“For always in thine eyes, O Liberty!
Shines that high light whereby the world is saved;
And though thou slay us, we will trust in thee.”
On Picket Duty.
Now that Louise Michel is dying, it is said that Ferry proposes to pardon her. “But who will pardon Ferry?” pertinently inquires the Lowell “Bell.”
A woman in Chamblanc, France, gave birth recently to three fine boys, whom she has named Liberte, Egalite, and Fraternite. May they live to see the realization of the Anarchistic principles which their names signify!
The New Haven group of the International, composed mainly of partisans of Anarchy according to the Communistic standard of Johann Most, has purchased the “New England Anzeiger,” which will appear hereafter as a German organ of Revolution.
The one thing now most needed in the world is to make capital want labor more than labor wants capital. When that condition of things shall prevail, labor will be the master of capital instead of its slave. Free banking will accomplish this, and nothing else can. Therein lies the solution of the labor problem.
Bakounine’s “God and the State” has been translated into German by Bachmann, the editor of “Die Zukunft,” and is now supplied in pamphlet form at fifteen cents per copy by Henry Grau, 2146 N. Second Street, Philadelphia, Pa. This radical treatise on Liberty is one which the authority-ridden German people much need to study.
“The world will be either Socialist or Christian; it will not be Liberal,” wrote Louis Veuillot, brilliant champion of Ultramontane Catholicism. “The world will not be Christian, still less Liberal; it will be Socialist,” answers Agathon de Potter, disciple of Colins, the land reformer. The world will not be Christian, say we Anarchists; it will be Liberal, and therefore Socialist.
“Bear in mind,” says the San Francisco “Truth,” “that the first plank in Mr. Tucker’s platform is ‘free competition.’” Yes, don’t forget that. Believing in Liberty, I of coarse believe in freedom of production and exchange, which is another name for free competition. And bear in mind that any paper, like the San Francisco “Truth,” which raises the flag of Liberty and denies free competition, sails under false colors and is unworthy of trust.
Roberts Brothers, in their Famous Women Series, have issued a “Life of Mary Wollstonecraft” by Elizabeth Robins Pennell. It is an interesting record of the career of a very interesting woman, a brave woman, a woman who, were she alive today, would be an Anarchist. The man with whom she lived outside the marriage tie, William Godwin, was an Anarchist, though he did not so call himself. It is important for radicals to know the facts about people such as these. They are set forth well by the present biographer. I could only wish that she had not impaired her work by apologies for that featur of Mary Wollstonecraft’s life which will forever remain her highest title to human esteem. The book can be obtained by sending one dollar to Josephine S. Tilton, 301 Shawmut Avenue, Boston, Mass.
Read the advertisement of Charles T. Fowler’s masterly work on “Co-operation” in another column, and send to me for one or more copies. It is worth your while.
Good news from England! Liberty’s Anarchistic friend and agent, H. Seymour of Tunbridge Wells, will start a paper in London early in 1885, to be called “The Anarchist.” In connection with others he will also establish a publishing house for the dissemination of Anarchistic works.
Among several other and equally brilliant remarks concerning Liberty and its editor, which life is too short to answer, the San Francisco “Truth” politely forecasts the future of the “Boston Anarchists,” whoever they may be, as that of Charles Kingsley’s imaginary nation of the Doasyoulikes, who degenerated into apes. Judging from the announcement in the same number that, unless fifteen hundred and fifty dollars are received before January, the publication of “Truth” will stop, it looks as if the San Francisco Anarchists, if such they call themselves, would have no future whatever.
“John Swinton’s Paper” announces that, unless its subscription list grows very rapidly within the next few weeks, it will be compelled to suspend publication. I am sorry, but not surprised. It is not to be expected that any journal will be long sustained by the labor movement unless it stands for something more than a sentimental protest against prevailing injustice on the one hand or a platform of arbitrary remedial measures on the other. The labor movement rests on fundamental principles as fixed as the laws of physics; a profound philosophy lies behind it; and by these principles and this philosophy all proposed means of reformation must be judged. Much as I like John Swinton and ardently as I sympathize with a large proportion of the utterances of his “Paper,” I have failed thus far to detect in either that definite and scientific grasp of the principles of Liberty and Equity and their applications which is the first essential of all adequate championship of Labor’s rights.
“Le Revolte” of Geneva, in its issue of June 8 said of Liberty: “Its ideas more nearly resembling those of bourgeois society than our own, we cannot recommend it as Anarchistic.” Liberty, in its issue of July 26, vigorously resented this imputation upon the orthodoxy of its Anarchism and showed it to be without foundation. “Le Revolte” has never replied. But its heart must have been softened a little, for in its last issue, December 7, welcoming the advent of the “Revue Anarchiste Internationale,” it says: “Now we are no longer isolated. From all parts companions come to the rescue. At Paris, Bordeaux, London, Boston, and Chicago Anarchistic journals spring up; we give them our hand from one world to the other.” Liberty is certainly the only Anarchistic journal in Boston. Hence it must be to Liberty that “Le Revolte” extends its hand. I accept it cordially. But I am still waiting for “Le Revolte” to assure and convince me that, in recommending the people collectively to take and keep possession of all wealth, it is not grossly violating the indubitably Anarchistic principle of freedom of production and exchange. It is now Liberty’s turn to be a little select in the matter of its fellowship.
The interesting letters of “Josephine” from the Boston of 2084 will be resumed in the next number of Liberty. Their omission from the present issue was unavoidable.
Liberty is in receipt of the first number of the “Revue Anarchiste Internationale,” a monthly magazine just started at Bordeaux, France, and one of many Anarchistic publications now springing up in that country. It is conducted with much ability and enthusiasm. The table of contents presents, besides other articles, essays on “Anarchy,” “Labor and Revolution,” and “The Tomorrow of the Revolution.” It will appear on the twentieth of each month, and may be secured for a year by sending $1.25 to Depomb, Rue Tastet, 35, Bordeaux, France.
“Edgeworth” is certainly “carrying the war into Africa.” Armed with Anarchistic arguments, he is now advancing upon the Israelites and trying to convince Jewish believers that their religion, despite its transitionally Archic phases of ritualism and paternalism, is essentially and in spirit Anarchic. Not satisfied wich demonstrating to Transcendentalists that Emerson was an Anarchist and to Christians that Jesus was one also, he now proposes to prove to Hebrews that Moses no less than these was a devotee of individual freedom. I take the following from a long article from his pen which lately appeared in the “Occident,” a Chicago journal devoted to Judaism. “The still small voice of right is not in the thunder of majorities, real or fictitious; its conscience defers to no caucuses, nor is it inclined to dodge the consequences of its acts behind some mediatorial scapegoat. The spirit of Judaism refuses to forfeit the dignity of a reason that deals in person, and not by representatives, with all the other powers of the universe. This means direct contracts vs. imposed administrations. Its characteristic evolution in our history has been the reference of disputes and redresses of wrongs to the umpires, called judges, whose authority differs essentially from the imposed authority of tribute-levying governments. Now, the culture of reason and the social contracts necessary to the evolution of this orderly anarchy are just what we now need, to deliver us from the oppressions of Czarism, capitalism, and pseudo-representation in the political and economical spheres, as well as from the encroachments of superstition pretending to traditional authority in the religious sphere. We agree to honor the graves of our ancestors, but not to carry their coffins forever strapped on our too pious shoulders. . . . . Moses, although adopting the popular idiom of ‘Thus sayeth the Lord,’ in addressing a people so recently bondsmen and for whom obedience to authority had become a second nature, yet was the embodied spirit of this people, contracting them through their affectionate confidence, and not by any external power like the police and array of a government. Their colonization achieved, we find on our record a protest against the monarchy, to which, as to idolatry, the childish proclivity to imitate surrounding peoples had lent a prestige among the people. This institution was allowed, only as children are allowed to burn their fingers, so as to teach them to keep at a respectful distance from fire. By consistency to the free principle of free judgment, we must be allowed to make mistakes. Hebrew monarchy, like other forms of archonism, was a transitional necessity of social education.”
A Female Nihilist
Author of “Underground Russia”
Continued from No. 56.
Having made arrangements with a young rustic whom, in her visits to the neighboring cottages in a medical capacity, she had succeeded in converting to Socialism, Olga disposed everything so as to make it be believed that she had drowned herself, and on the night fixed secretly left her house and proceeded to the neighboring forest, where, at a place agreed upon, her young disciple was awaiting her. The night was dark. Beneath the thick foliage of that virgin forest nothing could be seen, nothing could be heard but the hootings of the owls, and sometimes, brought from afar, the howling of the wolves, which infest the whole of Siberia.
As an indispensable precaution, the meeting-place was fixed at a distance of about three miles, in the interior of the forest. Olga had to traverse this distance in utter darkness, guided only by the stars, which occasionally pierced through the dense foliage. She was not afraid, however, of the wild beasts, or of the highwaymen and vagrants who are always prowling round the towns in Siberia.” It was the cemetery-keeper’s dog she was afraid of. The cemeteries were always well looked after in that country, for among the horrible crimes committed by the scum of the convicts, one of the most common is that of disinterring and robbing the newly-buried dead. Now the keeper of the cemetery of Talutorovsk was not to be trifled with; his dog still less so. It was a mastiff, as big as a calf, ferocious and vigilant, and could hear the approach of any one a quarter of a mile off. Meanwhile the road passed close to the cottage of the solitary keeper. It was precisely for the purpose of avoiding it that Olga, instead of following the road, had plunged into the forest, notwithstanding the great danger of losing her way.
