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The Tragedy of Shakespeare and the Tragedy of Ibsen

A Study in Ethical Values

William Thur&on Brown

Principal "The Modern School"


Published by "THE MODERN SCHOOL"



my friend and comrade

Emma Pischel this booklet is inscribed by the Author.


William Thurston Brown.

To a very large number of so-called cultivated people, or people trained in the current standards of education, the very proposal to draw a comparison between Shakespeare and any other poet or dramatist must seem very much as the proposal to draw a comparison between the bible and the Koran would seem to the devout Christian—or to the devout Mohammedan. It is taken for granted by the mass of so-called cultivated people, I have no doubt, that Shakespeare is in all respects the greatest dramatist the world has produced, and it must seem either a species of sacrilege or else a piece of utter folly to make any serious comparison between his dramas and those of any other man—especially with those of one belonging to our own time, like Ibsen.

Without attempting tonight to pronounce any judgment upon the merits of the Shakespearean drama as a whole, it may not be out of place to mention the fact that hero-worship is a very old habit with the human race, and also the further fact that since the beginning of what might be called the period of intellectual criticism—which is comparatively recent—nothing has been more noteworthy than the steady demolition of ancient idols of all sorts, the dispelling of all kinds of illusions, and the decadence of hero-worship. Since various political contests have brought to light such utter rottenness in the conduct of some of our popular political idols, we have begun to examine more carefully the claims of earlier heroic figures in our history—with the result that they have been discovered to be only men like ourselves, and not materially different from the grafters of our own time. Indeed, after the first shock of the revelation of modern graft in political life had passed, there were not a few historians who came forward to tell us that the grafters of today are but children compared with those of a hundred years ago. These historians were manifestly acting as paid attorneys of today's grafters, but they performed an important service, because closer examination of the records is proving that they are not so far out of the way as they themselves probably thought. And we have already arrived at a time when it is becoming public knowledge that the sacred Constitution itself was the product of trickery and fraud. All of which is excellent for purposes of education.

Before we settle ourselves too comfortably into the time-honored custom of taking too much for granted concerning the infallibility of current judgments on the place or merits of Shakespeare, it will be well worth our while to recall the fact that it is within the memory of men now living that almost all the serious critical work respecting the bible has been done, and while the full results of that critical study have not yet been realized, nevertheless it is already plain to be seen that the whole attitude of the so-called Christian world toward the bible is radically different from what it was even fifty years ago, or less than that. The one great discovery that has been made as to the bible is this, that it is literature, pure and simple—or at least that it contains literature, and that it does not contain anything remotely related to a divine or infallible or inspired revelation. This is especially true of the Old Testament. In a broad sense, that part of the bible is now being seen by all scholars as part of a nation's literature, produced during the process of several centuries, and registering solely the ideas, ideals, culture, superstition, ignorance, prejudice and provincialism of that particular nation— registering also changes in its ideas and ideals. And it is slowly being seen that the literature of the New Testament isn't even the literature of a nation, isn't even a part of the literature of Israel, but is the product of a reform movement in Judean theology at a time when the nation itself had ceased to be.

Now, one of the results of this discovery as to the bible relates especially to the new estimate of its value or meaning which is now surely taking form. So long as the general thought or superstition concerning the bible was that it was somehow a sort of magical book, a unique thing, the product of a divine fiat and containing the sole source of knowledge about the origin, destiny and duty of mankind, it was used as a sort of infallible manual for determining final judgments on life. But just as soon as it is seen to be merely a national literature, the way is opened for the dissipation of that old view and the substitution of a radically different one in its place. The time is surely coming when the whole thinking world will estimate the biblical literature exactly as they do any other, namely, as reflecting the intellectual and moral ideas of the time in which it was written. We ought to be able to see even now that the practice of appealing to the examples or precepts of an ancient tribal society as a standard of judging what is right in modern democratic or capitalistic society is a piece, of folly. More than that, we should also be able to see that the psychology of barbaric warriors, bandits, kinglets, judges, polygamists and the like can have no bearing whatever on what is right or wrong for individuals today. The old saying that human nature doesn't change is perhaps the most transparent. and inexcusable falsehood any self-respecting public teacher can be guilty of. The only certain thing we know about human nature is that it is constantly changing.

