“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.
The Avelings have gone to Australia to preach Socialism. This is good news for the Australian florists, tobacconists, theatre-managers, and hotel-keepers, but very bad news for the poor Australian laborers who will be bled to pay their bills.
I like what John Swinton says in favor of postponing the spelling reform: “Our present system of spelling is obstructive to knowledge, detestable to reason, and offensive to the eye, but we believe our modern social lazaretto can be fumigated even while it is in the ascendant.”
There was a rumor abroad in Chicago the other day that the Supreme Court had decided to give the Communists a new trial, but it could not be verified or traced to its source. In the absence of more definite information, let us hope that it was not a wanton invention, but grew out of some confiding whisper of the truth.
A prominent Anarchist who is also an expert in electrical engineering writes to me as follows: “A funny example of State management has just been given in Paris. The prefect of police, an officer of the central government, has drawn up rules in regard to electric lighting in theatres, cafes, etc., which make such lighting practically impossible, and the municipality has ordered the proprietors of all such places to introduce electric lights at once.”
Henry Seymour of the London “Anarchist” says that I am “very careful now to confine the application of the cost principle to exchange, whereas, if it holds good in exchange, it holds equally good in production. Directly applied to production, its absurdity becomes complete.” Yes, absurd in the same sense that the differential calculus is absurd when applied to cooking one’s dinner, or that the laws of logic are absurd when applied to the ejaculations of a man who has lost his reason.
Henry George thinks the New York “Sun’s” claim that it is “for liberty first, last, and forever,” pretty cool from a paper that supports a protective tariff. So it is. But the frigidity of this claim is even greater when it comes from a man who proposes on occasion to tax a man out of his home, and to “simplify” government by making it the owner of all railroads, telegraphs, gas-works, and water-works and so enlarging its revenues that all sorts of undreamed-of public improvements will become possible and unnumbered public officials to administer them necessary.
“Jus,” the London organ of semi-individualism, combats the doctrine that surplus value — oftener called profits — belongs to the laborer because he creates it, by arguing that the horse, by a parity of reasoning, is rightfully entitled to the surplus value which he creates for his owner. So he will be when he has the sense to claim and the power to take it, for then the horse will be an individual, an ego. This sense and power the laborer is rapidly developing, with what results the world will presently see. The argument of “Jus” is based upon the assumption that certain men are born to be owned by other men, just as horses are. Thus its reductio ad absurdum turns upon itself; it is hoist with its own petard.
The idiocy of the arguments employed by the daily press in discussing the labor question cannot well be exaggerated, but nevertheless it sometimes makes a point on Henry George which that gentleman cannot meet. For instance, the New York “World” lately pointed out that unearned increment attaches not only to land, but to almost every product of labor. “Newspapers,” it said, “are made valuable properties by the increase of population.” Mr. George seems to think this ridiculous, and inquires confidently whether the “World’s” success is due to increase of population or to Pulitzer’s business management. As if one cause excluded the other! Does Mr. George believe, then, that Pulitzer’s business management could have secured a million readers of the “World,” if there had been no people in New York? Of course not. Then, to follow his own logic, Mr. George ought to discriminate in this case, as in the case of land, between the owner’s improvements and the community’s improvements, and tax the latter out of the owner’s hands.
About Naming Things,— A Protest.
To the Editor of Liberty:
I have no desire to force a controversy on you that you seek to avoid; but I must protest against your dodging the issue you profess to meet squarely. You say you are willing to accept my paraphrase of Hay’s lines, taking “material” in the widest possible sense. But then so can I and so can any man, Jew, Christian, Buddhist, or Stoic philosopher; and, in fact, without being a Mirabean, I will undertake to “swallow all formula!” provided I am allowed such latitude of interpretation. You complain that Mr. Morse’s objection to naming things tends to destroy language altogether; but his justification lies in this very stretching of terms until they become meaningless.
When you deny the existence of altruism as a motive, I suppose you mean to deny its existence altogether, and yet that seams too absurd a statement to attribute to you. That altruism is but a form of egoism I am in nowise called upon to deny, but that does not lessen its reality one whit. It is as true that there are people who take pleasure in securing the good of others as it is that there are some — happily not many — who delight in the torture of their fellows.
I am ready to believe that, in dying for liberty, you would be securing your own pleasure at the time, but certainly you would be sacrificing all material comfort, as words are generally used.
From the edge of harsh derision,
From discord and defeat,
From doubt and lame division,
We pluck the fruit and eat;
And the mouth finds it bitter, but the spirit sweet.
Now, my contention is that your present philosophy, when it has become more than an intellectual conception, when it has become translated into feeling, leaves nothing but the bitterness in the mouth; and hence that no one accepting it thoroughly will ever support any cause that brings on him even “harsh derision,” not to speak of death. Death is never in itself pleasant; it can only appear so as a relief from intolerable pain; and when this pain is not physical, it must be evident that the true relief, according to the new philosophy, consists, not in dying, but in abandoning the ideas, the ghosts, on whose account one suffers. To die, or to make any sacrifice of material comfort, rather than abandon an idea is to render homage to a ghost.
Another point is that, according to this new philosophy, there can be no right and wrong actions; there can be at most but wise and foolish; there can be no such thing as the right of the laborer to his product,— he can have no more right to the product than to any amount, either greater or less; and, in fact, Stirner expressly declares that his “right,” if we may use the term at all, is to what he can take, thus bringing the world back to
The guod old rule, the simple plan.
That he shall take who has the power,
And he shall keep who can.
You are, then, obviously inconsistent (though I must admit there is no reason you should be otherwise) when you tell us that, while both are equally foolish, the New York Communists are criminals, while the Chicago Communists are honest and estimable people. You are equally inconsistent when you tell us, with an air of moral indignation, that Haskell is a convicted liar; for, translated according to your theory, this means no more than that on some occasion Haskell found, or thought he found, it to his advantage to state what was not the fact, and your profession now is that, if you found it to your advantage, you would do the same. Of course your tone would be explicable on the assumption that you sought to take advantage of the ramnant of “superstition” in your readers; but such explanation would tell in favor of my argument, for it would be an evidence that each egotist would seek to keep his neighbors from becoming like himself.
In conclusion let me say that, on re-reading my last letter, I fail to see any justification for the caption you have given it. If I have asserted that egotism alone would destroy society, I have said the same of altruism. As Tak Kak has introduced mathematical comparisons, perhaps I may be pardoned a mechanical one. Egotism, then, is the tangential, and altruism the centripetal force, the composition of which keeps the individual elements of society moving in their proper orbits. Egotism alone would scatter the elements in space; altruism alone would crush them into a shapeless mass.
J. F. Kelly.
May 12, 1887.
[If Mr. Kelly does not like my use of the word “material,” I will make it immaterial by discarding it, and will amend my offer thus: “I am perfectly willing to accept Mr. Kelly’s paraphrase of John Hay’s lines, leaving out the word ‘material.’” This eliminates the objectionable “dodge.” But “I must protest,” in my turn, against Mr. Kelly’s intimation that I “seek to avoid” discussing this question with him, if he means thereby that I do so through fear. That I do seek to avoid it is true, but for a different reason, which I will explain. Previous to Mr. Kelly’s discussion with Tak Kak, Mr. Kelly and I had a long discussion of the same subject by private correspondence. In this correspondence it became evident that there was a hopeless misunderstanding somewhere. I think it was on Mr. Kelly’s part. He doubtless thinks that it was on mine. Or else he thinks that I was hypocritical in the matter. I therefore said to him that I thought it useless to continue the discussion. He answered that lie agreed with me. From that time neither of us attempted to renew it until he introduced me into his discussion with Tak Kak. The same reason which impelled me to discontinue the controversy keeps me from renewing it. But I think the subject a very important one, and am very glad to devote my columns to Mr. Kelly and Tak Kak in the hope that their controversy may end more satisfactorily than that between Mr. Kelly and myself. Far from being actuated by fear, I seldom have been compelled to put a greater strain upon my combative propensity than on this occasion, but I am sure that I should indulge it fruitlessly, and such a result would indeed “leave nothing but bitterness in the mouth.” As to the caption of which Mr. Kelly complains, I can only express my regret if it failed to fit his article. Its selection was a matter of almost prayerful solicitude with me, and I was never more desirous of being accurate and just. If I failed, Mr. Kelly will avoid all danger of a repetition of such failure by furnishing his own headings hereafter. — Editor Liberty.]
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. 101.
99. The objection that men of genius, inventors, and those who exercise callings which are purely attractive, are not provided by this principle with the means of obtaining a livelihood will be answered under another head. (174.)
100. There is another subtle and plausible objection which may be urged to this position, in relation to natural genius, talent, or skill, and which demands no little rigor of attention to detect its fallacy. It may be said that Nature deals with man liberally, in proportion to his endowments; that is, that she crowns with greater exuberance of results the exertions of the strong man and the wise man than she does those of the weak and the simple-minded, and hence that there can be no essential injustice in doing precisely what Nature herself does,— that is, in maintaining so much inequality as results from giving to each an equivalent in the products of others to the products of his own powers. If, on the contrary, a man who can produce more largely and better, from superior ability, exchanges with one who produces less abundant and inferior commodities, solely according to the intrinsic hardship or cost of the labor to each,— no reference whatever being had to the amount or quality of the products,— it is clear that the man of the highest capacity loses the advantage in the transaction which Nature has conferred upon him, and which seems, therefore, to be justified by the ordinances of Nature. It is clear that, if he gets in the exchange only so much of the products of the other as would have been the result of his own superior ability applied in that direction, he only gets what Nature would have given him if he had dealt directly with her. Why, then, is it not right that he should have as much advantage in the bargain as he has in the direct production?