Stumbling at every step against the roots and old fallen trunks, pricked by the thorny bushes, her face lashed by boughs elastic as though moved by springs, she kept on for two hours with extreme fatigue, sustained only by the hope that site would shortly reach the place of meeting, which could not be far off. At last, indeed, the darkness began to diminish somewhat and the trees to become thinner, and a moment afterwards she entered upon open ground. She suddenly stopped, looked around, her blood freezing with terror, and recognized the keeper’s cottage. Site had lost her way in the forest, and, after so many windings, had gone straight to the point she wished to avoid.
Her first impulse was to run away as fast as her remaining strength would enable her, but a moment afterwards a thought flashed through her mind which restrained her. No sound came from the cottage; all was silent. What could this indicate but the absence of the occupant? She stood still and listened, holding her breath. In the cottage not a sound could be heard, but in another direction site heard, in the silence of the night, the distant barking of a dog, which seemed, however, to be approaching nearer. Evidently the keeper had gone out, but at any moment might return, and his terrible dog was perhaps running in front of him, as though in search of prey. Fortunately, from the keeper’s house to the place of appointment there was a path which the fugitive had no need to avoid, and she set off and ran as fast as the fear of being seized and bitten by the ferocious animal would allow her. The barking, indeed, drew nearer, but so dense was the forest that not even a dog could penetrate it. Olga soon succeeded in reaching the open ground, breathless, harassed by the fear of being followed and the doubt that she might not find any one at the place of appointment. Great was her delight when she saw in the darkness the expected vehicle, and recognized the young peasant.
To leap into the vehicle and to hurry away was the work of an instant. In rather more than five hours of hard driving they reached Tumen, a town of about eighteen thousand inhabitants, fifty miles distant from Talutorovsk. A few hundred yards from the outskirts the vehicle turned into a dark lane and very quietly approached a house where it was evidently expected. In a window on the first floor a light was lit, and the figure of a man appeared. Then the window was opened, and the man, having recognized the young girl, exchanged a few words in a low tone with the peasant who was acting as driver. The latter, without a word, rose from his seat, took the young girl in his arms (for she was small and light), and passed her on like a baby into the robust hands of the man, who introduced her into his room. It was the simplest and safest means of entering unobserved. To have opened the door at such an unusual hour would have awakened people and caused gossip.
The peasant went his way, wishing the young girl all success, and Olga was at last able to take a few hours’ rest. Her first step had succeeded. All difficulties were far indeed, however, from being overcome; for in Siberia it is not so much walls and keepers as immeasurable distance which is the real jailer.
In this area, twice as large as all Europe, and with a total population only twice that of the English capital, towns and villages are only imperceptible points, separated by immense deserts absolutely uninhabitable, in which, if any one ventured, he would die of hunger or be devoured by wolves. The fugitive thus has no choice, and must take one of the few routes which connect the towns with the rest of the world. Pursuit is therefore extremely easy, and thus, while the number of the fugitives from the best-guarded prisons and mines amounts to hundreds among the political prisoners and to thousands among the common offenders, those who succeed in overcoming all difficulties and in escaping from Siberia itself may be counted on the fingers.
There are two means of effecting an escape. The first, which is very hazardous, is that of profiting, in order to get a good start, by the first few days, when the police furiously scour their own district only, without giving information of the escape to the great centres, in the hope, which is often realized, of informing their superiors of the escape and capture of the prisoner at the same time. In the most favorable cases, however, the fugitive gains only three or four days of time, while the entire journey lasts many weeks, and sometimes many months. With the telegraph established along all the principal lines of communication, and even with mere horse patrols, the police have no difficulty whatever in making up for lost time, and exceptional cleverness or good fortune is necessary in order to keep out of their clutches. But this method, as being the simplest and comparatively easy, as it requires few preparations and but little external assistance, is adopted by the immense majority of the fugitives, and it is precisely for this reason that ninety-nine per cent. of them only succeed in reaching a distance of one or two hundred miles from the place of their confinement.
Travelling being so dangerous, the second mode is much more safe,— that of remaining hidden in some place of concealment, carefully prepared beforehand, in the province itself, for one, two, three, six months, until the police, after having carried on the chase so long in vain, come to the conclusion that the fugitive must be beyond the frontiers of Siberia, and slacken or entirely cease their vigilance. This was the plan followed in the famous escape of Lopatin, who remained more than a month an Irkutsk, and of Debagorio Mokrievitch, who spent more than a year in various places in Siberia before undertaking his journey to Russia.
Olga Liubatovitch did not wish, however, to have recourse to the latter expedient, and selected the former. It was a leap in the dark. But she built her hopes upon the success of the little stratagem of her supposed suicide, and the very day after her arrival at Tumen she set out towards Europe by the postal and caravan road to Moscow.
To journey by post in Russia, a travelling passport (podorojna) must be obtained, signed by the governor. Olga certainly had none, and could not lose time in procuring one. She had, therefore, to find somebody in possession of this indispensable document whom she could accompany. As luck would have it, a certain Soluzeff, who had rendered himself famous a few years before by certain forgeries and malversations on a grand settle, had been pardoned by the Emperor and was returning to Russia. He willingly accepted the company of a pretty countrywoman, as Olga represented herself to him to be, who was desirous of going to Kazan, where her husband was lying seriously ill, and consented to pay her share of the travelling expenses. But here another trouble arose. This Soluzeff, being on very good terms with the gendarmes and the police, a whole army of them accompanied him to the post-station. Now, Olga had begun her revolutionary career at sixteen, she was arrested for the first time at seventeen, and during the seven years of that career had been in eleven prisons, and had passed some few months in that of Tumen itself. It was little short of a miracle that no one recognized the celebrated Liubatovitch in the humble travelling companion of their common friend.
At last, however, the vehicle set out amid the shouts and cheers of the company. Olga breathed more freely. Her tribulations were not, however, at an end.
I need not relate the various incidents of her long journey. Her companion worried her. He was a man whom long indulgence in luxury had rendered effeminate, and at every station said he was utterly worn out, and stopped to rest himself and take some tea with biscuits, preserves, and sweets, an abundance of which he carried with him. Olga, who was in agonies, as her deception might be found out at any moment, and telegrams describing her be sent to all the post-stations of the line, had to display much cunning and firmness to keep this poltroon moving on without arousing suspicions respecting herself. When, however, near the frontier of European Russia, she was within an ace of betraying herself. Soluzeff declared that he was incapable of going any farther, that he was thoroughly knocked up by this feverish hurry-skurry, and must stop a few days to recover himself. Olga had some thought of disclosing everything, hoping to obtain from his generosity what she could not obtain from his sluggish selfishness. There is no telling what might have happened if a certain instinct, which never left Olga even when she was most excited, had not preserved her from this very dangerous step.
A greater danger awaited her at Kazan. No sooner had she arrived than she hastened away to take her ticket by the first steamboat going up the Volga toward Nijni-Novgorod. Soluzeff, who said he was going south, would take the opposite direction. Great, therefore, was her surprise and bewilderment whets she saw her travelling companion upon the same steamer. She did everything she could to avoid him, but in vain. Soluzeff recognized her, and, advancing towards her, exclaimed in a loud voice:
“What! you here? Why, you told me your husband was lying ill in the Kazan hospital.”
Some of the passengers turned round and looked, and among them the gendarme who was upon the boat. The danger was serious. But Olga, without losing her self-possession, at once invented a complete explanation of the unexpected change in her itinerary. Soluzeff took it all in, as did the gendarme who was listening.
At Moscow she was well known, having spent several months in its various prisons. Not caring to go to the central station, which is always full of gendarmes on duty, she was compelled to walk several leagues, to economize her small stock of money, and take the train at a small station, passing the night in the open air.
Many were the perils from which, thanks to her cleverness, she escaped. But her greatest troubles awaited her in the city she so ardently desired to reach, St. Petersburg.
When a Nihilist, after a rather long absence, suddenly reaches some city, without previously conferring with those who have been there recently, his position is a very singular one. Although he may know he is in the midst of friends and old companions in arms, he is absolutely incapable of finding any of them. Being “illegal” people, or outlaws, they live with false passports, and are frequently compelled to change their names and their places of abode. To inquire for them under their old names is not to be thought of, for these continuous changes are not made for mere amusement, but from the necessity, constantly recurring, of escaping from some imminent danger, more or less grave. To go to the old residence of a Nihilist and ask for him under his old name would be voluntarily putting one’s head into the lion’s mouth.
Under such circumstances, a Nihilist is put to no end of trouble, and has to wander hither and thither in order to find his friends. He applies to old acquaintances among people who are “legal” and peaceful,— that is to say, officials, business men, barristers, doctors, &c., who form an intermediate class, unconsciously connecting the most active Nihilists with those who take the least interest in public affairs. In this class there are people of all ranks. Some secretly aid the Nihilists more or less energetically. Others receive them into their houses, simply as friends, without having any “serious” business with them. Others, again, see them only casually, but know from whom more or less accurate information is to be obtained; and so on. All these people, being unconnected with the movement, or almost so, run little risk of being arrested, and living as they do “legally,”— that is to say, under their own names,— they are easy to be found, and supply the Ariadne’s thread which enables any one to penetrate into the Nihilist labyrinth who has not had time, or who has been unable to obtain the addresses of the affiliated.
Having reached St. Petersburg, Olga Liubatovitch was precisely in this position. But to find the clue in such cases is easy only to those who, having long resided in the city, have many connections in society. Olga fed never stayed more than a few days in the capital. Her acquaintances among “legal” people were very few in number, and then she had reached St. Petersburg in the month of August, when every one of position is out of town. With only sixty kopecks in her pocket,— for in her great haste she had been unable to obtain a sufficient sum of money, she dragged her limbs from one extremity of the capital to the other. She might have dropped in the street from sheer exhaustion, and been taken up by the police as a mere vagabond, had not the idea occurred to her to call upon a distant relative whom she know to be in St. Petersburg. She was an old maid, who affectionately welcomed her to the house, although, at the mere sight of Olga, her hair stood on end. She remained there two days; but the fear of the poor lady was so extreme that Olga did not care to stay longer. Supplied with a couple of roubles, she re-commenced her pilgrimage, and at last met a barrister who, as luck would have it, had come up that day from the country on business.
