Yes, everybody, conservative and radical, rich and poor, agree more or less on this point, on the point of the existence of wretched misery.
But as soon as the question of the causes of the misery comes up, then we find disagreement and dissension. And the dissension becomes still more pronounced, more bitter and more irreconcilable when we begin to discuss the remedies for the various evils that afflict mankind.
And the object of my remarks to-night is to give you my idea of the etiology of a good deal of our misery. I do not suppose many of you will agree with me, not at first, at any rate. If all of you agreed, there would be no need for my lecture. If there is anything I detest, anything that is abhorrent to my whole being, it is to repeat platitudes, to announce, with a show of courage and self-sacrifice, ideas which have become common property, which nobody contests, and which nobody cares for anyway, whether they are right or not.
I will ask you to transfer yourselves for a few moments some forty or fifty thousand years back, and cast a mental glance at our ancestors. How did man spend his time, what were his occupations, what were his interests? He was busy with but two things - to hunt for food so that he might fill his belly, and to find a mate. At the time we speak of, the second was easier than the first.