“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.”
Not So Much Difference, After All.
Mrs. Rebecca Jones Smith. — “You’re a cruel and selfish man, Richard Smith; I wish I had never seen your face. And to say you care for me while lording it over me and keeping me tied down here with your children, while you go off to enjoy yourself all Over the country! A nice penny this New Orleans trip must have cost you! And such a low thing, too, to see those brutal prise-lighters mixing with gamblers, thieves, and bullies, — nothing but the scum of the country! You would be ashamed of yourself if you had any sense of justice left in you at all. To have your children and me penned up here at home and to go squandering the money we need so badly for better purposes? It’s simply disgraceful.”
“The same old story. I kind of expected this greeting on my return. No wonder I am glad to get away once in a while. The kind of husband you would like to hang around and minister to your whims would be a nice, docile booby. A sentimental woman-worshipper. You would be a happy wife then, eh! you would have all you desire.”
“Wife, did you say? Wife? ha, ha, ha! Your wife? I’m only your housekeeper; you treat me no better than a hired domestic. I take care of your children; I are to their education; I am worried almost to death with them; but you don’t care. It never troubles you or gives you a thought. I must bear it all and keep your house in order. I must even assist my help in all the work, for you are so stingy with me I can’t have more than one girl. You are unable to afford it, you say. But you can afford to go to Louisiana to witness a man fight. Then you come home to boss over me and grumble at paying my milliner’s bills. You want to dictate and curb me like the bully you are. I’ll be your slave no longer, Richard Smith.”
“All right, my dear. You wish to be your own master, you do; but, as I’ve told you often before, you shan’t be mine. That’s what vexes you most. It’s very fine, this reading and discussing of woman’s emancipation, and bewailing sex-slavery. It’s not the women, I say, but the men who need emancipating. We are the slaves. We support you, pamper you, furnish you with luxuries and line homes, and carry you off to the beaches to pass away the hot summer months, while we return to our money-getting grind in the city. Then, when we pluck up courage to take a few weeks’ vacation ourselves, if we happen to choose a trip to New Orleans, we are selfish monsters, a disgrace to the family. But you can visit and receive your friends at pleasure; yes, you want your liberty, poor dear.”
“Don’t degrade yourself, Richard, any lower than you are by insulting me in this fashion. I have submitted long enough to it, not for your sake, but for your children’s, but I’m fairly tired of it at last. Marriage at beet means dependence and servility to a woman, but with a coarse-natured, unsympathetic husband, such as you have proved yourself, it is insupportable.”
“I know I’m bad, you’ve reminded me often enough. I drink, I smoke, I gamble, I bet on horses and men, I go to prize-fights. I take no interest in your sentimentalism, — Sociology, you call it. It’s out of my line. When I go to the theatre, I want to see a good blood-curdling melodrama, a screaming farce, or a burlesque with handsome women well displayed in it, — something that suits my taste. That don’t please you. I must take you to the opera; you don’t want the vulgar, your tastes are classical and refined. But it bores me to death. Still I’ve got to do It. Only occasionally however, for I can’t take you every time you want to go. It’s like purgatory to me. But you won’t go alone. Then I’m harsh and selfish when I refuse. I tell you what it is, I mean to go on pleasing myself and will put up with the consequences. I’ve got none of your fine notions and sentimental stuff, and I don’t care a damn for your philosophy.”
“Truly, sir, you show pretty plainly the sort of husband you are, the elevated mental and moral tastes you possess. You’re a credit to any woman, I must concede.”
“O yes, you’d like, I suppose, for me to be a model husband, like your friend Mr. Meanwell, a man of thought and intellect, a champion of that emancipation nonsense, who studies sociology and lectures on Nationalism, or Theosophy, or something of that sort.”
“You needn’t be making a coward of yourself as well as a bully, by attacking my friends in their absence. I only wish you knew how to treat Woman as Mr. Meanwell does. He is not a tyrant in his own home, as you are. His wife enjoys her liberty, for her husband knows what woman’s independence and equality with men mean, and accordingly treats her with deference and respect. He occupies his time with higher and better things than betting and prize-fights.”