From that moment all her tribulations ended. The barrister, who had known her previously, placed his house at her disposal, and immediately communicated the news of her arrival to some friends of his among the affiliated. The next day the good news spread throughout all St. Petersburg of the safe arrival of Olga Liubatovitch.
She was immediately supplied with money and a passport, and taken to a safe place of concealment, secure against police scrutiny.
It was at St. Petersburg that I first met her.
It was not at a “business” gathering, but one of mere pleasure, in a family. With the “legal” and the “illegal” there must have been about fifteen persons. Among those present were some literary men. One of them was a singular example of an “illegal” man, much sought for at one time, who, living for six or seven years with false passports, almost succeeded in legalizing himself, as a valuable and well-known contributor to various newspapers. There was a barrister who, after having defended others in several political trials, at last found himself in the prisoner’s dock. There was a young man of eighteen in gold lace and military epaulettes, who was the son of one of the most furious persecutors of the Revolutionary party. There was an official of about fifty, the head of a department in one of the ministries, who, for five years running, was our Keeper of the Seals,— who kept, that is to say, a large chest full to the brim of seals, false marks, stamps, &c., manufactured by his niece, a charming young lady, very clever in draughtsmanship and engraving. It was a very mixed company, and strange for any one not accustomed to the singular habits of the Palmyra of the North.
With the freedom characteristic of all Russian gatherings, especially those of the Nihilists, every one did as he liked and talked with those who pleased him. The company was split up into various groups, and the murmur of voices filled the room and frequently rose above the exclamations and laughter.
Having saluted the hosts and shaken hands with some friends, I joined one of these little groups.
I had no difficulty in recognizing Olga Liubatovitch, for the portraits of the principal prisoners in the trial of the “fifty,” of whom she was one of the most distinguished figures, circulated by thousands, and were in every hand.
She was seated at the end of the sofa, and, with her head bent, was slowly sipping a cup of tea. Her thick black hair, of which she had an abundance, hung over her shoulders, the ends touching the bottom of the sofa. When she rose, it almost reached to her knees. The color of her face, a golden brown, like that of the Spaniards, proclaimed her Southern origin, her father and grandfather having been political refugees from Montenegro who had settled in Russia. There was nothing Russian, in fact, in any feature of her face. With her large and black eyebrows, shaped like a sickle as though she kept them always raised, there was something haughty and daring about her, which struck one at first sight, and gave her the appearance of the women belonging to her native land. From her new country she had derived, however, a pair of blue eyes, which always appeared half-closed by their long lashes, and cast flitting shadows upon her soft cheeks when she moved her eyelids, and a lithe, delicate, and rather slim figure, which somewhat relieved the severe and rigid expression of her face. She had, too, a certain unconscious charm, slightly statuesque, which is often met with among women from the South.
Gazing at this stately face, to which a regular nose with wide nostrils gave a somewhat aquiline shape, I thought that this was precisely what Olga Liubatovitch ought to be as I had pictured her from the account of her adventures. But on a sudden she smiled, and I no longer recognized her. She smiled, not only with the full vermilion lips of a brunette, but also with her blue eyes, with her rounded cheeks, with every muscle of her face, which was suddenly lit up arid irradiated like that of a child.
When she laughed heartily, she closed her eyes, bashfully bent her head, and covered her mouth with her hand or her arm, exactly as our shy country lasses do. On a sudden, however, she composed herself, and her face darkened and became gloomy, serious, almost stern, as before.
I had a great desire to hear her voice, in order to learn whether it corresponded with either of the two natures revealed by these sudden changes. But I had no opportunity of gratifying this desire. Olga did not open her mouth the whole evening. Her taciturnity did not proceed from indifference, for she listened attentively to the conversation; and her veiled eyes were turned from side to side. It did not seem, either, to arise from restraint. It was due rather to the absence of any motive for speaking. She seemed to be quite content to listen and reflect, and her serious mouth appeared to defy all attempts to open it.
It was not until some days afterwards, when I met her alone on certain “business,” that I heard her voice, veiled like her eyes, and it was only after many months’ acquaintance that I was able to understand her disposition, the originality of which consisted in its union of two opposite characteristics. She was a child in her candor, bordering on simplicity, in the purity of her mind, and in the modesty which displayed itself even in familiar intercourse and gave to her sentiments a peculiar and charming delicacy. But at the same time this child astounded the toughest veterans by her determination, her ability and coolness in the face of danger, and especially by her ardent and steadfast strength of will, which, recognizing no obstacles, made her sometimes attempt impossibilities.
To see this young girl, so simple, so quiet, and so modest, who became burning red, bashfully covered her face with both hands, and hurried away upon hearing some poetry dedicated to her by some former disciple,— to see this young girl, I say, it was difficult to believe that she was an escaped convict, familiar with condemnations, prisons, trials, escapes, and adventures of every kind. It was only necessary, however, to see her for once at work to believe instantly in everything. She was transformed, displaying a certain natural and spontaneous instinct which was something between the cunning of a fox and the skill of a warrior. This outward simplicity and candor served her then like the shield of Mambrino, and enabled her to issue unscathed from perils in which many men, considered able, would unquestionably have lost their lives.
One day the police, while making a search, really had her in their grasp. A friend, distancing the gendarmes by a few moments, had merely only time to rush breathless up the stairs, dash into the room where she was, and exclaim, “Save yourself! the police!” when the police were already surrounding the house. Olga had not even time to put on her bonnet. Just as she was, she rushed to the back stairs, and hurried down at full speed. Fortunately the street door was not yet guarded by the gendarmes, and she was able to enter a little shop on the ground floor. She had only twenty kopecs in her pocket, having been unable, in her haste, to get any money. But this did not trouble her. For fifteen kopecks she bought a cotton handkerchief, and fastened it round her head in the style adopted by coquettish servant-girls. With the five kopecks remaining she bought some nuts, and loft the shop eating them, in such a quiet and innocent manner that the detachment of police, which meanwhile had advanced and surrounded the house on that side, let her pass without even asking her who she was, although the description of her was well known, for her photograph had been distributed to all the agents, and the police have always strict orders to let no one who may arouse the slightest suspicion leave a house which they have surrounded. This was not the only time that she slipped like an eel through the fingers of the police. She was inexhaustible in expedients, in stratagems, and in cunning, which she always had at her command at such times; and with all this she maintained her serious and severe aspect, so that she seemed utterly incapable of lending herself to deceit or simulation. Perhaps she did not think, but acted upon instinct rather than reflection, and that was why she could meet every danger with the lightning-like rapidity of a fencer who parries a thrust.
(To be concluded.)
What’s To Be Done?
By N. G. Tchernychewsky.
Translated by Benj. R. Tucker.
Continued from No. 56.
“Yes, Vera Pavlovna, I. And I was very insolent; I had no shame, and was always drunk; that was the origin of my sickness: I drank too much for my weak chest.”
Vera Pavlovna had seen three or four similar cases. Young girls whose conduct had been irreproachable ever since she knew them had told her that formerly they led a bad life. The first time she was astonished at such a confession; but after reflecting upon it a little, she said to herself: “And my own life? The mud in which I grew up was also very bad; nevertheless it did not soil me, and thousands of women, brought up in families like mine, remain pure just the same. Why is it, then, at all extraordinary that from this humiliation should come out unstained those whom a favorable opportunity has aided to escape?” The second time she was not astonished to learn that the young penitent had preserved truly human qualities,— disinterestedness, fidelity in friendship, deep feelings, and even some degree of innocence.
“Nastassia Borissovna, I have before had interviews similar to that which you desire to begin. Such interviews are painful both to the speaker and the listener; my esteem for you will not diminish, but will rather increase, since I know now that you have suffered much; but I understand it all without hearing it. Let us talk no more about it: to me explanations are superfluous. I, too, have passed many years amid great sorrows; I try not to think of them, and I do not like to speak of them, for it is very painful to me.”
“No, Vera Pavlovna, I have another motive: I wish to tell you how good he is; I should like some one to know how much I owe to him, and whom shall I tell if not you? It will be a relief to me. As to the life that I led, of course there is no occasion to speak of it; it is always the same with poor women of that sort. I only wish to tell you how I made his acquaintance. It is so agreeable to me to talk about him. I am going to live with him; so you ought to know why I leave the shop.”
“If it will please you to tell this story, Nastassia Borissovna, I am very happy to listen to you. Only let me get my work.”
“My work. Alas, I cannot say that. How good were these young girls to find me an occupation suited to my health! I wish to thank them one and all. Tell them, Vera Pavlovna, that I begged you to thank them for me. I was walking along the Perspective Nevsky: I had just gone out, and it was still early; I saw a student coming, and directed my steps toward him. He did not say a word, but simply crossed to the other side of the street. I followed him, and grasped him by the arm. ‘No,’ I said to him, ‘I will not leave you, you are so fine looking.’
“‘But I beg you to leave me,’ said he.
“‘Oh, no; come with me.’
“‘I have no reason to.’
“‘Well, I will go with you. Where are you going? For nothing in the world will I leave you.’ I was impudent, as impudent as any and more so.”
“Perhaps that was because you were really timid and were making an effort to be bold.”
“Yes, that may be. At least I have noticed it in others,— not at that time, mind you; it was afterwards that I understood the reason. So, when I told him that I absolutely must go with him, he smiled and said:
“‘Come, if you must; only it will be in vain.’
