“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.
Ely, the quack historian and economist, says in the “North American Review” that there are two or three hundred thousand believers in Anarchy in this country. This is about as near the truth as the fellow usually gets.
Dr. Edward Aveling says: “No arrangement can be equitable into which the word ‘Master’ enters.” No, or the thing “Master” either; and the latter enters very decidedly into the State Socialism of which Dr. Aveling is an apostle.
Jesse R. Grant is a stockholder in A. K. Owen’s cooperative enterprise, the Credit Foncier of Sinaloa, and vice-president of its sister organization, the Mexican-American Construction Company. The Grants have been very successful cooperators in their time, as Ferdinand Ward can testify.
I haven’t much respect for Colonel T. W. Higginson, but on those rare occasions when he says a brave and sensible thing it gives me pleasure to give him credit for it. One of these was his recent editorial in the “Index” in which, as a friend of woman, he condemned the proposition to raise the “age of consent” to eighteen years.
Liberty’s propaganda receives another valuable addition this week by the publication in pamphlet form of Lysander Spooner’s masterly “Letter to Grover Cleveland.” Written with all the fire and vigor of youth by a man who has spent a life of nearly eighty years in acquisition of truth and battle for it, this exhaustive exposure of the trickery, fraud, and monstrous crime by which the people are kept in poverty for the benefit of a rapacious few will open the eyes of all who read it carefully and without prejudice. It makes a large and handsome pamphlet of one hundred and twelve pages, which I send, post-paid, on receipt of thirty-five cents. See the advertisement in another column.
In a speech recently delivered in Paris, Kropotkine said: “As the idea of the inviolability of the individual’s home life has developed during the second half of our century, so the idea of collective right to everything that serves in the production of wealth has developed in the masses. This is a fact; and whoever wants to live, as we do, with the life of the people and fellow its development will admit that this affirmation is but an accurate summary of popular aspirations.” Then Kropotkinian Anarchism means the liberty to eat, but not to cook; to drink, but not to brew; to wear, but not to spin; to dwell, but not to build; to give, but not to sell or buy; to think, but not to print; to speak, but not to hire a hall; to dance, but not to pay the fiddler. Oh, Absurdity! is there any length to which thou wilt not go?
In an interesting article in the Detroit “Labor Leaf,” Judson Grenell, writing of the various labor papers and their characteristics, says that Clemenceau’s daily journal, “La Justice,” is “the official organ of the left or radical wing of the French Communists of the Proudhon school.” This is not correct. In the first place, there is no such person existent, or possible as a “French Communist of the Proudhon school,” and, not existing, he can have neither wings nor organs. Proudhon hated and abhorred every form of Communism. “La Justice” is simply an organ of what is called in France Radical Republicanism, and champions a mixture of political and economic reforms not unlike those set forth in the platform of the Knights of Labor. Most of its economic articles are written by Longuet, who, I believe, is a son-in-law and follower of Karl Marx.
A. K. Owen, Boss of the Credit Foncier of Sinaloa, recently announced: “We permit no religious sect to exist in our colony.” One of the colonists, foreseeing a dangerous breaker, ventured to ask for an explanation. Mr. Owen vouchsafes one. He says that, as sect means a part cut off, and cooperation means joint operation, and integral means entire, and as “we are to organize under the name ‘Integral Cooperation,’ we cannot permit a religious sect or secret society, firm, copartnership, corporation, or any two or more persons to organize within our organisation.” Though not personally desirous of joining any religious sect or secret society, I nevertheless am thankful that I am not going to Sinaloa. I prefer to stop cooperating a little short of integrality in order io preserve somewhat of my individuality. “Integral Cooperation” seems to be a very pretty name for absolute despotism.
Those socialists and labor reformers who are engaged in exploiting and fostering superstitious tendencies in order to secure in a roundabout way certain alleged benefits for labor which ought to be secured, if at all, only in a direct and manly fashion should be ashamed of themselves. I refer especially to the attempts now being made by various trades and labor unions to enforce the Sunday law upon barbers, traders, etc., and thus enlist the pious people in a movement which on its face means puritanical bigotry and underneath means industrial tyranny. This is cowardice, hypocrisy, and toadyism. Not that a law directly limiting the hours of labor is one whit less objectionable or tyrannical than a Sunday law, but either adds to its viciousness by concealing its own colors and masquerading in those of the other. Such straws as these show what may be expected from State Socialism, which simply means a new Church and a new State, from which even less dissent is to be tolerated than is allowed by the corresponding institutions now existing.
“I thought I knew Mr. Tucker’s position. I thought he meant war, and I assure you I was happily disappointed when, in a late issue of Liberty, he denounced Most and his mischievous gang.” I wonder what words mean to Mr. A. Warren, of Wichita Falls, Texas, the author of the foregoing sentences taken from a letter to “Lucifer.” His writings on individualism show him to be a man of intelligence, but he must use a lexicon unknown to standard English writers. Will he have the kindness to specify the passages in Liberty from which he has drawn the inference that I “meant war”? If I can be shown that the inference was justifiable, I will try to avoid such language in future. Liberty has taught from the beginning that force is no remedy for social evils, that the most that it can ever do is to vindicate the right to seek and apply real remedies, and that it is unwise to use it even for that purpose except as a last resort. Guided by this rule, Liberty has approved the use of force by some of the European peoples. Did this warrant any such generalization as that I mean war? Mr. Warren is one of those who are very much disturbed lost the term Anarchy may be misunderstood. This is probably because he so readily misinterprets plain English himself.
