Vol. X.
<No. 1.>


“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.”

John Hay.

On Picket Duty.

“A man who has outgrown the State can no more be coerced into submission to its laws than can the fledgling be made to reenter its shell.” So writes Tolstoi in his new book, “The Kingdom of God Is Within You.” But Tolstoi is wrong. Anarchists can be and are coerced into submission; they cannot be coerced into respecting or approving the aggression of the State.

This will be a lively and an interesting world when the women have their way. One of the New York woman suffragists proposes that the vice-president of the United States and the lieutenant-governor of each State shall be of the female persuasion, and that one branch of each State legislature shall be composed exclusively of women. Why stop there? Why not create additional branches of the legislature, one of which shall be composed exclusively of millionaires, a second of negroes, a third of editors, a fourth of paupers, a fifth of children, a sixth of corn doctors, and a seventh of people with red hair? I was about to propose an eighth of idiots, but that would be needless, as the idiots would surely have a majority in every branch, with the possible exception of the children’s. When the women get a legislative branch all to themselves, Liberty will be forced to double the space which it devotes to the “Beauties of Government,” — unless it should be deemed advisable to create a separate department entitled “Government by Beauty.”

It is a common assertion that the State is justified in giving instruction to children in fundamentals at the expense of the unwilling tax-payer, but that it is not justified in supporting higher schools by taxation and making higher education “free.” This assertion, we all know, is based on the belief that the three R’s render men honest, good, and virtuous. President Low, of Columbia College, dissents from this view. He remarked recently: “I think that those who hold to this view are unaware of the importance to the lower education of its opening out into the higher. I am myself fully persuaded that a system of education which does not make it possible, either through private endowments or through State supply, for a child to begin at the beginning and come out at the top a finer educated man, is seriously defective, and in no place is so open to criticism as in a democratic community.” The New York “World” applauds this utterance, and deplores the fact that there are no free high schools and colleges for the poor. Now think of the absurd inconsistency and incredible irrationality of those who, like Mr. Low and the “World,” favor the recognition of the “right of everybody to an education,” while strenuously opposing the State Socialist claim that the State owes every man a living! The State is not to furnish bread to the starving, but it ought to give everybody a college education!

Anarchists note with pleasure that the weight of opinion, as expressed at a recent meeting of the American Architectural League, was against any legal restriction of the height of buildings. Mr. Adler, the eminent Chicago architect, even went so far as to declare that the less law on any subject the better. But, if I mistake not, this same Mr. Adler is a strenuous advocate of a law restricting the practice of the architectural profession to persons licensed by the State, and nearly all the architects agree with him. These architects are like the doctors and the ministers and the bankers and the land-lords and the manufacturers and the inventors and the authors and the wage-workers, in that they want no law at all that interferes with themselves and all possible laws that interfere with others. They are victims of the mischievous delusion that the way to promote their own happiness is to lay violent hands on the rest of the world. Will any of them ever learn that the way for all to be happy is for each to mind his own business? The wage-workers, however, should not be classed among the meddlers without a qualification. They differ from the rest in that they are willing to have laws that interfere with themselves, simply insisting as a recompense that they be allowed to interfere with others. They are tyrants, but not absolutely partial tyrants. Through the darkness of their folly shoots a refracted ray of the sentiment of justice.

Who can say that our political economists are not doing their utmost to redeem their science and serve society by trying to solve the labor problem? Turn to Palgrave’s “Dictionary of Political Economy,” and you will find the following instruction in the need of measuring utility, desire, price, hire, and other economic quantities: “When the elements of the theory of dimensions have been thoroughly grasped, it will be easy to apply it to economic questions, and it will be found an invaluable check in the more intricate problems of coordination and analysis. Thus, if the unit of value-in-use or utility be regarded as having the dimension U, and if the commodity we are considering be taken as having the dimension Q, the Degree of Utility (q. v.) of the commodity, being the rate at which satisfaction is secured per unit of commodity consumed, will have the dimensions U Q — 1, and will be readily distinguished from rate of enjoyment accruing to the consumer per unit of time, with dimensions U T-1. Price determined by marginal or final Degree of Utility (q. v.) will have dimensions U Q-1 or P, and here per unit of time will obviously have dimensions P T — I or U Q — I T-1. “How luminous!” But one thing is at least certain: such political economy is not open to the charge of being (what Cairnes said the old political economy was) a more or less handsome apology for the present order of things. An apology is of no use if it is not intelligible.

The aristocratic New Yorkers who reside on Sixty-Fifth Street, near Madison Avenue, are very much incensed because John Jacob Astor is building a stable on the corner, greatly to the detriment of their landed interests in that locality. Singularly enough, moreover, the erection of this stable, while lowering the values of neighboring lots, seems to have enormously increased the value of the corner lot on which it stands. This is seen in the fact that Mr. Astor has declined an offer from his neighbors of nearly double the former price of the lot. How would the Single Tax deal with this situation? Would the Single Taxers compel Mr. Astor to pay double rental for a lot on which he had erected a stable, simply because his neighbors were willing to pay handsomely for the privilege of tearing the stable down? How ridiculous! Yet such is the logic of the doctrine that the land belongs to the people. The Single Tax is a Communistic dogma, and the Individualists who uphold it are scandalously inconsistent. If the land belongs to the people, the people are entitled to decide to precisely what use each piece of land shall be put. In that case what becomes of liberty? Anarchism, on the other hand, holds that the land belongs, not to the people, but to the occupant and user. If the occupant of the land so conducts himself as to unquestionably invade his neighbors, he may be dealt with as a criminal; but, unless his conduct is criminal, he may do what be likes with the land which he occupies. But the Single Tax, in a covert and cowardly fashion, treats every man as a criminal who does not use his land in accordance with the wishes of his neighbors, and punishes him by taxation. Let some one else, however, propose to punish by taxation such persons as choose to offend their neighbors by purchasing goods away from home, and these Single Taxers will grow red in the face (though not with the blush of shame), and shout themselves hoarse with the cry of “Communist!”

“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.

Quasi-Invasion and the Boycott.

The great objection to Anarchism in some people’s minds is that there is a class of quasi-invasive actions in which my neighbor’s business indirectly but inevitably affects mine, so that if he is allowed to carry it on in his own way, undesirable circumstances are forced upon me. If he is allowed to sell liquor, drunkards make the streets unsafe for me; if he is allowed to run a gambling den, my clerk is tempted to steal from me; if he drives a cart on Sunday, the noise disturbs my worship; if he walks down street naked, the innocence of my daughter’s mind is destroyed; if he refuses to answer the census enumerator, science is injured and all the world suffers; if he enjoys the street lights without helping to pay for them, others are encouraged to sponge on me for such public benefits.

Each of these grievances is a real one, and each complaint a just one, to minds of a certain class. And it is a fundamental principle that each man must act according to what is in his own mind. Anarchism has undertaken to change men’s minds in one point by removing their faith in force. If it must first clear away all other unreasonable ideas, we have a long time indeed to wait for its triumph.

We must acknowledge, then, that, if a man’s circumstances or idiosyncrasy make some point of this sort very important to him, he may reasonably refuse to support a plan of society under which he would be deprived of protection against such annoyances. And indeed, even if you laugh at all the complaints I have cited, you cannot deny that a man can, without being invasive, make himself such an unutterable nuisance that no normal man can be happy near him. If such men could be less restrained under Anarchy than under government, it is at least a drawback to the advantages of Anarchy.

But we shall not be left so helpless. There is one weapon whose use is strictly non-invasive, yet whose disciplining power cannot be surpassed by government itself. It is the boycott.

It is the most natural thing in the world that, when a man, without using force, makes social intercourse with him unpleasant or undesirable, I should, without using force, cut myself off from social intercourse with him as for as maw be convenient. This is the boycott. Its germ is seen when I refuse to call on an impolite man. Its full development appears when a whole community, finding a man’s course to be such as they positively cannot stand, unite in refusing greeting, trade, or help in danger to him and to all who associate with him.

It is the simplest, most harmless, and most accessible means of making a man use his liberty reasonably. Surely, it is better to let an objectionable man severely alone than to bring a policeman’s club down on him. Yet it has a bad name. The reason is plain; the State is afraid of it. The boycott offers a means for making another do as you wish without calling in the State’s aid. Of course, it tends to bring the State into contempt. In opposing the boycott the friends of the State are protecting the State from a competitor who would soon take away the bulk of the business.

The boycott has another advantage. It cannot be used in any strong form without putting the boycotter to an inconvenience which increases with the inconvenience caused to the boycotted. Hence it cannot be used to its full strength except for something that men really care about. But if the boycotters are determined and persevering, they need not wait for a majority to bring success. On the other hand, the boycott could never (unless somehow backed by monopoly) compel a man to give up any of the things he cared most for. Thus the boycott would decide questions partly in accordance with the intensity of the desire on the two sides, not merely in accordance with numbers.

Freedom of the boycott would not be established by repealing the anti-boycotting laws. One of its most essential requirements is the liberty to refuse to be in association with another for the legitimate purposes — police and other — which are now served by the State. The defensive associations which will exist under Anarchy will make all sorts of laws for their members, the extreme penalty for the violation of these laws will be expulsion from the association. Most of them will be fair imitations of the present State at first. As men grow more and more to know how to live together, the use of the boycott will gradually disappear. But it will have served the purpose of a substitute for government as long as anybody desired such a substitute.

Stephen T. Byington.

The Marriage of the Future.

From the dim dawn when the primitive man captured his wives with his lasso and held them in subjection with his club, the essence of marriage has been the subordination in some sort of the woman to the man. Such is still its essence.

There are indeed promises on both sides to love and honor each the other, which are very pretty words, but nothing more. Nothing more can they be, because love and honor are dependent upon many things, least of all upon the will of the one who is to love and honor.

They depend, first of all, upon the love-worthiness and honor-worthiness of the object of the sentiments. If the loved one does not continue lovable, it is vain to expect the love of the lover to survive. If respect is forfeited by the one, the most heroin effort of will on the part of the other cannot restore it.

Then again, both love and respect depend upon the standard in the wand. With the attainment of new ideals, with the presence of more perfect embodiments of those ideals, both love and respect for what was formerly loved and respected may vanish as cloud-streaks fade and new cirrhus flecks are born in the blue. To promise to love, even tomorrow, let alone to eternity, is a demoralizing absurdity.

Beyond all these fantastic promisings there is another promise required of the woman, which, whether voiced or ignored, is enforced by legislation, and by the mother of legislators, Mrs. Grundy. It is the promise to obey. Slight as may be the subordination of the woman, compared with the ferocious suppression which was her fate in the past, there is still a very real subordination. In the future that we are learning to look for with joyful anticipation, even this remnant of subordination will be done away with, it is even being done away with under our very eyes: and marriage will become the union of those who are both equal and both free.

Apart from the general progress toward freedom in all things, which is the key to the history of the past, the light in advance upon what is to come, there are many indications of the growth of the idea of freedom in matters matrimonial.

Many a girl persuades her lover to have the word “obey” omitted from the ceremony; and many another substitutes, under her breath, “today” or “repay,” to avoid promising, as she supposes, what her instinct revolts against.

There is talk, too, in magazine articles and such, in the sentimental phrases of the day, about “true” marriages, hints that no marriage is a “true” marriage where love has died, and so on; mawkish and inconclusive for the most part, but bubbles that indicate the fermentation of thought.

More definite is the trend of legislation. As silly little boys cease their squabbles for gingerbread when their inexorable mamma demands a pail of water, so our legislators suspend voting away surpluses in the presence of a general demand for definite measures. Their latest performance hereabouts has been what seems to be the enactment of a statute permitting the wife to make a contract with the husband, an enactment quite revolutionary in its implications. The courts follow the legislators’ lead. The celebrated Jackson case recently in England, in which the right of the husband to detain his wife was denied, made all the conservative organs howl that marriage was abolished, while in this country, or at least in the State of New York, the legal position of the wife is in many respects stronger than that of the husband.

