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Freeland - A Social Anticipation
by Theodor Hertzka
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Section 5 of the statutes requires a brief explanation. In the first year, the calculation of the advances to be made to the association members could not, of course, be based upon the net profits of the previous year, and the committee therefore suggested a fixed sum of one shilling per hour. This strikingly high rate will perhaps excite surprise, particularly in view of the scale of prices that prevailed at the Kenia; and it may reasonably be asked whence the committee derived the courage to hope for such a high rate of profits as would justify the payment of such an advance. But this valuation was not recklessly made, it was in truth the expression of extreme prudence. The results of the associated productive labour hitherto in operation had actually been much more favourable. The corn industry, for example, had yielded a gross return of a little over 41,000 cwt. of different cereals for a total expenditure of 44,500 hours of labour. The average price of these cereals in Eden Vale at that time was not quite 3s. per cwt., as we had grown more than we needed, and the export through Mombasa yielded only 3s. on account of the still very primitive means of transport. We had therefore, in round figures, agricultural produce worth 6000L. The cost of producing this was: materials 400L, amortisation of invested capital (implements and cattle) 300L; so that 5,300L remained as net profit. As a tax to cover all those expenses which, in accordance with our programme, had to be incurred by the commonwealth, and which will be spoken of further on, not less than thirty-five per cent. was set aside. Thus a round sum of 3,400L remained as disposable profit. Divided by the 44,500 hours of labour, this gave 1s. 6d. for each hour. This was also approximately the average profit of the other kinds of production, so far as it was possible to assess it in the absence of a general market at the Kenia. Thus it could be assumed with the utmost confidence that, had we been able to control the prices of all commodities by means of supply and demand, there would either have been paid, or might have been assessed, at least a price equivalent to that which produced the agricultural profit. For we could at once have produced—as far as our supply of labour went—and disposed of cereal crops valued at 3s. per cwt. at Eden Vale; therefore, in the period of work through which we had already passed everyone was able to earn at least 1s. 6d. by one hour's labour. But, as will presently be seen, we were entering upon the next period of work with much improved means; therefore, apart from unforeseen contingencies, the productiveness of our labour must very considerably increase, so that, in granting an advance of one shilling for each hour of labour, we calculated that we were advancing scarcely the half of the actual earnings—an assumption that was fully borne out by the result. In later seasons it became the practice of most associations to make the advance as much as ninety per cent. of the net profits of the previous year.

As to the salaries of the directorate, these were from the beginning very different in different associations. Where no extraordinary knowledge and no special talent were necessary, the overseers were content to have their superintendence valued at the price of from eight to ten hours of work per diem. There were directors who received as much as the value of twenty-four hours of work per diem, and in the very first year this amounted to an income of about 850L. The functionaries of a lower grade received, as a rule, the value of from eight to ten hours of work per diem. In most cases the controlling council of inspection received no extra remuneration for their duties.

The credit granted to the associations in the first year of work reached an average amount of 145L per head of the participating workers; and if it be asked whence we derived the funds to meet the requirements of the total number of our members, the answer is, from the members themselves. And the reference here is not merely to those voluntary contributions paid by the members on their joining the International Free Society, for these contributions were in the first instance devoted to the transport service between Trieste and Freeland, and would not have sufficed to supply our associations with capital if they had all been devoted to that purpose. The credit required in the course of the first year rose to nearly two million pounds sterling, while the voluntary contributions up to that date did not much exceed one million and a-half. The principal means which enabled us to meet the requirements of our members were supplied us, on the one hand by the Society's property hi disposable materials, and on the other hand by the members' tax.

It should be mentioned here that, for the first year, the committee reserved to itself the right of deciding the amount and the order of granting the credit given. This, though merely negative, interference with the industrial relations of the associations was not in harmony with the principle of the producers' right of unconditioned self-control; but was so far unavoidable, inasmuch as our commonwealth had not yet actually attained to that high degree of productiveness of labour which is the assumed result of the perfect realisation of all the fundamental principles of that commonwealth. Later, when we were more fully furnished with the best means of production which technical progress placed within our reach, and we were consequently no longer occupied in provisionally completing and improving what already existed, there could never be any question whether the surplus of the current production would suffice to meet the heaviest fresh claims for capital that could arise. It was different at the beginning, when the need for capital was unlimited, and the means of supplying that need as yet undeveloped. The Free Commonwealth could not offer more than it could supply, and it had therefore to reserve to itself a right of selection from among the investments that applied for credit. Thanks to the thorough solidarity of interests created by the free mobility of labour, this could happen without even temporarily affecting the essential material interests of the producers by giving some a dangerous advantage over others. For if, as was scarcely to be avoided, certain productions were helped or hindered by the giving or withholding of credit, this was immediately and naturally followed by such a shifting of labour as at once restored the equilibrium of profits.

But this interference during the first year extended only to the controlling of the amount and order of granting the credit asked, for, and not to the way in which it was used. In this respect, from the very beginning the principle of the producers' responsibility was carried out to the fullest extent. As it was necessary for the producers to be successful in order to repay the capital taken up, so it was their business to see that care was taken to make a profitable use of such capital. It is true that—as has been already stated—the consumers ultimately bear the cost of production; but they do this, of course, only when and in so far as the processes employed in production have been useful and necessary. If an association should procure unnecessary or defective machinery, it would be impossible for it to transfer to the purchasers of its commodities the losses thus occasioned; the association would not have increased, but diminished, its gains by such investments. It can therefore be left to the self-interest of those who are concerned in the associations to guard against such a waste of capital.

We now come to the question how it is possible to guarantee the equal right of everyone to equally fertile land. This problem also is solvable in the simplest manner by the free mobility of labour involved in the principle of free association. As everywhere else in the world, there was in Freeland richer and poorer land; but as more workers were attracted to the better land than to the worse, and as, according to a well-known economic law, a greater expenditure of labour upon an equal extent of land is followed by relatively diminishing returns, so the individual worker obtained no higher net profit per hour of labour on the best land than upon the worst land which could be cultivated at all.

On the Dana plateau, for example, by the expenditure of 32 hours of labour 48 cwt. of wheat could be produced per acre; in Eden Vale the same expenditure of labour would produce merely 36 cwt. Therefore, as the cwt. of wheat was worth 3s. 1-1/2d., and 1-1/2d. was sufficient to cover all expenses, the land association in the Dana plateau had at the end of the year a return of 4s. 6d. for every hour of work, and, after deduction of tax and repayment of capital, 2s. 9d. for division among the members. The members of the Eden Vale association, on the other hand, had only 2s. per hour of labour to divide among the members; and as careful investigation proved that this difference was due neither to accidental uncongeniality of the weather nor to a less amount of labour, but to the character of the soil, the consequence was that in the next year the newly arrived agriculturists preferred the better land of the Dana plateau. There was now an average expenditure of 42 hours of labour to the acre in the Dana plateau, but in Eden Vale only 24; yet in the former place the additional 10 hours of labour did not yield the 1-1/2 cwt. per hour, as was the case when the expenditure of labour was only 32 hours, but merely a scant 3 qrs.; that is, the returns did not rise from 48 cwt. to 63 cwt., but merely to 55 cwt.—sank therefore to 1.34 cwt. per hour of labour. The consequence was that the returns, notwithstanding the considerable increase in the price of grain due to the improved means of communication, rose merely to 5s., of which 3s. per hour of labour was available for division among the members. In Eden Vale, on the other hand, the gross returns were lessened merely 3 cwt. by the withdrawal of eight hours of labour per acre; the produce therefore now was 33 cwt. for 24 hours of labour, or 1.37 cwt. per hour of labour. The Eden Vale association therefore numbered a trifle more than that of Dana; and as Eden Vale was a more desirable place of residence, and had more conveniences than the Dana plateau, the stream of agriculturists flowed back to Eden Vale until, after two other harvests, there remained a difference of profit of about five per cent. in favour of the Dana plateau, and this advantage, with slight variations, continued permanently.

But just as the principle of the solidarity of interests brought about by the mobility of labour placed him who used the actually worse land in the enjoyment of the advantages of the better land, so everyone, whatever branch of production he might be connected with, participated in all the various kinds of advantages of the best land; and, on the other hand, every cultivator of the soil, like every other producer, derived profit from all the increased productiveness of labour, in whatsoever branch of labour in our commonwealth it might arise, just as if he were himself immediately concerned in it. All means of production are common property; the use which any one of us may make of this common property does not depend upon the accident of possession, nor upon the superintending care of an all-controlling communistic authority, but solely upon the capacity and industry of each individual.



