“For always in thine eyes, O Liberty!
Shines that high light whereby the world is saved;
And though thou slay us, we will trust in thee.”
On Picket Duty.
Stanley Africanus (as he would have been called in a more romantic age) may have explored some dark corners of the earth. But the darkness of his mind is impenetrable and beggars description. In answer to a reporter’s question, he said, with reference to his wife, Dorothy Tenant: “Will she write a book? If it pleases her. I think she does better work with her pen than her brush. What she puts on paper is a better picture than what she puts on canvas. But the book will be printed for her family and friends and not for the public. I hold that a man’s wife is too sacred for the world to know and discuss.”
According to the Supreme Court of Minnesota, a license fee of five dollars for one day for peddling is not unreasonable. Peddling is liable to become a public nuisance, and it is a legitimate exercise of the police power to impose a fee large enough to act as a restraint. According to an English judge, it is a crime to ask workmen in favor of short hours of labor to support no firms that decline to join the early closing movement, and it is a crime to publish a poster reciting the fact that a resolution to that effect would be brought before a public meeting. Will Mi. Spencer discover in these decisions proof of the correspondence of legality with the corollaries from the law of equal liberty?
A speaker of the People’s party of this State having spoken of ours as a “land of lost liberty,” the Boston “Herald” mildly rebukes him. It considers the implied statement absurd as well as unjust. “Lost liberty,” says the “Herald,” implies “liberty parted with which had once been possessed. We know not of any liberty of this kind of which the American people have been deprived.” The point is well taken. May I venture to amend the statement? This is not a land of lost liberty, but a land of lost love and appreciation and understanding of liberty. Does the “Herald” deny this statement likewise? Then it only furnishes additional proof of its correctness. Only those who do not know what liberty is can deny that this is a land of lost love and appreciation of liberty.
Editor Watterson dislikes hypocrisy and humbug. In response to the toast, “The War Is Over,” at the Chicago Grant monument picnic, he delivered himself of the following refreshing and sensible words in reference to the so-called war for liberty: “As I see it, our great sectional controversy was, from first to last, the gradual evolution of a people from darkness to light, with no charts or maps to guide them, and no experience to lead the way. In the beginning all of us were guilty, and equally guilty, for African slavery. It was the good fortune of the North first to find out that slave labor was not profitable. So, very sensibly, it sold its slaves to the South, which, very disastrously, pursued the delusion. Time at last has done its perfect work; the South sees now, as the North saw before it, that the system of slavery, as it was maintained by us, was the clumsiest and costliest labor system on earth, and that when we took the field to fight for it we set out upon a fool’s errand. Under slave labor the yield of cotton never reached 5,000,000,000 bales. Under free labor it has never fallen below that figure, gradually ascending to six and seven, until this year it is about to reach nearly nine million bales. This tells the whole story.” Doubtless many patriots were shocked by this disillusionizing and prosaic view of the glorious struggle; but nobody has yet ventured to denounce Editor Watterson’s speech.
A Voice From the Past.
Liberty is indebted to a friend for the following extract from Andrew Jackson Davis’s “Penetralia,” published in 1856. It is highly interesting as one of the early expressions of the Anarchistic idea:
Individualism is the science of centralization; the law of mental mechanics; the doctrine of fidelity between orb and orbit; the philosophy of harmonial relations between centre and circumference. When a man exhibits a constant tendency towards his own welfare, regardless of the liberties and individual welfare of others, we term it “selfishness” on the lowest plane of individualism. Such a mind is circumscribed and needs expansion, needs to exercise more fidelity to the law of centrifugalism: it wobbles and hobbles around -its orbit like a wheel without relation or proportion. The inevitable cupidity of such minds does violence to our sense of individual harmony, rendering the condition repulsive. There is another form of selfishness, — the individualism manifested, like a fountain, from itself toward the circumference. The centre expands over the whole circumference of interest. This is the highest form of selfishness, — an identification of the individual with the whole. Some minds are so great and broad that nothing less than the happiness of the universe can satisfy their selfishness. Egotism is the term I apply to persons who exhibit the first and lowest forms of selfishness, and to the last and best form of selfishness the word “egoism” is strictly applicable. Egotism is a true label for minds who place themselves superciliously and pedantically first and foremost in a matter, — who use the personal pronoun “I” tn great abundance, as if everything and everybody were secondary and subordinated. But, on the other band, to the feeling of selfhood — to the relations realizable between individualism and the world without — we may apply the word “Egoism” with the greatest propriety. Egoism is the truest form of individuality. The egoist is one who realizes the whole world through — and only through — the centre of his own being. The senses are channels leading to that centre. Egotism is the animal; egoism is the man. Between these may be found all forms and gradations of human character.