Still more to the point is the increasing practice of divorce. Bewailed by the pulpits and by the puritanical in the pews, but welcomed by the clearer-sighted as the cool breeze of dawn, people are beginning to refuse to be unhappy together at the behest of a tradition. South Dakota, the Gretna Green, in an inverse sense, of the United States, whither hating hearts flee to be separated, is doing more than she knows in the furthering of civilization. Better still is the approval which is granted to divorce, and the countenance to the divorced, by other people. The time was when a divorced woman could no more secure recognition than Phryne herself. Today even bishops’ daughters are divorced in the midst of murmurs of applause.

But no half-way tinkering of legislatures with divorce bills, suffrage bills, and the like, will avail. In the stress of circumstances, which is the underlying cause of social evolution, and which whirls us on at seventy-five miles an hour, so fast that we hardly perceive the land-marks we are leaving behind, nothing will avail us but an ultimate and logical solution. In the case of marriage this will only be found when both parties are as free to cease such relations as they now are to enter into them, and are free both to enter and to withdraw with the permission of nobody, at the will of each, as people now choose whether they will travel alone or in company.

To many, — to most, I might say to all, so few are the exceptions, — the advocacy of such a state of affairs will bring a vague shrinking, an empty feeling of desolation, like looking over a thousand feet high precipice.

Such is the natural and reasonable attitude of the mind towards a very new idea, of which the results are not yet perceived. It is only after the real meaning and bearing of the proposition are thought out that repugnance can give place to toleration and approval. In time it may come to pass that the very novelty of an idea as to social organization may recommend it, as now the novelty of an invention in physical science is paraded as its best advertisement.

The trouble is that people think of the future as like the present, with liberty added. They picture to themselves an illimitable number of ill-assorted and half-hating couples, using their liberty for as many secret and discreditable outside affairs as possible.

They forget that the only promise worth having is a promise which is fulfilled voluntarily. Under freedom there would be as many permanent and exclusive unions as now, but they would all be happy unions, because voluntary; the unhappy ones would cease to exist by virtue of their very unhappiness.

But whereas now those of mankind who are not by nature capable of permanency and exclusiveness in their affections are driven to the illicit and disreputable, they would, under freedom, be only held to such temporary arrangements as suited their convenience, and would be treated with all honor, provided they fairly carried out their agreements. In these, as in all things, the real virtues are trustworthiness, kindness, and good sense; where these exist there is no need for us to condemn mere unconventionality.

There is one period in life towards which most people look back with pleasure, and upon which all the world looks as the height of idyllic bliss, — the period of betrothal. It is happy because it is free. There is indeed a promise, but it is a promise which fault on either side may cause to be broken. Even the lapse of love on either side not only permits, but with all honorable people demands, a withdrawal. Suppose now that marriage were on the same footing as betrothal. Caution would demand that each of those who wished a permanent union should most carefully know in advance the character and tastes of the other. Taking each the full responsibility of his or her choice, the investigation would be far closer and more exacting than it now is; the resulting unions far more stable. But even then, should the affections of either subside, honor would demand no concealment of it, and no attempt to hold the other to an agreement which is, and must be, based on affection to be successful.

Now, the end of betrothal is the end of life. To be married is to be dead. Why? Simply because marriage removes all necessity from both husband and wife of making themselves agreeable.

Did each know that the only chance of holding the spouse was in holding his or her love by deserving it, to be married would not by any means be to be dead. It would be to be very much alive, with the most vivid and delightful life of continually exercised affection. The zest of companionship and acquaintance with the opposite sex, which is the joy of youth, would not, as now, be removed from the married. Life would continue, zest would remain; jealousy would find its only refuge in a continual courtship; the revolver as a means of procuring marital happiness would go the way of the primitive savage’s war club. Marriage would become a perennial betrothal.

Age, you say? Does not age delight in its own age? Is not sixteen insipid, whether in man or woman, to thirty-six? Is not sixty congenial to sixty? Do the years that we have trod the hills together count for nothing in endearing me and my Joe to each other?

Freedom again is demanded by the developing tastes of both men and women. In rude minds companionship, in the sense of sympathy in tastes, does not exist. A companion, to the more or less barbarous people of the past, was but one who would share the labor and procure physical gratification. Little did it matter to the mediæval burgher, or to the hard-featured Puritan of colonial days, what the tastes or preferences of his wife might be. He had an iron code of what all such chattels should be, and it was his pleasure to force her to conform to that code. If she objected, he would have her damned hereafter, in addition to being an out-cast here.

The time has come when some people exist to whom the word companion means more than that. Such a wife they would regard as a companion in life no more than they would regard a dog dragged by his collar as a companion in a walk. To them companionship means intellectual companionship, and such companionship cannot exist unless it is free.

What pleasure can a man of education and cultivation take in forcing himself upon his wife when he knows that he is odious to her? Grieve as he may over the loss of her love, if he is intelligent he will perceive the futility of resenting it. He must acquiesce: he cannot, without doing violence to his own feelings, wish the continuance of relations which are repugnant to her. Should he perceive that she has an attachment for another, what will be his course? If he really loves her, with a love worthy of the name, rather than a mere sensual desire, blinded by religious and brutalized by social superstition, he will be the last to stand in the way. It will be still as if they were but engaged lovers, where the reluctant confession of a new attachment may bring grief to the one who loses, but no loss of esteem on his part for the one who makes the confession. Loss of esteem! On the contrary, to civilized minds such a confession would bring but a distressed admission of its inevitability, that is to say, of its justice, with a pleasant sense of confidence deserved and frankness and truthfulness won.

Marriage, in such an atmosphere of trust and love, is heaven indeed. Even now, to a great extent, such an attitude is practicable. To those who doubt its being conducive to happiness I would advise a trial of its merits.

The usual matrimonial life, with its perpetual small tyrannies, odious doublefacedness, and vulgar bickerings, is inexpressibly distasteful to those who have grown up to the new ideal. “Didn’t I tell you not to deal with that grocer any more? I don’t see why you can’t do as I tell you.” “Don’t speak to that man again. Remember, I forbid you.” “No, I don’t wish my wife to have anything to do with that Chautauqua affair; I don’t approve of women going outside their homes.” So continually runs the masculine domination over the woman whom popular tradition regards as his property. “Do you own a wife?” a big daily newspaper asks, quite as a matter of course. To the man himself it is sufficiently brutalizing, while by the woman it is borne with a repressed rage and hardly suppressed spirit of revolt, that nothing but the fear of other people’s opinion prevents from breaking out openly. Some day her rebellion will be accounted a virtue.

Meanwhile we have cooked bills rendered to the husband, with an allowance of pocket money deftly added, which is handed to the wife in cash by the dealer; underhand searching for letters and opening of each other’s letters; then comes alienation, relaxation for the husband anywhere out of the house, and for the wife, monotony, ennui, and vapidity at home, the whole floating in a menstruum of degradation and desperation.

There is one objection to all such suggestions as I have been making which leaps to the lips of those who hear it for the first time. How about the children? Whose will be the children in case of separation? Will it not be a man’s pleasure to have a family of children by one wife, and then desert her for the next, and so on? There is no such trouble to be apprehended. The reckless raising of families of helpless children is a peculiar feature of the present system. Where the full liberty to have children or not is accorded to the woman, you may be very sure that she will not take the risk of having them, unless the promise of the father to support them can be relied upon, or unless she is able to support them herself. Such objections are trivial, when we, every day, with the approval of all good Christians, take from families their bread-winners to satisfy the unsatisfied mouths of prison or penitentiary, reeking nothing of the fate of the children. It is the present system, which gives over a woman bound hand and foot, depriving her, the immediately responsible one, of all say as to how large the family shall be, and placing her and her children at the mercy of the passions of her divinely authorized master and lord.

Nor is any more danger to be feared as far as children are concerned in cases of separation. Like all other affairs between rational beings, such things are best settled by mutual agreement. As we see it now, children have the least to fear. Both parties usually want all the children in divorce suits now, and it is over the possession of the children that the miserable strife culminates.

It is not wise to hesitate, in the face of a principle, at every conceivable problem that we can place beforehand as to its exact working. Better, rather, make sure of the general principle, confident that the difficulties will vanish as we approach, that paths will appear through thickets, that passes will open up beyond head-lands, that what seem to be wild beasts in the way will turn out to be but stumps and rocks. Keep we our eye upon the sun.

Another objection, scarcely as valid, is usually advanced. The family? Will not the family, foundation, bulwark, keystone, pole-star, of our institutions, suffer, — nay, perish? It is chiefly a form of words, this family, that is the topic of so much oratory.

There are many varieties of families; which particular variety is it that appears to you so delightful and adorable? Is it nine dirty children with a drunken father and a worn-out mother in a tenement house? Or is it the agricolous variety, where the whole family, mother, growing daughters, and all, do the hardest field work, with the latest baby in a clothes-basket in the shade of a tree? No; the family you really are thinking of is the family with a practising piano for week-days and a moaning melodeon for Sabbaths, the family whose members parade in sanctimonious cleanliness to church, all but the father, who stays at home and smokes, and growls all the afternoon because the dinner has been burned. This is virtue. This is joy.

The word “family,” if it means anything, means a group, consisting of mother and children, which is subordinate to and represented by the father. Nothing else. The system of the dominion of one over others is all that the family represents. The only characteristics that are inseparable from the family are such as are generally condemned by cultivated tastes, and more or less avoided by all in proportion to their developments, — arbitrary command, violence in place of reason appealed to as the method of control, homage demanded on the score of age only, or of age and ancestral relationship, apart from deserts; these are the essential characteristics of the family as an institution; these few care to perpetuate.

What people really mean by the family, when they bewail attacks upon it, is the proximity of those who are endeared to each other by habit. This affection so far overrides the official drawbacks of family life as to seem to be all that there is of the family. Such family life, for those who wished it, would be not only possible, but its pleasures would be indefinitely intensified. The mere fact that it would be maintained only because it was pleasurable, would ensure the absence of unpleasant features, at least of their predominance.

As for the inheritance of property, there need be no difficulty. Simply assume that men only existed, as, for legal purposes, women would cease to exist as women. Assume further that children were things, under the hands of the parent, only as long as to be so was their choice. It resolves itself merely into interpreting transactions between intelligent beings.

Such practical propositions, revolutionary though they seem, are nothing more than the clear statement of the logical outcome of the revolution that is occurring, that to a great extent has occurred, in common opinion. Yes, my dear sir, or my dear madam, who take it upon yourself to be shocked, without knowing clearly why you are shocked. The subversive words of the writer are but the outcome of your own unconscious desertion of the principles of the past, and now see whither you have been blown!

I speak of the radical change in what are called religious views, but which are really utterly at variance with the old-time tenets, wholly incompatible with the old creeds and contradictory of them.

There was a time when natural desires were held to be blameworthy, because they were natural desires: when pleasure of any kind was to be abhorred, merely because it was pleasure.

Grief, despair, repentance, these were the only emotions for those who would please God. It was the day of asceticism, when to mortify the flesh and to make everything as unpleasant for the poor flesh as possible was the correct thing.

We have changed all that. Even the religious part of us has changed in that respect. Whereas formerly it was the will of God that men should make themselves miserable to placate him, now we have gone back to the brave old Greek notion, that wine and meat and health and long life are the gifts of the gods.

We no longer regard women as the fathers in their denunciations regarded them, — as born a little extra wicked just because they happened to be born women. We never think of looking at our friends among women as very terrible creatures, whose sole care it should be to weep and pray, to counteract their innate viciousness and foulness. We no longer regard marriage as a crime that God winks at, as the fathers used to regard it.

We are rapidly approaching the point when we shall not regard it as necessary to our eternal welfare to throw Hetty Sorrel either into the street at first or into jail afterwards. Even now, only the most abandoned Christians would even try to stifle their hearts’ desire to take her and her baby to their arms.

Placing matrimony in this way on the footing of an institution which is for man’s happiness, which is to be criticised if it seems open to criticism, and modified or abolished if so seems good to us, we are in an entirely different position from those who regarded it with superstitious veneration as commanded by God, and all the more probably commanded by him the less it redounded to man’s happiness.