CHAPTER IX

As already stated, the fundamental condition of the successful working of the simple organisation described above was the completest publicity of all industrial proceedings. The organisation was in truth merely a mode of removing all those hindrances that stand in the way of the free realisation of the individual will guided by a wise self-interest. So much the more necessary was it to give right direction to this sovereign will, and to offer to self-interest every assistance towards obtaining a correct and speedy grasp of its real advantage.

No business secrets whatever! That was at once the fundamental law of Eden Vale. In the other parts of the world, where the struggle for existence finds its consummation not merely in exploiting and enslaving one another, but over and above this in a mutual industrial annihilation—where, in consequence of the universal over-production due to under-consumption, competition is synonymous with robbing each other of customers—there, in the Old World, to disclose the secrets of trade would be tantamount to sacrificing a position acquired with much trouble and cunning. Where an immense majority of men possess no right to the increasing returns of production, but, not troubling themselves about the productiveness of labour, must be content with 'wages'—that is, with what is necessary for their subsistence—there can be no sufficient demand for the total produce of highly productive labour. The few wealthy cannot possibly consume the constantly growing surplus, and their endeavour to capitalise such surplus—that is, to convert it into instruments of labour—is defeated by the impossibility of employing the means of a production the products of which cannot be consumed. In the exploiting world, therefore, there prevails a constant disproportion between productive power and consumption, between supply and demand; and the natural consequence is that the disposal of the products gives rise to a constant and relentless struggle between the various producers. The principal care of the exploiting producers is not to produce as much and as well as possible, but to acquire a market for as large as possible a quantity of their own commodities; and as, in view of the disproportion above explained, such a market can be acquired and retained only at the expense of other producers. There necessarily exists a permanent and irreconcilable conflict of interest. It is different among us. We can always be sure of a sale, for with us no more can be produced than is used, since the total produce belongs to the worker, and the consumption, the satisfaction of real requirements, is the exclusive motive of labour. Among us, therefore, the disclosure of the sources of trade can rob no one of his customers, since any customers whom he may happen to lose must necessarily be replaced by others.

On the other hand, what reason has the producer in the world outside to communicate his experiences to others? Can those others make any use of the knowledge they would thus acquire, except to do him injury? And can he use any such information when communicated to him, except to the injury of others? Does he allow others to participate in his business when his is the more profitable, or does another let him do so with the business of that other when the case is reversed? If the demand for the commodities of a producer increases, the labour market is open to him, where he can find servants enough ready to work without inquiring about his profits so long as they receive their 'wages.' Thus, elsewhere in the world, not even are the consumers interested in the publication of trade practices, which publication, moreover, as has already been said, would be a matter of impossibility. Quite different is this among us in Freeland. We allow everyone to participate in our trade advantages, and we can therefore participate in the trade advantages of everyone else; and we are compelled to publish these advantages because, in the absence of a market of labourers who have neither will nor interest of their own, this publicity is the only way of attracting labour when the demand for any commodities increases.

And—which is the principal thing—whilst elsewhere no one has an interest in the increase of production by others, among us every one is most intensely interested in seeing everyone produce as easily and as well as possible. For the classical phrase of the solidarity of all economic interests has among us become a truth; but elsewhere it is nothing more than one of those numerous self-deceptions of which the political economy of the exploiting world is composed. Where the old system of industry prevails, universal increase of production of wealth is a chimera. Where consumption by the masses cannot increase, there cannot production and wealth increase, but can be only shifted, can only change place and owner; in proportion as the production of one person increases must that of some one else diminish, unless consumption increases, which, where the masses are excluded from enjoying the increasing returns of labour, can happen only accidentally, and by no means step by step with the increasing power of productiveness of labour. With us in Freeland, on the contrary, where production—in view of the necessary growth of the power of consumption in exactly the same proportion—can and does increase indefinitely so far as our facilities and arts permit, with us it is the supreme and most absolute interest of the community to see that everyone's labour is employed wherever it can earn the highest returns; and there is no one who is not profited when the labour of all is thus employed to the completest extent possible. The individuals or the individual associations which, by virtue of our organisation, are compelled to share an accidentally acquired advantage with another, certainly suffer a loss of gain by this circumstance looked at by itself; but infinitely greater is the general advantage derived from the fact that the same thing occurs everywhere, that productiveness is constantly increasing, and their own advantage therefore compels the occurrence of the same everywhere. To how undreamt-of high a degree this is the case will be abundantly shown by the subsequent history of Freeland.

It remains now to say something of the measures adopted to ensure the most extensive publicity of industrial proceedings. We start from the principle that the community has to concern itself with the affairs of the individual as little as possible in the way of hindering or commanding, but, on the other hand, as much as possible in the way of guiding and instructing. Everyone may act as he pleases, so far as he does not infringe upon the rights of others; but, however he acts, what he does must be open to everyone. Since he here has to do not with industrial opponents, but only with industrial rivals, who all have an interest in stimulating him as much as possible, this publicity is to his own advantage. In conformity with this principle, when a new member was admitted by the outside agents, his industrial specialty was stated, and the report sent as quickly as possible to the committee. This was not done out of idle curiosity, nor from a desire to exercise a police oversight; rather these data were published for the use and advantage of the productive associations as well as of the new members themselves. The consequence was that, as a rule, the new members on their arrival at the Kenia found suitable work-places prepared for them, such as would enable them at once to utilise their working capacity to the best advantage. No one forced them to accommodate themselves to these arrangements made without their co-operation, but as these arrangements served their advantage in the best conceivable way, they—with a few isolated exceptions—accepted them with the greatest pleasure.

The second and most important subject of publication were the trade reports of the producers, of the associations as well as of the comparatively few isolated producers. Of the former, as being by far the more important and by their very nature compelled to adopt a careful system of bookkeeping, a great deal was required—in fact the full disclosure of all their proceedings. Gross returns, expenses, net returns, purchases and sales, amount of labour, disposal of the net returns,—all must be published in detail, and, according to the character of the respective data, either yearly, or at shorter intervals—the amount of labour, for example, weekly. In the case of the isolated producers, it sufficed to publish such details as would be disclosed by the regulation about to be described.

The buying and selling of all conceivable products and articles of merchandise in Freeland was carried on in large halls and warehouses, which were under the management of the community. No one was forbidden to buy and sell where he pleased, but these public magazines offered such enormous advantages that everyone who did not wish to suffer loss made use of them. No fee was charged for storing or manipulation, as it was quite immaterial, in a country where everyone consumed in proportion to his production, whether the fees were levied upon the consumers as such, or upon the same persons in their character as producers in the form of a minimal tax. What was saved by the simplification of the accounts remained as a pure gain. Further, an elaborate system of warranty was connected with these warehouses. Since the warehouse officials were at the same time the channel through which purchases were made, they were always accurately informed as to the condition of the market, and could generally appraise the warehoused goods at their full value. The sales took place partly in the way of public auction, and partly at prices fixed by the producers; and here also no commission was charged to either seller or buyer.

The supreme authority in Freeland was at the same time the banker of the whole population. Not merely every association, but every individual, had his account in the books of the central bank, which undertook the receipts and the disbursements from the millions of pounds which at a later date many of the associations had to receive and pay, both at home and abroad, down to the individual's share of profits on labour and his outlay on clothes and food. A 'clearing system,' which really included everything, made these numberless debit and credit operations possible with scarcely any employment of actual money, but simply by additions to and subtractions from the accounts in the books. No one paid cash, but gave cheques on his account at the central bank, which gave him credit for his earnings, debited his spendings to him, and gave him every month a statement of his account. Naturally the loans granted by the commonwealth as capital for production, mentioned in the previous chapter, appeared in the books of the bank. In this way the bank was informed of the minutest detail of every business transaction throughout the whole country. It not only knew where and at what price the producers purchased their machinery and raw material and where they sold their productions, but it knew also the housekeeping account, the income and cost of living of every family. Even the retail trade could not escape the omniscience of this control. Most of the articles of food and many other necessaries were supplied by the respective associations to their customers at their houses. All this the bank could check to a farthing, for both purchases and sales went through the books of this institution. The accounts of the bank had to agree with the statements of the statistical bureau, and thus all these revelations possessed an absolutely certain basis, and were not merely the results of an approximate valuation. Even if anyone had wished to do so, it would have been simply impracticable to conceal or to falsify anything.