“He wanted to rebuke me, as he afterwards told me; he was impatient at my persistence. So I went, talking all sorts of nonsense to him: but he said not a word. We arrived. For a student he lived very comfortably; his lessons brought him about twenty roubles a month, and he lived alone. I stretched myself upon the divan and said:
“‘No,’ said he, ‘I shall not give you any wine; only tea, provided you want it.’
“‘With punch,’ said I.
“‘No, without punch.’
“I began to act riotously; he remained calm, and looked at me without paying the slightest attention to my conduct: that offended me much. In these days we meet such young people, Vera Pavlovna,— young people have grown much better since then,— but then it was very exceptional. Therefore I felt offended and began to insult him.
“‘If you (tu) are made of wood,’ — and I added an insult,— ‘then I am going away.’
“‘But why go now?’ said he; ‘have some tea first; the landlord will bring the samovar presently. Only no insults.’
“And he invariably addressed me as ‘you’ (vous). *
“‘Tell me rather who you are and how you have reached this condition.’
“I begun to tell him a story of my own invention: we invent all sorts of stories, and that is why nobody believes us; sometimes, nevertheless, these stories are not invented: there are noble and educated persons among us. He listened a little while and then said:
“‘No, it is not a clever story; I should much like to believe it, but I cannot.’
“We were already taking tea. Then he said:
“‘Do you know, I see by your complexion that it injures you to drink; your chest is in bad condition in consequence of an excessive use of wine. Permit me to examine you.’
“Well, Vera Pavlovna, you will not believe me, but I suddenly felt a sense of shame; and yet in what did my life consist? and but a moment before I had been behaving very boldly! He noticed it.
“‘Why, no,’ said he, ‘I only want to sound your chest.’
“He began to listen at my chest.
“‘Yes,’ he said,‘you must not drink at all; your chest is not in good condition.’
“‘That is impossible,’ said I.
“And indeed it was impossible, Vera Pavlovna.
“‘Then abandon this life.’
“‘And why? it is so joyous!’
“‘Not so very,’ said he; ‘now leave me; I am going to attend to my affairs.’
“And I went away, provoked at having lost my evening, to say nothing of the tact that his indifference had offended me. We girls have our pride in these matters. A month later I happened to be passing that way.
“‘Shall I call,’ thought I, ‘upon my wooden gentleman, and amuse myself a little with him?’
“It was not yet dinner-time; the night before I had slept well, and I had not been drinking. He was reading a book.
“‘How do you do, my wooden sir?’
“‘How do you do? Is there anything new with you?’
“Again I began my improprieties.
“‘I will show you the door,’ said he, ‘if you do not stop; I have already told you that this does not please me. Now you are not drunk and can understand me. Think rather ot this: your face is still more sickly than before; you must abandon wine. Arrange your clothing, and let us talk seriously.’
“In fact, I had already begun to feel pains in my chest. Again he sounded it, told me that the disease was growing worse, and said a great deal; my chest pained me so badly that, seized with a sudden access of feeling, I began to weep; I did not want to die, and he filled me with fears of consumption.
“‘But,’ I said to him, ‘how shall I abandon this life? My mistress will not let me go away, for I owe her seventeen roubles.’
“They always keep us in debt so that we may be patient.
“‘Seventeen roubles? I cannot give them to you now, for I haven’t them; but come day after to-morrow.’
“That seemed to me very strange, for it was not with this in view that I had spoken as I did; besides, how could I have expected such an offer? I could not believe my ears, and I began to cry still harder, believing that he was making sport of me.
“‘It is not good in you to make sport of a poor girl, when you see that I am crying.’
“For some minutes longer I refused to believe it. Finally he assured me that he was not joking. Would you believe it? He got the money and gave it to me two days afterwards. I could scarcely believe it then.
“‘But how is this?’ said I; ‘but why do you do this, since you have wanted nothing in return.’
“I freed myself from my mistress and hired a little room. But there was nothing that I could do: in freeing us they give us a special kind of certificate; where could I turn with such a document? And I had no money. Consequently I lived as before, though not exactly as before. I received only my best acquaintances, those not offensive to me; wine I left alone. What was the difference, then, you ask? My life was already much less distressing than it had been. But it was still distressing; and let me tell you something: you will think that it was distressing because I had many friends, five perhaps; no, for I felt an affection for all of them; hence it was not that. Pardon me if I speak thus to you, but it is because I am sincere with you: today I am still of the same mind. You know me; am I not modest? Who has heard anything but good of me? How much time I spend in playing with the children in the shop, and they all love me, and the old ladies will not say that I teach them anything but the best. It is only with you, Vera Pavlovna, that I am sincere; today I am still of the same mind: if you feel affection, there is no harm, provided there is no deceit; if there is deceit, that is another thing. And in that way I lived. Three months went by, and in that time, so tranquil was my life, I obtained considerable rest, and although I had to thus get the money that I needed, I no longer considered that I was leading a wicked life.
“Sachennka often visited me in those days. I too went sometimes to see him. And now I have got back to my subject, from which I should not have wandered. But his purpose in visiting me was not the same as that of the others; he watched over me to see that my old weakness did not regain possession of me and that I drank no wine. During the first few days, in fact, he sustained me; so great was my desire to take it that nothing but my great deference for him withheld me: if he should come in and see me, thought I. Otherwise I should not have kept my word, for my friends — generous young fellows — said: ‘I will send out for some wine.’ But wishing to heed Sachennka’s advice, I answered them: ‘No, that cannot be.’
“In three weeks’ time my will was already much stronger: the desire for drink had gone, and I had already thrown off the manners peculiar to victims of intoxication. During that time I saved in order to repay him, and in two months I did repay him the whole. He was so glad to see me repay him! The next day he brought me muslin for a dress and other articles bought with the same money. After that he still kept up his visits, always as a doctor caring for a patient. One day when at my room, about a month after I had paid my debt, he said to me: ‘Nastennka, you please me.’
“Drunkenness spoils the face; in consequence of my sobriety my complexion had grown softer and my eyes clearer; further, having thrown off my old manners, I had acquired modesty of speech; I was no longer shameless since I had stopped drinking; it is true that in my words I sometimes forgot myself, but a seemly behavior had become habitual with me.
“On hearing these words I was so happy that I wanted to throw myself on his neck, but I did not dare to and so stopped. He said to me:
“‘You see, Nastennka, that I am not without feeling.’
“He told me also that I had grown pretty and modest, and he covered me with caresses. He took my hand, placed it in his own, and caressed it with his other hand while looking at it. My hands in those days were white and plump. These caresses made me blush. After such a life, too! I felt a sort of maiden bashfulness; it is strange, but it is true. In spite of my shame,— yes, my shame, although the word seems ridiculous when uttered by me,— I said to him:
“‘What gave you the idea to caress me, Alexander Matveitch?’
“‘Because, Nastennka, you are now a virtuous girl.’
“These words made me so happy that I burst into tears.
“‘What is the matter with you, Nastennka?’ said he, embracing me. This kiss turned my head, and I lost consciousness. Would you believe, Vera Pavlovna, that such a thing could have happened to me after such a life?
“The next morning I wept, saying to myself: What shall I do now, poor girl? How shall I live? There is nothing left for me but to throw myself into the Neva. I felt that I could no longer remain in the pursuit by which I lived; I would rather be dead; I had loved him a long time, but as he had shown no sentiment toward me and as I had no hope of pleasing him, this love had become torpid in me, and I did not even realize it. Now all was clear. When one feels such a love, how can one even look at another man? Therefore it was that I was weeping and saying to myself: What shall I do now, without any means of existence? I had already conceived this idea: I will go to him, see him once more, and then drown myself. I wept thus all the morning. Suddenly he entered, kissed me, and said:
“‘Nastennka, will you live with me?’
“I told him what I thought. And we began to live together.
“Those were happy days, Vera Pavlovna, and I believe that few persons have ever enjoyed such happiness. But I can say no more to you today, Vera Pavlovna. I only wanted to tell you how good Sachennka is.”
Subsequently Nastennka Krukoff finished telling her story to Vera Pavlovna. She lived with Kirsanoff more than two years. The symptoms of incipient disease seemed to have disappeared. But toward the end of the second year, with the opening of spring, consumption showed itself in a considerably advanced stage. To live with Kirsanoff would have been to condemn herself to speedy death; by renouncing this tie she could count on again staving off her disease for a long time. They resolved to separate. To give herself to constant labor would have been equally fatal; therefore she had to find employment as a housekeeper, maid-servant, nurse, or something of the sort, and that too in a house where the work was not too heavy and where — a no less important consideration — there would be nothing disagreeable, conditions rare enough. Nevertheless such a place was found. Kirsanoff had acquaintances among the rising artists; thanks to them, Nastennka Krukoff became the maid of a Russian actress, an excellent woman. They were a long time in effecting the separation. “Tomorrow I will go,” said Nastennka, and tomorrow came with other tomorrows to find her still there. They wept and could not tear themselves from each other’s arms. Finally the actress, who knew all, came herself to find Nastennka, and, cutting everything short, took her away in order that the hour of separation might not be further protracted to the injury of her future servant.
[To be continued.]
* There is no way of expressing in English the distinction made by the Continental peoples between the second person singular and second person plural of the personal pronoun. The singular is used by them in conversation between people who are on very familiar terms. Hence in the above interview Nastassia, wishing to assume a tone of familiarity, tried to use the singular, while Kirsauoff maintained his reserve by insisting on the plural. — Translator.
“A free man is one who enjoys the use of his reason and his faculties; who is neither blinded by passion, nor hindered or driven by oppression, nor deceived by erroneous opinions.” — Proudhon.
Competition, Free and Not Free.
Bear in mind that the first plank in Mr. Tucker’s platform is “free competition.” And this (when competition is the cause of our misery) he declares to be a remedy! He virtually says, if one ounce of arsenic makes you ill, take two in order to recover! — San Francisco Truth.
