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|This Is The Age Of Beef.
Our leaders are incompetent. Argument here is needless. We have plenty of everything, and plenty of hunger at the same time, which shows mismanagement. Our leaders, therefore, must be incompetent. Nor should the blame of this be charged to the people. Statecraft, like the prescribing of medicine or the practice of law, is a profession, and the unlearned in their ways is at the mercy of the quacks of all three.
When none but quacks offer their services to the State a selection must be made, and the people cannot be held to account for choosing quacks when there was nothing to choose from but quacks.
Whatever physical characteristics distinguishes the genius of leadership from the ordinary man; whether it is long legs or short; long nose or pug; big heads or little, one thing is certain - history tells you on her every page that leadership is never found in combination with beef. Cleveland and Reed! How they stew and swelter in positions they cannot fill. How these Jonahs have grown till they have become the whale itself. How their fat will spot the pages to come, and float on the sea where the Republic went down.
And Ingersoll - let us not forget Ingersoll - the thumber over of past woes, whose five hundred dollar opera ticket identifies the class to which he now belongs, and proves his success as a fifteenth century reformer. The people made and keep up the acquaintance of this man by way of the ticket office, but instead of considering him as they would any other footlight performer, who had struck a paying vein and was working it for all it was worth, and who can only be heard at so much per ticket, they have come to look upon the character he has been acting as the man himself, and their friend who would make their cause his own.
No fee is collected at the door of the little church that is found along the byways of every Christian land, and its humble preacher can be heard free of cost. But abuse of this follower and disciple of Jesus, whose teachings are in no way responsible for the crimes of Individual Greed, has been the source of large profits to this man, who has even gone so far as to tell his hearers not to give a dollar to the support of a preacher - meaning, doubtless, while you could see his performance for half the money.
This man, whose audience is world-wide, uses his great opportunity for helping mankind by inclosing the scenes of former struggles, and collecting the gate receipts.
This bogus friend of the people answers the cry of distress that is heard all over this bountiful land by a shrug, and a nod to the master to drop a few more crumbs, as if the people were hungry dogs under the table.
Ingersoll a friend of the oppressed? He would render justice to the enslaved toiler by lengthening his hours of labor.
A sham reformer, who would destroy the Inquisition of this day by plunging his spotless blade into an Inquisition whose sun has set, never to rise again.
Ingersoll of the tender soul, who shows the sincerity of his exhibition-tears for the persecuted dead by riding, rough-shod, over the sensibilities of the blameless living.
Warrior Ingersoll, furiously charging up and down an abandoned battle-field, rattling the bleaching bones of a dead and gone enemy - for an admission fee.
Ingersoll the capper, who would turn all eyes to the ashes of a burned-out bell, while another is being dug in our rear.
Cleveland - Reed - Ingersoll,
C A G L I O S T R O S.
End of Project Gutenberg Etext of Confiscation, An Outline, by Greenwood