Vol. X.
<No. 4.>


“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.

Auberon Herbert calls the trade union a “force institution.” This is unjust. Trades-unionists frequently use force against non-unionist workmen, but the trades union is essentially a voluntary institution.

The London “Spectator” states that in France it is calculated that more than a fifth of a man’s earnings is taken by the government in taxes, while in Italy a third is so taken. Under competitive protection, less than one per cent. would probably be sufficient to pay for the requisite insurance.

A friend calls attention to an odd typographical error in the last issue of Liberty. In Mr. Ballou’s quotation from Emerson, the latter was made to say that the use of the word “politic” in connection with government implies that the State is a “brick.” For brick read trick. As my friend says, “It is the millstone, not the brick, that Emerson complained of” (Matthew, xviii-6).

A “Lucifer” correspondent, displeased with Comrade Cohen’s treatment of Theosophy, says that his “sneering spirit” would “do credit to the dark ages.” I infer that in the dark ages it was far from safe to attack or question established creeds; those who ventured to do that were liable to be — sneered at. Without consulting Webster, it is clear that sneering is something very like burning, hanging, or quartering. Yet I observe that to some faiths or creeds sneering is far more fatal than the other forms of treatment.

The New York “Evening Post” says that foreign workmen fill the land “with strikes, riots, arson, boycotts, train robberies, obstruction of highways, and defiance of constituted authorities.” To such individualists as the “Post” boycotts and obstruction of the highways are the worst offences in the list, — the former because they are no offences at all, the latter because it includes Coxeyism and the demand for non-interest-bearing bonds. It makes Godkin wild to hear of bonds that don’t bear interest.

The Populist senators have been distinguishing themselves in various ways, and even the plutocratic papers are forced to admit that they are not inferior intellectually (about their moral superiority there has never been any doubt) to the Republican or Democratic “statesmen” in the Senate. Senator Peffer’s attack on protection was strong and skilful, and Senator Kyle’s argument for free wool was equally good. Senator Allen’s examination of the sugar trust officers made very interesting reading. Liberty does not admire Populism, but it hates plutocracy and its hired champions, and loves fairness. It takes pleasure in commending the work of the Populists when it deserves commendation.

“If State bank notes were issued, every dollar of them would increase in so much the strain on an already inadequate supply of gold,” remarks the New York “World”; “in other words, every dollar of them would act as a most efficient panic-producer.” The “World” is certainly on the right track; it is on the road to an important discovery. Under the exclusive gold basis, more banks would mean more danger of panics and financial chaos, for the promises impossible of fulfilment — redemption in gold — would be multiplied. But is the “World’s” alternative simply the maintenance of the status quo? Its attention is invited to a third alternative, — free banking without the fictitious and impossible gold basis.

The president of the sugar trust told the Senate investigation committee that the trust had no politics except the “politics of business,” — in other words, that it buys Republicans as well and as readily as Democrats, and that it is not so foolish as to refuse privileges simply because they are offered for sale by another party than that to which the members of the trust happen to belong. The newspapers speak of this confession as cynical and brazen. It is nothing of the kind. The sugar trust people are well aware that to men of the world there is nothing new in their statements, and it is not wise to indulge in silly and transparent lies. Besides, the trust cannot but have a good deal of contempt for the congressmen who do its bidding — for a consideration. Hirelings do not command the respect of their patrons.

Another pillar of society, instructor of youth, philanthropist, moralist, and statesman has been convicted of the crime of forgery, and condemned to a term of imprisonment. I refer to Erastus Wiman. Now that he has been found out, people say that the wonder is not that he goes to jail at last, but that he has kept out of it so long. The same is true of most pillars of society, and yet Ibsen is accused of irrational pessimism and libelling mankind for having given a true picture of the business world. Lawyer Tracy could make no better argument in Wiman’s defence than that many eminent citizens have been saved from State prison by a “slender thread” of technicality. This fact, however, does not render Wiman more innocent; it makes the “eminent citizens” whose right place is in prison less formidable as champions of virtue and patriotism.

Referring to Henry Seymour’s statement, in the article on mutual banking in the London “Brotherhood,” that “monopoly of capital is due solely to the monopoly of monetary credit,” the “Twentieth Century” observes: “This is precisely the mischievous greenback doctrine of our Populists. It should be easy enough to see that monopoly of credit is an effect, not the cause, of monopoly of capital. This is due to the fact that our laws permit private property in capital.” In other words, monopoly of capital is the effect of private property in capital, and monopoly of monetary credit is the effect of monopoly of capital. According to this view, monopoly of monetary credit, being an effect merely, cannot be done away with except by removing its ultimate cause, private capital. Let us verify this. Suppose government meddling with currency and banking is abolished, and everybody who has wealth, much or little, can, individually or in coöperation with others, monetize it by issuing credit notes based upon it; that would afford us competition, instead of monopoly, in monetary credit, and monopoly of capital would be abolished in consequence of such extension of the freedom of credit. Yet private property in capital would remain. But you cannot destroy a cause by changing an effect, nor can you get rid of an effect while its cause exists. Hence there is something wrong with the “Twentieth Century’s” analysis. The probability is that it does not really know what Mr. Seymour means. As to the doctrines of the Populists, no one who understands what they are can make the statement that the Populists believe in free credit. Is fiat money and government monopoly of issue freedom of credit?

The People.

[Translated by John Addington Symonds from the Italian of Tommaso Campanella, a victim of the Inquisition.]

The people is a beast of muddy brain

That knows not its own force, and therefore stands

Loaded with wood and stone; the powerless hands

Of a mere child guide it with bit and rein:

One kick would be enough to break the chain;

But the beast fears, and what the child demands

It does; nor its own terror understands.

Confused and stupefied by bugbears vain.

Most wonderful! with its own hands it ties

And gags itself, — gives itself death and war

For pence doled out by kings from its own stole.

Its own are all things between earth and heaven,

But this it knows not; and if one arise

To tell this truth, it kills him unforgiven.

“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.

Violence Breeding Violence.

When Carnot refused to interpose the pardoning power in the cases of Vaillant and Henry, the dynamiteurs, or so-called Anarchists, of France promised to retaliate. Vaillant and Henry had killed no one, yet they were killed, the law having been stretched for the occasion. What wonder is there that the revolutionists have taken Carnot’s life? The revolutionists are not treated with mercy, why should they be merciful? If the fact that their motives are good is not taken into account by the representatives of law and order, why should the fact that the latter “do their duty” when they treat the “Anarchists” as brutal and vulgar criminals be considered by those who look upon “law and order” as organized burglary and fraud? The removal of Carnot is not an instance of “propaganda by deed,” it was an act of revenge pure and simple. Carnot was an inoffensive, amiable figurehead; he was not a brutal despot, and excited no hatred or bitterness in anyone. The killing of such a ruler is an act of madness and folly from the standpoint of “propaganda by deed,” and there is little reason to believe that his killing was prompted by the desire to propagate Communistic Anarchism. It was probably prompted by the desire to show that one party can wreak vengeance and reprisals as well as the other. The act is to be regretted; it may have serious consequences; but in view of the treatment of Vaillant and Henry, who can say that it was an unnatural act?

The newspapers? Yes, the American newspapers pretend to be utterly incapable of accounting for this to “fiendish” act. But everybody knows that the newspaper writers do not think when they write, and it is impossible to “account” for any phenomenon without thinking. Newspaper writers are professional denouncers, and their “opinions” are worth no more than the opinions of any hireling who is expected to do the best he can for a certain side, regardless of any considerations of justice, logic, or truth.