Finally, we reach the most powerful cause of change in the economic developments of the time. At the bottom, in the past, woman’s subordination was really due to her physical weakness. Still the most unpleasant part of marriage — the financial dependence of the woman is due to the fact that she is not yet entirely self-supporting. But women are rapidly becoming independent financially. ‘The’ inventions of machinery and processes of modern days have to a great extent removed, and will to a greater extent remove, the physical inferiority of women. With doing they will be able to do more. The irresponsibility and other mental drawbacks with which women are undoubtedly now handicapped, will breed out: and that women have nothing to fear as to their intrinsic capacity for vying with man intellectually, a great army of women, who have even surpassed the men against whom they have been pitted, will attest.

What does this money-freedom of women mean, as far as the future of marriage as an institution is concerned? Simply this: that, as it grows more difficult for men to support women, and easier for women to support them-selves, the odium against non-marriage will diminish and disappear.

Then there will be removed the chief obstacle to freedom in marriage, the condemnation of the woman by the women.

Women will then do as many women, — like George Eliot, the noble, — have done, — they will do as they please.

Lay aside black prejudice: summon calmness and common sense. What harm if they should?

Consider the case of a woman earning a good living, as so many do, amply able to support herself and a child. Is not the inborn desire of a woman for a child a beautiful and laudable thing? Is this wonderful instinct, breaking out in the tiny girl with her dolly, to be denied?

Is not a mother and child the very ideal of pure motherhood? Is she to be particularly commended if she should forsake her lucrative position, make herself financially dependent, her earnings the property of another, and herself the mother, not of one child which she wanted, but of a dozen more which she did not want?

Common sense forbid!

But whether you wish it or not, whether you approve of it or not, soon, even sooner than it would appear possible, ça ira, that will come.

John Beverley Robinson.

“Lucifer” has adopted the reformed typography introduced by Liberty, as an experiment, but it makes no reference to Liberty’s initiative in the matter.

“Woman suffrage would be an unmitigated evil; it would do more harm than good. You may quote me as saying that,” said Mrs. Frederic Goodridge, of 250 Fifth avenue, to a reporter. It would be interesting to know this Fifth avenue matron’s conception of a mitigated evil.

Herbert Spencer has just celebrated his seventy-fourth birthday. Liberty is right glad to learn that he is enjoying improved health, and sincerely hopes that he will retreat from some of the reactionary positions he has lately assumed on the question of labor.

Congressman Hendrix, of Brooklyn, says the tariff question should be taken out of politics. Pray, where would he put it? He thinks, moreover, that all fair-minded men will agree with the proposition. This is doubtless true, if the proposition simply means that the tariff question should be settled once and forever; no fair-minded man can object to having any question settled. The difficulty is, however, that each fair-minded man, to say nothing of the unfair-minded men, wants it settled in his own way. Until an agreement shall be reached as to how it should be settled, it is idle to talk about taking it out of politics. Unless, indeed, this foolish human race should have the sense to agree to differ, and, in consequence, take everything out of politics. But that would abolish politics. If Congressman Hendrix will thus amend his motion, I will second it.

Mr. Fisher’s complacent talk about the depth and breadth of his own economic knowledge, and the superficiality and immaturity of the thought of “mutual bankists,” bimetallists, etc., is so delicious that it would be a pity to criticise it seriously. Mr. Fisher, however, may have heard the good story which I am about to tell. A minor judge of a minor court of a country district, in dealing with a case of trespass, showed himself so ignorant of the rudiments of legal theory, so tyrannical and reckless, that the lawyer who appeared for the prisoner found it useless to argue with him. He opened a Blackstone, and after reading certain passages from him which flatly contradicted the views and rulings of the absurd judge, said: “Your honor, I do not cite Blackstone by way of disputing your conclusions; I only want to show to the court what a confounded fool Blackstone was.” So, if I remind Mr. Fisher that the greatest economic thinkers of today totally repudiate his theories of interest and currency, I do so only to show what fools and ignoramuses our greatest economists are. Professor Böhm-Bawerk has refuted all these ancient apologies for interest — productivity of capital, abstinence, etc. — which Mr. Fisher so confidently restates for the benefit of the ignorant “mutual bankists”; General F. A. Walker, Prof. Nicholson, and others, are bimetallists; but this is doubtless because they have not read Mr. Fisher’s contributions to Liberty. Yee, a little knowledge is a dangerous thing; Mr. Fisher’s economic philosophy is not calculated to throw any doubt upon that old truth.

The Massachusetts Legislature is about to reform the system of trial by jury. Governor Greenhalge having recommended legislation “for securing a better class of jurors,” a bill was introduced, containing the following provisions: “The jury lists shall be prepared by the selectmen and aldermen, which lists shall include not less the one for every one hundred of the inhabitants of the town or city.” These lists, when prepared by towns and cities, “shall thereupon be transmitted to the clerk of the superior court for the county in which the same is situated, who may, from time to time, under the direction of the chief justice of the superior court, revise such lists by striking names there-from.” The Senate has already passed the bill. It is gratifying to see that there is considerable opposition to this reactionary and ignorant “reform” in the State, and it is both surprising and encouraging to find the labor organizations and the Socialist Labor Party among the vigorous opponents of the bill. A mass meeting was held by the organized workmen of Boston on May Day, and an address issued in which Spooner’s views of trial by jury are set forth and endorsed. The address says: “With a total population of 2,200,000, this would give an aggregate jury list in the whole State of 22,000 out of 442,000 legal voters, and makes a jury list in Boston of 4,000. If the lists prepared by selectmen and aldermen should contain the names of those deemed not to be men of ‘quality and affairs,’ it is taken in hand by the court, the acid applied, and those failing to stand the test set by the classes will be stricken from the list. The list from Boston, for instance, when sent to the court, may be taken in hand and probing begun for ‘ten-times millionaires’ or their friends, and these failing to stand the test be stricken from the list to the number of 3,000 or more, if necessary, so that it will contain only men of quality and affairs’; and this may be done from time to time,’ and can be so nicely adjusted that the classes’ and corporations can be tried by their friends, and political and wealthy prisoners can be tried by a jury packed by the court. It is customary in criminal trials for clerks to say to the jury when sworn, ‘the defendant now places himself upon his country, which country you are.’ Should the bill pass the House, this feature of the farms would have to be dispensed with or changed. The clerk would say: The prisoner now places himself upon you whom the court believes to be men of quality and affairs, and by whose grace you are permitted to try this cause.”

Trades Unions and Government.

To the Editor of Liberty:

When a printer joins his trade union, he holds up his right hand and “agrees to abide by the decision of the majority in all cases,” partisan and religious questions being the only two “cases” excluded, even from discussion. The practice of holding up the hand always looks silly to me, and I cannot explain it, except on the theory that, inasmuch as the hand points toward the space where a heaven was supposed to exist in the days of crass ignorance, it is probably a relic of a barbaric age. Be this as it may, to “agree to abide by the decision of the majority” is a voluntary contract, and therein differs from majority rule as exemplified in the State, which enforces its decisions without our consent. Man is born into certain conditions evolved by the State, which he is compelled to obey. He may protest that he is not protected, but robbed; but he will pay his poll tax just the same, or go to jail. The question arises, does the act of voting imply assent to majority rule I think it does, because, if my vote is successful, I exercise majority rule on others, and therefore ought not to complain when I am the victim. Logically, then, we must stop voting. This is one phase of passive resistance, and, if it became general, the acts of lawmakers would be treated with contempt and disregarded.

The trade union, too, by this majority rule sometimes makes laws that grate on fine sensitiveness, but there is a disposition becoming manifest of late to enact as few laws as possible, and to accomplish the end desired by education and example. A proposition to establish a sick fund is based on voluntary member-ship; relief of individual distress is by subscription rather than assessment. Apropos of this, I know of an office where there was just type enough to “fill the cases” of all when evenly divided. Occasionally an individual would take more than his share, and some one would go short. This caused much annoyance. A chapel meeting was called, and it was moved “that hereafter any member taking more than one gunboat of nonpareil be fined one dollar.” But this idea of fining savored too much of police-court “justice,” for which the average printer has a wholesome contempt; so that, after some discussion, it was amended, and voted that “It is the sense of this chapel that no member should take more than one gunboat of nonpareil.” This placed every man on his honor, and he appreciated it. There was equal distribution of raw material in that office thereafter, a result that could not have been achieved if the members knew they were all right so long as they were not caught.

Moral: Justice can be attained without the aid of statutes.

Aug. McCraith.

Anarchist Letter-Writing Corps.

The Secretary wants every reader of Liberty to send in his name for enrolment. Those who do so thereby pledge themselves to write, when possible, a letter every fortnight, on Anarchism or kindred subjects, to the “target” assigned in Liberty for that fortnight. All, whether members or not, are asked to lose no opportunity of informing the secretary of suitable targets. Address, Stephen T. Byington, Eddytown, Yates Co., N. Y.

Suggestion No. 3. — In arguing to the principle of liberty, it may commonly be best to work on details; but in arguing from the principle of liberty, go deep. The country is not suffering much for want of men who can show fluently — sometimes garrulously — that protection, prohibition, marriage, or what not, is contrary to Spencer’s law. Their arguments produce comparatively little effect, I think, because it is always understood that the compulsory basis of government is to remain; and this inconsistency furnishes an unlimited supply of perfectly valid ad hominem refute. Lions, which, even if not consciously formulated, lie somewhere in the mind to break the force of the argument. This half-way talk also tends to bring the rule of liberty into disrepute, which disrepute can be removed only by showing a thorough and consistent application of it You must expect to be understood as at bottom supporting the State whenever you do not make the contrary clear.

But in some details, like free money and Tree postal service, where the State’s prerogative is so seldom challenged that even a challenge without reasons has an enlightening effect, a challenge backed simply by the quotation of the formula of liberty will also do good.

In any case, it is our best policy to spend our strength mainly in propagating those necessary ideas which are not already supported by those who can exert much more influence than we.

Target, section A. — The “Sunday School Times,” of Philadelphia, a very able paper, which probably reaches a larger number of educated and thoughtful people than any other periodical in America, had in its issue of April 28 an editorial, entitled “The Crudities of Social Reform.” The closing paragraph is as follows: “And as the two conceptions of life start from opposite estimates of the true good, so they come to different practical conclusions. The Christian ideal has worked to the emancipation of man from all earthly constraint and bondage, that he may be free to work out his spiritual destiny. The Socialist ideal subjects man to the exacting authority of the community, that it may secure a fairer distribution of the ‘good things’ now and here between Dives and Lazarus. The one values the spontaneous and the inspired as opening new vistas of human possibility; the other would reduce life to the standard of the average man in his average moods, by making the collective judgment a social omnipotence. The one claims for every man to make what he will of his own life, that he may be free to put it into the hands of God; the other prescribes a moral standard, low and unaspiring, and compels men everywhere to live up to it. The one vindicates for every man the right to go wrong, in order that there may be some merit in his going right; the other takes away that right by prescribing morals with the rigidity of a Chinese etiquette, and at the same time closing the door against ethical progress. Under Socialism, mankind will move not as men, but as masses; not by the inspirations of conscience, but in the grooves of a routine; not toward the ideal, but toward the customary. ‘Better fifty years of Europe than a cycle of Cathay!’”

Write to the editor, showing how far his principles lead, or asking how far he means to carry them. Do not ask that your letters be published; but I think some will be, if you keep clear of attacking Christianity.

Section B. — The “Colorado Sun,” of Denver, Col., recently published, under the headline, “Hopes of Anarchists,” etc., a two column syndicate interview with Most. Most says, among other things: “So long as there is private property, we shall have the rich to oppress and the poor to be trodden down.”

Stephen T. Byington.

“The garden of the laws is full of ironical plants, of unexpected Mowers and by no means its slightest charm is this subversion of the natural order, whereby appear at the end of stems and branches fruit just the opposite of that which is promised by the essence of the tree or bush. The apple-tree bears figs, and the cherry-tree medlars: plants yield sweet potatoes, and hollyhocks salsify. It is delicious.” Séverine.

The Beauties of Government.