Now, for many generations the plays of Shakespeare have occupied, in what is called cultured society, a place closely resembling that which the bible has occupied in Christian circles. The bibliolatry which has been so conspicuous with respect to the Scriptures has been just as marked among those who have made a fetich of Shakespeare. No other literary product has held so prominent a place in the schools and in so-called cultured society as Shakespeare. To many people a knowledge of Shakespeare has seemed the equivalent of a liberal education. And I suppose the average scholastic of today regards the place of Shakespeare as established for all time. I do not question the fact that there is some ground, or at least some reason, for this almost universal opinion about Shakespeare. Neither do I doubt that the Shakespearean drama will hold its place on the stage and in the schools for a long time to come. Nevertheless, I am one of those who believe that the Shakespearean dramas are not to be immortal—that they belong, all of them as dramas or as art, to the category of those things of which it is said: "Our little systems have their day; they have their day and cease to be/' I concede much of beauty in expression in Shakespeare, and some beauty of conception, much also of power. But I do not forget that all beauty is relative and evanescent— that it is in the eye that sees, in the mind that interprets—or, in other words, in a medium which knows no law so fixed as the law of change. I do not admit that the plays of Shakespeare are like sunset or sunrise or the sea: something which must forever call a response from seeing souls. I think the time will come when Shakespeare will be lightly esteemed, if at all, by the human race. And such a time will not mark a period of moral or intellectual degeneracy, but of moral and intellectual advance. Not only is it true, as Lowell wrote, that—

"New occasions teach new duties, Time makes ancient good uncouth;" and that—

"New times demand new measures and new men/'

but it is also true that the whole conception of beauty and art must change. There is or can be no unchanging standard of perfection or even of excellence.

I suppose there is but one lone book in the public library here—perhaps but one book in print—which deliberately challenges the art of Shakespeare, and that is the criticism of King Lear by Tolstoy. Tolstoy has taken the admittedly greatest of the Shakespearean tragedies—if it may be called a tragedy at all—and by minute analysis has shown it to be false to any rational standard of art. I don't know whether anyone has attempted a reply to Tolstoy's criticism. Probably not.. It probably seems to the average devotee of Shakespeare an exhibition of insanity, just as denial of the claims of Christianity to serious attention would seem insanity to the average orthodox Christian.

It is not my purpose tonight to compare Shakespeare and Ibsen as artists, at least not in the sense of the technique of art nor in detail. I shall not therefore attempt to summarize Tolstoy's criticism. But there are two remarks it may be worth while to make right here in passing. One is that nothing has more generally marked the common treatment of any so-called great book or great author than that of reading into it all the ideals and conceptions of beauty or truth which the interpreter himself knows anything about. This has been the moral calamity of all pulpit teachings that preachers have read into the text of the bible all the fine things they have gathered from philosophy or science or literature or history or from the deposit of moral and ethical heredity, and then proceeded to credit all that product to the bible, thus erecling the bible into the supreme fetich of civilization: whereas the bible had no right to it at all. A very similar method has been followed by the devotees of Shakespeare. And the result is that Shakespeare has become a fetich.