This comprehensive and automatically secured transparency of the whole of the productive and business relations afforded to the tax assessed in Freeland a perfectly reliable basis. The principle was that the public expenditure of the community should be covered by a contribution from each individual exactly in proportion to his net income; and as in Freeland there was no source of income except labour, and the income from this was exactly known, there was not the slightest difficulty in apportioning the tax. The apportionment of the tax was very simply made as soon as the income existed, and that through the medium of the bank; and this was done not merely in the case of the associations, but also of the few isolated producers. In fact, by means of its bank the community had everyone's income in hand sooner than the earners themselves; and it was merely necessary to debit the earners with the amount and the tax was paid. Hence in Freeland the tax was regarded not as a deduction from net income, but as an outlay deducted from the gross product, just like the trade expenses. In spite of its high amount, no one looked upon it as a burden, because everyone knew that the greater part of it would flow back to him or to his, and every farthing of it would be devoted to purposes of exclusively public utility, which would immediately benefit him. It was therefore quite correct to recognise no difference whatever between productive outlay by the commonwealth and the more private outlay of the associations and individuals, and accordingly to designate the former not as 'taxes,' but as 'general expenditure.'

This general expenditure, however, was very high. In the first year it amounted to thirty-five per cent. of the net profits, and it never sunk below thirty per cent., though the income on which the tax was levied increased enormously. For the tax which the community in Freeland had imposed upon themselves for the very purpose of making this increase of wealth possible was so comprehensive in its objects as to make a most colossal amount necessary.

One of its objects was to create the capital required for the purposes of production. But it was only at first that the whole of this had to be met out of the current tax, as afterwards the repayment of the loans partly met the new demands.

A constantly increasing item of expenditure was the cost of education, which swallowed up a sum of which no one outside of Freeland can have any conception.

The means of communication also involved an expenditure that rose to enormous dimensions, and the same has to be said of public buildings.

But the chief item of expenditure in the Freeland budget was under the head of 'Maintenance,' which included the claims of those who, on account of incapacity for work or because they were by our principles released from the obligation of working, had a right to a competence from the public funds. To these belonged all women, all children, all men over sixty years of age, and of course all sick persons and invalids. The allowances to these different classes were so high that not merely urgent necessities, but also such higher daily needs as were commensurate with the general wealth in Freeland for the time being, could be met. With this view the allowances had to be so calculated that they should rise parallel with the income of the working part of the population; the amounts, therefore, were not fixed sums, but varied according to the average income. The average net profit which fell to the individual from all the productive labour in the country, and which increased year by year, was the unit of maintenance. Of this unit every single woman or widow—unless she was a teacher or a nurse, and received payment for her labour—was allotted thirty per cent.; if she married, her allowance sank to fifteen per cent.; the first three children in every household were allowed five per cent. each. Parentless orphans were publicly supported at an average cost of twelve per cent. of the maintenance unit. Men over sixty years and sick persons and invalids received forty per cent.

It may at once be remarked that it would startle those unaccustomed to Freeland ideas to hear the amounts of these allowances. In the first year the maintenance unit reached 160L; therefore an unmarried woman or a widow received 48L; a married woman 24L; a family with three children and a wife 48L; an old man or invalid 64L, which, in view of the prices that then prevailed among us, was more than most European States give as pensions to the highest functionaries or to their widows and orphans. For a cwt. of fine flour cost, in that first year at the Kenia, 7s., a fat ox 12s.; butter, honey, the most delicious fruits, were to be had at corresponding prices. Lodgings cost not more at most than 2L a year. In brief, with her 48L a single woman could live among us in the enjoyment of many luxuries, and need not deny herself to any material extent of those conveniences and enjoyments which at that time were obtainable at all in Eden Vale. And afterwards, when prices in Freeland were somewhat higher, the profits of labour, and consequently the percentage of the maintenance allowance, quickly rose to a much greater extent, so that the purchasing power of the allowance constantly became more pronounced. But this was the intention of the people of Freeland. Why? In the proper place this subject will be again referred to, and then will in particular be explained why the women, without exception, receive a maintenance allowance, and why teaching and nursing are the only occupations of women that are mentioned. Here we merely state that it naturally required a constantly increasing tax to cover all these expenses.

Considerable items of expenditure were to be found under the heads, 'Statistics,' 'Warehouses,' and 'Bank'; but the relative cost of these branches of the executive—notwithstanding their great absolute growth—fell so rapidly in comparison with the taxable income, that in a few years it had sunk to a minimal percentage of the total expenditure.

On the other hand, the departments of justice, police, military, and finance, which in other countries swallow up nine-tenths of the total budget, cost nothing in Freeland. We had no judges, no police organisation, our tax flowed in spontaneously, and soldiers we knew not. Yet there was no theft, no robbery, no murders among us; the payment of the tax was never in arrears; and, as will be shown later on, we were by no means defenceless. Our stores of weapons and ammunition, as well as our subsidies to the warlike Masai, might be reckoned as a surrogate for a military budget. As to the lack of a magistracy, we were such arrant barbarians that we did not even consider a civil or a criminal code necessary, nor did we at that time possess a written constitution. The committee, still in possession of the absolute authority committed to it at the Hague, contented itself with laying all its measures before public meetings and asking for the assent of the members, which was unanimously given. For the settlement of misunderstandings that might arise among the members, arbitrators were chosen—at the recommendation of the committee—who should individually and orally, to the best of their knowledge, give their judgment, and from them appeal was allowed to the Board of Arbitrators; but they had as good as nothing to do. Against vices and their dangerous results to the community, we did not exercise any right of punishment, but only a right of protection; and we esteemed reformation the best and most effectual means of protection. Since men with a normal mental and moral character, in a community in which all the just interests of every member are equally recognised, cannot possibly come into violent collision with the rights of others, we considered casual criminals as mentally or morally diseased persons, whose treatment it was the business of the community to provide for. They were therefore, in proportion to their dangerousness to the community, placed under surveillance or in custody, and subjected to suitable treatment as long as seemed, in the judgment of competent professional men, advisable in the interest of the public safety. Professional men in the above sense, however, were not the justices of the peace, who merely had to decide whether the accused individual should undergo the reforming treatment, but medical men specially chosen for this purpose. The man who was under surveillance or in custody had the right of appealing to the united Board of Medical Men and Justices of the Peace, and publicly to plead his case before them, if he thought that he had been injured by the action of the medical man set over him.

The appointment of the officers for public buildings, means of communication, statistics, warehouses, central bank, education, &c., was vested provisionally in the committee. The salaries were reckoned in hour-equivalents, like those of the functionaries of the associations; and these salaries ranged from 1,200 to 5,000 labour hours per annum, which in the first year amounted to from 150L, to 600L. The agents in London, Trieste, and Mombasa were each paid 800L per annum. These agents remained only two years at their foreign posts, and then had a claim to corresponding positions in Freeland. To each of its own members the committee gave a salary of 5,000 hour-equivalents.

Each member of the committee was president of one of the twelve branches into which the whole of the public administration of Freeland was provisionally divided. These branches were:

1. The Presidency. 2. Maintenance. 3. Education. 4. Art and science. 5. Statistics. 6. Roads and means of communication. 7. Post—including later the telegraph. 8. Foreign affairs. 9. Warehouses. 10. Central bank. 11. Public undertakings. 12. Sanitation and administration of justice.

These are, in general outlines, the principles upon which in the beginning Freeland was organised and administered. They stood the test of experience in all respects most satisfactorily. The formation of the associations was effected without the slightest delay. As the majority of the members who successively arrived were unknown to each other, it was necessary in filling the more responsible positions provisionally to follow the recommendations of the committee; in most cases, therefore, provisional appointments were made which could be afterwards replaced by definitive ones. The already mentioned kinds of productive labour—agriculture, gardening, pasturage, millering, saw-mills, beer-brewing, coal-mining, and iron-working—were considerably enlarged and materially improved by the increase of labour which daily arrived with the Mombasa caravans. A great number of new industries were immediately added. Ono of the first—most of the material of which was imported and only needed completing—was a printing-office, with two cylinder machines and five other machines; and from this office issued a daily journal. Then came in quick succession a machine-factory, a glass-works, a brickyard, an oil-mill, a chemical-works, a sewing and shoe factory, a carpenter's shop, and an ice-factory. On the first day of the new year the first small screw steamboat was launched for towing service in the Eden lake and the Dana river. This was at short intervals followed by other and larger steamers for goods and passengers, all constructed by the ship-building association, which, on account of its excellent services, increased with extraordinary rapidity.

At the same time the committee employed a not inconsiderable part of the newly arriving strength in public works; and the workers thus employed had naturally to be paid at a rate corresponding to the average height of the general labour-profit, and even at a higher rate when specially trying work was required. These public works were, in the first instance, the provisional house-accommodation for the newly arriving members. It was arranged that every family should be furnished with a separate house, whilst for those who were single several large hotels were built. The family houses were of different sizes, containing from four to ten dwelling-rooms, and each house had a garden of above 10,000 square feet. Every new-comer could find a house that was convenient to him as to size and situation, and might pay for it either at once or by instalments. Not fewer than 1,500 such houses had to be got ready per month; they were strongly built of double layers of thick plunks, and the average cost was about 8L 10s. per room. For the use of hotel rooms, sixpence per week per room was sufficient to cover the amortisation of the capital and the expenses of management.

