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Communications: "policy Of The Liberty Party."

Communications: "policy Of The Liberty Party." image
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Letter to the Editor
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Detkoit, June 1, 1846. M r . T. Fo s te n, - since I communicated pari f my views on lite proposed extensión of Liberty principies. Professional dutics and antislavery cngngemcnts have -nee so filled my time as to prevent me tVom continuing the subject. 1 now resume t. My communication designed to glance at part of the vast field legitimalchj covered by the Liberty "One Idea." Thus far I can assent to a propo?al called (erroneous'y) '-an extensión" ofour principies. Thus far I believc it wise to proceed. Our true objects would be nvowed, and our Great Idea woild be exhibited on the pedestal of its own fullydeveloped dignity, elevnted far above the tiny politics of the day, nnd clothed in iheeunobling drapery of its self created ga rn tu re. But when it is proposed to tack on foreign objects, I am forced to dissent. I shall endeavor to state some of my many reasons. The nbolition of Slavery is one great object. Slavery is nn evil. AU evils are tobe deslroyed most radically and speedily by grapplmg directly with them, and opposing to them, their proper antagonist. The irreconcilablc antagonismofthe principies, thus in contest, preeludes compromise, and keep in full strainlhe evcry energy of the combatants. It is like the desperate sea figlit of the pirate and lus victim under the no-mercy banner. In such a con test the ndvantnga is altogether on the side of strong and good principie. It is might arraycd against weaknes?. Thus temperance is tlie proper assailant of intemperance. - Viriue of vice, nnd divine Iruth of Infidelity. Each of these energies of reform are aided by the auxiliarles Icgitimately springing from the ])arent principio, but to attnek fureign maller would only add weight and incumbrance. For instance, ii to the femperance pledge was added a promise of adopting some peculiar industrial employnient - iC the vicious were to be relaimed and made something more than virlunus, and if the Infidel was not only tobe convertèrl to Christianity, but lo a specified rJiet or clotliing, these foreign objects would be but obsiacles to the main design. - The inebríate might pledge abstinence: the vicious might abandon evü: and the infidel become a Christian; vet oach niight object to an ulterior matter. To procure their adhesión a donble conversión is necessary - first tothe main - ihen to the secondarv, object. Thus the labor is doubled, and doubled for no purpose so far as the main object is concerned. So is it, in our antislavery enterprise. Liberty is the natural antagoüst of slavery, and i: appears to me that the Jatter will never perisk except under the irresistible and single forcé of the former. - If to our Liberty we attach a tariff creed, we créate an impediment instead of gaining an auxiliary. We doublé our task, and must convert to the larifF, as well as to the antislavery creed. Failing in the : first, we also fail to gain an adherent to the second, unlcss in cases where devotion to antislavery overpowers the resistance of all repulsing motives, but in such cases a tarifT creed is not called for at all. So we encrease our difiïculties in proportion to the number of foreign principies we assume.It is said however that a popular tarifF creed will aid in securing adherenls toa party advocaling antislavery as well as the tariíF. I reply that itsecmslike harnessing a fly as an additional loco.notive to a steam engine, ready steamed up for its load. The fly would aid as much to move the load, as ihe tariíT to convcrt to our great moral principies. We had betlerbe without converts, wlio can be made onlv in this wny. They will flee from us in our need, as ciid some in 1814. - The ephemeral adhesión of these latter had besn gained by some minor moiive. Stern principio was not thcre, and the vcry first test found them wanting. We need but men of unflinching principie, who can embrace moral principies because oí' their own inherent lovelines.s. - Tlioso, who want to be titiyaled into this connection by the feather of petty politics, can casily be lured away by án'y of :he man y tricks or lies,so readily resorted to by our unscrupulous foes. On thi.s subject, (the most ellicient mode of action) let us look at Slaven 's doings. lis great power has flowed chiefly from the fact, that Slavery was?, and is the great "One Idea" of the South: an idea ever living: ever present: ever parainounf, rising above and bevond party: fiaving neither rival nor associate: their thotiglits by day: their dreams by night. j t roigned the lone love idol of their worship. To its shrine, they brought every measurc of the day, and there proved its irlue by a single test - how it affceted he interests of their dol. ïiy such singlenéss of purpose thoy l;avc iccdhipli.shed tlie marvel lous but ram-' nnt Triumph of .Slavery over Church, itato, and mind: over the interest, theconscience, and the intellect of the Norlh That tho grent principies of oiïr Repub lic lic in ruins at the base of Slaveiy'j - triurnplml monument: that ts handi :lutcli our broken constitution, and oui National honrïrs enwreath ts brow, nrr but exliibitions of the almost miraculoui l power of an intense and sleepless onc i idea, ihe more remarkablc because of its - inherent weakness. Had Slavery shar; ed lts attention with oinërsubjeots, i: had s been shorn of its strength, but tho wisc - pè reept ion of the force of a ':one idea" made is votaries cardully avoid the ? ireacherous connection of banks and