The other remark which I wish to make in passing is this: that the Shakespearean literature is distinctly a class literature. From beginning to end, it has no single line or word for the great working class of the world— not a line or phrase in honor of that class of men and women upon whose toil, hardship, suffering, privation, exploitation in the 16th and 17th centuries the whole civilization of that period rested. And it must be said right here that this omission cannot be accounted for on the theory that the workers of that period showed no spirit, had no ideals, made no assertion of their rights. That very period was marked by the Peasants' War and similar uprisings, based on claims as dignified, logical, statesmanlike, forceful, convincing, as those which were embodied in our own Declaration of Independence. The only references in Shakespeare to that class in society which represented, as always, the base of the whole economic pyramid, are references that fairly reek with contempt. The whole background of the Shakespearean drama is feudal, in no sense democratic. All his heroes and heroines belong to an idle aristocracy. The whole effect of the Shakespeare plays is to create thef impression that the only place where anything worth while is taking place is among the oppressors and exploiters of society. Think over the names of his dramas, and yon will see that the very names suggest that fact. Half of them, are named for kings, and almost all of them are concerned either with kings or with nobles or warriors or other members of the ruling class.

It is not at all to be wondered at that Shakespeare has held the most prominent place in the schools of modern democracy, simply because these schools of our so-called democracy are in no sense of the word democratic. We claim to have a democratic form of government, and we call it a democracy. But we haven't even a democratic form of government, probably because there can be no such thing as democratic government. Any such thing is a misnomer. But, paradoxical as it may seem, the schools of our alleged democracy are aristocratic through and through. There isn't a vestige of democracy in them. The very conditions which obtain in them make them places for a leisure class. All the young men and young women who pass through these higher institutions of learning, as they are incorrectly called, no matter what class in society they actually hail from, must live the life of a leisure class while they arc in these institutions. A leisure class controls society absolutely today, and therefore determines what education shall be and the whole method by which it shall be acquired. Membership in this leisure class may be fictitious for many of the students, but all the buildings and equipment reflect the ideas and ideals of the leisure class. That atmosphere determines absolutely the moral and ethical fiber of the whole teaching force and of practically the whole student body. We all inevitably become like the environment to which we adjust ourselves. The result is, that the education afforded in these schools is a caste education and not a democratic education. There isn't a single institution for higher education in this country, even when supported by the State, in which boys and girls can get, for example, the history of the labor movement, the origin of modern great fortunes, the condition of the working class in different periods, or even a fair or adequate idea of socialist economics or socialist philosophy. That in itself would be a great gain, but even that would not make

our schools educational institutions. Not in

any important sense. Even now, the workshops and railroads ami industrial institutions of the country—and the farms—haril as are the conditions existing in them—are better entitled to be called educational institutions than colleges and universities.

No wonder, then, that Shakespeare holds the highest place in these schools, for the standards of judgment in these schools are the standards of the same class whose morals underlie these plays. Instead of the feudalism of the landlord of Shakespeare's time, we have today the feudalism of the capitalist captain of industry. And it is to our present day feudal minds and feudal tastes and feudal morals that the Shakespeare drama appeals.

But what I propose tonight is to show you the difference between the tragedy of Shakespeare and the tragey of Ibsen. Not the difference between a tragedy of Shakespeare and a tragedy of Ibsen, but between what tragedy is in Shakespeare and what tragedy is in Ibsen.

Think first what tragedy is. any way. Tragedy is more than a form of literary expression. Bear that in mind. It is a fact of human life. If we have tragedies in dramatic literature or any other kind of literature, it is because we have tragedies in real life. The drama, as is said in one of Shakespeare's plays, is simply a mirror held up to nature. This word "tragedy," if you will think about it, is differently used by different. people. A great many different things are called tragic or a tragedy. Murder is called a tragedy. So is death sometimes. So are many other things: the loss of friends, the loss of property, the loss of reputation, and so on.