In every department of society we need more individualism. There is now too much sameness; the monotony is irksome; we almost see the uniformity of imbecility. By individualism I am not understood to mean a burly, swaggering, defiant opposition to established customs; nor yet am I apprehended to mean a foolish egotistic pride of being unlike others, which indicates a self-conceited and pugnacious character. But, instead, I mean a straightforward, manly, and womanly perseverance in honor of the right — the highest ideal of truth — that lives and rules within. Your highest and deepest conviction, that is your truth; my deepest and highest conviction, that is mine. You cannot, therefore, altogether follow me, nor I you; but each revolves in his own orbit. Each should have his own life — his own liberty — his own experience — his own truth. Influences are now being exerted, on all sides, for the amelioration of our universal race and the establishment of individual Rights and Liberties. Let all men take courage. The long night of despotic combinations is fast departing. But like a mighty saurian-lizard of primeval origin, it will struggle desperately before it dies. You will be summoned to the field of battle. The individualism of man is to be resurrected. The few will profoundly respect and fight for it; while the many will side with institutionalism. But one man will put a thousand such to flight: and the victory will be sure and speedy on the side of humanity.
Institutions were made for man; not man for institutions. Although man-made and essentially arbitrary, institutions have ever arrogated to themselves the right to rule the individual. And as it sometimes happens that the individual openly ignores the right and supremacy of the institution, so do we behold institutional attempts, by means of gibbet, rack, and fagot, to bring the traitor into subjection and perpetual dishonor. All political and ecclesiastical governments have been based on this theory, — viz., the innate disqualification of the individual for self-government, and hence the necessity of institutional laws. Institutions combine and conspire against individual freedom; and men, so long accustomed to vassalage, yield themselves conscientiously to perpetuate the iniquity. Great men, and the so-called wise, around me are supporters of organizations: they stand in the midst of evils, and have, therefore, no power to discern them. Mankind must be strengthened in personal progress; must aim equally after political and religious emancipation, must learn, as it were by heart, the Law of Liberty. The influence of institutions is daily diminishing; and the times are pregnant with promise that each may become a law unto himself.
Friends of institutions are called “loyalists”; the friends of humanity are marked down in history as “conspirators.”
An institution is an establishment appointed, prescribed, and founded by authority — intended to be permanent. The popular idea of an institution is an organized society, established by law, or the authority of individuals, for the promotion of any given object, social, political, or religious. Hence, it cannot but be seen that an institution is somewhat like the Chinese wall — a stupendous and systematic effort to keep individuals permanently within or without. The individual is never encouraged to grow and expand, save to the circumference of the circle. There he must stop, or be called a conspirator, a rebel, and — take the penalties. The only plan to prevent the establishment of political and ecclesiastical despotism is this: a universal education of our people to revere and practice the principles of Absolute Individual Liberty. The conservative may cry aloud for the safety and sanctity of institutions. But heed him not! his cries proceed from the wilderness of crime and marshes of despotism, which are ten-fold more dangerous than the everglades of Florida.
Governments procreate and reproduce themselves; they come in the natural course of things. The first government was anarchy; that is, no government at all. This was the germ. The last will be even so — with this difference, that each individual at first was actuated by his passions; at last, each will move by the light of Reason. At first each considered might as right; at last, each will esteem right as might. The anarchy of the first days was Confusion; the anarchy of the last days will be Harmony. The first form of government, being anarchial, forced every person to rely on his own centre of strength. But man was then unable to practice individualism on a higher plane. Force, not reason, was manifested. The strong began to oppress the weak. Innumerable troubles arose among neighboring tribes; and so, from the bosom of Necessity, came another form of government. The second form was patriarchal. Now each tribe had its own father, who was arbiter and absolute governor. But this form gradually changed into theocracy, — the government of a people by the supposed immediate direction of God. The Israelites furnish an example. The fourth form is monarchy, — a government in which the supreme power is lodged in the hands of a single individual. The fifth form is republicanism, — a government in which the sovereign power is lodged by the people in their representatives. The sixth form is democracy, — an institution in which the supreme power is lodged in the hands of the people. The democratic form is superior to republicanism; but even this form of government is too formal for humanity. The anarchy of the first must come out at last in the Individualism of refined and civilized man. Hence, progressives as we are, we declare ourselves openly in favor of No Government. The people are governed too much. They will rebel. They will gradually become ungovernable. They will demand at each other’s bands absolute, supreme Individual sovereignty; the independent or absolute power of self-government; supreme, uncontrolled, unlimited, and inherent right of each and every man to govern himself. Yes, each person will become an autocrat — and each autocrat will be a power, exercising equal justice, This is Perfect Individualism.
