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Briancourt on Labor and Association

Brownson's Quarterly Review, January, 1849
Art. IV.- Organization of Labor and dissociation. By Math. Briancouut. Translated by Francis Geo. Shaw. New York : Wm. H. Graham. 1847. 16mo. pp. 103.
Unless the estimable and accomplished translator has greatly improved upon his author, M. Briancourt is one of the most agreeable writers attached to the school of Associa­tion with whom we are acquainted. He appears to be sin­cere, earnest, gentle, and philanthropic; and he writes with ability, ease, vivacity, and grace. His pages have, compara­tively, little of that barbarous terminology which renders the writers of the Associationists, in general, so forbidding to all but adepts. If we had the least conceivable sympathy with his doctrines and schemes, we could read him with pleasure, and, at times, with admiration ; and we cannot but regard his lillle work as the best summary of the plans and hopes of his school which has as yet appeared.
But the more able, skilful, and fascinating is the writer, the more dangerous and carefully to be eschewed are his writings, if devoted to the propagation of false and mischievous theo­ries. Error, though reason be free to combat it, is never harmless, any more than poison, because its antidote may bo known and at hand. It may, upon the whole, be more pru­dent to allow it free course, than, by attempting its suppression by force, to run the risk of also suppressing the truth ; but however that may or may not be, the publication of error is always an evil which no freedom of its contradictory truth can ever wholly prevent or overcome. No man ever puts forth a system of unmixed falsehood ; and the currency his error gains is always by virtue of the truth he mixes with it, and which he misinterprets and misapplies. To unravel his web of soph­istry, to pick out his tangled yarn, or separate what is true from what is false, is a task of no small difficulty, and requires a patience of investigation, habits of nice discrimination and of close and rigid reasoning, which can be expected only from the gifted and thoroughly disciplined few, and rarely even from these. An error may be stated in a few words, in a popular form, and clothed with a brilliant and captivating dress, which, nevertheless, is not to be refuted, nor its truth, which gives it currency, separated from the falsehood which renders it mis­chievous, without long, elaborate, and abstruse reasoning, subtile distinctions, and exact definitions, beyond the capacity of the generality, usually held by them in detestation, and of which they are always impatient. But even if the refutation could be presented in a popular form, the majority of those who have embraced the error would not profit by it. Having adopted the error and committed themselves to it, they are unwilling to listen to any thing which may be urged against it, lest perchance it may disturb the tranquillity of their convic­tion, mortify their pride-, or affect unfavorably their reputation. Hence it is that nothing is more difficult than to recall or repress an error once fairly in circulation. Hence it is that we can never allow ourselves to commend a work, however kindly dis­posed we may be towards its author, which, in our judgment, or according to the rule of judgment we are bound to follow, teaches a false doctrine or proposes a visionary scheme. The reading of such works, when not absolutely hurtful, is un­profitable, and no man can justify it, unless it be to refute them, and guard the public against their dangerous tendencies. The Associationists, then, must not be surprised, if we notice Mr. Briancourt's work only to censure it.
That Mr. Briancourt's doctrine is unsound, no argument is needed to prove. No man, who proposes a doctrine which reverses all that has hitherto been regarded as settled, is ever entitled even to a hearing. He who, on his own authority, gives the lie to all men, of all ages and nations, gives to every man the best of ail possible human reasons for giving the lie to him. If reason is to be trusted, the reason of all ages and nations overrides his ; if it is not to be trusted, he has no authority for what he proposes. He places himself in an awkward po­sition, who, asserting the authority of reason, yet opposes his own reason to the reason of all men. He must be a bold man, a man of unbounded self-confidence, the very sublime of egotists, who dares pretend, that, on his reason alone, the whole world may be rationally convicted of having blundered. They have all the attributes lie can claim ; why, then, assume that they have all blundered, and that he alone has hit upon the truth ? Truth is revealed to the humble and childlike, not to the proud and arrogant; and who is prouder or more arro­gant than he who claims to be superior to all men, to be the only man of his race who has perceived what is true and good ?
Discoveries, like the one Fourier professes to have made, are not in the order of human experience. There is nothing to be found in the experience of the race analogous to them. Discoveries, which reverse what the race had hitherto regarded as the settled order, have never yet, so far as history goes, been made in any department of life, - in religion, in morals, in politics, or in social and industrial arrangements. Every man, who has come forward with any such pretended discovery, has failed to gain a verdict in his favor, and in the judgment of mankind has been finally condemned either as deceiving or as deceived, or both at once. M. Charles Fourier, a man, if you will, of an extraordinary intellect, and of philanthropic aims, - although, we confess, we find ;in his writings only wild extravagance, and a pride, an egotism, which amount very nearly, if not quite, to insanity, - professes, not, indeed, to have invented, but to have discovered, the law of a new social and industrial world. This law he professes to have drawn out and scientifically established in all its ramifications ; and ho and his followers propose to reorganize society and industry according to its provisions. Similar pretensions have often been made, now in one department of life, now in another ; but has one of them ever succeeded ? Is there one of them that has not been finally adjudged, at best, to be only visionary ? Is there on record a single instance of a fundamental reorgani­zation of society, industry, or even of government, that has ever been effected ? Have not all who have labored for such reorganization been opposed by their age and nation ? And can the Associationists name an instance in which posterity has re­versed the judgment of contemporaries ? They cannot do it. We are aware of the instances they will cite ; but not one of them is to the purpose. Why, then, suppose the whole order of human cxpeiience is reversed, or departed from, in the case of M. Charles Fourier ? The fact is, fundamental changes in the religious, moral, social, political, or industrial order of mankind- changes winch throw ofF the old order, and estab­lish a new order in their place - never have been, and, it re­quires no great depth of philosophy to be able to say, never can be, effected, unless by the intervention of a supernatural cause. When attempted, they may go so far as to break up the old order, never so far as to introduce and establish a new order. Man can be a destroyer ; he can never be a Creator. But these considerations, however conclusive in themselves, will not, we are aware, have much weight with the Association-ists. The Associationists are accustomed to other principles of reasoning ; they have, underlying their speculations, a phi­losophy of man and society which creates in their minds a presumption in favor of Fourierism. With them, it is an ar­gument in favor of a proposition, that it is novel ; and an argument against it, that it is ancient. Nothing seems to them more reasonable beforehand, or more in accordance with what the order of human experience authorizes them to expect, than that such a discovery as Fourier's should be made, and that the changes he proposes should be practicable. It is use­less, so far as they are concerned, to controvert them on this point, - and if we would reach them, with the hope of doing them any good, we must enter with them into an examination of their doctrine or scheme, upon its merits. This we wil­lingly attempt; for several of the more distinguished Associa­tionists in this country have been our intimate personal friends, and we regard them as sincere, and as honestly desirous of doing all in their power for the benefit of their fellow-men. We believe they are men who have a certain loyalty, and who have no bigoted attachment to this or that method of serving mankind ; but are willing to change the method they now insist upon for another, the moment they see a good reason for doing so. We do not believe them unwilling to look upon the ques­tion as still an open question, or that they have much of that foolish pride which binds persons to a cause simply for the reason that they stand committed to it before the public. We propose, therefore, in what follows, to enter somewhat into the merits of their doctrine and schemes ; and, as what we shall say is said in good faith, we trust they will receive it in good faith, and frankly accept it, or show us good reasons for re­jecting it,
We begin by asking, What is the end the Associationists pro­pose, or what is it they seek to effect ? The means we un­derstand very well ; they are, the organization of labor and association, according to a given plan. But before we can decide on the means, we must understand the end proposed, so as to be able to determine whether the end is desirable, a good end. After that, we may proceed to determine whether the means are adequate, whether, by adopting them, we can, in all reasonable probability, secure the end. Unless we know what is the end proposed, and know whether it be good or not good, we walk by conjecture, not by science. But the Asso­ciationists propose their doctrine, not as a theory, or as a sys­tem of belief, but as a science. They must, then, in the outset, show us clearly the end proposed, and establish, not conjec-turally, not hypothetically, but scientifically, that the end is good, and, therefore, one which it is lawful to seek.