101. The objection is here strongly put in order that it may be completely disposed of. It is answered as follows:
It is the destiny of man to rise into higher relations than those which he holds with Nature. When man deals with Nature, he is dealing with an abject servant or slave. There is no equality nor reciprocity between the parties. Man is a Sovereign and Nature his minister. He extorts from her rightfully whatever she can be made to yield. The legitimate business of man is the conquest and subjugation of Nature, and the law of superior force is the legitimate law of conquest and subjugation. But so soon as man comes into relations with his fellow-man the disproportion ceases. He is then dealing with his peers. The legitimate object of the intercourse is no longer the same. It is not now conquest and subjugation, but equipoise and the freedom of all. A higher relationship intervenes, and the balance of concurrent Sovereignties can only be established and maintained by acknowledging the law of that relationship. For the strong man, physically or intellectually, to avail himself, to his private advantage, of his superior strength, as the method of his intercourse with his fellow-men, is finally to accumulate all power in the hands of the few, and in the mean time to inaugurate the reign of discord, collision, and war.
102. This subtile but most important distinction is already practically acknowledged in a large circle of human affairs. The world is already sufficiently progressed, in civilized countries at least, to act upon this distinction between inanimate nature and rational beings, so far as relates to the immediate exertion of physical strength,— the simple force of bone and muscle directly applied. The strong man is not now justified by the common sense of right in seizing and appropriating the wealth of the weak simply because he can, while at the same time, when dealing with Nature, he is never reproved for compelling her to the utmost of his power over her. Right is distinguished from might with reference to men,— a distinction which, as respects Nature, does not exist.
103. As relates to intellectual superiority, the same distinction is likewise already acknowledged to an indefinite and fluctuating extent. The sharper is restrained from availing himself of his quickness of wit by the intervention of stringent laws and exemplary penalties. Upon what principle is that? It is the admission that man ought not,— that it is unjust or inequitable that man should use his superior mental endowments to his own private advantage, in dealing with men, while no such restriction lies upon him when dealing with Nature. He is bound to deal with them, contrary to the fact, precisely as if they had the same amount of strength and mental power as he has himself, or, rather, as if it were not a question of strength but of right; in the same manner as, according to the canons of international law, the large and powerful State recognizes the equal sovereignty of the smallest independent community. The law of intercourse between Individual Sovereigns is the same as between the concrete Sovereignties of existing States. To commit a breach of this higher law of Sovereign peerage is to secure to the stronger party an immediate and apparent advantage, to the destruction of the less obvious but more substantial benefits resulting to both from the existence of a true social equilibrium. Such is the policy of the brigand and the pirate, who pounce upon their booty for the supply of their immediate wants,— because they can,— regardless of the fact that their practices will prove the disruption of society and end in the destruction of the very commerce upon which they prey.
104. In the intellectual sphere, the admission of this higher law has hitherto been made only up to an unascertained line. Superior talent or skill, naturally bestowed, have always been, and are still, practically recognized as giving superior right, except in the few extreme cases in which the enormity of the principle is too obvious to he overlooked, and in which the exercise of that superiority is defined ny Fraud, Gambling, Swindling, or some other of the euphonious epithets by which society stigmatizes, in its ultimates, a rule of conduct which, in its more general and pervading applications, it sanctions and approves. Whenever the perception of this true law shall have been thoroughly awakened; when the public mind shall be wholly penetrated by the conviction that the employment of either physical or intellectual power, had by natural endowment, in any transaction between men, in such a manner as to gain an immediate and selfish advantage to the stronger party, is of the essential nature of fraud, swindling, and robbery,— society will rise to a new plane, and will then find a development as superior to our present civilization as that is to the savage state,— a development in which those who surrender most will as truly find their highest emolument as those who surrender least. Thus true science conducts us back, in some sense, to the sublime precept of religiou: “He that would be greatest among you let him serve.”
105. So far, then, as the individual consumes directly products of his own labor, he enjoys the immediate advantage of his own talent or skill, as the strong man enjoys his strength or the beautiful woman her beauty. But the moment he proposes to exchange his labor with other human beings, it is the harmonic law that he shall renounce that advantage entirely, recognizing the full equality of the inferior party. To claim it is to introduce an element into the social relations as disturbing in its nature as it would be if the handsome woman were to claim of right superior rank by virtue of her beauty, or the strong man impunity from the law by virtue of his strength.
106. It is characteristic of the most progressed or humanized society that the strong recognizes the equality of the weak. Hence the constant advancement of woman in the relative scale of position,— the sinking of physical superiority before intellectual, and finally of intellectual before the spiritual, affectionate, and aesthetic. That sublime characteristic of the highest type of humanity is wholly wanting in the demand of the superior worker that the inferior shall make up the difference in excess of labor. It is preeminently exhibited, on the contrary, and the highest attainment of civilization achieved, when the basis of the exchange is shifted from the equality of products to the equality of burdens. The strong says to the weak, labor is painful and imposes a burden. It is not just between beings who hold human relations that you, who are weak, shall be required to endure a greater burden than I, who am strong. Hence we will exchange labor for labor, not according to its fruitfulness, but according to the repugnance which has to be overcome.
107. Take an illustration as between nations. A small but industrious and civilized people inhabit a country lying between the dominions of a powerful empire on one side, and hordes of treacherous savages on the other, who threaten to invade and lay waste the country. The feeble nation applies to the powerful one to extend a degree of protection over them by establishing forts upon the frontier and adding the weight of their influence in overawing the savage tribes. Assume that the cost of the aid thus rendered is equal to one million of dollars per annum, and that by estimate it saves the whole property of the weaker nation from destruction, the income upon which amounts to a hundred million of dollars. What tribute in the nature of payment shall the weaker nation render to the stronger? According to one rule, it will be an amount equal to the expenditure by the stronger. According to the other, it will be an amount equal to the benefit incurred,— namely, a yearly tribute equal to the whole products of the land. Is it not clear which is the humanitary, courteous, or civilized basis of the transaction and which the barbarous one? According to the latter, the choice of the people whose safety is endangered lies between two sets of savages, each of whom will rob them equally of all they possess. Is it not clear, then, that the humanitary basis of remuneration is not measured by the extent of the benefit conferred,— the Value,— but by the extent of the burden assumed,— the Cost. And is it not clear, again, in the case supposed, if the strong nation were still more powerful, so that the use of its name merely were a terror to its savage neighbors, and would suffice, with less extensive fortifications, as a mere demonstration of the animus to resist, or with no fortifications at all, to restrain them, that the cost of the defence would be decreased by such superiority of strength and weight of name, and that consequently the price of it should be diminished likewise, instead of being augmented thereby.
Carry out the analogy of this illustration to the case of the way in which natural talent and skill are made the basis of price in private transactions, and it will be perceived that the principle now acted on is the barbarous principle,— the principle of conquest and rapine,— the principle of an equality of benefits demanded between parties, one of whom is capable of conferring great benefits at slight cost, and the other only capable of conferring small ones at an equal or greater amount of cost,— a principle destructive of equality, equipoise, and harmony, and under the operation of which the weaker are inevitably crushed and devoured by the stronger, to the utter annihilation of all hope of realizing the higher and more beautiful phases of possible human society.
108. To illustrate still further. When a robust and hearty youth rises and stands, yielding his seat to a woman, an old man, or an invalid, he does so because, in consequence of his strength, it costs him less to stand,— it is less repugnant for him to do so than for the other. The superior power reduces the cost, and all refined and well-developed manhood admires the vindication of the principle involved, even while not understanding it as such. In this transaction there is no price demanded, but, if there were, it is obvious that the price to the robust man for yielding his advantage should be less than to the feeble, while upon the value principle it would be more. In this species of intercourse we already, then, draw the line between cultivated and advanced humanity, and barbarous or boorish humanity, precisely where these two principles diverge. With a more complete efflorescence of Humanitary Ethics, true principle will supersede the false throughout the whole range of personal transactions. The adoption of the Cost Principle in commerce will not only insure the equitable distribution of wealth, and disperse the manifold evils which grow out of the pervading injustice of the existing system. but it will do more,— it will crown the common honors of life with a halo of mutual urbanity, and render the daily interchange of labor and of ordinary commodities a perpetual sacrament of fraternal affection.
109. It results, then, that the natural and necessary effect of the Cost Principle is to limit the relative power and advantage of the intellectually strong over the intellectually weak in the same manner as Law, Morality, Religion, Machinery, and the other appliances of civilization have already, in civilized countries, partially limited the power and neutralized the advantage of the physically strong over the physically weak, and to complete, even in the physical sphere, what Law, Morality, Religion, Machinery, and the other appliances of civilization have hitherto failed to accomplish, for the want of the more definite science of the subject.
110. But, in order to the general adoption of this regulating principle, is not the consent of the strong man indispensable as well as that of the weak? By what means shall he be persuaded to make the sacrifice of his superior advantage? Is not the appeal solely to his benevolence, and has not past experience demonstrated that all such appeals are nearly powerless against the controlling current of personal interests?
