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time by attempting to modify their tragic consequences.

The philanthropists belong to a class on which the injustices of our present basis of society have not borne heavily. They serve unconsciously as a bulwark of the status quo, for whose defects they are ready and eager to apply palliatives. They are the great menders and patchers-up of society, not the surgeons who cut deep into the festering sore and scrape the bone. They express the tenderness and pity of man, not his reasoning intelligence. Their technique is developed to a high degree of perfection, but their philosophy lags far behind. They know better how to do a thing than why. We must turn to them for methods, the fruit of long and careful experiment; but as yet they have offered us no fundamental basis for the work of human improvement. It is not through their eyes that we shall see life steadily and see it whole.


The interlocutor queries, 'What are we here for?' and instead of being satisfied with the exemplary reply, ‘To help others,' invites disaster by persisting, 'But what are the others here for?' Here is the Achilles heel of the philanthropic movement. In the soul of the philanthropist stirs a passion for betterment, a real desire that life shall be more endurable for us all. But in the method he employs he ignores participation by the 'others.' He uses the ways of an aristocracy instead of those native to a democracy.

The major indictment against philanthropy is that it has ignored the opportunities democracy offers for reforms from within. It has distracted our minds and attention from community responsibility for the removal of social defects. It has encouraged us to leave reforms to the activity of self

appointed groups. Its reforms have tended to be superficial, because it has everywhere selected for its leaders those interested in philanthropy, but not in democracy. The typical lover of his kind will pour out money for the starving Chinese though he may hesitate to contribute to campaign expenses for public-school associations. The novice can catch the thrill of teaching folk-dancing to the tenement-house child or distributing bread tickets to the poor; but an offer to pay the expenses of a board of health 'clean-up campaign' requires imagination of a different order.

Yet a great people committed to the experiment of organizing a democratic society fails in so far as it refuses to use the forms appropriate to democracy. Here about us are all the types of community effort that we have so far evolved: boards of health, school committees, overseers of the poor, courts, probation systems, boards of parole, poorhouses, commissioners for the blind, public libraries, departments for the care of defectives, for the care of children, for giving mothers' pensions, for the supervision of public safety, for the treatment of the tubercular, hospitals, dispensaries, parks and playgrounds- and yet how few philanthropists try loyally to work out their problems through this wealth of agencies before organizing associations of their own.

And where is the reformer who ever feels that, once a law is passed and a department created, there is any further responsibility on his shoulders? Yet, if we had the wit to see it, our responsibility is then but just beginning. City and county and state officials are only our leaders; we are the rank and file, who must stand back of them if they are to be truly effective. An autocracy does not need the coöperation of its citizens; it is not organ

ized to depend on that; but the failures of democracy are the failures of citizens to play their part. The governing departments belong to us. Their successes are ours; their mistakes disgrace us. Think what a board of health might accomplish if the citizens made an effort to work wholeheartedly with it! Think what a street-cleaning department might be in a city where every inhabitant felt as responsible for the sidewalk and street in front of his property as for his parlor floor! Think of the quality a community might acquire with a school system which was the pride and anxious concern of every parent in the city!

Where are the members of the community who might have leisure and money to band their fellows together and work unrestingly with the public officials to build the City Beautiful? They are supporting attractive homes for the aged poor, while wages are too low to allow a worker to save for the future; they are establishing asylums for illegitimate children, while public dance-halls are not safeguarded; they are forming classes to teach English to foreigners to whom the evening schools are open; they are spending large sums to teach music to children, while the school department is too impoverished to give a class more than two hours' instruction a day.

These efforts may be good in themselves, but a community must make its investments with some sense of proportion. Enthusiasm for the individual may be a blunder. Suppose that through our failure to carry on some charity individuals do suffer here and there. There are bound to be sufferers at best; but one is blind indeed who does not see that more misery may be saved in the end by the more broadly conceived plan. Even a very slight enlargement of the department for child-care in a board of health would

accomplish more for the welfare of our youthful citizens than the work any private society for the care of babies could do in twenty years.