The readers of Liberty are urgently invited to contribute to this department. It is open to any statement of facts which exhibit the State in any phase of its fourfold capacity of fool, meddler, knave, and tyrant. Either original accounts based upon the writer’s own knowledge, or apparently reliable accounts clipped front recent publications, are welcome.

Dramatic Censorship.

[New York Sun.]

Elbridge T. Gerry, in his capacity of President of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, sat upon the stage of the Fifth Avenue Theatre one morning recently, reading the text of “Hannele,” the translation of a German “vision play,” in which he had learned a 15-year-old girl was to play the title rôle. The pit of the theatre and the galleries and the boxes were dark and deserted. The stage was illuminated by the footlights and a few property lanterns. Watching Mr. Gerry stood Carl and Theodor Rosenfeld, the theatrical managers who had arranged to produce the play. When Mr. Gerry had finished reading, the brothers, smiling and bowing, asked:


“The play is blasphemous,” said Mr. Gerry, “and I do not think Miss Pierce should be allowed to act in it.”

The brothers bowed and smiled, and said they were very sorry. Then they led Mr. Gerry through the labyrinth of scenes and drops and escorted him to the door, where, still smiling and bowing, they wished him good day. Mr. Gerry went straight to the offices of the society and wrote a letter to Mayor Gilroy, in which he said:

“By the courtesy of the managers of the exhibition, I have carefully perused the typewritten manuscript of the play, which is a translation from the German and is in two parts. The plot of the piece consists in the title rôle, which is proposed to be performed by the child in question, a little girl, who after ill-treatment is rescued from drowning and visited by a sister of charity, who imparts to her truths of the Christian religion. In so doing the names of Almighty God, of our Lord Jesus Christ, and of the Holy Ghost frequently occur, the latter more particularly in connection with the unpardonable sin against Him. After this the child is supposed to see visions and apparitions, one of her dead mother, who appears in the form of an angel and describes to her the attractions of paradise, and subsequently of the angel of death, which also, physically, is represented on the stage in a most ghastly and appalling manner. The second part of the piece, which is contained in a separate type-written MS., then represents the child as suffering from the results of the angelic visitation, and, without narrating all the details, her doubt as to its reality, or the mental impression made upon her, she is finally supposed to die, and is placed in a coffin, where she is visited by a variety of other children, and eventually by one who has done her harm.

“Then (and this is the most impious part of the whole piece) a personage, who is none other than our blessed Lord, but who is described in the MS. as a ‘Stranger,’ appears on the scene, with the auxiliaries of unnatural light, etc., and in His own words from Holy Writ performs a miracle and resurrects the child, presumptively dead, from the coffin. The play begins with the name of Our Blessed Lord, as the initial word of a well-known hymn, and finishes with His personal appearance. This revolting and horrible travesty of a resurrection, as a theatrical exhibition in a public theatre, is not only perfectly shocking and at variance with public decency, but is well calculated, in the mind of a nervous child, to create a mental impression of a lasting and most injurious character, to say nothing of the awful blasphemy in which she is thus compelled to take part. Not only is such a performance one which should be suppressed by law in all its details, but, so far as the child is concerned, if she were allowed to take part in it, all persons in any Wise assisting or promoting her so to do would be liable to arrest under section 289 of the Penal Code. I cannot well imagine a performance which would be more liable to injure the morals of a child than an exhibition of the character of the one in question, to say nothing of the shock to its nervous system from the sugestive apparitions appealing powerfully to the imagination.

“The managers have offered to strike out the objectionable parts. That is simply impossible, as the whole play hinges on the action of the child in the matter. If you will personally peruse the two manuscripts of the play, you will be satisfied of the accuracy of my description of it. I sincerely trust you will do so before granting the application in any form.”

Meantime the brothers Rosenfeld had notified their lawyer of Mr. Gerry’s opinion of the play, and the lawyer had gone to see Mayor Gilroy. The Mayor, of course, had nothing to say on such short notice, but he sent word to the Rosenfelds and to Mr. Gerry that he would give them a public hearing on Tuesday morning at 11 o’clock, when he would decide whether to grant the license or not.

Mr. Carl Rosenfeld was in the parlor of his residence, 89 East Sixty-fourth street, with Herr Gerhart Hauptmann, the author of “Hannele,” when the “Sun” reporter called. “Mr. Gerry came to the theatre this morning,” said Mr. Rosenfeld, “and looked over the manuscript of the play for five or ten minutes. He could not possibly have perused it carefully. He looked it over very hastily and lost the whole sense of the play. He saw in various places the words ‘Lord Jesus’ and ‘God’ and ‘Our Savior,’ and he jumped to the conclusion that the name of the Lord was taken in vain.

“The letter which he wrote to the Mayor was written in an anti-artistic spirit. If we should follow Mr. Gerry’s ideas we should never get art, and what we should get would be a thousand times more dangerous to the morals of the people. The greatest painters and sculptors have taken Jesus Christ for their theme and depicted him with the earnestness which such a holy subject deserves. This play is only a work of art, and should be witnessed without prejudice.”

Mr. Hauptmann, through an interpreter, had prepared a typewritten statement in the form of an imaginary interview, which he gave to the newspaper men. It said, in part, as follows:

Interviewer. — It has been said that the child commits suicide. How about that?

Hauptmann. — It does not. The child acts in a fever, and hears a voice which seems to call it. It goes into the water just as it would into an open gate, not knowing that there is danger ahead.

Interviewer. — Was there any discussion when the play was first produced in Europe, and did the Christian governments interfere?

Hauptmann. — No; quite the contrary. On the occasion of the first performance the people who had been in favor of the play from the beginning said that they had felt as though they were in church, while those who were prejudiced against it said that it was better to make a church of a theatre than to make a theatre of a church.

Interviewer. — I will now ask you snout the greatest reproach that is made against the piece. It is said that Christ has a speaking part in it. Is that true? Hauptmann. — No. It is thus: The only being that has been good and kind to Hannele is the teacher Gottwald. Now, this teacher appears to the girl the embodiment of everything that is good and noble. Therefore, in her delirium, when thoughts crowd in her mind, the centre always remains this form of the teacher Gottwald. He appears to be, as it were, in s holy light.

Interviewer. — So you mean that the form of the Stranger is a transfiguration of the teacher Gottwald?

Hauptmann. — In the main, yes. It is not likely, if the play were really blasphemous, that it would have been produced at the Court Theatre in Berlin and the Burg Theatre in Vienna.

Miss Alice M. Pierce, aged 15, who comes from Boston, and whose mother is also an actress, is a bright and pretty girl. She does not look upon the play in the critical way in which Mr. Gerry does. Nor does she look upon it in the artistic spirit of Herr Hauptmann. She simply is very fond of acting, and goes through her part without much thought of the significance of the words she utters.

[New York Herald.]

Alice Pierce, the 15-year-old actress, is not to be permitted to appear in the title rôle of “Hannele,” Gerhardt Hauptmann’s new vision play, which it is proposed to produce at the Fifth Avenue Theatre.

That was the decision arrived at by Mayor Gilroy, after a long argumentative discussion pro and con, at the hearing granted by him in his private office to the Messrs. Rosenfeld, lessees of the theatre. He said it was upon grounds of public morality that the application for a permit was denied.

The managers, however, propose to put on “Hannele,” and have engaged the actress Annie Blancke to play the child’s part.

Among those present besides the Mayor and Commodore Gerry at the hearing were Mrs. Pierce, mother of the child, on whose behalf the application was made; Miss Maude Banks, who is to play the part of one of the figures seen in Hannele’s dream; the Brothers Rosenfeld, Mr. Maurice and Mr. Samuel; Untermeyer, counsel for the Rosenfelds, and Herr Gerhardt Hauptmann, author of the play.

As Herr Hauptmann speaks no English, he was only an onlooker, though a most interested one. He was the embarrassed centre of observation when Mr. Gerry was scoring his play as “impious,” “sacrelegious,” and “blasphemous.”

In opening the hearing, the Mayor asked Mr. Gerry if he still had any objection to urge against “Hannele” in view of the changes that had been made in the play, and requested him to look over the type-written copy which had been amended in accordance with the wishes of Messrs. Rosenfeld, who had declared their readiness to meet Mr. Gerry’s views in any way that was possible short of foregoing the production of the play.

Mr. Gerry then addressed the Mayor at great length. He said that it was the basis of the drama he objected to, “Hannele” being, In his opinion, calculated to shock the religious sentiment of all right-thinking persons.

“Our society received notice that a girl under sixteen years of age was to appear in ‘Hannele,’” said Mr. Gerry. By the courtesy of the management I was allowed to read the play. Its character compelled me to protest against its production.”

Mr. Gerry then described “Haxinele” in detail, enumerating his objections as he went along. He thought the introduction of a woman in holy orders upon the stage calculated to shock the susceptibilities of many people. He spoke about the phrase. “I lay my consecrated hands upon thy heart,” as one of the many instances likely to wound the religious sentiment of the audience. He said there were no less than ten allusions to the name of the Savior in the play, and instanced them.

“But the strongest objection I can possibly bring,” went on Mr. Gerry, “is against the introduction of no less a personage than our blessed Lord into the play. In ‘Hannele’ there is a character called the ‘Stranger.’ There cannot be a doubt that he is intended to represent the Savior. His words are often drawn from the Scriptures. He says to Hannele’s stepfather, ‘I will give thee wine. Thou shalt have sweet white bread to eat.’ That is without doubt an allusion to the sacrament of extreme unction,” added Mr. Gerry. “He is described in the stage directions as being thirty years of age — the age of our Savior.”

Mr. Gerry based his objection to the granting of the permit upon the ground that the performance of such a play would be to bring upon the stage, before a miscellaneous audience, the most sacred truths of Christianity; that it was to be played simply for the purpose of making money; that the lugubrious figure of the angel of death was calculated to cause a shock to so young a child as Alice Pierce; and that it would compel her to repeat the name of the Lord in a blasphemous manner nightly.

Upon the application of Lawyer Untermeyer, Miss Maud Banks spoke in defence of the play. She was eloquent and logical, and scored many points. “Hannele,” she said, had a religious basis; it was full of beauty. It divested death of its morbid horror, and dispelled the gloom with which we have surrounded the grave.

Miss Banks spoke with indignation of Mr. Gerry’s attempt as one that would drive from the stage all that is noblest and most beautiful in life.

Then Miss Banks read a part of the drama, where Hannele is supposed to converse with her dead mother.

Mr. Untermeyer followed Miss Banks, and claimed for the play a high moral purpose. He argued that it had been received with applause in Germany and in Austria, two countries where, he said, religious sentiment is as strong as in this country.

Mr. Untermeyer then proposed that one performance of the play be given. A permit for one night only could be issued. “You, Mr. Mayor, could attend, and if there is found to be anything irreverent or blasphemous, I am sure the play will be withdrawn. If Mr. Gerry will consent———”

“Certainly not,” said Mr. Gerry, very emphatically.

Mr. Untermeyer said the opposition to the child’s playing was only a pretence, and that Mr. Gerry had constituted himself a theatrical censor. And characterizing Mr. Gerry’s action as “infamous,” Mr. Untermeyer sat down.

Mr. Gerry replied briefly, stating again his principal objection, and deriding the idea of America being compared to Germany, where the people took what the crowned heads or their representatives labeled as satisfactory.

Then followed a strong speech from Mr. Theodore Rosenfeld. He argued that the play was the most admirable object lesson that the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children could possibly ask. He finished by appealing to the Mayor to weigh well a decision about a play that would live when Mr. Gerry and all present would have vanished.

The Mayor then said: “I am ready to decide the question now, gentlemen. I have no objection to the production of plays in which religious representation or moral principles prevail, and I admire the drama and am always inclined to be exceedingly liberal in doing what I can to promote the production of plays, but I am constrained to deny the application in this case.

“There is no doubt whatever that the intention of this play is to produce in persona the Savior of mankind.

“I have carefully read the objectionable parts of this play, and from the motive of the scenes and the characters there portrayed I am led to believe that the character of Gottwald is an impersonation of the Savior, and I think that the production of this play with the appearance of these characters would offend the moral sense of the public. I will read, although I cannot favor you with the superb eloquence with which Miss Banks has delighted us, on page 17: “A man appears, wearing a long, shabby black gown; is about thirty years old; he looks like the teacher Gottwald.” The Mayor then read some of the passages from this portion of the play.