In “Woodhull & Claflin’s Weekly” of May 2, 1874, Stephen Pearl Andrews wrote these words: “Were I to name an octave of the great writers of the past to whom I am most consciously indebted for my own intellectual culture, I should say Pythagoras, Aristotle, Kant, Swedenborg, Charles Fourier, Josiah Warren, Auguste Comte, and Joseph R, Buchanan; and if I were to select three from among this number to whom to acknowledge the weightier debts of gratitude, the name of Josiah Warren would certainly be included among this smaller number.” Mr. T. B. Wakeman, in the funeral oration which he delivered over Mr. Andrews’s body, reviewed that great man’s intellectual life, not only in an orderly and comprehensive manner, but with considerable detail, the address filling more than two pages of the “Truth Seeker” and bearing evidence of no small amount of care in its preparation. Yet the eulogist of the dead, in relation to his connection with Josiah Warren, his belief in Warren’s ideas, and his championship of the two great principles of “Individual Sovereignty” and “Cost the Limit of Price,” could find nothing more to say than this: “He put out in 1851, in conjunction with Josiah Warren, his ‘Science of Society,’ an epoch-making work which should now be reprinted.” Mr. Wakeman, as critic, is entitled to set what estimate he pleases upon the comparative value of Mr. Andrews’s various achievements, but, as Mr. Andrews’s mental biographer, he does not adequately fulfil the duties of his position by devoting one sentence out of six or eight columns to what Mr. Andrews himself deemed one of the most important elements of his life-work. Fortunately Mr. Warren’s great disciple has left himself on record so unmistakably that his discipleship cannot be winked out of sight by any of the philosophers of Positivism.
[Translated for the London Justice by J. L. Joynes.]
We, the Lord Mayor and Corporation,
Do sign the following proclamation
To all and sundry ’neath our sway:
Let each good citizen obey.
“Strangers and foreigners of late
Have sown rebellion in our State:
Thanks be to God such knaves as those
Are almost always foreign foes.
“Free-thinkers mostly too: and why?
Whoever dares his God deny
Will probably ere long refuse
His fellow-men their legal dues.
“Both Jew and Christian, we decree,
Must venerate the powers that be.
At dusk all business is to stop;
Let Jew and Christian shut his shop.
“If two or three together meet,
They most not loiter in the street:
Let none he ever seen at night
Outside their doors without a light
“His sword and gun let each and all
Pile presently in our Guildhall;
His powder too, and every case
Of pistols in the self-same place.
“Who argues in a public spot
Shall be incontinently shot;
And arguing too by looks and signs
Is punished with the heaviest fines.
“’Fore all things trust your magistrate,
Who piously protects the State
With wisest word and best endeavor:
’Tis your’s to hold your tongues for over.”
Eighteen Christian Centuries:
The Evolution of the Gospel of Anarchy.
An Essay on the Meaning of History.
By Dyer D. Lum.
Continued from No. 82.
The national assemblies which, while Spain was Arian, had embraced the three estates, in Catholic Spain soon changed their representative character. The commons were first dropped, and soon only such of the nobility as held court office were included. The interests of the people became indifferent. Finally the councils of the church were the sole “parliaments of the realm.” The king, who had been held by the Goths as entitled to obedience so long as he respected the rights of his people as individuals, was now told by the Council of Toledo that no king could be accepted, unless he promised to preserve the orthodox faith; and it became “an established custom” for kings to prostrate themselves before the bishops assembled in council. The one great object was to extirpate difference in belief, to bring all minds to the dead level of a common creed. Instigated by the example of the Eastern emperor, Heraclius, in the year 616 the king issued an edict that within a year the Jews in Spain should either embrace Christianity, or should be shorn, scourged, and expelled from the kingdom and their possessions confiscated. Yet we are told that they were quiet citizens, engaging in no tumults, and industrious. Ninety thousand were subjected to enforced conversion.
The effect of Christian imperialism was soon apparent in deterioration of character. The assemblies, which under the Arian Goths had developed the spirit of personality hereditary in the race, were now vociferous for unity; individuality in character was succeeded by mediocrity. “The terrible laws against bigotry,” says Milman, “and the atrocious juridical persecution of the Jews, already designate Spain as the throne and centre of merciless bigotry;” and which was, says Buckle, “harsher than in any other country.” The great principles which distinguished the legislation of Goth, Saxon, Frank, Burgundian, and Lombard alike, rescuing Europe from Caesarism; which has everywhere else, in the words of Dr. Arnold, “in blood and institutions left its mark legibly and indelibly,” in Spain was crushed out. The isolation of Spain left the rival principles to meet in sharper outline than elsewhere. The source of authority, whether from above,— God,— or from below,— the people,— seems a barren inquiry. But the verdict of history is that they are fraught with far different and most momentous consequences. Power from above is divine, absolute, fixed, knowing no change and permitting none in practice save increased centralization. Power from the people is human, relative, dispersive, subject to the changes of social growth; ever tending to widen out from the theoretic centre to individuals in spite of forced restraints privilege seeks to erect. The impress thus made by Christian Caesarism upon ancient Spain has never been effaced. “There she lies, at the further extremity of the continent, a huge and torpid mass, the sole representative now remaining of the feelings and knowledge of the Middle Ages.” [Buckle.]