1. What, then, is the specific end they propose ? We do not find in their writings as clear, distinct, and specific an an­swer to this question as is desirable. They answer generally, not specifically. Their answer, as we collect it, is, - " The end we propose is, to remove the obstacles which now hinder the fulfilment, and to gather round man the circumstances which will enable him to fulfil, his destiny on this globe ; or, in a word, to enable man to fulfil the purpose of his present existence." Thus staled, we of course have no objection to the end proposed. The good of a being is its destiny, or the end for which it exists ; and to seek to enable a being (o fulfil its destiny, or gain that end, is to seek its good. So the end for which man exists in this world is his good in relation to his existence here ; and to labor to enable him to gain that end is to labor for his good, and his only good here. Thus far, we have, and can have, no quarrel with the Associationists.
But a general answer to a specific question is no answer at all ; for the general has formal existence only in the special. We must, therefore, ask again, What is the specific end pro­posed ? To answer, To remove evil, and to secure good, is not enough ; for the question remains, What is evil ? what is good ? Evil, you say, is that which prevents, or in some way hinders or retards, the fulfilment of one's destiny. Very true ; but what is it that does that ? This is the question we want answered. We find in the writings of the Association­ists graphic descriptions of the actual state of society,-what they call civilization,-and brilliant pictures of the life  men will live in Harmony, or the new world they propose ; and it is from these we must collect what, in their view, is evil, or op­posed to man's destiny on this globe, and what they suppose is good, that is, the fulfilment, or favorable to its fulfilment, in regard to the latter, we find the chief place assigned to wealth and luxury, two things which Fourier asserts positively, again and again, are absolutely indispensable to the fulfilment of our destiny ; in regard to the former, we find enumerated, among the evils of civilization, the poverty of the great mass of the people, and unattractive labor. It is fair, then, to say, that poverty and unattractive labor are evils, in the judgment of the Associationists. Labor itself they cannot regard as evil, because they propose to continue it in their new world. The evil, then, is in its unattractiveness,-that is, in our being bound or forced to labor against our inclinations, or to do that to which we are more or less averse. But this can be evil only on condition that it is an evil to be under the necessity of acting against our inclinations. If this be accepted, good is in being free to follow our inclinations ; evil in being compelled or bound to act against them. On what authority does this principle rest ?
Moreover, is it certain that poverty, in itself considered, is evil, or opposed to our destiny ? Where is the proof ? Wealth and poverty are both relative terms, unless the term poverty be restricted to those who have not even so much as their will which is their own, and then we should be obliged to predicate wealth of all who possess something, how­ever little. But the Associationists do not so restrict the sense of the word, for they include in the number of the poor peo­ple who have something of their own, at least their will and bodily activity. What, then, is the real distinction between wealth and poverty ? Where draw the line, so that the rich shall all be on one side, and all the poor on the other ? John Jacob Astor is said, when told of a man who had just retired from business with half a million, to have remarked, that he had no doubt but the poor man might be just as happy as if he were rich ! To John Jacob Astor, the man worth half a million was a poor man ; to most men, he would be a rich man. One man counts himself poor, in the possession of thousands ; another feels himself rich, if he have a coarse serge robe, a crust of bread, and water from the spring. Which of the two is the rich, which the poor man ? If the Italian laz-zaroni, the scandal of thrifty Englishmen and Yankees, have what contents them, or are contented with what suffices for the present moment, unsolicitous for the next, wherein are they poorer than our " merchant princes," who have a multi­tude of wants they cannot satisfy ? and wherein would you en­rich them, by increasing their possessions, if you increased their wants in the same ratio ?
But pass over this difficulty. Suppose you have some inva­riable standard by which to determine who are the poor and who are the rich ; whence does it follow that poverty is in itself an evil ? Many emperors, kings, princes, nobles, and innumerable saints, have voluntarily abandoned wealth, and chosen poverty, even made a solemn vow never to have any thing to call their own. Is it certain that these have acted a foolish part, abandoned good, and inflicted evil on themselves ? If not, how can you say poverty is in itself an evil ? Do you say, poverty breeds discontent, and leads to vice and crime ? Is that true ? Does it do so in all men who are poor ? Did it do so in St. Anthony, St. Francis of Assisium, St. John of God, St. Thomas of Villanova, St. Philip Neri, and thousands of others we could mention, who observed evangeli­cal poverty to the letter ? Are all the poor discontented, vicious, and criminal ? No man dares say it. Then what you allege is not a necessary result of poverty, and must have its efficient cause elsewhere, in the person, or in some circum­stance not dependent on wealth or poverty. In the world's history, poverty, vice, and misery are far from being insepa­rable companions ; and so are wealth, virtue, and happiness. Was wealth a good to the rich man mentioned in the Gospel ? Was poverty an evil to the poor man that lay at his gate full of sores, begging to be fed with the crumbs that fell from his table ?
We might go through the whole list of physical evils drawn up by the Associationists, and ask, in relation to each, so far as it is physical, the same or similar questions. Whence, then, the certainty that what they propose to remove, as evil, is evil ? Whence, then, the proof that the end they propose is a good end ? Suppose - and the case is supposable - that what are called physical evils are dispensed by a merciful Providence, designed to be invaluable blessings, and are such to all who receive and bear them with the proper dispositions ; could we then pronounce them evils ? Would it not follow, that in ¦ themselves they may be indifferent, and that the good or the evil results from the disposition with which they are received and borne ? Now this may be the fact. If it is, then the good or the evil depends on ourselves, and we may make them either blessings or curses, as we choose. Then to remove evil would not necessarily be to remove them, but to cure that moral state which makes a bad, instead of a good, use of them.
It is easy to declaim, but it is important that we declaim wisely ; and to be able to declaim wisely, we must know what to declaim against. It is easy to harrow up the feelings by eloquent descriptions of physical sufferings, and no doubt physical sufferings are often an evil of no small magnitude ; but this is nothing to the purpose. Is the evil in the physical suffering itself, or in the moral state of him who causes or suffers it ? Suppose we transport ourselves to the early ages of our era, and take our stand in proud, haughty, imperial, and pagan Rome ; suppose we assist at the trial, tortures, and martyrdom of the persecuted Christians, behold them cast to the wild beasts in the amphitheatre, see them broiling slowly on gridirons, their flesh torn off with pincers, or their living bodies stuck full of splinters besmeared with pitch, lighted, and ranged along the streets of the city by night, as so many lamps. Here is physical pain. Ingenuity, aided by diabol­ical malice, has done its best to refine upon torture, to pro­duce the greatest amount possible of physical suffering. Yet what is it that excites our horror ? This pain beyond concep­tion of the Christian martyrs ? Not at all. We glory in it; we bless God for it ; and so do the sufferers themselves. They choose it, voluntarily submit to it, and joy in the midst of it, and would not have it less for all the world. There is no joy on earth so sweet, so great, so ecstatic, as that of the martyr. The horror we feel is not at the physical suffering, but at the malice which inflicts it, -not at the fact that the martyrs are enabled heroically to win their crowns, but at the refined cruelty which delights to torture them. It is very pos­sible, then, to conceive the most exquisite physical sufferings, the most excruciating tortures, and the most cruel death, as even a great and invaluable good to those who suffer them. Their presence, then, is not necessarily an evil to the sufferer, and consequently exemption from them not necessarily a good. For the same reason, it does not necessarily follow that the wealth, and luxury, and other things you propose, are necessa­rily in themselves at all desirable. You must go farther ; and before attempting to decide what is good or what is evil,
tell US WHAT IS  THE   DESTINY OF   MAN ;   for it  is   Only in relation to his destiny, that we can pronounce this or that good or evil. " Am I not a happy man ? " said Croesus to Solon, after showing him his treasures. " Whether a man is happy or not," replied the Athenian sage, " is not to be known be­fore his death."
