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Figure FRANK DIXON 168 Saint Johns Place BROOKLYN-NEW YORK Lawlessness WE Americans are probably the most lawless people in the civilized world. We pass more laws than all other nations combined, and break more with impunity. We have an average of 8,500 murders a year, and execute less than two per cent of the murderers. Murder is one of the safest enterprises in the United States. Crime has been increasing all over the world for forty years, but more rapidly here than anywhere else. No generation ever grew up on this earth so familiar with crime as that which has grown up in the United States within the past twenty years under the influence of the moving picture. Almost every phase of misconduct, of vice and crime known to the human race has been spread before our children on the screen. Within this period crime has doubled, in proportion to population, too. Books and magazines appealing directly to the animal instincts in human nature are pouring from the press in huge volume. Stories of crime written with the skill of the dime novelist whose effect is to glorify the criminal appear frequently in the daily press. The cost of crime to the people of the United States in money alone is estimated at not less than $10,000,000,000 a year, one-sixth of the nation's income. Thefts, embezzlements, robberies, burglaries, murders, in all sections of the country, are of such frequent occurrence as to justify the gravest apprehensions on the part of sober-minded citizens. Civilization faces its most appalling failure in its inability to stem the rising tide. The time for action—swift, intelligent, effective action—has come. We must choose between two modes of action: First, the MOB. Faith in the mob is deep-rooted in the subconscious mind of democracy. Through indifference or ignorance political and social evils are allowed to flourish until they become intolerable, then the mob is evoked. Vigilance committees, secret organizations, various movements expressive of the mob impulse, are launched, and orderly government is suspended or overthrown. The crime of the individual is not to be cured by converting a whole community into criminals. Second, the SCIENTIFIC ANALYSIS of the causes of crime and the patient application of effective remedies. The increase in crime in the United States is due mainly to OUR FAILURE TO ADMINISTER CRIMINAL JUSTICE through defective machinery and a false theory of punishment, and to the ABUSE OF THE LAWMAKING POWER by a vicious attempt to substitute written law for religion, morality, education and home discipline. These defects must be corrected and our machinery modernized. The term of imprisonment for every criminal should be for life, or until a Commission of Scientific Experts employed by the state shall pronounce him cured of his criminal impulse. The right of the executive to pardon should be conditioned solely upon the recommendation of this Commission. Incurable criminals should be segregated in colonies, given productive labor by which the state would be relieved of the burden of their support, prevented from propagating their species, treated humanely, and held for life. The lawbreaker is an enemy of society, but not so dangerous an enemy as the lawmaker who does not understand the science of government, to whom any law appears to be good if a majority seems to want it, who draws no distinction between the things that can be properly done by law and the things that ought never to be attempted by law. That man is confusing the moral judgment of the nation and destroying the foundation of reverence for law itself. The supply of habitual criminals who are usually incurable may be cut off at its source by the moral education of the nation's children in the public schools. By the segregation of incurable criminals, and the consequent extermination of the breed, nine-tenths of the criminals would disappear from our population within three generations. This will be the greatest achievement of practical statesmanship in modern times. Reports from the Field AFTER the address on Lawlessness had been heard at the Forum meeting of the Chamber of Commerce of Columbus, Ohio, January 30, Mr. Carl N. Crispin, Forum manager, wrote: We try to make the Columbus Chamber of Commerce Forum a university extension course, and it is needless to say Mr. Dixon is one of our best professors. Please convey to him our keen appreciation. A record audience packed the theater in Germantown, Philadelphia, Sunday afternoon, January 25, to hear this address under the auspices of the Y. M. C. A. It was broadcast by radio. Mr. Wm. H. Crown, The Secretary, says: I hope we shall have the privilege of having you with us again. On Sunday afternoon, March 8, Mr. Dixon addressed a men's meeting in the Y. M. C. A. hall at Fort Wayne, Indiana. Mr. F. B. Ruf, the Secretary, writes: Splendid address. I would like to grip your hand and tell you how greatly a specific message of this kind is needed. I want to thank you for it, and in doing so I am voicing the sentiment of all the men who were present. Mr. Dixon spoke on Lawlessness to seven hundred men at the weekly meeting of the Advertising-Selling Club at Omaha, Neb., February 23. At the close the applause became an ovation. FOR more than two decades Mr. Dixon has devoted his whole time to the lecture platform for the education of the American people for intelligent, responsible citizenship. His home address is 168 Saint Johns Place, Brooklyn-New York. All applications for lecture service should be sent directly to him.
|Topical Subject (LCSH)||Lecturers|
|Personal Name Subject||Dixon, Frank|
|Digital Collection||Traveling Culture: Circuit Chautauqua in the Twentieth Century|
|Contributing Institution||University of Iowa. Libraries. Special Collections Dept.|
|Archival Collection||Redpath Chautauqua Collection|
|Rights Management||Educational use only, no other permissions given. U.S. and international copyright laws may protect this digital image. Commercial use or distribution of the image is not permitted without prior permission of the copyright holder.|
|Contact Information||Contact the Special Collections Dept. at The University of Iowa Libraries: http://www.lib.uiowa.edu/spec-coll/contact/index/|
|Number of Pages||6|
|Digitization Specifications||Scanned at 600 dpi, 32-bit color. Master image available in tiff format.|