“That’s the rot you believe then? Is this the result of twelve years of petticoat bondage? Poor little Eustace Meanwell a pattern for me! A perfect husband! And that’s all you know. I pity you, Becky, I do. Why, he’s the most henpecked creature in the State. Do you know why he’s a Socialist and a Nationalist lecturer? I guess I’ll tell you. It’s his wife has driven him to it. He was a good enough chap once, with none of that tomfoolery in his nut. But she worried him, made a menial of him, and bored him so he had to take refuge in something. As a relief against that exacting and dainty woman, he had to occupy his brainy head and surplus energy with some consoling and impracticable theory. That’s how he’s mixed up with these cranky fads of Socialism and women’s emancipation. It’s sheer irony of fate for him to uphold such notions. Emancipation of man he needs, like the rest of us. No, no, my dear, Meanwell’s no more to be thanked for his fine-spun theories and gentle manners than I am for taking pleasure in a good scrap. I’m a man of the world and care nothing for your theories. What I believe I ace and know; now, when this friend of yours has been driven to lecture on these things to escape his wife and forget his misery, what do you think she does? She accuses him of neglecting her, deserting his home, and giving time to spread these ideas that pay him nothing instead of thinking of his home duties and laying up for his family. That’s how you serve us; but I’m out of it.”
“Oh, you’re just like some of those men I read of in the little stories in my reform papers; you boast and brag of your own importance, and would like to make of your wife a piece of household furniture.”
“Your papers are all one-sided! Never the woman is the aggressor. The stories indeed! I’ve read one or two. They must be got up, I guess, either by enthusiastic poets or inexperienced youths; you don’t often get my side of the case in your reform literature, as you style it.”
“Your side, your side! Haven’t you your liberty? Do as you please, go where you wish, everything your own way. Am I like that? Can I exercise the same freedom? I’m bound down here under inexorable conditions, — must submit. There’s no choice for me. A flue position indeed for a person of intellect and culture! I say women should be independent. So long as we accept for mates our economic masters, we remain their slaves.”
“Oh, don’t bore me any more with your high falutin. Talk about slaves! I’ve been one since ever we came together. If you’re a slave, it’s not I who make you so; it’s the circumstances that have made both of us slaves. And you fancy you’ve been giving up your liberty to me. Have I not been doing the same all the time? Why, I can’t even smoke my pipe in my own house. Then I must peg away at business to find the money to keep a lady-wife and run an establishment. Don’t matter how many slaves I make in that process, nor what mean tricks I resort to. And money-making’s pretty near all meanness and rascality. But we must do it for our wives and families. I would slave less and enjoy myself more if I were what you want to be, — free and independent. You must ‘hear the other side,’ as one of your papers says.”
Biddy’s voice outside her mistress’s room-door. — “Miss’us, the man is here again about that bill. Must I say you’re out this time?”
“Show him into the parlor, Bridget; I’ll attend to him directly. . . .
“This is more of the fruits of my inferior position. It’s that dressmaker’s bill you refused to settle before you went off. It’s overdue, and they are provokingly pressing. A beautiful state of affairs, for a woman to have to come begging to her husband to pay for the clothes she wears!”
“How much is this bill, Becky?”
“You’ve seen it before; it’s two hundred and forty-five dollars. It’s the half-yearly account, and you know that Blanche and Maude are growing up fast, and are beginning to need a lot of dress, and girls’ clothes come expensive.”
“Well, I had better make you out a check at once. It will take nearly half my winnings on the Frisco boy, but it is part of my duties as a heartless tyrant. Here you are, Becky; fill in the name of your creditor and the exact amount, and take a receipt for it.” (Exit Mrs. Becky.)