In 711 the Arab-Moors invaded Spain. All courage and spirit were crushed, and they had an easy conquest, and at one time threatened to overrun the whole West. Charles Martel defeated them and drove them back. Christendom was saved! What our civilization would have been but for Charles’s success we cannot say. Yet we may safely affirm that the battle of Poictiers, which saved Europe from the Crescent for the Cross, preserved it as well from the revival of learning the Arabs were to so successfully undertake. Instead of Islam and an awakened intellect, we had Christianity and the Dark Ages. We must bear in mind that the Moslem faith, driven back upon itself and mainly confined to the Orient, lost its golden opportunity. What it is under such circumstances is far different from what it would have been subjected to European development, as the study of that other Oriental faith, Christianity, illustrates. The infusion of the Teutonic spirit in the one case, as it has in the other, would have profoundly modified the faith, as it has the aspect of civilization. We have no reason to think that Moslem success would have been for ill. Nor can we behold the evidence of wisdom which we are called upon to believe forced the intellect into lethargy and postponed its awakening for five hundred years; and, further, that this final release of the intellect from bondage was to be due to the reflected light from the Arabian schools in Spain.
Under the Arab-Moors Spain witnessed the cultivation of the soil carried to a higher degree of perfection than ever before or since. While the great capitals of Europe were reeking in filth by day and shrouded in impenetrable gloom by night, the capital of Spain had been for centuries paved and lighted. While the Vicars of Christ were issuing bulls against the study of the sciences in the University of Paris, the schools of Spain had long nourished their most assiduous study. The literature of ancient Greece was exhumed. Commerce extended its sway to distant India. The Arabian nobility had no contempt for the calling of the merchant. During the tenth century, when Europe was in its most degraded period, Spain had attained to its greatest splendor,— a splendor unmarred by religious intolerance. From her schools came the first rays to pierce the thick gloom of the Dark Ages, introducing in Europe a knowledge of the works of Aristotle and the study of logic. In the works of Euclid Christendom learned the existence of and our numerals came from the same infidel hand. Philosophers like Gerbert, afterward Pope Sylvester II., there found welcome and learned the globular form of the earth, its geographical outlines, the study of chemistry, medicine, which early became introduced into Europe by Jews, and a more thorough system of mining than Spain could develop even in the last century. Also we owe to them the discovery of gunpowder, linen paper, and the compass; the introduction of rice, sugar, cotton, and silk; the improved breed of horses; a wonderful dexterity in the manipulation of steel and the preparation of leather; the graceful poetic disputations afterward improved by the troubadours, and the softening of manners and noble gallantry known as chivalry. But why particularize? While it would be too much to assert that, but for the Moors, the long night of the Middle Ages would not have passed away, we can affirm that it was through their influence that it did pass away. The seeds of intellectual growth, which providential wisdom denied them the opportunity to plant in Gaulish soil, were blown by friendly winds across the Pyrenees to take root in the wastes of Christian ignorance.
We have thus passed in review the great factors of civilization. Rome had brought unity; for two centuries before the time of Caesar this had been her ruling Idea. Her administration of affairs had secured the civil equality of freemen. Law and order, based upon authority, gained a foothold which it has never entirely lost in theory. The man was lost in the citizen.
Germany brought what Rome lacked,— individuality,— the freedom of the barbarian. Civil equality,— the right of the State,— and individual rule,— personal might,— were thus brought into contest on the field of the Empire. Although conquerors, they were barbarians, and were everywhere confronted with institutions which they had nothing to replace. The grandeur of Rome, the Empire itself, lay in these institutions, in her laws, her administration, her organization. Rome was an Idea, and its name dazzled the eye and survived the fall of the throne. To govern was to possess and control these agencies, to use them for their purposes.
Under the genial influence of European nature the human element in religion constantly asserted itself. Although the church was the successor of Cassar rather than of Peter, the Gospels were not wholly a dead letter. In all ages there were some to whom the words of Jesus struck responsive chords. Whether preached in sincerity or as an arm to achieve ends, they were still promulgated; though powerless in the East, under the more benign influences of Western environments they exerted influence. Ideas are veritable forces, and have their effect independent of the motives of those who use them for personal aims. The charity of the Gospels had its root in human nature; it was a social product. Unlike the idea of authority, it did not descend from on high; it arose from human relationship, and consequently survived both barbarian individuality and Christian, or Caesarian, unity; it held its own against the anarchy of the one and the intolerance of the other, and served as the flux to fuse the discordant elements, self and power, when the electric spark of the French Revolution should bring together these conflicting factors of civilization into the triune formula of the future,— Liberty, Equality, Fraternity.