“It is my opinion, after reading these lines,” he continued, “that a play of this character, set on a stage in this city would not receive the approval of the public, and I therefore take this ground on which to deny your application.”

Herr Hauptmann left the Mayor’s office in a highly indignant frame of mind. He said the Freethinkers in Germany bad intrigued against his “Hannele” upon the ground that he was trying to preach Christianity by means of the stage. He said bitterly that he hardly expected to find free America provided with a public executioner ready to burn his books as in mediæval Europe a few centuries ago.

I called upon the brothers Rosenfeld last evening. Mr. Theodore spoke in a dignified way, regretting the action of Mr. Gerry. He said Mr. Gerry spoke about his rights as a citizen, but he apparently forgot that there were two millions of citizens who also had a right to express an opinion upon the play. Miss Pierce, he said, Is old enough to get married, but Mr. Gerry says she is not old enough to earn her own living.

[After a tremendous amount of free advertising, “Hannele” was finally produced, the Mayor, police, and district attorney declining to suppress it as a “nuisance,” or on any other of the absurd grounds raked up by the censors. The critics saw the play and disagreed, the majority voting it unwholesome, but not to the degree warranting police interference, while few protested against the outrageous attempt to suppress the play on more general grounds.]

Kidnapping by the State.

[New York Sun.]

Washington, March 13. — Congress will be asked to inquire into the official acts of immigration officials at Ellis Island and elsewhere, particularly as relates to the illegal use of power, thereby depriving American citizens of their rights and grossly and arbitrarily imposing upon steamship companies.

One case is that of an Englishman who came to America several months ago to visit the World’s Fair. He was well supplied with money at the time; nevertheless, he came as a second-class passenger, paying his way. In the course of time he spent all his money and could obtain no work. He went to Ellis Island and reported to the immigration officials that he had been landed by a certain vessel there, without visible means of support. Thereupon he was seized by the aforesaid officials, and his passage back was ordered by the vessel that brought him. The officers of the vessel protested that they knew nothing of the case. If it was a genuine case, they said, the fault lay with the inspectors who permitted the man to land. But all to no avail. The man was placed aboard a ship of the line that brought him, as an “undesirable immigrant,” and returned at the ship’s cost, the ship’s officers protesting. Through the arbitrary act of the immigration officials the man got his passage home, and the ship will get reparation the best it can.

Another, and a far more outrageous case, was this: Hugh Annandale, a naturalized citizen, who was born in Montreal, a widower, whose three children were in a home in Richmond, Va., in February last, while working at Shanon’s Point, near Baltimore, was taken to the Central Police Station in that city under the pretence that Mr. Roche, an immigration official, wanted to see him. Annandale lay in the station all night, neither Mr. Roche nor any one else appearing. In the morning he was subjected to some sort of proceeding by the immigration officials, and for the next five days was kept in confinement on the allegation that his name was not Hugh Annandale, but Peter Arnett, and that he had come to this country on the ship Teutonic, of the White Star line, in violation of the immigration laws.

Notwithstanding that Annandale strenuously protested that the allegation was false in every particular, that he was an American citizen and had three children then living in Richmond, and would prove the correctness of his story if he had the opportunity, he was taken to Ellis Island, N. Y. There he appealed to the Assistant Commissioner, but without avail, the officer saying that it the Baltimore officials had blundered it was no matter of his, and he must go back to Liverpool. Go Annandale did, he being forced on board of the ship Britannic against his will. He reached Liverpool on Feb. 23. Then he told his story to the United States consul, but Annandale had no papers to prove his American citizenship, and the consul could do nothing for him.

The steamship officials made an investigation, which showed that Peter Arnott sailed by the Teutonic, Oct. 11, 1898. Continuing the investigation, it was made to appear that Peter Arnott died at Plymouth, Ind., on January 6, last. Mr. Annandale, an American citizen, who had committed no offence, had been kidnapped and sent to Liverpool, where he is presumed still to be!

All the expenses incurred in committing this outrage have been paid at the Treasury of the United States, the bills bearing the approving signature of Mr. Stump, Superintendent of Immigration at Washington.

[Would it have been less outrageous to return Peter Arnott than to send away Hugh Annandale? An act of tyranny which misses the victim aimed at and falls upon another is not more tyrannical on that account. Justice becomes injustice when it misses its mark, for then the guilty man escapes and the innocent man suffers; but the victim of tyranny is necessarily innocent (else there is no tyranny), and it is no worse for one innocent man to suffer than another. Congress should inquire not only into the conduct of immigration officials, but also into its own conduct in declaring that men may not come and go as they like.]

The State Disgusted with Its Fig-leaf.

[New York Sun.]

Washington, April 4. — The director of the mint is still struggling with Artist St. Gaudens’s design for the World’s Fair medal. Mr. St. Gaudens’s recent modification of his original design is not at all satisfactory, and he has been advised that he must change it again. He merely added a ribbon or streamer to the design, so drawing it as to hide the objectionable features in the original figure. This was the modification on one of the designs, and on another a fig-leaf was drawn. The art critics who constitute the Senate committee on the quadro-centennial found fault with the modification in both instances. They declared that it was inartistic, and that the figures were not at all pleasing in outline, although the glaring defects in the way of sensational nakedness had been removed. Both designs were submitted to President Cleveland, and he too found fault with them. He is said to have remarked that the figure bearing the ribbon, or streamer, looked like a man with a broken leg, and that the leg had been badly set. The director of the mint has asked Mr. St. Gaudens to try again, but no reply has been received from him, so that it is not known whether he will quit in disgust or make a new design.

[The State places restrictions upon its artists which compels them to be inartistic and then complains of their lack of art. In endeavoring to force others to hide their nakedness, it stands itself perpetually in the famous attitude of La Monquette. But La Monquette assumed this attitude voluntarily, to show contempt for her enemies, whereas the State, in holding it unwittingly, becomes an object of its enemies’ contempt.]

Brutality in the Guise of Law.

[Philadelphia Item.]

Coxey’s Army made its promised parade in Washington, but when Coxey mounted the steps of the Capitol a scene of disorder ensued.

But it was not the Commonweal soldiers who were guilty of any misconduct. All the trouble was precipitated by the police.

According to the biassed reports furnished by both the United and the Associated Press, the police acted more like lunatics than like men disposed to preserve the peace.

This display of brutality, and the reckless and unprovoked use of clubs upon inoffensive spectators, it must be remembered, took place at a time when there was not the slightest necessity for violence. Ii was after Coxey had been seized and escorted to his carriage and the alleged attempt to violate the law had been checked. Evidently the police had come prepared for bloodshed, and were determined to provoke a fight.

And what was the effect of all this flurry? Carl Browne and Christopher Columbus Jones were seized and thrust into prison. But even the biassed accounts above quoted do not intimate that Browne was violating the law when he was seized. Browne, according to the United Press, was trying to get away from the mounted officer who had nearly run him down. But he was seized and resisted. He was in the hands of men who acted like lunatics, and tried to make his escape; and who wouldn’t have resisted under these circumstances?

By their action the Washington police gave another display of a carefully arranged plan to provoke trouble and to club the Commonweal movement out of existence. But this lawless conduct will merely bring new friends to Coxey and still further awaken the purpose of the people. Instead of choosing the course of wisdom, the Washington authorities chose to adopt a course of lawlessness.

Constables as Art Censors.

[New York Sun.]

Glasgow’s police censorship of modern art has at length raised a genuine storm. A few days ago a firm of fine art dealers exhibited in a window six mezzotints of well-known pictures of the best English artists. On the second day the chief constable called and requested that they be removed, on the ground that they were not fit for public inspection. The pictures were Sir Frederick Leighton’s “Bath of Psyche,” Watts’s “Diana and Endymion,” Poynter’s “Visit to Æsculapius,” Arthur Hacker’s “Syrinx,” and Solomon’s “Orpheus” and “The Judgment of Paria.” The artists concerned have been writing indignant letters to their friends on the subject.

Interest Is Just.

To the Editor of Liberty:

“In the absence of money, hire would be paid for the loan of tools and materials.” Mr. Bilgram, in Liberty for March 10, says, with sound chop logic, that this is no proof that in the presence of unrestricted, unlimited money there would be any such hire beyond what must be paid to repair and insure against the loss of the principal. What is necessary in order to establish the justice of interest is to show that in the absence of any restriction upon the issue of instruments of credit, and in the utter absence of laws of legal tender, interest would still be paid. In economy first impressions are frequently sound. A thoughtless person would suppose it to be a contribution to the general wealth for the sky to rain wheat or bread, leather or boots, wool or coats, and even (if they fell gently) bricks or houses. Protective and restrictive legislation is based upon the idea that goods (good things) can be over-plentiful. The thoughtless person would be right. In the same way the thoughtless person would suppose that he who fatigues or pinches himself to make a plough, or to amass a store of food, would expect to be rewarded, as well as to have his goods returned unimpaired, if he consented to lie out of these goods on behalf of others. The currency cranks of every type will say that coinage or banking can discover a method by which there shall be an abundance of ploughs and of food to lend, as many as are necessary to provide every impecunious “producer” with other people’s ploughs, seed corn, or food, till harvest. Which, then, is right, the thoughtless first-impression-man or the studious mystery-man? The currency-panacea medicine-man knows that an indefinite quantity of credit constantly exists which pays no interest. This is that dangerous little knowledge from which springs the intoxication of the brain which blossoms in Greenbackism, bi- or poly-metallism, mutual bankism, and the like. The deeper draught of knowledge, which it seems so difficult to take, is that the circulation of instruments of exchange bearing no interest is strictly finite; that, though indefinite, it is far from infinite; that, though it may always be a portion of the credit of the world, it can never be the whole. Many banks, like the Bank of Ireland, can never put into circulation the whole of their authorized issue, and the only result of the unrestricted issue of solvent paper would necessarily be that issues from other sources would displace portions of existing issues. It is unquestionably most desirable that this form of free trade should exist, and that every individual should be allowed an equal share, or rather an equal chance of a share, in the extension of credit without the penalty of interest. Every little trader knows that he can even now enjoy a certain share in this inflation, his own demand checks invariably remaining in circulation a few days. The experience which a check issuer who tries to trade upon the currency of his checks is likely to have in a very short time ought to enlighten him as to the meagre character of the boon enjoyed by banks of issue, and ought also to convince him of the fact that credit which bears no interest must be exceptional in its nature, and limited in its quantity.

Every act of exchange involves the exhibition of two equivalent but dissimilar commodities. In all but a very few cases one of the terms of each exchange is accepted by the vendor of the other merely as a vehicle of a quantity of value definite in form and amount, but indefinite as to the ultimate commodity for which he will eventually substitute it by further exchange. This term of the exchange is, for the time being, currency. But as every shopkeeper seeks to economize by holding the minimum stock compatible with the maximum of sales which he and his staff can effect, so all traders (including wage-earners) seek to hold the minimum of currency compatible with being provided with sufficient stock of it to sell each portion most profitably to the butcher and baker and candlestick-maker, when their own wants render it desirable for them to open their gold-shops and offer some of their money wares for sale. Gold in stock is as barren as boots in stock, and no more so. Gold is a commodity, and remains as much a commodity in coin as in bar. It is like all other raw material capable of increase by consumption, and by consumption only. The stock of coin in currency and the stock of monetized credit current operate merely to reduce the quantity of wheat and other commodities in transit but the total quantity of transactions in exchange form merely a small portion of the entire employment of wealth in production and consumption. Mr. Bilgram says, any thing is money which can do money’s work; then it follows that an ordinary demand check to order is monetized credit. But all material money is also commodity, and can therefore demonetize instantly. All gold is not coin; all coin is not current; likewise, all monetizable credit is not monetized and the accident of its monetization depends upon the combination of many separate factors.

