kept on all public officials as well as private violators of the law, by the Government placing for sale in every postoffice and every military station and every prison Government envelopes with fifty-cent stamps on them, and any person interfering in the sending or tampering with said letters is punished by imprisonment for five years at hard labor. Steel boxes with a slit in the lid to receive the letters were placed in every postoffice, military station and prison, and could not be opened except by a commissioner from the Department of Information. Any person could buy one, for there was a printed address on them, and send it to the President, who has at the present time three hundred secretaries (young ladies chosen from the orphan home) to read the letters, answer them and send a copy to the Minister of Justice who has them Classified, and acting on the information sends orders out to bring the guilty parties to justice, and as punishment is meted out only to the bribetakers, for it is only acting according to the mandates of human nature for a relative or friend to try to get a person out of trouble to offer a bribe, carried with it no penalty, but it left the bribetaker at the mercy of the other party, and in consequence of adopting this system very few public officials proved untrue, and crime has greatly diminished. Our department has charge of all mail matter and telegraph, telepost and telephone lines and wireless stations and all newspaper books and magazine publications, and we edit the National Gazette; besides we have charge of all Government scientific research parties, and if you will call again to-morrow I think I will be able to introduce you to the Chief Engineer who stands very high in his profession, and who has, by placing an Astronomical Observatory on the summit of Mount Everest, attracted the attention of the civilized world.”
DEPARTMENT OF MINES.
I called at the appointed time and was introduced to the Chief Engineer, who invited me to accompany him on an inspection tour, to which I gladly assented, and, after a week’s pleasant travel by rail, we arrived at the station on the southwestern slope of Mount Everest at an elevation of twelve thousand feet above the sea. We had arrived in the evening and enjoyed a good night’s rest, and, eating a hearty breakfast, we walked out to take observations of the locality, before taking our trip to the summit, and the Chief told me of the way by which they finally erected an observatory on the highest mountain of the earth.
“Five years ago the President sent for me,” explained the Chief Engineer, “and asked if I could plan an observatory on Mount Everest. I replied that I would try to do so if the Government saw fit to place me in charge of the undertaking. I received my commission the next day and, calling to my aid two of the ablest engineers in the service of the Government, we selected a site for the entrance of the tunnel and next we searched for suitable power to do the work. We found a waterfall twenty miles distant, where we built a power house, installed turbines and dynamos and built an electric line to this place. We then erected a machine shop, in which we placed our electric engines and air compressors, and built a railroad connecting with the main line, and after we had done that we started the tunnel. As you will observe, the tunnel is a round bore twelve feet in diameter, and no explosives were used in making it. We used a tunneling machine driven and operated by compressed air, boring on the average fifty feet every twenty-four hours, and we washed the debris away by a powerful stream of water directed against the face of the tunnel so as not to obstruct the work. We gave the tunnel for the first five miles a grade of one foot in ten and from that point to the summit a grade of sixty degrees, and laid heavy steel segment rails six feet apart bolted to the solid rock, by this means dispensing with ties and permitting a free flow of water and slum. We found it necessary to build a chamber within the mouth of the tunnel sixty feet long, with automatic doors opening and shutting, to secure an abundance of air in the tunnel, and also in the observatory. The tunnel required no timbering, as we bored all the way through synetic granite and encountered very little water, and when we were about to break through at the summit we provided the workmen with fur clothing, and with air respirators, so that they would not be overcome by the cold and rarety of the atmosphere. We had a car driven by electricity to carry the men and material into the tunnel, having four cogwheel drivers on each side, and the tunnel throughout was lighted by electricity. We built the observatory of composition metal and glass, which was carried up on the car-but come along and you shall see for yourself.”
We entered an observatory car that was run by its own dynamo but in case of the dynamo giving out a trolley wire overhead- could furnish power any moment. After a pleasant ride of an hour’s duration we came out of the tunnel into the observatory and I saw two magnificently mounted telescopes, one for visitors to look through and the other one for taking photographic views. I looked through the visitors’ telescope and to my astonishment the sun was blue and when I asked one of the astronomers present the reason for it he replied that the sun was a great dynamo and that the dazzling brightness seen at low altitudes was caused by our atmosphere offering like the filament in an incandescent lamp great resistance to the electric energy of the sun producing a brilliant glow and if you were able to go outside the atmosphere of our earth you would only see the sun as a dark body in space and you would find yourself in absolute darkness and eternal silence. Night fell and when I looked again through the telescope and gazed on the countless hosts of heaven’s millions of suns there came into my mind and I repeated aloud that noble passage in the Bible, “The heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament showeth his handiwork. I remarked to the Chief Engineer as we went down to the station, that a great many people visited the observatory, for I had looked in the visitors’ book, where every person was required to sign his name. He replied, “Yes, if a private company owned it, it would make the stockholders wealthy, for it has become to the globe-trotters what Mecca is to the Mohammedans for no tourist would dare to return home without registering at the observatory and we encourage them by publishing their names in the National Gazette.
“If you would like to accompany me I think I can show you another work we are engaged in that is adding to the accumulated knowledge of the ages.” I gladly assented and after ten days of railway travel we arrived at the great platinum mine of Eurasia. It was on the continental divide between Europe and Asia and had been worked on a small scale at the surface for a great many years, but had not produced much platinum and owing to an increasing demand for it in the arts the value of it greatly exceeded that of gold, while at the present time it is on a par with silver, owing to the government selling it in the market of the world for what it will bring and smashing any gambling ring that would attempt to corner the market. We entered a cage and were lowered to the one thousand-foot level; then we got out of the cage and, walking about twenty yards, we entered a chamber where there was another shaft and hoisting works and were lowered to the two-thousand foot level, which opened out in every direction, connecting with a drainage tunnel eight miles long, which carried off all the water for sixteen square miles of surface. After explaining to me the old methods of mining he said with a smile: “Come with me now and I will show you our new method,” and entering a large chamber that looked like an immense warehouse, we stepped into a cage and went down, changing from one cage to another every thousand feet, until we stopped at the sixty-four-thousand-foot level. We visited several crosscuts and drifts on this level and found several hundred men at work taking out platinum ore of a high grade, and my companion told me that they were doing the same work on several other thousand-foot levels, the ore improving in quality as they went down. “You no doubt observed as we came down that the shaft was circular, but you may not have seen a second shaft of the same diameter as the hoisting shaft forty feet away. The second shaft is used for air pipes, water pipes and insulated electric wires.