(Reflectively) “There’s some truth in what she says, though I won’t tell her so. . . . Marriage a failure, they say! It is for me. These emancipationists are not far out on that, anyway. It’s all wrong somehow, but we must bear the consequences of our mistakes. Still, I can’t help kicking over the traces and bolting when there’s a chance. One thing I’m certain of, — I’d never tie myself to any woman in the world, or ask her to be tied to me, were I again a free man. That’s no sex-slavery philosophy; it’s bare fact, the fruits of experience. Let me see, the light-weight champion is to be at the Cyclops Club to night. I guess I’ll just slip off and meet him there.” Benedict.
An Early Spectator.
A married couple appear before a magistrate charged with lighting in the streets. A friend accompanies them.
“Did you see the beginning of the quarrel?” asks the magistrate of the friend.
“Yes, your honor, about two years ago.”
“What! two years!”
“Yea, I was a witness of their marriage.”
“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.
New York. — Samuel McWhinney, 2361 Eighth Ave.; Justus H. Schwab, 50 First Street.
Boston. — A. H. Simpson, 202 Huntington Ave.
Philadelphia. — Henry Heyne, Corner of Tenth and Market Streets.
Detroit. — Herman Reif. 94 Gratiot Ave.
Chicago. — Geo. A. Schilling, 85 Washington Street.
Denver. — Henry Cohen, 1239 Welton Street.
Canton, O. — Standard News Co.
London, England. — A. Tarn, 124 Temple Chambers; C. Attersoll, 44 Ellington Street, Barnsbury.
Melbourne, Australia. — D. A. Andrade, 213 Russell Street.
We, the undersigned, hereby agree, in case Benj. R. Tucker shall decide to publish in book form a compilation of articles written by him for his paper, Liberty, to purchase of him, at the rate of one dollar each, the number of copies herewith set opposite our respective names, and to pay to Benj. R. Tucker one-half the amount due for these copies whenever be shall call for it, and the balance on the appearance of the book.
|Previously Acknowledged||365 copies.|
|C. L. Cruzan, Dickerson Run, Pa.,||10 “|
|H. E. B. Coarsen, Warren, O.,||1 “|
|H. Oletich, Jr., Holstein, Iowa.,||2 “|
|J. C. Frost, Philadelphia, Pa.,||1 “|
|Clinton Loveridge, Brooklyn, N Y.,||1 “|
|Fred. A. Leise, Brooklyn, N. Y.,||1 “|
|John Henry Mackay, Saärbrucken, Germany,||2 “|
|William Walz, Newark, N. J.,||1 “|
|G. Gillen, Newark, N. J.,||5 “|
|L. Emerick, Mammoth Spring, Ark.,||1 “|
|A Single-Tax Woman,||2 “|
This is the Stuff.
Benj. R. Tucker:
My Dear Sir, — I herewith inclose to you two dollars in payment of my subscription to Liberty. Having returned to Dickerson Run, Fayette Co., Pa., to live more than six months ago, I have not been getting my paper with any regularity, and have missed quite a number of issues thereof entirely. I permitted the paper to be sent to Wilkinsburg, Pa., all this time, because I allowed a brother who lives there to receive it, hoping it would convert him from governmentalism, and also because I did not like to write to you until I could send money to pay my subscription. It takes a long time for an honest man to save a few dollars in dull times, when he has no other income but that which he receives for mining coal.
I regret that I did not learn sooner of the effort being made to secure five hundred subscriptions for the proposed new book. I would have written a word or two about it sooner. I appreciate what a benefit it will be to have such a hook published, and pledge myself to take ten (10) copies upon the conditions stated. To be sure, I am too poor to contribute so much as ten dollars myself, much as I wish I could do more than that, but I want to own one copy of the book at a cost of only one dollar, and I feel confident I can sell at least nine copies of such a book at a dollar each among acquaintances who will want to learn what such a book would I teach them, and I feel sure that most of the working-men who would read it would become thereafter regular subscribers to Liberty.
It seems to me that many of those who have subscribed for but one or two copies could, upon further reflection, safely invest in a greater number in the same way. I do hope the requisite number will be subscribed for.