lar- iiïk, s May we nol take a lesson from tlii? - - Let idea meet idea, - the one as the oth- erdivestcd of every wcight. LetLibertv - be for us tho lone idol of our worship: . the shVine to test poliey: the thought by - day, and the dream by night, and lic who - doubls the reault, must bslieve that the 3 wheajen seed of the Almighty will refuse i its fruit to the planter, as that tho moral ] secd of the same God will withhold its harvest when sówn in failh. Tho same - Almighty power created both, and bless[ ed to cach its appropriate fruilfulness. Suppose, however, that o our one idea we addcd, a ttirifF, or bank orother for? eigti creed, must not our altention be di1 vided among these ohjecis? Must not the f attention tbtts divided, be weakened for i each one of them, and must it not fail to p ninfch the concentrated one ideaism. Most strongiy do I believe this propo, sal to be a fatal one. h seems lo me 1 that it is just about to plunge us into a re, newal of thesad errors of the pas', i. e. ; to cause antislavery men lo aim at sevc■ ral dislinct obj"cts: thereby to tlfrovy . among n)en, - evenj one of u-hom WILL r (hink for himself - so many seeds of I discord: to distract our attention: to di; vide us: and to weaken our vigilancc. . while the enemy thinks but of one thing. Is not thesayingof John Randolph pregnant with instructive warning to us on this subject. Snid he, "WE me what tbs are doing. We of the South are always united" - "but you of the North are beg!nning to divide. We have conquered you once. We can and will conquer you again." And conquered us again. and again, and agaih has this keen Slave power by the simple secret - (the same by the yay of Napoleon Bonapartes .resistless tactics - ) concéntrate ui:ity on thcir pari- diilusion of object and rank on ours. But I nm opposed to principies on ilie tarfff and carrency bècause it is impos.sible lo noic-Cvame principies which would be proper for public interests on the successofthc Liberty party. The abolition of Slavery, and the destruction of the Slave Power will revolutiunize the country. The millions of our people, at present comparatively non-consumers, will then become consumers of the breadstuiT?, cattle, rnerchandizeand mechanism of the north and west. They occupy someof the most valuablesections of our country, and through thcii industry posIsessthe means of rendering the world tributary to tho free labor of the north and west. Foreign marts, now monopolized by Slavery, would then be open to free labor: Ilayti would present an equal trade for our Morchants, while abroad and at home: on the ocean: in our commercial cities: and in the fields of the west, the usurper Slavery would be dethroned, and Liberty reign, the animating spirit of our national deslinies. The abolition of slavery, and the substitution of free for Slave labor with their cousequences, encreased morality, industry and economy would also remove the e.xternal disturber of our currency and destroy the prolific parent of bankruptcy in our land. Slavery preys on the very vitáis of the nation. The bankruptcy, waste and vices of the system are now borne by the industry of free labor. In every stage from inception to consummation the syslem of slavery is utterly bad. The produce of the unpaid, halfstarved and whipt slave is small in amounf and poor in quality. The overseerage - the leakage - and the retributivo details of the wicked system consume3 us jiruceea?. i ei me unlahoring master , has to be supported: supported loo, liinisclfand family, in luxurics.and dcbauch. eries and extravagances unknown to the . moral and workingclassof free laborere: i supported thus at home in the South: ai . fashionablc watering places in the norlh, ' or in pleasure tours through Kingly Ei rope. Tlie ivars and negoliations o slavery alsp consume, their niillions: it military and naval defence-system iakes its hundreds of millions. The stupen dous burthen of the whole, falls on the 'm dustry of norihern free labor: and at intervals créate those crisises whieh deluge the land with bankiuptcy and wout. - Wifh Slavery will beabolished (bis mam moth monster of a curreney disturber,and the country will then want no political linker to patch up wilh a bank or subtreasury some smnll hole in ihe vast leakage of our national eyaiJÉta. If men seck our tarirt' nnj currency principies, let us point to the aboye considerations: let us invite their aid to accomplish this migb'ty rcvolution in the free labor, ancl financia) interests of the óation: löt.iis show how mucH largor isthe scope of our policy on these subjects than in that of the ordinary parties: let u: ask them to postpone action on thcm,un (il ihè accoinplished rcvolution shall re vea], as in the time of '76, the truc policy for the new state of mattere, and let us appeal to their intelligencc, whether the settlemcnt of the subject cannot be safely cntnisted to thosc whom the pcople may select as their instrumento to accomplisli the revolution, nnd who possess the full confidence of their Whig n nd Democratie constituents: Jet us do thi?, and is uot pur course more wise, and more consistent to our great objeel, llian if we were to bestrido the worn out garrón backs of fadcd polilicianism. Wlien we sce F ree Trade, Democratie Pulk, and Proteclion Whig Clay, standing on a common -platform, advocating a common tarifl' policy - a revenue tariil discriminating for proteclion - while their respective followers exhibit to each other ihe olmost fcrocity of wild beasts, as if their positions wcre antipoded, is it not a disgusting e.xhibilion at once of ihe utter want of sound principies, nnd oí the lust of party for office, pension and power? Is it not enough lo drive an honest