Together with the dwelling-houses, the building of schools was taken in hand; and as it was anticipated that for some time from 1,000 to 1,200 fresh school-children would arrive per month, it was necessary to make provision to secure a continuous increase of accommodation. These schools, as well as the private houses, were of course erected, some in Eden Vale and some on the Dana plateau, and were only of a provisional character, but light, airy, and commodious. It was also necessary to secure a timely supply of teachers, a task the accomplishment of which the committee connected with another scarcely less important question. There was in Freeland a great disproportion in the comparative number of the sexes, particularly of young men and young marriageable women. Of the 460 pioneers who had reached the Kenia between June and September, very few had either wives or betrothed in the old home; and among the later arrivals there was a preponderance of young unmarried men. It was not to be expected that the immediate future would bring an adequate number of young unmarried women unless some special means were adopted; but this forced celibacy could not continue without danger of unpleasant social developments in a community that aimed at uniting absolute freedom with the strictest morality. In Taveta and Masailand, a few isolated cases of intrigue with native girls and wives had occurred. At the Kenia, our young people had, without exception, resisted the enticements of the ugly Wa-Kikuyu women; but our young people could not permanently be required to exercise a self-denial which, particularly in this luxurious country, would be contrary to nature. It was therefore necessary to attract to Freeland young women who would be a real gain not only to the men whom they married, but also to the country that received them. We had merely to make the state of affairs known in Europe and America, and to announce that women who remained single were in Freeland supported by the State, and we should very soon have had no reason to complain of a lack of women. But whether we should have been pleased with those whom such an announcement might bring is another question. We preferred, therefore, to instruct our representatives in the old home to engage women-teachers for Freeland. The salary—180L for the first year—was attractive, and we had a choice of numberless candidates. It was therefore to no one's injury if these highly cultured women, most of whom were young, gave up their teaching vocation not long after they reached Freeland and consented to make some wooer happy. The vacated place was at once filled by a new teacher, who quite as quickly made room for a fresh successor.

In this way, for several years Freeland witnessed a constant influx of quickly marrying women-teachers, though our representatives had no instructions to make their choice of the candidates for our teacherships depend in any way upon the suitability of such persons as candidates for matrimony. Our announcement in the leading newspapers of the old home was seriously meant and taken. 'Well-qualified cultured women-teachers wanted. Salary 180L for the first year; more afterwards.' Elderly women who seemed suitable for teachers were sometimes appointed; but young, sprightly women are in the nature of things better fitted than old and enfeebled ones to educate children, and thus we obtained what we needed without exhibiting the least partiality. Later, this announcement was no longer needed; for it gradually became known, especially in England, France, and Germany, that young women-teachers found in Freeland charming opportunities of becoming wives; so that the permanent preponderance of men among the general immigrants was continually balanced by this influx of women-teachers.

The next problem to which special attention was given during this first year of the new government was that of the post. The courier-service between Eden Vale and Mombasa no longer sufficed to meet the demands of the increased intercourse. The mails had grown to be larger in quantity than could be transported in saddlebags, and they had to be more quickly carried. It was most desirable that letters and despatches should pass between Mombasa and Freeland at a more rapid rate than a little over sixty miles a day, which had hitherto been the maximum. With this in view, the road to Mombasa was thoroughly repaired. It should be remembered that this road had not been 'constructed' in the Western sense of the term, but was mainly in the condition in which nature had left it, nothing having been done but to remove wood that stood in the way, fill up holes, and build bridges. As the so called dry season extends from September to February, very little rain had yet fallen; nevertheless our heavy waggons, which were daily passing to and fro, had in places, where the ground was soft, made deep ruts; and it was to be expected that the long rainy season beginning in March would completely stop the traffic in some places if the road was not seen to in time. Demestre, the head of the department for road construction, therefore engaged 2,000 Swahili, Wa-Kikuyu, and Wa-Teita in order at once to repair the worst places, and afterwards to improve the whole of the road.

In the meantime, our general postmaster, Ferroni, had organised a threefold transport and post service. For ordinary goods a luggage-service was established, running uninterruptedly day and night, the oxen teams being still retained. The old waggons, carrying both passengers and luggage, had been obliged to halt longer at certain stations in the day than at others, for the meal-times; and, apart from this, they were often delayed on the way by the travellers. The new luggage-waggons stayed nowhere longer than was necessary to give time to change the oxen and the attendants, and thus gained an average of four hours a day, so that under favourable conditions they could reach Eden Vale in twelve days. Of course passengers were not taken. A second kind of service was arranged for express goods, and here elephants were the motive power. Mrs. Ellen Ney's Indians, assisted by several of our own people, who had been initiated into the secrets of the catching and taming of these pachyderms, had trained several hundred of these animals. Thirty-five elephants were placed at stages between Eden Vale and Mombasa, and upon their backs from ten to twelve hundredweight of the most various kinds of goods were daily carried in both directions. This elephant-post covered the 600 miles and odd between the coast and Eden Vale in seven or eight days. For the third and fastest service mounted couriers were employed; only there were twenty-two instead of only ten relays, and sixty-five fresh horses were used, so that, with an average speed of over eleven miles an hour, the whole journey was made in two days and a half. They carried merely despatches and letters; but from Mombasa they also carried a packet of European and American newspapers for our Eden Vale newspaper. (All newspapers sent to private persons were carried by the elephant-post.) A few months later, our representative in Mombasa effected an arrangement between the Sultan of Zanzibar and the English and the German governments, in accordance with which a telegraph-line was constructed between Mombasa and Zanzibar at the common cost of the contracting parties. This very soon made it possible for us to communicate with and receive answers from all parts of the civilised world in five or six days; and our newspaper was able every Wednesday—its publishing day—to report what had happened three days before in London or New York, Paris or Berlin, Vienna or Rome, St. Petersburg or Constantinople. For passengers, besides the oxen-waggons, which, on account of their greater comfort, were retained for the use of women and children, there were express-waggons drawn by horses, which made the journey in ten days.

For the rest, the mode of life at the Kenia had meanwhile altered but little, with the exception of the fact that Eden Vale, which before the arrival of the first waggon-caravan was only a large village, in the course of a few months grew to be a considerable town of more than 20,000 inhabitants. On the Dana plateau, where at first there were only a few huts, two large villages had sprung up—one at the east end near the great waterfall, and inhabited by the workers in several factories; the other nearer to Eden Vale, and the home of an agricultural colony. A very noticeable air of untroubled joyousness and unmistakable comfort was common to all the inhabitants of Freeland. The manner of life was still very primitive, in harmony with the provisional character of the houses and the dress; on the other hand, as to meat and drink there was abundance, even luxury. The meals were in the main still arranged as they had been at first by the earliest comers; only the women had soon invented a number of fresh and ingenious modes of utilising the many delicate products of the country. The list of aesthetic and intellectual enjoyments within reach had not been considerably enlarged. The journal; a library founded by the Education Bureau, and daily enriched by newly arriving chests of books, so that by the New Year it contained 18,000 volumes, which did not by any means meet the demand for reading, particularly during the hot midday hours; several new singing and orchestral societies; reading or debating circles; and two dozen pianos—these were all that had been added to the original stock of means of recreation. But there was frequent hunting in the splendid woods; and excursions to the more accessible points of view were the order of the day. In short, the Freelanders endeavoured to make life as pleasant as possible with such a temporarily small variation in the programme of pleasures and intellectual recreation. In spite of all drawbacks, happiness and content reigned in every house.

With respect also to the hours of labour, the system originally adopted was on the whole retained. The men worked for the most part between 5 and 10 A.M. and between 4 and 6 P.M.; the women, assisted by natives, took care of the home and of the children when they were not at school. Yet no one felt bound to observe these hours—everyone worked when and as long as he pleased; and several associations, the work of which would not well bear the interruption of meal-times, introduced a system of relays which ensured the presence of a few hands at work during the hot hours. But as no one could be compelled to work during those hours, it became customary to pay for the more burdensome midday work a higher rate than for the ordinary work, and this had the effect of bringing the requisite number of volunteers. The same held good for the night work that was necessary in certain establishments.