What, then, according to the Associationists, is the destiny of man, his final cause, or the end for which he exists ? They have much to say of man's destiny ; but we do not find, in those of their writings which we have consulted, any very sat­isfactory or even intelligible answer to this question. We are told, at one time, that man's destiny is, to live in harmony,-that is, in association as they propose to organize it. But this is no answer; for it only asserts, in other words, that man is able or fitted by nature to adopt the means of fulfilling his destiny. Besides, it defines the destiny of the race rather than the des­tiny of the individuals, without which the race is only an ab­straction. At other times, we are told that man's destiny is, to harmonize the globe which he inhabits with itself, to harmo­nize it with the sideral heavens, and the sideral heavens with the universe, so that all discord shall cease, and there shall be universal harmony ; that is, man's destiny is, to complete the works of the Creator, and give them their last finish. The final cause of man is, then, to assist the Creator in completing the work of creation, that is, that he may constitute a portion of the First Cause ! This, however, we understand to be only a fanciful speculation, for which the school, as it exists in this country, does not hold itself responsible.
The more modest of the members leave these lofty spec­ulations by the way, and tell us that their object, and their sole object is, by the organization of labor and association, to en­able man to fulfil his destiny on earth. But what is this des­tiny ? We can find no specific answer. But they lay down, as their grand principle, Attkactions proportional to destiny. According to them, we may, therefore, conclude man's destiny in this world is that towards which he is at­tracted by his nature, or which is indicated by his natural in­clinations and tendencies. If we understand them, they un­dertake to give the law of attaining our destiny, rather than any clear statement of what is that destiny itself. But as the at­tractions are natural, and as they are the index to the end, and the law of its attainment, the end must itself be natural. If, then, we assert that they hold, that, when man has developed and satisfied in harmony his primitive or fundamental passions, or stimulants, as M. Briancourt calls them, he has fulfilled his destiny in this world, we may presume that they will readily admit our assertion to be correct. Then the destiny of man in this world is, the harmonious or orderly development and satisfaction of his whole nature. We will strike out from this " the development of his nature," because development can never be an end, since, by its nature, it is necessarily only the means or process of gaining the end. Then the answer will be, simply, Man's destiny on earth is, to satisfy his nature ; that is, to obtain and possess, in all their variety and fulness, the natural objects indicated by his nature, and towards which he is naturally stimulated. This is nothing but our old ac­quaintance, the Epicurean philosophy, decked out in the latest Parisian mode. We can now east ourselves, and take a fresh departure.
But, to be just to the Associationists, we must observe, that they understand by nature, not merely our sensual inclinations and tendencies, but also our intellectual, social, domestic, and aesthetic passions or tendencies. Moreover, they do not teach, that, in gaining the end to which we are attracted, we are to follow blindly our natural inclinations and tendencies, or that we are necessitated by them. They are the index and the law, and we have reason and free will, as instruments by which to follow the law and secure the end. Nor do they teach that it will do to follow without restraint all our inclina­tions and tendencies as they are actually developed under civ­ilization ; for they are now developed disproportionately, in violation of harmony, and it may require several generations in association before it will do to give them all their full liberty ; nevertheless, the end is in the natural order, and is the orderly satisfaction of nature by natural objects.
But on what authority rests this assumption, that our destiny as human beings in this world is the natural satisfaction of our nature ? We do not find this proved in any of the writings of the Associationists which have fallen under our notice. M. Briancourt asserts it, in asserting the central principle of the school, - " Attractions proportional to destiny " ; and he no doubt supposes that he proves it, in proving this principle, the grand discovery of Fourier; but we do not find that this prin­ciple itself is proved, at least, in the case of human beings, the only order of beings concerned in the inquiry. The school may have proved it of minerals, vegetables, and the different orders of the animal kingdom ; but that is nothing to their purpose ; for we cannot conclude the attributes and destiny of one genus from those of another. Because this or that is true of a pig, for instance, we cannot say, it is therefore true of man ; nor that the fact that it is true of the pig affords even a presumption that it is true of man ; for man is essentially different from the pig. To say, because it is true of other genera, that attractions are proportional to destiny, it must be true of human beings, is either a plain non-scquitur, or the de­nial that there is any essential difference between man and them. If there is no essential difference between man and a mineral, a vegetable, a pig, we concede your conclusion ; if there is, we deny it. But the former we are loath to admit ; and although our modern philosophers have done their best towards making it at least practically true, we must as yet hold on to the old doctrine that man is generically distinguished from all other orders of creatures, although he may have many attributes in common with them all.
If, as we presume it will be conceded, man is essentially distinguishable from the animal world, if he forms a genus of his own, nothing can be concluded of him, in so far as he is peculiarly man, from any other order ; consequently, whatever is affirmed of him must be specifically proved of him. It may be, that all other orders of creatures on this globe have a natural destiny, and yet the Creator have appointed him to a supernatural destiny. It may be, as the Church teaches, and the Christian believes, that the end for which God designed and made him is not that to which he is directed and drawn by his nature, even in its purity and integrity, but an end to which, since the fall, his nature is even averse, and which can be gained only by denying and crucifying his natural inclinations and tendencies. This may be, - that is, it is conceivable ; and if true, it will not do to say, a priori, of man, that attrac­tions are proportional to destiny, or that they at all indicate either it or the law of its attainment. Now it is possible that this constitutes, in part, the essential difference between man and animals. If so, the whole doctrine of the Associationists falls to the ground.
The Associationists must not misapprehend the question we raise. We are travelling no more than they out of life in this world. We understand them to confine their view to man's des­tiny here on this globe ; we are not, at this moment, extending ours beyond it. We agree perfectly with them, in what we pre­sume to be their principle, namely, that there is no contradiction between our destiny here and our destiny hereafter, and that the surest method of gaining our end in the world to come is, faithfully to fulfil our destiny in the world where we now are. We raise no question between our present good and our future good ; for we suppose the principle of both to be the same. Nor do we raise a question as to foregoing our good in this life, for the sake of gaining a good hereafter ; for we have never been taught that our true good here is at all incompatible with beatitude in heaven. The Christian who denies himself, chastises, mortifies the flesh with its deeds, crucifies his natural inclinations, is not supposed to deprive himself of any good here, and he perhaps enjoys, even in this life, a hundred-fold more than the Associationists in their most brilliant and ravish­ing day-dreams even venture to promise. We suspect that the life they promise would have had very few attractions for St. Francis of Assisium, St. Anthony, St. Benedict, or St. Bernard, even as to this world. The question lies between the life of nature, as contended for by the Associationists, and the supernatural life, which the Christian professes to live. The Christian lives his supernatural life even in this world, and its enjoyment is an enjoyment here, as well as hereafter. Both lives may therefore be considered as lived on this globe, yet differing as to their principle and end. The Christian view is, that God made man, whether you speak of this world or of that which is to come, for a supernatural destiny ; the Asso-ciationist view is, that man is made, at least so far as this world is concerned, for a natural destiny. The question is between the two. If the Christian is right, the Associationist is wrong, and his effort to provide for the gaining of a natural destiny, for a life in accordance with natural inclination and tendency, is directly at war with man's true destiny on this globe, and therefore with man's true good, not only his true good here­after, but his true good here.