“In abolishing rent and interest, the last vestiges of old-time slavery, the Revolution abolishes at one stroke the sword of the executioner, the seal of the magistrate, the club of the policeman, the gunge of the exciseman, the erasing-knife of the department clerk, all those insignia of Politics, which young Liberty grinds beneath her heel.” — Proudhon.
The appearance in the editorial column of articles over other signatures than the editor’s initial indicates that the editor approves their central purpose and general tenor, though he does not hold himself responsible for every phrase or word. But the appearance in other parts of the paper of articles by the same or other writers by no means indicates that he disapproves them in any respect, such disposition of them being governed largely by motives of convenience.
E. C. Walker, formerly editor of “Fair Play” and now a regular contributor to the columns of Liberty, is also an authorized agent for Liberty and for all books and pamphlets published by Benj. R. Tucker.
A New Book Given Away With Each Renewal. — Payment of subscriptions and of renewals is required in advance. The names of subscribers not heard from within two weeks after expiration of subscription are removed from the list. But to every subscriber who sends his renewal for one year, accompanied by the cash, so that it reaches the publisher not later than two weeks after it is due, will be sent, postpaid, any book published in the United States that the subscriber may select, provided that its retail price does not exceed 50 cents if published by Benj. R. Tucker, or 25 cents if published by any other publisher. This is a permanent offer, and enables every promptly-paying subscriber to get a new book each year free of cost. But only one book will be given at a time, no matter how low the price of the book selected.
Juries and Majorities.
My friend, Mr. George A. Schilling of Chicago, submits the following exceptions to the position taken in my article on the Referendum:
I admire the candor with which you have discussed the Referendum. I think you hare placed Mr. Sullivan’s side in its strongest possible light; but really I was a little disappointed with your “wind up,” in which you ask the substitution of juries instead of majorities. First, juries drawn from the body of the people impartially are not likely to be more just or intelligent than the whole body from which they are drawn. Second, to advocate the reference of all laws to juries alone would give the institution the same fixity, excluding competition in modes of government or association, against which we generally protest. It seems to me that you cannot exclude the body of the people, in any given society which recognizes the law of equal freedom, from expressing their wish as to the laws or rules of their conduct. The question as to how to deal with members charged with infraction of equal liberty is quite another matter. I know Spooner wishes juries to have power to judge of the justice of the law also, and I think he is sound. Still the question remains where is the proper source of the power of enactment if not in the body or majority of the people composing an association or government.
My friend is quite right in suggesting that juries impartially drawn are not likely to be more just or intelligent than the whole body of citizens from which they are drawn. But nobody can reasonably ask or expect them to be more just or intelligent. The point is that they are likely to be as just and intelligent as the whole body, that they are truly representative of the whole body, and that their decision may be taken as the decision of the whole body. If it can be shown that juries impartially drawn are not likely to represent the whole body, then trial by jury is not the palladium of liberty. But, in the words of Mr. Spooner, “it is fairly presumable that such a tribunal will agree to no conviction except such as substantially the whole country would agree to if they were present taking part in the trial. A trial by such a tribunal is therefore in effect a trial by the country. In its results it probably comes as near to a trial by the whole country as any trial that it is practicable to have without too great inconvenience and expense. In such a trial, the country, or the people, judge of and determine their own liberties against the government.” A trial by the whole body of citizens being out of the question, the choice is between trial by jury and government by majority, between obedience to laws enacted by the majority, or the representatives of the majority, and obedience to laws approved by a jury representing the whole body of citizens. If Mr. Schilling can point out a more perfect way of insuring ‘‘government by consent,” we are ready to accord it the most favorable consideration. All we assert is that reference of laws to juries is preferable to reference to majorities. Majority rule is clearly and indubitably opposed to the consent principle, while jury-rule, so to speak, promises to secure government by consent and to be the best instrumentality for the enforcement of equal liberty.