CHAPTER X

At the end of our first year of residence at the Kenia, Freeland possessed a population of 95,000 souls, of whom 27,000 were men belonging to 218 associations and engaged in eighty-seven different kinds of work. In the last harvest—there are here two harvests in the year, one in October after the short rainy season, and the other in June after the long rainy season—36,000 acres had yielded nearly 2,000,000 cwt. of grain, representing in value the sum of 300,000L, and giving to the 10,800 workers an average profit of nearly 2s. 6d. for every hour of labour. But it must not be supposed that all these workers spent their whole time in agricultural pursuits; except during sowing and harvest a great many agriculturists found profitable employment for the labour which would have been superfluous in the fields in the neighbouring industrial establishments. The average profit of all the industries was a little higher than that of agriculture; and as it was usual to work about forty hours a week, the average weekly earnings of an ordinary worker of moderate application were 5L 5s.

Next to agriculture, the iron-works and machine-factories gave employment to the greatest number; in fact, if we take not the temporary employment of a large number of men, but the total number of labour-hours devoted to the work, as our measure, then these latter industries employed much more labour than agriculture. And this is not to be wondered at, for all the associations needed machinery in order to carry on their work to the best advantage. In other countries, where the wages of labour and the profit of labour are fundamentally different things, there is a fundamental distinction between the profitableness of a business and the theoretical perfection of the machinery used in it. In order to be theoretically useful a machine must simply save labour—that is, the labour required for producing and working the machine must be less than that which is saved by using it. The steam-plough, for example, is a theoretically good and useful machine if the manufacture of it, together with the production of the coal consumed by it, swallows up less human labour than on the other hand is saved by ploughing with steam instead of with horses or cattle. But the actual profitableness of a machine is quite another thing—out of Freeland, we mean, of course. In order to be profitable, the steam-plough must save, not labour, but value or money—that is, it must cost less than the labour which it has saved would have cost. But elsewhere in the world it by no means follows that it costs less because the amount of labour saved is greater than that consumed by the manufacture of the steam-plough and the production of the coal it uses. For whilst the labour which the improved plough saves receives merely its 'wages,' with the bought plough and the bought coal there have to be paid for not only the labour required in producing them, but also three items of 'gain'—namely, ground-rent, interest, and undertaker's salary. Thus it may happen that the steam-plough, between its first use and its being worn out, saves a million hours of labour, whilst in its construction and in the total quantity of coal it has required, it may have consumed merely 100,000 hours of labour; and yet it may be very unprofitable—that is, it may involve very great loss to those who, relying upon the certainty of such an enormous saving of labour, should buy and use it. For the million hours of labour saved mean no more than a million hours of wages saved; therefore, for example, 10,000L, if the wages are merely 1L for a hundred hours of labour. For the construction of the plough and for the means of driving it 100,000 hours of labour are required, which alone certainly will have cost 1,000L. But then the rent which the owners of the iron-pits and the coal-mines charge, and the interest for the invested capital, must be paid, and finally the profits of the iron-manufacturer and the coal-producer. All this may, under certain circumstances, amount to more than the difference of 9,000L between cost of labour in the two cases respectively; and when that is the case the Western employer loses money by buying a machine which saves a thousand per cent. of his labour. With us the case is quite different: the living labour which the steam-plough spares us is hour for hour exactly as valuable as the labour-time which has been bestowed upon the plough and has been transformed into commodities; for in Freeland there is no distinction between the profit of labour and the wages of labour, and in Freeland, therefore, every theoretically useful—that is, every really labour-saving—machine is at the same time, and of necessity, profitable. This is the reason why in Freeland the manufacture of machines is necessarily of such enormous and constantly increasing importance. One half of our people are engaged in the manufacture of ingenious mechanical implements, moved by steam, electricity, water, compressed or rarefied air, by means of which the other half multiply their powers of production a hundredfold; and it follows as a natural consequence that among us the employment of machinery has developed a many-sidedness and a perfectness of which those who are outside the limits of our country have no conception.

The most important manufacture taken in hand before the end of this first year was that of steam-ploughs and—worked provisionally by animal labour—seed-drills and reaping-machines sufficient for the cultivation of the 64,000 acres which were to be brought under the plough for the October harvest. We calculated that, by the initial expenditure of 3,500,000 hours of labour, we should save at least 3,000,000 hours of labour yearly. In other parts of the world that would have been a great misfortune for the workers who would thus have been rendered superfluous, while the community would not have profited at all. We, on the contrary, were able to find excellent employment for the labour thus saved, which could be utilised in producing things that would elevate and refine, and for which the increased productiveness of labour had created a demand.

A second work, which had to be carried out during the next year, was the improvement of the means of communication by deepening the bed of the Dana from the flour-mill above the Eden lake to the great waterfall on the Dana plateau, and by the construction of a railway across the Dana plateau. With this were to be connected rope-lines on several of the Kenia foot-hills for the use of the miners and the foresters.

That all the existing industries were enlarged, and a great number of new ones started, will be taken for granted. It should be mentioned that only such factories were erected in Eden Vale or on the upper course of the Dana as would pollute neither the air nor the water; the less cleanly manufactures were located at the east end of the Dana plateau, close upon or even below the waterfall. Later, means were found of preventing any pollution whatever of the water by industrial refuse.

The town of Eden Vale had grown to contain 48,000 souls and covered more than six square miles, with its small houses and gardens, and its numerous large, though still primitively constructed, wooden public buildings. The herds of cattle, and the horses, asses, camels, elephants, and the newly imported swine—all of which had increased to an enormous extent—were for the main part transferred to the Dana plateau, while the wild animals were excluded by a strong stockade drawn round the heights that encircled Eden Vale.

We were driven to this last somewhat costly measure by an incident which fortunately passed off without serious consequences, but which showed the necessity of being protected against marauding animals. The noise of the town had for months made the wild animals which once abounded in Eden Vale avoid our immediate neighbourhood. But in the surrounding woods and copses there were still considerable numbers of antelopes, zebras, giraffes, buffaloes, and rhinoceroses; the elephants alone had completely disappeared. One fine evening, just before sunset, an enterprising old rhinoceros bull approached the town, and, enraged by some dogs—of which we had imported a good number, besides those that were descended from the dogs we brought with us—made his way into one of the principal streets of the town. This street led to a little grove which was a favourite playground for children, especially in the evening, and which was full of children when the savage brute suddenly appeared among them. The children were in charge of several women-teachers, who, as well as the children, lost their heads at sight of the monster, which was snorting and puffing like a steam-engine. Teachers and children fled together, chased by the rhinoceros, which, singling out a little fugitive, tossed her like a feather into the air. Seeing one of the teachers, who had fallen in her fright, lying motionless on the ground, the rhinoceros chose her as his next victim, and was within a few steps of her when the dogs, which had so far contented themselves with barking, now fell in a body upon the beast as if they recognised the danger of the women and children, and, by biting its ears and other tender parts, drew its fury upon themselves. The struggle was an unequal one, and in a few moments the rhinoceros had slain two of the brave dogs and severely wounded three others; but the rest persisted in their attack, and thus gave the children and their attendants time to save themselves. The little girl who had been tossed was merely frightened, and found safety in one of the houses near by. The rhinoceros, when he had put several more of the dogs hors de combat, trotted off, and was soon out of sight of the men who had hastened to the rescue with all kinds of weapons.

Such a scene could not be allowed to be repeated. The next day it was resolved to surround Eden Vale with a fence, and the work was at once begun. As the Kenia rocks formed a secure defence on one side, it was necessary only to construct a semicircular barrier. On the ridge of the surrounding heights, with timber obtained on the spot, a barrier five feet high was constructed, strong enough to resist the attacks of any wild beast, and extending about twenty miles. This protection was intended simply to keep out rhinoceroses, elephants, and buffaloes; antelopes, zebras, even giraffes and such like, if they had a fancy for leaping the barrier, could do no harm. Nor did we need any protection against beasts of prey—lions and leopards—for these had for months entirely left the neighbourhood. When this barrier was completed, except for a distance of about 220 yards, we had a great hunt, by which all the wild beasts that were still in the valley were driven to this opening and then chased out. The chain of hunters was so close that we had every reason to be sure that not an animal was left behind. Two rhinoceroses and a buffalo made an attempt to break the chain, but were shot down. The opening in the barrier was then closed up, and there was no longer any wild quadruped worth mentioning in the whole of Eden Vale.

On the other hand, the groves and woods within the barrier became increasingly populous with tame antelopes of all kinds, which were accustomed to return to their owners in the evening. Very soon there was not a family—particularly with children—in Eden Vale which did not possess one or more tame antelopes, monkeys, or parrots; and elephant cubs, under two years of age, wandered by dozens in the streets and in the public places, the pampered pets of the children, who were remarkably attached to these little proboscidians. An elephant cub is never better pleased than when he has as many children as he can carry upon his back, and he will even neglect his meals in order to have a frolic with his two-legged comrades.