C. L. Cruzan.
Dickerson Run, Pa., October 19, 1892.
It was well worth while to write my article on “The Temptations of Politics,” even if the event should prove that it did no more than to draw from Mr. Yarros the paragraphs which he contributes to this number of Liberty. True, he may claim that he has not changed his position, but he has considerably changed his tone, and it was principally his tone that was objectionable and misleading. In his previous paragraphs, while, as he says, he did “nothing more than record and interpret significant facts,” he contrived to give his interpretation an air that said what his words did not say. Any reader who had chanced to be wavering between the policy of abstaining as usual from voting and that of voting the Democratic ticket would have finished Mr. Yarros’s previous comments on current politics under the impression that he had received advice substantially like this; “Yes, vote with the Democrats; they are good fellows; they mean well; they are looking in our direction; not honest, but really you can’t expect men to court defeat by being honest; it’s true, to be sure, as Tucker says, that they don’t half understand this money question, and that there is grave danger of disaster to the free banking cause as a result of their ignorance and folly; still, let’s not say much about it, since this is a great chance to agitate and educate; we had better not mention this grave danger except when pinned down to it, and then only under our breath; the fact is, I think Tucker is making a mistake in saying so much about it anyway, and whenever he enlarges on it again, I am going to hurrah for the Democrats in a way that will drown his voice; now, if you were thinking of voting the Democratic ticket, don’t you be deterred by what Tucker says; don’t try to gainsay it, because you can’t, but have faith; don’t look too far ahead; the present, man, the present! why, it’s wonderful! hear George Fred Williams! hear the Atlanta “Constitution”! hear Edward Atkinson! Three cheers for Cleveland!” Such, I say, is the impression which a wavering reader would have received, and it is not unreasonable to suppose that he would have acted under its influence. But no such impression will be derived by any one from Mr. Yarros’s present utterances. The air, the tone, and to a considerable extent the emphasis, have undergone marked modification. Now the impression given is something like this: “I certainly shall not abuse any Anarchists who vote the Democratic ticket; if an Anarchist really thinks he can benefit his cause by voting, he does not, by casting his vote, become guilty of inconsistency; moreover, these Republicans are villains, and I should delight to see them forced to take a back seat; but, after all, we Anarchists have nothing to do with the matter; as far as at present appears, we have nothing to gain and everything to lose through politics; we have a more important work, peculiarly our own, and let us be about it; we should recognize healthy symptoms, but we should not countenance crooked work; the dangers that Tucker points out are real, and his comments upon them are sound, timely, wholesome, salutary, urgent.” A very different attitude from the other, it will be admitted, though perhaps it would be difficult to point out any logical contradiction between the two. Against the former it seemed to me necessary to make my protest; the latter, while not entirely to my liking, does not dispose me to special antagonism.
Nevertheless, there being in Mr. Yarros’s latest expression of his political attitude some things which I do not understand and some with which I do not agree, I will make a few comments.
I do not understand, for instance, this sentence: “Admitting and endorsing all that Mr. Tucker has charged against the Democratic party, I am still of the opinion that it is essential to dislodge the Republicans and deal them a mortal blow.” Essential to dislodge the Republicans, where by so doing we lodge the Democrats, who, by Mr. Yarros’s admission, are very likely to strike free banking the most damaging blow that it could possibly receive? This is incomprehensible to me when uttered by one who thinks the money question of the highest importance. In the matter of banking the worst that the Republicans are likely to do is to continue the present system, and such continuation is better for the cause of free banking than a change to another system of authoritarian banking, less secure than the present one, in the name and to the discredit of free banking. Now, even if on minor questions the Republicans are as much worse than the Democrats as Mr. Yarros thinks them, the admitted fact that their policy on this supreme question is less damaging to Anarchism than the Democratic policy is likely to prove in the end ought to prevent Anarchists from deeming it essential to dislodge the Republicans until a time shall come when they can be dislodged more advantageously.