111. Certainly the concurrence of both the powerful and the feeble is alike requisite to the complete and general adoption of the Cost Principle, but that cannot be said to be necessary to commence its application. It has already been stated that the Cost Principle affords the means to the laboring classes, who are kept now in comparative weakness and ignorance, of stepping out from under the oppressions of capital and leaving it with no foundation on which to rest in its usurped superiority over labor. Hence the weak are enabled by it to cope with the strong, while the strong themselves will not long resist the innovation, for the reason that their own positive strength is also increased by the same moans. It is only their relative superiority which is reduced by it. In other words, all classes will have their condition positively improved, the rich only a little less than the poor, so that the frightful inequalities of the present system will be obliterated and extinguished. An analogue of this effect is. found in the material sphere, in the invention of gunpowder and firearms, for example. A pistol puts a small man and a large man upon the same footing of strength, or perhaps rather reverses it a little, as the large man presents a broader surface to the deadly aim. Still either party is a more powerful man with than without it. It serves to establish a balance of power, while at the same time it augments the power of both. It is the same with larger arms and larger bodies of men. Hence the pistol, the blunderbuss, and the carronade have been among the greatest civilizers of mankind. It is the same, again, with laws and the civil state which have been instituted to equalize the diversities of strength among men by substituting arbitrary rules for physical force. Like firearms and gunpowder, they are a barbarous remedy for a more barbarous evil, and will give place, in turn, with the progress of man, to the government of mere principles, accepted into and proving operative upon the individual mind.
112. In this manner the Cost Principle has in it the means of first compiling and then reconciling to its adoption those to whom the possession of superior intellectual powers or cunning, with the accumulations of capital, give now the ascendancy. This, however, only so far as such compulsion shall prove necessary. It is a grand mistake to assume, as the inclusive rule, that those who have the best end of the bargain in our present iniquitous social relations are averse to a reorganization upon the basis of justice. The ignorant and selfish among them are so, but it is among this superior class that the best and most devoted friends of the rights of man are likely to be found. The progress of the race has always been officered by leaders from among the Patricians. It is among those who gain the advantage, and are thrown to the surface and exposed to the blessed air and light of Heaven by the fluctuations of the turbulent ocean of human affairs, that the greatest development occurs; and along with development comes the sentiment of humanity and human brotherhood. The masses of men have seldom been indebted, solely to themselves for what they have at any time gained. The most unbounded benevolence is often coupled with the possession of great wealth. But how often has the sentiment been repelled and made to recoil upon itself with disappointment and disgust at the results of its own efforts to benefit mankind! How often has the harsh lesson been taught to the rich and the good that the sentiment is powerless without the science,— that Love, without its complement in Wisdom, is blind and destructive of its own ends!
113. Hence, whenever a true science of society shall have been demonstrably discovered, when the means of permanent benefit to the race shall be unquestionably at hand, benevolent capitalists will assuredly be found in the first ranks of those who will concur to realize the higher results of human society, to which such knowledge is competent to conduct. The advanced and highly developed among men are always ready to sacrifice their relative superiority for the greater good of all, for no other reason than simply because they are men. Hence, again, although the Cost Principle is fully adequate to enable the poor, feeble, and oppressed classes to emancipate themselves from the oppressions of capital, it will, in practice, be put to no such strain. The future will show that the rich and poor will freely cooperate with hearty sincerity in the work of social regeneration, upon scientific and truly constructive principles.
114. It is proper at this point to show more explicitly the extension and comprehensiveness of the term Cost. It has been spoken of in the preceding pages chiefly as human repugnance overcome in the performance of labor. It is more accurate to define it, however, simply as human repugnance overcome in any transaction. It has both an active or positive, and a passive or negative, aspect, to which last a slight reference has already been had. (81.) The repugnance overcome in the actual performance of labor is the active phase of the subject, but there is also repugnance overcome in the mere sacrifice or surrender of any thing which we possess, and which we require at the time for our own convenience or happiness. This last is the passive aspect of Cost. Thus, for example, if I paint pictures or manufacture watches for sale, the cost, and consequently the price at which I must sell them, to deal upon the equitable principle, is the amount of labor contained in them; but, if I have in my possession — not as an article of merchandise, but for my own pleasure and convenience — a watch or a favorite painting,— say, for example, it is a present from a friend, for which reason I attach to it a particular value,— and you, taking a fancy to it, wish to induce me to part with it, then the legitimate measure of price is the amount of sacrifice which it is to me,— in other words, the degree of repugnance which I feel to surrendering it, how much soever that may exceed the positive Cost of the article, and whatever relation it may hold to its positive Value.
To be continued.
By Georges Sauton.
Translated from the French for Liberty by Sarah E. Holmes.
Continued from No. 101.
“Look at him,” said she, “and judge if I have not reason to fear everything from him.”
For sole response, embracing his granddaughter and blessing her, Treor gave the dagger to the child!
There was urgent need: the old man now despaired completely, not only of positive success, but of their ability to longer hold Newington’s forces in check. A last gust of the hurricane so lashed the sea that waves rose to the plateau and swept back with them a dozen Irishmen into the sea; the last vessels to brave the tempest lost their rudders and floated at the mercy of the wind, which, after having tossed them madly about in every direction, clashing them against each other, and causing new and irreparable damages from which the weaker ones went to the bottom, drove them suddenly out to sea, in rapid and disordered flight.
And this issue, foreseen, but against which they invoked a miracle, completed the demoralization already commenced, and wrung from the lips of the wretches who were growing weak under the influence of Lichfield’s drug cries of a despair augmented by the rumbling noise, along the whole length of the hill, of an immense mass of soldiers ascending from all directions at once.
Sustained by the trumpets, which sounded incessantly, encouraged by their officers who marched by the side of their ranks, or by Newington who, from below, persistently ordered them to carry the position, exhorting and stimulating each other, swearing, cursing, blaspheming, and vituperating these rascals, these brigands, these drunken Irishmen, they ascended as if by ladders, in spite of the shot and stone which riddled them; they climbed like monkeys, uttering shouts of triumph when half-way up.
Treor and Paddy, taking Harvey aside, tried to get him to withdraw from the fray without delay. Heroism, it is true, counselled him to remain with his friends, to share their fate, their death, their tortures; but this point of honor would end in what? In depriving Ireland of the necessary leader, in decapitating the army of defence, which, more than ever, needed a head to conduct the other troops of the country to revenge.
The defeat experienced by the contingent from the vicinity of Bunclody would not count if the agitator escaped, if he went at once somewhere else to direct the military operations.
A few hundred men less, the loss would be inappreciable; but if the general should fall among the number, the forces at the disposal of the Revolution would be paralyzed, and the impression of a first repulse he alone could diminish by explaining it, by showing that they were not overthrown, by simulating — if he did not possess it — confidence in the return of victory under the colors of Ireland!
Harvey resisted, refused to hear, absolutely; he evaded their entreaties, seized a fallen musket and some cartridges, began to fire, and urged them not to desert their necessary posts as soldiers to hold this useless council of war. They persevered in their representations, very gently at first, very respectfully, but soon assumed an imperative tone. The vanity of the man, his apprehension of perhaps unfavorable judgments upon such a flight, his desire not to survive those whom he commanded, were so many weaknesses forbidden to a leader of an army, whose position, besides, was not entirely included in the midst of a handful of combatants shut into the narrow limits of a compromised position. And as he continually escaped them to lead a hand to the work of defence and to substitute himself at some difficult point for some tired Irishman dismayed by the advance of the enemy’s ever growing forces, they ordered him — rebels, so be it! against his personal authority, but speaking in the name of the country in danger — to leave them without delay or else be adjudged guilty of violation of his oath.
Moreover, his retreat would not be accomplished without exciting events, without running the risk of death on all sides, and his bravery would not lack opportunities to manifest itself. By the road which he must take, down the cliff to the sea, he would risk a hundred times breaking his bones, being dashed by the waves against the rocks, or carried away by the eddies out into the floods from which he would never emerge, and the prospect of all these difficulties, of all this mass of perils conjured up to conquer, of this new battle after that from which he withdrew, decided him. He grasped silently the hands of his friends, and, with tears in his eyes, slipped away between the openings in the rocks, burning his hands terribly at the outset by too swift a slide over the jutting points of stone.
But, seeing him disappear, and doubting their defeat no longer, bewildered at the same time by the vociferations of the assailants who were approaching the crest of the plateau, some followed Harvey in his flight; and, quite beside themselves, not estimating the extent of the fall, they threw themselves into the abyss, fifteen or twenty of them, with their arms outspread and head first, rebounding on the wall of the cliff and swept off in the hurricane like so many empty manikins, and others plunging into the sand where their feet, alone emerging, struggled an instant convulsively.
And while they were looking with stupor and pity upon this singular and fantastic exodus, suddenly a shout of decisive victory, in which the voice of Bradwell mingled, crowned the height, whose valid defenders, still in possession of their wits, displayed new vigor and rage in opposing its easy capture by the enemy.
In a last spasm of patriotic energy, each one rushed desperately upon the English, not counting on salvation or quarter, their force increased tenfold by this thought of making the enemy pay dearly for their lives and of leaving their survivors less work to accomplish, as well as the fortifying example of their heroic death.
But, little by little, before the increasing number surging from all sides, the Irishmen, surrounded, assailed in the rear, on their flank, in front, succumbing, thrown down, conquered, lay disarmed in the agonies of death, writhing in vain, like the fragments of a serpent trying to reunite, and biting at the legs of their adversaries; in vain they rose again, with powers of muscle equal to those of will; now the complete triumph of King George’s troops became incontestable, and nothing, no supreme attempt, no miracle could change the adverse fortune or delay their destiny, which was to die.