The question of the expression of the people’s will is of little importance. Every citizen is free to express his opinion in any way he chooses. The source of the power of enactment is of course in the whole body of citizens. It is not necessary to discuss here the best mode of preparing, formulating, or proposing laws; so far as liberty is concerned, the only question of importance is as to the enforcement of the laws. Are they to be enforced at the bidding of majorities, or are they to remain void unless the whole body of citizens approve them and order their enforcement?
Mr. Schilling speaks of the desirability of competition in the modes of government. I am not certain of his meaning. Believers in equal liberty cannot support any system which contemplates the enforcement of things not warranted by equal liberty; nor can they accept “a mode of government” which fails to secure equal liberty, which admits invasion and injustice. Equal liberty means the repression of “the lower forms of competition,” while it allows the freest competition in the higher forms. Trial by jury is recommended as a means to the end, as an appliance for the enforcement of equal liberty. Certainly there is no intention to prevent people who may desire to enforce more than the dictates of justice from forming themselves into an association and competing with the sociétés based on different principles. No one can be allowed, however, to practise his theories and make his experiments at the expense of other people; no society can be allowed to encroach upon the liberties of those who do not voluntarily join them.
My friend’s fear of fixity is groundless. If Spooner proves anything, he proves that trial by jury is the best safeguard against fixity or rigidity. There can be no fixity in any objectionable sense where the spirit of the law is consulted rather than the letter, where the aim and endeavor is to do justice to all parties rather than to uphold the authority and dignity of the law. V. Y.
Chicago’s Pious Pow-Wow.
Among the things that Chicago proposes to expose at its Exposition is its own narrowness and bigotry, and a very indecent exposure it will be. The World’s Columbian Exposition, at which everything under the sun can be seen, is to have an “Auxiliary,” at which everything under the sun can be heard. At least such is the pretence. But an examination reveals its hollowness. In an official announcement made in the “North American Review” for October it is proclaimed that at the World’s Congress “no discussion, whether in religion, law, or indeed any other subject, will be permitted which tends to attack, to antagonize, or to attempt to overthrow the recognized social law of the civilized world or existing forms of government. Thus neither the Mormon nor the Anarchist will be afforded an opportunity of presenting his peculiar views, as these are in direct antagonism to recognized moral and social laws.” This prompts one to ask what is the use of going thousands of miles to discuss the “recognized social law of the civilized world” if it is assumed to be perfect in advance; and, on the other hand, if the possibility of error is assumed, who should be heard if not those who claim to have discovered the error? Evidently the men who hanged Spies and Parsons and Fischer and Engel have a controlling voice in the management of the World’s Congress. Indeed the gallows upon which those executions took place would form the most appropriate exhibit for this thought-suppressing congress. Beside it might be advantageously placed the cross upon which Christ was crucified, as indicative of one of those “points of agreement” between the Jewish and the Christian religions, the search for which is announced as “the governing principle of the World’s Congress Auxiliary.” T.
Dr. William A. Hammond says in the “North American Review”: “The fact is that the average American is incapable of self-amusement. He requires to be entertained; he is essentially gregarious; the idea of going out into the woods or to the seashore or the mountains by himself, or at most with a congenial companion, is in the highest degree repugnant to him. He loathes that privacy and seclusion from the eyes of his fellows which it would appear every well-ordered person ought to desire. He likes glare and excitement and turmoil and noise.” What is true of the American in the matter of amusements is equally true of him in the more serious relations and activities of life. He cannot comprehend the creative genius of individuality. He is a circumstance, — in no sense a centrestance. To him the essentials of political economy are the torch and the tom-tom of the party fandango. His religion is the religion that pays best, — that is, the religion of the majority of those who immediately encompass him; that is, again, the religion that enables him to utilize the most pliant of cartilage in lieu of firm backbone, and relieves him of any necessity to think quietly and independently. He meekly accepts the ethical code of his crowd, and with the latter becomes vigorous only when crushing the life out of some impudent fellow who neglects to take off his hat to the mob’s morality Mumbo Jumbo. He mildly wonders why nature did not make all people look exactly alike; it is the first article of his creed that they should all act exactly alike, and by Grundy! they shall act alike or he will know the reason why. In short, the average American is less able than any other said-to-be civilized being to stand upon his own feet in the simple strength and dignity of self-centred, self-poised, self-respecting manhood. And what is true of the American man is no less true of the American woman. I speak of the average American, — the exceptions do not count in the crowds or affect the results at the polls. Their influence touches only the most lightly their idol-worshipping contemporaries, and they are understood and loved only by those of kindred spirit who succeed them in the generations.
