“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.
“There’s only one paper in Boston that’s got any brains,” said John Swinton at Faneuil Hall last Monday evening, “and that’s a paper called Liberty.”
The great avidity with which the London “Justice” and “Commonweal” snatch up and reprint stray sentences from a paragraph in which I lately paid the London “Jus” the rather doubtful compliment of asserting its superiority to those sheets, and the equally great care which they evince in suppressing all my expressions of misgiving regarding that new-comer in journalism, do less to fulfil the intended purpose of establishing an affinity between Capitalism and Anarchism than to betray a close kinship between State Socialism and Scoundrelism.
My attention was lately called to a pamphlet of which I had never before heard, entitled “Causes of the Conflict Between Capital and Labor,” and written by D. H. Hendershott, who for many years has been the principal of a public school in Hornellsville, New York. Although I have not yet given it the careful perusal it deserves, and have found no evidence that the author’s thought has led him to a knowledge of what liberty is in its perfection and what it would do for the world, I am so well pleased with his treatment of the questions of rent, interest, profit, and wages that I have decided to include the book in Liberty’s propaganda. It is my intention to have it noticed hereafter at greater length. It is written by an earnest man of independent mind, and deserves attention and study. Any one sending me twenty-five cents will receive the pamphlet, post-paid. It consists of ninety-two large pages.
That vigorous and sharp anti-boodle paper, the New York “Leader,” reports a boycott against the “Sun” instituted by eleven District Assemblies of the Knights of Labor. The “Sun” frantically calls upon the press to protest against this perfectly natural and wise act of passive resistance to its malicious and contemptible course in the treatment of every progressive move on the part of the victims of Tammany Hall thieves and tricksters, and makes itself ridiculous by its mad ravings of assassination and dynamite. “The press must be free!” exclaims Mr. Dana. Certainly. The press is free, but it has abused its freedom most shamefully, because the workingmen were not free and intelligent enough to teach it that the exercise of freedom is had at its own cost. Free men will support a free press as long as it is fair. When the free press chooses to adopt a false and despicable policy, the patrons are free to express their emphatic disapproval by financially wrecking the prostitute who abuses his freedom.
For pure idiocy here is something that distances all competitors. A writer signing “Cornelius,” whom Editor Harman pronounces a clear-headed thinker, says in “Lucifer”: “The rigid righteousness of Mr. Benjamin R. Tucker, of Boston, fits in nowhere in practical life. He would have helped on the persecution of Galileo, because Galileo yielded under pressure of authority; he would have turned the cold shoulder on Roger Williams; he would have encouraged the burning of witches. To the runaway slave he would have said, ‘Go back. By making off in this way you recognize the right of government to enslave, therefore you are unworthy of my friendship and assistance.’ He would not throw a rope to a drowning man on account of a difference of opinion.” This is a specimen of the rot with which “Lucifer’s” columns have been packed ever since I riddled the absurd position of E. C. Walker and his wife with arguments that have received the approval of nearly every prominent Anarchist.
Henry George, in the “Standard,” calls Dr. Cogswell of San Francisco, who has endowed a polytechnic college in that city and for its maintenance has conveyed certain lands to trustees, a “philanthropist by proxy,” on the ground that the people who pay rent for these lands are really taxed by Dr. Cogswell for the support of the college. But what are Henry George himself, by his theory, and his ideal State, by its practice after realization, but “philanthropists by proxy”? What else, in fact, is the State as it now exists? (Oftener a cannibal than a philanthropist, to be sure, but in either case by proxy.) Does not Mr. George propose that the State shall tax individuals to secure “public improvements” which they may not consider such, or which they may consider less desirable to them than private improvements? Does he not propose that individuals shall “labor gratis” for the State, “whether they like it or not”? Does he not maintain that what the State “does with their labor is simply none of their business”? Mr. George’s criticism of Dr. Cogswell is equally a criticism of every form of compulsory taxation, especially the taxation of land values. He has aptly and accurately described himself.
Anarchists Listen to the Siren Song.
To the Editor of Liberty:
I believe that it was our late lamented “X” who once remarked that “in Anarchy abideth much fun.” Recent events in Chicago have strikingly exemplified the truth of this statement. We have just passed through a political struggle, an alleged uprising of the masses, the long-anticipated conflict of “Labor and Capital.” We were assured that “the eyes of the world” were turned toward Chicago with anxious gaze, through the most improved binoculars, to learn the probable fate of the planet upon election day.
Every one — at least in Chicago — I nows that here is the “Centre of the Revolutionary Movement,” though, parenthetically, I must confess that I have met none of the Labor Party who knows what the aforesaid “Movement” is, or has so far calculated the momentum of its progress (if such) or the direction in which said. “Movement” tends. However, in this “Centre,” such questions are useless. For five weeks we have had drilled, I might say, into our minds that the future salvation of the world — whose “eyes” were upon us at the risk of straining their visual range — depended upon a local election in Chicago! Scarcely fledged orators “orated” with a fervency and zeal increasing in geometrical ratio as the awful day of impending fate drew nigh.
The Democracy had been knocked out (I trust the reader will remember that I am still surrounded with the dim haze of political expressions); the Republicans were obliged to go it alone; there was but the long-wished-for contest between those rival mythical giants,— Labor and Capital.
Hope, radiant hope, star-eyed hope (the compositor will supply all necessary quotation marks), for the first time shone resplendent on the ranks of the stalwart sons of toil in their endeavor to secure economic rights through political methods. Zealous orators prophesied the advent of the millennium; told the horny-fisted more glorious tales than in former days I ever heard on the Fourth of July, or in Congress; in the exuberance of their joy forecasting the price of police brass buttons by the bushel, extravagantly placed at six cents!
But, alas! the plans of men as those of mice “aft gang aglee.” The auspicious day arrived in which Labor was to turn the table upon Capital, in which the Creator was to place its heel upon the Creature, in which the waves of Capital were to be stayed by Labor Canute. Poverty was arrayed against wealth, or so thought the orators; strong in their convictions, they rushed to the polls and found — wealth appealing to hungry stomachs! Only the more philosophic of your readers here were able to withstand the infection. The old siren song of giving one more chance was sung in various cadences, and strong supporters and warm admirers of Liberty marched to the polls, and, in the language of my friend Fischer, “sawed the air with pieces of paper!” O tempora! o mores! is it for this, friend Tucker, that thy subscription list has increased? One of my best friends, a guileless youth who devours every number of Liberty and the “Proudhon Library,” and who theoretically is sound enough to be even called a” Boston Anarchist,” celebrated the occasion by casting his first ballot to secure economic emancipation for the future by the political methods of the past. Today he is a sadder but wiser man, and escaped from the avalanche to rush to the suburbs and go out on the prairie and “kick himself.”
Seriously though, how can one but be pessimistic under such circumstances? The “Times” announced the crushing defeat with the scare headline, “Anarchy at an End!” when in fact the bursting of the bubble has set many thinking. How many? I do not know; probably more than Abraham found of just men in Sodom. Reorganization is now the cry. Poverty will again content with wealth; labor still looks upon capital as a foe; the dread bug-a-boo of “Competition” must be destroyed, land nationalized, and the industries of the country — to say nothing of human abilities — be placed under the control of State Socialism.
To tell one of these sawers of the air that free competition is equivalent to equal opportunities; that free competition in the use of land destroys rent; that free money, released from the shackles of special privilege, based upon credit which has its foundation and finds its solvency in character and business capacity, removes interest; thus logically leading to “cost the limit of price,” by which is further eliminated profit,— is but talking to the wind. To tell them that under the absence of restriction, of privilege,— for one implies the other,— the industrious could accumulate wealth; that this could still be used as capital and none be exploited; that it would be the grandest of incentives to the development of talent and genius, when the man of worth could have a palace and yet none be injured,— for rent, interest, and profit, as economists understand them, would be eliminated,— and only the idle, the lazy, the naturally vicious live in hovels,— would be to declare one’s self a crank. They are preeminently “practical”; they saw the air for a definite purpose; they see offices and “boodle” before them; and again, and again, and yet again, they will resort to political methods to secure economic results, as our fathers had resource to prayer meetings, at first, to attain political ends.
After every failure a few drop out, alas! but a few. In the meantime the mad passion for privilege goes on with accelerated speed; and, if I may use such a term in the columns of Liberty, “the logic of events” is leading up to the inevitable social revolution. Fraternally, DYER D. LUM.
Chicago, Illinois, April 6, 1887.
A Cure for the Czar’s Insomnia.
Assassination only retards the movement toward liberty in a country where there is any liberty. The czar can have the benefit of this truth when he grants the Russians any kind of a constitution or any tolerance for argument.
An Old Maxim Modified.
[The South West.]
“The king can do no wrong,” was the sublime assurance of the monarchists in the past. “No wrong can be done to the king,— if we can prevent it,” seems to be the servile assertion of the royal republicans who now run our national government.
The Science of Society.
By Stephen Pearl Andrews.
Cost the Limit of Price:
A Scientific Measure of Honesty in Trade As One of the Fundamental Principles in the Solution of the Social Problem.
Continued from No. 97.
44. Without Equity as a basis on which to rest, the Sovereignty of the Individual is true still as an abstract principle, but wholly incapable of realization. The Individual Sovereign is so de jure, but not de facto. He is a Sovereign without dominion, treated as a pretender, and his claims ridiculed by the actual incumbent. The assertion of Sovereignty is a phantom and a delusion until the Sovereign comes to his own. The Cost Principle, as the essential element of Equity, gives to each his own, while nothing else can. Hence, again, the intimate and necessary relation between these two principles.