Carnot’s death is the natural result of his cruel treatment of Vaillant and Henry. Violence and mercilessness breed violence and mercilessness. There is only one way to terminate the propaganda by deed, and that is not the way recommended by the furious and raving upholders of law and order. Let governments treat revolutionists as misguided but well-meaning reformers; let them abolish the death penalty in political cases. There would be no assassinations after that. No other measures will avail. The individuals identified with governmental power cannot protect themselves in any other way. Santo will be killed, but he will have his political heirs and successors. If the advice of the scamps and ignoramuses who write the newspaper editorials is followed, and the revolutionists are “stamped out like vermin and shot like mad dogs,” the rulers and representatives of law and order will be subjected to precisely the same treatment. The revolutionists will stamp them out like vermin and shoot them like mad dogs. If a truce is wanted, let the death penalty be abolished in political cases. The effect of that will inevitably be the abandonment of the propaganda by deed. The newspaper jackals and jackasses may sneer at this, but it is absolutely true. Y.

Is Anarchism Atheistic?

Are Anarchists necessarily Atheists? Is the tendency of Anarchism toward Atheism? By no means, to the first; to the second, unquestionably.

Probably if the tenets of an earlier day were in vogue, it would not be possible to answer even the first question in the negative. There was a time when the question of Atheist or not Atheist was very definitely determinable. The god of those days had his hierophants, admitted by the people universally to be trustworthy, who could tell you all about god, and with much plausibility describe the indescribable. But we are done with that sort of thing; the more intelligent of us, at any rate, have no notion of accepting any theories that do not recommend themselves to our minds. Though we may not have given up trying to measure the infinite, we at least deem ourselves as competent to do so as any presbyter, bishop, or deacon. We are our own hierophants now.

Therefore, when we come to the new ideas of various kinds that are cropping up on every side, we are not disturbed by them very much; not so much as our grandfathers would have been. They, poor fellows, had to search their sibylline books with dread, lest they might encounter some intractable quotation which would compel them to keep on burning heretics, after they had exhausted all the fun of the amusement and indeed revolted at it, lest they should be burned themselves.

We, lucky birds that we are, need take no such trouble. Let a theory but recommend itself to us, and we make no bones about accepting it. We manufacture a god to suit ourselves, and let the sibylline oracles take care of themselves.

Are we prohibitionists? God doesn’t drink whiskey. Do we object to card-playing? God prefers checkers. So that, if by any chance we conclude that liberty is a desirable thing, not having forsaken our theopæic fancies, we have no difficulty in constructing a god who is fond of liberty, too, and we embrace that admirable thing, Anarchism, without having anything to do with the abomination Atheism.

But, after all, what does that kind of a god amount to? Can there be a theism worthy of the name that does not posit a personality as its god? Can a mere power that makes for righteousness for long take the place of a good old-fashioned tin-thunder and red-fire god? Such a god is indeed but a sickly specimen compared with the stalwart bully of yore: a mere Punchinello, head and hands animated by the deft fingers of the manipulator.

In fact, at this day theology is evanescent; nothing remains but a certain ethical sentiment. It is no matter what you believe; only be good. That is the religious attitude nowadays. Religion has abdicated as a teacher of facts, but still asserts competence to teach morals.

When we ask of religion, not, as formerly, “What is truth?” but only, “What is right?” we hear a veritable roar of confident assertion in reply. You ought — you ought — you ought — to do this, that, and the other, with the usual hardy loquacity of the unscientific mind. It is upon this idea that some people are competent to tell others what they “ought” to do, that government as well as the current religion is based.

Whatever may have been his preference before, to be taught in this style how to order his life after he has learned to understand liberty, is not palatable to an Anarchistic convert; he has no stomach for it.

Liberty is based upon the idea of letting people alone, — letting them be as “bad” as they please, provided their “badness” does not take the form of interfering with your “goodness,” if you will have it so. But finally the idea of liberty tends to obscure the other ideas of “goodness” and “badness” entirely. The essence of all “badness” is seen to be this perpetual interference with people who merely want to follow out their natural inclinations; as they used to make the restless child-life warp itself to the dead horror of Sabbath afternoons; as they used to frighten children for being afraid by putting them in dark closets, and cultivate their minds with red seams on their tender hands.

So the penalties of god and man in the past, — yes, and in the present, — for blasphemy, for sedition, for Sabbath-breaking, are seen to have been, — yes, again, to be, — penalties for virtues, and the other penalties of god and man for the most part distorted from their proper function into nothing more than an appeal to superstition to keep the victim prostrate.

All this the spirit of Anarchism supersedes. Man the judge of the morals, not the morals of man. Even the moralist variety of Anarchists would, I fancy, assert, not less strenuously than the egoist variety, that each must be a judge of his moral code for himself, that none is competent to force his opinion on another.

When our convert has reached this point, what good to him is the vanishing shadow of a god? Something of the sort he has all along cherished to which to refer his hazy moral notions; a Mr. Jorkins to back him up in his misty and usually tyrannical notions of reform.

But with liberty, what need of the apotheosis of vice called religion? what need of even the faint reminiscent adumbration of a god?

With liberty there comes freedom from fear, freedom from vicious desires, freedom from the cruel and bloody virtues and religions of the past. On the rainbow that hangs over the path to liberty is inscribed, “Neither Master, nor God!”

John Beverley Robinson.

With the Female Politicians.

New features are constantly added to the political variety show, and the supply of fun is abundant. With the tariff, silver, and woman suffrage to amuse him, no reasonable person can complain of weariness or dullness.

Take the woman suffrage agitation. The man who reads the literature of the fashionable ladies who protest that they and their sisters are not fit for the function generally accepts their conclusions, but not their logic. The arguments they employ — physical, metaphysical, theological, and miscellaneous — prove one thing, — that persons who can talk such rubbish will bring no valuable elements into politics. But the rubbish heaped up by those women who are anxious to obtain the suffrage is, if possible, even more offensive. Even the most progressive and modern of the champions of woman suffrage astonish one by the audacity and ignorance of their assertions. Their favorite argument is that male government has proved a miserable failure, and that the abolition of crime, vice, and misrule is impossible without the active coöperation of women. The implication, of course, is that women are wiser, purer, and better than men. Now, this implied belief is so wild, so recklessly absurd, so glaringly false, that the women who entertain it, or who advance arguments necessarily involving it, exhibit, not merely unfitness for governing others, but incapacity for any thought at all, deductive or inductive. All à priori considerations, as well as all experience, are so clearly against this assumption that men of ordinary patience cannot enter into any discussion of the subject.

It ought to be easy to see that the fact that men have not succeeded with the ballot is a very good practical argument against letting women experiment with it. So far as the right to it is concerned, neither men nor women can claim it. No one can claim the right to govern others, and for self-protection no vote is needed. All rational people are endeavoring to reduce government, coercion, interference, to a minimum, and here we are asked to give this weapon of tyranny, the ballot, to millions of persons lacking the practical experience, the judgment, the knowledge of the world and affairs, which are gradually leading men to restrict the sphere of political activity. Give the female reformer the ballot, and she will start a religious crusade against evil, actual and imaginary, in any shape, and no one and nothing will be safe. More Comstock laws, more prohibition, more meddling, more cant and hypocricy, more bigotry and intolerance, more reform by force, is what we must anticipate from that quarter. On the other hand, give the ballot to the women of Tammany circles, and you will have more bribery, corruption, spoils, blackmail, and police outrages. The few progressive women who favor less law rather than more ought to understand the temper of the sex as a whole and save society from the crusades of the zealous and ignorant female politicians.