Our task is done so far as tracing out the sources of modern civilization. We have yet to trace out the result of the struggle. If our progress is wholly due, as Buckle maintained, to the increase of knowledge, it is important to thoroughly understand the causes of that increase and the obstacles opposing it. No “strategy of providence” will solve the problem save by the introduction of the fierce barbarian and the infidel Saracen, who came, not to preserve “His religion,” but to modify and civilize it. But before entering upon the study of modern history we have yet further scaffolding to remove. I hear it asserted in wonderment: What! Is not Christianity a factor to be considered in the discussion of the evolution of civilization? In the preceding pages I have classed the Church as an institution under the head of Caesarism; but for the benefit of metempirical readers who would fain distinguish between organized and unorganized Christianity, I will be more explicit. Nor in the prosecution of our inquiry into the meaning of history can it be deemed irrelevant.
Christianity presents two phases, the human and the divine: Jesus, the man; Christ, the Messiah. The man appealing to men in subjection, breathing consolation, speaking of pity, recommending submission. The Messiah claiming authority, sonship to the God of Heaven and the future Judge of the earth. In temporal affairs it was the wail of despair, it sanctified oppression and bid the oppressed draw post obit drafts on the future. Patriotism was a delusion, material well-being a snare, for our citizenship was elsewhere. Though the hope it presented was born of despair, it appealed to despair. Christianity was the religion of the Christ rather than of the man Jesus. Jesus was human, a carpenter’s son, a homeless vagrant; his tender words welled up from the great beating heart of humanity. It was the voice of nature knitting kindred hearts in human brotherhood. There was no basis for religion there. Christ the Anointed, the representative of divine authority, having power to bind and loose, furnished such basis. Authority! — not of the homeless one, but of the Divine Christ — was the rock on which Christianity was based; and this rock we have seen to have been cut from the quarry of Caesarism. Christianity as a “spirit of life” we have fully considered under the head of Nature. As an institution it claims authority descending from above, a gift vouchsafed to man by divine grace.
God and man! Divine and human! Christ and Liberty! They are antipodal conceptions. Men were sons of God, it is true, but, as sonship preceded brotherhood, we find that as early as Paul’s time the non-recognition of the first annulled the second: “What concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?” Assuredly, none. The man Jesus bad been long dead, but the Christ was eternal! The words of the Gospels were still preached, Jesus and a crust were still held out to the oppressed to stifle the human cry, but Christ and power were the soul of the Church. Throughout history we everywhere find Christianity the equerry of force. It has followed civilization, never led it. The lackeys of the emperors became suppliants at the feet of the barbarian to offer counsel and advice. It has given its benediction to every attempted rape of humanity, blessed the tyrant’s sword and the headman’s axe, consecrated the despot, anathematized the patriot, and excommunicated and burned the devotee of liberty. Civilization has arisen, not descended. It springs from human needs, does not trickle from divine grace. It looks forward to progress,— Liberty; not backward to revelation,— Authority. Let us have done with the fiction. The heart of humanity is right in its instinctive cry: “Away with him!” We will have neither the Christ of the Church nor the Barabbas of the State to rule over us. Like the Siamese twins, they are inseparable; the ligature “divine right” has united them in life, it holds them to a common fate. The divine type may change in different ages, but the virus of authority ever taints its complexion. The blood-thirsty Jehovah sawing men asunder, the God of the early Christians shocked at natural affection, the almighty Fiend of the Middle Ages watching human thought, the straight-laced Father of the Puritans wholesaling damnation, the good-natured bourgeois God of today,— what alliance is there between them and liberty? What matters it whether God be depicted in thought as clothed in vengeance as a robe, hurling thunderbolts against men and roasting infants, or pictured as a shrewd, paunch-bellied, white-waistcoated old gentleman? Neither the one nor the other are sponsors for liberty. It is liberty that has modified the type by emasculating authority. The God of the nineteenth century is castrated; the form only remains, virility is gone.
Is this but declamation? Let us, then, open the pages of history, and in our sober senses study their meaning. If Christianity be not spiritual Caesarism, but an ameliorating factor in civilization, we must behold such influence exerted in the society it was called by the force of circumstances to mould and govern. We will therefore consider the following topics: The influence of Christianity on public morals, on legislation, and on slavery.
I. Morals. When we come to look for the evidence of moral conversion, alas! the testimony is not flattering. Dean Milman remarks:
In the conflict or coalition, barbarism had introduced into Christianity all its ferocity, with none of its generosity or magnanimity; its energy shows itself in atrocity and cruelty and even in sensuality. Christianity has given to barbarism hardly more-than its superstition, and its hatred of heretics and unbelievers. Throughout, assassinations, parricides, and fratricides intermingle with adulteries and rapes. The cruelty might seem the mere inevitable result of this violent and unnatural fusion; but the extent to which this cruelty spread throughout the whole society almost surpasses belief. . . . . Christianity hardly interfered even to interdict incest. . . . . With the world Christianity began rapidly to barbarize.