All the electric current to run the hoists and the compressed air to drive the drilling machines and to maintain free circulation of air throughout the workings, comes down that shaft and all the surplus water is pumped up it to the two-thousand-foot level, where it is carried off by the drainage tunnel and a complete system of escape ladders-besides at every level is a hoisting engine and cage to take the workmen up if danger threatens them. To insure an even temperature in the mine we keep a supply of liquid aid on every level, which is renewed daily, connecting the liquid air chest with the pipe that supplies fresh air to the workings. No expense is spared in taking care of the health and safety of the workmen and if a man gets sick or injured he gets the same pay as if he is working, and if a workman gets killed his wife receives the same pay that he received as long as she lives, and his children are as well provided for by the government. None but married men are employed and there is lively competition to secure employment with us.”
He informed me that they sank the shaft with rotary drilling machines, cutting a channel one inch wide and five feet in depth, leaving a core nine feet ten inches in diameter in which four holes were drilled four feet six inches in depth and loaded with a new explosive as powerful as dynamite but without its injurious fumes and perfectly safe to handle at any temperature. They averaged in sinking twelve feet daily and as they went down the rock became more compact and finer grained. As there were no hot springs in the vicinity and no signs of volcanic action even in prehistoric times, the temperature of the rock even at the sixty-four-thousand-foot level was only one hundred and twenty degrees Fahrenheit, and any increase of temperature in the workings was owing to the electric light generating heat in the dense atmosphere of the lower levels. My companion invited me to weigh myself on the ore scales and to my astonishment I only weighed one hundred and twenty pounds, and I exclaimed that something was wrong with the scales, but my companion offered to take the scales up with us to the surface and test them. We did so and on weighing myself again the beam tipped at one hundred and sixty pounds my regular weight.
Then he informed me that there was a progressive fall in weights on every level as they went down and that if no unforeseen obstacle interfered they would reach the limit of attraction from the surface downward and in his opinion it would be at fifty miles. I asked him what they would find there and he replied that in his opinion it would be the same subtle and elastic essence that fills stellar space, but he added: “God alone knows the secret of the universe in his keeping.” We visited the great smelting, refining and assaying works in the vicinity and he introduced me to the general superintendent of all the mines on the continental divide, who invited me to accompany him on a mine inspection tour and he would show me the improved method they used in prospecting for ore and extracting and milling it to the best advantage. “When our mining experts discover a mineral belt containing precious metals or copper, iron, lead, nickel, platinum, cobalt, quicksilver, manganese or any other ore used in manufactures and the arts, the first thing we do is to sink a shaft on the most likely ore chimney and at every one hundred feet in depth we run levels to develop it and if we continue to find ore as we go down and the ground requires drainage, we survey for a drainage tunnel that will drain the mine at the greatest depth, even if we have to run a tunnel ten miles. We sink the shaft to within twenty feet of the tunnel level and then quit sinking until the tunnel is completed. We use a tunneling machine, boring a tunnel six feet in diameter at the rate of one hundred feet per day. We run the tunnel directly under the shaft and then withdraw all the men and machinery from the tunnel, put a six-inch drill into the shaft that makes a hole into the tunnel, and quickly drains the mine. Then we begin to stope out at the lowest level, filling in the waste upward, and taking out only ore to be conveyed to the mill or smelter. While the shaft is being sunk the ore taken out is sent to the reduction works and carefully tested to find out the best way of reducing it so that when the mine is in good condition to work we know how to handle ore to the best advantage.
“We have only a few reduction works for refractory ore, but they are on a grand scale, some of them handling one hundred thousand tons daily, and as the government owns and operates all the railways the cost of transporting ore is under two mills a ton per mile. We employ a corps of metallurgists experimenting to discover better methods in reducing and they have made great progress so that ores that were left in the mine or on the dump are now worked with handsome profit to the government Our workmen all carry life and health insurance, one-half paid by the men monthly and the other half by the government, and where a mine is shut down by the government the miners are furnished employment in another place, so that they are never idle.
“We also bore thousands of artesian wells throughout the country, some of them to the depth of five thousand feet, for artesian water, gas, and petroleum, and occasionally we locate fine bodies of coal by those means and those that we don’t need to supply the market we cap and stop the flow and use them in the future, always using the best flowing wells for the present time. When we have to use drainage tunnels for our mines we carry the water off from the mouth of the tunnel in a flume, placing quicksilver in the riffles, and if it is a copper mine we place scrap iron in the water and we also use the water for power to assist us in mining, so that at the present time we extract and reduce ore at a lower rate than in other parts of the world, for there is no wastefill management and no overproduction, for in all our mining operations we work those that cost the least, and we operate our coal mines in the same way.”
I thanked him for the courtesy shown me and took the train for the capital, and my next visit was to the Department of Education.
DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION.
I was ushered into the office of the Minister of Education and was introduced to a charming lady who filled that position with signal ability. “I am told that you are from the United States of America. ” she said with a winning smile, “and I hope that you will have a pleasant time while you remain with its.” She spoke perfect English and informed me that it was the language of Eurasia, but that it differed from English used in other countries in one way. “We write the words the way they sound and eliminate all useless letters, saving a great deal of time and paper.” She informed me that in no school throughout the country, save one, were the dead, or foreign, languages taught, and in that one only for the purpose of correct translation in the interest of science, for practical education is what people need. “We have one great university for orphan children and those without a name, and from it all the departments of the government are supplied with secretaries, clerks, typewriters and messengers, and as they are physically, mentally and morally trained for the duties of life, they are highly prized in the matrimonial market. All our common schools have a gymnasium and swimming tank annexed to the study room; the gymnasium being divided into two compartments, one for boys and one for girls, with a door from each communicating with the study room and also with the swimming tank.” The tank was only four feet deep so as to remove as much as possible the chance for a child being drowned, and no little children were allowed in the tank without two or more boys and girls of fourteen years of age being present.
The doors leading into the tank room were kept under lock and key and were only opened once a day and that at the noon hour. The youngest children, up to the age of twelve years, when they had learned their lessons both in the forenoon and afternoon went into the gymnasium to play, and by those means the children are physically well developed and knowing how to swim are not liable to become frightened if thrown into the water and know what to do to save others from drowning. They are taught reading, writing, arithmetic, geography, typewriting, typesetting and practical geometry, so as to draw lines, angles and circles and find their volumes and areas, but algebra, astronomy, grammar, geology, physiology, biology and metaphysics are reserved for the high schools, where every boy and girl is sent when they are fifteen years of age and kept there for three years at the expense of the government. The high school is located in the district reserve as near the center of the district as conditions will permit in the vicinity of the court house and the Governor’s residence and has adjoining it not less than one thousand acres, according to the population of the district, so as to make it as self-sustaining as possible and to teach the students agriculture, horticulture and the care and management of stock and poultry.