I thank you, Mr. Haskell, that you did not forget to put the “free” before “competition”; only you ought to have italicized it: nor do I doubt that Mr. Tucker fully agrees with you that competition (without the free) is one of the leading causes of our social misery.
And that is always the fatal trouble with you State Socialists. If you would only never forget to qualify your general premises by that word free, you would not be day and night tormented by the ghost of Tucker and the “Boston Anarchists.” That little word free, however, spoils your whole socialistic soup. It is the bete noir that roots havoc among your ridiculous trumpery of infinite statecraft. You are waging a square battle against Liberty,— I wish I might add, by square methods. You may depend upon it, then, that any invitation to the Individualists, to be reconciled to your school is little less than an insult to their reason and integrity.
I see a free field before me, with a thousand free men upon it. It is announced that Haskell and Tucker are going to run a competitive foot-race. But when the two competing rivals are brought out, a man named Henry George steps up and says: “I notice that this man Tucker has an ‘unearned increment’ of wind and muscle which must be taxed out of him before he starts. I therefore propose that we cut one of his hams trings and put a gag-pipe on him.” “Yes,” cries Haskell: “organize these spectators into a Socialistic State. Competition has hitherto been the chief cause of all our misery in foot-races.”
But Tucker protests. He proposes to rest his case with the natural sense of fair play in the crowd, and avers that this device of organizing them into a State is only a trick to steal away their wits and natural honor. As for his wind and muscle, he contends that they are his, and his alone, since he holds them by that most eminent of all titles,— occupation, cultivation, and use.
“Well,” says Haskell, “if you will not join us, then we propose to freeze you off the track before we get through with you. I see what you want. You want free competition, that monstrous curse that has so long afflicted us. And if you should win the stakes, I suppose you would be just hog enough to claim them all for yourself, just because you are an ‘individual.’ I tell you, sir, that that part of the stakes which is due to your superior wind and muscle is an unearned increment which belongs to the whole crowd.”
“Ah,” says Tucker, “I see. You propose to abolish competition by fixing up a scheme that will ultimately abolish me. Your Socialistic State proposes to do away with all competition by forcibly freezing out all competitors. Like the monster Pizarro, who, when asked by his confessor if he had any rivals to conciliate, replied, ‘No, good Father, I have killed them all,’ you propose to yet sit down on the prostrate forms of the ‘Boston Anarchists’ and declare that competition is abolished. And yet you have the effrontery to ask me to buckle myself into your team and pull with you.”
This pitecus and never-ceasing cry for “harmony” on the part of the State Socialists is a matter of infinite insignificance in the face of the vital point at stake. Harmony between Liberty and its enemies is treason. It must never be. I am aware of the awful scenes which occur when the merchant attempts to wage competition with the bull that has entered his china-shop; but he must not invite the beast in. That beast is the State, to whom the State Socialist swings wide open the doors and then stands back to bewail the broken crockery.
Competition under Liberty is beneficent co-operation. It makes cost the limit of price. It opens the way for every man to prove his fitness and survive on his merits. The present order of competition under the State permits the unfittest to survive on his demerits. Yet competition per se is no more to blame for this than the law of gravitation is to blame because its operation may jerk a martyr from the scaffold into the jaws of eternity while it fans with sweet aroma the couch of a bloody despot.
Competition is only another name for voluntary co-operation, where Liberty is present. Competition is only another name for forcible spoliation where Liberty is absent. Upon Liberty and Liberty alone hang the good or evil effects of competition. Not until the State Socialists come over to the side of Liberty will they have earned the right to be sound judges in the matter,— at which point they cease to be State Socialists.
In Answer to a Prayer for Light.
The editor of the “Truth Seeker” having favored me with a copy of the paper containing his questions, I am now ready to answer them. It is necessary first to explain how they arose. A correspondent of Liberty had asserted that under Anarchism mortgages would be worth no more than blank paper. To this the following reply was made in these columns:
When Anarchy prevails, all just titles will be valid and efficacious for one of two reasons,— either people will have improved in their morals sufficiently to respect them voluntarily, or else such persons as are indisposed to respect them will be forced to do so. “The old state over again!” my undiscriminating friend will cry. Not at all, my friend! Simply a voluntary association for defence of person and property to which no one need belong who does not choose, and which no one not belonging will be expected to support.
It was in response to this that the “Truth Seeker” asked its questions, as follows:
Will Mr. Tucker please explain further? Will his Anarchical society constrain the people outside his “voluntary association for defence of person and property?” If yes, in what does the difference consist between Anarchical society and our present government? If no, where is the protection? Or shall persons belonging to the association only have dealings with fellow-members; and, if a person in the association is constrained, how is his act voluntary? And will he continue to pay for being constrained? It strikes us that this constraining is precisely what our friend Tucker is now so eloquently kicking against.
In Stephen Pearl Andrews’s sociological scheme — the pantarchy — nothing but moral force is used. It looks as though Mr. Tucker would have to adopt that or let our present societarial government alone.
First, then, “will his Anarchical society constrain the people outside his ‘voluntary association for defence of person and property’?” Yes, it will constrain, or rather restrain, precisely those and no others,— restrain them from invasion of person and property. It will not restrain people inside the association, that being impossible in the nature of the case; for one of the conditions of membership will be voluntary submission to the decisions of tribunals mutually agreed upon, any one refusing such submission placing himself thereby outside the association and liable therefore to restraint if he invades.
“If yes, in what does the difference consist between Anarchical society and our present government?” In this, that Anarchical society will be a voluntary association wholly for defence of person and property, while our present government is a compulsory association principally for invasion of person and property, dependent for its very existence upon the bottom invasion, compulsory taxation. To the former no one will belong who does not choose; to the latter all must belong and give support. The former will exist to protect people in their rights and insure equality; the latter exists to rob people of their rights for the benefit of privilege. Quite vital differences, these seem to me, and very easily discernible.
The answers to the remaining questions are included in the answers to the first two. I trust the “Truth Seeker” will see that it has misapprehended the direction of my “eloquent kicking.”
It is interesting to know that Stephen Pearl Andrews in his Pantarchy now champions moral force exclusively. The knowledge is also surprising. The doctrine is not to be found in his works; he held no such when last I talked with him. He always steadfastly maintained that policy should be adapted to circumstance, and that, when necessary, we should meet physical force with physical force, deal inequitably with the inequitable, and be intolerant of the intolerant. In this I substantially agreed with him, my only quarrel being with his tendency to apply the rule loosely instead of confining the cases of necessity within the narrow limits that I favored, he being in this less exclusively in favor of moral force than myself. But it seems that the world moves and Mr. Andrews with it. The Pantarch is now a rigorous non-resistant. Though still unable to entirely agree with him, I congratulate him on the change in the direction of his error. Better too little physical force than too much. But, I repeat, I am surprised. “That is not law,” said severely a haughty judge on the Massachusetts supreme bench to the eminent, learned and witty, lawyer, Henry W. Paine, enunciating a certain proposition in arguing a case before him. “Accept my apology, your honor,” answered Mr. Paine, in all humility; “it always has been law until the present moment.” Until the “Truth Seeker’s” recent declaration Mr. Andrews was not a non-resistant.
Since the foregoing questions the “Truth Seeker” has asked another. I recently wrote:—
Rome was not built in a day, and the sun will rise several times more before Anarchy is fully realized. It will be realized first where it is easiest and most important to realize it,— that is, in banking and commerce. Through these it will gradually exercise a remarkable influence upon the ways and tendencies, the mental and moral habits of all the people, and this revolution in human nature will then make it possible to regulate by Anarchistic methods all the matters in which interests are most involved.
Upon this the “Truth Seeker” inquired: “What are those methods?” I answer: Individual initiative and voluntary co-operation. This is not likely to satisfy the “Truth Seeker.” It will probably insist that I shall dot the i’s and cross the t’s. This desire arises from its political superstition. If I were to paint a definite and detailed picture of the New Jerusalem and the road thereto, and label it “A Complete Representation of Universal Progress for the Balance of Eternity,” it is not improbable that Anarchy would gain a new adherent in the “Truth Seeker.” But it is only the quack who pretends to know it all, and only the devotee who believes in his pretensions. Not being a quack but & pursuer of the scientific method, I affirm certain principles which I scientifically know to be indispensable to progress, and labor for their realization. The all-important principle at this juncture is Liberty, which, its soon as sufficient co-operation offers, we Anarchists propose to make a reality by passive resistance to its violation through suffrage, taxation, and monopoly. The “Truth Seeker” hangs off because I cannot tell it exactly how sewers, streets, railroads, and watercourses will be administered in the good time coming. I can only say that, Liberty being a necessary condition of society, all social institutions will be founded upon it.
Why not have a little confidence in the power of truth? Is it not safer, at any rate, to follow a known truth in the face of obstacles and dangers than to follow its counter falsehood? Let us be men, not children; reasoning men, not victims of superstition; brave men, not cowards; truth seekers in fact as well as in name. Having accepted Liberty, then, follow her faithfully to the end. Has not her message been sung to us by William Blake?
I give you the end of a golden thread,
Just wind it into a ball;
It will lead you in at Heaven’s gate,
Close by Jerusalem’s wall.
Dr. Anarchist and His Patient.
To the Editor of Liberty:
I think, if all man-made laws and all government of man by man were inverted, better results would accrue. I think no amount of misapplied effort — regardless of good intentions — is equal in beneficent result to an intelligently applied non-effort. I shall endeavor to illustrate this idea by the following:
A man named Public felt very ill from a chronic disease; his friends advised him to consult his family doctor, a Mr. Constitution, which he did. The doctor examined, said it was an aristocratic disease, and, as it was a very lingering sickness, therefore was not immediately dangerous. But neither death nor cure came, but the disorder of the whole system continued to increase until death seemed preferable.