As for Mr. Yarros’s “intuitive perception that among the manifold agencies destined to play a greater or smaller part in working out social salvation politics will have a certain place,” I might with equal truth say as much of religion. But just let a so-called Christian Anarchist show his head, and if Mr. Yarros doesn’t break it, it will be because there is no club handy. Christian Anarchism, far from inspiring Mr. Yarros to rise for prayer, arouses his fiercest antagonism. But now that some Democratic Anarchists have appeared, he manifests a wonderful tolerance for any “plumb-liners” who are anxious to join the political salvation army. This only shows that his perception and hatred of authority in the State are not yet as vivid and deep-seated as his perception and hatred of authority in the Church. Moreover, when Mr. Yarros, who is nothing if not ratiocinative, falls back upon intuition to sustain a proposition so little axiomatic that only fact and argument can settle it, it is reasonable to infer that he has a weak case.
I can go with Mr. Yarros in defending the consistency of Anarchists who vote with the Democrats, thinking this the way to achieve Anarchy. I myself would vote with the Democrats, or with the Republicans, or steal, or commit murder, or do anything conceivable, if I could thereby terminate or materially shorten the period of inconceivable suffering which must be the lot of the victims of authority prior to its downfall. But, unlike Mr. Yarros, I cannot acquit such Anarchists of absurdity. Voting Anarchists appear to me to belong to the class of people whom Claude Tinier happily describes as those who go to the cellar by way of the attic; except that these aim to go to the attic by way of the cellar. Their policy, to my mind, is not unlike that of Anarchists who espouse State Socialism as a first step. True, it is their intention to vote only for repeal; but so it is the intention of the “State-Socialistic Anarchists” to temper and modify State Socialism. As a matter of fact, it is impossible to vote only for repeal, and those who vote with that intention simply make themselves the tools of political sharpers who deceive them with false promises. Mr. Yarros himself undoubtedly will not vote. I should judge from his present attitude that he would not if he could; and, not being a citizen, he could not if he would. But he apparently knows of Anarchists who intend to vote the Democratic ticket. If I knew such an Anarchist, I should be strongly inclined to go to the polls for the first time in my life, and pair him off by voting the Republican ticket. It would be in this way, if in any, that I should succumb to the “temptations of politics.” But under the present system of electing a president, it is impossible for two voters to pair unless they live in the same State. I fervently thank my guardian angel for preserving me from this temptation by removing me from Massachusetts. T.
— No one can possibly appreciate the soundness and timeliness and wholesomeness of Mr. Tucker’s political observations in the last issue more than I do. I cheerfully accept the amendment which his comments are intended to supply to the views elaborated in my remarks in the same issue. He is entirely right in averring that the question for Anarchists in the case under consideration is one of emphasis; but I congratulate myself on the fact that, while he has been emphasizing one important aspect of the matter, I have been doing useful work in setting due stress on other scarcely less important aspects. In this way we have contrived to exploit the campaign far more thoroughly in the interest of our radical movement than would have been possible had attention been confined to one side of the question. I have no interest in the outcome of the present political struggle other than that which every lover of liberty and hater of force and humbug must naturally feel; I have been saying favorable things for the Democrats, not because I love them more, but because I hate their Republican opponents more. I am emphatically not in favor of ignoring or putting out of sight or underestimating the dangers of disaster to which Mr. Tucker has been directing attention; he has said nothing on this point that I do not applaud or recognize as salutary and urgent. Can be, for his part, deny the statement that I have done nothing more than content myself with recording and interpreting significant facts which our business as observers and reform-writers simply renders it obligatory upon us to seize upon and make use of? No, he can not, nor, it must be admitted, has he attempted to do so. Regarding his remarks as supplementary, or rather complementary, I have nothing but praise for them. Whatever happens, our position must never he clouded or uncertain; we are bound to show that our readiness to recognize healthy symptoms, our anxiety to do justice and give credit for meritorious achievement or even praiseworthy intent, can by no means be turned against us and made a basis for a charge of complicity or responsibility for crooked work.