“We have a foundry, machine shop, woolen mill, cotton mill and chemical works at every high school, and while both sexes are taught farming and gardening the boys are taught mechanical trades and the girls knitting, spinning, weaving, cooking, housekeeping and nursing, so as to know how to take care of the sick and injured, and at the age of eighteen years the boys are drafted into the army and serve three years, building railways, levees, canals, irrigation ditches, docks, warehouses and other public buildings, and the girls are sent to the chemical factories, woolen mills, cotton mills, paper mills, flax mills, sugar mills and tobacco factories. No exceptions are made from service; all must serve. Both boys and girls are dressed in military uniform and are drilled two hours in rifle practice, firing ten shots at an imitation enemy in a military suit, stuffed with straw, in different positions, from one hundred to one thousand yards distance, every Sunday weather permitting and in actual war one brigade of girls is assigned to every division of the army to carry off the wounded and nurse them and to assist in the defense whenever it is necessary, and also to garrison and hold the lines of communication and their presence in the field has been so inspiring to our boys that they never have turned their backs to the enemy.”
THE WAR DEPARTMENT.
My next trip was to the War Department, where I was shown the Rules and Regulations governing the army, and navy.
The army was organized in twenty-five corps of eighty thousand men each, besides the ladies’ army corps of an equal number; each corps composed of three divisions of foot infantry and one division of mounted infantry. Each division was composed of three brigades of infantry, one regiment of sharpshooters and one regiment of artillery; each brigade of three regiments and each regiment of twelve companies, one hundred and fifty men each. The company was divided into three sergeants’ commands and those into three corporal squads. Each company consisted of one hundred and thirty-five privates, nine corporals, three sergeants, one company clerk, one lieutenant and a captain. Four companies composed a battalion, commanded by a major, and the regiment by a colonel. There were no lieutenant colonels; the senior major taking charge of the regiment in case of death or disability of the colonel until the regiment elected an officer to fill the vacancy. All vacancies above the rank of colonel were filled by the corps commander, all vacancies up to and including that of colonel by the votes of the men, but the colonel had to be chosen from the majors, a major from the captains of his battalion. The lieutenant succeeded to the captaincy without a vote-but the lieutenant had to be chosen from the sergeants and company clerk and the sergeant from the corporals of his command. The corporals were elected by the privates of the squads, so that any soldier could rise from the ranks through merit to high command.
The corps commander holds the rank of lieutenant general, the general of division that of major general, and the commander of a brigade that of a brigadier general. The regiment of sharpshooters was chosen from the best rifle shots in the division and in war time received double pay for they were always at the front of the division and the first to engage the enemy. A one-pounder rapid-fire gun was attached to every company and was operated by the lieutenant assisted by the company clerk. In the artillery regiment there were twelve batteries, six three-inch caliber guns and one one-pounder rapid-fire gun to each battery, and as they were under the direct control of the general commanding the division he could mass them to fire on any point of attack. The privates were paid fifteen dollars a month, the corporals twenty dollars, the sergeants twenty-five dollars, company clerks thirty dollars, lieutenants forty dollars, captains sixty dollars, majors eighty dollars, colonels one hundred dollars, brigadier generals one hundred and fifty dollars, major generals two hundred dollars and the lieutenant general three hundred dollars a month, and officers and privates were allowed the same rations and the same amount of clothing. No fixed ration was issued on account of climatic conditions-but plenty and no waste was the rule and every captain and lieutenant had to sit at meals with his men and eat the same food. No violation of this rule was allowed and as a result of this common sense regulation the men were well fed and provided, for every colonel was held to account for the welfare of the men under his command and every officer up to the rank of field marshal could be reduced to the ranks for violation of the rules and regulations governing the army. As there was a mailbox under the control of the Minister of Information in every military post in which complaints were posted to be sent to the President it had a very salutary effect in keeping the officers attentive to their duty, as no officer wanted to lose his position and salary and be a private. All trivial violations of the rules by non-commissioned officers and privates, such as insolence, drunkenness, filthy habits and disorderly conduct, could be punished by the captain with three days on bread and water-but no pay could be forfeited for any offense, for no fines were allowed in the republic. For serious offenses committed by either officer or private in time of peace, such as sodomy, crimes against nature, adultery, seduction, larceny, embezzlement or any other felony, the accused was sent to the district court for trial and on conviction was dismissed the service and committed to prison for the term of years provided by the law for the crime he had been convicted of and five years additional for perjury, he having violated his oath of office that he would be honest and upright in all things so help him God, and any officer could be reduced to the ranks for conduct unbecoming a gentleman as the result of a trial before a jury of twelve men drawn by ballot from any other command than his own. No sashes, jewelry or regalia of any kind was permitted to be worn.
Officers and privates were dressed alike and the insignia of rank was worn on the collar, and no revolvers, bayonets, sabres, swords, rapiers or lances were allowed to be carried-but every officer was required to carry a rifle so that he could not be marked out by the enemy’s sharpshooters and to set an example of good shooting to his men when under fire. Every soldier seriously injured in the service of his country in time of peace as well as in war, received the same pay and care as if he was still in the service and if he was killed or died from disease his father and mother or either of them, as long as they lived. The army was truly a great industrial army, for every officer and man was required to work eight hours a day and for six days in the week, at remunerative labor, and two hours on Sundays at rifle practice. The rules and regulations governing the army applied equally to both sexes. Both boys and girls, when drafted into the army, were first sent to the headquarters of the army corps to which they were assigned, the boys mostly afterward to the department of railways, mines, commerce and agriculture and the girls to the department of finance, manufactures, education and information, distributed all over the republic so as to become acquainted with the people in general, by so doing wiping out sectional feeling and realizing that God was their father and that they all belonged to a common brother- and sisterhood united together under a government for the people, of the people, and by the people. I paid a visit to the navy yard and inspected two battleships that were undergoing some slight repairs to their machinery.