There was in the sick man’s vicinity a doctor named Anarchist, who was noted for his sound advice and whose merit did not inhere in the broad seal of his college diploma, but in his own demonstrated skill. Dr. Anarchist was not popular with the two classes who constitute what is called The Public, because he was not understood by them. Dr. Anarchist immediately advised the discontinuance of the causes of his troubles.
“But, Doctor,” said the patient, “I do not take anything except the medicine which Dr. Constitution prescribed for me.”
“Precisely so,” said Dr. A.; “that so-called medicine is the cause of your disordered system. Those state-correctional powders, those public pills and majority ointments and government plasters, throw them all to the dogs, and you will not continue sick.”
“Then, Dr. A., what medicine shall I take to make me well?”
“None; you suffer from taking. It is not that you need to take to get cured, but it is that you need to cease taking to avoid being constantly poisoned. Trust Nature, attune your ear to understand her calls, and obey those calls intelligently. Take what you please, and, when living in intelligent harmony with Nature, you will please to take and do that which is right, your intelligent self being the standard or judge of what is right for you.”
Mr. Public very quickly recovered and changed his name. He proffered to Dr. A. a large sum for having advised him how to cure himself. The doctor would not accept pay for service rendered a sick man. He said: “You cured yourself. I simply told you how to not make yourself sick. I visited you only once, a neighborly visit. I have an interest in the health of my neighbors,— not in their misfortunes, necessities, or sickness.”
I assume that the moral of this is manifest.
Yours, P. K. O’Lally.
It is magnanimous in this portentous mouse which the International mountain has brought forth to combat the capitalist frogs of Lake Erie, to “accept your apology.” We have heard of a gentleman of indolent temperament writing to an editor who had chastised him in his columns: “Consider yourself horsewhipped.” This apology for not fighting was accepted. I have just read the “Alarm” of December 6, red hot with zeal for the laborer, and blinded to the necessity of personal property by the electric light of its own criticism on the abuses of it. It is the most interesting case of reasoning insanity I know of, by the dignity of its craze and the eloquent lucidity of its intervals. It is lucid and sound just where the labor papers generally are idiotic. It perceives the fallacy of strikes, the utter rottenness of the wage system, and the hopelessness of reforming government. Its article on Cooperation is excellent. Yet right alongside is another that finds nothing better than to “make a raid on all stores, vacant tenements, and means of conveyance, holding them open to the free access of the general public.” Can’t you see the carts and drays and wheelbarrows loading and carrying off goods to cachettes? How much would be left to the public by the end of winter? Riot and waste is all we can expect of the god Populus.
Absurd as this is, it is consistent with the vagaries of communism, and may be sincere, while, on the other hand, we cannot believe really in earnest, papers which, whether they have or not political chestnuts to roast, go in for supporting strikes and for electing legislators; for that sort of thing has received its verdict at the bar of the Supreme Court of Experience, and the longer it is tried the more disastrously it fails of its purposes, i.e., of what the dupes suppose to be its purposes. The failure of the Hocking Valley strike is now conceded. The plumed knight of our industrial chivalry and his coadjutors get all the work they want, cheap and nasty, and the grumblers are shared between the gallows and the pemiontiary, to the edification of civilized morality. Our sympathy with the sufferers cannot repress a rational satisfaction at this foregone conclusion, for the partial success of any strike gives a longer lease of life to that social abomination, the hireling system. What a pity that so warm hearted and talented a paper should forfeit its influence by outbreaks of fury and wreak its vengeance on the desert air! Here is the ambition of the Socialist pioneer, without the patient adaptiveness needed for the clearing and sowing of a permanent settler. Solid characters in all grades of fortune and social position alike are repelled and disgusted by a run-a-muck vaporer who declares death to everybody laying claim to private property. The northwest wind from over the lakes blows keen here this morning. How about private pocket handkerchiefs in Chicago? Why doesn’t the “Alarm” publish the receipt for making dynamite? We shall need a good deal of it to thin out the human race down to the number that can live in caves and hollow trees on wild fruits, maintaining a fraternal struggle for existence with the monkeys, after private property is done away with. Nay, we cannot stop at monkeydom; for here is my milch nannygoat come to give me some cream for my coffee. There is a big pile of cotton seed in the corner of the room, enough for twenty goats. She won’t allow another to come near it, except her youngest kid, while she is eating, and they wait outside, respecting the etiquette of hircine personality. I think we shall have to come down to the zoophytes, those respectable communists who are building coral continents in the South seas, before we perfect the ideal of each for all and all for each. In the meanwhile, I shall hold on to my pocket handkerchief. In the phenomena of vision, colorblindness, in which several colors, distinct to others, are perceived but as one and confounded, is normal with not a few eyes. In all, there is an insensible spot corresponding to the axis of the optic nerve, which renders objects placed on a certain point of our field of vision invisible by a single eye when fixed. All vision is complex, implying attention, and therefore, in some degree, will. The analogies of physical with intellectual vision may explain the incapacity of the “Alarm” for analytic discrimination between honest labor property, or capital resulting from the productive effort of a person over the material of Nature, and fraudulent legal property, or capital resulting from the effort of a person over the lives of other persons. In the first case, there is always increase of goods and benefit reciprocated. In the second, there is no reciprocal benefit, but, on the contrary, exploitation. The fact that great machinery and constructions cannot possibly result from individual effort renders their exclusive ownership a social fraud by personal exploitation of persons, and the magnitude of such properties makes it impossible that they should be acquired by honest exchange of labor. They can have no other than legal right added to natural might. Now, as all legal right is arbitrary, it is only another form of might, unknown to justice. This Mr. “Alarm” sees in so strong a light that he is dazzled by it, and, being dazzled, he cannot distinguish from it other property lying within the limitations of direct personal effort over Nature, the title to which may be ethically private, more or less so at the proprietor’s will. Moved, however, perhaps, by the protest of the “Labor Enquirer,” he has recently conceded “to a workman his tools.” There is progress. The civilized order existing by constraint, and being sustained by force of arms, it may be necessary to eliminate a certain number of official chiefs, but the fragments of the old Bastile would make too much litter in the streets at present. Samson will please wait until the Trades Unions are educated up to the point of taking cooperative charge of machinery and making economic distribution of the goods now hoarded up for moths and weevils. Representative capitalists, whom Uncle Sam has been fattening providentially for the popular barbecue, will hardly be too tough by next Thanksgiving day. As to rescuing a few millions from famine and frost, that is well enough to amuse Christian charity, but not an object of sufficient importance to justify mob rule or the sacrifice of our nice machinery. Between the greed of the rich and the greed of the poor, the difference lies chiefly in a coat of varnish. In contact here with our Anglo-American boors, I find them as knavish, as ruthless and truthless, as the railroad kings and Wall street princes. Honest men have nothing to gain by the exchange of sharks for catfish. They must interlock forces and concert for action, whether aggressive or resistant. The conversion of legal into ethical property is the problem proposed to us by the Sphynx of revolution, and she’ll crunch us like shrimps, until we solve it. How is it that the “Alarm,” which formally denounces State Socialism,— although, without this Marxic conception as a key, its policy is unintelligible to me,— and which raises the banner of Anarchism, and cites Proudhon against property as it is, never says a word about his central conception, the People’s Exchange Bank? It abounds in confusion of ideas. See in the article “Wastefulness and Extravagance:” “The Socialist objects to the present system because it does not and cannot produce ornaments and luxuries, works of art, fast enough to keep pace with the producing power.” The printer may have set “produce” instead of consume, which the context would rather suggest as the word meant; still the idea, thus rendered intelligible, would be the sophistical commonplace of political economy, discarded by socialists, who discriminate, among the objects of aesthetic art, such as show the outflow of their creator’s soul in his handiwork, from the gewgaws turned out by machinery for no useful or ideal purpose, but just stuffed by traffic down the throat of satiety. In the writer’s frenzied advocacy of increased productive activity, now when wheat is being fed to farm stock, and stores are crammed with a two years’ supply, to the transport of which he declares our commerce inadequate, what is the sense of spurring production? Why not simply invoke the distributive agency of his favorite dynamite, since neither the dynamics of commerce nor that of Christianity are adequate to feed the hungry and to clothe the naked?
Less production, except of common necessaries, then more leisure, more culture and amusement, would seem more to the purpose, and would tally better with the general aspirations of this paper when it is not attacked by a bloody flux of phrases. Far from this economic craze of wearing point lace bedizzened with jewels to keep labor in harness, a woman that respects humanity in herself would wear jeans or gingham, until cities had converted their pestilent tenement houses into decent homes with gardens, while dispersing through the country their suffocating crowds. We await now the providence of cholera.
The “Alarm” ingenuously resumes:
And if the government continues to insist that each person must return an equivalent of effort for what he receives, there is no avoiding the dreadful consequence * * * — a reign of terror.
Really? Why, a Government that could and would enforce that very thing, an equivalent return of effort in reciprocal uses, would have better excuse for being than any known to us. It would convert Anarchists into State Socialists. It is the contrary action of Government in privileging capitalists to receive, without any effort to reciprocate benefits, that constitutes the animus of our impeachment. It is the despair of government’s ever acting in this sense that makes us Anarchists.
A Proprietor with a Soul.
