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The comparative evils of Slave Society and of Free Society, of slavery to human Masters and of slavery to Capital, are the issues which the South now presents, and which the North avoids. And she avoids them, because the Abolitionists, the only assailants of Southern Slavery, have, we believe, to a man, asserted the entire failure of their own social system, proposed its subversion, and suggested an approximating millenium, or some system of Free Love, Communism, or Socialism, as a substitute.
The alarming extent of this state of public opinion, or, to speak more accurately, the absence of any public opinion, or common faith and conviction about anything, is not dreamed of at the South, nor fully and properly realized, even at the North. We cannot believe what is so entirely different from all our experience and observation, and they have become familiarized and inattentive to the infected social atmosphere they continually inhale. Besides, living in the midst of the isms, their situation is not favorable for comprehensive observation or calm generalization. More than a year since, we made a short trip to the North, and whilst there only associated with distinguished Abolitionists. We have corresponded much with them, before and since, and read many of their books, lectures, essays and speeches. We have neither seen nor heard any denial by them of the failure of their own social system; but, on the contrary, found that they
all concurred in the necessity of radical social changes. 'Tis true, in conversation, they will say, "Qur system of society is bad, but yours of the South is worse; the cause of social science is advancing, and we are ready to institute a system better than either." We could give many private anecdotes, and quote thousands of authorities, to prove that such is the exact state of opinion with the multitudinous isms of the North. The correctness of our statement will not be denied. If it is, any one may satisfy himself of its truth by reading any Abolition or Infidel paper at the North for a single month. The Liberator, of Boston, their ablest paper, gives continually the fullest exposé of their opinions, and of their wholesale destructiveness of purpose.
The neglect of the North to take issue with us, or with the Southern Press, in the new positions which we have assumed, our own observations of the working of Northern society, the alarming increase of Socialism, as evinced by its control of many Northern State Legislatures, and its majority in the lower house of Congress, are all new proofs of the truth of our doctrine. The character of that majority in Congress is displayed in full relief, by the single fact, which we saw stated in a Northern Abolition paper, that "there are a hundred Spiritual Rappers in Congress." A Northern member of Congress made a similar remark to us a few days
since. 'Tis but a copy of the Hiss Legislature of Massachusetts, or the Praise-God-Barebones Parliament of
G England. Further study, too, of Western European So
ciety, which has been engaged in continual revolution for twenty years, has satisfied us that Free Society every where begets isms, and that isms soon beget bloody revolutions. Until our trip to the North, we did not justly appreciate the passage which we are about to quote from Mr. Carlyle's "Latter-Day Pamphlets." Now it seems to us as if Boston, New Haven, or Western New York, had set for the picture:
"To rectify the relation that exists between two men, is there no method, then, but that of ending it? The old relation has become unsuitable, obselete, perhaps unjust; and the remedy is, abolish it; let there henceforth be no relation at all. From the 'sacrament of marriage' downwards, human beings used to be manifoldly related one to another, and each to all; and there was no relation among human beings, just or unjust, that had not its grievances and its difficulties, its necessities on both sides to bear and forbear. But henceforth, be it known, we have changed all that by favor of Heaven; the 'voluntary principle' has come up, which will itself do the business for us; and now let a new sacrament, that of Divorce, which we call emancipation, and spout of on our platforms, be universally the order of the day! Have men considered whither all this is tending, and what it certainly enough betokens? Cut every human relation that
has any where grown uneasy sheer asunder; reduce whatsoever was compulsory to voluntary, whatsoever was permanent among us to the condition of the nomadic; in other words, LOOSEN BY ASSIDUOUS WEDGES, in every joint, the whole fabrice of social existence, stone from stone, till at last, all lie now quite loose enough, it can, as we already see in most countries, be overset by sudden outburst of revolutionary rage; and lying as mere mountains of anarchic rubbish, solicit you to sing Fraternity, &c. over it, and rejoice in the now remarkable era of human progress we have arrived at.”
Now we plant ourselves on this passage from Carlyle. We say that, as far as it goes, 'tis a faithful picture of the isms of the North. But the restraints of Law and Public Opinion are less at the North than in Europe. The isms on each side the Atlantic are equally busy with "assiduous wedges," in "loosening in every joint the whole fabric of social existence;" but whilst they dare invoke Anarchy in Europe, they dare not inaugurate New York Free Love, and Oneida Incest, and Mormon Polygamy. The moral, religious, and social heresies of the North, are more monstrous than those of Europe. The pupil has surpassed the master, unaided by the stimulants of poverty, hunger and nakedness, which urge the master forward.
Society need not fail in the North-east until the whole West is settled, and a refluent population, or excess of
immigration, overstocks permanently the labor market on the Atlantic board. Till then, the despotism of skill and capital, in forcing emigration to the West, makes proprietors of those emigrants, benefits them, peoples the West, and by their return trade, enriches the East. The social forms of the North and the South are, for the present, equally promotive of growth and prosperity at home, and equally beneficial to mankind at large, by affording asylums to the oppressed, and by furnishing food and clothing to all. Northern society is a partial failure, but only because it generates isms which threaten it with overthrow and impede its progress.
Despite of appearing vain and egotistical, we cannot refrain from mentioning another circumstance that encourages us to write. At the very time when we were writing our pamphlet entitled "Slavery Justified," in which we took ground that Free Society had failed, Mr. Carlyle began to write his "Latter Day Pamphlets," whose very title is the assertion of the failure of Free Society. The proof derived from this coincidence becomes the stronger, when it is perceived that an ordinary man on this side the Atlantic discovered and was exposing the same social phenomena that an extraordinary one had discovered and was exposing on the other. The very titles of our works are synonymous-for the "Latter Day" is the "Failure of Society."