The authorization of circulation is not tantamount to inflation, for this depends upon the circumstances of trade in general. The decision by a government that it will accept payment of its exactions in the notes of a particular banker does not constitute the notes a lien upon his property. It is evidence (of a certain kind) that the banker is in the habit of cashing his notes on demand and is likely to continue for some time to do so. But, if Mr. Bilgram tries to issue a $100 note, secured in some fashion, upon his own supposed ample property, he will naturally find it a wholly different problem. Property is indefinite and slow of saleability. Dollars are gold, they are definite; they possess the maximum of saleability. All the world knows, or at least supposes, that the banker has some gold ready if need be to cash the notes instantly. Few can know that Mr. Bilgram will be similarly prepared. He says, “but look at the property.” The note-holder says, “how can I use it?”

Any man may lend wealth gratuitously if he chooses to forego interest. This may take place on a large scale, as when a community tolerates the prolonged circulation of suspended bankers’ issues, but it does not affect the question. The hire of tools, materials, and maintenance would yield a revenue in the absence of money. This would not become an intense and abject slavery. Its rate would depend not at all upon the fact that there was no currency, but wholly upon the amount of wealth seeking borrowers as equated against the borrowers seeking to manipulate other people’s wealth. The argument is not only that it would be as high, but that it would be approximately as low in the absence of money, — sometimes possibly a little lower. The injustice of government is almost wholly confined to the robbery known as taxation and its many huge interferences with liberty. In currency it soon runs against the adamantine walls of economics, and its paltry interferences do very little of good or harm. They almost wholly fail to accomplish the good things claimed by the authoritarians, and they likewise wholly fail to accomplish the evils fancied by many who concentrate their attack upon this bagatelle, and who thus follow an ignis fatuus and dissipate upon almost neutral territory the force which ought to be hurled against the citadel of the enemy itself, or at least against its reconnoiterers in force.

J. Greevz Fisher.


In the above paper I can find neither a justification of that portion of gross interest known in economic parlance as “Interest proper,” nor a refutation of that which I have said in my papers published in Liberty of April 22, 1893, and March 10, 1894. Much of that which Mr. Fisher says is irrelevant to the subject and the remainder is a feeble restatement of the commonplace phrases of the modern economists. The talk about one issue of currency displacing issues from other sources, and about the operation of the stock of coin and of monetized credit upon the quantity of wheat, etc., in transit are fair samples of their style of reasoning.

Without credit no one is able to borrow. If, now, upon paying an insurance to cover the possible insecurity of his individual credit, every one should be permitted to use this assured credit as currency, on the same plan on which the privileged banker is now permitted to circulate his credit, no one would borrow the banker’s credit and pay interest in excess of insurance. The excess which the banker can obtain to-day must therefore be attributed to the legal impediment to the conversion of such credit into currency. This is so self-evident that no proof to the contrary can be adduced.

I cannot remember having said any of the things which Mr. Fisher credits to the “currency crank.” If he puts up a man of straw and takes pleasure in vanquishing this formidable foe, I have no objection.

In his paper published in Manchester, Mr. Fisher refers to the difference between the banker’s note and that of the individual borrower, showing that the one is in active use while the other is lying idle. In writing the present paper he seems to have forgotten this difference, since he wishes to palm off ordinary demand checks as money, although he is undoubtedly aware that the law does not allow them to circulate as currency. I confess my inability to cope with an opponent whose standpoint is unstable.

The obstruction which commerce suffers from the legal regulation of the volume of currency is the cause of crises and business stagnation, of the existence of squalid poverty among those unable to find employment. Through its agency the bulk of all inequitable acquisitions are made possible. Being responsible for by far the greatest portion of the damage done by authoritarianism, I fail to understand how an opponent of authority can defend these depredations.

Hugo Bilgram.

Private and Public Inspectors.

[Philadelphia Justice.]

The Philadelphia “Press” may be relied upon to support any State Socialistic measure in connection with the regulation of financial institutions, but sometimes its news columns demonstrate the incapacity of its editorial writers. In a recent issue, its New York correspondent, in writing of the failure of banking institutions, says:

“So far as the State officers were concerned, this institution and the others might have gone on with impaired resources and capital until they had tumbled to pieces from their own rottenness. For it was not the officers appointed by the law to inspect these State institutions who discovered their weakness, but it was a private association, that partnership of the greater number of the banks of this city which is called the Clearing House Association.

“That association has discovered and given warning of weaknesses in a number of institutions which bore the stamp of approval of the State Banking Department. The State officers are paid to protect those who deposit in State banks. The Clearing House Association is paid nothing, but the State’s officers are either delinquent, sentimental, tender-hearted, or incompetent, whereas none of these weakening causes has any play with the Clearing House Association. In its business relations it is as cold-blooded as it is just, and it furnishes a fine example of the greater capacity of individual interest to protect than of legislative creatures to do the same thing.”

Extracts from Nietzsche’s Works.

[Translated by George Schumm.]

A Parable. — Those thinkers in whom all stars move in cyclic orbits are not the deepest; whoever looks into himself as into an immense interstellar space and carries within himself milky ways, knows, too, how irregular all milky ways are: they lead to the very chaos and labyrinth of existence.

The Will and the Wave. — How greedily this wave comes rolling on, as if something were to be achieved. How it creeps with fear-inspiring haste into the innermost recesses of the rocky cavern! It seems as if it would anticipate somebody; it seems as if something were hidden there that has worth, great worth. And now it recedes, a little slowlier, still quite white from excitement, — is it disappointed? Has it found what it sought? Does it feign disappointment?’ But already another wave is approaching, greedier and wilder than the first, and also its soul seems filled with secrets and the craving of treasure-digging. Thus live the waves, thus live we, the willing! I say no more. — So? You mistrust me? You are angry with me, you beautiful monsters? Do you fear that I will betray your secret? Well! Be angry; lift your green, dangerous bodies as high as you can, make a wall between me and the sun, — as now! Verily, already nothing remains of the world except green twilight and green lightnings. Do as you please, you dare-devils, howl with pleasure and malice, cast your emeralds into the deepest deep, throw over it your infinite white shaggy hair, — I am satisfied with everything, for everything is becoming to you, and I love you so for everything: how will I betray you! For, — mark you! — I know you and your secret, I know your race! You and I, we are of one race! You and I, we have one secret!

Democratic “Tariff Reform.”

[Louisville Courier-Journal, Democratic.]

If in the Democracy of this country there is a depth of contempt which had not before been stirred by Democracy’s alleged representatives in the United States Senate within the past six months, it has certainly been reached by the action of the Finance Committee in the latest “compromise” tariff bill agreed on.

It would be as profitless as it would be humiliating to multiply words on this miserable betrayal of a cause for which years of struggle had been given, and for which the most signal of political triumphs had been won.

Intrusted with a mission whose faithful performance meant the political policy and material welfare of seventy millions of people; directed by a chart as clear as sunlight and as authentic as their own commissions; empowered by a popular verdict as, regular as the Judgment of a court of law and as sovereign as a revolution, the senile or invertebral agents of the people’s will shrink at every shadow, dodge at every shape, and cannot surrender too quickly whatever and whenever a Democratic renegade or a protection freebooter demands.

The result is weary months wasted to the business world and to the party, and, after it all, instead of a bill redeeming the pledges they were commissioned to redeem, a mongrel piebald of patches and pusillanimity, a grotesque hodgepodge of pretence and pettifogging, a nondescript abortion of incompetency, selfishness, cowardice, and treachery.

[Baltimore Sun, Democratic.]

Compromise is not the word that properly describes what the Democratic majority in the Senate is now invited to do with the Tariff bill. Surrender is the only word that fits the situation. And no such abject surrender of a great party, backed by a popular majority of 1,300,000 in the nation, has ever been proposed or even contemphited in any previous American Congress.

The four hundred amendments proposed to the Wilson Tariff bill, which had already been subjected to important modifications in the interest of conciliation and harmony, will, if they are enacted into law, be, with a string of exceptions inserted as a blind, a virtual abandonment of the Chicago platform of 1892. They cannot be defended on any other principle than the same which underlies the McKinley tariff itself, — protection pure and simple; not such moderate protection as may be properly given to American industries as an incident in the raising of needed revenue, but protection for protection’s sake, regardless of revenue. The passage of such a tariff bill as a fulfilment of the pledges of tariff reform which the Democratic party has given to the people in every national campaign for twenty years past, and which it renewed with more explicitness and emphasis two years ago than it had ever previously given them, will be at once a legislative fiasco, a party humiliation, and a national misfortune.

[Indianapolis News, Independent.]

If this bill had been introduced ten years ago by a Republican in a Republican Congress, he would have been severely criticised by many of his own party associates for pushing the doctrine of Protection to an extreme. And Democratic statesmen and Democratic organs would have howled about the injustice of taxing one man for the benefit of another.

[Springfield Republican, Independent.]

Incompetency inconceivable continues to mark the steps of the Democratic tariff revisers in the Senate. It is now many weeks since the Wilson tariff bill was received by them from the House. They gave it over to a sub-committee which sat in the dark and for days worked at reductions of rates. Then an alarm was sounded, and the sub-committee hurriedly reported the bill in a hodge-podge state to the full Finance Committee which doctored it up some more, and on other notes of alarm hastily reported it to the Senate. Then followed caucuses of Democratic senators, threats, and revolts from the “conservatives,” further proposed changes to suit the malcontents, a final giving over of the bill to Treasury experts, to be doctored up anew under the supervision of Secretary Carlisle. And now, after this dilly-dallying of weeks, during which the business interests of the country have waited and fretted and burned with impatience and wasted away with uncertainty, we have presented another bill which may or may not be what the majority can get together upon.

There is no record in the whole history of Congress parallel to this display of incompetency and inability to unify its forces on the part of the party charged by the people with the enactment of a specific reform.

[New York Evening Post, Democratic.]

Every Democrat with a particle of sagacity must agree with Mr. Harter in predicting that the passage of the bill in its present form will stamp the party as a “lot of imbeciles” and bring upon it the “ridicule of Republicans, and, in the end, curses of a deceived public.” Both ridicule and curses are forthcoming already. In its protective features, with the exception of free wool, it is only a shade less offensive than the McKinley bill, and it has, in the income tax, a more abominable feature than anything which the latter contained. To pass such a measure as this and hope to save itself from the destruction which would come to the party in case of failure to pass any law whatever, is like jumping from a precipice to avoid lynching. The party would become, as Mr. Harter says, the “laughing-stock of all creation,” and would be spurned at the polls as incapable of either honest or intelligent conduct of public affairs. Thousands of independent voters who have for many years been supporting Democratic candidates, in the belief that Democratic denunciation of Republican protection as a fraud and a robbery of the great majority of the people for the benefit of the few was sincere, would refuse ever again to put faith in a party which repudiated its pledges at the first opportunity to fulfil them. What is the use, they will ask, of leaving the Republican party because of its high tariff sins when the Democratic party is wedded to the same sins? We might as well wait till the Republican party sees the error of its ways, — or till the evils work their own cure.

[The attention of the editor of “Puck” is respectfully called to the opinions of the leading Democratic and Independent organs on the subject of the tariff as she is reformed by the Democratic Senators. Anarchist critics are perhaps open to the suspicion of ungenerous and harsh insistence upon consistency and principle, and Republican or Populist critics are open to the charge of partisan misrepresentation; but here we have Democrats and friends of Democracy mercilessly (though reluctantly) exposing the faithlessness, the incapacity, the cowardice, the corruption, and the general worthlessness of the Democratic majority in the Senate, whose manipulation of the tariff bill would disgrace a lot of newsboys. Does “Puck” still believe (I am charitably assuming that it believed what it wrote) that the Democratic party has the monopoly of sound political and economic ideas?]

The “Boycott.”

[Montreal Witness.]

“A conspiracy to boycott is at once wicked and illegal, no matter by whom promoted. We feel disposed even to say that meetings called for organizing such a conspiracy, having for their object an unlawful purpose, should be suppressed. This view, perhaps, will be regarded as ridiculously extreme in a free and enlightened country; but if our opponents choose when it suits them to forget that Canada is free and enlightened, why should we remember it when manæuvring in an opposite direction?”