Meanwhile some women are very anxious to vote. The necessity of elevating and purifying politics is so urgent that any means are deemed to be justified by the end, — even the utter disregard of principle and conviction. To induce the Populist State convention of Kansas to adopt a plank in favor of woman suffrage, two leading women, Miss Susan B. Anthony and the Rev. Anna Shaw, formally enlisted in the Populist ranks, without even pretending to believe in any of the distinctively Populist doctrines. This is clearly no better than any of the more vulgar forms of political bribery, yet it is because of the alleged moral superiority of w-men that they are to have the ballot! Either Miss Anthony and the Rev. Anna Shaw have no political principles and ideas at all, or else they are ready to work for the triumph of ideas they hold to be pernicious and fallacious. In either case, they sell their influence for a share of power.

It is impossible to point out a single advantage to society reasonably to be anticipated from woman suffrage, while a good many disadvantages would inevitably and speedily result from it. Why, then, favor it? Far better to try to deprive men of the ballot as far as possible and enlarge the sphere of individual freedom at the expense of that of government. Y.

A Lesson on Civil Government.

In Words of One Syllable, for Beginners.

It is wrong to kill a man who does not hurt you, or to shut him up, or cheat him, or take his goods when he does not give you leave, if he does no such thing to you. Most men will say “yes.”

But a lot of men meet and make what they call a State, and then the State takes men’s goods, and does not ask for leave. And if a man tries to keep his goods, or will not do all that the State tells him to, it shuts him up, or takes more of his goods, or kills him, though he may not have done a thing to hurt the men who made the State.

They say, “But we must have the State to take care of our rights.” What are rights? Why, the things that we said at first were right. But the State breaks these down, as we just said. It ought not to, if that is what it is for. If man wants the State to let him be, and does not hurt the men in the State, it ought to let him be.

But they say, “We could not take care of our rights if we did not force you to help us.” Well, it seems to me, if they have the strength to force me to help, they ought to have the strength to take care of their own rights and not force me. I think, with the help of those who would join me, if the State would let us be, I could take care of my rights as well as the State does.

I think that there are such things as right and wrong. Friend Ben thinks there are not. But we both know that there is no such thing as right in acts like these. Stephen T. Byington.

The tariff bill will pass the Senate before the end of the month, according to the forecasts of the more optimistic correspondents. But that will not be even the beginning of the end. It will have to go to the House; the House will send it to a committee; the committee will appoint a sub-committee to go over the changes that have been made since the poor bill left the House. The sub-committee, after a reasonable time, will report it to the committee; the committee will report it to the House; the House will debate it, change it, and send it to the Senate; the Senate will decline to accept the changes; a conference will be appointed. The conference will frame a new tariff bill which both the Senate and House will have to pass upon. But better late than soon, and better never than late, is the sensible man’s motto in all matters of legislation not for repeal.

The New York “Tribune,” referring to the numerous scandals of the day and to the overwhelming evidence of corruption in government, asks what consoling or redeeming circumstances are present to save people from pessimism and a feeling of helplessness and despair. Its answer is that there is encouragement in the incorruptibility of the press and the disgust and anger of the public. The public conscience, it says, has been aroused, and the press has shown perfect willingness to trace the evil to its root and neither conceal nor minimize it. I hope nobody is innocent enough to look to the press for consolation. Its indignation, morality, and virtue are for revenue only. It will do anything that will sell papers and attract advertisers. Today it is a Senate sugar scandal, tomorrow an atrocious murder or a filthy divorce ease or an outburst of Jingoism. The press is the greatest humbug of the age, and nothing is more calculated to plunge people into dark pessimism than the reflection that the influence of this humbug is growing instead of diminishing. Even those who appreciate it at its true worth are unconsciously dominated by it. The real consolation in these days of scandal is that the revelations do not cause anybody the least surprise. Everybody knows and expects governments to be corrupt, and nobody believes in the possibility of effecting any material improvement. The people submit, but they are not deceived. The superstition has vanished; government is seen to be a combination of force and fraud.

Bad as the newspapers are, they are models of impartiality and thoughtfulness in comparison with the religious press. The religious editors, these followers of Christ and preachers of peace and brotherhood and love, were the most bitter and rabid enemies of the miners during their recent struggle for decent wages; they howled and shrieked and clamored for “enforcement of the law,” “putting down the mob,” and protecting the property of the operators. They had not a word or thought for the miners’ condition. It is, of course, perfectly natural. The well-fed religions editors depend or support entirely upon the bourgeois church-goers; it is the comfortable who take the religious “family papers,” not the starving miners. But what miserable frauds and hypocrites these editors are in pretending to follow Christ! “If Christ came to Chicago,” or New York, or any other place having religious papers, he would drive the religious editors out of their comfortable offices and houses and invite the prostitutes and the tramps to take possession of them. Or rather, he would attempt to do so, for the religious editors and the police and the militia would crucify him on the first day of his visit. He would not even be tried by a jury, for the religious editors are beginning to excuse lynch law.

“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.

Tammany Government.

[Philadelphia Evening Star.]

The retirement of Richard Croker, “amid the tears of his associates,” from the leadership of Tammany Hall, is the noteworthy political incident of the week. Croker says that his “business demands attention.” He laments over the “time wasted in politics.” Had he given it to his own affairs, he “would have done better.”

Mr. Croker became the leader of Tammany Hall nine years ago. He was then so poor that a gift of ten thousand dollars from a man he had made Mayer was more than welcome. He retires one of the money magnates of New York.

This career is an “object lesson” which may be studied with profit. Mr. Croker is an illiterate man, who spent the years commonly devoted to salutary education to prize-fighting and corner-loafing. He was a cadet of Tweed and an active exponent of the Tweed idea, — repeating, quarreling, terrorizing honest voters. In one of these affrays a man was killed. Croker was indicted and tried for homicide. The jury felled to convict him, and the indictment was dismissed. Croker returned to politics in a modest way, but the shadow of the Tombs was upon him. That shadow lifted when Mayor Hewitt appointed him Fire Commissioner. From that appointment came the leadership of Tammany Hall.

The personal career of the Tammany leader is a minor consideration. If, as Tennyson says, men can rise to higher things by stepping upon their own dead past, let the elevation of Mr. Croker be to his credit. We should pass it by had it been the prelude of a worthy career.

Croker ruled Tammany Hall by the methods of Tweed. He had the morals without the audacity and shameless personal life of Tweed. He organized the municipality of New York into a money-producing machine. The party discipline was absolute. Everything — honor, station, public and private service — was reduced to a money value. Every office was taxed. The candidate for Congress paid the salary of his whole two years’ term — ten thousand dollars — for the nomination. That was the lowest figure. If a rich man, with ambitions, the tax was increased. Judicial nominees were charged from ten to thirty thousand dollars, according to the value of the place. Every office-holder submitted to an assessment. These aggregate sums were paid to Mr. Croker and expended for “the good of the party” and the integrity of the Tammany organization.

Then came the tax upon corporations. This was arranged upon a scientific basis. Every interest dependent upon legislation, municipal or State, paid tribute to Tammany Hall. We can estimate the vast revenues from this source when we recall the statement of Mr. Peckham, that to his personal knowledge one electric company paid $50,000 a year “for protection.” That is to say, unless the money was paid, the corporation would have been raided and robbed by Tammany, its business paralyzed, its franchises destroyed. This “protection” cost the company fifty thousand dollars a year, and it was glad to be let off so easily. Croker probably took the ides from Rob Roy, who protected the cattle of the Lowlanders for a consideration. In Rob Row’s time it was called “blackmail,” and involved the frequently indicted punishment of death by hanging. In New York, under Croker, it became “practical politics.”