45. The doctrine of the Sovereignty of the Individual is already beginning to develop itself, originally in an abstract form, in various quarters, and to take a well-defined shape in many minds. It has been announced in substance, recently, by several able writers, not accompanied, however, by the indispensable scientific limitation,— ”To be exercised at his own cost,”— without which it is a principle of anarchy and confusion, instead of order. To preach the doctrine, even with the limitation, apart from its basis in equity, is disturbing. It is the announcement to slaves of their inherent right to be free, at the same time that you leave them hopeless of the realization of freedom. It is to unfit men for their present relations while offering them no means of inaugurating truer relations. It is “to curse men’s stars, and give them no sun.” As a preliminary work to the impending reconstruction, the unsettling of men’s minds may be a necessity, but “transitions are painful,” and humanity demands that the interval should be shortened between inspiring a want and actualizing the conditions of its gratification.
46. The essential condition of freedom is disconnection — individualization — disintegration of interests. The essential condition of disconnection is that that be given to each which belongs to each. All harmonic unity is a result or growth from the prior society, of fealty and protection, and consequent mutual amalgamation or combinations of interests, is a species of amorphous conglomerate, of which the past progress of Reform has been the gradual dissolution. Reform and consequent individualization is the tendency of this age. The process thus commenced must go on to completion, until every man and every woman and, to an appropriate extent, every child, is a perfect Individual, with an interest, an administration, and a destiny solely and emphatically under his or her own control. Out of that condition of things, and concurrently with it, and just in proportion to its completeness, will grow a more intimate harmony, or, if you will, unity of sentiment, and human affections, and mutual regard, begotten purely of attraction, than can be conceived of in the midst of the mutual embarrassment and constraint of our day, and of our order of life. It is only when each individual atom of the dusky mineral is disintegrated from every other, held in complete solution, and allowed to obey, without let or hindrance, the law of its own interior impulse, that each shoots spontaneously to its own place, and that all concur in voluntary union to constitute the pellucid crystal or the sparkling diamond of the mines. So in human affairs, what is feared by the timid conservative as the dissolution of order is, in fact, merely the preliminary stage of the true harmonic Constitution of Society,— the necessary analysis to its genuine and legitimate synthesis.
47. The connection of the Cost Principle with the Adaptation of the Supply to the Demand has been already pointed out. The nature and necessity of an Equitable Money, as the instrument of working the Cost Principle, will be demonstrated, as previously stated, in a subsequent chapter. In this manner the interrelations of this circle of principles are established, not so fully as the nature of the subject demands, but as much so as the incidental character of the present notice will permit.
48. But, although it may be admitted that we gain something of freedom in the action of the Individual by avoiding combinations of interest, do we not lose, by that means, the benefits of cooperation and the economies of the large scale? This question is important, and demands a satisfactory and conclusive answer. That answer is given in the whole treatise which follows. It is admitted that heretofore no other means for securing those ends have been known. It is asserted, however, that principles are now known by which all the higher results of social harmony can be achieved without that fatal feature of combination, which has promised, but failed, to realize them. Hence we draw a new and technical distinction between Combination and Cooperation, and insist on that distinction with great rigor. We assert that the true principles of Social Science are totally averse to combinations of interest. At the same time we admit freely that any principles which should not secure the greatest conceivable amount of Cooperation would fail entirely of solving the problem in question.
49. By Combinations are meant partnership interests and community of property or administration, such as confuse, in any degree, or obliterate the lines of Individuality in the ownership or use of property.
50. By Cooperation, or cooperative relations, is meant such an arrangement of the property and industrial interests of the different Individuals of the community that each, in pursuing his own pleasure or benefit, contributes incidentally to the pleasure or benefit of the others.
51. We assume the burden of proof. We admit the obligation resting upon us to establish the position that extreme Individuality or disconnection of interests is compatible — contrary to all previous opinion — with as thorough and extended Cooperation as can exist in any system of Combinations whatsoever.
52. It must not be understood that disconnection of interests implies, in the slightest degree, an isolation of persons. A hundred or a thousand men may be engaged in the same shop, and still their interests be entirely individualized. Such is the case now under the present wages system. The laborers in a manufacturing establishment, for example, have no common interest, no partnership, no combined responsibilities. Their interests are completely individualized, and yet they work together. This is all right. It is not at this point that the evil lurks which the Socialist seeks, or should seek, to remedy. Besides this, these men and women now cooperate completely in their labor. They all work at distinct functions to a common end, which is Cooperation. The evil to be remedied is neither in their individuality of interests nor in any want of cooperation. It is solely in the want of mutuality in the results of that Cooperation,— in other words, in the want of Equity,— in the want of a regulating principle which would secure to each the full, legitimate results of his own labor. The difficulty is that the whole hundred, or the whole thousand men now labor and cooperate, not for their own benefit, but for the benefit of one,— the employer. Under the operation of the Cost Principle their interests will be individual as they are now; they will cooperate as they do now, or, rather, more perfectly but they will cooperate for all others, merely the equivalent and reward of his own labor.
53. I feel painfully that by attempting such a condensation of these matters I am liable to render myself woefully obscure. I will take a special occasion to show that “Equitable Commerce” is not the antagonist of any other of the great Reforms proposed, but that it comes in as the harmonizer of the whole. If it be claimed by his admirers that Fourier has shown “the what” of harmonic social relations, Warren shows “the how” to realize such relations, in which last respect Social Reformers generally have been lamentably deficient.
54. I will conclude by stating how the Cost Principle, in its operation, will address itself to the different classes of community, so that those who feel no demand need not be overburdened by the supply.
The whole community may be divided, under this system,— not according to the old classification of Political Economy into producers and non-producers,— but into those who receive more than equivalents for their labor and those who receive less than equivalents,— those who perform no productive labor and receive a living or more than that being included in the former class.
Of these classes, the latter — all those who receive less than equivalents, including the great mass of simple operatives who have not the aid of capital — have an immediate and pecuniary interest in at once adopting the principle.
The remaining class — those who receive more than equivalents — have no such interest, but contrariwise. Of these only such as are moved by consideration of benevolence or justice, or the love of order and harmony in human relations, or by the sense of insecurity even for the rich in the existing order of society, or by an appreciation of the higher gratifications of taste through the general prevalence of refinement, luxury, and wealth, have any demand for this new principle of commerce; and so soon as those with whom such considerations are not potential have read enough to know how equivalents can be measured, and that they are now on the gaining side, they will need no further supply of this reform, and the reform must go on without them, as it best may. There are only distant advantages to offer them, and as they have the immediate advantages in their own hands, they must be expected to do the best they can to retain them. The peculiarity of the movement is, however, that it does not proceed by their leave.
Equity and the Labor Note.
55. Human beings are subject to various wants. Some of these wants have to be supplied to sustain life at all; others to render life comfortable and happy. If an individual produced, with no aid from others, all the numerous things requisite to supply his wants, the things which he produced — his products — would belong to himself. He would have no occasion to exchange with others, and they would have no equitable claims upon him for any thing which was his.
56. But such is not the case. We all want continually for our own support or comfort those things which are produced by others. Hence we exchange products. Hence comes trade,— buying and selling,— Commerce, including the hiring of the labor of others. Trade is, therefore, a necessity of human society, and consists of the exchange of the labor, or the products of the labor, of one person, for the labor, or the products of the labor, of another person.
57. It is clear, if this exchange is not equal, if one party gives more of his own labor — either in the form of labor or product—than he gets of the labor of the other,— either in the form of labor or product,— that he is oppressed, and becomes, so far as this inequality goes, the slave or subject of the other. He has, just so far, to expend his labor, not for his own benefit, but for the benefit of another. To produce good or beneficent results from trade, therefore, the exchanges should be equal. Hence it follows that the essential element of beneficent Commerce is equity, or that which is just and equal between man and man.
58. The fundamental inquiry, therefore, upon the answer to which, alone, a Science of Commerce can be erected, is the true measure of Equity, or, what is the same thing, the measure of price in the exchange of labor and commodities. This question is one of immense importance, and, strange to say, it is one which has never received the slightest consideration, which has never, indeed, been raised either by Political Economists, Legislators, or Moralists. The only question discussed has been, what it is which now regulates price,— never what should regulate it. It is admitted, nevertheless, that the present system of Commerce distributes wealth most unjustly. Why, then, should we not ask the question, What principle or system of Commerce would distribute it justly? Why not apply our philosophy to discovering the true system, rather than apply it to the investigation of the laws according to which the false system works out its deleterious results.
59. Simple Equity is this, that so much of your labor as I take and apply to my benefit, so much of my labor ought I to give you to be applied to your benefit; and, consequently, if I take a product of your labor instead of the labor itself, and pay you in a product of my labor, the commodity which I give you ought to be one in which there is just as much labor as there is in the product which I receive.
The same idea may be differently presented in this manner. It is Equity that every individual should sustain just as much of the common burden of life as has to be sustained by any body on his account. Such would be the result if each produced for himself all that he consumed, as in the first case supposed above; and the fact that it is found convenient to exchange labor and the products of labor does not vary the definition of Equity in the least.
60. To a well-regulated mind the preceding propositions present an obvious and self-evident truth, like the proposition that two and two make four, demanding no other proof than the statement itself. Yet simple and undeniable as they appear, with thus distinctly propounded, the consequences which inevitably follow from the principle which they affirm are ultra-radical and revolutionary of all our existing commercial relations, as will be shown in the subsequent chapters of this work. They contain merely, however, a statement of the Principle of Equity. They leave the question of the Method of making an application of the principle still open. They do not furnish the means of arriving at the measure of Equity. This, then, is the next step in the investigation.