The above is from the “Advocate,” organ of the liquor traffic. We have had doubts all along as to how the law would look upon the Christian Endeavor method of fighting a business on which the law puts the seal of legality by a formal license. We have never had any doubts, however, as to what was the right thing to do about liquor-selling grocers. Whatever view the clientele of the “Advocate” may take of them, the following propositions must be granted to the Endeavorers as expressing views which they have a right to hold: Liquor-selling is wrong. It is a source of special danger to the community for grocers to sell liquor. It is right to urge grocers not to sell liquor. Those grocers who take that advice lose the custom of many of their liquor-using customers. To give them such advice, and when they, by following it, incur ouch loss, to go and deal with those who have not made a like sacrifice would be mean. It is right to prefer temperance grocers. It is right to advise and urge others to do what is right. As the first of these propositions must be granted as a view which the Endeavorers and all temperance people have a right to hold, and must hold; and as, when that is admitted, each of the others must follow, the conclusion must also be admitted that it would be wrong for the Endeavorers not to do as they have done. Anyway, it will be a bad day for the liquor trade when they interfere with the efforts of citizens to turn all the custom they can to the temperance grocer. If it be boycotting to urge people to stay away from liquor stores, then boycotting be it, Every good father and pastor and citizen in Canada has been a boycotter always in urging all under his influence to keep out of the tavern. Would it not be rich to have a saloon-keeper bring an action against a Sunday-school superintendent for pledging his scholars to keep out of the saloon? The present movement has, however, not been put in the form of a crusade against the liquor grocer, but a movement in support of the temperance grocers. The liquor-sellers, many of whim profess, and doubtless honestly, a great desire to get out of the business, have been informed that the Endeavorers and their friends had determined to patronize henceforth’the temperance grocers, and that if they wished a share of that patronage the way was open to them.

[It is so unusual to find a “large daily” on the right and logical side of the boycott question, that the “Witness’s” utterances have the charm of novelty and the pleasure of glad surprise. There may be a good “target” here for the letter-writing corps. An intense desire to accomplish some definite purpose sometimes leads to unexpected revelations. There was the desire to fight the liquor power on the part of the “Witness,” and there was the excellent weapon of the boycott at hand. Reflection soon opened the eye to the fallacy of the objection to the boycott on the score of aggression. Perhaps what Mr. Byington says of the State is true of our newspapers, — that their uncompromising and fierce hostility towards the manifestly fair weapon of boycotting is due to fear. Is it possible that the Godkinian “Individualists” and so-called “Jeffersonian Democrats” are actually blind to the essentially non-invasive quality and character of the boycott? It is true that every-day experience shows that there are no limits to human stupidity, but in the case of the editorial fulminations against boycotting fear is a more reasonable hypothesis than logical incapacity.]

Kidd’s “Social Evolution.”

A friend writes me as follows in a private letter with reference to Mr. Kidd’s book, noticed in the last issue of Liberty. Alfred Russell Wallace has contributed a very favorable review of the work in question to that leading organ of science, “Nature.”

I do not know what possessed Wallace to write such a favorable review of Kidd. That the London “Spectator” and “Times” should be pleased is natural, for the book is really reactionary. It is, when carefully considered, one of the most pessimistic books I have met with. There is a lot of vague talk about the equalizing of opportunities and the humanizing of the struggle for existence, but that is all that is good. He starts from the Weismannian position of natural selection being the sole cause of progression, and deduces from it the worse than Malthusian conclusion that population must always outrun subsistence or we go backward through panmixia. Then he declares that the human reason is antagonistic to these conditions of progress (incidentally I may say that he assumes that reason must always arrive at egoist conclusions), and would quickly reverse and overthrow any altruistic or social sentiments tending to sustain the race, were not these reinforced and sustained by supernatural and ultra rational sanctions. The necessity of these sanctions is the ultimate cause of all religions, and religion cannot in consequence ever disappear without causing the destruction of the race. Religion it is, too, which, by deepening and improving the character and the “creation of a fund of altruistic sentiment,” has caused all the equalization of classes which has so far taken piece, and which promises to abolish class distinctions in the future. The conservative, power-holding classes are even yet overwhelmingly strong, and would crush the proletarians if religion had not undermined their opposition by making them doubtful of the justice of their cause. Some of the persons, at least, so affected are not religious, but they are the product of a religious society, and could not have been produced any other way.

Verily, the book is a masterpiece of pseudo-science up to date!

The Prophet “Coming Down.”

[Jos. Rodes Buchanan in Lucifer.]

The warning of three years ago, in which I attempted in the “Arena” to rouse the public mind to the terrible fact that we are drifting fast toward a civil war of unsurpassed magnitude and ferocity, was regarded as a prophetic statement and treated by many as visionary, though it created an intense interest in a wide circle of readers, beyond anything ever published in that bright magazine.

It is a moderate estimate to say that at least a million now believe in the truth of that warning, and many thousands believe that the crisis is coming much sooner than I predicted. The same warning was given over thirty years ago by a German seer, whose prophecies as to European affairs have been fulfilled in the intervening thirty years, and several seers in the United States have made nearly the same prediction. It has not required a very exalted prophetic power to see our coming fate at this time, when every really astute politician sees that there is a terrible storm brewing, and I might fill several columns with quotations from those who are profoundly alarmed and whose abilities entitle them to our confidence.

Their language is continually becoming more alarming, as, for example, when the “Twentieth Century” says: “The movement now on foot in a dozen States to present their petitions in person may be the last peaceable demand. Wise statesmanship alone can avert the horrors which lurk in the near future, unless speedy action is taken. A lack of wisdom in grasping the situation will bring retribution more terrible than ’61-’64.”

Morrison Swift, who headed the great meeting on the Boston Common, April 15, quoted, in his appeal to Congress, the language of a speaker at Paterson, N. J., saying, “Rich men have monopolies. We who work for them are tigers. We will break loose some day, and all the soldiers in the country cannot shoot us down fast enough.”

A Texas correspondent of the “New Common-wealth,” of Brooklyn, N. Y., expresses his expectations of a war which may arise after the next presidential election: “Such a war as the world has never witnessed since its earlier civilizations were blotted from the earth.”

There are plenty more of such expressions, which I need not quote, but while the dull roar of the coming storm is heard, there are fanciful, optimistic people who see only bright progress in the future. Since my prophetic essay the newspapers have called out a considerable number of literary people of note to give their predictions, who predict only progress, and are blind and deaf to the coming storm. And there are perhaps millions whose brains are so sodden in selfishness that they cannot realize their country’s danger, and some fools, hardly fit for American citizenship, who affect to snicker and sneer at rational predictions. They are as wise as the Southern orator who once offered to drink all the blood that would be shed in a secession war.

In connection with our coming war, I predicted the death of Blaine, cyclones and diseases, all of which was fulfilled, and also predicted the death of several eminet people who have not yet died, but will die soon. These predictions had no relation whatever to the infallible law of periodicity. They were rather hazardous predictions, such as physicians are accustomed to give, and for which I saw good reason, but failed to realize the vital force of the moribund parties. I attach no importance to this, as it is well known that the majority of the diagnoses and predictions of physicians, who have the best opportunities of examining and testing their patients, are either incorrect or entirely wrong, and I spoke of patients whom I had never seen.

Our country now is in one of its annual crises. April is an evil month for the Republic. The last week of April and the first week of May I have long known to be a critical period for the nation.

[Comrade Cohen’s letter in “Lucifer,” I am glad to see, has had a good effect. “Don’t shoot,” cries the prophet, “I am coming down.” Yes, Mr. Buchanan has come down. His predictions, he now says, were not based on any facts in the occult sciences (if such sciences have any facts), but were largely guesses. Had the prophet been careful to say so when he sounded the alarm in the “Arena,” no attention whatever would have been paid to him. As a matter of fact, no attention was paid to him anyway, but as he seems to flatter himself that his “warnings” excited great interest and concern, he convicts himself of humbug. A million people, we are told, now believe in inevitable social revolution and civil war. This belief has nothing to do with the case. It is an inference drawn from historical experience and the facts of human nature. Those who confine themselves to such indefinite predictions are on perfectly safe ground. But the prophet ventured to predict the fate of certain individuals, and there he prepared humiliating defeat for himself. The persons who are not dead according to the programme have more vitality than they were Credited with, that’s all; all doctors make mistakes, even those who have their patients before them. This is the prophet’s explanation. Well, it would be wicked to prolong the agony of the poor prophet. We will refrain from rubbing it in if be promises to humbug no more. But his talk about the month of April shows that he is not cured yet, and another dose may be necessary.]

Caligula, alias William II.

[New York Sun.]

Dr. Ludwig Quidde has published a scandalous pamphlet entitled “Caligula.” It purports to be a study of the madness of the Roman Emperor, but the author has so selected and grouped his classical quotations as to make the whole work bear directly upon Emperor William’s actions. The pamphlet probably will be suppressed.

[New York Evening Post.]

The leading article in the April number of “Die Gesellschaft,” a monthly journal pubished at Leipzig, is entitled “Caligula, eine Studie über römischen Cäsarenwahnsinn,” in which the author, Dr. L. Quidde, an historian residing in Munich, editor of the quarterly “Zeitschrift für Geschichtswissenschaft,” a member of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences, and president of the Munich Democratic Union, holds the mirror up to modern sovereigns, and shows a would-be German Caesar his own feature and image. Caligula was very young and inexperienced when he unexpectedly came to the throne, One of his first acts was to make way with Macro, the counsellor of his predecessor, in order to assert his independence and to indulge his own whims, especially as regards social and economical reforms, of which he was utterly ignorant. Other characteristics mentioned are the extravagance with which the treasure accumulated by the severely frugal Germanicus and Tiberius was squandered, a mania for erecting costly edifices (also a “fad” of Ludwig II. of Bavaria), irrepressible passion for speechifying on all occasions, a predilection for the sea and pleasure in yachting, military ambition, and fondness for frequently alarming the troops, desire to rejuvenate the army, inordinate zeal in punishing lese-majesty, nervous restlessness and intolerance of opposition, and, finally, autocratic utterances, such as “let one be master, one king,” “oderint dum metuant” (let them hate, provided they fear), recalling “voluntas regis supreme lex” (the king’s will is the highest law), “sic volo, sic jubeo” (thus I will, thus I command), “cave ergo adsum” (look out, for I am here), and similar sayings which have recently excited much indignant comment and adverse criticism. Dr. Quidde traces the gradual development and fatal consequences of Caligula’s megalomania, anti refers twice to the late King of Bavaria, but makes no allusion to any other monarch.

The “Vaccination” Outrage.

[George E. Macdonald in the Truth Seeker.]

Under a system of compulsory vaccination, by doctors who have a pecuniary interest in the operation, instances of serious illness and death as a result of the practice are of almost daily occurrence. Added to these evils is the almost equally great one of invasion of person and property, and the inoculation by main strength of people who deny both the efficacy of the treatment and the right of the State to enforce it. The whole business comes as clearly under the head of outrage as does any other kind of assault. If we had the statistics of vaccination and voluntary abortion, we should probably find the balance of ill effects on the side of the former, and yet the State enforces the one and makes a crime of the other. I take it that the attitude of the lawmakers toward the latter is nothing more nor less than an accident. If previous to the passage of laws on the subject some public nuisance had introduced into the legislature a bill providing for the inspection by public officials of all unmarried members of the female sex falling under suspicion, an an enforced operation in case guilt was established, the legislature would have enacted it into a law, and members of the health board, with Comstock as their spy, would be official abortionists instead of vaccinators. And there would certainly be as good grounds for such a law as can be adduced for the present action of the board of health; for all moralists most admit that an unmarried female may sustain an attack of variola with less serious results, social and moral, than those which attend unwedded motherhood. As dispensers of prophylactics, the vaccinators must stand second to the crowd of so called malpractitioners now under indictment in this city, while, as perpetrators of outrage, purveyors of ill-health, and as accessories to homicide, the positions are reversed. The law under which they operate should carry a clause providing that all sections of the Constitution guaranteeing the security of person or property are hereby repealed.

Discount and Miscount.

[J. K. Ingalls in the Truth Seeker.]