The revenue from franchises was large. In New York, as in other cities under our beautiful modern system of government “of the people, by the people, and for the people,” franchisee of the greatest value are voted to the highest bidder. The bids never reach the public exchequer, but swell the assets of “practical politics.” We can form some idea of the money netted from this source alone, remembering the uncontradicted statement of a New York journal that a certain valuable franchise cost a million and a half dollars. The money went to Tammany Hall. That is only one of many equal and relative voted during the Croker reign.

A richer source of revenue was the tax upon grog-shops and beer saloons. New York is the rum-ridden city of the universe. It reeks with whisky. You cannot walk a hundred paces without coming prone upon one of these nurseries of hell. “I could not,” said Napoleon, “fight my battles without brandy.” Croker applied the Napoleonic principle to Tammany Hall.

There is not a tavern in that densely-taverned town that did not pay him tribute. The rumseller received “protection,” could defy the law, doctor his grog, keep open on Sunday, defy every moral, social, municipal law, provided he paid the assessment of Tammany Hall.

As the administrator of these vast sums, is it any wonder that Mr. Croker, after nine years’ service, should retire one of the richest men of New York — with his stables, his stud farms, his palace, and his private drawing-room car? Instead of a summons before a grand jury to answer as to the ways and means of his wealth and explain what became of the money paid for franchises belonging to the people, Croker retires “amid the tears” of his friends. One weeping associate frantically protested against the resignation. He would not be torn from the Croker embrace. They had been partners in the sombre corridors of the Tombs. They would not separate now. Like Croker, this heart-broken ally had been tried for murder. Unlike Croker’s, his jury agreed. They found that he had deliberately slain his victim, but was not guilty “on the ground of insanity.” The insanity wore off after a short and pleasant sojourn in an insane asylum, and the homicide became one of the most potent of Tammany politicians. It is within the genesis of New York politics that he should succeed Tweed and Croker as leader of Tammany Hall. Under Tweed it was the reign of larceny. Now it is the reign of blood.

This is a story of shame without parallel. It illustrates the triumph of insolent, sordid, truculent crime. There is no municipality of which there could be said what is now written in sorrow of our mighty neighbor beyond the Jerseys. It shows the degradation of the voter’s sane, moral sense. No horde of pirates on the Barbary coast or the Spanish Main ever committed the crimes which have disgraced New York since the days of Tweed. Experience, even the experience of Tweed, seems to teach the electors of New York no lesson. Reform means that the audacious leader gives way to one more wary and conservative. One nail drives out another, that is all. One leader holds with clenched teeth to the dugs of the poor worn city, and when he has sucked his fill, drops off to give place to a hungrier suppliant. This is all that can be deduced from the retirement of Croker. Another leader will come to drain his share and, when satisfied, give way “amid the tears” of associates scrambling for his place. Crime, always crime, and the city ever in the pirate’s grasp!

[The “Star” is a stiff Republican paper, while New York is a Democratic city. This accounts for the mercilessness of its treatment of Tammany. But cities having Republican governments are no better off, though the story of their shame will not be found in Republican papers.]

A Dose of Its Own Medicine.

[Boston Post]

Rutland, Vt., May 29. — John B. Moore and John D. Spellman, special prosecutors in this city under the prohibitory liquor law, have been removed from office by Governor Fuller as a result of exposures of their operations in office, published by the Rutland “Herald” in April.

There were intimations of blackmailing saloonkeepers and other crookedness, but the grossest offence plainly proved was running the machinery of the law to get costs without harming the liquor dealers, whereby the State was plundered of thousands of dollars every year.

The method followed was for the dealers to appeal all their cases from the lower courts with such manipulation that they were necessarily dismissed in the upper courts, so that the State was left with costs to pay in many hundreds of suits.

Moore resigned his office at the first summons, but Spellman refused to do so, even after a peremptory demand, and his appointment was revoked.

Fielding Put on Trial.

[New York Sun.]

There is no doubt about it that Anthony Comstock, instead of having no mind, as some skeptical and unkind critics have asserted, really has two minds, or a mahatma, or something. In his latest letter on Fielding he says that he cannot read “Tom Jones,” which enforces the assumption that he has not read it, for Mr. Comstock certainly cannot do the things he cannot do. Yet, or possibly therefore, he threatens Mr. Joseph J. Little, receiver of the Worthington Company, with arrest and punishment if he sells any copies of “Tom Jones.”

This has so confused Mr. Little in his business that yesterday he petitioned Justice O’Brien, of the supreme court, for aid in determining where he is at.

It is through Mr. Little’s petition to the court that a dazed public obtains another opportunity of observing Mr. Comstock’s mental operations, for Mr. Little, to be fair with the court, attaches to his petition some of Mr. Comstock’s letters on literature.

In one of these letters Mr. Comstock writes that he cannot read “Tom Jones,” “Rabelais,” and the “Confessions of Rousseau,” as he is “completely nauseated with that kind of rot.”

But, as Mr. Little observes in his petition, Mr. Comstock can read. He writes that he has read “The Book of the Thousand Nights and One,” and he finds it, and Aladdin and the Enchanted Lamp, just as bad as the books he cannot read, although it seems, from anything he says to the contrary, that the books he has read and condemned to the paper mill did not nauseate him so much as the books he condemned unread. If one were inclined to reduce this to its logical conclusion, it would appear that Mr. Comstock’s condition of complete nausea is superinduced by an inability to read “Tom Jones,” not by having read “Aladdin.” Somehow this state of facts recalls the small boy’s definition of “salt,” “the thing that makes potatoes taste bad if you don’t put it on.”

Perhaps, if Mr. Comstock could overcome his inability to read “Tom Jones,” he might, by reading it, relieve, if not entirely cure, his nausea. Anyway, he would know what the book is. Mr. Little did not submit to the court any of the books as an offset to Mr. Comstock’s opinion. He just filed his petition, with never a good word for Rabelais, Jean Jacques Rousseau, or Henry Fielding, leaving the poor old chaps’ reputation as characterized by Comstock in the hands of the court, with trustful confidence in Mr. Justice O’Brien’s well-known old-fashioned habit of reading what comes before him prior to passing judgment on it.

Mr. Little says he has on hand 575 copies of “Rabelais,” 1,350 of the “Decameron,” 630 of the “Heptameron,” 19 of “Ovid’s Art of Love,” 400 of Balzac’s “Droll Stories,” 40 of “Rousseau’s Confessions,” 1,730 of “Tom Jones,” and, altogether, 475 of “A Thousand Nights and One Night,” “Tales from the Arabic,” and “Aladdin.” The book “A Thousand Nights and One Night” consists of nine volumes, and the supplementary books, “Tales from the Arabic,” of three volumes, and “Aladdin,” one volume.

Mr. Little learned that in 18.85 Mr. Comstock had prohibited the sale of the Arabian books, and that persons had been convicted for selling “Droll Stories,” the “Decameron,” “Ovid’s Art of Love,” and the “Heptameron.” He solicited Mr. Comstock’s opinion on all of the books in the Worthington stock which are noted above, but in the opinion received the suppressor of vice and literary censor made no mention of “Tom Jones,” “Rabelais,” and the “Confessions of Rousseau.”