61. If I exchange my labor against yours, the first measure that suggests itself for the relative amount of labor performed by each is the length of time that each is employed. If all pursuits were equally laborious, or, in other words, if all labor were equally repugnant or toilsome,— if it cost equal amounts of human suffering or endurance for each hour of time employed in every different pursuit, then it would be exact Equity to exchange one hour of labor for one other hour of labor, or a product which has in it one hour of labor for another product which has in it one hour of labor the world over. Such, however, is not the case. Some kinds of labor are exceedingly repugnant, while others are less so, and others still more pleasing and attractive. There are differences of this sort which are agreed upon by all the world. For example, sweeping the filth from the streets, or standing in the cold water and dredging the bottom of a stream, would be, by general consent, regarded as more repugnant, or, in the common language on the subject, harder work, than laying out a garden, or measuring goods.
But besides this general difference in the hardness or repugnance of work, there are individual differences in the feeling toward different kinds of labor which make the repugnance or attraction of one person for a particular kind of labor quite different from that of another. Labor is repugnant or otherwise, therefore, more or less, according to the individualities and opportunities of persons.
If you inquire among a dozen men what each would prefer to do, you will find the greatest diversity of choice, and you will be surprised to find some choosing such occupations as are the least attractive to you. It is the same among women as respects the labors which they pursue.
62. It follows from these facts that Equity in the exchange of labor, or the products of labor, cannot be arrived at by measuring the labor of different persons by the hour merely. Equity is the equality of burdens according to the requirements of each person, or, in other words, the assumption of as much burden by each person as has to be assumed by somebody, on his account, so that no one shall be living by imposing burdens on others. Time is one element in the measurement of the burdens of labor, but the different degrees of repugnance in the different kinds of labor prevent it from being the only one. Hence it follows that there must be some means of measuring this repugnance itself,— in other words, of determining the relative hardness of different kinds of work,— before we can arrive at an equitable system of exchanging labor and the products of labor. If we could measure the general average of repugnance,— that is, if we could determine how people generally regard the different kinds of labor as to their agreeableness or disagreeableness,— still that would not insure Equity in the exchange between individuals, on account of those individualities of character and taste which have been adverted to. It is an equality of burden between the two individuals who exchange which must be arrived at, and that must be according to the estimate which each honestly forms of the repugnance to him or her of the particular labor which he or she performs, and which, or the products of which, are to be exchanged.
To be continued.
By Georges Sauton.
Translated from the French for Liberty by Sarah E. Holmes.
Continued from No. 97.
Then Richard comprehended that his father, misled among the Bunclodyans to spy them, was in danger of death, of a death which he perhaps merited, but called down on him, imposed on him, by Lady Ellen, and always with the same aim,— to free herself so that, as a widow, she could marry her incestuous lover.
To do nothing in these circumstances, when he clearly perceived the Machiavelian designs of the Duchess, and while it was not too late to interpose, was equivalent to complicity, and he had no wish to bear this charge.
From the balcony he notified the soldiers, who were finishing the funeral task, to remain in arms, ready to follow where he would lead them, and, in spite of Ellen’s imprecations, in spite of her efforts to detain him, clinging to his arm and making him drag her on the carpet, getting up again and barring the door, imperious, imploring, and at last letting him go with a sarcasm, weary of struggling, her limbs bruised, and believing that Richard would not arrive in time,— he had gone!
But on the way he enjoined upon his men to be cool, to spare especially the women, and he forbade them to use their guns. To deliver Lord Newington,— that was their only duty.
They would succeed without bloodshed; and the soldiers promised, winking and laughing at his credulity. They had been out of work too long. Only now and then a few blows to give to some refractory soldier who had been ordered to fatigue-duty and who had refused, to paladins protecting some jade who repulsed them, to some mocking child, to some scornful old man.
“Outside of the King’s peace” remained a vain phrase, a derisive formula devoid of sense; and these privations were made heavier by Sir Richard’s appeal to the officers. Ah! many thanks! they would make up for lost time, for the consideration and reserve and respect which had been forced upon them.
And, as soon as Treor’s threshold was crossed, profiting by the occasion of the pistol shots fired by the Duke, they gave rein to their concentrated desire for carnage, to their sanguinary instincts at last unbridled, to their thirst for revenge for so much burdensome prudence.
Vainly Sir Richard recalled them to calmness and self-possession; they struck as if they were deaf, they wounded as if they were blind, struck and wounded themselves, moreover, with usury.
Irishwomen, Irishmen, soldiers, the same frenzy intoxicated each, and, all the combatants intertwined, forming compact groups, no one dared to use his weapons, for fear of striking the friends and comrades next him; and the fight went on, not less fiercely, but, on the contrary, more savagely, with the natural weapons: a battle of enraged animals strangling each other, biting each other everywhere, taking shreds of flesh from shoulders, from limbs, with rags of clothing, from the face, baring the cheek-bones and the double row of teeth.
Edith, crouching, wound her arms around Newington’s legs and cried out that she had done so, but was not heard in the uproar of insults, cries of pain, stamping, collisions, tumbling of furniture and partitions, and breaking of plates and dishes.
And the Christmas tree overturned in the fireplace, its branches quickly caught fire, and the flames communicated to the floor, where grease-spots promptly fed them.
Tables and chairs taking fire, the conflagration spread rapidly to the beams and the thatch of the roof, roaring as it went, and the Britons, filled with fear at the thought of burning alive, struggled no longer except for their personal safety, trying to free themselves from the arms entwined around them and to get out of the house, cost what it might. “Cursed witch!” howled Newington, delayed by the bonds in which he was held by the old woman dragging after him and holding him fast in her muscles like an immovable rock.
At times a sudden stream of flame shot out with a hiss, licking the faces, stinging the skin, cutting the flesh, and stimulating the desire to escape of all who hurried, pell-mell, in a general scramble, except Paddy, Treor, and Harvey, who tried to organize the exit of their people by the court, the Duke, who denounced the deserters fleeing from his side, and Sir Richard, terrified at the sudden appearance of Marian in the midst of the flames.
Confiding the children to a neighbor who had arrived, and who took them away to their homes where they were sheltered from the quarrel, far from the disaster, the young girl reentered into the contest in which her grandfather and her Irish brothers were perhaps suffering their death agonies, to console them, dress their wounds, die with them!
Through the clouds of powder and the smoke of the fire, she looked at Sir Richard with severity, almost with horror, attributing to him the unchaining of all this demoniac fury, the responsibility for this orgy of murder, for this mad destruction of men and things.
But with looks more eloquent than speech he protested energetically; and as Harvey, comprehending too late that his generosity had been untimely and foolish, was about to repair his errors by blowing out Newington’s brains, having already placed the mouth of a pistol against the Duke’s temple for the purpose, Sir Bradwell knocked up the weapon with the end of his cane, for he had neither rifle, nor dagger, nor sword, and proposed an arrangement, an armistice.
On hearing the noise of the combat, the Ancient Britons and Gowan’s Mob came running up, at race-horse speed.
Their hurrahs of encouragement or of menace reached the interior of the house in spite of the uproar of the expiring struggle, of the cries of pain, of the vociferations, of the clatter of guns falling on the floor, of the noise of falling beams.
The dwelling surrounded, not one of the Bunclodyans could escape from it without suffering summary execution, or certain capture, in case they should reserve him for worse tortures in the future. In these conditions, even-handed exchange: Newington to be saved, and the troops who were coming to receive orders to retreat and return to their barracks. That is to say, to Treor, to Sir Harvey, the leader, to them all the arrangement spared not only the death which they braved, but the possibility of completing their undertaking for the salvation of Ireland.
“Do not listen to him,” thundered Newington, scarlet, his eyes starting from their sockets, congested by the idea of this merchandizing which he rated as pusillanimous, sullying his dignity and capable of compromising the success of the repressive movement.
“Do you accept?” asked Brad well.
“No, kill me!” growled the Duke, still held motionless by the weapon, and who felt, nevertheless, on his forehead the coldness of the steel.
“I accept,” said Harvey, “on condition that hostilities shall be suspended until tomorrow on your part and on ours.”
“No, kill me!” howled Newington, who was still held by the arms, his fleeing ‘soldiers not dreaming of coming to his relief and his son having no power to aid him, being held at a respectful distance by a group of Irishmen, who separated them from each other.
“And on our side,” resumed the agitator, half asphyxiated by the thickening smoke, so dense that they could no longer distinguish each other,— “and on our side plenty of leisure to abandon arms and the village with its horrors of war, to I go in whatever direction we wish, without being disturbed by any of the regular or irregular troops, any guerillas, any partisans of yours.”
“Never!” cried the Duke.
“Agreed!” said Sir Richard.
“With the further condition that no messenger despatched by you or yours shall transmit to the regiments on the march the secret of our plan, fraudulently, dishonestly detected by Lord Newington.”
“I refuse!” exclaimed the Duke, who was foaming with impotent rage.
“I accept!” said Bradwell again.
“You swear it?”
“I swear it.”
“In that case, Sir Newington is free,” pronounced Harvey, solemnly.
And, in spite of himself, liberated, unobstructed, pushed out of the house where he persisted in staying,— for he knew that honor would constrain him not to break the engagement, the oath of his son,— the Duke, expecting to sink with withering rage, witnessed the retreat of his soldiers, cursing, rebelling, throwing to the ground their useless muskets, breaking their sabres, accusing Sir Richard, without fear of being punished, or made examples of, of cowardice, of treason, of desertion, of bargaining with the enemy, of having dishonored them, sold them, made money out of them and of England.
“The first who mutters.” said the young man, phlegmatically, “the first whose gesture again offends me, who comments on my action by a look, inscribes himself against my will, whoever does not bow passively to my orders, let his head be broken!”
There was a silence, while the roof of Treor fell in almost upon Edith, whom they had been obliged to carry outside, as she had gloomily resolved to perish in the ruins.
Between her contracted jaws she stammered:
“Duchess of Newington, murderess of my child, of my Michael, may the wrath of God soon weigh down upon your head!”