The Associationists, of course, do not believe the Church ; but that is not the question. They profess to walk by sight, by science, and therefore they must demonstrate that she is wrong, or have no right to assert science as their doctrine, that man's destiny on this globe is a natural destiny, or that the end of our existence here is attained by living a natural life. But they have not demonstrated this ; they have, at best, only proved that this is or may be true of various animal tribes ; but they have not proved at all that it is true of man. At best, then, their doctrine is but an hypothesis, a belief, for which they do not, and cannot, even pretend to have infallible au­thority.
The Associationists tell us that they have proved their doc­trine by analysis of human nature, and that therefore it is science. But proved what ? Conceding them all they can pretend to have proved by analysis, it is only that the primitive passions or stimulants they assert are psychologically true, - from which, at best, they can conclude only what would be man's destiny, in case his destiny were natural ; but that it is natural, the precise point to be proved, they have not proved, for it can never be concluded from nature. Nature can guide us only on the assumption that the end is natural. When the question comes up, Is the purpose of our existence natural, or supernatural ? nature has nothing to say one way or the other. This is a question which science can never answer ; for science can never travel out of nature. It is idle, then, for the Associationists to tell us their doctrine is scientifically established. Whether the end for which Almighty God placed us here is natural or supernatural it is impossible to know without a supernatural revelation, and to a supernatural revela­tion, declaring our destiny here to be natural, the Association­ists do not pretend.
These remarks show clearly enough that the Associationists are unable to answer the first question in order, namely, What is man's destiny on this globe ? Then they are unable to legiti­mate the end they propose ; then unable to say, that what they call good is good, or what they call evil is evil; and then, final­ly, whether, even by complete success, they would or would not benefit their fellow-men. This deserves their serious con­sideration. If, as we have said, what the Church teaches and the Christian believes is true, they are certainly wrong as to man's destiny here, as well as hereafter. It will not do for them to reply, that they do not believe the Church, and that her authority is not sufficiently proved to them ; because they must be able to assert their system as a science, or they have no right to assert it at all. They must, then, disprove the teaching of the Church. So long as there is a possibility that the teaching of the Church may turn out to be true, they cannot assert their own doctrine ; for, in the nature of the case, they can conclude its truth only from the destruction of the neg­ative.
2. This uncertainty as to man's destiny here, which the Associationists do not and cannot remove, attaches, of course, to the means proposed to enable us to fulfil it. The school adopts, as we have seen, as its fundamental principle, " At­tractions proportional to destiny." Hence, by ascertaining and providing for the attractions, they determine and provide for the destiny. On this principle rests their whole fabric of Association. If this be true, their Association may or may not be adequate ; but if not true, the whole scheme is evidently altogether inadequate, because natural attractions can be pro­portional only to a natural end, never to a supernatural end. This is conclusive against the scheme, till its advocates are able, by a supernatural authority, to prove that our destiny in this world is a natural destiny ; for it requires no argument to prove that Association, organized with express reference to a natural destiny, must be unavailing - if nothing worse - for a supernatural destiny.
But even if the end of man in this world were the satis­faction of his nature, the means proposed would be inadequate. The assumption of the Associationists is, that our nature can be satisfied by the possession of the natural objects to which it directs and draws us. But this is not true, as we have shown in a foregoing article in the present number of our Review, pp. 13-15. The arguments on which the Associationists rely to prove the contrary are inconclusive, because they are all arguments from one genus to another. When the premises and conclusion are not in the same genus, nothing is concluded. It may be true, as M. Briancourt proves, that, if a pig gets what his nature seeks, he will be satisfied, stop squealing, and lie down and sleep, till renewed appetite awakes him; and the same would, no doubt, be true of man, if man were a pig, and might become true of him, if he, by some Circean art, could be transformed into a pig. But it so happens that man is not a pig, and cannot, if he is to retain his essential nature as man, be changed into one. We cannot predicate indifferently of the two. Man is never satisfied by the possession of the natu­ral objects to which he is naturally drawn. All experience proves it; the experience of each particular man proves it; else wherefore this deep wail from the heart of every one who lives simply the life of nature, this outbreak of despair, Vanitas vanitatum, et omnia vanitas 9 Build man the most splendid palace ; lavish on it all the decorations of the most perfect art; furnish it with the most exquisite and most ex­pensive taste ; lodge him in it on the soft, voluptuous couch ; spread his table with the most delicate viands and the rarest fruits ; refresh himwkh the most costly wines ; regale him with the richest music ; rain down upon him the most fragrant odors ; ravish him with beauty ; gratify every sense, every taste, every wish, as soon as formed ; and the poor wretch will sigh for he knows not what, and behold with envy even the ragged beggar feeding on offal. No variety, no change, no art, can satisfy him. All that nature or art can offer palls upon his senses and his heart, - is to him poor, mean, and despicable. There arise in him wants which are too vast for nature, which swell out be­yond the bounds of the universe, and cannot, and will not, be satisfied with any thing less than the infinite and eternal God. Never yet did nature suffice for man, and it never will.
This great and solemn fact, which it is vain to attempt to deny, -a fact deep graven on all hearts that have experience, that have lived the natural life, - should lead thoughtful men to ask, - nay, it does lead thoughtful men to ask, - if, after all, it be not a mistake to attempt to satisfy ourselves with the vain and perishing things of this world ; if the inability to find our satisfaction in nature be not a strong presump­tion that our Creator did not design us for a natural destiny ; if, in fact, he did not intend us for an end above nature ; and therefore, that our precise error is in seeking a natural destiny in opposition to his design, in neglecting our true des­tiny for a false destiny, that is, neglecting true good and pursu­ing real evil. We should suppose that this universal experi­ence of all men would have created, at least, a doubt, in the minds of our friends, as to the soundness of their assumption of the natural as the true destiny of man on this globe.
The Associationists, doubtless, will reply, that they do not mean to deny the supernatural destiny ; that they leave to man all the satisfactions of religion ; that there is no incompatibility between the supernatural life of the Christian and the natural life of harmony. But in this they are mistaken. The princi­ple, the means, and the end of their life are natural ; but the principle, the means, and the end of the other are supernatu­ral, and no man can possibly live both lives at once. This is what our Lord meant, when he said, " You cannot serve God and mammon. No man can serve two masters." When you propose nature as the end, and organize Association expressly in reference to it, you do not leave man free to propose God as his end, and to live solely the supernatural life. Moreover, you exclude religion from the Association. You recognize nothing that has the least resemblance to religion.    It has with you no substantive existence ; for, as M. Briancourt defines it, it is nothing but the reflection in their harmonic relations of all the primitive stimulants, as light, which is itself no color, is the reflection of all the primitive colors in perfect har­mony.
