He Was a Great Humanitarian
Jesse James was a great
humanitarian. So concludes Gus W. Dyer, professor of economics
and sociology at Vanderbilt university.
Prof. Dyer has spoken in Joplin and will be
remembered by many local citizens. He has a nation-wide
Originally, declares Prof. Dyer, a "humanitarian"
was a lover of mankind, a philanthropist, who gave of his time and
substance to help people. The idea of penalizing one class in the
interest of another was fundamentally antogonistic to the conception of
But today a great humanitarian is one who uses his
power to take property from one class by legal compulsion and
distribute it to millions as gifts.
A great humanitarian now is one who gives away other
people's money on a large scale. He assumes the role of
re-distributing the wealth of others.
Because of this new conception of humanitarianism,
it is impossible to deny that Jesse James was one, concludes Prof. Dyer.
It is true that Jesse ignored the injunctions of the
Ten Commandments and the constitution of the United States against the
invasion of the sanctity of property rights. But this only
demonstrated the fact that he was not bound by superficial
restrictions, and believed that human rights should come before
In his efforts to bring about a better distribution
of wealth, Jesse raided only the "big boys," the economic
royalists. He specialized on banks and transportation
companies. He was dominated by the conviction that these great
organizations had more than their share of the country's wealth.
Moreover, points out Prof. Dyer, Jesse James did not
hoard the money he took from the "big boys." He used his
"increased buying power" to bring prosperity to the communities that he
and his associates would visit from time to time. The hardware
business, the munitions business, the grocery stores, the saloons,
etc., were all helped by his increased buying power.
"To the credit of Jesse James," concludes Prof.
Dyer, "he helped the poor without any expectation of a political or any
kind of reward."