Recently the newspapers got hold of an “infidel” “mare’s nest.” It was this dispatch from Racine, Wis:
Ex-Mayor M. M. Secor this evening distributed an armful of circulars containing the following:
A Good Proposition to Our Reverend Gentlemen: —
I will become one of your followers provided you go through a test I prescribe. On some good, stormy day I want our firm believing orthodox ministers to place themselves on a scow, be taken out into the middle of Lake Michigan, and left there without any oars, rudder, or sails. But I want them to have all the Bibles and prayer books they want for their assistance and depend on the Lord only. No human hand must help them. If they make a success of such a voyage and reach port in safety, I will join an orthodox church and attend regularly, and many others will join me. Prayers and the Lord must save them alone, and no human hand.
Yours truly, M. M. Secor.
The circular is the talk of the town. The ex-mayor is an Infidel and makes known his religions views at every opportunity, but he never went so far as this. He is a sworn enemy of the ministers because of their prominence in the reform movement.
Why should not Mr. Secor “make known his religious views at every opportunity”? Do not the ministers continually make known their religious opinions, but what newspaper deems it noteworthy? “Never went so far as this”? Well, it was awfully presumptuous in the ex-mayor to ask the ministers to honestly accept the logic of their own creeds, and try to live what they teach. No wonder the circular became the “talk of the town.” He could not have raised much more of a rumpus if he had asked the ministers to give the thieves who might take their coats their overcoats (cloaks) also, as their “Saviour” enjoined them to do. “He is the sworn enemy of the ministers because of their prominence in the reform movement”? Rather, be opposes the ministers because they seek to compel him and all others to accept their notions on various subjects, these notions to be enforced by their brother-meddlers, the law-makers. But Mr. Secor cannot consistently complain, as he reverences the State and has even less use for Anarchists than he has for ministers.
It would seem that every newspaper writer, big or little, who has written recently concerning Charles Stewart Parnell, has deemed it expedient to throw a sop to the sex Cerberus. The dead Irish leader is praised almost without stint; his grave errors and delinquencies are smoothed over or wholly ignored; and by many he is rated higher than Grattan and O’Connell; but one episode in his private life is everywhere paraded as his great sin, the cause of his “fall,” politically, and his early and sudden death. That the love of Parnell for Katherine O’Shea caused him to “fall” in the estimation of the English nobility and the Catholic priesthood should be strong presumptive evidence that the alleged “fall” was an ethical exaltation rather. Assuredly, Mr. Parnell has risen very much in the esteem of every clear-thinking man and woman during the last year. So far as we know, his conduct in this personal matter has been most admirable. Not once has he asked the forgiveness of lord, or priest, or peasant. Against the hypocrite-led horde of simpletons who sought to destroy him because he loved more, and more wisely, than they he waged a magnificent fight, giving scorn for scorn, blow for blow, and dying, unconquered paladin of Ireland, in the arms of her because of whose love the pygmies, puritans, and pretenders hated and maligned him. Living, the fickle peasantry deserted and jeered him and editors prated of his “immorality”; dead, the peasants throng reverently behind his flower-burdened bier, and the editors shed saurian tears over the most humanly-healthful act of his life. But what are postmortem reverence and tears? These give not back life. Love he had, and that is life. No man can have greater gift. And because he received this gift, they killed him. Let them weep. In sorrow, or remorse, or canting shame for the dead, it does not matter.