“Kill! kill!” howled from below the hoarse, raw throat of Newington; “kill the young, the old, the women, all, all!”
“Not another drop of blood, not another act of violence!” shouted Sir Richard on the other hand, who struggled with these demoniacs to check their intoxication of murder, comprehensible during the action, cowardly after the victory.
He might sooner have appeased the tempest, and his officers, on his formal order, continued, after losing their voices, to order, by gestures and by sabre-cuts, the cessation of butcheries; but the soldiers continued, as in a dream, their abominable work, epic in its horrors, sniffing the blood which flowed and enjoying the contortions and grimaces of the dying as they would the most, admirable play.
The unexpected and comical arrival of Lichfield, his ludicrous astonishment, his laughable disappointment when he found that Sir Harvey was gone, then his joy at seeing him below going along the shore under the arching waves, all his expressive mimicry, his clapping of hands, his exclamations diverted the murderers from their absorbing frenzy.
They all knew the price set on Harvey’s head, and many were anxious to pocket it; those who were not enticed by the allurement of a reward so great understood perfectly how much more important it was to capture the chief of the insurrection than to exterminate a few hundred rebels; and on the heels of Tom Lichfield, who made off, the greater number rushed in pursuit of the agitator, flattering themselves that, with haste and a few shots skilfully fired, they could arrest him in his flight and then put him in irons.
And, except a hundred, they rushed off, yelling like hunters urging on dogs, certain ones imitating between their lips the sound of the horns; the hundred who remained, less infuriated, more tired, more docile, better disciplined, were induced at last to lay down their arms, especially by the promise that soon, perhaps, their passion for cruelty would find greater satisfaction.
In the midst of the last blows and the noise of death-rattles and imprecations, Richard sought Marian:
“Marian, I entreat you, do not prolong your obstinacy: have pity on yourself, have pity on them!”
“We are in your power; sacrifice us to your hatred.”
“Appeal to my love . . . . stronger than my reason, than my mercy. Humble your pride, make it a meritorious sacrifice to the general salvation. . . . It is not too late; gain me over to your interests.”
“Fulfil your duty as a conqueror!”
“You are beside yourself. . . . Examine my hands, not a trace of powder; my sword remains virgin in the scabbard! I have exposed myself to your fire a thousand times without answering!”
“I know it!”
“Not a drop of your blood can fall on my head; nevertheless, mine has flowed. . . You can still, without crime, belong to me. . . Do not refuse me. . . Promise me that you will consent later . . . some day, when peace is concluded, the passions of both sides calmed, and resentment extinct.”
“Reflect: the life of your brothers will pay for your rebuffs.”
“The conquered buy pity, the saving of their lives! What cowardice! There are no cowards among us!”
A comparative silence was established amid the desolation of irreparable defeat, and they were disturbed only by the numerous agonies which were gradually being hushed in death.
“You prejudge the sentiments of your companions in misfortune,” asserted Bradwell.
“Ask them!” said the young girl.
And, appealing to her friends, she cried, in a loud and piercing voice:
“Do you know what Sir Bradwell offers me? To be his wife!”
A growling murmur of indignant protest against such an offensive proposition was the answer; but Sir Richard, immediately, to the stupefaction of his officers and soldiers, declared:
“If she consents, I will pardon you all for your reward.”
“We refuse!” replied all in chorus.
“The lives of all spared,” continued he.
“Immediate liberty for all, and no prosecutions in the future.”
The officers present rebelled: the words of Sir Richard dishonored them; they consulted together vehemently: should they permit him to continue? Their duty told them to force him to silence, and, if need be, to demand his sword and put him under arrest as a traitor or a madman.
Nevertheless, the prestige of the rank and name of Sir Bradwell, the son of their general, caused a hesitation, during which Sir Bradwell, misled, went on:
“She has not revealed all to you. . . She loves me, and violates her heart in refusing me.”
“A mistake! Englishman,” cried Paddy. “It is I whom she loves, and the kiss which she gave me before us all betrothed us.”
“And I have promised her to this brave boy, victim of your torturers, you brigand, you executioner’s son!” added Treor.
By such lies both sustained the courageous attitude of Marian and forced Sir Bradwell to terminate this scene, so painful to the young girl whose tender weakness he publicly unveiled, and all that were left of the Irishmen, joining them, begged for immediate death.
Then Richard knew no bounds; with the face of a raving maniac, a bloody foam frothing on the edge of his lips, sneering and sinister, he turned to his subordinates:
“Seize one of these proud fellows and hang him there!”
A tree, which had resisted the tempest, stood between the rocks.
And, unbuckling their sword-belts, taking off their shoulder-belts and slashing them into thongs, and bringing out ropes from the bottom of their sacks, the soldiers in no time made presentable halters and began to look among the heap of men for the first victim to sacrifice; but, in the embarrassment of the choice, all at once presenting themselves for death, they treated roughly the unhappy wretches who provoked them, they were brutal with them, and repulsed them with heavy blovrs of their muskets.
Edith advanced. Throughout the fight, standing conspicuously upon a rock, exposed to the hail of bullets, she had not had the fortune to so end her martyrdom, and, with her clothes riddled by shot, scattering on the ground the bullets retained in the cloth, she claimed the honor of heading the march to eternity.
“It is my right!” said she, “for no one hates you and despises you as much as I do!”
But they pushed her back roughly, recalling the words of Newington at the moment of Arklow’s murder. Death would be a deliverance and life a burden heavier than all crosses.
“Me! me! whom Marian loves,” demanded Paddy, with a frightful smile on his ravaged face.
“Me!” cried Treor, “I excited them to revolt!”
“Me!” said a curt voice, that of sergeant John Autrun, pale, believing no longer, after the scattering of the French fleet by the tempest, in the success of the Irish, and in a hurry to disappear that he might not witness their return to slavery.
“Yes, him, the sergeant, the deserter!” the soldiers cried together in a fury, and not without design, as they looked at Sir Richard out of the corners of their eyes, showing, by this chorus of maledictions against the traitor, of what punishment they deemed apostasies worthy.
And already, before the son of Newington had assented, the former officer of the Ancient Britons was swinging from one of the branches of the fir tree; on his blue lips a hurrah for Ireland expired with his breath.
“Long live Ireland!” shouted all the other candidates for the gibbet.
Quickly a second took his place by the side of the sergeant, and his dead body swung in the breeze created by the shouts of the brave Irishmen; then, as the isolated executions did not proceed with sufficient speed, and as each hangman made the others jealous, the soldiers rushed in a mass upon the prisoners, and each, choosing a victim nearest to his hand, the tree was soon filled, like a Christmas tree, with human puppets which the wind knocked against each other in an absurd manner.
“Long live Ireland!” cried the victims, before the rope grasped their throats. “Long live Ireland!” came in a thrilling refrain from those who waited their turn at the gibbet.
And Sir Richard, stupefied, with leaden eye and mouth wide open, looked on at the ignoble spectacle of this bestial surfeit of base revenge, at intervals turning his eyes towards Marian.
Then, the young girl, a holy wrath boiling in her bosom, leaped upon the monstrous executioner, crying, in thrilling tones:
“If it is for me that you are cruel, by me you shall cease to be so.”
She raised her dagger over him, but, before she could strike, he seized her arm, and, as he grasped the fine, smooth wrist in his fierce fingers, the weapon fell to the ground; he picked it up, screaming to the soldiers like a demon of massacre:
“Kill, shoot, hang them all!”
Then, brutally driving Marian before him towards a path which led down at the side, he exclaimed:
“And you, away with you! away with you! away with you!”
It was very cold and the night was falling, invading with its darkness the great room in which Richard had taken refuge some hours since, now recovered from his bloody delirium, and plunged into a gloomy prostration, a dull despair, shaken, however, from time to time by a passing fit of barren rage against this pitiless, inflexible, invincible Marian. With his forehead in his hands, his eye wandering, and a bitter curl upon his lips, he saw again the heroic splendor of the young girl, superb in her audacity and pride, as she braved and threatened him. Ah! if she had only killed him, all would have been ended now!
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.
The Spooner Publication Fund.
Gertrude B. Kelly . . . . . $10.00
Geo. W. Searle . . . . . 5.00
Walter C. Wright . . . . . 2.00
Victor Yarros . . . . . 2.00
The above list reminds me that in the fortnight which has elapsed since the last issue of Liberty only one addition to it has arrived in response to my appeal, and I dwell upon the fact in grief and shame,— grief that the readers of Liberty, with all their professions, have so little practical sympathy or support to extend to such workers for liberty as Lysander Spooner, and shame that this is none the less the fact after I, for six years, have been doing my utmost as editor of this paper to create a sentiment of enthusiasm that could be relied on for practical results. In his feeble health and declining years Lysander Spooner worked without stint to leave behind him upon paper the truths which he knew, and among the people from whom there has yet been time to bear only the four named above have thus far signified their willingness to help in making these priceless intellectual treasures effective in enriching the minds of the people. Well, be it so! It is discouraging, but that is all. One voice will continue to cry aloud in the wilderness, though all others should become still.
Benj. R. Tucker.
On the Road to Anarchy.
