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Don Quixote in Finance

Don Quixote in Finance

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Excerpt from Don Quixote in Finance: Or Has Canada a Medici?, A Tale of Treasons, Stratagems and Spoils

In the minds of all men the individual holds a duty to his fellows: in fact, the State holds obligations to the individual. And, undoubtedly, justice for the individual is in the self-interests of the many. Modern cant promulgates the philosophy that questions of State only lie in the general interest; when one man is wronged does not his neighbour ask: "May I not be next?" Should the doctrine obtain that the State holds no duty to the individual, whither shall we drift? - for the State is really the individual and his brother!

The pages that go into this pamphlet tell the story of one who - according to his lights - has tried to hew to line. The astounding lesson to be drawn from the tale is that, not only are the hearts of our real rulers, our money-barons, impregnable against the call of justice, but that the law, always precarious, is much more elusive than one bred to the spirit of British moral sense, was wont to believe.

By our processes in the courts trained minds are necessary to one's guidance; indeed it has been said that the man who takes his own case before a judge has a fool for a client. If then one is compelled, in the pursuit of justice, to place his fortunes and his very soul in the keeping of another, and if justice is the very basis of civilization, then may we fear for our institutions when we feel that one's counsel may be subjected to intimidation or one's solicitors forced into being party to shifty compromises, wherein their client is not considered.

I hold that the general unrest throughout the world is due to the realization that popular government has been tried and found wanting. This may be called Bolshevism, and if I am called a Bolshevist I would point out that I have no desire to unwrongfully dispossess any man of his property, that I do not wish to kill anybody, that I have no ill-will towards His Majesty, our King. I am of complete United Empire Loyalist descent, and so strong is my affection for the British Throne that I believe in extending its powers rather than curtailing them.

To-day we have whole orders of rulers, all of whom must be satisfied at the cost of the public. Let us go to humbler fields for light. A Grand Trunk Railway conductor was once "had up" on "the carpet" for "knocking down" fares. He told his chiefs that he was guilty, but pleaded that now he had a house and everything he wanted in life and was inclined to remain honest for the remainder of his days, whereas, if he were dismissed and another put in his place, the new man would have to get all these things. So it is with our rulers: If one man were dictator and he were held in his position by the will of the people, then we would have only one to satisfy, whereas, to-day, we have scores of vampires and parasites, backed by the press and supported by interests, who must be fed and who are daily becoming more rapacious.

Many of my strongest impressions were gained during my stay in the Klondike. The generality of the men who essayed that wilderness in those days were virile in the extreme, yet each band of miners on the trail elected to its head a boss, who to all intents and purposes was king. The history of the Yukon bears this lesson: in the very early days, when the Mounted Police, under Captain Constantine, held despotic rule, title was given to an immense amount of the richest land, and not one word of scandal grew out of it; but when the politicians took the country over and "Democracy" held sway, official life became one grand carnival of wine, women and song.

Stock Exchange circles should be explored and laid open: the brokers should be made to display to the public the amounts lost through their offices - there is a constant stream of Canadian money flowing to New York Stock Exchange.
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