Mr. Little therefore wrote to Mr. Comstock again, and then it was that he received the most winsome of all Mr. Comstock’s confessions, that he had not read the books in question, yet he characterized them as “rot.” Let the record be perfectly straight; here are the exact words of Mr. Comstock’s reply to Mr. Little’s request for an opinion on the three books last mentioned:

“It is utterly impossible for me to find time to examine these books. I have had them now for two weeks and more, and some of them much longer, and I am completely nauseated with that kind of rot.”

It seems snugly fit that the literary critic who condemns Fielding unread should describe a period of time as “much longer” than “more than two weeks.”

But Receiver Little makes no comment of this kind. Finding himself liable to arrest and prosecution by Mr. Comstock if he sells even the three books Mr. Comstock has not read, he conferred with his counsel, James K Fisk, who advised him to apply to the court for instructions how to act so as to avoid liability.

Too Bright for the State.

To the Editor of Liberty:

Here is a “beauty of government” from my experience as a teacher. The State of New York provides a set of uniform examination papers for all the public schools of the State. In the examination in elementary algebra last March occurred the question: “Divide x + 1/y by 1/z + y, getting the quotient to four terms.” Now, for a correct division, the order of terms in one expression or the other must be changed. Any one can see this by writing the fractions as integers with negative exponents, or by applying the rule given in Taylor’s Academic Algebra, p. 99, that dividing a term by x always makes its degree in x lower. This arrangement gives the quotient x/z without a remainder. It is not possible to get four terms. The man who wrote that question-paper evidently forgot the rule, and proposed to divide without changing the order of terms.

Now comes the fun. Most of my pupils followed the examiner’s error, — small blame to them, — but one was bright enough to give the correct answer. The papers have been through the regular mill of red tape, — it takes about two months, — and now hers is returned as rejected, on the ground of her error in this question! So the poor girl is to lose her standing in algebra for having known enough not to fall into the same error with the State examiner, — unless I can make them take it back.

Stephen T. Byington.

Arbitrary Arrests.

[New York Tribune.]

Judge Gaynor handed down an important opinion recently in regard to the right of the police to make arrests. The case came before him for release on habeas corpus of Louis Cohen, a licensed ticket speculator, who was arrested for selling tickets in front of the grounds of the Wild West Show.

Judge Gaynor said in relation to the case in court:

“There are too many police captains arresting men without warrants. A policeman’s buttons give him no more authority to make an arrest than that possessed by an ordinary citizen. It is evident no crime has been committed, and this man’s arrest was an outrage. He may go on his own bail, and I will discharge him if I can.”

Later he discharged Cohen, and said, in the course of his opinion:

“The petitioner was arrested yesterday afternoon by a police officer without a warrant and without any complaint or information having been laid against him before a magistrate. He was taken to the Eighteenth Precinct station-house in Brooklyn, and locked up over night. The so-called complaint which was entered in the book at the station is that the petitioner, who lives at 52 Ashland place, Brooklyn, was arrested by Patrolman Patrick McGreevy, charged with selling tickets for the Wild West Show on private property, at Second avenue and Thirty-eighth street. John W. Ambrose, president of the Thirty-ninth Street Ferry Company, claims that this is private property, owned by said company. This is all — that the petitioner sold tickets on private property. There is no pretence of any criminal offence whatever. Yet the petitioner is arrested and locked up overnight like a common felon. As the liberty of the citizen has been, in a large measure, intrusted to me as a judicial officer, I feel it my duty to characterize the arrest of the petitioner as a grass outrage. I do not think I should re-train from saying so, for such occurrences are becoming so frequent as to leave no citizen safe. Some police officers do not seem to know that they have no right to arrest except for crime. But the case is even worse than it appears on the police blotter. . . . At most there was nothing but a dispute between the petitioner and the president of the said corporation concerning their respective rights. There was no pretence or charge that any crime was being committed. The place to settle the dispute was in a civil court. But the police captain, at the request of the corporation, arrests the petitioner and locks him up. The occurrence to me is of the gravest character. No civilized people ever submitted to such acts of arbitrary power and long preserved their liberties. Not one inch can be safely yielded to arbitrary power. When we appoint police officers, and tax ourselves to pay them, we do not make them our masters. In fine, this police captain has no right to make arrests without a warrant other than every citizen has, except in one instance. . . . It seems extraordinary that these arbitrary arrests by the police are not stopped. If this company claims that the apparently open street on which the petitioner was is private property, the place for it to establish its claim is in a civil court. Police captains have no right to meddle in the disputes, much less lock up one of the parties to it. The prisoner is discharged.”

[Judge Gaynor has shown on various occasions that he possesses a better understanding and greater love of individual liberty than the average American judge. It was he who checked the pernicious activity of the Brooklyn board of health in the matter of compulsory vaccination. But exceptions only prove the rule, and Liberty prints this item among the “beauties” to emphasize the point that under our governmental conditions the slightest departure from tyranny and oppression is looked upon as an astonishingly bold course.]

Imprisoned on “General Principles.”

To the Editor of Liberty:

While discussing the Cripple Creek miners’ strike recently with a number of persons, an excited person demanded the arrest of Mr. Calderwood, the president of the miners’ union, who had come with the Governor to effect a settlement of the strike. I made the remark that the mine owners were responsible for the conditions which prevailed at the camp, and further talk followed in which, however, no lawlessness was advocated. A policeman ordered the crowd to disperse. As I am known as an Anarchist, some people pointed me out, and I was arrested on the spot, taken to the City Hall and thence to the county jail On Sunday no one was permitted to see me, although at least fifty people visited other parts of the jail. Along with me was a friend who had offended the crowd by standing beside me, and he too was arrested. By Monday morning outside influence had made itself felt, and the sheriff allowed us to depart, telling us we must not offend against the law any further and that we should be watched by deputy sheriffs.

There are at least ten other people in the jail for like offences, and such is law and order!

S. Silberberg.

Colorado Spring, Colo., June 5, 1894.

Imprisonment and Banishment.

[New York Sun.]

Denver, June 11. — Giles O. Pearce, a metallurgist of Colorado Springs, has come to Denver after receiving the following note:

To Giles Otis Pearce, Anarchist:

“We, as a committee, do not think there is room for you in Colorado Springs. Now take warning. This is final.


Mr. Pearce was in jail for five days because he openly expressed sympathy with the Cripple Creek miners.


[New York Sun.]

Norwich, June 16. — The first bitter fruit of a recent act of the Connecticut legislature, empowering women to vote in district school elections in that State, is already growing in the big school district of Greenville, a populous quarter of this town, and it promises to fall with a thud that may shake the town at the forthcoming election of school officers.

School elections in Greenville for s number of years have been aggressively and, not infrequently, fiercely contested; but never until this year, when the fair sex entered the field as voters, had religious bigotry and intolerance shown their hateful faces at the had of the contesting forces.

This year the two rival school parties in the district are squarely divided on religious lines, Catholics and Protestants facing each other in obdurate and determined antagonism. The religious question so completely dominates all others there now that the women leaders on both sides are making a house-to-house canvass, enrolling every elector, male and female, in the ranks beneath their respective banners. The excitement in the village, fed by religious rancor and bigotry, to which the powerful A. P. A. sentiment of the whole town and State has recently given a fresh impetus, and fanned constantly by heated partisan talk on both sides, has been growing steadily during the past three or four weeks, and has lately kindled a similar bitter feeling in all the other districts of Norwich.

Tax Everybody and Everything.