In the Shakespearean drama, tragedy is associated almost solely with the lives of one class of people: the noble class. Take, for example, five of the Shakespearean tragedies, so called, which may fairly represent the whole gamut of tragedy in that literature: King Lear. Julius Caesar, Macbeth, Hamlet and Othello. In at least four of these five, murder plays the most prominent part in the tragedy. Macbeth and Hamlet are carnivals of murder, with a lot of superstition thrown in. And the only people concerned are one class: the idle, hereditary ruling class. Macbeth, himself a useless parasite in society, and at the same time a victim of society, egged on by his superstitions, his ambition and his equally useless, parasitic wife, kills another useless member of society. To hide that deed, his wife must kill a couple more. And to protect himself against possible downfall, the killing must still go on, all the while among these same useless members of society. In Hamlet, the king's brother, getting tired of playing second fiddle, and having an ambition to see how it feels to be a king, probably understanding that a king is really, no different from other men. except in the special privileges he enjoys, takes the quickest and most natural means of securing the coveted object, lie quietly and painlessly poisons his brother as he is sleeping in the orchard and without wasting any time marries the queen and proceeds to do practically the same things which his brother had been doing. Nobody is any the worse. The people are just as well off as they were before. The former king is probably belter off dead, and all might have gone on well, had not the former king's son been permitted to live, and if in that period the ghosts of dead kings had not had the uncomfortable habit of coming around nights to disturb people. In Othello, there is nothing really fine or inspiring in the hero's love for Desdemona, and in Iago you have the consummate blossom of that whole feudal parasitism, except for the fact that such a fiendish character is impossible within one human skin. .

Taken altogether, Shakespeare's tragedy may be summed up in the words: ingratitude, ambition, deceit, jealousy, lust ami murder. As I have said, Tolstoy presents what seems to me a convincing argument to show that practically every situation in King Lear is improbable and that the different speeches ill fit those who are made to utter them. If that is true, the whole tragedy of the play is forced and unreal. But waiving entirely Tolstoy's criticism, when the whole matter is analyzed, there is almost nothing in this tragedy or any of Shakespeare's tragedies that can really or genuinely appeal to the life of today. The things which were at stake in the life there portrayed are not at all the things which are at stake in life today. King Lear cannot and does not symbolize fatherhood today. Our whole conception of the relations of different members of a family to one another is changed. Only by violence to all canons of judgment can Lear be applied to human life where it really counts today. The king is only a figurehead today anywhere. He may be an expensive figurehead, but that is all he is. Besides, society is no longer feudal. And only in a small and diminishing minority of homes today do feudal ideas prevail.

Macbeth and Hamlet, considered as types of tragedy, belong rather to the domain of an insane asylum than to anything germane to normal society now and here. Macbeth. Cassius, Iago, and the king in Hamlet find no correspondence in our life today. Conspiracy takes place still, but its whole purpose is different. In the society of today, tragedy is being seen more and more to be, not personal and individual so much as social. The tragedy of Shakespeare is never represented to be social, but purely individual, and because it is so, it has no hope in it—none. It points to no way out. It has no ray of light in it at all. That is not to be wondered at. Shakespeare was the product of his age, was limited by its ideas. It

was an age of the absolute in philosophy.

it knew nothing of evolution, of inevitable change, and for that reason it was only a pseudo-tragedy, a sort of painted tragedy, and in no real sense the fundamental tragedy of life. What was, people thought, always had been, always must be. And the pernicious tendency of all our Shakespearean culture today is to project that same old superstition into the intellectual and moral life of the present. For that very reason, the Shakespearean literature ought to give way to the modern revolutionary drama, which marks an almost immeasurable advance over that of Shakespeare.

I do not pretend to say that the Ibsen tragedy is final, or that it is even adequate to the deepest needs of today—it certainly is not. Tragedy in Ibsen's dramas is the product of a moral and intellectual view of things quite different from that of Shakespeare, however. Very little, it seems to me, in the Ibsen tragedy is even suggested by Shakespeare, though it would be natural that Shakespeare would influence Ibsen in some degree. But Ibsen's dramatic art grew largely out of the soil of modern life and modern thought. That is the best thing that can be said about it.

