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John Hay was a moderate Christian socialist from Canada.


"John Hay's general view of socialism quickly put to one side the various European variants, whether revolutionary or not, both the socialism that would nationalize all property and industry, impose universal suffrage, free education, and social schemes, and the anarchism that would overthrow all authority and 'wages guerilla warfare against 'princes, proprietors and parsons,' as in France.' However, Hay wanted to stake out some legitimate ground for the term in a more general sense. The condition of the masses in every country required substantial collective action, he claimed, because after all the personal causes of poverty were eliminated, the problem remained unsolved. Socialism was the right of the whole people to 'regulate certain things in the interests of the whole state,' to abridge rights where necessary to make things fair and just. The state already exhibited a number of examples, from operating a postal system, to providing schools and sanitary systems, to intervening in disputes between capital and labor. There were good reasons, he argued, to justify the public ownership of railways, utilities franchises, and all unoccupied land, to take advantage in the social increase in value, as well as to limit the privileges of profiteering trusts. No single panacea was sufficient to meet the widespread discontent over the disparity of people's fortunes, Hay said, and no program of reform displaced the need to evangelize and educate in the spirit of Christ, but the 'adjustment of the varied powers of society [for] the greatest good...whether called socialistic or not, is not an idea to fill any man with fear.'"

—Richard Allen, View From the Murney Tower: Salem Bland, the Late-Victorian Controversies, and the Search for a New Christianity, Volume 1 (Salem Bland: a Canadian Odyssey)


Not in Dumb Resignation


 

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