The Oakland board of education has decided that hereafter married women cannot be employed as teachers in the public schools of that city. There is agitation for a similar restriction in other cities. Many young misses are writing little notes to one of the Boston dailies to the effect that they, severally, will marry no man who is not prepared and willing to provide all the money needed for the support of himself and wife. Some of them express the most withering contempt for any young man who expects his wife to be financially independent of himself. The thought in the minds of these girls is the same as that in the minds of the members of the Oakland board of education, viz., that in marriage the wife gives the husband certain personal privileges in exchange for support. They know that, if he obtained these privileges away from home and for a shorter period than that named in the life contract called marriage, he would have to pay cash down, or its equivalent, and they can see no injustice in exacting the same payments under the life contract. The members of the Oakland school board think that it is unjust that married teachers, who are, supposedly, giving said personal privileges exclusively to their husbands, should not be supported by said husbands and so relieved of the necessity of competing for planes in the public schools, to the manifest detriment of unmarried women teachers who, not having made any legal contract for the exchange of favors for support, are, so far as is known, compelled to depend upon their own other exertions to obtain the means of livelihood. This is the plain English of the action of the Oakland school board, it is the plain English of the demand of the young misses who write for the Boston daily, and it is the plain English of the popular sentiment regarding woman’s social and economic status.
The religious people of Eaton Park, Indiana, objected to the “desecration of Sunday” by boating on the Missinewa River at that place. So the dam that made the boating possible was blown up with dynamite, to the damage of neighboring property and the endangering of life. It is wonderful, the horror which the good folk have of “unlawful” acts — when they are not the perpetrators thereof.
Rev. Madison C. Peters, of the Bloomingdale Reformed Church, recently preached against the electrocution anti-publication law of New York. He said: “The people do not want any star-chamber reports on such matters.” Very well, so far, but how about the star-chamber reports of our grand juries? And further, as concerns the liberty of the press, for which he was pleading, what has Rev. Peters to say regarding the Comstock Postal Law and the Anti-Lottery Law? And if the press of New York was as acquiescent touching the electrocution law as it is concerning the Comstock and Anti-Lottery statutes, would Mr. Peters have preached the sermon above indicated?
Russia has succeeded in negotiating a loan of $100,000,000 at Paris. The financiers who have so opportunely come to the aid of the Czar have doubtless counted upon the enthusiasm of the French people toward everything Russian to aid them in placing this loan. The French people have always shown a willingness to make sacrifices whenever an appeal has been made to their patriotism or an opportunity presented to settle old scores. — Philadelphia Record.
What a satire it is on the vaunted superiority of republics over “despotisms” that the two nations which are on the most amicable terms with the Russian autocracy are the republics of France and the United States! The friendship of the United States government for the government of the Czar has been notorious for years, and now the Germany-hating fiery “patriotism” of France has thrown her with an hysterical shriek of gunpowderly love into the arms of the cruel Bear of the North. It is pitiful.
The American newspapers were very much surprised to learn when delegate Saniel returned from the International Socialist Congress at Brussels that, when he said there that the United States was “fast becoming a hell for the working people,” he did not mean “that America was the only country that was a hell, or becoming a hell, for working people.” Of course he did not mean that, and no man possessing a sufficient stock of information to qualify him to write three lines of local news for a cross-roads patent insides paper ever supposed that he did, and yet nearly all the newspapers in the country raved as though Mr. Saniel had not been speaking of America as illustrating sociological conditions prevailing everywhere in the civilized world. The sophomoric utterances of the American press are a positive disgrace to journalism and a fit commentary upon the alleged common sense of the American people.
Great excitement is said to exist in Madras, India, over the prosecution of a boy who set up an indecent idol image before a hut which was in course of erection. The boy was arrested and sentenced to imprisonment. This has called forth an earnest protest on the ground that the boy was innocent of any indecent intention, and only meant to follow the religious forms of his ancestors. Phallic worship has still many devotees in southern India. Under the administration of Lord Lansdowne the religions customs of India have been more interfered with than ever before, and there has been a corresponding increase of the hatred of the British by the natives.
It might interest Lord Lansdowne to know that the majority of the most important symbols and ceremonies of the Christian Church had a phallic origin. Does he know the significance of the cross and the steeple, for instance? But does it matter how little he knows of the history of religion? Has he not Power, and the will to use it, and what more does a Ruler need?
The Women’s Anti-Lottery League of Louisiana have issued an address to the women of that State, asking for aid in their crusade against the gigantic lottery influence in Louisiana, which thinks nothing of buying up whole legislatures in its interest. — Little Rock Woman’s Chronicle.
Is not the “buying up of a whole legislature” a purely defensive act upon the part of the Lottery Company? Who is compelled to buy lottery tickets? No one. Then which party takes the initiative in the game of force, the Lottery Company or the State? Manifestly the latter when it attempts to end the existence of the former. All defensive weapons and methods of procedure are legitimate, the only question relating to their use being one of expediency. If the “Woman’s Anti-Lottery League” and kindred organizations would mind their own business the “gigantic lottery influence” would make no attempt to buy “whole legislatures.” But perhaps the legislature continues in the invading business because it wants to be bought.