Furthermore, the Associationists cannot admit the necessity of religion without abandoning their system. Their system is founded on the principle, that attractions are proportional to destiny ; and if what pertains to the natural order is inadequate to satisfy nature, their system is false. The admission of the necessity of any thing transcending nature as a principle, a means, or an end, would be the denial of the sufficiency of nature ; therefore, that attractions are proportional to destiny ; therefore, the denial of the whole scheme of Association. The Associationists are not at liberty, when we have shown them from experience that nature does not suffice for nature, to defend themselves by saying, Then bring in the supernat­ural ; for they are not at liberty to abandon the essential prin­ciple of their system, and still continue to assert it.
And, finally, if the system is insufficient in itself, if under it, as under civilization, our destiny is not attainable without the supernatural, the system is useless, for the supernatural alone is sufficient. The man who lives the supernatural life of the Christian has God, and therefore all. He despises the life your Association proposes. Your wealth and luxury, your palace and grounds, your flower-gardens and ball-rooms, your song and dance, your statues and pictures, your scientific reunions, and your " /Esthetic Teas," are to him vanity, yea, less than vanity, and nothing. He holds them in utter con­tempt, and tramples them beneath his feet, and weeps tears of pity and tender compassion over those poor creatures who can esteem them. The epicurean and the saint, though for differ­ent reasons, both exclaim of all the world can give, Vanity of vanities, all is vanity ! The former, because he has grown weary of it, and found it impotent to fill up the vacuum in his heart ; the latter, because he is full without it, because he has no need of it, because it can offer him nothing, and serves only to distract him from God, and hinder his divine life.
But we have objections to the adequacy of the means pro­posed, of a kind which will have more weight with our friends, the Associationists. The means proposed are intended, besides other things, to remove the evils of poverty, that is, the moral evils occasioned  in the community by poverty ; for of the physical evils we say nothing. There is no question but pov­erty occasions discontent, envy, and repining, and these again lead to crimes against both person and property. But it occasions these evils only when it is contrasted with wealth. There is no more discontent, envy, or repining, where all are alike poor, than where all are alike rich. The hovel is a hovel only as contrasted with the palace which rises by its side and overtops it. The remedy here is either internal or external. The internal is moral, religious, which raises the poor to the supernatural life, gives them all the most favored have or can have, and leads them to look upon all the distinctions of rank and wealth as of no value, and to trample the world beneath their feet. He who asks nothing from the world envies never those who possess it, and repines never that he is poor. This remedy is the one the Church approves, and labors always to apply ; and it checks alike the envy and repining of the poor, and the pride and insolence of the rich, enabling both to live together in mutual peace and charity,-in harmony. But this remedy the Associationists reject, even with scorn. They propose an external remedy. But the external remedy can be a remedy only so far as it removes the occasion ; and to do that it must establish an equality of fortunes, or at least, so arrange matters that wealth and poverty shall never be in jux­taposition, or seen in contrast.
But if we consult the plan of the Associationists, we shall see that they propose nothing of the kind. They recognize property and inequality of property in like manner as they are recognized in our present social order ; and, what is still more to the purpose, they bring together the extremes of wealth and poverty in the same phalanx, and lodge them in the same phalanstery, so that one cannot go in or go out, rise up or sit down, without having the violent contrast forced upon his atten­tion, to exalt his pride or madden his envy. That is, they propose to cure the evil by increasing what they regard as its cause !
It is of no avail to allege that none in Association will be very poor, that there will be none who cannot by their own labor procure all the necessaries and chief comforts of life ; for the evil in question does not arise from the consideration that I have little, but that my neighbour has more. So long as in your Association one has more than another, you have not removed the occasion of the evil you deplore. No matter, if my plain apartments are sufficient for my protection, when only a little lathing and plaster divide them from the gay and elegant and luxuriously furnished apartments of my neighbours ; no matter that my one dish suffices for my physical necessities, so long as, in the room next to mine, my neighbour- a stupid fellow, I may think, not half as good as I - sits down to his dinner of twenty dishes. Since all these violent contrasts, all the distinctions of wealth, exist in the Association, and are perpetually under the eye, in the face and nose, of every one, meeting him at every turn he takes, the occasion of the evils exists there in even a greater and a more offensive degree than it does in the present social state ; and as long as you do not by the Association remove the occasion, how can you say that by it you cure the evil ? Do not refer us to moral in­fluences which may be operative, for that is to abandon your system, and fall back on that which you condemn and anath­ematize. Your system is, to correct the internal by the judi­cious organization of the external; and if you are obliged to appeal from the external to the internal, to supply the defects of the organization, you acknowledge what we are endeavour­ing to prove, namely, the inadequacy of your means.
Again ; the mother evil of our present industrial system, ac­cording to the Associationists, is competition. Indeed, to read their writings, one is inclined to believe that they regard competition in business as the cause of nearly all the ills that flesh is heir to. Their grand argument for Association is, that it will entirely do away with competition and its attendant evils. Whether their view of competition is correct or the reverse is not now the question. The question is, Does Association, on their plan, remove it, or, what is the same thing, aftbrd no motive or scope for it ? If not, their means are inadequate. Competition results from the inequality of fortunes, the freedom and the desire to accumulate. Where these three causes coexist, competition is possible and inev­itable. Association, then, to remove competition, must take away these causes, at least some one of them. The desire to accumulate can be suppressed by external means only by an organization in which wealth can secure, or aid in securing, to its possessor no personal or spcial advantage, or what is re­garded as an advantage by him or by others. This can never be the case where wealth and luxury are held to be important, essential to the fulfilment of one's destiny, and where the pro­prietor has the free use of his property. Grant, then, the de­sire, and allow the freedom, to accumulate, and you have com­petition, because property is in its nature exclusive.
Now all these conditions of competition must coexist in Association, because the Association id based on individual and not common property. There is inequality of property, and of course the distinctions which always do and always must accompany it. There is freedom to possess and use, and there is freedom to acquire, to hoard, or to display. There are objects forbidden to the poor, and accessible only to the rich. There are, then, all the motives to accumulate, and the same opportunity to acquire individual property, and to purchase pleasures or distinctions by it, which are furnished by existing industrial arrangements. What, then, is to hinder competition in the bosom of the phalanx itself ?
But pass over this, and consider the phalanx as a copartner­ship, or a huge business firm. There must be buying and selling between it and other firms ; for we do not understand the Associationists to propose to stop all exchange, all trade and commerce. What, then, is to hinder competition between phalanx and phalanx, any more than now between one business firm and another ? Is competition between firms less injuri­ous than between individuals ? - between large firms than be­tween small ones ? Indeed, is it not notorious that the rivalry of large bodies is more unprincipled, altogether less scrupu­lous, than that of individuals ? Who needs to be told that a man, sheltering himself under the shield of a corporation, will do, without scruple, what he would recoil from doing in his individual capacity ? What, then, under your system, is to prevent perhaps the most ruinous competition the world has ever witnessed ? Phalanx may seek to circumvent phalanx in business, and every few days we may hear the crash of one or another, each burying eighteen hundred or two thousand peo­ple under its ruins ! There is nothing in your system, so far as we can see, to prevent this disastrous result. Men in the Association have the same passions as out of it, and these pas­sions will operate in the same way, if they have the liberty and the occasion.