Colonel W. P. Rend, of Chicago, who is one of the largest operators in the United States and owns several mines in the Hocking coal-fields, says:
In the Hocking Valley matters are in a most deplorable state. The miners for six long months have bravely struggled to resist despotic demands made upon them, and to defend their just rights and industrial liberties. The rigors of winter, which has just set in, have added to the suffering, and now render the condition of these poor people most appalling. Outside, the wolf of hunger, driven there by the hand of tyranny, stands at the door of the miner’s cabin; while within can be seen the sad sight of crying children and weeping mothers, shivering in rags and wretchedness. Something should be done at once to assist these poor people in their deplorable state of want and suffering. This Hocking Valley lockout in its causes and in its history is a scandal and an outrage. These nabobs want and must receive, if possible, the full measure of their interest, even if the attempt, as in this ease, involves strikes, rebellion, and bloodshed. This interest must be wrung from the toil of the poor miner even as the grinding taxes of Egypt are wrung from the helpless fellah that cultivates the soil, or as the rack-rents of the European landlords are extorted from an enslaved and plundered peasantry. I say again and again a more wicked and a more heartless lockout than the present one has never disgraced America.
The Rights of Vice.
[Galveston Daily News.]
The suppression of gambling is always being begun, but never finished. Can anything more injudicious be imagined, or any policy displaying more ignorance of human nature, than to employ the police to enter private apartments to stop unobtrusive vice? The principle is that of the blue laws, and law comes off second best in the long run when it offers such challenges to personal liberty.
Spare Friend No More Than Foe.
- Walker, being accused of manifesting an unseemly belligerency toward certain classes of Liberals, replies thus in “Lucifer:”
Liberalism is in its formative state, and much of our time is necessarily occupied in correcting the mistakes of our own apostles. There are but few of our representative men and women who are consistent in their advocacy of Freethought and Liberty. Most of them have some pet scheme, or schemes, of repression which they insist shall be accepted as in entire harmony with the fundamental axioms and principles of Free-thought. They are strung out along the road all the way from Rome to Reason, from St. Petersburg to Liberty, being just so far out of the darkness and toward the Light as they have been able to get up to date, and I see no valid reason for accepting all they may have to say as the simon-pure Secular gospel, protest they never so stoutly that the gospel they offer is the genuine article.
A Vindication of Natural Society:
A View of the Miseries and Evils Arising to Mankind from Every Species of Artificial Society, in a Letter to Lord —————.
By Edmund Burke
Continued from No. 56.
Thus, my Lord, we have pursued aristocracy through its whole progress; we have seen the seeds, the growth, and the fruit. It could boast none of the advantages of a despotism, miserable as those advantages were, and it was overloaded with an exuberance of mischiefs, unknown even to despotism itself. In effect, it is no more than a disorderly tyranny. This form, therefore, could be little approved, even in speculation, by those who were capable of thinking, and could be less borne in practice by any who were capable of feeling. However, the fruitful policy of man was not yet exhausted. He had yet another farthing-candle to supply the deficiencies of the sun. This was the third form, known by political writers under the name of democracy. Here the people transacted all public business, or the greater part of it, in their own persons: their laws were made by themselves, and, upon any failure of duty, their officers were accountable to themselves, and to them only. In all appearance, they had secured by this method the advantages of order and good government, without paying their liberty for the purchase. Now, my Lord, we are come to the masterpiece of Grecian refinement and Roman solidity, a popular government. The earliest and most celebrated republic of this model was that of Athens. It was constructed by no less an artist than the celebrated poet and philosopher, Solon. But no sooner was this political vessel launched from the stocks than it overset, even in the life-time of the builder. A tyranny immediately supervened; not by a foreign conquest, not by accident, but by the very nature and constitution of a democracy. An artful man became popular, the people had power in their hands, and they devolved a considerable share of their power upon their favorite; and the only use he made of this power was to plunge those who gave it into slavery. Accident restored their liberty, and the same good fortune produced men of uncommon abilities and uncommon virtues amongst them. But these abilities were suffered to be of little service either to their possessors or to the state. Some of these men, for whose sakes alone we read their history, they banished; others they imprisoned; and all they treated with various circumstances of the most shameful ingratitude. Republics have many things in the spirit of absolute monarchy, but none more than this. A shining merit is ever hated or suspected in a popular assembly, as well as in a court; and all services done in the state are looked upon as dangerous to the rulers, whether sultans or senators. The Ostracism at Athens was built upon this principle. The giddy people, whom we have now under consideration, being elated with some flashes of success, which they owed to nothing less than any merit of their own, began to tyrannise over their equals, who had associated with them for their common defence. With their prudence they renounced all appearance of justice. They entered into wars rashly and wantonly. If they were unsuccessful, instead of growing wiser by their misfortune, they threw the whole blame of their own misconduct on the ministers who had advised, and the generals who had conducted, those wars; until, by degrees, they had cut off all who could serve them in their councils or their battles. If at any time these wars had an happy issue, it was no less difficult to deal with them on account of their pride and insolence. Furious in their adversity, tyrannical in their successes, a commander had more trouble to concert his defence before the people than to plan the operations of the campaign. It was not uncommon for a general, under the horrid despotism of the Roman emperors, to be ill received in proportion to the greatness of his services. Agricola is a strong instance of this. No man had done greater things, nor with more honest ambition; yet, on his return to court, he was obliged to enter Rome with all the secresy of a criminal. He went to the palace, not like a victorious commander who had merited and might demand the greatest rewards, but like an offender who had come to supplicate a pardon for his crimes. His reception was answerable; “Exceptusque brevi osculo et nullo sermone turbae servientium inmixtus est.” Yet in that worst season of this worst of monarchial tyrannies, modesty, discretion, and coolness of temper formed some kind of security even for the highest merit. But at Athens, the nicest and best studied behavior was not a sufficient guard for a man of great capacity. Some of their bravest commanders were obliged to fly their country,— some to enter into the service of its enemies, rather than abide a popular determination on their conduct, lest, as one of them said, their giddiness might make the people condemn where they meant to acquit: to throw in a black bean even when they intended a white one.
The Athenians made a very rapid progress to the most enormous excesses. The people, under no restraint, soon grew dissolute, luxurious, and idle. They renounced all labor, and began to subsist themselves from the public revenues. They lost all concern for their common honor or safety, and could bear no advice that tended to reform them. At this time truth became offensive to these lords, the people, and most highly dangerous to the speaker. The orators no longer ascended the rostrum but to corrupt them further with the most fulsome adulation. These orators were all bribed by foreign princes on the one side or the other. And besides its own parties, in this city there were parties, and avowed ones too, for the Persians, Spartans, and Macedonians, supported each of them by one or more demagogues pensioned and bribed to this iniquitous service. The people, forgetful of all virtue and public spirit, and intoxicated with the flatteries of their orators, (these courtiers of republics, and endowed with the distinguishing characteristics of all other courtiers;) this people, I say, at last arrived at that pitch of madness that they coolly and deliberately, by an express law, made it culpable for any man to propose an application of the immense sums squandered in public shows, even to the most necessary purposes of the state. When you see the people of this republic, banishing and murdering their best and ablest citizens, dissipating the public treasure with the most senseless extravagance, and spending their whole time, as spectators or actors, in playing, fiddling, dancing, ana singing, does it not, my Lord, strike your imagination with the image of a sort of complex Nero? And does it not strike you with the greater horror, when you observe, not one man only, but a whole city, grown drunk with pride and power, running with a rage of folly into the same mean and senseless debauchery and extravagance? But if this people resembled Nero in their extravagance, much mere did they resemble and even exceed him in cruelty and injustice. In the time of Pericles, one of the most celebrated times in the history of that commonwealth, a king of Egypt sent them a donation of corn. This they were mean enough to accept. And had the Egyptian prince intended the ruin of this city of wicked bedlamites, he could not have taken a more effectual method to do it than by such an insnaring largess. The distribution of this bounty caused a quarrel; the majority set on foot an inquiry into the title of the citizens; and upon a vain pretence of illegitimacy, newly and occasionally set up, they deprived of their share of the royal donation no less than five thousand of their own body. They went further; they disfranchised them; and, having once begun with an act of injustice, they could set no bounds to it. Not content with cutting them off from the rights of citizens, they plundered these unfortunate wretches of all their substance; and, to crown this masterpiece of violence and tyranny, they actually sold every man of the five thousand for slaves in the public market. Observe, my Lord, that the five thousand we here speak of were cut off from a body of no more than nineteen thousand; for the entire number of citizens was no greater at that time. Could the tyrant who wished the Roman people but one neck; could the tyrant Caligula himself have done, nay, he could scarcely wish for a greater mischief than to have cut off, at one stroke, a fourth of his people? Or has the cruelty of that series of sanguine tyrants, the Caesars, ever presented such a piece of flagrant and extensive wickedness? The whole history of this celebrated republic is but one tissue of rashness, folly, ingratitude, injustice, tumult, violence, and tyranny, and indeed of every species of wickedness that can well be imagined. This was a city of wise men, in which a minister could not exercise his functions; a warlike people, amongst whom a general did not dare either to gain or lose a battle; a learned nation, in which a philosopher could not venture on a free inquiry. This was the city which banished Themistoeles, starved Aristides, forced into exile Miltiades, drove out Anaxagorac, and poisoned Socrates. This was a city which changed the form of its government with the moon; eternal conspiracies, revolutions daily, nothing fixed and established. A republic, as an ancient philosopher has observed, is no one species of government, but a magazine of every species; here you find every sort of it, and that in the worst form. As there is a perpetual change, one rising and the other falling, you have all the violence and wicked policy by which a beginning power must always acquire its strength, and all the weakness by which falling states are brought to a complete destruction.
Rome has a more venerable aspect than Athens; and she conducted her affairs, so far as related to the ruin and oppression of the greatest part of the world, with greater wisdom and more uniformity. But the domestic economy of these two states was nearly or altogether the same. An internal dissension constantly tore to pieces the bowels of the Roman commonwealth. You find the same confusion, the same factions, which subsisted at Athens — the same tumults, the same revolutions, and, in fine, the same slavery; if, perhaps, their former condition did not deserve that name altogether as well. All other republics were of the same character. Florence was a transcript of Athens. And the modern republics, as they approach more or less to the democratic form, partake more or less of the nature of those which I have described.