Has philanthropy any place, then, in a modern community? The concern of the philanthropist is legitimately with those social responsibilities not yet assumed by all. A group of persons dedicating themselves to the study of existing evils, to the practice of admittedly temporary demonstrations of improved methods for combatting these evils, and to a determination never to shoulder any permanent responsibility for the carrying-out of reforms, has a very important place in society to-day. If such a group of social experimenters has, after a suitable interval of time, failed to persuade the community of the value of the suggested reforms so that the authorities are ready to adopt them, it should feel no false pride in abandoning the venture. The experiment may have been impracticable; other forces in the community may have been attacking the problem from a more advantageous position; or public sympathy, without which no reform is possible, may have been lacking. In any case the paddle-wheels are beating empty air, and it behooves the reformers to conserve their fuel till the tide comes in. Such an attitude requires a very high order of self-effacement, though one surely not beyond the capacities of true lovers of their kind.

The reluctance of organized societies to surrender their work to the community itself is not always due to an exaggerated sense of the importance of their own contribution, but may be inspired by a very real fear of a consequent lowering of standards. The apprehension is understandable, but it is shortsighted. How many persons who have seriously tried to coöperate with public servants have found them impossible to work with? In some com

munities there is political corruption of a serious nature. This does not, however, justify turning to private charity as a way out. It might serve the poor and suffering of such a city much better if all the charitable institutions closed their doors and used their time and money to establish and back a good government. In most of our cities the government, though often inefficient and unenlightened, is not corrupt, or beyond the influence of the citizens who have no private axe to grind. The worst failures are due to the fact that, as soon as the officials are elected, the public forgets all about them and leaves them to the companionship of the few who come to abuse and the many who come to get some favor for themselves or their friends. Public servants can hardly credit their senses when citizens come with a desire to back them in doing a difficult task, or to help them in their efforts to carry on their work efficiently. Citizens have no one except themselves to thank if an official, left to the mercies of the self-seeking, becomes careless in self-defense or corrupt through evil associations.

Think of the daily battle the officers of a board of health have to fight! They are the bane of every vicious element in a city, the enemy of every man who wishes to break the sanitary laws. Every dishonest landlord, every filthy tenant hates them. They are hounded by peddlers who wish to be exceptions to the law; by the dealers who prefer to leave their trash on the sidewalk; by butchers who are unwilling to screen their premises; by stable-keepers who refuse to remove manure; by irate parents who see no sense in quarantine; by the gentry who spit on the sidewalk; and by lodging-house keepers who do not think eight sleeping in a hall bedroom excessive. The law-abiding citizens leave the board of health alone.

Is it any wonder that the officials feel that the hand of man is against them, and sometimes weaken in playing such a losing game? If only the people could realize that the board of health is their creation, trying in the face of mountainous difficulties to carry out their orders and make the community a place of safety for them and their children, they might feel a share in the responsibilities, a pride in the achievements, and a sense of personal failure in the mistakes. Real contact on the part of citizens with governmental problems often brings home the fact that the defects which loom large are due to a lack of money, of public backing, and of legal authority - circumstances beyond the control of the official, but within the power of his employer, the public.

The high standards of our heavily endowed and well-managed philanthropies may be beyond our station in life. A democracy has to surrender a certain perfection of efficiency. We deplore it, though we know the compensations are great. We make our mistakes, but we learn from our failures and develop a power that would be withheld from us if we were perpetually guarded from error by superior intelligences.

The taking over by towns and states of the responsibility for the care and prevention of tuberculosis, a work ably initiated all over the country by the anti-tuberculosis associations, undoubtedly meant in some places an inferior quality in the treatment given; but the comprehensiveness of the work that is being done and the promise that the activity throughout the country makes for an eventual control of the dread disease, is something no private organization, however efficient and ably run, could have hoped to attain. Yet anti-tuberculosis associations continue to exist, refusing to recognize that

their pioneer work is done and that their outposts should be moved further


Legal aid societies have figured as charities since their inception. Only recently a profoundly significant change of attitude has begun to show itself in the minds of those cognizant of the flaws in the relation between justice and the poor. Legal advice for those with small means is being accepted as a part of the public administration of justice, a responsibility of the people as a whole, not a benefit conferred by the rich on their less fortunate fellows. The very fact that the impecunious client becomes a part of the system itself brings him the assistance of the public agencies of our juridical machinery, which are not so readily available to the private organization. The needs of the litigant become of primary concern to those responsible both for protecting his rights and for enforcing the decrees of the law-makers.