One was a second-class battleship and her dimensions and armament were as follows: Length five hundred and twenty-five feet, breadth of beam seventy-five feet, draught of water twenty feet and six inches, height of gun deck from the water line twelve feet; armament: ten twelve-inch caliber guns mounted in turrets on the center line of the ship. The turrets were bolted to the deck, five of them forward and five aft, and were eighteen feet in diameter, eight feet high, with a slope from deck to parapet of thirty degrees and made of armor steel twelve inches thick. One gun in each turret and the guns could swing around on four-fifths of the circle, so that every gun could be brought to bear on an enemy either to port or starboard. No other guns were carried in time of war and no cruisers, torpedo boats, or torpedoes were used, for experience in war had shown that they were useless waste of men and money. The battleship was propelled by rotary engines developing fifty thousand horsepower, driving the ship at a sustained speed of thirty knots an hour. The ship had four propellers, two on each side at the stern, and the boilers were heated by petroleum with automatic feed. The engineer informed me that they had tried gasoline and other explosives (for the rotary engines worked well with them) but they endangered the safety of the ship and the lives of the crew. There were only two decks in the ship, the lower deck just above the waterline and the gun deck; the lower deck floor was two-inch steel and was not divided into compartments, having no partitions, so that if solid shot or shell entered the side of the ship it could not scatter a shower of steel splinters to kill or wound the men, and for further protection against fragments of shell heavy woolen blankets were hung on the inside from the ceiling. A double partition of two-inch steel ran bow to stern through the center of the ship, reaching from the floor of the hold to the lower deck, with a space between the partitions of four inches filled in with concrete, and the gun deck was supported by heavy steel pillars, as the space between the lower deck and the gun deck was twelve feet. A fireproof platform four feet wide with a railing four feet high of netting, encircled the smokestack about twenty feet above the gun and connected with it by a rope ladder. It was the lookout station and the Captain’s post in battle from where he directed the action.
There was only one smokestack on any battleship and no bridge or superstructure or any inflammable material above the waterline, and the officers and men eat at the same tables and partake of the same food. If any officer or private objected to it or violated this rule, he was dismissed the service, for it was considered injurious to the service on board ship to keep any discontented person. The crew consisted of two hundred privates, fifty corporals, five sergeants, ten lieutenants, ten captains, one chief engineer with two assistants, one lieutenant commander and the commander, who was captain of the ship and had the same rank and pay as a colonel in the army.
The gunner and assistant gunners held the same rank and pay as captains and lieutenants in the army. The chief engineer received the same as the commander and took orders only from him, and his assistants received the same pay as majors in the army, and the sergeants, corporals and privates the same pay as in the army. The gunners and assistant gunners were chosen from among the crew for the best shooting, for it was justly held that victory in a naval battle rested mostly on the shooting qualities of the man behind the gun.
The other battleship was rated first class and her dimensions were as follows: Length, six hundred and thirty feet, breadth of beam ninety feet, draught of water thirty feet. Armament: sixteen twelve-inch caliber guns in single turrets and placed in the following manner: forward on the lower gun deck, five guns; one on the center line of the ship near the bow and two on each side further back. Five guns aft on the lower gun deck; one on the center line of the ship near the stern and two on each side in the same way as in the first part of the ship. Three guns forward on the upper gun deck, one on the center line of the ship and one on each side nearer amidships; three guns aft on the upper gun deck in the relative positions. All the guns were placed so that twelve guns could be brought to bear on an enemy ship. The lower gun deck was twelve feet above the water line and the upper gun deck two, and they were constructed and equipped as those on the second class.
The first class battleships carried one hundred and two more men than the second class, consisting of six gunners, six assistant gunners, eighteen corporals and seventy privates. No additional force was required for the Engineer department of the ship. I inquired of the Chief Engineer what make of engine they used and he replied that it was the Hammond & Co. Rotary Engine and added: “We are indebted for this engine to a countryman of yours named Leonard Hammond, who perfected it so that at present it is in universal use and has revolutionized the industries of the world by its saving of fuel and the low price at which it call be manufactured, so that it has consigned every other make of engine, reciprocal and turbine, to the scrap pile, and of the most notable benefits derived from it has been in the shipping not only in economy of fuel, but also in the small space they occupy so as to give more room for cargo and in the almost total absence of vibration, and in the battleship from their being on the propeller shaft at the stern far below the water line.”
The battleships remain for ten months of the year in the rivers and harbors, where the officers and men are kept busy dredging, building levees, wharves and breakwaters, and they take a cruise to different parts of the earth during the months of December and January, and during that time engage in gunnery practice. A battery of three-inch caliber guns is taken on board each battleship for that as the big guns will not stand continual firing and are only used on special occasions to see if the gunners have improved. The men are highly pleased with the service and the majority of them re-enlist. On inquiry I was told that they had thirty first-class and thirty second-class battleships and that they kept them always together so that they could strike an enemy with force, but as they held no people in subjection and had no colonies or outlying possessions there was at the present time very little danger of war-but if it should come they were ready to fight and to strike hard. As I left the navy yard I thought what a pity it was that the people inhabiting the other countries of the earth were not governed as these people are, for then there would be no need of battleships and the kindly earth would slumber lapped in Universal Laws.
DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE.
On inquiring at the Department of Commerce I was informed that it had charge of all vessels engaged in internal traffic as well as in foreign trade, and operated lines of steamers running to all ports of the globe, carrying freight at a rate between home and foreign ports that defied competition, but they did not carry freight between foreign countries. The men for the Mercantile Marine were furnished by the Army and had the same pay. They were required to load and unload cargo in every port where they took on or discharged freight, and shippers did not have to pay wharfage charges or pilot fees, for everyone took his ship into port and out without a pilot. The department also had charge of all Government warehouses, wharves and docks and appointed all consuls to foreign countries and received their reports, which were published in the National Gazette.
The business of the Department was run on the principle of the greatest good to the whole people, so that whenever the profits any year exceeded the expenses and the sinking fund, freight rates were reduced.
DEPARTMENT OF RAILWAYS.
I went from there to the Department of Railroads and was given a copy of freight and passenger rates which on examination proved to be very simple and that required no great lawyers with legal cunning to draw up as they did in my country in making tariff schedules to fool the people and open a wider door for graft rebates and special privileges. The passenger rate was five mills per mile for any and every distance, with children under seven years of age free, with but one exception-all children attending the District High School were carried free to and from school.
Sleeping cars were provided for all persons traveling over one thousand miles on the train, but no person under that distance was permitted to occupy one. There were no Pullman or Palace Coaches and no special train was allowed save only to the President or member of his Cabinet on official business. The railway lines were run through the country so as to bring the produce of the people to market and to bring all the people in touch with one another. Hundreds of short lines were in operation that by themselves did not pay operating expenses, but as they formed a part of the whole railway system of the Republic under one management, they were beneficial to the people. The rate for all kinds of freight, except grain and vegetables, was five mills per ton per mile for all distances, and for grain, fruit and vegetables two mills per ton per mile.