— One word about “eschewing politics.” The undoubted temptations of politics have thus far utterly failed to excite or move me; I feel justified in saying that I have never entertained the notion that anything is to be gained directly for Anarchistic ideals by political action, and that I have never consciously encouraged any one to look to politics for the slightest positive results. Yet, despite these facts, I confess I have an abiding belief, an intuitive perception, that among the manifold agencies destined to play a greater or smaller part in working out social salvation, in realizing the condition of equal liberty, politics will have a certain place. In vain would it be to ask me to state definitely the what or the how of the matter. I know nothing beyond this, — that there is no royal road to freedom, in the sense of there being one certain, absolutely distinct, and determinate method of accomplishing the desired work of reform; that the complexity of life’s relations precludes the very possibility of the actual presence of such a single force, such a unique and peculiar method; and that the logic of evolution clearly teaches that, in order that righteousness — that is, in our language, liberty may come, nearly everything must work for such a change, such a consummation. Nearly everything, I say, not absolutely everything, for, of course, the tendencies present are not all those of life, development, evolution: there are also tendencies of death, dissolution, reaction, disintegration. Now I should “despair of the Republic” — to use a familiar phrase — if I really felt that there was nobody in the wide world to count on or trust to for the least support of the cause which we have at heart and intelligently uphold. Seeing that State Socialists, compulsory Communists, Prohibitionists of all kinds, Republicans, and so many other separate armies in the field, are diametrically opposed to us, must we not suspect and instinctively realize that those other armies which, though not in league with us, are at least not against us, — those armies which resist the invading hosts to some extent, — are helping us, making ultimate victory for us easier, surer? To state the question in such a form is to answer it; and to answer it in the affirmative is to justify theoretically the belief to which I have just confessed, — that politics will have a share in the task of industrial and political liberation. If any one fancies that these impressions entitle him to advocate political action for Anarchists as Anarchists, he has my pity. As Anarchists, we have our peculiar and important function, into which politics does not enter. On the other hand, I want to be equally emphatic in affirming that I detect no trace of absurdity or inconsistency in the proposal of some Anarchists to give their votes or other form of aid to the Democrats with the view of helping them to defeat the Republicans. Admitting and endorsing all that Mr. Tucker has charged against the Democratic party, I am still of the opinion that it is essential to dislodge the Republicans and deal them a mortal blow. I can easily adduce a dozen cogent reasons in support of the contention that the defeat of the Republican party would be a great blessing to the country and a great victory for freedom and fair play. But the cogency of my reasons is entirely irrelevant in this connection. The question is why it is absurd or inconsistent for one whose reasons are conclusive to his own mind to help a certain party to achieve a certain result in which he is interested. This is not going into politics; it is not adopting politics as a method of Anarchistic warfare; it is simply doing a little extra work indirectly advantageous to that cause for which we work directly and regularly in certain definite ways of a non-political character. To the question of the wisdom of eschewing politics I thus give a slightly different answer than Mr. Tucker furnishes. As Anarchists we have nothing to do in politics at present: what the future may bring is hidden from our view, but the present conditions are such that the movement has nothing to gain and everything to lose from organized political action. But, as progressive beings, interested in what is going on among those with whom our connection is remote because the consequences of their activities vitally affect us, we may reasonably undertake brief excursions into politics, provided we carefully explain our motives and our objects. Assuming that it is desirable to retire the Republicans, I fair to see why Anarchists should refrain from lending a hand.