We are aware that the Associationists suppose that they will keep down the spirit of rivalry by the various intellectual, social, domestic, and aesthetic influences which they expect to be operative in Association. But they recognize the spirit of rivalry, or competition. Let this be remembered. True, they count on turning it into other channels. Thus, by making shoeblacks the Legion of Honor, they fancy that the ambi­tion will be to be shoeblacks ; just as if the cross of honor will not cease to be an object of ambition the moment it is conferred on the shoeblack ! The cross of honor is valued because it is bestowed as the reward of honorable or heroic deeds. It does not confer the honor, it signalizes it ; and never will men become shoeblacks for the sake of it. It is impossible, by any artificial methods, to raise menial arts to the rank of the liberal ; or menial services to the rank of the heroic, by conferring on them the insignia of the heroic. If you want the liberal and refined to be willing to perform the most menial and disgusting duties, you must propose the Cross of Christ, not the Cross of the Legion of Honor ; the crown of immortal life, not the crown of laurel.
The Associationists, whatever influences or arrangements they may depend upon, must allow the individual the dominion of himself, and the freedom to follow the bent of his genius. They must allow the former, or they reduce man to complete slavery, and make the phalanx the grave of the individual ; and the latter, or deny their grand principle of attractions pro­portional to destiny, and also their other principle of attractive labor, since no labor or employment against one's natural bent is or can be attractive. They do allow the first, other­wise individual property would be a mockery ; they allow the second, otherwise their distribution of the phalanx into groups and series would be an absurdity. Allow a man freedom to follow his natural bent, that is, the passion or group of pas­sions which are naturally predominant in him, and that passion or group will grow by indulgence, and soon gain the complete mastery over all the rest, and subordinate them to itself. Be­sides, the whole tendency of the Association is to this result. Its grand principle is, to follow the natural order and the nat­ural attraction. The harmonious development our friends speak of is not a precisely similar development in every indi­vidual, but the harmonious development of each individual in accordance with his naturally predominant tendency or tenden­cies. To understand it in any other sense would be to make them inconsistent with themselves. Consequently, whatever influences they may bring to bear on the individual, they must tend to harmonize all in him with his naturally predominant passion. If, then, we suppose one whose strong natural ten­dency is to acquire property, his whole nature will be subordi­nated to this tendency, and he will follow it to the full extent of his freedom and capacity. If we suppose two such, we have competition.
As for social influences, these, in a community which starts with the assumption that wealth and luxury are absolutely in­dispensable to the fulfilment of our destiny, will not be likely to check or discourage the efforts without which wealth and luxury are not to be had. The domestic influences will be no less favorable to the accumulation of wealth than now; for the father bequeaths his property to his children, and where there are inequalities of fortune, wealth will confer distinction. The aesthetic influences are of no account for good. All the world are not artists, and it is by no means certain that every pha­lanx will be a school of art ; and if it should be, it must be borne in mind that its art will be purely secular, and purely secular art leads to nothing better than effeminacy and licen­tiousness. It would, then, check the tendency to accumulate, if at all, only by producing no less an evil of another sort. It would be well for modern rhapsodists to recollect that the artistic epoch - we speak not of religious art - follows, but has never yet been known to precede or accompany, an heroic epoch. It marks a decline, and usually is or ushers in an age of corruption. The shrine of natural beauty stands always in the vestibule of the temple of Venus, when not in the temple itself. Avarice, again, is no unnatural pendant to voluptuous­ness. We place no confidence, therefore, in your aesthetic influences, even to restrain competition, - especially, since wealth will be needed as the minister of voluptuousness.
It is unnecessary to pursue further this branch of the sub­ject. All our primitive tendencies are exclusive, and mutu­ally repellant. They almost always exist in excess, and every one of them grows by indulgence. Philosophy and experi­ence alike testify that their harmonious action is never possible, unless by their subjection to reason. But this subjection is contrary to the principles of the Associationists ; for they allow us reason and free will, not to control our passions and keep them in subjection to the law, but as their servants or instruments. The passions give the law ; reason and free will provide for its fulfilment. Consequently, the harmony of the passions is impossible, on the principles of the Associationists ; and without such harmony, their means are obviously inad­equate.
3. Whoever reads the works of the Associationists must perceive that they place great reliance for the success of their scheme on the mutual love and good-will of the members of the phalanx.    There is to be there no pride of birth, no haughtiness of rank, no insolence of wealth. Gentlemen and siniplemen, rich and poor, learned and unlearned, are all to meet as brothers ; and no bickerings, no jars, no envyings, no jealousies, no aversions, rancors, or heartburnings, are ever to find admittance into the harmonic paradise. No serpent will ever find his way into the new garden of Eden. Every ono will be courteous, affable, gentle, affectionate, forbearing, and eager to oblige ; and men will say, " See how these phalanslerians love one another ! " Undoubtedly, without this, the Association will be torn by internal dissensions, and soon prove only a monument to the folly of its founders.
But by what right do Associationists count on this universal and never-failing mutual love and good-will ? They propose no radical change and no supernatural elevation of human nature. Men enter Association with all the essential passions, and with all the diversity of character, taste, and temperament which they now have, and must exhibit in Association the same phenomena as out of it, so far as the occasion is not removed. There is no removal of the occasion ; and there must be, as we have shown, just as much occasion for the exercise of all the bitter and mischievous passions of our nature in Association as in the present order ? Whence, then, is to come this anticipated result, so widely different from our present experience ? From the moral causes operative there ? What are they ? Nay, you cannot appeal to moral causes, for your system is to reach and modify the moral through the physical.
But pass over this. How is the degree of love necessary to set the machinery of Association in operation to be ob­tained prior to Association itself ? It requires a greater de­gree of love to introduce than it does to preserve after intro­duction. If any thing is certain in philosophy, it is that the effect cannot exceed the cause. Hence, universal experience proves that the founders of human institutions are always su­perior to those who are formed under those institutions. The progress under human institutions is always downwards ; the purest and noblest characters formed under them are the earliest. Man is always superior to his productions, and these are superior to their production's. Reverberations grow fainter and fainter in the distance. Mark the difference between the men who made our Revolution and the men of to-day. Be­tween George Washington and James K. Polk there is a dis­tance ; and there would have been a greater distance still, if it had not been for the continued operation of causes not intro­duced or essentially affected by our Revolution. Certainly, then, no more love can be in the Association than there is in the cause introducing Association. Then the Associationists must get, under civilization, without Association, all the love they can have with and under it. But if we can have the love without Association, then there is no need of Associa­tion ; if not, Association is impracticable. Here is a conclu­sive argument, not only against Association, but against every scheme for effecting the real progress of man or society by virtue of a purely human principle. Proceeding on a pure­ly human principle, man, it is easy to demonstrate, can no more be a reformer than an i7istitutor, - that is, he can neither by way of reform, nor by way of institution, introduce or es­tablish any thing superior to what he finds existing, or which, in fact, does not fall below it. His boasted improvements are such only in relation to the order he introduces, and consist solely in getting more and more rid of the contradictions (o it retained at first from the preexisting order. The departure on a human principle from the existing order is always a step towards something inferior or less perfect. Man can fall from the civilized state to the savage ; he never rises sponta­neously from the savage state to the civilized ; and for jhe very good reason, that in the moral, no more than in the phys­ical world, can the stream rise higher than the fountain.