According to a chronicler of the time, Salvian, in whom natural honesty and human virtues had not been sapped by ecclesiastical preferment, the Christians shamed the barbarians with their vices. He said:
Among the chaste barbarians we alone are unchaste; the very barbarians are shocked at our impurities. Among themselves they will not tolerate whoredom, but allow this shameless license to the Romans as inveterate usage. We cherish, they execrate, incontinence; Bradwell, leaning on Newington’s saddle and taking his hand, begged him to show mercy. He spoke in a low voice that the pride of nis father might not revolt against what the Duke might consider pressure upon and interference with the we shrink from, they are enamored of, purity; fornication, which with them is a crime and a disgrace, with os is a glory.
Michelet, ever eloquent in chanting the praises of unity, says:
The priest, in fact, was now king. The Church had silently made her way in the midst of the tumult of barbaric invasion which had threatened universal destruction. Strong, patient, and industrious, she had so grasped the whole of the body politic as thoroughly to interfuse herself with it. Early abandoning speculation for action, she had avoided the bold theories of Pelagianism and adjourned the great question of human liberty. The savage conquerors of the Empire required to have, not liberty, but submission preached to them to induce them to bow their necks to the yoke of civilization and the Church.
To insure submission, to inculcate Roman qualities, surely there was no room for transmitting secular knowledge. The great schools which Roman emperors under the Old Empire had so munificently endowed fell into decay; the poet and the grammarian were replaced by the priest and monk. The names of Roman authors were forgotten in admiration of such saints as Ammon, who had never seen his naked body, or left the narrow hole for even a moment in which he ate and slept, prayed and vegetated; or Didymus, who had never spoken to a human being for ninety years. To cleanse the body was to degrade the soul; and the most venerated, who attained to the distinction of canonization, seem to have been those who presented on their persons the greatest mass of clotted filth. The baths became ruins, and in their place we read of a convent of one hundred and thirty nuns whose feet were never washed and who shuddered in pious horror at the mention of a bath! Such schools as existed in the larger monasteries possessed but a limited range of studies, and those only which might make the scholar an apter priest. Priests were grossly ignorant, very few being able to sign their names, and those who could read were chiefly engaged in perusing legendary lives of dirty saints. The Church was too busy watching the struggle made for her in Gaul by St. Leger to establish a theocracy to waste time over grammarian quibbles. True, Gregory the Great established schools, but they were schools of music for the use of choristers. It has been said of him that he hated learning with more than Byzantine animosity, and no act of his disproves the accusation, while the expulsion from Rome of mathematical studies gives it credibility.
Nor were the monasteries such cradles of literature and peace as they are often described. The strict rules of Benedictine discipline centred the whole monastic life on three cardinal virtues: silence, seclusion, and passive obedience. If they were to devote a certain portion of each day to manual labor, it was not for the purpose of extending the blessings of agriculture and the arts of civilized life, but that those moments not employed in prayer might be so engrossed as to prevent extraneous thoughts from entering the mind. That the result was not so successful as Benedict anticipated we may infer from a monastic rule, quoted by Michelet, in these words: “A year’s penance for the monk who had lost a consecrated wafer. For the monk who had fallen with a woman two days’ bread and water!”
To be continued.
By Georges Sauton.
Translated from the French for Liberty by Sarah E. Holmes.
Continued from No. 82.
Carried away, they proclaimed her the very genius of the country, and she ensnared others, more intelligent, but innocent, innocent! Sir Richard Bradwell, for instance.
He did not answer, although he trembled with an angry shudder, but only redoubled his efforts to transfer into the muscles of his horse all his haste to reach his destination.
Once, the animal stumbling and almost plunging into the mud, Lady Ellen directly upbraided Richard, whose insensibility to her indirect raillery exasperated her.
“All! you are mad, my dear, or you have sworn to break our necks and bones.”
He offered to put her down. She could return to the castle, which was a much more fitting thing to do than to go to look on, curiously, greedily, at these massacres and revels, as one views a tragedy over the footlights.
She made a pretence of smiling and jesting.
He did not wish witnesses of his chagrin and wrath as he fished his Marian from the midst of the brawl!
“You judge me wrongly,” she said, “very wrongly,” feigning concern, but still with a quizzing air. “I am as anxious as you to leant if this young girl has escaped the amorous fury of soldiers reputed as all that is tender and bold,— men superb and irresistible. Has she been able to resist? Has she succumbed? Will she extricate herself with simple rents in her clothing, get out of it with no further damage than her rumpled stomacher end a few embraces, the marks of which she can remove and which the oblivion of the sadnesses of the past will eventually efface?”
She finished her insinuating condolences just as, arrived at their destination, Bradwell threw himself from the vehicle, and Sir Edward did not doubt that she would do something to cause scandal. Her biting voice had just vibrated with the excessive, odious desire that Marian, violated, dishonored, polluted by the soldiery, would become for Richard, in spite of his love and on account of his love, the pitiable object of an insurmountable, eternal disgust.