In the educational world the kindergartens have passed through somewhat the same cycle. They were begun as an experiment, by private enthusiasts, then given a grudging hospitality by our public-school system, and finally accepted in their entirety as an essential part of the educational course in all progressive communities. And yet occasional settlement houses have maintained kindergartens close to those of adjacent schools, on the ground that the school was crowded or the teachers not so skilled as their own. Did the idea of lending an extra room for the use of the public school, or bringing community pressure to bear to increase schoolequipment and to improve the quality of the teachers, lie beyond the range of possibilities in the minds of these settlement directors? Such institutions have kept up their old routine, instead of using their freedom to try new ways of bringing light into dark places. The

amount of public money available for experiments is always small. The taxpayer is perhaps justifiably reluctant to have his money used for purposes which may prove to be utopian; so that many promising but untried methods must wait on the generosity and initiative of private enthusiasts for their testing out. This makes the plodding work of an institution which accepts itself as a fixed part of the social universe so deeply disappointing.

The Workmen's Compensation acts can hardly be said to be the result of an enlightened refusal on the part of the private charities to bear the burden of the tragedies of industry, but they lifted from the philanthropic agencies burdens which the industry should itself bear. The acts suddenly made the problem distinct. They drew the attention of the industries to the cost of accidents, which had been previously borne by the families of the victims and the philanthropies of the community, and had now become a heavy drag on the profits of production. The expense was quickly recognized as excessive, and intelligent efforts were made to reduce it. The most spectacular effect has been the greatly increased demand for safety appliances, medical and nursing care in factories, and a final and perhaps determining pressure for the prohibition amendment. The philanthropist might have gone on indefinitely carrying the load; but when the responsibility for faulty industrial conditions was thrown on the community at large, through additional cost of the products of industry, something fundamental took place.

The Mothers' Pension acts have had a similar history. They have removed a crushing weight from the shoulders of women with young children, and placed it on the shoulders of the taxpayers. The tax-payers, however, perform a double function. They not only

provide money for the pensions, but make and enforce the laws as well. They have not been content with doling out groceries and paying rent, but have made new laws about deserting husbands, and have stimulated the activity of the courts and the extraditing agents to return these evaders to the bearing of their responsibilities. In our capacity as the governing body in a democracy, we go far beyond any individual's ability to achieve. We become supermen, and can accomplish the seemingly impossible.

Education used to be regarded as a philanthropy. Charitable schools cast their turbid shadow on mid-Victorian literature. It was a form of charity which was withheld as far as possible from the working classes, lest it make them restless and dissatisfied, and was given out only in quantities which were expected to add to the usefulness but not to the ambition of the lower ranks of society. Democracy has discredited education as a philanthropy, and recognized it as the right of every potential citizen, the only insurance against the anarchy of ignorance, and the sole safeguard of the institutions of a free people.

The public schools offer to all the children of the Republic the opportunity to prepare for citizenship together the rich and the poor, those with long traditions of culture and those with long traditions of toil - in the atmosphere and under the inspiration of the community institution. If the schools as they exist to-day are not good enough for one man's children, they are not good enough for any man's children, and the enlightened lover of his kind must throw the money, interest, and enthusiasm he may be putting into the private schools into the public. Whatever improvement he can there achieve will better the education of hundreds of children instead of tens,

and will not lapse with the passing of his interest. Citizens interested in education, who devote themselves to the building up of private and parochial schools, have not been touched by the Americanization movement and have never fundamentally grasped the American idea. The place for them to help is in the school-system itself, where the problem is acute, the laboratory prepared, and where an outside intelligent interest is of value in keeping alive the professional enthusiasm which may be repressed by the insistent demands of the daily duty. No money can return larger dividends in real accomplishment than that added to the budget of our public schools; nor can any community interest more certainly strengthen the best elements in our civilization than that devoted to the improvement of the public education.


What is our moral responsibility to our brothers, fortunate and unfortunate alike? If we give the best education we can to every citizen, if we keep the community health at the highest possible level, and provide ample opportunities for innocent pleasure; if we strengthen the churches and safeguard working conditions in our industries; if we provide the most favorable environment that lies within our power, cannot we trust the individual to work out his own destiny? Even those social workers who devote most time and attention to work with the individual find that the problem of human difficulty is largely one of faulty character. Is not the remedying of that defect beyond the power as well as the province of any self-constituted group in the community? Must we not leave those changes to the interplay of the influences of a man's family, church, friends, teachers, and fellow workmen, in an

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