If you will think about it, you will discover that practically every play Ibsen wrote is a tragedy. That, is not the case with Shakespeare. There are Shakespearean plays in which tragedy is not even hinted nt. Many of his plays and comedies are plays in which is pictured simply a world of unbroken romance. Shakespeare could write comedy and romance simply because he didn't see the whole of life or see life as a whole. No one who sees the whole of life can write comedy or romance. Ibsen saw the side of life which Shakespeare did not see—and because he did see that side of life, he could write nothing but tragedy.

That is what life is, if you sec it as it is. That is what life was in Shakespeare's time, too, as really as now—only it could not then be seen so plainly as now.

But think what tragedy is in Ibsen. First of all, I must point out that Ibsen did not sound the depth of tragedy. His drama is also a class drama, largely, almost wholly. It is drama dealing with the class or classes which in our day occupy exactly the same relative position in society as the feudal nobility occupied in Shakespeare's time— and yet, even on that basis, the difference between Ibsen and Shakespeare is fundamental and wide. Ibsen's people belong to the upper and middle classes in present day society. The working class figures so little in Ibsen's drama as to be practically negligible. That Ibsen had sympathy with the working class he has himself declared—but it was the sympathy of a middle class man wholly. That was inevitable. This does not wholly vitiate the value of his writing, however, even for the working class, because the root of much of the tragedy he portrays runs clearly deep down into the economic soil, and besides there is more in common between the middle class and a large part of the working class today than there was or could be between the nobles and the serfs in the 16th and 17th centuries. But the tragedy of the working class still waits for its dramatist.

The tragedy of Ibsen is of two kinds: social and individual—though most of what seems individual is really social at its root. And all of Ibsen's tragedy, I think, has one quality not to be found in Shakespeare: it is tragedy, not of the absolute, the inevitable, but of moral and social transition. Ibsen's characters are not the citizens of a fixed and unchangeable world—they are rather members of a changing social and moral order. And the whole gist of the tragedy lies in that fact of social and moral change, growth, revolution. So far as I know, neither death, nor murder, nor conspiracy, nor mere ambition figures at all as part of the Ibsen tragedy. Death is no real part of human tragedy today. Neither is what is called sin. Neither is crime or ambition. You can't make tragedy today out of these things. The attempt to do so is farce, and not tragedy.

Sin has ceased to have any real meaning in the psychology of the 20th century. Crime and ambition and all the rest are being seen today as mere products of something else.

All the real tragedy of Ibsen's drama arises out of the moral contradictions of ex-isting social customs and institutions. Without. attempting any extended analysis of all or even any large part of his plays, you have only to think of some of the best known to see exactly what tragedy means as he pictures it. Take, for example. "Pillars of Society/' to begin with. The tragedy of that play centers in Consul Bernick, the leading capitalist of his city. And it is the implicit tragedy of all the so-called pillars of society, of all capitalists, because it is rooted in the very system which creates the capitalist. The tragedy does not lie in the fact that this man, wrho has become the leading moral and social pillar of his town, is in danger of having the lies upon which his whole moral prestige and power have been built exposed, but in the fact that such a man as Bernick, an utter hypocrite, rotten to the core, is the natural creation of an economic order which is baaed 011 exploitation and puts a premium on lying, deceit, trickery and fraud. The character of Bernick is a colossal tragedy, but the tragedy of the capitalist society which produced him is infinitely more colossal. It is impossible to read that play without seeing that the root of all the evil which manifests itself in the action of the play or in its characters lies in the necessities of capitalism. No wonder capitalist society does not hanker after the production of Ibsen's plays. The very fact that this rotten capitalist society will pay its good money to see the presentation of the Shakespearean drama, and that Ibsen's plays are rarely, and then only with the help of the most consummate art. a paying proposition, marks the wide difference between the two.