For two days the troop of Bunclodyans have been on their way toward the bay of Cork.
Faithful to the promise given, the Duke of Newington had not disturbed them, and they advanced tranquilly, rallying on the way the hunters, the pike-men, the riflemen, the fishermen, the miners—a hundred men here, fifty, twenty, thirty there, the value of a company, of a platoon, of a squad. The hamlets and every farm furnished a handful of men; from a hovel on the side of the road came out on the threshold, awaiting the procession, the father and his sons; women joined the little army, a pitch-fork under the arm or on the shoulder, or else carrying a scythe grown rusty, so long had the harvests slept in the furrows; and when they had passed a village, the rear-guard would hear all at once galloping after them urchins, escaped from their homes, and whom they could not succeed in sending back to their parents. They brandished cutlasses and knotty clubs and put handles to bits of iron, and so much patriotism shone in their clear eyes that they cheered up the loiterers, those whom the hunger and the increasing cold rendered less enthusiastic about the adventures of war!
Treor, Harvey, now in the advance-guard, now in the rear, distributed enthusiasm the whole length of the column, receiving the assurance of warm devotion, and, to lighten the burden of the march on the road, which, in spite of the distance traversed, still stretched a pretty piece ahead, Paddy Neill, the life of this solemn body, sang national airs, taking the place of the absent flourish of trumpets and the drums which enliven the steps of marching troops.
They joined in the choruses, joyfully, forgetting their weariness, and in the sweetness of the melodies which succeeded the songs of war, in the lullaby of the lieds, each recalled the rare tranquil evenings of old, in the years when the hands of the English weighed less heavily on Ireland, through the generosity of the governor’s wife, through the marvellous gentleness selfishly shown by the sovereign and the landlords.
However, lest these melancholy returns towards a past which was peaceful, but submitted to shameful slavery, might weaken wavering energies, if any were lo he found in the ranks, Marian, suddenly, in a moment of silence, sang in her grave, pure voice, of a silvery tone with fully vibrating notes, the proscribed song, the sad national air:
O, Paddy dear, and did you hear the news that’s going round?
The Shamrock is forbid by law to grow on Irish ground
No more St. Patrick’s day we’ll keep, his color last be seen,
For there’s a bloody law agin the wearing of the green.
And the entire little army, in deep bass voices of the men, the tenors of the young men, the sopranos of the young girls and children, in an impressive unison which rang like a chorus of the faithful under the high arches of the church, kept up the interesting succession of verses:
O, I met with Napper Tandy, and he took me by the hand.
And he says, “How is Ould Ireland, and how does she stand?”
“She’s the most distressed country that ever I have seen,
For they are hanging men and women for the wearing of the green.”
Over these couplets, sung with a dragging melody, as if wet with tears and stamped with sighs, the surge of the marchers slightly slackened, undulating in meditation, like a procession following a funeral hearse; then, suddenly, passion flamed up in their hearts, kindling their voices, and accelerating the steps of the battalions with these words:
And since the color we must wear is England’s cruel red,
Ould Ireland’s sons will ne’er forget the blood that they have shed:
Then take the Shamrock from your hat, and cast it on the sod.
It will take root, and flourish still, though under foot ‘tis trod.
When the law can stop the blades of grass from growing as they grow.
And when the leaves in summer-time their verdure do not show.
Then I will change the color I wear in my cabbeen.
But till that day, plaze God, I’ll stick to the wearing of the green.
The words burst forth like challenges, and, reechoing from the hillsides, might doubtless have reached the ears of the enemy in the distance; and the over-excited band, impatient for the fight, begged that they might, instead of going to the post assigned by Harvey, march immediately to meet the English troops and engage at once in battle, breast to breast, instead of intrenching themselves behind fortifications, like cowards.
Face to face, to gratify their repressed fury, choosing each his adversary, recognizing by physiognomy, according to his particular ideal, the type best incarnating tyranny and bloody despotism!
But Harvey and Treor, while applauding their enthusiasm, their feverishness, reasoned with them. They must not act from their individual hatred; from their preference for one kind of action rather than another, but from the end in view,— the deliverance of the country.
To be continued
“In abolishing rent and interest, the last vestiges of old-time slavery, the Revolution abolishes at one stroke the sword of the executioner, the seal of the magistrate, the club of the policeman, the gunge of the exciseman, the erasing-knife of the department clerk, all those insignia of Politics, which young Liberty grinds beneath her heel.” — Proudhon.
The appearance in the editorial column of articles over other signatures than the editor’s initial indicates that the editor approves their central purpose and general tenor, though he does not hold himself responsible for every phrase or word. But the appearance in other parts of the paper of articles by the same or other writers by no means indicates that he disapproves them in any respect, such disposition of them being governed largely by motives of convenience.
Pinney His Own Procrustes.
Having exhausted the resources of sophistry, and unable longer to dodge the inexorable and Procrustean logic of Pinney, the anti-Prohibitionist, Pinney, the Protectionist, has subsided, and is now playing possum in the Procrustean bed in which Pinney, the anti-Prohibitionist, has laid him. But Pinney, the Green-backer, evidently hopes still, by some fortunate twist or double, to find an avenue of escape yet open, and thus avoid the necessity of doing the possum act twice. Accordingly, in his Winsted “Press” of April 7, he makes several frantic dashes into the dark, the first of which is as follows:
Our first objection to free money was that the great variety of issues, coupled with a questionable security, would limit circulation to local circuits and subject the bill holder to harassing uncertainty as to the value of currency in his possession and to constant risk of loss. To illustrate this defect we mentioned the experience of the people with the old State bank bills, which experience, disastrous as it was, did not offer a fair parallel simply and solely because it was not disastrous enough, the banks being limited and regulated in a measure by State laws and machinery to enforce contracts. Our Boston Procrustes thereupon plunged straight into trouble by denying the similitude, because forsooth the old banks were incorporated institutions not perfectly free to cheat their creditors, forgetting that, in so far as they differed from free banks, the difference in point of security, scope of credit, etc., was in our favor.
That is one way of putting it. Here is another. Free money advocates hold that security is one (only one) essential of good money, and that competition is sure to provide this essential, competition being simply natural selection or the survival of the fittest, and the fittest necessarily possessing the quality of security. But they have never held that it was impossible for monopoly to furnish a temporarily secure money. It may or may not do so, according to the prescribed conditions of its existence. Pending the universal bankruptcy and revolution to which it inevitably will lead if allowed to live long enough, the national bank monopoly furnishes a money tolerably well secured. But the old State bank monopoly furnished a money far inferior in point of security, not because it was a freer system,— for it was not,— not because the conditions of its existence were less artificially and compulsorily prescribed,— for they were not,— but because the conditions thus prescribed were less in accordance with wise business principles and administration. The element of competition, or natural selection, upon which the free money advocates rely for the supply of a money that combines security with all other necessary qualities, was just as much lacking from the old State bank system as it is from the present national bank system. Therefore, to say of the State banks that, “in so far as they differed from free banks, the difference in point of security, scope of credit, etc., was in their favor” is to beg the question entirely; and accordingly, when Mr. Pinney, as sole proof of an assertion that free money would be unsafe money, offered the insecurity of the old State hank bills, I informed him that there was not the slightest pertinence in his illustration, whereby I plunged, not myself, but Mr. Pinney into trouble.
To get out of it he performs a double which eclipses all his previous evolutions. Finding that he must deal in some way with my statement that the monopoly of money inheres in the compulsory conditions of its issue, chief among which are the government bond basis in the national bank system and the specie basis in the old State bank system, he asks:
How then about your free banking? Are there not any “compulsory conditions”? Free bank notes can be issued only by those who have government bonds, or specie, or property of some sort, we suppose, so there are your “compulsory conditions,” enforced by the business law of self-preservation (for State law is not to be mentioned in Anarchist ears), and “the monopoly inheres in these compulsory conditions.” Behold, then, the new monopoly of those who have property!
To this absurdity there are two answers. In the first place, it is not true that under a free banking system “notes can be issued only by those who have property of some sort.” They can be issued and offered in the market by anybody who desires. To be sure, none will be taken except those issued by persons having either property or credit. But there is no monopoly of issue or the right to issue, no denial of liberty. If Mr. Pinney should claim that this answer amounts to nothing because issue is valueless without circulation, I shall then remind him of my previous statement that the circulation of an abundance of cheap and sound money benefits those who use it no less than those who issue it, and tends to raise the laborer’s wages to a level with his product,— a point which he carefully avoids in his last article, because he knows that he cannot dispute it, having frequently maintained the same thing himself.
But, in the second place, Mr. Pinney’s argument that the possession of property is a necessary condition of the issue and circulation of money, and that therefore free money is as much a compulsory monopoly as that of the government which prescribes the possession of a certain kind of property as a condition of even the issue of money, is precisely on a par with — in fact, is a glaring instance of — the reasoning resorted to by those friends of despotism who deny political and social liberty on the ground of philosophical necessity. The moment any person, in the name of human freedom, claims the right to do anything which another person does not want him to do, you will hear the second person cry: “Freedom! Impossible! There’s no such thing. None of us are free. Are we not all governed by circumstances, by our surroundings, by motives beyond our control? Bow, then, to the powers that be!” Boiled down, the argument of these people and of Mr. Pinney is this: “No one can do as he pleases. Therefore you must do as we please.” It needs only to be stated in this bald form to be immediately rejected. Hence I shall attempt no further refutation of it. Mr. Pinney will please bear in mind hereafter that, when I use the word monopoly, I refer not to such monopolies as result from natural evolution independent of government, but to monopolies imposed by arbitrary human power. He knew it very well before, but he must dodge, and this was the only dodge left. Let the reader note here, however, how his double undid him. He says that under free banking the condition of a secure basis for money would be “enforced by the business law of self-preservation,” exactly the opposite of his original charge that free money would be unsafe.