Farmer Hayseed: Here’s a note for $1,000 guaranteed by Deacon Jones. Want money on it for a considerable spell.

Banker Goldman: Well, that’s what we call “gilt-edged.” Will give you $989.50 in our notes for your individual note for $1,000, payable in one year; we keeping the guaranteed note as security. Sixty dollars is the discount for one year, and fifty cents for the three days’ grace.

F. H.: Whew I Never hear’n tell ’tyou bank fellows had any grace to grant. Don’t see where it comes in, either. You take pay for it a year in advance without waiting to see whether it is wanted or no. But, say, I want the credit for twenty years. How much mought be then the mis—discount?

B. G.: Hm I Well, Would be $1,200.50. But we don’t discount notes taking that long to run.

F. H.: I should say not. Let’s see. I would pay you $200.50 and $1,000 when the note was due without ever having from you a measly red. Don’t want any mis—clis—miscount that grits in such work. And, cum to think of it, will vote no more of your bank men or their attorneys into office to “fix the value” onto money so it’ll miscount like that.

The Inevitable Doom.

[London Free Life.]

How little it all counts! These gigantic official establishments, this stupid, misdirected patriotism, this overflowing stream of deepening taxation, these industrial little politicians swarming over their ant-heap at Westminster, fighting and stinging each other, — the seed of decay is planted in it all.

The Evils of a Restricted Currency.

Liberty reprints with satisfaction the following extracts from General Francis A. Walker’s recent pamphlet on “Bimetallism: A Tract for the Times.” Coming from such an economic authority, the strong statements regarding the evils of the gold basis and of a diminishing money supply will carry great weight. General Walker’s remedy is bimetallism, and it is needless to say that Liberty does not follow him. In the first place, it is indisputable that silver is really flat money, either at its present ratio to gold or at any other that has been proposed, and the monometallists are right in looking upon the bimetallists’ proposal as a scheme of inflation. In the second place, the rehabilitation of silver would not prove the economic blessing, the remedy, that General Walker fancies it to be. But General Walker’s position is far more sound and rational than that of the supercilious, narrow, bigoted monometallists, whose champions are Wells, Atkinson, and the New York “Evening Post.” By the way, Mr. J. Greevz Fisher should read the following exposition and see what an economist of ability, training, and reputation thinks of the effects of the “bagatelle” of government meddling with currency.

Our Southern and Western friends have got hold of a half truth, or rather a half truth has got hold of them, and has produced among them something very like a fanaticism dangerous to the Republic. The half of the truth regarding money which actuates the South and West is that a diminishing money supply constitutes a great evil. The way in which the gold mono-metallists seek to meet this is by opposing to it a half-truth of their own, namely, that an inflated, depreciated, and rapidly fluctuating money is a fruitful source of social and industrial mischief. But a half truth which excites to fanaticism has never yet been successfully opposed by another half-truth appealing to conservatism. The only way to meet the dangerous demands from the West and South is by telling and urging the whole truth, which in this matter is found in bimetallism, — bimetallism on a broad international basis, which would both secure the desired stability of the so-called Standard of Value and prevent the incontestable evils of a diminishing money supply.

The bimetallist asserts that there is not gold enough to do the business of the nations which have been drawn into or towards gold monometallism by the events of the past twenty years. In support of this assertion the bimetallist points to the terrific; the hitherto unprecedented, strain, growing steadily from bad to worse, under which the great commercial countries have been brought and kept in the unceasing contest for gold during the past twenty, ten, and five years; to the small visible stocks of gold over which the nations are thus struggling; and to the palpable inadequacy of the annual product to supply the waste of the existing body and provide for the continually increasing demands of commerce and finance. On the last point the bimetallist finds evidence furnished ready to hie hand by the leading gold monometallist writer of England, if not of Europe, Mr. Robert Giffen, of the British Board of Trade. In his Case against Bimetallism Mr. Giffen makes the following admission: “About two thirds of the gold annually produced is taken for the arts; and if the consumption of India is included, as being either for simple hoardilig or for the arts, and in no case for the purpose of circulating money, then the demand for gold for non-monetary purposes appears almost equal to the entire annual production. The normal demand for money proper it is almost impossible to state, owing to the amount of recoinage and other difficulties; but it may be doubted whether the annual addition to circulating gold money, in normal years, can be anything nearly so great.” In this connection Mr. Gillen quotes the estimate of Mr. Ottomar Haupt, of Vienna, that not less than seventy millions of dollars in gold per annum would be required to keep up the gold supply, repair waste, and provide for the increasing wants of commerce and banking. Such is the financial situation of the nations; and, looking at this alone, we are justified in saying that the case is rapidly growing worse. The military chests of Europe are all the time growing larger; and the banks, to strengthen their own reserves, are constantly increasing the strain upon the whole system. Such a condition is eminently unsound, and keeps trade and production constantly under the threat and imminence of a financial panic.

But it is not alone or chiefly the financial situation which interests us. Far more mischievous still have been the effects of a diminishing money supply upon industry and commerce. The period from 1878 to 1894 has been one of falling prices, incontestably due in some large degree to the increasing demand for gold. Other causes have, doubtless, contributed to reduce the prices of many commodities, but enough remains to constitute a grave, a very grave, charge against gold monometallism. No condition is more discouraging and disheartening to the manufacturer and to the Merchant than a continually falling market. Lower prices cut into the legitimate profits of production and trade, diminish industrial enterprise, and retard the productive investment of capital.

Some monometallic writers, indeed, have under-taken to prove that demonetization of silver has had nothing to do with the fall of gold prices. Such a proposition is, on its face, monstrous and absurd. If a number of nations have largely diminished their use of silver and largely increased their use of gold, this must have had the effect to lower prices expressed in terms of gold. To deny it is to deny that demand and supply determine value. In this connection Mr. Giffen remarks: “If we were told that copper or iron or wheat were rising because there was a deficiency of the supply of them to meet all the demands, we should accept the statement as a matter of course. But what is true of copper or iron or wheat must be equally true of any commodity which happens to be the standard monetary substance. If gold or silver is that substance, and gold or silver is increasingly in demand without any corresponding increase in supply, then people who want gold or silver for any purpose must give more for them.”

Just how much of the thirty or thirty-five per cent. that gold prices have lost in the last twenty years is due to silver demonetization, and how much to inventions and improvements affecting the production of certain commodities, no human being can tell, and it is not of the slightest consequence to know. With reference to this question Mr. Giffen says: “Two causes only have been suggested. One is the great multiplication of commodities and diminution of the cost of production, due to the progress of invention, etc. The other is, that the precious metal used for standard money, viz., gold, has become relatively scarcer than it was, its production being diminished, on the one hand, and the demands for it, on the other, increased. I am disposed to give greater weight to the latter.”

What shall we add to the foregoing admissions? There is a class of political economists, steadily diminishing in numbers and influence, who attribute very little consequence to the status, and who deem the structure of industrial society of the smallest possible account. These are the economists of the à priori school, who treat all things industrial as if they were in a state of flux, ready to be poured indifferently into any kind of mold or pattern. If it is urged that such and such a course will disturb and distort industrial relations, lower prices, break down wages, or what not, these economists are always on hand with the answer that industrial society will “readjust” itself to the new conditions. These are the economists who say that what one loses another will gain. They are the same economists who used to assert that it would not matter if wages were at any time unduly depressed by combinations of employers, inasmuch as the excess of profits resulting would infallibly become capital, and, as such, constitute an additional demand for labor; and so the wrong would tend to right itself. It has been the teaching of the economists of this sort which has so deeply discredited political economy with the laboring men on the one hand, and with practical business men on the other. The political economy of today recognizes the industrial structure as of the highest importance; it teaches that industrial injuries remain, deepen, and tend to become permanent; that sudden and violent changes are always to the prejudice of the least fortunate members of society, the poor, the ignorant, and the inert, those who have little capital, those who are distant from the market, those who are at a disadvantage in the economic struggle, from whatever cause. It is with industrial society as it is with the human body. A certain portion of its substance is always in fluid state, circulating unceasingly through the system, nourishing as it goes every part, every organ, every limb; but by far the largest part has taken on a permanent and unchangeable form which cannot be crushed or mutilated or punctured without serious, perhaps fatal, injury. The political economy which treats industrial society as in a state of flux, which regards undeserved losses as amply compensated by unearned gains of an equal amount, which declares that, whatever happens in the field of industry, readjustment will promptly and surely take place, is exactly on a par with the physiology which should assume that a tall, lank man could, by the pressure of a certain number of “atmospheres,” be made over, at will, into a short, stout man of the same weight, without loss of life or energy.

To any political economist who regards the industrial structure as important, the steady shrinking of prices continued through a term of years, due to the increasing scarcity of the money supply, constitutes a tremendous force for evil. It is not alone that tens of thousands of millions of public, private, and corporate debts require a continually increasing amount of commodities to discharge the interest and principal of such obligations; it is not alone that the weight of the dead hand is continually growing heavier upon the living and active forces of the present: these are matters serious enough; but the greatest part of the evil of a diminishing money supply is wrought through the discouragement of enterprise, through the diminution of legitimate profits, through the preference given to all investments of capital which result in a fixed charge upon production over those which involve a participation in the gains or losses of active business. Look at the financial and industrial history of the past few years1 Everywhere the stockholder is giving way to the bondholder; everywhere we hear of “receiver-ships”; everywhere the mortgagee is coming into possession; everywhere the weight of the dead hand is felt continually increasing.

Good Work Frowned On by the State.

[Theodore Stanton in the Westminster Review.]

During my first Sunday in Chicago I was strolling alone near the heart of the town, when I found myself in a street which was being paved with wood. The work, left in its incompleted state Saturday night, could be easily inspected. I saw at a glance its litter worthlessness, the blocks of wood being placed directly on a bed of sand. So great was my astonishment, mingled with indignation, that I could not resist sharing my feelings with two men near by, who were leaning against a lamp-post.

“Why, this is not the way to lay wooden pavement!” I exclaimed; “in Europe the blocks are stood upon a solid foundation of cement and gravel. This will not last six weeks.”

“We don’t want it to last,” came the quick reply from one of the men; “there would be no money in it if it did.”

I guessed forthwith that I must be in the presence of the contractor for this particular job, or perhaps of two of his workmen.

Government and Brigandage.

To the Editor of Liberty:

The following extract from an encyclopedia article on Arabia reminds me of what Henry George said of the founder of South Australia, that he “saw the cat, but saw it, so to speak, wrong end foremost.”

“The Bedouins are the shepherds and herdsmen, who wander about the deserts from one fertile valley to another. They have been called brigands, because they consider themselves the lords of the land, and in the absence of constituted authority take summary methods to punish the traveler, whom they regard as a trespasser. In lieu of official fees for passports they take whatever property they can first lay hold of. By paying a fee to the first sheikh whose territory is invaded, an escort is secured to the traveler as far as his authority extends; a similar payment to the successive sheikhs will insure like protection; but the neglect of such an acknowledgment of their rights will lead to loss of property and sometimes of life. The Bedouin is not murderous by nature, but of necessity, when his demands are resisted.”

Of course, as soon as it is shown that their action is analogous to the ordinary action of civilized governments, every appearance of brigandage vanishes.

Stephen T. Byington.

Liberty’s Typography.

The typographical reform adopted by Liberty consists in the abolition of the process known among printers as “justification.” Under this new system, when the compositor, as he approaches the end of the line, finds that there is not sufficient room for an additional word or syllable, instead of filling the line by increasing the size of the spaces between the words, fills it with little blocks of metal known as quads, without disturbing the original spacing. In consequence of this, the reading matter does not present as straight an edge at its right side as at its left.

Æsthetically the new method is an improvement, because all inequality between the spaces in any given line and in the spacing of two lines in juxtaposition is eliminated. The spaces between the words remain equal in all parts of the column, the result being pleasing to the eye and serving to facilitate the task of reading. Commercially the new method is advantageous because it is much cheaper, nearly thirty per cent. being saved on the composition, and because it simplifies the work of composition and enables unskilled labor to take the place of skilled. The new method is available for book work and requires no capital for its adoption.

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Liberty’s Library

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.