In the play entitled "An Enemy of the People" Ibsen again uncovers the social tragedy of modern life, and the personal tragedy which is its inevitable product. The whole material prosperity of a town rests upon the supposed healing qualities of the water of its baths. But these baths represent the investment of leading capitalists, and more than that, most of the other people in the town live off the men and women who come to be healed at those baths. And so, when the physician of the baths, who himself was first to discover the healing property of the springs which feed them, finds that the water is poisoned because the capitalist promoters tried to save money by laying the pipes only part way to the springs, and so got the water only after it had been poisoned by the chemicals from their own tanneries—when he makes that truth known, the final result is that the whole town, all classes alike, unite in denouncing him and try to make it impossible for him to live at all. Again you have the social tragedy: the utter corruption of all classes by the poison of capitalist greed.

"A Doll's House" is another.sort of tragedy. It is the tragedy of woman's enslavement, but also of woman's emancipation. The "Lady from the Sea" and "Ghosts" belong to the same sort. By these plays and others besides, Ibsen has laid bare the tragedy involved in this whole institution of conventional marriage. From a personal point of view, life today docs not, because it cannot, contain any sort of tragedy so keen, so bitter, so fearful or horrible, as the tragedy of conventional morality in respect to marriage. On account of the dense superstition which surrounds the very word " marriage/ ' it is almost impossible for most people to understand at all the force of these plays. Their force may not be understood for a generation yet.

Nora, the wife in "A Doll's House," finds out what the ordinary conventional marriage means for her, what it means for over half the women whose lives are being damned by it. She finds that this marriage, regardless what the Church or State may say about it, is a form of prostitution. And the only hope for her is in leaving that home, in repudiating that marriage, in spite of everything. She must herself become a person, before she can be a wife or a mother. In "Ghosts" Ibsen paints in the blackest colors the utter hell which acceptance of social convention instead of one's own sense of love and right in marriage means. Mrs. Alving marries without. love, against her will and choice, forced into it by the economic necessities of her parents and by the moral counsel of her stupid parson. The result is the physical damnation of her only child and the complete wreckage of life all around. Borrowing from symbolism, Ibsen, with less directness, but with undoubted clearness and logic, in "The Lady from the Sea" points to freedom as the only condition in which love between man and woman can be realized.

Here is a species of tragedy which Shakespeare does not even suggest—which was impossible for Shakespeare's time to see or understand. There is no tragedy of woman's life in Ibsen which is not full of hope. And that is simply because this modern tragedy grows out of the fact that the moral ideals of our time are changing, because woman is awakening, because she is getting ready to call for a reckoning on the part of the social order which thus far has made her a slave, a plaything, a prostitute, a toy. When you compare Ibsen's women with Shakespeare's, the latter must appear as mere pictures on a screen. They are unreal, dolls, slaves, pieces of property. The mere fact that they are centers of jealousy and victims of intrigue or of calf love or some other folly does not make them real, and cannot be the basis of tragedy. Tragedy lies in the contradiction between conflicting ideals or standards, and .that is exactly where tragedy today finds its root. And that is why the tragedy of Ibsen is as high above that of Shakespeare as heaven is above the earth. Indeed, as I have already said, the tragedies of Shakespeare are not tragedies, but mere stage effects. But the tragedies of Ibsen are photographs of life.

It is not from any personal motive or from the desire to be singular, that I have indicated my conviction as to the incomparable superiority of the Ibsen tragedy over the so-called tragedy of Shakespeare. There are people who remind us that the new is not necessarily true and that the true is not necessarily new. That statement amounts to nothing, really. In agriculture, the new is almost invariably the best and the old is almost invariably the outgrown. That is because methods of agriculture change constantly. If it were true that human nature remains always the same, we could say with truth that ancient precepts arc more likely to be correct than modern ones, because the ancient have the advantage of long use. But human nature does change, everything changes, and it is simply certain that the old cannot be adequate anywhere, except in an exact science like mathematics.