But he is not yet done with this twaddle about “compulsory conditions.” Read again:
Mr. Tucker cannot see that there is any difference in principle between a law which absolutely prohibits the sale of an article, and a law which taxes the seller of that article. The tax is a “compulsory condition” which prohibits till it is complied with. The possession of property is another compulsory condition which prohibits free banking till it is complied with. Therefore there is no difference between absolute prohibition of free banking and the monopolistic condition that practically prohibits a man from being a free banker unless he can put up the security.
Utter confusion again! Mr. Pinney seems unable to distinguish between disabilities created by human meddlesomeness and those that are not. The law which prohibits a sale and the law which taxes the seller both belong to the former class; the lack of property belongs to the latter, or rather belongs to the latter when conditions are normal. It is true that the lack of property which at present prevails arises in most cases out of the very denial of free banking, but I cannot believe that even Mr. Pinney would cap the climax of his absurdity by assigning as a reason for the further denial of free banking a condition of affairs which has grown out of its denial in the past. The number of people who now own property, and the amount of property which they own, are sufficient to insure us an abundance of money as soon as its issue shall be allowed, and from the time this issue begins the total amount of property and the number of property-owners will steadily increase.
To my objection to his government money monopoly that it would be Communistic robbery to mortgage all the wealth of the nation to secure all the money of the nation, Mr. Pinney can only make answer that the possibility that the government would foreclose the mortgage — that is, increase taxation — would be very remote. As if any possibility could be considered remote which is within the power and for the interest of lawmakers to achieve, and as if it were not the end and aim of government to tax the people all that it possibly can!
An Anarchic “State.”
Mr. Charles Bradlaugh, of England, has undertaken the commendable work of exposing the “fallacies and dangers of [State] Socialism,” upon which subject he has lately been doing considerable writing and lecturing. And, coming from the pen of a bourgeois reformer who antagonizes the revolutionary drift in society, his objections and exceptions to the teachings of State Socialism must be pronounced weighty and serious. As a general thing, Socialism has little to fear from the side occupied by the conservatives; for, utterly unable to deny the truth of the grave charges which the Socialists make against the existing conditions, manifestly unjust and monstrous, to prove the unsoundness of the central and basic statements of their theory, or to propose anything like the semblance of an adequate and complete settlement of the troubles now disrupting society, they can only raise trivial and comparatively insignificant objections to Socialism, thereby showing their own incompetency to deal with the vital issues and burning questions of our day, and adding to, rather than lessening, the strength of their opponents. None but Anarchists can successfully combat State Socialism, and the Socialists seem to be aware of this fact and try to keep at a safe distance from our camp, preferring to have an altogether easy time in storming defenceless positions. To a certain degree, Mr. Bradlaugh shares in this common weakness of his fellow-thinkers, and Mrs. Besant, who attempts a reply to him from her standpoint, which she claims is that of State Socialism, naturally improves this opportunity of triumphantly pointing out to Mr. Bradlaugh that he had not carried the “central citadel of Socialism,” and declares that she and thousands more must remain Socialists until he meets their “main contention that private property in wealth-material results in the servitude of the unpropertied to the propertied class.” She might even have quoted John Stuart Mill, who admitted that the imperfections and supposed evils of Communism are as nothing compared with the iniquities of the present system. Nevertheless, Mr. Bradlaugh advances some strong arguments,— sufficiently strong, in fact, to compel Mrs. Besant to entirely abandon State Socialism in her endeavor to answer them, as I will presently indicate.
Mr. Bradlaugh writes:
I understand and define Socialism as (1) denying, or destroying, all individual private property; and (2) as affirming that society organized as the State should own all wealth, direct all labor, and compel the equal distribution of all produce. I understand a Socialistic State to be (3) that State in which everything would be common as to its user, and in which all labor would be controlled by the State, which from the common stock would maintain the laborer, and would take all the produce of the labor. That is (4), I identify Socialism with Communism.
To establish the correctness of this definition of Socialism, Mr. Bradlangh quotes several representative Socialistic writers; but Mrs. Besant does not find in those quotations “a word of the destruction of all private property, but only the claim for the appropriation by the community of all material necessary for the production of wealth,” and gives her own views as to what the State does and does not propose to do, as follows:
What the Scientific Socialist proposes to do is to take over the land and the total capital of the country (plant, means of transit, banks, etc.) into the hands of the community; those who want to earn a living, i.e., all healthy adults, will have to utilize this material. Suppose the Northumberland Miners’ Association desire to work the Northumberland mines, they would have to pay rent to the State (the whole community) for the right to work them; suppose the nail-makers of a town desired to utilize the factories in which they had worked as “hands,” they would have to pay rent to the State for the use of land, factory, plant, etc. And now suppose that an individual nailmaker, dissatisfied with his work in the cooperative factory, determined to save some of his earnings and set up nailmaking on his own account. Need the State be convulsed, need his deserted fellow-workers of the factory cry out for a law to stop him? Not a bit of it. Unless the whole experience of the last century as to the advantages of division of labor and of large production over small he a delusion, the cooperative workers may look on at the individual capitalist with extreme serenity.
It is almost superfluous to comment upon the revolting injustice of the proposal to exact payment from the workers for the use of all the things mentioned. Why should the individual pay rent for land to the State? And if the “taking over of the total capital of the country” means simply expropriation of the present capitalists and owners, who but the “hands” directly utilizing it can lay any claim to it? Many more questions might be asked, but it is not essential to my purpose, which is merely to show that the above is not State Socialism. It is better and worse than State Socialism at the same time. While it does not propose to dictate to these cooperative associations the methods of management, number of hours, prices, etc., it compels them to pay tribute for the use of the materials. Presumably the tax thus collected is intended for public benefits (salaries of officials), but would not the prices of the commodities be proportionately higher? Why not let these associations use the materials free as long as they make cost the limit of price? This is precisely what the Anarchistic Communists contend for; but Mrs. Besant, though insisting that, as Scientific, not Utopian, Socialists, they are not obliged to have “every detail mapped out on paper” refuses to accept Kropotkine’s plan of federated communes on the ground that she could form no clear idea of the relations supposed to exist between the communes, mindless of the fact that, in repudiating Mr. Bradlaugh’s idea of the Socialistic State’s functions and in restricting it to the collecting of rent from the producers’ associations which use the wealth-material of the community, she leaves the same uncertainty as regards the interrelations of these associations.
No, Mrs. Besant misconceives the position of the logical State Socialists, and Mr. Bradlaugh has the correct version. The “clock-work regularity” in the production and distribution of goods which August Bebel guarantees, can be obtained only by means of the State “owning all wealth, directing all labor, and compelling the equal distribution of all produce.” Mrs. Besant is drifting toward Anarchism. By granting the liberty of the individual nailmaker to “purchase” wealth-material from the State and go into the nailmaking business for himself she saps the foundations of her State. True, she sneers at the bare thought of the possibility of this individual worker competing with the large productive establishments, but her confidence is extremely ill-grounded. In the first place, the lead of one bolting nailmaker is sure to be followed by many more, who will naturally desire to settle with the State and be free. In the second place,— and to this point special attention is called,— no worker will consent to pay rent for those materials and that capital which he himself produces and accumulates after the inauguration of State Socialism. Starting out with no capital of his own, he has no choice but to use that of the State, which this last gets by expropriating the present private capitalists. As fast, however, as these proletaires can save up some of their earnings, they abandon the workshops of the State and form private cooperative concerns. Thus, if the State adopts Mrs. Besant’s policy, its existence is merely temporary, and its speedy and final disappearance made the eager wish, and interest of all producers. To maintain itself it must then again expropriate the private capitalists. These difficulties are easily removed by appropriating the surplus value of the products of all laborers and allowing them just enough to supply their daily needs. Unless the State contemplated by Socialists means to do this, it will be done for before it will have time to wonder what it was begun for.
Congratulating Mrs. Besant on the love of freedom shown in her disinclination to place herself squarely on despotic ground, I invite her to consider the position and teachings of the Anarchistic Socialists. There she will find all the good contained in Socialism and not a particle of the bad. While State Socialism removes the disease by killing the patient, no-State Socialism offers him the means of recovering strength, health, and vigor.
A Natural Alliance.
All lovers of liberty and progress have mourned over the depressing news of the recent unsuccessful attempts of the heroic Russian revolutionists to put an end to the bloody career of that brutal, cowardly, and inhuman wretch whose miserable existence on this planet is a perpetual and fruitful source of woe and misery to the whole ninety millions of his unhappy subjects; and everybody most heartily wishes that the promise of the Nihilists to rid Russia of its tyrant “eve the year is three months older” shall be fulfilled. With all the comfort and protection that our republican government, which, as every sovereign voter knows, is simply the tool and servant of this great and free American people, seems so anxious to offer him, the future of the imperial ruler is anything but bright. But if, in these his dark and last earthly days, Bayard’s sympathies bring him any consolation, none but fiends in human form can seek to deprive him of it. We are really ashamed of those of our friends who, like John Swinton, have the cruelty and heartlessness to refuse a poor czar the privilege of having a few well-wishers. Let no one utter a word of protest against the proposed treaty between the two governments. Leo Hartmann’s plea that the Russian revolutionists stand in need of the moral support of this free people is weak and insincere. Bayard expresses no more the will of the American people than the czar that of all the Russias. Government is government, and the Nihilists know better than to expect encouragement from one in conspiring to wipe out another.