and reform party far from contact with such defiüng principies? If we adopt the courso suggested it seems to me lliat overy reasonable man will be at once satisfied with il. Those who are not, and whostill rcfuse fellowsh:p because of our p-csent silence on minor details, cannot bedesirable auxiliarics. The jóve of greai principies cannot be in tliem. But the proposal scems to be objectionable on olher grounds. Slavory can be overeóme only by a party possessinggreater power thanslaveI ry. Whére are we to get that power? We can g t it only from Whig and Democratie ranks. Neilher the powor of the whole Wliig party at the North, nor that of the Democratie wouldbe sufficient, so long as they keep apart. Tog-un the north ern Whigs only, would leavc opposed to all demoeracy, and Ihe soulhcrn Whigs. To gain northern democracy only would leave opposed to us all the Whigc, and tbc southern Demoernis. - Therefore power to carry out our principie., must come, if at all, from a unión oc the northern Whigs and Democrats, Whenever Bucli a unión shall ensue. as will carry the north, slavery is virlually abolished- peaceably, jutly, and lawfully. IIow are we to effect this union? - Palpably by presenting as much of altraction to and as little of repulsión from a common center, as is possible. If we can succeed in presenting suffident attraction, and in avoidingall repulsión, ibe union is accomplishod. Now onr antislayery principies, are generally. I believe universal 'ty, concedrd by both parties to be good. Tliis isa vast matter. No other party stands on such vanlagfi ground. The Whigs tnink the democratie principies wrong. The Democral reciprocates the compl ment. But both concede the truth of our present principies. This is a vast matter gaii.ed. Uore is a point of common attraction. Are we likely to add to its forcé, or to créate a repulsión by taking new principies, i. c. on all the politica! topics of the day? To enter this arena af exciled variance, seems to me to be ruáhing into the very vortex of hot and fiery at rife. Tu endeavor to harmonizo these ongry elementa is fike playing wiih lighlning. - And to assume principies on such subects would be but ihrowing the apple of discord into our midst. Ilow are we to frame a tarifl or currency creed of such wisdom, as will effect what neither the Whigs nor the Democrats, with all their numbers and talents have been able to do, i. e. to unite in its support the mass of the t)eople? Il is in my mind visionarv to ?xpect any such harmonizing creeds. - Difiicult as their formation is under the most favorable circumstanccs, I regard ihe attempt, as peculiarly hopeless, when it essnys to blend into harmony the 'dis3ordunt elements of the protectionists on the one hand, and the free traders on the )ther: fanned into such dire hostility, loo, as thcy have been by the political exsitement of late years. So also with the Banking, and the Sub-Treasury hard i rency men. Our present principies can I be adopted by these parties, and that too, j without nny compromise of oíd principie, l but let us assume a currency or tariíT rceú, it cannot be favorable at once to wo opposite parties. If t woo the one, í t will repulse the olher. If it be betwixt l lie two, it will bebtita mawkiVh, miseriblo, piebald, contempt-earning thing, leither "fisli, flesh, nor foul," aud AÍlIl ilace its hnpless bestriders, much in the wkard position of him who essays to sit ctween twostools. aIl' I amright in my views ihcn, these new principies would not prove nn atiraction, hut ralher a repulsión to pur object. If difiicult at present to procure converts, when no sacrifice of old opinon is required, the task must be hopelesss, when tho conven is cxpected, not merely to sacrifice, bul to vote against, a part of lis own principies. I havo een it slalcd by a most rcspcctccl associatc. tlint even if wc all did ïot ngrcc on tlictsc new prineiplc ourdisagrcement would not be likely to producc serious consoquences, from ihe fact that n sections of ihe VVhig and Democratie partios, there were to be found discordnnt sentiment, yet that this discord produced no 11 effect to the parties, Agreeing in the fact he mentions, I regret being obliged to difier from his conclusion. Thu discord may exist harmlesslu, in the old parties, yet be very fatal to r new one. There is a great difforencc between a well cstablished and large party: and a small and new one. The pride of party: tho force of discipline: the orderly workingof nn old machine: the associations and connoctions of time, have an adhesive property - a power to overeóme contradictions, and reconcile difficullies, which no new body can possess. lts positiou is in every respect the opposite to that of the old ones. Principie must do for f, what party organizalion and attachment effect for the others. If its principies be not correct in themselves, and sufilcicntly popular to band logether its recent tnernbfcrship, it must faiL The well cemsnted oiganization ol long standing is a kind of rock in itself, and compensates the party for want of principie. The recen! organizaron of a new party bas much more of sand a íf, añ'd nolhing but harmonious principies ca'rt overcomfi its tendeucy to relapse into ils oiginal elements. A new party, or like ours a reform party, is nggressive: an old party is conservalive. What will suit theene, may be death to the other. The old party may hold its own and live.' Thé; new one must attack and progres?, elsc it is gone. Like every instrument of attack, the reform party, miisf be sound and lruo. Il' there be a íihw rn its principies or org-micíitión, it is sure to be revealed, by contact with the powerful body il encuiinters.(To bcconduded and cndcd ncxt week.}