[Printers’ Ink.]

The Italians are kept poor by a burdensome system of taxes, and even the advertiser must pay tribute. Curious scenes in Venice are the stations of the vapors, or steamboats, which ply on the Grand Canal. These are filled with more or less interesting signs, each adorned with a canceled revenue stamp. The shop-keepers are allowed to put up signs in the interior of their stores without paying a fee to the government, but if they wish to post them in any public place, or even in their show windows, a revenue stamp must be affixed. A heavy penalty is exacted for disobedience of this law. An amusing instance I noticed in the shop of a mosaic manufacturer, who was selling out. The tell-tale stamp appeared in the corner of the following sign:

Relinquishing Business.

So the Italian government even fines its subjects for not working.

Passive Resistance by Judges.

[Press Dispatch.]

Jefferson City, Mo. — The three judges of the county court of St. Clair County have sent their resignations to Governor Stone. This would not be an important event were it not for the fact that an election or appointment as county judge in St. Clair means imprisonment in jail.

For more than ten years the county court of St. Clair has resisted the process of the Federal courts in the matter of making a levy to pay interest on a railroad debt contracted about twenty years ago. The debt and interest now amount to $1,000,000, in round numbers, or about one-third of the assessed valuation of the county.

The people are unanimous in resisting any recognition of the debt. County judge after county judge has been sentenced to jail, and neither side shows the least disposition to yield. When the new judges are appointed, they too will go to jail.

Sound Teeth and Government Mails.

[New York World.]

I don’t know when I have read anything that so graphically sets forth the bureaucratic doltishness of Englishmen as the London Post-Office rule that requires all postmen — we call them mail-carriers — to have all unsound teeth extracted. It seems that somewhere in the dim past, a woman of considerable correspondence and some influence at headquarters was offended at the breath of her particular postman, whom she insisted on seeing personally on receiving her mails. Her complaint led to an order that no postman should have unsound teeth, and now it appears that a recent applicant for position bad to have eighteen teeth extracted before he could be appointed. The pay of these carriers in London is 17 shillings a week, and the “Postman’s Gazette” complains bitterly that they have to be put to the expense of outrageous dentists’ bills to conform to a ridiculous law.

Shaw’s “Arms and the Man.”

[London Correspondence of the New York Times.]

Probably few Americans who do not keep closely in touch with London happenings know much about George Bernard Shaw. His name does not appear in the latest edition of that invaluable but inevitably incomplete compendium, “Men of the Time,” in which the only Shaws mentioned are Shaw-Lefevre and Captain Shaw, the distinguished fireman. George Bernard Shaw was one of the original Fabians, but the doctrines of Socialism play no part in our politics. A few Americans have read the “Fabian Essays,” which he edited, and which were published in 1889, and a few more take the “London World” newspaper (they ought to “take in” the paper, to be thoroughly British) and find instruction and entertainment in the lively musical criticisms signed “G. B. S.,” which, side by side with William Archer’s able reviews of modern English drama, from the “advanced” standpoint, have secured for the late Mr. Yates’s weekly most of the favor it has with artistic persons.

Mr. Shaw has written the musical criticisms in the “World” since the late Louis Engel was compelled to leave London. His articles are so bright and original that they compel the attention of readers who know little about the technique of the musical art and care less. His knowledge of his subject is thorough, but he is fond of being at war with his fellow-men, especially those among them who are attached to traditions and conventions. He likes to shock his public. But his oddity is not mere affectation. Mr. Shaw has an extremely original mind, but it is a strong mind, too. His view of things may be as queer as Claude Monet’s, to whom the grass is pink and the sky is purple, but, like the great impressionist, he has that force of character which makes the thinking man’who believes in green grass and blue sky pause and wonder if he has been wrong all his life.

Mr. Shaw will be better known here next year, for Mr. A. M. Palmer has bought his satirical play, called “Arms and the Man,” and will have it performed at Palmer’s Theatre. This is one of the plays that puzzle the critics. Even Mr. Archer, Mr. Shaw’s lifelong friend, could not quite comprehend “Arms and the Man.” Its scene is laid in Bulgaria, at the time of the battle of Slivitzna (1886), in which the Servians were defeated. Its heroes are cowards, and its Swiss mercenary, who fills his cartridge box with chocolate creams, is as brave a man as any of them. Its romantic maiden is a humbug. Here is the story of the play, as it impressed an eminently practical reviewer:

“The scene is laid, first, in Raina’s chamber, then in the garden, and then in the library of Major Petkoff’s house. The Major and his daughter’s fiancé, Sergius Saranoff, are away. News comes of a gallant cavalry charge, led by Sergius; and Baths, first presented as an impressionable girl, whose imagination is filled with the figures of over-much romance reading, fills with pride at the thought of her sweetheart’s heroism. Then, just as the girl has turned out the lights and lain down for the night, her room is entered by a bunted fugitive, Captain Bluntschli, a Swiss serving in the Servian army. He threatens her with his pistols unless she gives him refuge; and a long colloquy takes place between the two — she with her high-flown notions, he (the son of a Swiss hotel-keeper, who joined the Servians because their country was nearer than Bulgaria) with the sordid ideas of a mercenary.

“Of Sergius’s famous charge he makes light, as an act of folly of which no soldier of experience would dream. It is his habit to go into battle with provisions instead of ammunition. Ralba, in derision, offers him chocolate creams, which he eats with relish. Altogether, he is a pitiable object, worn out, quaking with fear, and, as he says, ready to cry at a word. Finally, when Rena leaves the room to fetch her mother, he lies down on her bed and falls asleep — a fact that much scandalizes Catherine Petkoff, but causes her daughter to call him 'poor dear,’ and persuade the mother not to disturb him.

“Some months pass, the action being taken up three days after the signing of the treaty of peace. The Major and Sergius return, and there are sentimental passages between the lovers, who breathe their vows chiefly for the romantic savor of the thing. Sergiva is by no means blind to the attractions of the waiting maid, Louka, whom he handles rather roughly in an attempt to embrace her. The conversation at one point turns on Captain Bluntschli, of whose version of his adventures in a Bulgarian young lady’s chamber the Major has heard, little suspecting the chamber to be his own daughter’s. Soon after the Swiss reappears in order to return to Catherine Petkoff a coat of her husband’s that she lent him in which to escape after Slivitzna. The absence of the coat has had to be explained by various prevarication; so that the presence of the Captain, with the compromising article, is far from welcome to the ladies.

“However, Major Petkoff insists on the Captain’s remaining, and Bathe falls more in his company, as Sergius does in Louka’s. Raina takes an opportunity of reproaching the Captain with his breach of confidence, endeavoring to make a scene out of it, and posing — for it has become evident that she is a poseuse — as the pink of injured propriety. The shameless Captain pulls the attitudinizing young lady sharply up, plainly making it clear to her that he has no faith in her unsophistication. Without any ado she asks, 'How did you find me out?’ There is speedily more finding out. The Major has discovered in his pocket — in spite of his daughter’s wiles to abstract it — a photograph of Rains, inscribed to her 'chocolate cream soldier,’ and an explanation has to be given of the circumstance, not only to him, but also to Sergius, who first waxes furious and demands satisfaction, but finally cools down and pairs off with Louka. Mean-time the Swiss has become a claimant for Raina’s hand, the parents opposing his pretension until he shows — by comparing the number of his lately deceased hotel-keeping father’s servants, horses, napkins, etc., with the like possessions of Sergius — that he is a more substantial man than Saranoff.”