The innocence of the sentimentalists is comical. They either forget too soon what they learn, or they never learn anything, and consequently have nothing to forget. Every new consummation of an act of tyranny or brutality finds them in the same stats of surprise and excitement, and this of course precludes intelligent action or clear comprehension. Eternally protesting and full of fight, they are in reality the most harmless windbags. It is always a particular form, expression, relation, or direction of evil that becomes the object of attack, while the evil itself is safe and sound. Instead of wrestling with the governments that create the necessities for committing outrages, they lose temper over consequences. In America as well as in Russia economic questions find political obstacles in the way. To remove the latter and make the solution of the former possible constitutes the task and aim of the revolution. What simplicity, what folly, to appeal to these political obstacles to destroy themselves or weaken the force of their resistance!
E. C. Walker and his wife have paid the costs which they were never, never, never going to pay, and are out of jail. The mountain has labored, and the mouse is born.
After reading the Episode of the Abbey of Thelema.
O dreamer! reaching forward through the ages,
Strong eyes were thine to see.
Since that grand vision that escaped the sages
Was given unto thee.
That vision of the world’s unfolded glory,
Of Nature’s golden prime.
When all that mars us now shall be a story
Of some forgotten time.
Then life shall flow as flows a placid river
Through all the summer day,
By sunny vales and shady forests ever,
And many a pleasant way.
No more shall sin the heart’s deep yearnings smother,
The sounds of war shall cease,
And men and nations dwell with one another
Securely, and in peace.
Then gold shall have no smile, and wealth no beauty
To charm and to destroy;
And men no more shall ever speak of duty,
Since duty shall be joy.
And they shall need no law (being never smitten
With selflsh madness more),
Nor statute save “Fais ce que voudras” written
Above each open door.
Then children shall know naught of pain or sadness,
Of hunger or of crime,
But with fresh faces roam the fields in gladness,
Through all the summer time.
No shrunken forms, no shrivelled limbs and wasted,
Shall their dark tale confess;
No haggard look of those who, young, have tasted
Life’s deepest bitterness.
And there shall dwell the gentle youths and maidens,
Unfettered, equal, free,
With nothing harsh to mar the perfect cadence
Of careless purity.
And there shall be no priest to throw o’er Nature
The pall of his dark ereed;
For gentleness to every living creature
Is all the law they need.
O dreamer! reaching forward through the ages,
Strong eyes were thine to see!
Lo! as I ponder o’er the wondrous pages
Of thy strange prophecy,
Sad thoughts are mine; the brightness of the vision
Both slowly fade and die;
And solemnly, with shame and with contrition,
I lay the volume by.
Four hundred years have passed since thou didst linger
O’er this bright page of thine —
Four hundred years since thou, with fearless finger,
Didst trace each glowing line.
We have grown wiser with our priests and sages,
Our science, wealth, and skill,
And still that vision of the middle ages
Is but a vision still.
W. H. Hudson.
New England Anarchism.
To the Editor of Liberty:
Pretence is the worst of tyrannies. Flirtations with truth are the order of the day. There are many ways of suppressing free speech. “A free press” owned by rich stockholders may be the enginery of oppression. The most outspoken of the capitalistic press is half-hearted and capricious, failing every time to stand by the logic of a position into which a fit of sincerity may have betrayed them. This is the worst kind of anarchism, yet it is the champion of “law and order.” Woe to us if that spell is not broken!
One of the sons of Leonard Bacon has been of late editor of the New Haven “Morning News,” one of the most liberal of the dailies. He is somewhat of a heretic, having left the pastorate of a leading Congregational church, and broken about the same time with the Republicans, becoming a Mugwump. Such independence is rarely, if ever, equalled in a Yale graduate. But he does not stop, his latest act revealing him a full-fledged “Anarchist.” In treating the Mormon question, the reverend gentleman boldly asserts that all government rests ultimately on brute force, and, if the Mormons continue disobedient to the congressional mandate, powder and lead must be used against them. This view was of course applauded by those who knew as much about the real merits of the question as they did about the evolutionary hypothesis; and the papers have done as much to enlighten them on the one question as on the other. Shortly afterward, in writing on the politics of the time, he said: “It is a humiliating spectacle, when argument is hardly resorted to, and the only campaign activity takes on a pecuniary form. And the evil has been growing in this State for several years, and has now reached a point where it is utterly shameless. But it will continue to inerease, until the public is aroused from its apathy and takes some violent measures.” But this is not enough; one wishes to know more; the logic of the thought is not complete. Did it occur to him that “campaign activity” and law-making, the acts of caucuses and of legislatures, are all pretty much the same, and that the mercenary spirit may be enthroned in the very capital of a nation? Did it occur to him that laws made by such a power deserve little respect, and, though backed by bayonets and the halter, can do little for society or the individual? And did it not occur to him that this great evil of which he speaks implies a social disease that calls for a different remedy from any found in the folios of our daily newspapers? Such may have been his train of thought. For, shortly after expressing himself in the manner quoted, he ceased to be editor of the “News,” about the cause of which there was some speculation, as on the two former occasions when he seemed to change both his religion and his politics. Rumor has it that others underbid him on the question of salary, which is very unlikely in the case of one who believes in preaching the gospel without purse or scrip. Being a man of spirit as well as a clergyman, he felt the shackles of the press no less than of the pulpit and of party. He saw the “News” was run on “business principles,” which meant being “all things to all men,” for the sake of — the dollar. He did not so read Scripture. A large circulation for the paper meant the circulation of anything but real, honest convictions. And the test case was submitted to his conscience when the policy prescribed for the “News” forbade him publishing the following communication:
The comment of the “News” (possibly by a sub-editor) on Mrs. Farsons’s lecture before it was delivered in this city surprised me not a little, as I had hoped for something better from a paper edited by one whose Master was condemned and executed on a charge of treason and blasphemy. It said: “The prevailing impression that Mrs. Parsons is black is erroneous; only Mrs. Parsons’s sentiments are black. It will be well for the police to take the names of those who attend her lecture here. They may need them for future use.” Why are you not willing the people should go and hear for themselves? And why do you not report what she says? Do you assume the people are well enough informed? Has not the press before and since the trial done its best to make out that Anarchists are fiends? Why, even in the Chicago court room, the black flag was said to be the emblem of piracy, and the red flag of blood-thirstiness; whereas the one bespeaks distress, and the other symbolizes the oneness of the race by reason of the crimson tide that flows in the veins of all. When I asked our chief city officer, supposed to be posted in such matters, to come and hear Mrs. Parsons, he replied he did not believe in patronizing Socialism, which taught such things as the destruction of the marriage relation. Others said they did not believe in letting foreigners run this country. A blue coat forbade me putting up notices of this lecture in the customary places. The Electric Light Company cut short the illumination at the Rink one-half. Still the meeting was held, the audience was large, and the lecture well received. And the speaker was not a foreigner, but an American, with aboriginal blood even in her veins. And, stranger still, she was a wife and a mother. I am myself not an Anarchist, but felt it my duty to preside at that meeting when told that it was next to impossible to get an American to take a place even on the platform. I would do it, though blacklisted to the end of my days. What can a man be made of who will shrink from a task like this, when a New York journal speaks in this wise: “There is no room for Henry George in this country; nor for such men as are soon to be hanged in Chicago, one of whom at least is an avowed disciple of Henry George. This is not one of the effete despotisms of Europe. It is a free country.”
Liberty’s statue we have seen unveiled,
But our country’s flag in the dust is trailed,
While e’en this simple thought awaits its birth
That truth on the lips is the test of worth.
There’s nought diviner in the lives of men —
Go tell it over and over again —
Than stalwart thought to fair candor wed,
A weapon mightier than steel or lead.
T. W. C.
Of course, Dr. Bacon’s reason for leaving the “News” may have been nothing like the one here supposed: but I submit that none could have been more creditable. The conduct of the paper in this matter, to which I have taken exception may have been as he willed it. But it is hard to believe; one (whose contributions he has published on several occasions) will be the last person to charge him with such inconsistency.
T. W. CURTIS
New Haven, Connecticut, March, 1887.
The Political Theology of Mazzini
By Michael Bakouine,
Member of the International Association of Working-People.
Translated from the French by Sarah E. Holmes.
Continued from No. 97.
The definitive triumph of one assemblage of social forces over another has been and will always be a brutal fact, in this sense that the most humane, the most just, as well as the most iniquitous, the most false, idea can never triumph in the world, if it does not rest on material power. This last is indispensable; Mazzini recognized it himself, as we have just seen; it is indispensable to remove the material obstacles which prevent the realization of the new idea, to overthrow the material power on which the existing order of things rests. Therefore the last word belongs always to force, and a party which wishes to triumph, however holy may be its cause, must create a material power capable of breaking the material power of its adversaries. But when we speak of the struggle and of the successive victories of material powers in history, we must not take this word “material” literally, in its simply mechanical, physical, chemical, or even organic sense. It refers to social forces, human forces, and man is a being, doubtless exclusively material, but organized and intelligent. His ideas, his sentiments, his passions, and, before all, his social organization, which is penetrated and always modified by it, are integral elements of his material force. This force, belonging to man, though entirely material, is more intelligent than that of the animals of other species, and so man has become the king of the earth, in spite of the fact that, at his origin, he was physically the weakest and above all the least numerous.
It is solely the superiority of his intelligence, and of his science which is the product of it, which makes him obtain the victory over all the other animal species in this eternal fight for life which constitutes the groundwork of all natural history; it is also these principally which, in the continuation of this same fight in the midst of human society, makes some nations triumph over others; it is not numerical superiority, for it oftenest happens that the conquering masses are numerically weaker than the conquered peoples. For instance, when Alexander of Macedonia conquered a part of Asia and Africa, and when, later, the Romans conquered a great part of the world known to the ancients, their forces were very inferior in point of numbers to those of the conquered peoples.