“Jus,” the organ of the English Liberty and Property Defence League, printed a disappointingly brief report of a lecture on “The Limits of Liberty” recently delivered by Mr. Wordsworth Donisthorpe, of London, which must have been uncommonly instructive. Mr. Donisthorpe is a gentleman of extremely radical views and of still more extremely radical leanings. He is a thorn in the eyes of the London State Socialist fraternity, and not a few sentimentalists come to grief in attempting to answer his individualistic arguments. Sooner or later the logic of his position will force upon his reluctant mind the acceptance of Anarchism pure and simple, but thus far he has not yet completely lost confidence in his ability to maintain his present attitude. The report of the lecture tells us that, “after surveying very briefly the history of civilization, and drawing from the facts the conclusion that there was a decided tendency in the direction of the emancipation of the individual citizen from State-coercion, he proceeded to distinguish Anarchism on the one hand from Individualism on the other. While both were opposed to Socialism, the one maintained that the action of the State should be altogether destroyed, while the other held that State-action should be increased in certain departments of activity and diminished in others. The problem was, Where to draw the line; what should be left to individual freedom and what should be subjected to State-control.” Our attention is at once arrested, though we cannot repress a smile at the thought that he is having the experience and undergoing the identical process which we went through before we finally evoluted into Anarchists. It was the impossibility of drawing any such line, and the repeated and conspicuous failures of all those of our teachers who, while holding aloft the torch of liberty and illuminating and enlightening the world, stopped short of certain points in the belief that there was enough light thrown upon them, while really leaving darkness to prevail there, that made us Anarchists. We follow him:
He then passed in review the tests which have been successively put forward by Jeremy Bentham, John Stuart Mill, and Herbert Spencer, pointing out that, each of them had its weak point, and broke down wherever it was exposed to a strain. “The greatest happiness of the greatest number,” he said, is meaningless, to begin with; secondly, the question arises, Of whom? Are we to calculate the happiness of living persons only, or of the countless millions to come? And, thirdly, who is a competent judge, and where is his “hedonometer”? Is it a greater triumph of statesmanship to make a few persons very happy or a great many persons tolerably comfortable? Is a very happy man twice or three times as happy as one who doesn’t know that he has much to complain of? Mill’s contention that the State was justified in interfering with the citizens only in its own self-defence was shown to be of no practical utility as a test of the value of legislation. Every law should be justified on those grounds. Even the Inquisition bursted in self-defence; for surely a State could suffer nothing worse than the eternal damnation of its units. Then “the greatest happiness of each compatible with the equal liberty of all” — Mr. Spencer’s formula — was shown to apply equally well to a Socialistic State, an Anarchic State, or any intermediate form, so long as the principle of Equality is conformed to. It was also pointed out that Mr. Spencer’s second test, based on the difference between negatively-regulative and positively-regulative, was of little value, inasmuch as any law whatever could be stated in either form. . . . Mr. Auberon Herbert’s distinction between direct and indirect coercion fared no better at his hands. By gradual shades of difference in the application of some sort of force the lecturer passed from what all would consider an unquestionable ease of direct coercion to what all would regard as not coercion at all, and he defied anyone present to show at which point direct coercion ended and indirect began, and, furthermore, where indirect coercion ended.
Cheerfully assenting to all this, and admiring the analytical mind of the critical lecturer, we begin to grow somewhat fearful of the result. Why, he seems to have examined and considered all the objections to these authors on which the Anarchists based their conclusion that “the remedy for the evils growing out of liberty is more liberty” and that, in the absence of any regulating principle, the intelligent self-interest and healthy natural sympathies of the people must be relied upon for settling all future difficulties. What if he should really astonish us by offering a solution of the problem? We are eager to hear his conclusion:
The conclusion arrived at was that no general principle can be formulated by which it can be stated beforehand whether or not any particular matter should fall into the domain of State control or private liberty.
Ah! Anarchism is saved. But, Mr. Donisthorpe, what are you going to do about it? Highly satisfactory “conclusion,” this. Starting out to “distinguish between Individualism and Anarchism,” to draw a line, you have “concluded” that Individualism is a baseless, uncertain, and unreal thing, without beginning or end; that the real issue is between State Socialism and Anarchism, and that one has to decide between these two practically, for there is no middle ground, as the Anarchists claim that everything can be achieved through voluntary association, and the State Socialists insist upon the State’s absorbing everything.
It is evident that Mr. Donisthorpe cannot be long in reaching Anarchy. For him there is no alternative. But the “noble” sons of the thieves and pirates who “conquered” and enslaved the people of the United Kingdom, constituting the robbery-property and impunity-liberty defence league, should be given warning. They who want liberty to still further crush and oppress the people; liberty to enjoy their plunder without fear of the State’s interfering with them; liberty to coerce Ireland; liberty to summarily deal with impudent tenants who refuse to pay tribute for the privilege of living and working on the soil,— these should beware of such friends as Mr. Donisthorpe. He is not safe.
A word in conclusion about Mr. Herbert Spencer, who, I notice, is an attentive reader of “Jus.” In the report of Mr. Donisthorpe’s lecture Mr. Silencer’s formula, “the greatest liberty of each compatible with the equal liberty of all,” was misstated so as to read the greatest happiness,” etc. He immediately wrote to correct this error. Why did not Mr. Spencer see fit to answer those powerful criticisms and clear up those very serious difficulties which Mr. Donisthorpe so effectively raised against his distinction between negative and positive regulation of the relations between the individual and the State? Is Mr. Spencer determined to let Mr. Donisthorpe and others embrace Anarchism rather than extend them a helping hand? Or is it not in his power to save them?
A Compliment from Mrs. Besant.
In a discussion on Socialism recently in progress between Charles Bradlaugh and Annie Besant in the latter’s magazine, “Our Corner,” the former took occasion to quote against Mrs. Besant my recent criticism of her inconsistency in “stopping short of Communism in State Socialism,” whereupon in her rejoinder she writes as follows:
Mr. Benjamin Tucker, as an Anarchist, would naturally charge me with not going far enough; in his eyes Collectivist Socialism is inconsistent and weak, Anarchism being the only logical and perfect system of thought. So Mr. Auberon Herbert, an extreme Individualist, regards Mr. Bradlaugh’s Individualism as a very poor, weak-backed kind of thing, since Mr. Bradlaugh thinks that a majority may rightly impose a tax for a common object, whereas individual liberty demands that a man shall be left free to pay a tax or not as he chooses. Every one who does not go to the extreme length of every opinion held by some individual nominally belonging to his party must be prepared for reproaches of this kind. But I can support Mr. Benjamin Tucker’s strictures with perfect equanimity, as doubtless can Mr. Bradlaugh any levelled at him by Mr. Auberon Herbert. And in truth Mr. Benjamin Tucker and Mr. Auberon Herbert are men of very much the same type, and are living examples of the truth of the adage that extremes meet.
I congratulate Mrs. Besant and myself on the calmness with which she is able to receive my criticism. It removes an otherwise possible obstacle from the achievement of my purpose, which was not to disturb her equanimity, but to induce in her the power of correct reasoning, to which a ruffled temper is supposed not to be conducive. Further, her good humor in this matter impels her to pay me one of the highest compliments that I ever received in placing me by the side of Auberon Herbert. Why, however, she should instance Mr. Herbert and myself in illustration of the proverbial meeting of extremes is mysterious to me, for I do not understand that Mr. Herbert stands at one extremity of anything of which I can be said to stand at the other. It is true that I look to liberty for the accomplishment of certain radical changes in the methods of acquiring property, which expectation I am not sure that Mr. Herbert fully shares, but neither of us, as far as I am aware, proposes to deny liberty in the smallest in case of becoming convinced of the correctness of the other’s forecast of its results.
A Quack’s Wry Face at His Own Medicine.
- Reynolds, the Infidel Lecturer, was recently tried in New Jersey for blasphemy, and convicted after a long and eloquent defence by Colonel Ingersoll. The “Truth Seeker” devotes several columns to an account of the trial, a large part of which consists of what seems to me outrageous abuse of the judge. I say this after a careful reading of the “Truth Seeker’s” verbatim report of the judge’s charge. It is impossible to understand how the editor dared to print it side by side with his comments, except on the assumption that his prejudices had so blinded his reason that he could not discern the discrepancy. My respect for the bench and its occupants approaches the infinitesimal, but on those rare occasions when a judge does behave decently I do not like to see him singled out for special maltreatment. Once admitting, as the “Truth Seeker” always has, the legitimacy of the government and its courts, I see no exception to be taken to the judge’s course in the case under discussion, if the words of his charge fairly indicate it. What did he say? After Colonel Ingersoll had spent a day or two in telling the jury what a glorious thing liberty is,— as if courts established for the enforcement of statute law had any business with liberty whatever,— the judge, handsomely acknowledging the thrilling eloquence of the prater and the room for honest difference of opinion as to the propriety of the statute, explained to the jury, the most calm, impartial, and judicial language, that there is a law on the statute-books of New Jersey against blasphemy, that this law represents the will of people of New Jersey acting in the exercise of their sovereignty, and that the sole question for the jury was whether the defendant had violated it. He concluded with these words:
It is enough for us to know that it is the law, and, being law, we are bound to enforce it; and if this defendant been proved to your satisfaction, beyond the reasonable doubt I have referred to, to have committed the crime of blasphemy, it is your duty to convict him. If he has not, it is your duty to acquit him. Let him be acquitted, or let him be convicted, because he has either violated, or has not violated the law. Do not acquit him by violating the law yourself.