We are now at the close of our review of the three simple forms of artificial society; and we have shown them, however they may differ in name, or in some slight circumstances, to be all alike in effect; in effect, to be all tyrannies. But suppose we were inclined to make the most ample concessions: let us concede Athens, Rome, Carthage, and two or three more of the ancient, and as many of the modern, commonwealths, to have been, or to be, free and happy, and to owe their freedom and happiness to their political constitution. Yet, allowing all this, what defence does this make for artificial society in general, that these inconsiderable spots of the globe have for some short space of time stood as exceptions to a charge so general? But when we call these governments free, or concede that their citizens were happier than those which lived under different forms, it is merely ex abundanti. For we should be greatly mistaken if we really thought that the majority of the people which tilled these cities enjoyed even that nominal political freedom of which I have spoken so much already. In reality, they had no part of it. In Athens there were usually from ten to thirty thousand freemen: this was the utmost. But the slaves usually amounted to four hundred thousand, and sometimes to a great many more. The freemen of Sparta and Rome were not more numerous in proportion to those whom they held in a slavery more terrible than the Athenian. Therefore state the matter fairly: the free states never formed, though they were taken altogether, the thousandth part of the habitable globe; the freemen in these states were never the twentieth part of the people, and the time they subsisted is scarce anything in that immense ocean of duration in which time and slavery are to nearly commensurate. Therefore call these free states, or popular governments, or what you please; when we consider the majority of their inhabitants, and regard the natural rights of mankind, they must appear, in reality and truth, no better than pitiful and oppressive oligarchies.
After so fair an examen, wherein nothing has been exaggerated; no fact produced which cannot be proved, and none which has been produced in any wise forced or strained, while thousands have, for brevity, been omitted; after so candid a discussion in all respects; what slave so passive, what bigot, so blind, what enthusiast so headlong, what politician so hardened, as to stand up in defence of a system calculated for a curse to mankind? — a curse under which they smart and groan to this hour, without thoroughly knowing the nature of the disease, and wanting understanding or courage, to supply the remedy.
(To be continued.)
“Peace Reigns in Warsaw.”
Ask, Is it Peace? of the nations, and thou shalt for answer be told.
Peace is for those who can buy her, she barters her honor for gold.
Tyrants together have sworn upon crowns and contemptible things.
Peace shall be nought any more but the armed alliance of kings.
Where is the garland of olive wherewith she was shadowed of yore?
Where the goodwill that of old for a frontlet of glory she wore?
Surely a strange and wonderful Peace broods over the land,
Peace propped up upon muskets, a two-edged sword in her hand.
Dare to dispute her sway, and for battle she thirsts and is fain,
Dare to deny her dominion, and thou thyself shalt be slain.
Honey and oil of the olive and wheat and the fruits of the earth —
These are no longer her emblems, but drought and disaster and dearth.
Nay, but this cannot be Peace that of old to the nations was wed;
Not Peace she, but an harlot who triumphs and reigns in her stead.
What shall be said of her beauty with that red stain on her brow?
What shall be said of her body, and whom doth she wanton with now?
What is her meed but a hissing, and what but a byword her name? —
Girt with reproach for a garment, and robed in a raiment of shame.
How should her worshippers greet her, wherewith is her grace to be won?
What is the gift must be brought, and the sacrifice meet to be done?
Offer the oil of the olive — her fierce eyes kindle with ire;
Pour out the blood of a victim, and thou shalt have all thy desire.
Ask in her temple for nurture, and pray of her priests to be fed.
Stones she will give thee for succor, and bayonets rather than bread.
Nought may appease her fierce anger but travail and torture and toil,
Nought but the sweat and the tears of the sorrowing sons of the soil.
These be the gifts that delight her, these only she taketh for toll;
These and these only can quench the insatiate desire of her soul.
Glory is hers and high honor of those that oppress and enslave;
Shelter she gives to the poor in the sheltering mouth of the grave.
Commerce and riches increase in the hot rank steam of her breath;
Keen is its blast to the toilers, and cold as the shadow of death.
Tyrants may kiss and caress her, and kindle a curse at her lips;
Hers is the name they invoke to envenom the lash of their whips.
All that is evil and base is refreshed by the glow in her eyes;
All is abashed that is honest, and withers, and dwindles, and dies.
Therefore, since shame is the portion she chooses and is not ashamed;
Since without scorn and derision her harlotries may not be named;
Since she has truckled to tyrants, and wantoned with cowards and kings;
Since on her brow is a blood-mark, and healing is not in her wings;
Now shall the people proclaim that the day of her triumph is done.
Swear that her throne shall no more be set up in the sight of the sun;—
Yea, though there come in her stead, or in gloom or in sulphurous glare.
War with his horrible eyes and a hissing of snakes in his hair;
Yet for the glorious sake of the Peace that hereafter shall be,
All men shall turn from the traitress, and swear of her snares to be free;
Shake off her evil dominion, and swiftly make end of her might,
Rend her imperial raiment, and put her away from our sight.
Labadie’s Advice to the “Alarm.”
Dear Comrade Tucker:
I have just read your criticism on the “Alarm” headed “Dissipating a Fog.” I only wish the “Alarm” would take a hint from it. I am sorry that paper is so inconsistent and illogical. The editorial in the last number on “Socialism” is the worst, I think, that I ever read in an advanced reform paper. The editor’s mind seems to be all befogged and to have mixed up in an unrecognisable mass the theories of Anarchism, State Socialism, and Communism. This is true, else I am at sea. If that article gives the true meaning of Socialism, then of course I am not a Socialist. My ideas of these different schools may be mixed also, but let me tell you how they appear to me.
Anarchism means that there shall be no coercive powers — authority — in the hands of any set of men to force the individual to do what he doesn’t want to do; that all the resources of nature shall be free to all alike, and that in consequence no one will claim more than he can use; and that competition shall have absolute sway.
State Socialism means that the will of the majority shall be the law of the land; that all natural resources and capital — the means of production and distribution of wealth — shall be controlled by the State, and that the productions of the individual shall belong to himself, minus enough to keep the capital in good working order; that private property shall extend no further than to the results of one’s own work.
Absolute Communism means that not only shall the means of production and distribution belong to the State, but that the production itself shall belong to the State also, and the individual shall have only what he needs.
Now, I do not believe in Communism, I do not agree wholly with the State Socialists, and my mind is full of doubt as to the practicability of Anarchism. But this I do believe: the duty of the State is simply to see that the right of the individual to the use of all natural products is not abridged, and possibly to control or own those things that in their very nature are monopolies, such as water works in cities, streets, railroads, and a few such enterprises, but that the post-offices, schools, banks, machinery, and things of that nature should be left entirely with individuals. I have not that fear of competition that have so many who write on these subjects. Give every individual an equal chance, and let the best man win. The trouble with State Socialists and their sympathizers is this: they see that the working people now bear a great burden, and they think the proper way to relieve them of that burden is to turn around and burden the other fellows. Give us free land, free money, free schools, free trade,— free competition in all things for that matter,— and I think we will get as near the millennium as it is possible for man to get.
Liberty acts like an invigorator to me every time it comes. It has corrected so many erroneous notions in my mind that I feel ever so grateful to it and you.
Joseph A. Labadie.
Lansing, Michigan, November 14, 1884.
To the Editor of Liberty:
Mind, it’s you that are the intolerant one.
I approve “X’s” and your position as far as it is a positive one regarding yourselves, while I should quite as willingly form a third in your sphere and manner of action as far as my personal predilections go, did the opportunity present. I spoke for others differently constituted, who would be lost in a city but do well and render good service to principles in the country. Now, you squint at my position; you don’t see it fairly. You would lead one that had not read me to regard me as a sort of social Thoreau. Do not let this be construed disrespectfully to Thoreau, for whom I have a true regard; but we are not on the same line of ambitions. You do not attack, nor I defend any actual movement; I do not suppose there is yet anywhere sufficient mutual intelligence and reliance on character among groups of persons of advanced thought to render a segregative impulse feasible. The child’s bones must be knit from their many centres of ossification before that child can move his limbs. So that we have time and time again to quarrel about nothing and make friends again before the issue comes up for judgment.
Don’t keep Liberty to yourself, share it with others!
Leonard E. Read: Accent On The Right: To Frederic Bastiat (1801–1850), who sought for truth rather than outcome and never witnessed the fruits his labor bore. Obedience to conscience was his first rule; we witness the results.
Leonard E. Read: Anything That’s Peaceful: Many favor peace but not many favor the things that make for peace. — Thomas à Kempis
Leonard E. Read: Awake for Freedom’s Sake: Finally, share with others. Forget about “reforming” them! The more we share, the more we learn. This is in the interest of self and freedom!
Leonard E. Read: Castles in the Air: If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; there is where they should be. Now put foundations under them. — Henry David Thoreau
Libertarian Anarchy: Against the State: Political philosophy is dominated by a myth, the myth of the necessity of the state. The state is considered necessary for the provision of many things, but primarily for peace and security. In this provocative book, Gerard Casey argues that social order can be spontaneously generated, that such spontaneous order is the norm in human society and that deviations from the ordered norms can be dealt with without recourse to the coercive power of the state.
Major Conservative and Libertarian Thinkers: Murray Rothbard: Murray Rothbard (1926–1995) was an economist, historian, philosopher, and legal theoretician. His work was unified by a passionate and resolute commitment to a libertarianism that may be characterized as ‘anarcho-capitalism’ and which implied a belief that even the legal system may be provided privately without the need for a coercive collective authority. Hence, anarcho-capitalists envisage a society where the traditional role of government is wholly subsumed by private, profit-making enterprises and all social relationships are ultimately founded upon consent.