All political parties die at last of swallowing their own lies. — Arbuthnot.
But the trouble is that they last too long before the poison accomplishes its cleansing work. Now here is the Republican party; has an overdose of its poison made it immortal?
The departure of mental virility from Mr. Gladstone, which has been hinted at by the English press, is unfortunately substantiated by the gentleman himself in an expression regarding theosophy, which, though evasive in form, painfully indicates the absence of the vigor that once would have been outspoken in characterizing that absurd and deceiving delusion. — St. Paul News.
It is a thousand pities that the “News” did not discover “the departure of mental virility from Mr. Gladstone” when he was so enthusiastically championing the cause of Christianity, which is of the same family of “delusions” with Theosophy, both being of oriental origin and having a host of congeners. Mr. Gladstone could not well say anything regarding Theosophy which would be more lacking in mental “vigor” than were his several recent defences of the Bible. E. C. Walker.
A Vision of Elysium.
Once, in a far-away country, times were hard, and the people knew not what to do to make things boom as they formerly had been in the habit of booming. The people could form no idea of why times were so hard. Being destitute, most of them, of ideas upon any subject, as well as of the necessaries of life, they could not be expected to have any ideas as to the cause of the hard times.
Still less could they be expected to heed pedants who talked in learned and unintelligible words about “remota causa tollitur effectus.”
But the people observed and saw that the only way to get rich was by hard work; and that the surest thing in the way of hard work was a Government job. Let us be patriotic and statesmanlike, and, whereas all who have Government jobs are lucky, let us arrange enough Government jobs to go around. Let us vote — noble privilege — that we may free ourselves from the bonds of capital and enjoy, under liberty, each our Government job.
Now there were 36,544,788 people, and of these 13,122,362 were adults and 23,422,426 were children.
Up to that time there had been Government jobs for only 6,632,110, both men and women, as follows:
|Viziers, Envoys Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, Privy Councillors. Etc.,||3,015|
|Legislators of the General Upper House,||713|
|Legislators of the General Lower House||1,121|
|Pages, Ushers, Gentlemen in Waiting, Etc.,||3,642|
|Soldiers, Navy, Engineer Corps, Etc.,||1,607,842|
|Panjandrums of Twenty-One Provinces,||21|
|Provincial Viziers, Etc.,||20,618|
|Provincial Legislators, both houses,||12,813|
|Heads of Bureaus,||625|
|Employees of Bureaus (inspection, supervision, administration, etc.),||320,425|
|Provincial Customs Services,||1,416,912|
|Lords of Great Cities,||56|
|Employees of Great Cities (to epitomize) police, fire, courts, etc.,||618,210|
|All other towns, villages, etc., offices,||747,174|
So it will appear that there were 6,490,252 adults who needed jobs, less some 1,226,113 ladies who needed not a job, because, being ladies, they devoted themselves to the occupations of ladies, viz., labors of superintendence chiefly, and not to servile labor.
That left 5,274,137 people who needed jobs.
Being practical people and not given over to wild and impracticable theories, they set about it with a will.
Banners waved, barrels blazed, dogs barked, and the people cheered as they voted for the creation of the following offices;
|Clerks, Conductors, Surveyors, Etc.,||315,218|
|Superintendent of Trade,||1|
|Inspector of clothing on the person to prevent the wearing of dirty or infected apparel,||1|
|Inspectors of books, writings, etc., with power of suppressing publications to prevent the spread of immorality,||792,991|
|Priests, Ministers, Etc.,||719,891|
|Instructors in Housekeeping,||410,000|
|Supervisors of the Amusements of the Young,||317,816|
|Censors in General,||699,209|
And, being a light hearted and optimistic people, they rejoiced and danced and sang at their easy solution of their troubles; and they hoisted a checker-board flag of red and white squares; and they knelt down and prayed to it, and said: “Great is the Flag of the Land of the Wise and the Free.” John Beverley Robinson.
Despotism Tempered by Quacks.
The board of health of Massachusetts lately recommended to the Legislature of that commonwealth to make a law providing that all persons engaged in the healing art in any form, except dentistry, shall register within a certain time in the office of the clerk of the town where they propose to practice, describing themselves, and giving, under oath, in detail, their courses of instruction in medicine and the names of their colleges; false entries to be subject to the penalties for perjury, and failure to register, to fines or imprisonment.