This last remark seems to be particularly obnoxious to the “Truth Seeker,” which asks: “What could a spineless juryman do after a command like that?” Do? Why! he could do just what the judge told him to do,— follow the evidence and the law. The “Truth Seeker” appears to regard the judge’s closing remark as equivalent to an assertion that an acquittal would be a violation of the law. By no means. It was simply a caution to the jurors not to acquit the defendant because they disapproved the law, but to convict or acquit him upon the evidence that he had or had not violated the law. It may be true that the judge’s “passion sent the blood to his face in a flood,” that “his black eyes twinkled with malice,” and that he “pounded the bench to emphasize his points,” — the “Truth Seeker” makes these charges, and, not having been there to see, I cannot deny them,— but, if it is, the judge’s manner was as unfitting an accompaniment to his language as would be the yells of a hyena to the cooing of a dove. Of course, to an Anarchist, who laughs at the law and all its ministers, the judge talked fudge, but only just such fudge as the “Truth Seeker” talks to Anarchists whenever it tries to combat them. Justice finds its most pleasing exemplification when quacks are compelled to swallow their own medicine.
Dear Comrade Tucker:
You still misunderstand my art attitude, I think. I teach nothing reactionary, if I know it. I indeed believe in ideals, but they are simply my art models. My Great Ideal is my perfected and happy self; my lesser ideals all relate to this. My ideals are my gods; yet are they my servants. In a certain sense they are “fixed ideas,” yet I watch them with ever increasing keenness of criticism, and am always ready to unfix them, and “fix” them over, in the interests of my Ego. I am as “ghost-ridden” as Mr. Kelly, and believe most heartily in justice, morality, altruism, unselfishness, and all the rest; yet I believe in them merely because I consider them immensely conducive to my own happiness, which brings me close to your own position, I think. In other words, I claim to be an intelligent Egoist. I cannot tell when or where I first found these ideas, but it was years before I comprehended Anarchy, and they have done more, perhaps, than anything else to open my mind to it. I think even Tchernychewsky could find no fault with my idealism.
Therefore I cannot believe in “art for art’s sake.” I believe in art (as everything else) for humanity’s sake, which, sifted down, means for my own sake. The spirit of that wise saying of the Boss Carpenter of Judea about the Sabbath fits my thought here exactly. Art was made for man, not man for art.
I showed you that I used the word ulterior in the sense of indirect or incidental, and the “absurdity” of which you accuse me is purely of your own construction by making what I called the direct object of fine art do duty for an ulterior object. I assume that every intelligent man practises art for his own sake; and all that my offending aphorism was intended to assert was that the true artist cared more for to taaefits directly or necessarily coming to him from the practice of his art, as art, than for the indirect benefits which might accrue. In other words, in the true artist the esthetic passion must somewhat predominate.
Happiness is not necessarily “later in time of achievement,” but may coexist with immediate pleasure to the nerves of sense.
That you still misunderstand me is clearly revealed by your saying: “The true artist-lover refrains from dwelling upon babies precisely because he cares more for babies,” etc. Now all that is contrary to my idea, and shows that you have misunderstood my whole argument from the first. ‘Tis the stirpiculturist who cares more for babies. There is no necessary connection between love-making and babies, except that parents perfected by love-making make better babies, just as parents developed by calisthenics or massage would. This is why I distinguished love from passion, or, to speak more scientifically, the love-passion from the simple sex-passion. Sex-passion is an instinct having children for its direct object, and is guided by what we call Nature, but in love this sex-passion is tamed, trained, cultivated, and turned into new channels by the intellect and for the pleasure of the Ego. In the highest and most artistic love-making the sexual forces, intensely vivifying and thrilling, are intelligently and skilfully directed, now here, now there, into every physical and mental faculty, until their power is spent, producing the most brilliant action in the faculties thus inspired. Therefore in artistic love-making, you will perceive, the elements and essences secreted by the sex-passion are not utilized in real reproduction, nor wasted in sham reproduction, but employed as aesthetic agents for the benefit of the person. But, so far as the magnetic forces are concerned, at least, this is best accomplished by exchange between the sexes; that is to say, we can best utilize our own magnetic sexual secretions by exchanging them for an equal portion of the magnetism of some one of the opposite sex. The function of the sex-passion is to secrete surplus vital power and expend it for reproduction. But the function of the love-passion is to take this secreted vitality, exchange it for power secreted by one of the opposite sex, and distribute this for the development, pleasure, and happiness of the organism. This is why I said: “Passion is begotten of natural selection, looking to the maintenance of the race; love is of artificial culture, looking to the perfection of the individual.” Were I desirous of children, I should employ the simple, abrupt, paroxysmal sex-passiou, for that throws all the vital powers to the reproductive centres. But the love-passion is not fit to be directly employed in reproduction, because it withdraws the reproductive stores for an egoistic feast.
But our enemies will say that we waste time and valuable space in these aesthetic discussions, while the world perishes and tyrants rivet their chains. Let us drop the subject, for, now that you understand me, I feel sure you no longer accuse me.
No, indeed, Mr. Tucker, I did not think you silly enough tt> maintain that Anarchism rests on no positive principle. But, because your language seemed capable of misinterpretation in that way, I strove for clearer statement. So far from regarding you as silly, there are few living men whose intellectual powers I more respect; few, if any, whose teachings seem to me so near the basic truth. The only thing that seems unwise to me about you is (as I have before told y6u) that merciless combativeness which makes you strike blows so hard that they rebound to your own hurt and discredit; estranging from you friends and comrades who, whatever their errors in judgment, are at least following liberty as best they may, and are valuable in their place both to you and the cause. But doubtless my supply of this sort of presumptuous advice already exceeds the demand.
Sincerely, J. Wm. Lloyd.
May 29, 1887.
[When Mr. Lloyd finds himself in a tight place in an argument, his favorite resource is to accuse his opponent of what the logicians call ignoratio elenchi; that is, he says to him: “You, sir, have disproved something which I did not say, but what I did say you have overlooked.” Then he proceeds to show that what he did say substantially agrees with his opponent’s position. “You are right,” he asserts, “but I was not wrong.” Some time ago he answered Mr. Yarros in this way; now he meets me likewise. The disadvantage of this argument, if used repeatedly, consists in its establishment of the following unsatisfactory alternative,— either the opponent is a blockhead, or the criticised party is a very obscure and ambiguous writer. And in this case the alternative is not only unsatisfactory, but utterly confusing, because Mr. Lloyd has given me a certificate as a man of intellect and I have given him one as a literary artist. The consoling feature of the controversy is that I have elicited from him exactly what he claims to have elicited from me upon another matter,— clearer statement. It is true that Mr. Lloyd said in his second article that he had used “ulterior” in the sense of incidental, but it is not true that he “showed” it. On the contrary, I showed him, by calling attention to his context, that his use of the word necessarily implied the sense of later in time of achievement. If his meaning was other than his words implied, I could not be expected to know it. The same discrepancy between meaning and statement appears in what he says of love and passion. Judging from his latest interpretation of his words, he had in view only the artist-lover who is not aiming at offspring. But his original words implied the contrary. I quote them: “A man makes a poor lover whose sole [italics mine] desire in love is to make that love beget offspring. The true artist cares more for his art and his pleasure in it than for its ulterior object.” If these sentences do not refer to a man who not only wants children, but wants at the same time to make love, and if they do not assert concerning him that he is not a true artist unless he cares more for his pleasure in love-making than for what sort of a child he is to produce, then I do not understand English. As stated, it was a plain case of “art for art’s sake,” and as such I attacked it. — Editor Liberty.]
Mr. Spooner and the Postal Monopoly.
My dear Tucker:
I regret that you could understand me, in my remarks at the Spooner Memorial, as including the great man now gone in the number of those who are satisfied with the existing postal system,— for it was never in my heart to say it. As an example of the practical force of his character, I pointed to the effectual method with which he compelled the reduction of postage: first, by proving that the government had no exclusive power, under the Constitution, to carry the mails; second, by establishing a mail of his own from Boston to Baltimore, and challenging the post-office officials to contest the point in the courts. I expressly affirmed that his argument was conclusive and unanswerable. Instead of “going on” to glorify our postal system, I merely said, parenthetically, that it was generally believed that the government was serving us in postal matters better than any private corporation would do,— not dreaming that any one could possibly take me as reflecting Mr. Spooner’s opinion. What he may have said to you within ten years is not at all to the purpose,— since it is not to be denied that in the course of forty years there was some progress in his thought. He claimed, in 1819, in a letter to M. D. Phillips, that the value of his movement did not end with the reduction of 1845, as that was only a preparatory step to a still further reduction,— a prediction which has been fulfilled to an extent he could not then have anticipated.
I recognize the generosity of the suggestion which you offer as an apology for me,— that, in my hurry, I failed to discriminate between his views and my own. But it is as offensive as it is generous,— for it would pain me if my reverence for the illustrious sage whose memory we both cherish with infinite gratitude were to be shadowed by such an imp.
J. M. L. Babcock.
June 25, 1887.