At the beginning of the second year our European agents informed us that the rate of increase of members had assumed very large proportions. The notices of Freeland which had been published in the journals— correspondents of some of the principal European and American journals had visited us—had naturally very powerfully quickened the desire to emigrate; and if all the indications did not deceive us, we had to expect, during the second year of our residence at the Kenia, an influx of at least twice, probably thrice, as many as had come during the first year. Provision had, therefore, to be made for the requisite means of transport. As many of the more wealthy new members paid for passages in ships belonging to foreign companies, instead of waiting to take their turn in our own ships, the most urgent part of the work was that of increasing the means of transport from Mombasa. A thousand new waggons were therefore purchased as speedily as possible, together with the requisite number of draught-cattle; and they were set to work in the order of purchase from March onwards. At the same time our London agent bought first six, and shortly afterwards four more, steamships of from 4,000 to 10,000 tons burden, and adapted them to our requirements so that each ship could carry from 1,000 to 3,000 passengers. By means of these new steamships the traffic through Trieste was increased; the largest ships took passengers from thence as the most favourably situated point of departure for the whole of the middle of Europe. Twice a week, also, a ship went from Marseilles, and once a month another from San Francisco across the Pacific Ocean. After a third set of a thousand waggons had been ordered to provide for emergencies, we thought we had made adequate provision for the transport of immigrants during the second year.

So stood affairs when Demestre approached the committee with the declaration that our primitive method of transport from Mombasa could not possibly suffice to meet the requirements of the strong permanent tide of immigration which promised to set in. We must at once think about constructing a railway between Eden Vale and the coast. The cost would be covered by the immigrants alone, and the incalculable advantage that would accrue to the whole of our industry would be clear profit. When he spoke of the covering of the cost by the immigrants he did not mean to propose that they should pay for travelling on the railway. The fare, however high it were fixed, would not suffice to cover the cost; and he did not propose to levy any direct payment for transport by rail, any more than had been done for transport by waggon. What he referred to was the saving of time. The waggons did the journey on an average in fourteen days, and after the fatigues of the journey the immigrants needed a rest of several days before they were ready for work. By rail the 600 miles and odd could comfortably be done in twenty-four hours; there would thus be an average saving of twelve labour-days. When it was considered that, among the 250,000 or 300,000 immigrants who might be expected to arrive yearly for some time to come, there would be between 70,000 and 80,000 persons able to work, the railway would mean a gain for them of from 800,000 to 1,000,000 labour-days. At present the average daily earnings amounted to 15s., and the 800,000 labour-days therefore represented a total value of 600,000L. But before the railway was finished the average value of labour in Freeland would probably have doubled; and when he said that the railway would in the first year of its working yield to the immigrants at least a million pounds sterling he was certainly within the mark. Every year would this gain increase in proportion to the increased productiveness of labour in Freeland.

On the other side was the cost of construction of the line; he would not speak of the cost of working, for, though there was no doubt that it would be less than the cost of working the transport services hitherto in operation, yet the saving might be left out of sight as not worth mentioning. The cost of constructing a railway to the coast could not be definitely calculated, particularly as the route was not yet decided upon. Whether the route of our caravan-road should be, with slight alterations, retained; whether another route to Mombasa should be chosen; or whether the coast should be reached at quite another point, nobody could say at present, when only one of the routes had been surveyed at all, and that only very imperfectly. But on the supposition that no better route could be found than the old one, or that this should be ultimately chosen on technical grounds, he could positively assert that the railway could not possibly cost nearly so much as the savings of the immigrants would amount to in the course of a few years. And, in consequence of the way in which labour was organised in Freeland, every increase in the produce of labour was converted into immediate gain to the whole community.

We should therefore proceed at once to construct the railway, even if it were merely to the advantage of the immigrants. That it was not merely to their advantage, however, was self-evident, since the profit which the community would derive from the cheapening and facilitating of the goods traffic would be infinitely greater—so great that it could not be even approximately calculated. He merely wished to throw a few rays of light upon the economic result of the railway. Assuming that the line would be completed in three years, we should then have a population of about a million, and there was no doubt that when we had sufficient means of transport we should be able easily to produce ten million hundredweight of grain for export. Such a quantity of grain at the Kenia then represented one and a-half million pounds sterling. If the cost of transport sank from five or six shillings per cwt., the current price—independently of the fact that a greater quantity could not then be conveyed—to one shilling, or at most eighteen-pence, which might be looked upon as the maximum railway freight for 600 miles, then the value of the above quantity of grain would be raised to a round two million pounds sterling. In short, he was firmly convinced that the railway, even at the highest probable cost, must fully pay for itself in three or four years at the latest. He therefore proposed that they should at once send out several expeditions of skilled engineers to find the most suitable route for the future line. They should not proceed too cautiously, for even a considerable difference in cost would be preferable to loss of time.

Everything that Demestre urged in support of his project was so just and clear that it was unanimously adopted without debate; in fact, everyone secretly wondered why he had not himself thought of it long before. The only thing to do now, therefore, was to trace the route of the future railway. In the first place, there was the old route through Kikuyu into Masailand, thence to the east of Kilimanjaro, past Taveta and Teita, to Mombasa. A second and possibly more favourable route was thought of, which led also southwards, and reached the coast at Mombasa, but took a direction two degrees further east, through Kikuyu, into the country of the Ukumbani, and thence followed the valley of the Athi river to Teita. This track might probably shorten the distance by more than a hundred miles. The third, the shortest route to the ocean, led directly east, following the Dana, through the Galla lands, to the Witu coast; here eventually nearly half the distance might be saved, for we were but about 280 miles from the coast in a straight line.

It was decided that these three routes should be examined as carefully as would be possible in the course of a few months; for the beginning of the construction of the line was not to be delayed more than half a year. Demestre was appointed to examine the old route, with which he was already well acquainted. Two other skilful engineers were sent to the Athi and the Dana respectively, each accompanied, as was Demestre, by a staff of not less qualified colleagues. But these two latter expeditions, having to explore utterly unknown districts, inhabited by probably hostile tribes, had to be well armed. They were each 300 strong, and, besides a sufficient number of repeating-rifles, they took with them several war elephants, some cannons, and some rockets. All these expeditions were accompanied by a small band of naturalists, geologists in particular. They started in the beginning of May, and they were instructed to return, if possible, in August, before the short rainy season.

Whilst our attention was fixed principally upon the east in making provision for the enormous influx expected from Europe and America, an unexpected complication was brought about in the west by means of our allies, the Masai. In order to find a new field for their love of adventure, which they could no longer bring into play against the Swahili, Wa-Duruma, Wa-Teita, Wa-Taveta, and Wa-Kikuyu, whom we had made their allies, the Masai fell upon the Nangi and Kavirondo, who live west of Lake Baringo, and drove off a large number of their cattle. But when the patience of these large tribes was exhausted, they forgot for a time their mutual animosities, turned the tables upon the Masai, and overran their country. In this war the Masai suffered a great deal, for their opponents, though not equal to them in bravery, far surpassed them in numbers. If the Masai had but got together in time, they might have easily collected in their own country an army equal to the 18,000 Kavirondo and Nangi who took the field against them: but they were thrown into confusion by the unexpected attack, got together a poor 7,000 el-moran, and suffered utter defeat in two sanguinary engagements. More than a thousand of their warriors fell, and the swarms of the victors poured continuously over the whole country between the Lakes Baringo and Naivasha, sweeping all the Masai before them, and getting an immense booty in women, children, and cattle. This was at the beginning of May; and the Masai, who knew not how to escape from their exasperated foes except by our aid, sent couriers who reached the Kenia with their petitions for help on the 10th of the month.

This help was of course at once granted. On the day after the messengers reached us, 500 of our horsemen, with the still available cannons and rockets, and with twenty-four elephants, started in forced marches for the Naivasha, where the Masai, favoured by the character of the country, thought they could hold out for a time. Our men reached their destination on the 16th, just after our allies had met with another reverse and were scarcely able to hold out another day. Johnston, who led our little army, scarcely waited to refresh his horses before he sent word to the Kavirondo and the Nangi that they were to cease hostilities at once; he was come, not as their enemy, but as arbitrator. If they would not accept his mediation, he would at once attack them; but he warned them beforehand that successful resistance to his weapons and to those of his people was impossible. Naturally, this threat had no effect upon the victorious blacks. It is true they had already heard all sorts of vague rumours about the mysterious white strangers; and the elephants and horses, which they now saw, though at a distance, were not likely to please them. But their own great numbers, in comparison with the small body of our men, and chiefly their previous successes, encouraged them, after their elders had held a short shauri, to send a defiant answer. Let Johnston attack them; they would 'eat him up' as they meant to eat up the whole of Masailand.