It cannot be said, however, that it is only the superiority of intelligence and of science which assures triumph in history; nor even does the superior development of economic interests, of industry, commerce, and social wealth exclusively assure it. The Romans who conquered Greece had been infinitely less intelligent, less learned, less civilized, and less rich than the Greeks. The Poles who, at the close of the last century, succumbed under the united blows of Russia and Prussia were unquestionably more intelligent and more civilized than the Prussians and the Russians. And even today, in presence of the terrible catastrophe which France has just endured, who will dare to say that the Prussians, the Germans, have more brains and are more civilized than the people of France! As for social wealth, that of France, even today, after the defeat, notwithstanding the depredations of the Germans who have devastated her, notwithstanding the five thousand millions which they force her to pay, notwithstanding even the “restorative” government of M. Thiers, remains infinitely superior to that of Germany.
It is doubtless undeniable that the German universities are much better organized than the French universities; that, especially with respect to natural sciences,— the only sciences which are yet positive,— the German professors have considerably-outstripped the French professors; that the middle colleges, the gymnasiums, in Germany are really superior to corresponding institutions in France; that the mass of the German bourgeoisie is much more learned, better instructed, than that poor French bourgeoisie which is stagnating in the old routine and official rhetoric; that the proletariat and the peasants know at least how to read and write: and that, finally,— an important point in the question which we have to solve,— the instruction in the military schools of Germany, and especially of Prussia, is more solid, more complete, more serious, than that in the military schools of France, which makes the German officers learned brutes, while the French officers are ignorant brutes.
Nevertheless, everybody feels that it was not these advantages, undeniable though they are, which secured the definitive victory to the Germans. That the German armies, infinitely better organized, better disciplined, better armed, and better commanded than the French troops, should have beaten the latter is not at all astonishing. But, the war having taken a national character, what surprised everybody was to see a nation so powerful in all respects as France undeniably is, so proud, not to say so glorious, prostrated in so short a time by the German forces.
Statesmen, professional military men, and, generally, the interested partisans of order, that is, of the privileged, exploiting, official, and officious rabble, today triumphant in all countries, have arrived at a conclusion which, though very reassuring and very consoling for them, is none the less entirely false. They say, they publish, and they endeavor to spread this idea,— that military art and the improvement of destructive weapons have made in our day such immense progress that the power of well-organized and well-disciplined military forces has become irresistible; that armies alone can cope with armies, and that the army of a country once prostrated and destroyed, there is nothing left for that country but submission, all popular resistance from that time having become impossible. The conclusion is naturally this: the natural and organic organization of popular forces, outside of the State and opposed to it, being of no avail, powerless, in comparison with the artificial, mechanical, and scientific organization of the military forces of the State, revolution itself has become impossible.
This idea, becoming general in the camp of the conservatives of all countries, pleases, reassures, and really consoles them very much. It is true that it leads them to this disagreeable conclusion,— that the independence and that even the existence of a country depends today solely on the number, the good organization, and the good management of its army, so that, if at any given moment it finds itself inferior in this respect alone to another country, this will be sufficient to deliver it over to the mercy of the latter, unless the political interests of neutral countries serve it in some way as security and safeguard. This is doubtless not very reassuring to their patriotism. But they console themselves easily, for there is now hardly a conservative in Europe who would not prefer foreign victory and even the foreign yoke to the salvation of his own country by a popular revolution. We have just seen a memorable proof of it in France.
Therefore the conservatives, the honest people of all the countries of Europe, including the bourgeois republicans, are today seeking their salvation in the formidable organization of the military forces of the State, and they foolishly imagine that this power guarantees them against all possible revolutions.
These honest people are much deceived, and if the perpetual frights in which they live today did not render them incapable of all serious reflection, they would have understood that even the catastrophe which has just subjugated France proves nothing at all. France has succumbed, not because her armies have been destroyed, but because, at the time they were destroyed, the French nation itself found itself in a state of disorganization and demoralization which rendered her absolutely incapable of creating spontaneously serious national defense. When Napoleon I. invaded Spain, the disproportion which existed between the quality, organization, intelligence, and even the quantity of his troops, and those of the Spanish troops, between the intellect and knowledge of the French and the rough ignorance of the Spanish people, was even more formidable still than that to which is attributed today the prodigious success of the Germans. He also prostrated the Spanish armies and the Spanish State. But he did not succeed in putting down the national uprising which lasted five years and which ended in the expulsion of the French from Spain.
That is an example at least as memorable as that of the last defeat of the French. How is it to be explained? By the simple reason that, when Napoleon invaded Spain, that country was neither disorganized nor demoralized. It has been BO, doubtless, and even to a degree which no other country has ever surpassed in rottenness, but only from the point of view of the organization and morality of the State, not from the national point of view, not from that of the natural and spontaneous organization of the Spanish nation, outside of the State. The State fell, but the nation remained erect; and it was the nation which, after having expelled the French, again, to its own misfortune, freely submitted to the State. It is lamenting today the fatal consequences of this mistake.
Unity makes strength, they say, and it is perfectly true. Only there are two kinds of unity. There is an artificial, mechanical unity, learned and immoral at the same time, composed entirely of fictions, falsehoods, centralization, absorption, compression, and exploitation; this is the unity of the State. Outside of this unity, ever unhealthy and artificial, there is a moral unity of the nation, resulting from a certain accord or the more or less temporary harmony of different instincts and forces of the nation, spontaneously organized, and not yet divided, and always represented by a certain number of dominant ideas, true or false, and corresponding aspirations, good or bad. This is the real unity, fruitful and living.
These two unities are so opposite in nature that, for the greater part of the time, they are fighting each other, the first always tending to disorganize and destroy the second. A nation has never a greater enemy than its own State. Nevertheless, it sometimes happens that these two unities meet in a common accord, but it can never last long, because it is against nature. This accord, moreover, is only possible when the really social unity suffers from some great vice: either when the masses, brutalized, misled, and unconscious of their own power, seek their salvation in the protection of the State against the privileged classes, whom they necessarily always detest, ignorant of the fact that the State has really no other mission but to protect those classes against them; or when, over these masses still sleeping and passive, the privileged classes, dreading their awakening, group themselves in fear and servility about the State. Whatever may be the reason of this meeting when it takes place, the State becomes very powerful.
That is precisely what we see today in Germany. The Germans have conquered the French, because, being themselves well organized, politically and morally united, they attacked them at the very moment when not only the French State, but the French nation itself was a prey to complete dissolution and demoralization. The principal advantage of the Germans, that which was the principal cause of their unprecedented triumph, was, therefore, moral force.
To be continued.
On Certain Archistic Scientists.
To the Editor of Liberty:
I am often asked why it is, if it be true, as I claim, that Anarchy is the outcome of modern science, that scientific men are so generally opposed to it: and the question is a fair and pertinent one, for, could it be shown that a majority of honest and competent persons who have investigated any given subject hold a certain opinion in regard to it, it would be a fair assumption that such opinion is the correct one, and one would be justified in acting in accordance therewith until experience compelled an independent investigation. I think it can be shown, however, that the scientific men who are Archistic in their beliefs or professions are either incompetent in regard to the matter in question, dishonest, or both. First, as to the incompetency. The extreme division of labor which modern industry has produced is paralleled in the study of science. Scarcely any scientific worker has won distinction outside of one narrow line, and not many are even able to follow with interest the progress achieved along other lines than those immediately next their own. The study of pure mathematics or of chemistry except in so far as it develops one’s reasoning powers and gives him correct habits of thinking, does little towards enabling him to form a correct judgment in regard to a social question. Yet the mathematician or chemist, in virtue of his scientific training, undertakes to lord it over the ordinary mortal when any such question is up for solution.
A good example of the kind of ignorance of which I speak is to be found in the address on the progress of sanitary science during the reign of Victoria, recently delivered before the Society of Arts by the distinguished engineer, Capt. Douglas Galtlon. It is a lengthy panegyric on State interference and a plea for more. But let Capt. Galton state his own case:
The death-rate of London in the five years 1838–42 was 25.57 per 1000. In the five years 1880–84 it was 21.01 per 1000, and the deaths from zymotic diseases, which in the decade 1841-50 had averaged annually 5.29 per 1000, were reduced in the years 1880–84 to 3.4 per 1000. If, however, we assume that there had been no change in sanitary conditions, and therefore that the death-rate had gone on increasing according to Dr. Farr’s formula of increase due to density of population when the sanitary conditions remain unchanged, the death-rate of 1880–84 would have averaged 26.62 per 1000; that is, a saving of 3.61 per 1000 lives has been effected insanitary measures.
The Metropolitan Board of Works has never had a clear field for municipal action; yet, when we compare the present condition of London with what it was at the Queen’s accession, the Metropolitan Board of Works, in spite of the disadvantages, will have a grand record to show, in the jubilee year of the Queen’s reign, of metropolitan improvements and metropolitan sanitation.
The main principle which guided public administration both before and during the earlier years of the Queen’s reign may be said to have been that of non-interference, and of allowing free competition to prevail; although, no doubt, some efforts had been previously made to regulate the labor of women and children in Factory acts.
The practical application of the knowledge derived from the Register-General’s statistics led to further investigations in particular cases by such men as Dr. Simon, Dr. Buchanan, sir Robert Rawlinson, and others, and gradually caused a reaction from what may be called the laissez-faire system to the spread of opinion in the direction of control over individual action in the interest of the community generally; and the result was the enactment of the successive laws for regulating the sanitary condition of the people which I have enumerated above.