[The main point — that Mr. Spooner looked upon the present postal system as an outrage which individual enterprise, if allowed, would drive out of existence — now being admitted, it is of secondary importance whether Mr. Babcock’s memory of his speech, or mine, is the more accurate. I should not have made my protest had I not clearly understood him to say (and at least two other persons understood him as I did) that “no one now denies” that the government postal service could not be equalled in excellence by any private corporation. Knowing that Mr. Spooner did distinctly deny this, and that all Anarchists do deny it, I could not let such a statement, coming from a man as intimate as Mr. Babcock with Mr. Spooner and many Anarchists, pass unchallenged. If Mr. Babcock said what I and others think he said, then what Mr. Spooner said within ten years is very much more to the purpose than anything he said in the letter to M. D. Phillips. To sustain my view, however, I ask nothing better than that letter, which, like the pamphlet containing it, is full of passages which show that Mr. Spooner’s battle was with the monopoly itself. I will content myself with quoting one. “It was my intention — had I been sufficiently sustained by the public — to carry the question to the last tribunal. But after a contest of some six or seven months, having exhausted all the resources I could command, I was obliged to surrender the business, and with it the question, into the hands of others, who did not see sufficient inducement for contesting the principle, after the reduction of postage had taken place.” The words which I have italicized show clearly that Mr. Spooner did not agree with these “others,” but, even after the reduction of postage, would have continued, had he had the means, to fight the monopoly before the Supreme Court. — Editor Liberty.]
A Letter Which Henry George Wouldn’t Print.
To the Editor of Liberty:
The enclosed manuscript is a copy as near as may be of a letter sent to Mr. George for insertion in his paper and rejected by him. In reply to one of his correspondents who referred to Proudhon and Kellogg’s views on interest, Mr. George asserted that those writers were ignorant of the subject they discussed, and that interest existed in the nature of things. He refuses, however, to allow any defence of the anti-interest position to appear, on the plea of lack of space for such trivial matters, and refers me and all others seeking light to “Progress and Poverty.” This is certainly a most amusing exhibition of Popery. He writes as if the only possible dispute could be as to the meaning of the “most wonderful book since the New Testament,” not as to its authority, as if no one could dare to call in question the conclusions stated in that bible of which he himself is the modest author. I send the letter in the hope that it may serve to open the eyes of some of those well-meaning but over-trustful radicals who continue to regard Mr. George as both able and honest.
John F. Kelly.
To the Editor of the Standard:
I have read with great interest your reply to “Morris” in the last number of the “Standard”; but I have not been convinced by it that Kellogg’s assertion that interest, even at two per cent., would inevitably prove ruinous is untrue. I do not think that “Morris” is, and I am certain that Proudhon was not, led astray by confining his attention to borrowing and lending instead of taking a survey of the whole field of commerce. It was not interest on loans in the ordinary sense, but profit itself, that Proudhon was aiming at. Consequently it is begging the question to defend interest-taking on a loan by asserting that the borrower may make a still greater profit.
Your distinction between interest, increase of capital, and usury, payment for the use of a legal tender, is ingenious, but scarcely of much value unless you are prepared to show that the former would exist in the absence of the latter. Suppose I am possessed of capital and wish to engage in a manufacturing business; but that my capital is in such shape that it is not immediately available for that business, and that a forced sale would entail considerable loss. There are two courses open to me: either I must borrow money from some person having it to lend, or I must buy what machinery and supplies I need on time. In either case, however ample may be the security I give, I must pay interest, in the one case directly, in the other in the form of higher prices. Consequently when I place my goods on the market, I have to charge not only for my labor and that of my associates, for the raw material and the depreciation of the plant, but in addition I must charge enough to pay the interes; on the cost of this plant, and, if possible, enough additional to pay me a profit. Prices are thus raised to consumers, who in turn, if possible, raise the prices of their products. This, however, cannot be done by the poorest class of consumers, the wage-workers, and so on them ultimately falls the burden of interest-paying. Now I am compelled to pay interest on the money I borrow in order to procure stock, or higher prices for the stock bought on time, solely because of the monopoly allowed in the issuance of a circulating medium. That an association of persons possessed of capital could issue to themselves non-interest-bearing mutual-guarantee notes, the association being secured by mortgages on the property of the individuals to whom the notes were issued, and that these notes would be capable of fulfilling all the useful functions of money, no one who investigates the subject impartially can doubt. Possessed of such notes, I can buy what I need without being forced to pay an advanced rate, since those of whom I buy would find them equally serviceable in their purchases of me or any other adherent of the association. This being the case, it is evident that what appeared to be a charge for the loan of capital is really a charge for the use of a circulating medium; and that the high rates paid by the wage-workers for what they buy would be at once lowered by competition in the presence of free money without an equivalent reduction of wages.
I think I have made out a sufficiently good case against interest by showing that it entails any unnecessary hardship on the masses of the people, but the hardship that it causes is not limited to the mere taking away of a portion of their earnings. Its chief evil is that every now and again it brings about a glut in the market and a financial panic. Were interest simply a tax on the producer, like that levied by the feudal barons, however large it might be, we could hope to live under it by harder work and improvements in the methods of production; but the curse of interest is that it forbids work, as a short analysis of capitalist production will show. Suppose a community in which there are a number of factories devoted to the supply of articles of general utility, and that the proceeds are equally divided between the employing capitalists and the employees. The immediate result, of course, its that the employees, the great mass of the people, are able to buy only one-half of the goods produced, and that the employers will not buy the other half since their wants for common articles are no greeter than those of the employees. In consequence, commercial stagnation results, and the factories close for a time,— possibly some of the employers are ruined. In such a state of affairs some relief would be afforded by the introduction of a new industry. the production of articles of luxury, as this would tend to make the circulation more complete. The relief would, however, be imperfect at best, and besides would encounter grave obstacles to its success. For the capitalist who invests all his surplus income in luxuries is really abdicating his functions, since, although he continues to draw interest, he loses that power of increasing the amount he draws, and consequently will be rapidly distanced by any rival who pursues the accumulation policy. A glut sooner or later is therefore inevitable under the capitalist system, and the only remedy is the replacement of that system by one in which the laborer’s wages will be sufficient to enable him to buy back his own product,— that is, one in which profit is abolished.
I am aware that economic writers generally speak of the hope of profit as a necessary incentive to labor; but this is evidently a confusing of terms, for all that is necessary as an incentive is that labor should receive a reward, and profit in the economic sense lessens this reward. Besides, if we suppose a community ell the members of which are equally capitalists,— i. e., equally rich and with equal opportunities,— it is evident that profit would be reduced to zero and yet that labor would continue. Profit in the economic sense is in its nature one-sided and cannot be generalized; for if, in an equalitarian society, each one advances the prices of his product five per cent, above cost,— that is, makes five per cent. profit,— the net result is as if no one had made any. There is a sense, however, in which mutual profit (advantage) occurs,— for instance, the advantage arising from the division or specialization of labor; but here the advantage remains when exchange takes place at cost,— that is, when profit in the economic sense has vanished,— and hence its existence cannot serve as a defence of interest.
I do not intend by anything I have said to belittle the importance of the land reform movement. It is no doubt true that, were the power of landlordism to remain as it is, the advantages accruing from the reform I am advocating would be absorbed by the landlords. I am heartily in sympathy with the movement to abolish landlordism, and all I wish to point out is that such abolition is not enough. The party that seeks the emancipation of the proletariat must inscribe on its banner Free Money as well as Free Land.
John F. Kelly.
61 East Seventh St., New York.
Reply to John F. Kelly.
Mr. Kelly asks what is there superstitious in respect for the rights of others? That depends on what is meant. Stirner uses the verb “to respect” in the sense of to stand in awe, and this not with reference to physical force. When desire and “sacred duty” coincide, there is no test presented.
I use the word egoism in only one general meaning, defined in No. 97. When the symbol is understood, accepted, and its meaning remembered, there is no diftlculty in applying it, however many different manifestations there may be of the Ego. Vanity, which prompts men to say I — I — I, is popularly called egotism. It is a particular manifestation of the Ego. I recognize the fact that vanity is Egoistic and turned this to account to exhibit an “altruistic” benefit, but possibly cozening. One could raise trifling criticisms on the difference between an “altruistic” benefit intended for some others and such a benefit for all others. Eccentricity is individual, but the fact does not destroy the proper general meaning of individuality. Having already defined my principal term, what more is expected of me in that relation? To define popular variations indicating special developments? In such cases it surely suffices that the special meaning be made clear then and there, which was the case when alluding to vanity and introducing the popular term egotism so as not to falsify the popular spelling and at the same time not to convey the idea that vanity is the whole of Egoism. Men have different tastes and appetites. In gratifying any of them they exhibit Egoism. That is the reason why there are so many different kinds of the article.
Has it dawned upon Mr. Kelly that Egoism is perhaps not a bad word in itself, and that it might be stigmatizing personality to use it to designate merely repulsive traits of character? But will a “t” save the mark or drive philosophers to a hyphen?
I shall not object to a good thing for its name, even if I object to the name, and though evolutionary moralism puts out its head when it hears the hind part of its name. When unenlightened people have done harm, we will inquire what caused them to do harm. We need not disturb the “chestnut” style of religious controversy. The greatest reason why a particular Ego will not rob his neighbor may be that he does not want to do so. Why might not Mr. Kelly tell the readers of Liberty what Stirner said in reproach to the thief?
Bismarck must go with the Pope. Emperor Wilhelm and Vaterland are to him indispensable superstitions.
There is just this about all motives being Egoistic (it is like chemical substances being physical),— that for it to be a true Statement the word “motive” must be restricted to a meaning which renders the proposition tautological. If a motive is a calculation with personal desire at the end, then only in the degree in which one is a real Ego can one entertain a motive. The hypnotized subject is otherwise moved, and not as a self-governing person; though we speak of him as a person, as we speak of a dead duck as a duck.