Johnston anticipated such an answer, and had made the necessary preparations. As soon as he had received the challenge he caused his men to mount at once, told the Masai not to join in the fight at all, and then he attacked the Kavirondo and Nangi. This time he did not rely upon the effect of blank-cartridges, not because an entirely bloodless battle would scarcely have satisfied the Masai's longing for revenge, but because he wished to end the whole war at a single stroke. He therefore allowed his men to approach within 550 yards of the blacks, who kept their ground; and then, whilst the horsemen charged the enemy's centre, he directed several sharp volleys from the cannons and rockets against them. Naturally, the whole order of battle was at once broken up in wild flight, though not many men fell. Those who fled westward Johnston allowed to escape; but the main body of the enemy, who tried to get away along the banks of the Naivasha to the north, were cut off by 400 of our men, whilst he kept with the other hundred between the blacks and the Masai, principally for the purpose of preventing the latter from falling upon the conquered. Our 400 horsemen, who made a wide circle round the fugitives, much as sheep-dogs do around a scattering flock of sheep, soon brought the Kavirondo and Nangi to a stand, who, when they found themselves completely surrounded, threw down their weapons and begged for mercy. Johnston ordered them to send their elders to him, as he did not intend to do them any further harm, but merely wished to bring about peace between them and the Masai.

As might be supposed, the peace negotiations were brief, for Johnston did not require anything unjust from the conquered, who were completely at his mercy. They were to give up all their prisoners and booty; and, after they had taken an oath to keep the peace with us and the Masai, they should remain unmolested. In the meantime, however, until the prisoners and the booty had been given up—for only a part of both had fallen into our hands, the Kavirondo having sent off the greater part to their own country several days before—they were to remain upon one of the Naivasha islands as our prisoners. Those who thus remained numbered more than 10,000, and included some of the chief men of their nation. The Kavirondo and Nangi accepted these terms; in the course of the afternoon and night they were ferried across to one of the neighbouring islands, and twelve of their number were sent home to bring back the booty.

Johnston, having caused the Masai leaders to be brought before him, administered to them a very severe reprimand. Did they think that we should continue to be friends with thieves and robbers? Had he not told them that the swords which we had given to their leitunus would snap asunder like glass if drawn in an unrighteous cause? And in the war with the Kavirondo and Nangi were not the Masai in the wrong? 'We have saved you from the just punishment with which you were threatened, for the alliance which we had contracted still stood good when you were defeated; but we dissolve that alliance! I stay here until the Kavirondo and Nangi have brought back their booty, which shall be handed over to you in its entirety; but, after that, do not expect anything more from us. We can live in friendship with only peaceable honourable people. Henceforth the Kavirondo and Nangi are our friends; woe to you in the future if you ever break the peace; our anger will shatter you as the lightning shatters the sycamore-tree!'

The Masai were completely cowed. This unlooked-for dissolution of a friendship which had for a year past been their chief pride, and which had just been their salvation in extremity, was more than they were able to bear. But Johnston preserved a severe attitude towards them, and finally insisted upon their leaving his camp. When the leitunus and leigonanis returned to their people with the terrible news that their friendship with the white brethren was at an end there were exhibited the most extravagant signs of distress. The whole camp of the Masai rushed over to ours; but Johnston ordered them to be told that, weaponless though they were, he would fire upon them if they dared to come near. This was repeated several times during the next few days. The Masai sent messengers throughout the whole country, called together the wisest of their elders, and again and again endeavoured to induce Johnston to treat with them; but he remained inexorable, had his camp entrenched, and threatened to shoot every Masai who attempted to enter it.

In ten days the Kavirondo and Nangi messengers returned with the prisoners and the cattle. Johnston now bade the Masai elders appear before him that he might hand over to them what he had won for them in battle. The Masai came, and took advantage of the opportunity of making their last attempt to appease the terrible white man. Johnston might keep all that he—not they—had recovered; they were willing to regard the loss they had suffered as the just punishment of their crime; they were ready to do yet more if he would but forgive them and give them his friendship again. It was to this point that Johnston had wished to bring these people, whom he knew right well. He showed himself touched by their appeal, but said that he could grant nothing without the knowledge and consent of the other leaders in Eden Vale. He would report to the great council the repentance of the Masai people; and it was for the council to decide what was to be done. On the 19th and 20th of June, the days appointed for the commemoration of the alliance with us, they were to come with their fellow-countrymen to the place of rendezvous on the south shore of Naivasha lake; there should they receive an answer.

It is unnecessary to say that Johnston's threats were not seriously meant. The alliance with the Masai was of too much importance to us for us to wish it dissolved. But Johnston had been instructed by the committee to use every means to restrain the Masai from plundering in the future and to induce them to keep the peace with all their neighbours. And the committee were well aware that extreme measures were necessary to attain these ends, for to convert the Masai into a peaceable people meant nothing less than to divest them of their characteristic peculiarities. They are in truth a purely military nation. War is their peculiar business—their organisation and habits of life all have reference to war. They differ from all their neighbours, being ethnographically distinct, for they are not negroes, but a bronze-coloured Hamitic race evidently related to the original inhabitants of Egypt. They carry on no industry, even their cattle-breeding being in the hands of their captured slaves; while they themselves are in youth exclusively warriors, and in age dignified idlers. The warriors, the el-moran, live apart and unmarried—though by no means in celibacy—in separate kraals; the older married men—the el-morun—also live in separate villages. They buy their weapons of the Andorobbo who live among them; and the small amount of corn which the married men and their wives consume—for the el-moran eat only milk and flesh—they buy of neighbouring foreign tribes. Their morals are exceptionally loose, for the warriors live in unrestrained fellowship with the unmarried girls—the Dittos; and the married women allow themselves all conceivable liberties, without any interference on the part of their husbands. Notwithstanding all this, these dissolute plundering earls form the finest nation of the whole district east of the Victoria Nyanza—brave, strong, ingenuous, intelligent, and, when they are once won, trustworthy. To convert them into industrious and moral men would be a grand work and would make our new home, in which we could not go far without coming into collision with them, truly habitable to us.

But it was very difficult to accomplish this. Their military organisation had to be broken up, their immorality suppressed, their prejudice against labour overcome. That this was by no means impossible was proved by many past examples. The Wa-Kwafi, living to the south and west of them, as well as the Njemps on the Baringo lake, are either of pure Masai extraction or have much Masai blood in their veins; yet they practise agriculture and know nothing of the el-moran and Ditto abuse. But the change had been effected among these by the agency of extreme want. It was only those Masai tribes who were completely vanquished by other Masai and robbed of all their cattle that were dispersed among agricultural negro tribes, whose customs they had to adopt, while they unfortunately gave up their good characteristics along with their bad ones. Johnston's task now was to see if it wore not possible by rational compulsion to effect such a change in them as in other instances had been effected by want. How he prosecuted his attempt we have seen.

When Johnston released the Kavirondo and Nangi prisoners, he invited them to send, on the 19th, as numerous an embassy as possible of their elders to Naivasha, where we would confirm the newly formed alliance and seal it with rich presents. He left the whole of his army at Naivasha, partly to cover the retreat of the discharged prisoners, and partly to watch the booty (the Masai still hesitated to take back the booty, and even forbade their captured wives and children to leave our camp), while he himself, accompanied by only a few horsemen, hastened to Eden Vale, there to get further instructions. The proposal which he laid before the committee was that everything should now be demanded from the Masai—the iron could be forged if struck when it was hot; and as conditions of the renewal of friendship he suggested the following three points: dissolution of the el-moran kraals, emancipation of all slaves whatever, formation of agricultural associations. Of course we were not to be content with the statement of these demands, but must ourselves take in hand the work of carrying them out. Particularly would it be necessary to assist the Masai in the organisation of the agricultural associations, to furnish them with suitable agricultural implements, and to give them instruction in rational agriculture. Finally, and chiefly, was it necessary to win over the el-moran by employing them in relays as soldiers for us. The ideal of these brown braves was the routine of a military life. The alliance with the Kavirondo and Nangi might lead to hostile complications with Uganda, the country adjoining Kavirondo, when we could very well make use of a Masai militia, and thus accomplish two ends at once—viz. the complete pacification and civilisation of Masailand, and assistance against Uganda, the great raiding State on the Victoria Nyanza, with which sooner or later we must necessarily come into collision.

