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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."
End of the Project Gutenberg Edition of Chris. Evans' Eurasia