All Government freight and employees were carried free, but a strict account was kept so as to prevent fraud. No discrimination between persons or places was allowed. Everyone was placed on the same footing, but to prevent conspiracies in restraint of trade if a person in any district shipped goods into another district and offered them for sale for a less price, with the freight added, than he sold them for in his own district, he was punished by six months’ imprisonment at hard labor in the district where he violated the law, and if any person, either of his own account or acting as agent for another party, sold goods brought from a foreign country for a less price than the wholesale price of the goods at the place where they were produced or manufactured with twenty per cent. added for freight and other expenses, was punished by six months’ imprisonment at hard labor, and if not a citizen of the Republic of Eurasia, was expelled from the country after serving out his sentence, for, as a prominent officer remarked to me: “We do not permit any Standard Oil methods in our country.” There were no tariff duties levied. Every article produced or manufactured (except those produced or manufactured by the Government, which were prohibited) were admitted free, provided the Government of that country admitted articles produced or manufactured in Eurasia free; if not, then a non-intercourse decree was issued by the President of Eurasia to be in force until the other country accepted free trade. The railways were built directly by the Government, employing soldiers to do the work, and no contracts were allowed, Government superintendents and foremen bossing theconstruction, even to getting out ties in the Government forests and the rails made in Government mills and foundries. The Government built railroads at less cost than they were built for in any other part of the world and politicians had no chance to get their political friends into soft berths at the expense of the taxpayers. No money was paid by the General Government for right of way.
All claims for damages arising out of the building of railways had to be presented to the District Court, and the law provided that the District Court could grant such compensation as was just, but in no case could it exceed the assessed value of the land per acre that the owner had sworn to previously as the full value of his land, to be paid out of the funds of the district. There were only two forms of taxation in Eurasia, a land tax and a graduated income tax. There was no tax on improvements of any kind, either on city or country property, but on the land only; by this wise system of taxation encouraging the people to improve their property and beautify and discouraging land speculation; and when the Government wanted land owned by private parties who were citizens of the Republic (for no foreigner was permitted by law to own land directly or indirectly, so that the curse of Absentee Landlordism which was the ruin of Ireland, should never blight the happiness of the people of Eurasia), they added up the assessments for the previous five years and divided them by five and added twenty per cent. to it in payment for the land, together with fair compensation for any buildings there might be on it; so that if the owner swore to a low valuation on his land he was the loser; but the District Court, sitting as a Board of Equalization every year, could fix the value of the land at what they considered proper.
THE INCOME TAX.
The income tax was a graduated income tax beginning with persons having on income one thousand dollars a year and above what they laid out in improving their property. All persons whose income was less than one thousand dollars paid no income tax. The tax was one per cent. on one thousand dollars, the rate increasing with the amount of income up to fifty thousand dollars a year, when it was fifty per cent., leaving the owner twenty-five thousand dollars, and for all incomes over fifty thousand dollars a year the surplus over twenty-five thousand dollars went to the Government and as a result of this wise policy there were no Jay Goulds or J. D. Rockefellers in Eurasia. All money received from land and income taxes went into the District Fund for the expenses of the district and schools, and building and maintaining of good, macadamized roads, for every district had a rock crusher from which the roads were supplied with broken stone at a trifling expense to the district.
DEPARTMENT OF MANUFACTURES.
The Government derived its revenues from the sale of liquors, drugs, chemicals, tobacco, coffee, tea, sugar, salt, coal, oil, stone, charcoal, iron, steel, copper, lead and the precious metals. The greatest revenue was derived from liquors. Every commodity produced or manufactured by the Government was sold in lots or packages at one dollar a lot or package. The Government made and sold wine in three grades, The first-grade wine was put up in quart bottles at one dollar a quart, the second-grade wine in half-gallon bottles at one dollar a bottle, and the third-grade wine in gallon bottles at one dollar a gallon; alcohol in half-gallon bottles at one dollar a bottle, and brandy in the same way and sold at the same price. There were no grades in brandy. All brandies were sold at one dollar for half a gallon. Whisky, of which there was only manufactured one grade, but out of different cereals or vegetables, was put up in one-gallon bottles and sold at one dollar a gallon. Beer was sold in five-gallon kegs at one dollar a keg, but the purchaser of beer had to pay in addition for the keg, which was refunded when he returned the keg in good condition. The Government manufactured pure liquors and no foreign liquors were admitted into Eurasia.
In the chemical factories every drug required by the Medical Pharmacopoeia and every chemical required in the arts and manufactures was made, but no drugs were sold except on a medical prescription, or chemicals except to responsible parties. The voters of any district could by a majority vote prohibit the use of any or all liquors or drugs in the district, and on receiving official notice of the law enacted by the district the Minister of Manufactures issued an order withdrawing from the district any or all liquors or drugs prohibited, and any person bringing into the district any prohibited drug or liquor, unless under a prescription from a Government physician, was punished by six months at hard labor within the district.
At every Government warehouse where drugs and chemicals were sold the Government employed a competent physician, on a salary fixed by law, to superintend their sale, and he could prescribe and the Government furnished the medicine free to those who were sick and did not have the money to pay for it.
Tobacco was manufactured and sold in three grades, viz., cigars, which were sold in packages twenty cigars for a dollar, and smoking tobacco and chewing at one dollar a package. No cigarettes were manufactured or sold by the Government or admitted into Eurasia, as it was recognized by all intelligent people who took a warm interest in human progress that the use of tobacco in the form of cigarettes had an injurious effect on the young, through the pernicious habit of inhaling the smoke. Coffee and tea were put up in three grades at one dollar a package, the packages weighing in proportion to grade, and sugar was made and sold in two grades, viz., common sugar and refined. The common was put up in twenty-five-pound sacks and sold for one dollar a sack, and the refined sugar in twenty-pound sacks and sold at one dollar a sack. Salt was put up in one-hundred-pound sacks and five sacks of common salt were sold for one dollar and four sacks of refined salt for one dollar, or at the rate of four dollars a ton for rock salt and five dollars a ton for refined salt.
The Government manufactured charcoal on a large scale in fireproof brick kilns, that turned out ten thousand bushels of charcoal to the kiln, with elevated railroad tracks running between the rows of kilns, so that the wood was unloaded from the cars into the kilns and on the outside of the kilns were sunken railroad tracks so that the charcoal when drawn from the kilns could be loaded into the cars with the least, amount of labor, enabling the Government to sell charcoal in one-hundred-pound sacks at one dollar for two hundred pounds, or at the rate of ten dollars a ton. The Government reserved for its own use all anthracite coal, but sold bituminous coal in two-hundred-pound sacks for a dollar, at the rate of five dollars a ton. The Government reserved for its own use crude petroleum, but refined it as coal oil and sold it at ten cents a gallon in dollar lots.