And she arrived just in time to see the young girl escape, intact, the fate which she wished for her with all the strength of her hatred, and to know that, but for Bradwell, this execrated rival would have suffered it or even met her death. Now, a communion would be established between the saviour and the saved in joy, tenderness, and gratitude!
She approached Richard, whom Treor’s granddaughter was thanking effusively, while the soldier responsible for the affair struggled, resisted, questioning arrogantly this civilian intruder, without authority, who disturbed him in his pleasures. The arrival of Newington and his staff made an opportune diversion which allayed matters.
Sir Walpole gave the order: “To arms!” and willing or unwilling, the Britons massed themselves in line, turned away, casting surly glances at the women, and took up a position fifteen paces away, while the Duke called Lady Ellen to account for her imprudence.
To rush into this hubbub with such zeal, such impetuosity! It could not be curiosity alone. What other motive had she?
“Mercy, humanity!” replied the Duchess, impudently.
She had not seriously considered the risk of scandal; anger had pushed her on mechanically, and she congratulated herself on the event which had prevented her from going farther. Now it was better to meet this mischance courageously, and, to accomplish her ends, play — she who had accused Marian of comedy — this róle of angel and of Providence.
“Mercy, humanity!” repeated the Duke, shrugging his shoulders: “I promise it to them. You have driven so fast that you have not been able to learn the news. The agitator, thanks to these fellows, has escaped.”
“Ah!” said Lady Ellen.
“That is to say, thanks to them,” resumed Newington, “the revolution which we should have decapitated in cutting off Harvey’s head lives and breathes, though it had the miserable death-rattle in its throat and we should have crushed it under our feet, without difficulty, as one steps on a reptile whose venom-laden teeth have been broken. Clemency and humanity!
“We would have posted the head of the agitator on all the steeples by turns. His silent mouth would have preached submission after rebellion. If these madmen had lifted up their heads, they would have lowered them that they might not contemplate the picture. Ah! after two centuries, they dare to dispute our conquest, they demand the land. We will give it to them,— six feet each. In point of fact, they possessed it, and now wish to hold it, in common; we will bury them all in the same ditch!”
“Live the general!” yelled with a remarkable unanimity the company of Britons.
“Live the general!” growled also the Bunclodyans between their set teeth; but they added: “Provided it be not long!”
The trampled ground, the ragged, blood-stained garments on the backs of the Irish, certain uniforms slashed with knives told Newington of the gravity of the hand-to-hand conflict between the natives and the garrison, and be addressed warm compliments to these brave, heroic soldiers, the honor of the army, of the nation, and the worthy, the noble supporters of the indefeasible rights ratified by the lives of their sires.
An explosion of hurrahs filled the air, and the echo, repeating them, deceived for an instant the Duke, who ordered all to be silent and listen.
Horsemen, sent out in pursuit of Harvey, were scouring the vicinity; he supposed that they had already caught the fugitive and were celebrating their success by shouts of triumph, and the disappointment stimulated his wrath to a second outburst.
Sir Edward questioned the sergeant, and the Duke, concluding that this riffraff of Bunclodyans, in league with the rebellion, were hiding the agitator, had slashed the soldiers of his monarch, and had this murder on their conscience, asserted that this passed all bounds, and, in order to punish them as well as to reward the faithful and devoted regiment of Ancient Britons, he, Horace William Newington, Duke of Montnorris, in the name of his very gracious sovereign George the Fourth, declared the village of Bunclody and the surrounding territory “outside of the King’s peace!”
The neighboring mountains groaned under the weight of the uproar of hurrahs which broke forth anew, startling the eagles, the vultures lost in the depths of the sky, and drowning the request which Sir Bradwell was respectfully submitting to his father, to revoke this license, and try rather to win peace by persuasion, by mildness, by magnanimity.
Newington simply paid no attention.
Marian was leading Edith, who was completely overwhelmed, far away from her shanty, the ruins of which were still smoking, sad and funereal as a tomb in which she had laid away the ashes of all her own; but he ordered that she be taken back to the place of the disaster.
Inasmuch as her heart bled at the sentimental aspect of these ruins, well! let them keep her before them and let her exhaust her eyes with weeping. It was a happy inspiration that kept them from hanging her or roasting her in her own fire-place. From time to time moral torments would suggest themselves: these would contain more anguish, more suffering, than the other sort, and life itself, under certain circumstances, would become a Calvary more insupportable than the worst tortures.
Bradwell, leaning on Newington’s saddle and taking his hand, begged him to show mercy. He spoke in a low voice that the pride of his father might not revolt against what the Duke might consider pressure upon and interference with the liberty of his soldier’s will, or an infringement upon his authority.
He pleaded, as fruitlessly as Sergeant Autrun before the Britons, the innocence of Edith, in whose house had been found no trace of the agitator’s stay.
What certainly was there, moreover, of the presence of Sir Harvey in the neighborhood?
On what evidence, what testimony, all this display of troops to track and arrest him? Perhaps the leader to whom they were attributing the insurrection had never even appeared in the region!