This is scientific, indeed! An advance in sanitation is alleged to have taken place contemporaneously with, or slightly subsequent to, certain legislation in regard to sanitation; therefore legislation is the cause of advance, and we cannot have too much of it. This induction is such as a schoolboy might be ashamed of, and it is one that Galton would not make if dealing with his own peculiar studies. Nothing is credited to the general advance of knowledge and especially of hygienic knowledge, the ostensible subject of the address; nothing to the diffusion of such knowledge amongst the people,— all is due to legislation. And yet facts lending to a contrary conclusion are before him. It is not only that Spencer has again and again forcibly pointed out the evils of this same sanitary legislation — how, for instance, the laws intended to improve the condition of the dwellings of the working-classes have increased over-crowding by discouraging the erection of new buildings; it is that Galton himself shows that much of the improvement be credits to legislation is due to repeal of former legislation. Hear him:
But there were other active causes. For instance, the commissioners state that, parochial administration operated mischievously in degrading the habitations of the laboring classes, and in checking tendencies to improvement. The depression of the tenement depressed the habits and conditions of the inhabitants.
In speaking of the insanitary condition of houses, we must not forget the effect of the window-tax. This tax had been established for 150 years. Air and sunshine are the first requirements of healthy dwellings, and the window-tax induced every builder to shut out the sun and exclude the air, so that poor men were unable to afford the luxury of adequate windows for their dwelling-rooms, or of any windows for their closets. Darkness and dirt go hand in hand, and in the class of houses above the cottages darkness and want of ventilation were much fostered by the window-tax. This tax was not abolished till 1851.
The difficulties as to drainage and the removal of refuse were principally entailed by the absence of any legal machinery to enable the inhabitants of a locality to combine for military purposes and to share the expenditure necessary for improvement.
These, certainly, are wonderful triumphs of legislation,— the removal of a tax upon sunlight previously imposed by legislation, and the granting to people the exercise of their natural right to combine, forbidden to them by prior legislation. Analysis would show that in many other of the instances in which it is claimed that legislation has been beneficial, the legislation, when not, as in the cases just mentioned, simple repeal, was merely an indorsement of something accomplished without it. It is not any more necessary, however, for me as all Anarchist to deny that benefit ever arises from positive legislation than it is that a free-thinker should that a priest has ever been helpful to progress. All I do assert is that legislation is generally invasive and injurious, that even in the cases where it appears beneficial it works a certain amount of injury, and, that, as society progresses, as it becomes more and more transformed into an industrial organization, the evil effects grow, while the good ones diminish.
I am not certain in what category Prof. T. H. Huxley should be placed. I am inclined to put him in the mixed one, but then his claims to be especially well qualified in sociologic matters, joined to his cumulative governmental employments, make me fear that, he must be regarded as utterly dishonest. At present the professor is very much troubled over England’s future. Gloomy forebodings of disaster throng upon him, and he sees no hope save in an Imperial Institute and State-aided technical education. Here are some of his latest utterances as reported by “Nature”:
A great distinction was commonly drawn by some philosophic friends of his between what they called militarism and what they called industrialism, very much to the advantage of the latter. He by no means disputed that position; but he would ask any one who was cognizant of the facts of the case, who had given attention to what was meant by modern industry pursued by the methods now followed, whether, after all, it was not war under the forms of peace? It was perfectly true that the industrial warfare was followed by results far more refined in their character than those which followed in the track of military warfare. It did not break heads and shed blood, but it starved. The man who succeeded in the war of competition and the nation which succeeded in the war of competition beat their opponent by starvation. It was a hard thing to say, but the plain, simple fact of the case was that industrial competition amongst the peoples of the world at the present time was warfare which must be carried on by the means of warfare.... This country had dropped astern in the race for want of that education which was obtained elsewhere in the highest branches of industry and commerce. It had dropped astern in the race for want of instruction in technical education, which was given elsewhere to the artisan; and if they desired to keep up that industrial predominance which was the foundation of the Empire, and, which, if it failed, would cause the whole fabric of the State to crumble,— if they desired to see want and pauperism less common than unhappily they were at present, they must remember that one of the chief means of diminishing those evils was the organization of industry in the manner in which they understood organization in science; that they must strain every nerve to train the intelligence that served industry to its highest point, and to keep the industrial products of England at the head of the markets of the world.
In a letter published subsequently to the address of which a partial report has just been given, he add:
On the east, the most systematically instructed and best informed people in Europe are our competitors; on the west, an energetic offshoot of our own stock, grown bigger than its parent, enters upon the struggle possessed of natural resources to which we can make no pretension, and with every prospect of soon possessing that cheap labor by which they can effectually be utilized.
There is enough verisimilitude about this to make it attractive to persons of “scientific socialist” turn of mind; but I am almost afraid of insulting any others by a reply, however short. As Spencer long ago pointed out in reply to this same scientific worthy, competition exists even in the most strongly centralized organisms,— for instance, in the human body the different organs compete for nutriment. Competition and cooperation are not forces existing separately; wherever life is, there both are. The various parts of any organism cooperate in securing the nutriment necessary for the common support, and compete as to its division. In spite of this competition, however, it is not to the advantage of any part that it should secure all the nutriment and starve its colleagues, for, as the getting of nutriment in the first place depends upon the joint action, its own starvation would follow its monopoly of food. In fact, a part of an organism can not secure even an undue proportion of nutriment — that is, an amount of food out of proportion to the work it performs — without the intervention of some cause foreign to the normal distributive forces. The application to the social organism is easy. In it, under normal conditions, while each individual is the competitor of every other for food, clothing, and shelter, yet each cooperates with all the others in procuring these benefits. It is the same with nations as with individuals. Were England, according to Huxley’s wish, to produce the best of everything, she would starve herself, for her immediate existence must be more dependent on what she buys than on what she sells, and if she makes the best of everything, she must get either inferior articles or none at all in return for those she sends away. It is scarcely accessary to say in Liberty that the disturbing forces which prevent a proper distribution of nutriment to the various parts of the social organism, are the monopolies sustained by the State.
The second extract makes it evident that Huxley’s anxiety is for the welfare of England,— that is, the ruling classes,— not of the English people, for he fears America because of its cheap labor. That is to say, the nation whose working classes get least in return for their labor will capture the trade of the world. Why these classes should desire to capture such trade on such terms the professor does not explain. And yet most of us would say that the extinction of pauperism by cheap labor is a thesis needing a deal of explanation. An argument made some time ago in favor of technical education was of the same tenor. Then he urged education, not because it would be of any benefit to those educated, but because it would be advantageous to the State to pay a hundred thousand pounds for the discovery of a Watt,— the hundred thousand pounds incidentally finding its way into the pockets of the State’s professors. He did not trouble himself to state that neither Watt nor any of the great improvers of England’s industries were discovered by any such means.
It is a remarkable exhibition of the amount of discernment possessed by Anarchistic(?) Communists that the editor of “Freedom” praises Huxley’s address for its candor in the very same issue in which Spencer is denounced for his brutal doctrines.
I have next to deal with one whom I must class as utterly dishonest, Robert Giffen, Esq., LL.D., Chief of the Statistical Department of the English Board of Trade. In the winter of 1883, as president of the Statistical Society, Mr. Giffen delivered an address on the progress of the working-classes during the last fifty years, which has since been widely circulated. This address has been commended by Mr. Gladstone as the best reply to Mr. George, George’s name being evidently intended to cover all advocates of socialism. Mr. Giffen brings forward such a vast array of statistics — and he is an adept in their use — that the reader not accustomed to careful examination of such evidence is apt at once to concede that the ease is proven. I intended, therefore, to follow him step by step, and expose the fallacy of his arguments; but this paper has already grown too long, and, besides, I think that a conclusive proof that he has deliberately lied in regard to any one point ought to suffice.
And now to the proof. On page 24 of the printed address he gives a long table, showing the numbers of people assessed to the income tax under schedule D for various amounts in the years 1843 and 1879–80, Then he says:
Here the increase in all classes, from the lowest to the highest, is between two and three times, or rather more than three times, with the exception of the highest class of all, where the numbers, however, are quite inconsiderable. Again a proof, I think, of the greater diffusion of wealth so far as the assessment under schedule D may be taken as a sign of the person assessed having wealth of some kind, which I fear is not always the case. If the owners of this income, at least of the smaller incomes, are to be considered as not among the capitalists, but among the working-classesyy — a very arguable proposition,— then the increase of the number of incomes from one hundred and fifty pounds up to say one thousand pounds a year is a sign of the increased earnings of the working-classes, which are not usually thought of by that name. The increase in this instance is out of all proportion to the increase of population.
Now, aside from the fact that a greater increase of persons receiving over one hundred and fifty pounds a year than is proportionate with the general increase of population might take place without an increase of comfort for the mass of that population, or even coincidently with a decline of comfort, it is to be noted that schedule D includes, besides all incomes arising from professions or trades, all those derived from railways, mines, canals, gas and waterworks, etc. The word trade being used in its English sense, it is evident that schedule D includes the great body of commercial profit. On page 26 Mr. Giffen, after making a liberal allowance from schedule D from salaries, arrives at the following as the result of his analysis of the income tax reports in general: 1881, income from capital 407 million pounds, from salaries 177; 1843, from capital 188 and 1/2 million, from salaries 93 and 1/2. This, he says, is a proof that capital is not increasing immoderately; but in reality it is a contradiction of his previous statement; for, while in 1843 the income from capital is but twice that from salaries, in 1881 it is 2.3 times as much. That Mr. Giffen’s statements are untrustworthy I think I have shown; that he lies of set purpose the following extract, from a paper of his written a few years before, when he had practically the same statistics before him, but was not under the necessity of maintaining any special thesis, demonstrates:
In another aspect, viz., as to whether capital is being more diffused, or is accumulating in fewer hands, I am afraid the data are not sufficiently good for any sure conclusions. There are certain means for comparing the number of assessments under schedule D, at different amounts of income, which would appear to show that the number of large incomes is increasing more quickly than either the increase of population or the increase of wealth.
John F. Kelly.
Hoboken, New Jersey, February 26, 1887.
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.