Pig iron and bar steel were sold by the Government at a price yielding a profit of twenty per cent. over cost of production; lead and copper at the same rate of profit, and all the gold and silver mined or brought into Eurasia was coined and went into circulation. Every commodity produced or manufactured by the Government in the above list was sold at the same price, whether the Government warehouse where the goods were sold was in the most populous city of Eurasia or at a lonely fishing-station in the icy regions of the Arctic or in the torrid deserts of the Tropics.
Every person buying a commodity in a Government store was required by law to register his name in the Government account book opposite the list of articles purchased, which was always open to the public for inspection, so that any intelligent person could see who was addicted to the use of intoxicating liquors, and the manager of the warehouse was compelled by law on the complaint of a wife or mother to deny liquor to the husband or son that was complained against and to publish the name in the district newspaper of largest circulation as well as posting it on the bulletin board on the front of the warehouse, and any person who gave liquor directly or indirectly to the person prohibited was sentenced, on conviction thereof, to six months’ imprisonment at hard labor. The Magistrate was forbidden by law to release on probation any person over the age of fifteen years convicted of this offense, and a child under the age of fifteen violating this law was sent to the reform school, of which there was one in every district.
No credit was allowed in the purchase of goods from the Government and the manager of the warehouse had discretionary power to limit the sale of any commodity so as to treat rich and poor alike and to prevent speculation. As every purchaser could buy a dollar’s worth of any commodity for sale by the Government and as no rebate was granted no matter what the amount purchased, it placed every purchaser on an equality in dealing with the Government. No liquor was allowed to be drunk on or about the premises where it was sold, neither could it be sold by any private party directly or indirectly to any person.
The Government, through its ownership and operation of all public utilities, placed within the reach of every person the necessaries and some of the luxuries of life, no matter what their trade or profession or where situated, so that when I became acquainted with their system of government I was not surprised at the spirited character and noble bearing of the people, in striking contrast to the cringing servility of the ignorant laborer in England and the negroes of the United States of America, for in Eurasia there were no kings, dukes or lords, but every man was addressed as “Mister” and every female as “Madame” or “Miss,” and there was practically realized Burns’s famous song: “A man’s a man for a’ that.”
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE.
I visited several experimental farms under the management of the Department of Agriculture and was informed by the superintendent of the farm that the Government had a small farm of six hundred and forty acres in every district in which was situated the District High School where boys and girls were taught how to farm and to raise stock and poultry to the best advantage, and also large farms at every military reservation where persons convicted of crime were taught how to become useful members of society. The Government raised only thoroughbred stock and poultry on the farms, and the service of the males was given free to every farmer that desired to improve his stock.
As Eurasia covered a vast extent of country, enjoying every variety of climate, the Department of Agriculture had all almost unlimited field to work in and was yearly producing some new variety of plants that enriched the labors of the husbandman as well as discovering remedies to successfully combat parasites and other enemies of the fruitraiser and horticulturist as well as the farmer. District fairs were held once a year in every district at which prizes were given to the best butter and cheese makers and to the best breeder of every kind of live stock and poultry raised in the district, but no stock or poultry imported into the district could receive a prize. The owner of anything exhibited at the fair had to make an affidavit that he or she had raised it on his or her farm. Prizes were given to the owner of the best cereals and vegetables of all kinds as well as for hemp, flax, cotton and silk, and for the best manufactured articles of every description. The Government exhibited at every district fair the most improved machinery in use for bettering the means of production with skilled mechanics to operate it and any person desiring to purchase a machine could buy it from the Government at the actual cost of manufacture with twenty per cent. added. The Government prizes at the district fairs excited and aroused a growing interest in the people to improve their condition and by bringing them together in great gatherings made them more friendly to one another with a broader and deeper feeling for humanity.
DEPARTMENT OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS.
I did not see any foreign Ambassadors in the Capital and on enquiring for the cause of their absence was referred to the Minister of Foreign Affairs for information. He told me that the presence of Foreign Ministers in Eurasia would be in violation of the laws as no privileges were allowed to any person that could not be enjoyed by all the people, “and no doubt you are aware that under the monarchical system of government Ambassadors and their suites were privileged persons who could not be arrested and punished for violating the laws of Eurasia, and they could bring into the country everything that they wanted for their own use without paying any duty on them, even if the use of the article was prohibited by law; and taking advantage of this immunity, some of them brought into the country and circulated obscene books that would not be allowed to go through the mails and that would subject any citizen of this country to six months at hard labor, if they were found in his possession.
“When a government by the people came into power in Eurasia the President called our Legations home and dismissed the foreign Ambassadors and Ministers and notified every Government that we had dealings with that in the future the Government of Eurasia would communicate with them by mail and telegraph and would publish in the National Gazette of Eurasia all correspondence that passed between them, so that the people of both countries should know the character of the men to whom they had entrusted the management of foreign affairs. We do not interfere in the affairs of other countries, but try to promote peace and good will among all nations. We have enforced a law that met with bitter opposition in England and the United States of America and brought us to the verge of war, but the common sense of the working men and women in both countries forced their Government to yield and it has proved a blessing to the sailors. The law commands that if a sailor on any vessel that comes into Eurasian ports, no matter what flag she flies, makes a complaint of ill-usage, the party complained against shall be arrested and tried and if found guilty sent to prison for the term of years corresponding to the offense.”
UNITED WORKERS OF EURASIA.
I was introduced to the President of the United Workers of Eurasia and he told me that all the working men and women were united in one great union and that the present Minister of Labor was a lady who for years had championed the cause of Labor and that she was unceasing in her efforts to better their condition now that she was at the head of the Department of Labor. The wages of all Government employees were fixed by law and could not be raised or lowered except by a two-thirds vote of the people, and only one bill from each department could be submitted by the Parliament to the people to vote on at each election, so that graft and corrupt practices could gain no footing by appealing to selfish interests.