Lord Newington, as before, did not even wait for his son to finish. Disengaging his hand, he gave his orders.
The greater part of the company were to scatter themselves in squads about the village, entering houses and thoroughly searching them, sounding the walls and floors with the butt ends of their muskets, emptying closets, and running their bayonets through the coarse furnishings of all beds not occupied by invalids.
In all probability Harvey would not be found in these huts, but it was necessary to consider the possibility that, lacking the strenght to fly, he had only sought a new hiding-place in the vicinity. And Newington, dismounting, and half believing in this hypothesis, left with his officers and soldiers to watch the operation, while four men brutally forced Edith to go back and station herself in front of the ruins of her house, where the black sparks, driven by the wind, fell upon her.
One of these men, whether by chance or by a change with a comrade and manoeuvre on his part, was the one from whom Bradwell had snatched Marian, and the young girl did not leave the poor woman whom they were treating roughly, pushing her ahead with their gun-barrels against her back. As she was on her knees and did not rise quickly enough, they lifted her by the hair.
“The cowards I the cowards!” cried Treor’s granddaughter, interposing and receiving some of the thumps intended for the victim.
But the soldier in question advised them not to strike any more, as the blows would overwhelm the little one. He took her under his protection, the little dear, the pretty little dear, and in order that he might pay his addresses to her, he wished them to spare her old friend. He would he amiable, he would not act like a boor, but like a perfect and proper gentleman, like her rescuer, and he firmly hoped that she would be grateful to him, that he would not rue it, and that, she would not make him wait too long.
Marian called her grandfather to her aid; they were dressing his wounds at the; she turned her eyes towards Richard to implore him anew, since she found herself defenceless, exposed to the ignoble gallantries of a wretch whom Newington’s proclamation authorized to commit any attempt, any violence.
And Sir Bradwell, who asked nothing better than to interfere, approached, raised his fist, and opened his mouth to dismiss this scoundrel with the words: “Go, and never” . . . . when the Duchess, placing herself between him and the soldier and clutching his arm, said to him furiously, but in a low voice:
“Hush! I want you to be still.”
And before he could go on, she addressed herself to the Briton, and warned him against paying further attention to this young woman, today or ever, either by importuning her or by putting himself in her way.
“I am especially interested in her, and for any offence committed against her I wilt hold the guilty parties responsible, and will punish them severely and without mercy.”
“Madame!” . . . stammered Marian, confused.
But Lady Ellen had already gone, dragging the nonplussed Richard with her, to whom she deigned to confess the secret of her generous conduct.
“Thank me, if you wish; in truth, I render you a never-to-be-forgotten service; the brute who had designs upon your Marian would have succeeded some day or other. . . . Do not protest . . . . Neither your big voice, nor your ill-usage, nor your vigilance could have averted the catastrophe. But all service merits reward; that which I ask is enormous,— your whole body, your whole mind, your whole desire. Far from me or near to me, I mean that you shall think of no others, that your heart shall beat for no others; that, even in dreams, you shall not see your Marian; your thoughts, your eyes, your lips, shall belong to me exclusively; you had given them to me, you have taken them again; now, you have no longer the right, for I have bought them of you.”
“They are looking at us, they are listening,” said Bradwell, disturbed.
“What do I care? Admitting that you may be wanting in scruples, that you, destitute of honor, may wish to be false to our contract, her gratitude assures me that she will not yield to you. I calculated on that when I covered her with my shield. She is my debtor; she owes me more than life: she owes me her honor, and she prizes it; the price which I demand of her is yourself! If, in spite of her kiss bestowed on Faddy, which was a token of her rupture with our race,— and it was that which it signified, was it not? — in spite of this act which I proclaim sublime, if nature should struggle in her to make her obey the attraction of her heart, of her senses,— for you are beautiful, Richard, you are desirable, and she loves you as surely as I love you! — and if gratitude should risk throwing her into vour arms, well! she will be held by this consideration; ‘Sir Bradwell is not free: he is Lady Ellen’s lover.’”
“Speak lower, or, better still, cease to speak at all about these matters!”
“Though they should hear” . . .
“They do not need to hear; your animation, your feverishness, is enough to explain everything to the men, who are smiling and whispering.”
“And to Marian, who is probably weeping. So much the better! I desire that she may have no doubts, that she shall be ignorant of nothing.”
“But the world?”
“Well! sooner or later, will they not know when we are married?”
“Married! not tomorrow!” . . .
“Sooner than you think, perhaps” . . .
To be continued.
“A free man is one who enjoys the use of his reason and his faculties; who is neither blinded by passion, nor hindered or driven by oppression, nor deceived by erroneous opinions.” — Proudhon.
The Nub of It All.
When I am mentally plumb sober, I stand for radicalism, the whole of radicalism, and nothing but radicalism. But now and then the temptation to be seduced into faith in the possible virtue of pretentious superficial movements, having no sound radical basis, but imposing in numbers, noise, and passing respectability, gets something of a hold on me. When this sensational will o’ the wisp has suddenly vanished as quickly as it came, I sober back into the standing conviction that all essential reform must develop out of an understanding of the true roots of social evil.
