Alfred Russel Wallace : Alfred Wallace : A. R. Wallace :
Russel Wallace : Alfred Russell Wallace (sic)
Why I Am a Liberal: Alfred R. Wallace, LL.D.
Editor Charles H. Smith's Note: One of a number of short responses "collected and edited" by
Andrew Reid into an 1885 book entitled Why I Am a Liberal: Being Definitions and Personal
Confessions of Faith by the Best Minds of the Liberal Party. Original pagination indicated
within double brackets. To link directly to this page connect with:
[[p. 103]] The world is full of oppression and wrong. Abuses and injustice are everywhere
rampant. The toilers do not receive their fair share of the wealth which they create. The very soil
of our native land is monopolised by a few, who are thereby enabled to live in idleness and ever-increasing luxury by means of the labour of other men. Millionnaires and the very wealthy are
increasing in number, and this necessarily leaves a smaller share of the wealth created by
industry to the rest of the community. All these, and many other evils, are the result of old
institutions and time-honoured doctrines, which are held sacred by the Conservative Party as
bulwarks of the Constitution. Liberals, on the other hand, maintain that all such things must be
judged on their merits, and that the antiquity of a law or custom is no proof that it is either just,
useful, or even politic.
[[p. 104]] Although very slow to act upon its convictions, the Liberal Party recognises
fundamental principles as a basis for reform, and aims at unbought justice and equal freedom for
all as the ultimate goal of political progress.
Believing that the terrible social evils which now afflict us can only be remedied by giving to
all an equal right to share in the gifts of nature to man, I look with confidence to the Liberalism of
the future for a recognition of this fundamental right, and its embodiment in our constitution and
Alfred R. Wallace.
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