The law provided a liability fund for sickness, injuries and death among working men and women; one-half of the fund payable by the working men and women and the other half by the employers. The money for the fund had to be paid monthly. Every working man and woman had to pay out of his or her wages a fixed sum for which the employer was held responsible and every employer had to pay an equal sum for every person in his employ. This law applied equally to every person in Eurasia, the employer as well as the employed. There was no charge for membership in the labor union and no walking delegates, for the Government gave them permission to hold their meetings in the churches. which were all Government properly, and in the public schools. Whenever the members of the union in any district wanted an increase of wages the law required them to serve a written notice on the employer and a copy of it on the District Court. The Chief justice then called both parties before the Court and ordered them to each select one person as arbitrator, and for those two selected to settle the dispute and if they could not agree, then the case went immediately before the District Court and a majority vote of the Court settled it. As a result of this common-sense method of settling labor disputes there were no strikes.
Every corporation, before shutting down its works, had to serve ten days’ notice on its employees and also file a copy of it with the District Court, stating its reasons for so doing, and if the labor union protested, the Court heard the case and if there was unsufficient cause shown by the corporation it had to continue work until such time as it showed good and sufficient reasons to stop work. The Government strictly enforced the eight-hour law, and no working woman was permitted to work overtime. Children were not allowed to work for wages under any circumstances for they were the wards of the State, but men could work overtime if the union permitted them, with double pay for it. The Government granted a pension of half the wages yearly received by every working man and woman that was over sixty years of age and a full pension wage to every working man or woman over seventy years of age, no matter what their financial condition was at that time.
Every person before casting a ballot at the polls was required to show a receipt from the Department of Health that two dollars had been paid into the Old Age Pension fund for the previous year, which was a salutary measure in preserving the purity of elections by eliminating the shiftless and improvident from participation in the election.
The Government obeyed the Fourth Commandment, “Honor thy Father and thy Mother that thy days may be long in the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.”
DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH.
I learned that the Department of Health had greater responsibilities than any other department of the Government, for the physical, mental and moral welfare of the people was in its keeping. One of its duties was to prevent the introduction of any diseases into Eurasia, and to make it effective every person coming into the country had to undergo a physical examination by three Government physicians, and all persons that were idiotic or insane or had any of the following diseases, viz.: syphilis, tuberculosis, cancer, leprosy, yellow fever, smallpox, or any other contagious disease or fever, or was shown on examination to be addicted to vicious habits, were denied admission. Another of the duties of the Department of Health was to examine every person that applied to practice medicine and surgery or to engage in any professional calling. The law required a medical examination to be made of the person, who was granted a license every year, so as to keep the professions up to a high standard.
Before granting license to any man, three male physicians in Government employ examined him, and if a female three female physicians examined her. The first examination was physical, and if found to be in good physical health they were passed up for a mental examination, and if they qualified for their profession they were examined morally, when they were asked the following questions: “Do you believe in the Brotherhood of Man? Will you do unto others always as you would desire that others should do to you? Do you promise that you will not render obedience directly or indirectly to any person or persons outside of Eurasia and that you will render willing obedience to the laws and do all that lies in your power to maintain the honor of the country?” If they did not agree to those rules of conduct they were denied a license. If any person attempted to practice any profession without a license he was punished by six months’ imprisonment at hard labor.
Any person practicing fortune-telling or any other fraudulent calling was tried for obtaining money under false pretenses, and on conviction thereof was sentenced to five years’ imprisonment at hard labor at the rock crusher. The result of this wise law showed in the total absence of bands of gypsies, dancing dervishes, holy rollers and strolling vagabonds of every description in Eurasia. If a man or woman was found anywhere in Eurasia without visible means of support the Department of Health found work for them until such time as they could better their condition. They were required to work eight hours a day if they were able to do manual labor and if not able to work they were sent to a Government Sanatorium.
The Department of Health had charge of the sewerage system in every district, city as well as country. In the cities it supervised the erection of every new building, and any old buildings that it pronounced unsanitary had to be torn down. It saw also to the removal of all garbage and refuse material. The Department of Health had charge of all births, marriages and deaths, and could order the cremation of any dead body when it believed that it would be to the benefit of the health of the community to do so. The Department of Health was also required by law to make a physical examination of children when they were born and to take care of them if the mother was unable to do so and to send all illegitimate children to the Government Orphan College. It superintended the sale of all medicine and drugs, having a Government physician at every Government warehouse where they were sold. It had also charge of all idiots and insane persons as well as dangerous criminals.
The Superintendent and two Assistant Superintendents of the lunatic asylums (of which there were only two, one for males and one for females) were required by law to castrate male lunatics and emasculate females who had become insane through masturbation or other vicious habits and to chloroform dangerous lunatics who had homicidal tendencies. Those three physicians in committee examined every dangerous lunatic and two of them could order the person chloroformed if in their judgment it was necessary. Lady physicians had charge of the female lunatic asylum with the same authority as the men. The two asylums were located in the center of a fine tract of farming land in the Southern part of Eurasia, consisting of ninety-two thousand one hundred and sixty acres in a high state of cultivation with flourishing orchards and vineyards, and at the time I visited it had a population of sixty thousand male inmates and thirty-five thousand female inmates-besides the officers and guards.
The mildest and most tractable of the inmates were in communities organized in military style in different parts of the grounds and were busily employed in doing everything that was required to make the institution self-stustaining. The physicians of the State prisons were required by law after one year’s imprisonment (one year after sentence was passed was allowed to prove innocence) to castrate all males convicted of rape, incest, or any other infamous crime against nature, and to castrate every male prisoner who committed sodomy or other infamous crime while in prison; but only after trial and conviction for the crime before the District Court, and they could by a majority vote chloroform any dangerous criminal that showed homicidal tendencies.
I saw no red-light sign of houses of prostitution, and on making inquiries I was informed that there were no houses of prostitution in Eurasia, for as soon as information was given to any Magistrate the law required him or her to issue an order for the arrest of the female practicing prostitution, and on conviction she was committed to the female reformatory for five years, subject to parole after one year, and for a second offense of the same crime she was deprived of the power to propagate the race. Gentle reader, don’t think that this law is cruel or unjust, for the amount of evil that a depraved woman can commit in spreading, that loathsome disease, syphilis, is incalculable, and Christ when he told the woman that had committed adultery that he did not condemn her also added: “Go and sin no more.” A committee of six physicians, three males and three females, in the service of the Government in every district were required by law to examine every person desiring marriage and if the person examined was affected with tuberculosis, cancer, scrofula, leprosy, syphilis, or any other loathsome or contagious disease, then that person was denied a license to marry; and also if they were mentally unsound.