— Dr. Lyman Abbott’s “Evolution of Christianity” is inevitably characterized by vagueness, ambiguity, obscurity, fallaciousness, and puerility. Those who undertake impossible tasks must be resigned to sad results. But it would seem that Dr. Abbott might be happier in dealing with modern movements and tendencies. He writes: “It has been said that Jesus Christ was the first Socialist. This is certainly an incorrect, if not an absolutely erroneous statement. It would be more nearly correct to say that he was the first individualist. The Socialist assumes that the prolific cause of misery in the world is bad social organization. Christ assumed that the prolific cause of misery in the world is individual wrong-doing.” According to Dr. Abbott, then, an individualist is one who seeks to elevate or reform individuals, and in classifying or criticising reform writers it will be well to bear in mind Dr. Abbott’s definitions, — that is to say, it will be well to guard against following the method of Dr. Abbott, for it is manifestly true that he has not taken any pains to classify and judge reformers in the light of their own definitions. Those generally known as individualists, as well as those specifically distinguished as Individualists, would certainly repudiate Dr. Abbott’s definition with considerable warmth. The necessity of reforming social arrangements every individualist recognizes and emphasizes no less than every one of Dr. Abbott’s “Socialists”; the difference, not indeed between individualists and Socialists, but between individualists and State Socialists, is that the former insist on reforming social organizations along the lines of liberty and voluntaryism, while the latter, profoundly ignorant of the very meaning of liberty, have an impossible plan of social reform, the realization of which would entail economic misery, intellectual decay, and emotional distress. V. Y.
The First Taste of Authority.
A Russian periodical is publishing a new work by Tolstoi called “Recollections of My Childhood.” The opening paragraphs are interesting to Anarchists:
This is my first recollection. I am bound, I wish to free my hands, but I cannot, and I cry and weep. My cries are disagreeable to myself; nevertheless I cannot stop crying. They lean over me; I know not who; but I feel that there are two persons. My cries affect them, agitate them, but they do not untie me. I cry still louder. It seems to them necessary that I remain bound, but I know that it is not necessary. I wish to prove it to them, and I cry still louder, at the top of my voice. My cries are now more disagreeable to me than before, but I cannot stop. I conceive the injustice and cruelty, not of men, for they pity me, but of fate. At the same time I have pity for myself.
At what moment of my existence did that occur? And why? I do not know and shall never know. Was it when, a young infant, I was wrapped in swaddling-clothes and wanted to put out my hands? Was it later, when, at the age of a year, I was tied that I might not scratch myself? Or have I gathered, as sometimes happens in a dream, a multitude of impressions into a single memory? I only know that this impression is the first and the strongest of my young life. Not only do my cries, my sufferings, still live in my memory, but also the aggregate of all that I felt. I ask liberty, it injures nobody, and those who are strong refuse it to me who am weak!
Nay, I am no patriot; not for me
This prejudice, so proud, of one’s own country,
Always right, chiefest cause of enmity
Atween the nations. Were it not for this,
All peoples bad a million years, I wis,
Ago, exchanged of brotherhood the kiss!
And, were it not for this, how great a flood
Had never flowed of warmest, reddest blood,
From hearts of murdered heroes, brave and good
How many women hearts unbroke had been,
Had “patriots” not forgotten they were men,
And murdered that their land might “glory” win!
O folly, this, to die to wear a tag!
O crime, to kill because one’s country’s flag
Is different from some other piebald rag!
For noble hearts find one land scant of room,
All men their brothers, and the world their home,
From highest mountain peak to ocean foam.
Their love holds all, their boast is every clime,
Their sympathy with every race in every time,
All patriot songs with equal voice they chime.
They lift no flag, and sound no party cry,
And leave to fools to run in herds to die,
Insane at bearing: “Foreign foes are nigh!”
For them there are no foreigners at all,
No prejudice of birth, no Chinese wall,
The Briton but the fellow of the Gaul.
They hold all roads are open, earth and sea,
No rightful duty, tax, or passport fee,
All travellers welcome, and all commerce free.
They would all bounds were blotted, bars were down,
All nation-lines and States were overthrown,
Naught left but honest neighborhoods alone;
For honest men no laws, no government,
No interference, howsoe’er well-meant,
Each man’s life, fortune, as he pleases, spent.
O when shall men be tall enough to see
That pride of country makes for slavery,
That be alone who has no flag is free!
The man without a country ’habits all;
Without a flag all banners drape his wall;
His patriot heart hears but the wide world’s call.
J. Wm. Lloyd.
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.