The committee adopted these suggestions after a short deliberation. Five hundred fresh volunteers (as a matter of course, all our expeditions consisted of volunteers) from among our agriculturists were placed under Johnston's orders, as agricultural teachers for the Masai; whilst a part of the five hundred men already at Naivasha were selected to superintend the military training of the el-moran. Further, Johnston received for his work the whole of the ploughs which had been thrown out of use in Freeland by the introduction of steam-machinery. There were not less than 3,000 of these ploughs, as well as a corresponding number of harrows and other agricultural implements. With these were also granted 6,000 oxen accustomed to the plough, as well as supplies of seeds, &c. The committee at once telegraphed to Europe for 10,000 breechloaders and a million cartridges, with 10,000 sidearms, which were supplied cheaply by the Austrian Government out of the stock of disused Werndl rifles, and could reach Naivasha by the end of June. Five complete field-batteries and eight rocket-batteries were at the same time ordered in Europe; these, however, were not for the Masai militia, but for our own use in any future contingencies. An English firm promised to deliver two weeks later 10,000 very picturesque and strikingly designed complete uniforms, of which, moreover, our Eden Vale sewing-factory speedily got ready several hundred made of our large stores of brightly coloured woollen goods, so that the el-moran were able to see, on the 19th and 20th of June, the splendours in store for them.

Thus furnished, Johnston left Eden Vale on the 12th of June, and reached the shore of the Naivasha on the 16th, leaving his caravan of goods a few days' march behind him. The elders and leitunus of all the Masai tribes, as well as the ambassadors of the Kavirondo and Nangi, already awaited him. The negotiations with the latter were soon ended: the conditions of alliance were again discussed, rich presents exchanged (the Kavirondo had brought several thousand head of cattle for their magnanimous victors), and on this side nothing further stood in the way of the approaching covenant-feast. We had thus secured trustworthy friends as far as the Victoria Nyanza, a great part of the shore of which was in the hands of the Kavirondo; in return for which, it is true, we had undertaken—what we did not for a moment overlook—the heavy responsibility of protecting the Kavirondo against all foes, even against the powerful Uganda.

The Masai, on the other hand, were at first greatly troubled by the conditions demanded of them. Johnston's eloquence, however, soon convinced them that their acceptance of these conditions was not merely unavoidable, but would be very profitable to themselves. He overcame their prejudice against labour by showing them that an occupation to which we powerful and rich white men were glad to devote ourselves could be neither degrading nor burdensome. They were not to suppose that we intended them to grub about in the earth, like the barbarous negroes, with wretched spades; the hard work would be done by oxen; they need only walk behind the implements, which were already on the way ready to be distributed among them. A few hours' light work a day for a few months in the year would suffice to make them richer than they had ever been made by the labour of their slaves. Even the el-moran were won over without very much difficulty by the promise that, if they would only work a little in turns, they should now be trained to become invincible warriors like ourselves, and should receive fine clothing and yet finer weapons. And when at last the endless caravan with the oxen and the agricultural implements arrived; when the wonderful celerity with which tire ploughs cut through the ground was demonstrated; and when Johnston dressed up a chosen band of el-moran in the baggy red hose and shirts, the green jackets, and the dandyish plumed hats, with rifle, bayonet, and cartridge-box, and made them march out as models of the future soldiery, the resignation which had hitherto been felt gave way to unrestrained jubilation. The Masai had originally yielded out of fear of our anger, and more still of the danger lest our friendship to the surrounding tribes might lead to the unconditional deliverance of the Masai into the hands of their hereditary foes. The numerous embassies which had appeared from all points of the compass (for the Wa-Kikuyu, Wa-Taveta, Wa-Teita, and Wa-Duruma—even the Wa-Kwafi and Swahili tribes—had sent representatives laden with rich presents to take part in the Naivasha festival) were significant reminders to them. But now they accepted our terms with joy, and were not a little proud of being able to show to the others that they were still the first in our favour.

And as the Masai, when they have made any engagement, are honourably ambitious—unlike the negroes—to keep it, the carrying out of the stipulations was a comparatively easy and speedy matter. A hasty census, which we made for several purposes, showed that there were some 180,000 souls in the twelve Masai tribes scattered over a district of nearly 20,000 square miles, from Lykipia in the extreme north to Kilimanjaro in the south. The country, although dry and sterile in the south-west, is exuberantly fertile in the east and north, and—particularly around the numerous ranges of hills, which rise to a height of 15,000 feet—equals in beauty the Teita, Kilima, and Kenia districts, and could well support a population a hundred times as large as the present one; but the perpetual wars and the licentiousness of the people have hitherto limited the increase of the population. Among the 180,000 were about 54,000 men capable of labour, the el-moran being included in that number. We handed over to the Masai 12,000 yoke-oxen, in exchange for which we received the same number of oxen for fattening. Our 500 agricultural instructors now looked out for the most suitable arable ground for their pupils, whom they organised into 280 associations similar to ours, without a right of property in the soil and with the amount of labour as the sole measure of the distribution of produce. The instructors taught them the use of the implements; and were able, two months later, to report to Eden Vale, with considerable satisfaction, that above 50,000 acres had been sown with all kinds of field-produce. The harvest proved to be abundantly sufficient not only to cover all the needs of the Masai, but also to secure to their white teachers, both agricultural and military, the payment then customary in Freeland.

While in this way, on the one hand, the agricultural associations were set to work, on the other hand some 300 military instructors initiated relays of 6,500 el-moran into the mysteries of the European art of war. The 26,000 Masai warriors were divided into four companies, each of which was put into uniform and exercised for a year. The rifles remained our property, the uniforms became the property of the Masai warriors, but could be worn only when the owners were on duty. There was no pay for peace duty—rather, as above mentioned, the Masai defrayed the cost of their military training out of the proceeds of their agriculture.

The agricultural as well as the military instructors made themselves useful in other ways, by imparting to their pupils all kinds of skill and knowledge. There were no specially learned men among them, but they opened up a new world to the Masai, exercised a refining and ennobling influence upon their habits and morals, and in a surprisingly short time made tolerably civilised men of them. The Masai, on their part, enjoyed their new lives very much. They were well aware that their altered condition made them the object of all their neighbours' envy, whilst they were still more highly respected than before. And, what was the main thing—at the beginning at least—they enjoyed their new wealth and their increased honour without finding their labour at all painful to those needs. For in this fortunate country it required very little labour expended in a rational way to get from the fruitful soil the little that was there looked upon as extraordinary wealth. He who twice a year spent a few weeks in sowing and harvesting could for the rest of the year indulge in the still favourite luxury of dolce far niente. In later years, when the needs of the Masai had been largely multiplied by their growing culture, more labour was required to satisfy those needs; but in the meantime our pupils had got rid of their former laziness; and it may be confidently asserted that not one of them ever regretted that we had imposed our civilisation upon his nation. On the contrary, the example of the Masai stimulated the neighbouring peoples; and, in the course of the following years, the most diverse tribes voluntarily came to us with the request that we would do with them as we had done with the Masai. The suppression of property in the soil among those negro races who—unlike the Masai and most of the other peoples of Equatorial Africa—possessed such an institution in a developed form, in no case presented any great difficulty: the land was voluntarily either given up or redefined. Nowhere was property in land able to assert itself along with labour organised according to our principles.



CHAPTER XI

The meeting of the International Free Society at the Hague had, as the reader will remember, conferred full executive power upon the committee for the period of two years. This period expired on the 20th of October, when the Society would have to give itself a new and definitive constitution, and the powers hitherto exercised by the committee would have to be taken over by an administrative body freely elected by the people of Freeland. On the 15th of September, therefore, the committee called together a constituent assembly; and, as the inhabitants were too numerous all to meet together for consultation, they divided the country into 500 sections, according to the number of the inhabitants, and directed each section to elect a deputy. The committee declared this representative assembly to be the provisional source of sovereign authority, and required it to make arrangements for the future, leaving it to decide whether it would empower the committee to continue to exercise its executive functions until a constitution had been agreed upon, or would at once entrust the administration of Freeland to some new authority. After a short debate, the assembly not only decided unanimously to adopt the former course, but also charged the committee with the task of preparing a draft constitution. As such a draft had already been prepared in view of contingencies, the committee at once accepted the duty imposed upon it. Dr. Strahl, in the name of the committee, laid the draft constitution 'upon the table of the House.' The assembly ordered it to be printed, and three days after proceeded to discuss it. As the proposed fundamental law and detailed regulations were extremely simple, the debate was not very long-winded; and, on the 2nd of October, the laws and regulations were declared to be unanimously approved, and the new constitution was put in force.

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