Under the law no person was allowed to marry until twenty-one years of age, male and female, and any person violating this law was punished by one year’s imprisonment at hard labor in the district in which this law had been violated. In no case was a Government physician permitted to receive any compensation for services rendered as physician, for they were the servants of the people, elected by the people in every district and paid by the Government a salary fixed by law, and no bonds were required of them or of any public official, for the people elected every public official with the exception of officers in the Army and Navy, who were elected by the soldiers up to the grade of Colonel, and the Brigadiers and Major-Generals were appointed by the Minister of War, was was Commander-in-Chief and directed all the operations of the Army and Navy in war, and also the agents of the Department of Information, who were appointed by the Minister of that department on the recommendation of his assistant chiefs, of whom there was one in every district who was elected by the people after having passed a successful examination showing their ability to do the work required of them.
Every person appointed to office, as well as those elected by the people, had to be examined physically, mentally and morally in the same manner as those applying for a license to practice a profession or desiring to marry. All were placed on the same footing. The law for divorce was enforced by the Department of Health, as doctors were, from their knowledge of human frailty, the best judges to decide whether a man and woman should live together in the married state or be separated, and while the law provided for a compulsory decree of divorce for adultery, which was a felony, it also allowed divorce for incompatibility of temperament. A court of six Government physicians, three males and three females, heard all divorce cases in every district.
The Minister of Health gave me the reasons why the marriage law was passed fixing twenty-one years of age as the time when young men and women could marry. He said it was done to allow the youths of both sexes to become well acquainted with one another before being united in marriage, and also to be well trained in useful callings, so that both parties to the marriage contract would be able to assist each other, for many an innocent young girl had ruined her life by marrying a man at an age when she was ignorant of the duties of wifehood and motherhood, “but by keeping our boys and girls in training schools until they are eighteen and then teaching them trades in the Army until they are twenty-one years of age we fit them for the duties of life.”
A VISIT TO THE MINISTER OF STATE.
Before returning to the United States of America I called on the Minister of State, who is also the presiding officer of the Parliament, and told him that I would regard it as a great favor if he would tell me how such changes had taken place in the Government of his country , “for,” said I, “from what I read about your Government when I was a boy it was an absolute monarchy, and one man’s will was the law of the land.”
“You have the key to the problem in that statement,” he replied, “for I am free to confess that it would have taken centuries to have brought about our present system of government under so-called democracy. Near the middle of the last century an absolute ruler in our country by a stroke of his pen freed twenty-three millions of slaves, while in your country it required four years of bloody war at a cost of ten thousand millions of dollars and the lives of one million of brave men, and through the widespread demoralization that ensued through your bravest and best being killed or giving to the corrupt element in your country (for a dishonest man is always a coward) the opportunity to inaugurate a reign of monopoly where graft and bribery flourishes and the slave element that you freed are a menace (and will be as long as they remain in the country) to society.
“The last absolute ruler we had was one of those great men that God in His infinite wisdom brings into the world at stated intervals to exercise a dominating influence in human affairs and to give a fresh impetus to human progress. Of the great men that we class with him are the following: Confucius, Buddha , Julius Caesar, Oliver Cromwell, Abraham Lincoln. The first thing he did when he became Emperor was to summon sixty of the most liberal minded men and women in the empire to the palace to draw up under his supervision a political, civil and penal code, which with slight modification is in force at the present time, and he called all the newspaper editors into conference and asked them to assist him in promoting the welfare of the people and then he issued a decree granting liberty of speech and of the press throughout Eurasia, which he announced as the name of the Empire in future, and the reason that he gave for it was that his people were composed of a great many nationalities and by dividing the empire into districts and numbering them in arithmetical order he abolished the old political divisions and he also decreed that the present language we speak should be the official language of the empire for the ancient language of the ruling class had created a bitter feeling amongst great numbers of the people and besides the present had become the commercial language of the world.
“He reorganized the Cabinet into fourteen departments and held the Minister at the head of each department responsible. He converted the Army and Navy (who were eating up the hard-earned wages of the working men and women of our land in idleness and dissipation), into a great industrial army and assigned them to work under the different departments as they were required, weeding out the worthless and reducing to the ranks all officers that conducted themselves in a manner unbecoming a gentleman and by election of officers giving every soldier equal opportunity to rise to the highest rank. This great measure eliminated the aristocracy in the Army and made the Emperor the idol of the soldiers, so that from that time forward every effort of the aristocracy to oppose the Emperor in giving to the country a Government by the people was futile for the Army supported him with a force that was irresistible. He ordered the districts laid out according to latitude and longitude, making due allowance for population, the smallest district being one degree of latitude in breadth and two degrees of longitude in length, and the largest (which were situated in the frozen regions of the Arctic or in the great desert) five degrees of latitude in breadth and ten degrees of longitude in length, and when they were surveyed he ordered that the land should be assessed without improvements at its full value, and the owner had to swear that he would sell to the Government the land at its assessed valuation.
“The aristocracy almost to a man swore to a low valuation, so when five years had passed the Emperor issued a decree appropriating to Government use all land over and above six hundred and forty acres held by private owners and paying for it one-fifth of the total assessment for the previous five years with twenty per cent. added for improvements, the aristocracy had to accept it and their power was broken forever, for the Emperor leased the land to the cultivators of the soil at the rate of four per cent. per annum of the price that the Government paid for the land, dividing the land into small farms and giving the renter the right of purchase at any time.
“The aristocracy and the Church have been in every country the enemies of liberty and human progress. The Emperor saw the evil effects of the liquor traffic and to abate the evil he abolished the manufacture and sale of liquors by individuals and placed their manufacture and sale in the care of the Department of Manufactures and year by year he added tobacco, drugs and chemicals, sugar, salt, tea, coffee, coal oil, stone coal, charcoal and all the metals, and placed the coinage and currency of the Empire under the control of the Department of Finance known throughout the world as the Bank of Eurasia. He established our present system of education and forbade the teaching of religious dogmas in the public schools, and when every district in the Empire was surveyed and the people thereof enjoyed a District Government by electing their Governors, Judges and other public officials and the Government owned and operated all public utilities, he decided that the time had arrived for a Government of the people, for the people and by the people and called a general election to elect members of Parliament and to submit to the people the political, civil and penal code of the Empire. The people by an overwhelming vote ratified the code and endorsed the Government. Four years afterward the Emperor called a general election to choose his successor and retired to private life, beloved by his people.
“Your people had a President who gained worldwide fame not only by the vigorous way that he wielded the Big Stick, but also through his undaunted courage and inflexible honesty. Place him again in the Presidential chair and he will open the way for a government of the people, for the people and by the people.”