It seems that there are too many quacks and irregular healers in Massachusetts, and the regular doctors think it time that they were suppressed.
Without any pretence of faith in any doctor who is not regular, and without prejudice to a sincere intention of calling in a thoroughly instructed and expert practitioner whenever occasion demands, it is still permissible to smile amiably at the professional jealousy of quacks. The successful physician, with exceptions which happily are more numerous than they were, is the most intolerant despot on earth. And we encourage him to be so. We are vaguely aware of the limitations of his knowledge; we know that he has to guess first what is the matter with us, and next what will do us good, and that though there are facts his acquaintance with which helps him to guess right, many theories that regulate his professional action are still hypothetical, and may or may not be correct. We know that he has discovered that many of the methods his father used were unwise and deleterious, and that the doses his grandfather gave often hastened the result they were intended to prevent, and hindered what they were designed to induce. We know not only that he is a man, and therefore fallible, but that his professional science, like his father’s and grandfather’s, is progressive, and is still very far from being exact. Nevertheless, when anything ails us, in spite of all we know of his limitations, we fly to him as though he were all-wise, and do as nearly what he tells us as our pockets permit.
This childlike trust in our physicians is a phenomenon which is creditable to us and to our doctors, and from which we both get benefit. Undoubtedly our physicians do us good; and indeed they ought to, even if they knew less and guessed less fortunately than they do, else were faith a much less potent virtue than it is declared to be. But it is one thing for us to flock of our own accord to the doctors, and quite another thing for those professional gentlemen to hold that we shall come to them and to none else, and that we may neither be legitimately born, nor die legally, except with the concurrence of the learned faculty. If we, being adults and possibly voters, want to prescribe for our own infirmities, or have our neighbors prescribe for us, or try our luck with patent medicines, or have in faith curers, Christian scientists, mind-curers, hypnotizers, or the representatives of any other school of therapeutic endeavor, does not our constitutional right to the pursuit of happiness warrant us in such experiments? There are many reasons for believing that it is wiser to trust a regularly educated physician than one that is irregularly educated or not educated at all; and unless the irregulars are in at the cure reasonably often they need not be much dreaded, for they will not get much custom.
If it relieves us to turn now and then from the traditional dangers of the regular physician’s half-knowledge to the confident ignorance of the quack, is it quite fair to rule that there shall be no quacks for us to turn to? Every person with a new theory is a quack until the value of the theory is demonstrated, but if all the quacks are arbitrarily suppressed, how are their theories to be tested? It is right enough that the medical profession should be a despotism, but, in the name of much that we know and much more than we hope to know, let Massachusetts hesitate before she for bids it to be a despotism tempered by quacks.
Don’t keep Liberty to yourself, share it with others!
Leonard E. Read: Accent On The Right: To Frederic Bastiat (1801–1850), who sought for truth rather than outcome and never witnessed the fruits his labor bore. Obedience to conscience was his first rule; we witness the results.
Leonard E. Read: Anything That’s Peaceful: Many favor peace but not many favor the things that make for peace. — Thomas à Kempis
Leonard E. Read: Awake for Freedom’s Sake: Finally, share with others. Forget about “reforming” them! The more we share, the more we learn. This is in the interest of self and freedom!
Leonard E. Read: Castles in the Air: If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; there is where they should be. Now put foundations under them. — Henry David Thoreau
Libertarian Anarchy: Against the State: Political philosophy is dominated by a myth, the myth of the necessity of the state. The state is considered necessary for the provision of many things, but primarily for peace and security. In this provocative book, Gerard Casey argues that social order can be spontaneously generated, that such spontaneous order is the norm in human society and that deviations from the ordered norms can be dealt with without recourse to the coercive power of the state.
Major Conservative and Libertarian Thinkers: Murray Rothbard: Murray Rothbard (1926–1995) was an economist, historian, philosopher, and legal theoretician. His work was unified by a passionate and resolute commitment to a libertarianism that may be characterized as ‘anarcho-capitalism’ and which implied a belief that even the legal system may be provided privately without the need for a coercive collective authority. Hence, anarcho-capitalists envisage a society where the traditional role of government is wholly subsumed by private, profit-making enterprises and all social relationships are ultimately founded upon consent.