In spite of the bewilderment of the critics and the odd character of the plot, “Arms and the Man” draws well.

Mr. Shaw is an Irishman. He was born in Dublin in 1856, and established himself in London in 1878. He wrote several novels that are not remembered. He always took an interest in politics, his views on that subject being as unusual as his art opinions. In 1884 he was one of the founders of the Fabians, who endeavor to make common-sense Socialism a force in English politics. The Fabians appear in Mrs. Humphrey Ward’s latest novel, “Marcella,” as the Venturists. As a Fabian, besides editing a volume of Socialist essays, Mr. Shaw served as orator, lecturer, and committee worker, supporting himself as a journalist and art critic. He was one of the earliest of the English lbsenites. A play by him, called “Widowers’ Houses,” was produced in 1892 by the Independent Theatre Society. He has two or three unacted plays in his desk. He is a vegetarian, and goes to the opera dressed in gray flannel.

[London Public Opinion.]

Bernard Shaw, in his lively romantic farce, has dealt a hard knock at the fast-dimming glory of military men. M. Hamon, in the next edition of his “Militaire Professionel,” will surely add Mr. Shaw’s name to the long list in the appendix of those who are striving to chain up the dogs of war. But “Arms and the Man” does more than show that the brute courage of the bull-dog, so often answerable for the brilliant deeds that live in history, may reside in a man who is a poltroon in every other respect, as in the character of Sergius Saranoff. It shows true courage personified in Captain Bluntschli, who never hesitates to admit his own shortcomings, and they are many, yet manages to carry out the routine of his every-day duty with the valor born of a common sense that is unfortunately all too uncommon. The old-fashioned, stereotyped love-making, beloved on the stage and in the novel, in reality tiresome beyond description to the average woman, is merrily bemocked, and a shrewd waiting maid lets off some Socialistic crackers, which a leading Fabian present declared to be the Anarchism that spoiled the play. We only hope the Bulgarians will not declare war upon England for the way in which Mr. Shaw has chosen them as pegs whereon to hang his gibes at those who do not wash. The play should be seen by all who are sick of conventionalities.

Verily, in this play Mr. Bernard Shaw is a Daniel come to judgment. He ridicules romance, sentiment, and heroism ruthlessly; he asserts plainly that the primitive instincts of man — his primary animal desires, that is to say — may be counted on to master his idealistic aspirations at every important juncture when the actual has to do battle with the abstract. Roughly of course, he is right, and his intention is obvious. He wants to make it plain that in all our strivings for social and political reform we must concentrate our-selves on the struggle to gain definite material benefits, and leave the vaporings after a millennium to the poets. That, as I take it, is the practical outcome of Mr. Shaw’s teaching as demonstrated in this play. Of course, there are an infinite number of things besides; but, if Mr. Shaw imagines his play is purposeless, that his cynicisms and paradoxes deceive us, he is mistaken. They don’t do so for a moment. He is terribly in earnest, and it is as well that he is so; for, taken as a play pure and simple, Mr. Shaw’s effort must be pronounced a failure. It has no dramatic intensity, no tense situation, no movement. It does not, as does Ibsen’s “The Wild Duck,” stir us by making a strong appeal to our inner dramatic life, the drama enacted in the soul silently and secretly. It is simply a whimsical essay thrown into dramatic shape. Taken thus — and the world is free and wide, and there is plenty of room for stage pictures in which the characters are the lay figures for ideas rather than for flesh and blood — Mr. Shaw’s play is an unqualified success. It leaves us absolutely cold, as a problem in the higher mathematics may leave us. This kind of thing is the differential and integral calculus of the drama, if the simile may be permitted. It is supremely interesting, and any person who thinks he can afford to ignore it, may imagine any other fond thing — that he can ignore, let us say, Aubrey Beardsley’s Japanese rechauffee, or the hysterical novels of the fictional essayists. Nevertheless, such plays will not permanently prevail, and I am sure Mr. Shaw is the last man to suppose such a thing. Prince of cynics, he sneers so that he may not cry — the only expedient open to those who feel too keenly.

The New York Police Investigation.

A special committee has been investigating the police department of New York. It is hardly necessary to add that the evidence of corruption, blackmail, and rascality, of alliance with vice and crime, on the part of the police is overwhelming. Mr. Goff is the conned of the committee, and the following remarks, attributed to him by a reporter of the “World,” are not uninteresting:

Mr. Goff mourns, as well he may, that there is no Zola at the sittings of his committee to tell the true story of this investigation. He told me that copies of papers containing the evidence were sent to Zola daily.

The character which seems to him most valuable for Zola thus far is that of Charles Prien. This man’s case impressed Mr. Goff especially. There is no doubt that it would please M. Zola, with his theory that in every man’s soul there “is a hog asleep.”

Prien, who served through the war, who appeared before the committee with a veteran’s button in his coat, testified most calmly and with no sign of shame that he had kept a brothel and failed in his chosen profession through police persecution. He showed no especial emotion until asked if he had not been compelled to sell his prize dog to get food for his family. At that point his voice broke. He almost wept as he said: “I had to sell him for a hundred dollars.”

Man is a queer animal, as M. Zola has said, and Mr. Goff thinks that Mr. Prien’s case proves man’s queerness.

Mr. Goff’s theory is that every man who commits a crime is a coward, and that the blackmailing police are cowards at heart. No man, he says, who is honest, need be blackmailed by the police unless he lacks the courage to stand up for his rights. Business men who have been blackmailed have simply preferred black-mail to defending themselves.

I asked Mr. Goff what he hoped for in the way of good resulting from his investigation. His reply was not that of a visionary, but a reply most practical.

A city government, says Mr. Goff, is like a great cesspool. It must be cleaned out at times before it runs over and poisons the whole people. The cesspool will fill up again, and he has no hope of making the city permanently good by this investigation. He is simply at work on a cleaning process which is absolutely essential now, and will leave to men of the future the care of future trouble.

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, East Hardwick, Vt.

Thomas J. Powell, our first target, has been enough stirred up to write a letter to the “Home Advocate” answer to us. He is somewhat mixed, but sees that “possibly a person should be excused from the burdens of government in some cases if he would relinquish its advantages,” and has seen what we mean in some points.

Suggestion No. 6 — Don’t forget that the stock of targets must be kept up. I can, I guess, supply two targets a fortnight without help, but they will have to be of such as come to my knowledge, — that is, largely of such as agree with me on some point outside Anarchism. Then some one will complain that my choice of targets is biassed by my opinions on other subjects. I want to give an all-around list of targets, and can do better if I have plenty of all sorts to choose from. I thank the few who have helped me in this way, but want more. Help from friends outside the corps is equally welcome.

Target, Section A. — Rev. James Boyd Brady, D.D., pastor of the People’s Church, Boston, Mass., in a sermon May 13 said: “The wealth of the country has been passing from the people to the pirates,” and gave startling facts about the concentration of wealth and some of its methods. Remedy, “forming for this country a paternal in place of a monopolistic government.”

Section B. — The Chicago “Times” is liberal in publishing letters on social problems; says it will “welcome intelligent contribution to this discussion, whether it come from Socialist, Anarchist, conservative, religious enthusiast, or anybody else.” In April It said: “The Anarchist and the religious enthusiast fall back on the literal application of the doctrine of non-invasion and the golden rule.”

Stephen T. Byington.

Do Your Own Work.

[Auberon Herbert in Free Life.]