Moreover, the love itself, which our Associationists rely upon, can never be adequate to their purpose. Jt is, at best, only human love, the natural sentiment of philanthropy. This answers very well, when the work to be done is simply to pro­pose grand schemes, make brilliant and eloquent speeches, or when there are no disagreeable duties to be performed, no violent natural repugnances to be overcome ; but it fails in the hour of severe trial. Your philanthropist starts with gen­erous impulses, with a glowing enthusiasm ; and so long as there are no great discouragments, no disgusting offices in his way, and he has even a small number of admiring friends to stim­ulate his zeal, applaud his eloquence, flatter his pride, and soothe him for the rebuffs he meets from the world, he may keep on his course, and continue his task. But let him find himself entirely alone, let him have no little public of his own, which is all the world to him, let him be thwarted on every point, let him be obliged to work in secret, unseen by all but the All-seeing Eye, encounter from men nothing but contradiction, contempt, and ingratitude, and he will soon begin to say to himself, Why suffer and endure so much for the unworthy ? He who loves man for man's sake loves only a creature, a being of imperfect worth, of no more worth than himself, per­haps not so much ; and why shall he love him more than him­self, and sacrifice himself for him ? The highest stretch of human love is, to love our neighbour as we love ourselves ; and we do injustice to ourselves, when we love them more than we do ourselves.
Nay, philanthropy itself is a sort of selfishness. It is a sentiment, not a principle. Its real motive is not another's good, but its own satisfaction according to its nature. It seeks the good of others, because the good of others is the means of its own satisfaction, and is as really selfish in its principle as any other of our sentiments ; for there is a broad distinc­tion between the sentiment of philanthropy, and the duty of doing good to others, - between seeking the good of others from sentiment, and seeking it in obedience to a law which binds the conscience. The measure of the capacity of phi­lanthropy, as a sentiment, is the amount of satisfaction it can bring to the possessor. So long as, upon the whole, he finds it more delightful to play the philanthropist than the miser, for instance, he will do it, but no longer. Hence, philanthropy must always decrease just in proportion to the increase of the repugnances it must encounter, and fail us just at the moment when it is most needed, and always in proportion as it is needed. It follows the law so observable in all human society, and helps most when and where its help is least needed. Here is the condemnation of every scheme, however plausible it may look, that in any degree depends on philanthropy for its success.
The principle the Associationists want for their success is not philanthropy, - the love of man for man's sake, - but di­vine charity, not to be had and preserved out of the Catholic Church. Charily is, in relation to its subject, a supernaturally infused virtue ; in relation to its object, the supreme and ex­clusive love of God for his own sake, and man for the sake of God. He who has it is proof against all trials"; for his love does not depend on man, who so often proves himself totally unamiable and unworthy, but on God, who is always and everywhere infinitely amiable and deserving of all love. He visits the sick, the prisoner, the poor, for it is God whom he visits ; he clasps with tenderness the leprous to his bosom, and kisses his sores, for it is God he embraces and whose dear wounds he kisses. The most painful and disgusting offices are sweet and easy, because he performs them for God, who is love, and whose love inflames his heart. Wherever there is a service to be rendered to one of God's little ones, he runs with eagerness to do it ; for it is a service to be rendered to God himself. "Charity never faileth." It is proof against all natural repugnances ; it overcomes earth and hell; and brings God down to tabernacle with men. Dear to it is this poor beggar, for it sees in him only our Lord who had " not where to lay his head"; dear are the sorrowing and the afflict­ed, for it sees in them Him who was u a man of sorrows and acquainted with infirmity" ; dear are these poor outcasts, for in them it beholds Him who was " scorned and rejected of men " ; dear are the wronged, the oppressed, the down­trodden, for in them it behojds the Innocent One nailed to the Cross, and dying to atone for human wickedness. And it joys to succour them all; for in so doing, it makes reparation to God for the poverty, sufferings, wrongs, contempt, and ignominious death which he endured for our sakes ; for it is his pov­erty it relieves in relieving the poor, his hunger it feeds in feeding the hungry, his nakedness it clothes in throwing its robe over the naked, his afflictions it consoles in consoling the sorrowing, his wounds into which it pours oil and Wine and which it binds up. " Inasmuch as ye did it unto the least of these my brethren, ye did it unto me." All is done to and for God, whom it loves more than men, more than life, and more than heaven itself, if to love him and heaven were not one and the same thing. This is the principle you need ; with this principle, you have God with you and for you, and fail­ure is impossible. But with this principle, Association is, at best, a matter of indifference ; for this is sufficient of itself at all times, under any and every form of political, social, or industrial organization. He who has God can have noth­ing more.
But our gravest objection to Associationism is, that it im­plicates the justice of Almighty God. The Associationists tell us that their plan is indispensable to the fulfilment of our destiny on this globe. By man they must mean men, or else they are talking of an abstraction. The species has actual existence only in individuals, and the question relates only to actual existences. It is absurd to suppose that God cares for species, and not for individuals, - for the ideal, and not for the actual, - for the abstract, and not for the concrete. When, therefore, the organization of Labor and Association are pro­posed as indispensable to the fulfilment of our destiny, - when its friends tell us, as they do, that all the past has been only a preamble to it, a necessary preparation for it, they tell us in eflect that no human being has, as yet, had within bis reach the means of fulfilling bis destiny. But it will not do to say this. God can create no being, and appoint him to a certain end, that is, make it his duty to gain that end, and not provide him with sufficient means of gaining it, if he chooses to avail himself of them, without contradicting his own justice, and thereby proving himself unjust. If there is a single indi­vidual of our race that fails to attain bis destiny, either here or hereafter, through defect of means, not through bis own fault, the blame is chargeable upon the Creator. But God is infi­nitely just, and we cannot accuse him of injustice without blas­phemy. Then the means of fulfilling bis destiny, whether here or hereafter, must always be within the reach of every man ; and if any one fails to fulfil it, he bas no one to blame but himself. Then Association never has been, is not, and never can be, necessary for the fulfilment of our destiny on this globe, or elsewhere ; for man, every man, can fulfil his destiny, if he chooses, without it.
These are some few of the objections which seem to us conclusive against the views and schemes of the Associationists. They by no means exhaust our list of objections ; but we stop with them, because we regard them as amply sufficient of them­selves. But let not the Associationists imagine, fora moment, because we refuse to go with them, that we are better satisfied with the present condition of our fellow-men than they are, or that we any more despair of its amelioration than they do. When we deserted the movement party and took refuge in the Church, it was not because we had become indifferent to human suffering, or because we despaired of solacing it. Never did the young enthusiast, the fierce declaimer, the bold rad­ical, feel more alive to every form of human suffering, or en­tertain a stronger hope of relieving it, than we did, when our kind Mother was pleased to receive us and own us as one of her children. It is true, we did not embrace the Church for the reason that she is a social reformer, for the reason that we believed her capable of effecting the good we had attempted, or which our friends were attempting without her. In view of what she promises her faithful and obedient children, all that we or they contemplated is not worth a moment's consid­eration. Nevertheless, she furnishes in abundance all the means necessary to remove all real evils, and to secure every possible good.
Let not the Associationists misapprehend us. We do not ask them to embrace the Church simply because she is the proper agent for acquiring the good they seek for their fellow-men ; for we wish them to embrace her from higher and worthier motives. For ourselves, we have been, and are even now, loath to dwell on what the Church can do for us in this life, lest we should be interpreted as assigning false motives for yielding her the homage which is her due. We are unwill­ing to pursue a line of argument, which, however proper it may be in itself, ignorance or malice may torture even into the appearance of placing time before eternity, society before heaven, or man before or in competition with God. The Church must be embraced for a heavenly motive, or no advan­tage inures to us from embracing her. She is here to prepare us for heaven, and heaven is the only end that we can legiti­mately seek. The good she effects for this world is inciden­tal, and should never be made the motive for becoming or re­maining a Catholic. But, bearing this always in mind, we may without impropriety show that she can do enough for us even in this world to satisfy all reasonable men.