If promises disappeared, Mr. Kelly thinks that contracts and concerted action would become impossible except under duress, but I think that contracts will have to become mutually beneficial with appreciable continuity, and by beneficial I mean as well gratifying to the sentiments as to what are popularly appreciated as the material interests of the contracting parties. Every reasonable man knows that, when an arrangement is satisfactory to him, he will not break it up merely because the contract has expired. Even those who believe in the sacredness of premises and contract will admit as much.
I have yet to find the moralist who treats a premise as a law of nature, admitting of no exception, and so with always telling the truth, as when one is in the power of an enemy, the moralist has his superior reason. I have mine. To me a promise contains two elements,— namely, (1) the announcement of a purpose, and (2) respect for the “sacredness” of the engagement. The Egoist will either construe promise as an announcement, or will substitute the less misleading simple announcement. One who withdraws from his announced purpose, to our injury, must furnish reasons satisfactory to us or expect us to mark his conduct and deal with him as watering or hostile.
It is really curious to read that, if pledges are valueless, “his colleagues would sell him out on the first opportunity.” Does a natural man refrain from selling out his friends only because he has given a pledge not to do so? If so, it is much to be feared that he will sell them out in any event at the first good chance. The greatest traitor given the most solemn assurances and invents the longest and strongest oaths. Better than all such vanities, follies, and credulities is this: Those who are against us must expect us to be against them, find those who do not love our way we do not want.
The Einzige is Stirner’s term for the genuine Ego. Napoleon was not altogether such, but how much he lacked is immaterial to my reply. He had a number of propensities which certainly could not be argued away. Whatever he was, he was taken as an idol, deified and served by the an-egoistic devotion of others who did the slaughtering and pillaging. To accomplish all this mischief it was necessary that there be national spirit and a variety of other hate-breeding superstitions, not only in France, but in the antagonistic countries.
Men have interests in each other prior to contract. Neither is the moralism which makes a promise sacred nor coercion in an Archistic sense necessary to contract. They can boycott the recalcitrant.
The Ego is not a spook, but an animal.
I have not attempted to prove Mr. Kelly superstitious because he retains the terms “ought” and “should.” If the reader will refer to No. 97, where I alluded to Mr. Kelly’s “particular use” of those terms,— not to the fact of his using them,— he will see the nature of Mr. Kelly’s error on this point, which is surprising. And really Mr. Kelly, having formerly written on moral obligation, now takes a singular course in confining his gratuitous instances of the word “ought” to indications of probabilities, as How much ought this to measure, etc. If these illustrations illustrate adequately, one might infer that, when the moralist asks, How ought a man to act in certain circumstances? He only means how will he act? I use the same words myself not only to indicate probabilities, but also to indicate conduct which I will approve or disapprove for various reasons. A whist player ought not to trump his partner’s ace. I ought not to write on both sides of this paper. An Anarchist ought not to vote. I ought to answer candidly, if at all. In each instance it is implied that the Ego has given himself a certain task, or has a certain purpose, and that something conditions its fulfillment. My liking will determine whether I play whist or not, whether I write or not. My dislike of tyranny will determine me, with information, to be a plumb-liner.
Curious reasoning is this: “It seems as if Tak Kak had so recently succeeded in getting rid of some of his incubi that,” etc. “Of course he can scarcely be expected to grasp the idea, then, that,” etc. I draw attention to the connective “then.” The premise which is conditioned by “it seems,” leads to a conclusion which is obviously Mr. Kelly’s basis for asserting that “it seems.” Because I “fail to grasp,” I “seem” green; and because I am green, inasmuch as I seem to be green, I “fail to grasp.” Perhaps I have given enough thought to the question to bold up my end. Is Mr. Kelly confident that I am very green? What length of time appears to him sufficient for self-examination? I am glad that the organ of the plumb-liners is liberal enough to let this discussion in even for amusement. Readers need a little entertainment.
Bradlaugh’s perjury could have no interest for me except as illustrating the principle upon which tyranny, relative or absolute, may be combatted, just as I spoke of passive resistance by gamblers.
The sense of honor which “gratifies” Mr. Kelly is by that word indicated to be Egoistic. If Mr. K. were one of those men who bend in pain and agony to gratify a tyrannous sentiment of honor, the aspect would be different. Adulterated sugar is called sugar, and adulterated, warped Egos are called persons “obedient to a sense of honor and duty.”
If Mr. Kelly is not a “good citizen” or not a “cooperator,” but simply a good resident and an advocate of equity in individual relations as resulting in something better than cooperative organizations, he will be denounced by those to whom not to be a “good citizen” is to be a bad man, and to whom not to vote is not to be a good citizen. Words in their primary and even secondary meanings tempt to acceptance, but often betray us in their further connotations or technical meanings. The secondary meaning of the word morals may be approved conduct, but under the head of secondary Mr. Kelly has introduced a distinction which may be referred to a third stage. When Belford Bax and B. R. Tucker speck of the inexpedient, they plainly mean that which they deem a mistake in judgment. When they speak of the immoral, they appear to mean that which they will condemn as to its temper or purpose. If the word morality might stand for the words good conduct, and immorality for the words bad conduct, then it would be equally open to all to use them judiciously with reference to any conceived good or bad, for an individual or group. But moralism as distinguishing itself from Egoism demands more. It will have morality to be the “truly” good conduct, and, if an individual is so organized that what is for his good is not for the good of the supreme spook of morality, he is not allowed in thought to be a standard of good for himself. Thus the moralists are impelled by the specific character of their idea to become dogmatic. Compare what I suggest as the real secondary meaning of the word “morals” with the common use of the word murder; for what is true of moralism is true of particular words indicating moral acts. The Egoist may talk of temperance, duty, obligation, right, or anything else relating to conduct, but he will always intend to convey his individual judgment, and with reference to his own line of conduct, never to make himself the mouthpiece of a dogma. When the Czar kills a Nihilist, he calls it an execution, but the Nihilists call it a murder. When the Nihilists kill a Czar, they call it an execution, but the Czarites call it murder. Still, though every one puts his own judgment into words which express the several parts of morals, the distinctive moralists are not content to leave the word morality in the same elective state.
For further frustration, there is Mr. Tucker’s use of the word right in the article alluded to. As we give each other rights and give ourselves duties, when one says that a man has a right to do such and such a thing, I know that, whatever else he may mean, he means that it will be right so far as he is concerned. He is willing to let the man do that. Note the contrast with the coarse of certain men who have urged others to do unwise acts because the theoretical right appeared.
To restrain some men by preaching devotion to the spook of moralism may be quite possible. The moralist makes an easy case thus, like the other religionists; nevertheless I distrust moralism. It draws comparisons between the actual and its ideal without well considering what can be realized and how. Drunkenness is immoral. Preach the welfare of the social life. Magnetize the drunkard. Still there is something in his stomach which moralism does not reach. What other evil will appear I do not know. Perhaps moralism preserves him to beget a race of drunkards or fanatics.
The perpetuation of the social life is a phrase in which the spook nests. After preaching, each person will translate it for himself and have his separate spook. Is society all living persons, or also all persons who are to live? The moralist may think of his children as contributing to form the ideal “society” which he carries in his head. If they die before maturity, “society” never is what he thought of. It does not include those persons whom he imagined as his grandchildren.
Are animals excluded from “the social life” simply in the degree of their inability to enter? If the answer is Yes, then moralism is a fiction. If the answer is No, then “moral” society is an arbitrary selection,— a characterization of and for themselves by a set of bipeds who have seized all advantages over less intelligent animals. The horse has feelings, but not such capacities as to render him the equal of the man. Now, if moralism fully respects life and feeling and happiness as such, the moral society will let the wild horse alone; but if the bipeds capture the quadruped, castrate him, make him a beast of burden and keep him in slavery,— ah, the unconscious hypocrisy! If, however, the moralist is determined to maintain moralism as his superior principle, he must respect the animals whose inability alone debars them from society. Let him kill the wolf in self-defence, but let him not kill the wolf because it kills the lamb, and then himself kill the lamb and eat it. It is not necessary that he take a horse to ride, or to draw a carriage. He can walk and carry burdens. Let the moralist set this example, or cease to preach moralism as a principle of disinterested respect for life and feeling as such. But what is there in a man that distinguishes him, except in degree, from other animals? The older moralists had a ready reply. They respected the immortal soul. If moralism is to be commended because Mr. Kelly can influence somebody, will he not bethink himself that the doctrine of an immortal soul in the negro had something to do with setting negroes free? It is the Egoist’s turn to laugh if tho moralist finds that other ideas which are not true may have served to promote some good at times.
It is Egoistic to select for aid those who can and will aid us. Proudhon did not contemplate that we must give ourselves duties to all men without regard to their ability or willingness to be of us, with us, and for us. He was not one inch removed from Stirner in his view when he spoke of giving a youth a chance to show himself, and then, if he did not defend himself against oppression: “Frappez, ce n’est pas un homme!” (Strike, he is no man!)
I might, further object to the term morality because it conveys the ideas of people who would interfere to repress vice, as well as the different ideas of Mr. Kelly’s school. If Egoism is reproached for an appearance of like confusion in popular estimation there are these differences,— that the various phases of Egoism are Egoism, but the so-called popular morality is to Mr. Kelly’s school immoral; and also that Egoism does not pretend to make any rule at all analogous to morality. What the social welfare is must always be an individual opinion. What the pleasure of the individual is is a fact ascertainable by the individual, if anything is.
The hero-worshipper preaches duty. What would strong men and governments be without dutiful worshippers in the mass of mankind?
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.