If Mr. Spencer has taught us anything he has taught us the moral wrong of compelling each other, and of organizing ourselves to compel each other; and therefore how it can be right to join either of our political parties in the light of that truth I cannot see. No man “nullifies himself” by abstaining where he differs. He nullifies himself when, out of excitement or desire for action or interest in some special object, he coöperates in great movements that he sees are full of evil and corruption. All those who hate organized compulsion should abstain from helping any present party. Let them stand aside as true men. Their hour for action will presently come.

[Mr. Herbert should not make the unqualified statement that Spencer taught us the moral wrong of compelling each other and organizing to compel. He taught us, or tried to teach us, the legitimacy of compelling and taxing others as long as we have their own good in view, — the protection of their rights. People like Mr. Herbert should never overlook this weakness and inconsistency in Spencerian politics and ethics, for it is only the criticism of such men that may lead Mr. Spencer to recognize and eliminate his error.]

The Decalogue as Revised.

I. Thou shalt have no gods save Liberty, Reason, and Justice.

II. Thou shalt not take unto thee any legal image, for instance, a wife.

III. Thou shalt pay no taxes, nor collect them.

IV. The Sabbath exists for thee, not thou for it, therefore thou shalt on that as on all other days follow faithfully thy ego’s promptings.

V. Honor render to all to whom it is due — mayhap to thy parents. But let not filial Affection blind thee to the fact that the vast majority of the race are strangers to Reason, without ability to perceive or strength to practise any rational policy. While thou mayest not relish declaring to thy parents’ faces that they are fools, yet thou shouldst learn from their folly so to act that thy child may not brand thee “fool.”

VI. Thou shalt not kill aught save superstition, error, and privilege.

VII. Thou shalt not commit adultery. Adultery is the sexual union of two persons, either of whom is repulsive to the other.

VIII. Thou shalt not permit others to steal from thee, nor shalt thou steal from others.

IX. Thou shalt not bear false witness respecting things of the earth which thou understandest, nor respecting things above the earth of which thou knowest nothing.

X. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife, unless she also covet thee.

Adam Anarchist.

The World to Be Cleaned.

[London Free Life.]

When the “Speaker” — apparently condensing Mr. Kidd’s beliefs — writes: “Competition has never been free or active enough,” it writes accidentally a great truth. The world is sick from under-competition, not from over-competition. All the poor, mean forms of life, of industry, of trade, of amusement, of fashion, etc., etc., which abound on all sides, simply exist now because not brought face to face with the better forms; they will all be starved out or jostled out as competition increases. Competition is only smouldering and flickering as yet. We have seen only the veriest beginnings of it. We shall see it red-hot presently; and then will begin the burning up of an immense quantity of world-rubbish, equally the property of poor and rich. . . . . Competition everywhere, rendering us mobile, adaptive, self-confident, full of resource, practised in association, seeing with our own eyes, independent of leaders, and served everywhere by the best work of each other, that is our want in the place of our creaky old officialism, stiff in the joints, dull in the brain, arbitrary and imperious in temper.

Monopoly of Natural Media.

[Lord Coleridge in Macmillan’s Magazine.]

It seems an elementary proposition that a free people can deal as it thinks fit with its common stock, and can prescribe to its citizens rules for its enjoyment, alienation, and transmission. Yet in practice this seems to be anything but admitted. There are estates in these islands of more than a million acres. These islands are not very large. It is plainly conceivable that estates might grow to fifteen million acres or more. Further, it is quite reasonably possible that the growth of a vast emporium of commerce might be checked, or even a whole trade lost to the country by the simple will of one, or it may be more than one, great land owner. Sweden is a country, speaking comparatively, small and poor; but I have read in a book of authority that in Sweden at the time of the Reformation three-fifths of the land was in mortmain, and what was actually the fact in Sweden might come to be the fact in Great Britain. These things might be for the general advantage, and if they could be shown to be so, by all means they should be maintained. But if not, does any man possessing anything which he is pleased to call his mind, deny that a state of law under which such mischiefs could exist, under which a country itself would exist, not for its people, but for a mere handful of them, ought to be instantly and absolutely set aside? Certainly there are men who, if they do not assert, imply the negative. A very large coal owner some years ago interfered with a high hand in one of the coal strikes. He sent for the workmen. He declined to argue, but said, stamping his foot upon the ground, “All the coal within so many square miles is mine, and if you do not instantly come to terms, not a hundred weight of it shall be brought to the surface, and it shall all remain unworked.” This utterance of his was much criticized at the time. By some it was held up as a subject for panegyric and a model for imitation, the manly utterance of one who would stand no nonsense, determined to assert his rights of property and to tolerate no interference with them. By others it was denounced as insolent and brutal; and it was suggested that if a few more men said such things, and a few men acted on them, it would very probably result in the coal owners having not much right of property left to interfere with. To me it seemed then, and seems now, an instance of that density of perception and inability to see distinctions between things inherently distinct, of which I have said so much. I should myself deny that the mineral treasures under the soil of a country belong to a handful of surface proprietors in the sense in which this gentleman appeared to think they did. That fifty or a hundred gentlemen, or a thousand, would have a right, by agreeing to shut the coal mines, to stop the manufactures of Great Britain and to paralyze her commerce, seems to me, I must say, unspeakably absurd.

[The remarks of the late Lord Coleridge on landed property are very significant and well worth reproducing. Lord Coleridge perceives the outrageous injustice, the unspeakable stupidity (from the standpoint of the people’s interest) of the existing system of monopoly. His intimation that the land belongs to the people smacks of communism, of course. Communistic land ownership in any form is better than the monopoly of a few, but the best tenure is that based on individual occupancy and use. That might not insure perfect equality of returns, but it insures a much greater blessing, — liberty, the greatest amount of individual liberty compatible with equality of liberty.]

As You Like It.

I respectfully offer herewith to the bankrupt nations of the world a new and improved scheme of taxation. The French law, which claps a tax on every man who does not have at least one wife, is altogether inadequate. Instead of it I would impose a tax on every man who does not have at least two wives. The advantages of such a tax are obvious. It puts a premium on sincerity by inducing men to be natural, besides being the only law which insures the proper care of the surplus female population.

I suggest to the governments now engaged in the degrading work of begging for money the scheme of a budget by which they would be able to roll in wealth. Let them clap a tax on the luxuries. Laughter, for instance, is in no sense a necessity. A tax on laughter is the best embodiment conceivable of Adam Smith’s canons of taxation. Does not Smith say that taxes should fall on the fortunate classes? Now, only the fortunate laugh. Ergo, taxes should be clapped on laughter.

A man went to Washington to make a contract with a government department The job hung fire, and at last, as an experiment, the patriot sent to the official a large book whose leaves were interlarded with five-dollar bills. He got this reply from the insulted official: “Yours received and contents noted. It is suggestive but not conclusive. Please send the second volume.”

I have heard that when Wall street held on to its gold during the war till it got Shylockian terms from the government, Lincoln said of these patriots: “I think those fellows ought to have their damned heads shot off.” And now the bankers meet every February and commemorate the birth of Lincoln with a flood of tears copious enough to fructify Sahara. After such a display of the spirit of forgiveness, who would dare to say that our national bankers are not Christians of the very highest type.

Henry Labouchere has been studying the House of Lords, and finds that some of the peers owe their commissions to the fact that their grandfather was honored by the king; others to the fact that their grandmother or great-grandmother was dishonored by the king.

Prof. Dummy Henmound will shortly issue a revised edition of his very unpopular work, “Justice, or the Scarcest Thing in the World.”

Paul Camille.

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.