Some of the Associationists are already looking towards the Church, apparently despairing of success in their enterprise without her; but they are looking to her, we fear, rather with the wish to obtain her sanction for their plan, and her assist­ance to carry it out, than with any sincere disposition to sub­mit themselves to her direction and discipline. If she will accept Fourierism, they are ready to accept her. But she will make no such agreement with them. She will be all, or she will be nothing. They must accept her unconditionally, or she will not accept them. She has her own method, and will not learn of them ; they must learn of her.
But is her method adequate ? Let us see. The men who have manifested, under their highest forms, the virtues which are required to remove all real evils and to procure every true good of which men in this world are capable, are undeniably to be found in the Catholic Church, and nowhere else. If all men were like, for instance, St. Raymond of Penna-fort, St. John of God, St. Vincent de Paul, or even Fenelon, a great and good man, yet far below the  standard  of a Catholic Saint, there could and would be no lack of the good desirable, and no real evil could exist. There is not a form of evil in society, a single ill that flesh is heir to, which some one or more of our saints have not made provision for remov­ing or solacing, and which they would not have removed or solaced, if they had been duly seconded, as you must know, if you have made yourselves but passably acquainted with the charitable institutions of the Church. Yet these saints did not go out of the Church, and did but come up to that standard of perfection which she proposes to all, and exhorts all her chil­dren to aspire to, and to which all may attain, if God gives them the vocation, and that, too, without any change of the ex­isting political, social, or industrial order. All may have, in the bosom of the Church, whatever the external order, all the means needed for attaining to the highest perfection of which they are capable ; and by attaining to that perfection, all is secured that is or can be desired for society.
lint you say, all are not saints. True ; but whose is the fault ? It is not the fault of the political, social, or industrial order, otherwise these could not have become saints ; not the fault of the Church, for she proffers to all the same means and assistance she extended to these ; nor precisely the fault of human nature, for these were no better by nature than others ; and many of the saints have even been wild and dissolute in their youth. All may not be called by Almighty God to the same degree of heroic sanctity, nor is it necessary ; but all are called to Christian perfection, and the means which have proved effectual in the case of those who have attained to it are extended to all, and must needs be, if adopted, equally effectual in the case of all. The fault, whenever any one falls below the standard of perfection, is his own, is in the fact that he refuses to comply with all the Church commands and coun­sels. The Church cannot take away free will ; and as long as men retain it, they will, to a greater or less extent, abuse it. Do the Associationists propose to take it away, and reduce men to mere machines ? We do not understand them to pro­pose any such thing ; arid if they should, it would be an ad­ditional objection to their scheme. God himself respects our free will, and governs us only according to our choice. He gives us, naturally or supernaturally, the ability to will and to do as he wills, and motives sweet and attractive as heaven and terrible as hell to induce us to will and to do as he wills ; but he does not will for us ; the will must be our own act.    If the Church proposes perfection to all, exhorts all to aspire to it, furnishes them all the assistance they need to gain it, and urges them by all the motives which can weigh with them to accept and use them, the fault, if they do not, is theirs, not hers, and she is not to be accused either of inefficiency or of insuffi­ciency ; for she does all that, in the nature of the case, it is possible to do.
But even a far lower standard of Christian worth than wo have been speaking of, and which is possible in the bosom of the Church to all, will suffice for the purpose of ihe Associa­tionists.    Suppose every one  should  do, not all  the Church counsels, but simply what she commands, enjoins, as of pre­cept, and which every one must do, or fall under her censure, what real  evil  could  remain, or what desirable social  good would be wanting?    There would  be no  wars, no internal disorders, no wrongs, no outrages, no frauds, or deceptions, and no taking the advantage one of another.    There would be no unrelieved poverty, no permanent want of the necessaries or even comforts of life ; for the Church makes almsgiving a precept, and commands all her children to remember the poor. There would remain no ruinous competition; for no one would set a high value upon the goods of this world.    The real cause of all the social and industrial evils the Associationists deplore, so far as evils they are, is covetousness, which is  said  to  be the root of all evil ; and  covetousness the Church condemns as a mortal sin .    Eradicate covetousness from the heart, and your reform, so far as desirable, is effected ; and it is eradi­cated,  or  held   in  subjection,  by every   obedient  Catholic. Hence, all that is needed is in the Church ; let every one submit to her and follow her directions ; nothing more will be wanting. All can submit to her ; for God, in one way or another, gives to every one sufficient grace for that, if it be not voluntarily vesisted ; and she herself is the medium through which is com­municated all the strength any one needs to do all she com­mands.    The way to destroy the tree of evil is, to lay the axe at the root; and this the Church does.     She seeks always to purify the heart, out of which are the issues of life, and she never fails to do it in the case of any one who submits himself to her discipline.
But, you reply, there are evils in Catholic countries, and the result promised is as far from being attained there as else­where. This is too strongly expressed. There are evils in Catholic countries, but they are fewer and of a more mitigated character than in other countries, and, moreover, diminish always in proportion as the country is more truly Catholic and more exclusively under Catholic influence. This is evident by contrasting Italy with England, Protestant England with Catholic England, or Spain and Portugal, as they now are, witli what they were, when thoroughly Catholic, before they were prostrated by the prevalence of revolutionary and infidel ideas. M. Briancourt virtually admits as much, when he con­trasts the present slate of things with that which formerly ex­isted, before infidel governments, philosophers, and reformers had detached modern society from the control of the Church. Besides, all in Catholic countries are not good Catholics ; and the evils complained of undeniably spring from the acts of those who do not faithfully comply with the requirements of the Church. If all complied, the evils would be removed. The Church is to be tried, not by the effects of non-compli­ance, but by the effects of compliance. She is answerable only for those who comply with her demands and follow her directions. She cannot force men against their will to com­ply ; and you would be among the first to cry out against her tyranny, were she even to attempt it. The objection implied in the existence of evils in Catholic countries is, therefore, of no weight. Men who reject the Church, or refuse to obey her, must not complain that she does not make all men good Cath­olics.
The Church, then, offers an easy and effectual method of removing all real evils, and of securing all that is really good in relation even to our present existence. She offers a feasible and an effectual way of serving our fellow-men, - of acquiring and of giving practical effect to the most unbounded charity. Submit to the Church, follow her directions, and you will need nothing more. You can secure all you desire, so far as wise in your desires, whatever be the form of the government, or the social or industrial order under which you live. The in­ternal can be rectified in every state and condition of life ; and when the internal is right, you need have no fears for the ex­ternal. This is a speedy way, and within the power of each individual, without his being obliged to wait for the cooperation of his brethren ; for each can individually submit himself at any moment he chooses. It is an effectual way ; for the re­liance is not on human weakness and instability, but on the in­finite and unchangeable God.
Let not our friends scorn this way, because it is old, simple, and easy. God's ways are not ours. David, to slay the giant, chose a simple sling and a smooth stone from the brook, not the armor and sword of the king. The prophet bade the Syri­an simply, " Go wash, and be clean." God's ways are always foolishness to human pride and human prudence ; but whoso enters them finds them leading to life. Let not our friends scorn this way, through pride. Others as learned, as philo­sophic, as high in station, as proud as they, and who once looked upon it with as much distrust and contempt as they can, have, through grace, entered it ; and they have found " hidden riches " which they did not look for, and which make all that is promised from Association, multiplied a thousand times into itself, appear poor, mean, and despicable.