The Economic and Social Problem

Michael Flürscheim
The Economic and Social Problem
First published 1909
By Jefferson Publishing Company, USA

List of Content


The time is ripe, and rotten-ripe, for change; 
Then let it come: I have no dread of what 
Is called for by the instinct of mankind; 
Nor think I that God’s world will fall apart 
Because we tear a parchment more or less. 
Truth is eternal, but her effluence, 
With endless change, is fitted to the hour; 
Her mirror is turned forward to reflect 
The promise of the future, not the past. 
He who would win the name of truly great 
Must understand his own age and the next, 
And make the present ready to fulfill 
Its prophecy, and with the future merge 
Gently and peacefully, as wave with wave. 
The future works out great men’s purposes; 
The present is enough for common souls, 
Who, never looking forward, are indeed 
Mere clay, wherein the footprints of their age 
Are petrified forever; better those 
Who lead the blind old giant by the hand 
From out the pathless desert where he gropes, 
And set him onward in his darksome way. 
I do not fear to follow out the truth. 
Albeit along the precipice’s edge. 
Let us speak plain: there is more force in names 
Than most men dream of; and a lie may keep 
Its throne a whole age longer, if it skulk 
Behind the shield of some fair-seeming name. 
Let us call tyrants tyrants, and maintain 
That only freedom comes by grace of God. 
And all that comes not by His grace must fall; 
For men in earnest have no time to waste 
In patching fig-leaves for the naked truth.
 —James Russell Lowell