It would be an inestimable gain, if the plays of Ibsen could take the place of those of Shakespeare entirely in our schools, because they represent a moral standard with which the plays of Shakespeare are not to be compared for a moment. The one great and significant change, after all, in any age is its moral and ethical change. The attempt to use an obsolete morality is almost infinitely more tragic than the attempt to use an obsolete agricultural or industrial tool. But this is what we are doing all the while. And this is the tragedy of Ibsen's plays, or part of it. In them, you see men and women here and there trying to use in a changed society old conventional ideas, and the result cannot be other than tragedy. But it is a wholesome kind of tragedy for the very reason that, it only serves to disclose the nature of the evil and point toward its cure.

Unthinking people have been in the habit of descanting on the splendid morality of the Shakespearean drama. That is because they do not think. It is part of the curse that traditionalism has visited upon most of us. On the other hand, the great objection which has been raised by a rotten society against Ibsen is that his plays are immoral. "The statement that Ibsen's plays have an immoral tendency," says Shaw, "is, in the sense in which it is used, quite true. Immorality does not necessarily imply mischievous conduct: it implies conduct, mischievous or not, which does not conform to current ideals. Since Ibsen has devoted himself almost entirely to showing that the spirit or will of Man is constantly outgrowing his ideals, and that therefore conformity to them is constantly producing results no less tragic than those which follow the violation of ideals which are still valid, the main ef-feet of his plays is to keep before the public the importance of being always prepared to act immorally, to remind men that they ought to be as careful how they yield to a temptation to tell the truth as to a temptation to hold their tongues, and to urge upon women that the desirability of preserving their chastity depends just as much on circumstances as the desirability of taking a cab instead of walking. He protests against the ordinary assumption that there are certain supreme ends which justify all means used to attain themand insists that every end shall be challenged to show that it justifies the means.

"There can be no question as to the effect likely to be produced on an individual by his conversion from the ordinary acceptance of current ideals as safe standards of conduct. to the vigilant open-mindedness of Ibsen. It must at once greatly deepen the sense of moral responsibility. Before conversion the individual anticipates nothing worse in the way of examination at the judgment bar of his conscience than such questions as, Have you kept the commandments?

Have you obeyed the law? Have you attended church regularly; paid your taxes to Caesar; and contributed, in reason, to charitable institutions? It may be hard to do all these things; but it is still harder not to do them, as our ninety-nine moral cowards in a hundred well know. And even a scoundrel can do them all and yet live a worse life than the smuggler or prostitute who must answer No all through the catechism."

The morality of Ibsen is the morality of a new age, a new awakening of life to itself and the world in which it lives. But so long as all the institutions of society arc dominated, as now, by the tyranny of an exploiting class, we cannot expect the literature of a new social order to find any recognized place in established schools of culture. Indeed, the schools in which revolutionary literature must do its work will never be supported by any ruling class whatsoever, must always depend upon the support of those who are in revolt against intolerable conditions. When the time comes for such literature to take its place in established schools, all its value will have passed away, and another and still more fundamental literature will be knocking at the doors of life for recognition.

Published Lectures by William Thurston Brown :

Will You Have War or Pcacet A Plain Question to

Capitalist 8ociety ................................32pp. 10c

Is Humanity Hungering for Godt The Answer of History and Social Science...........................32pp. 10c

What Socialism Means as a Philosophy and as a Movement ............................................32pp. 10c

Walt Whitman: Poet of the Human Whole............32pp. 15c

Socialism and tho Individual.........................32pp. 15c

The Church and Human Progress....................-.32pp. 10c


The Hell of War: Who Pays the Bills................ .32pp. 10c

The Revolutionary Proletariat. (In preparation)......32pp. 10c

Love and Marriago Series:

I. The Evolution of Sexual Morality.............32pp. 16c

II. Love's Freedom and Fulfilment..............32pp. 15c

III. The Moral Basis of the Domand for Free Divorco ....................................32pp. 15c

IV. Economic and Ethical Conditions of Marital Happiness, (fn preparation) ................32pp. 15c

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'The Modern School" or William Thurston Brown


«T?VBRY step of progress means a duty repudiated, and a scripture torn up."