Two months ago the Knights of Labor and the trades unions were in full blast. A couple of millions of workingmen were on their nerve, and society seemed to be captured by their demands. But suddenly the whole movement seemed to have been seized with cramps. It lost its soul, if it ever had any; brains it had persistently repudiated. Its claim to public interest seemed to have rested on no more substantial a plane than sensation. When that had used itself up, the people put it away from them, as they did “Pinafore” and the “Mikado.” It subsided like a penny candle and is seized with its final flickerings.
The cause of this humiliating skulking back of workingmen into their holes is plain as daylight. As soon as Powderly had shown himself a skunk (possibly a traitor) who had no settled principles save fidelity to Romanism and “law and order,” the signal was ready for those legalized mobs known as courts of law to set upon the strikers, boycotters, and other active protestants, and, by making examples of them, frighten away what little spirit there was left in the organizations. Fortunately for the capitalistic tyrants, the episode of Most and the Chicago “Anarchists” cooperated to chill public sympathy for labor, and so the empty and pretentious bubble which had been parading as “organized labor” ignominiously fizzled.
But the point of main interest to scientific Anarchists is that, as soon as the “law” took a hand in this business, the so-called intelligent American workingman was morally, mentally, and physically routed. He saw strikers and boycotters arrested for “conspiracy” and had nothing to say, for “the law” did it. He saw men brutally treated by the police and court officers, and dared not open his mouth, for it was the mob sanctified in law. Wherever the law spoke, he was dumb.
What an unequivocal proof resides in this ridiculous fiasco of “organized labor” that it is useless to hope for substantial progress in equity till enough solid sense is gotten into the heads of the masses to make them understand that legalized mobbing and violence are no more respectable than any other; that those commands of the irresponsible agents of despotism called “laws” rest upon no moral basis, and are only possible of execution through an exercise of the very violence which they assume to provide against.
It is the abolition of the State, after all, that underlies all social emancipation. This abolition we do not propose to bring about by violence, for that is the very thing we protest against in the imposition called law. The abolition we contemplate shall come of the abolition of ignorance and servile superstition in the masses, to the end that by a gradual desertion of the ballot-boxes and a refusal of the people to voluntarily touch any of the foul machinery of the lie called “government,” tyrants shall yet be compelled to survive or perish solely on their own merits, at their own cost, and on their own responsibility. This process is already in settled operation, and all the powers of authority, fraud, and sanctified violence can never stay it. Anarchism has come to stay.
A Doctrine Not in the Creed.
Dr. Edward Aveling in the London “Commonweal” gives the following as the creed of Socialism: “(1) The basis of society today is a commercial one,— the method of production and distribution of goods; (2) The evils of our present day society are, in the main, referable to this commercial basis; (3) The only efficient remedy for these evils is a revolution in the method of producing and distributing goods.” According to Dr. Aveling, then, whoever subscribes to these three propositions is a Socialist. I heartily subscribe to them without reservation, and Dr. Aveling, therefore, is bound to admit that I am a good orthodox Socialist. But he nevertheless goes on to say: “Socialists may not be all in accord as to the precise degree of ownership involved in the phrase ‘my coat,’ when the new order of things obtains. But they are all agreed that no man will be able to say ‘my machinery, my land,’ except in the same sense as he may today say ‘my British Museum.’” This is not true. As an orthodox Socialist, I affirm that “all” Socialists are not agreed on this. For one, the “revolution in the method of producing and distributing goods” which I contemplate will enable me to speak in exactly the same sense of “my coat,” “my machinery,” and “my land,” meaning thereby my possessory title in the raw material of each and my proprietary title in the results of the labor expended by me on said raw material. The same was true of P. J. Proudhon. The same was true of Josiah Warren. The same is true of the many followers of both. I can furnish the names of hundreds of men and women who are Socialists by Dr. Aveling’s definition and yet repudiate his distinction between coats and machinery. I once convicted this so-called scientific socialist of an unscientific definition; I now convict him of an unscientific statement on a question of fact. In the first instance he was careful to preserve a clam-like silence; in this he will probably exhibit equal sagacity.
A Critic’s Oversights.
The “Truth Seeker” of June 26 contains a long article by J. L. Andrew in opposition to Anarchy, which is meant to be profoundly philosophical, but is really extremely superficial. The writer does not know the positions of the Anarchists, and consequently cannot criticise them intelligently. Two extracts from his article will serve to illustrate this. “The Anarchist is requested to answer the question: What would you do with crime in the absence of government? Only two positions are possible for him to choose from. Either crime must go unpunished, or it must be dealt with as the majority sees fit. The first would in itself be criminal, and the other would be governmental.” Suppose, now, that A robs B, and that B shoots A. Crime has not gone unpunished, and it has not been dealt with as the majority sees fit. There evidently, then, is a third position, neither criminal nor governmental, which the Anarchist not only may, but does, choose,— namely, that crime, so long as it continues, may be punished by individuals, acting either singly or in voluntary concert. Again: “In cities there is the need for street repairs; for sewerage facilities; for water works; for fire departments; for police supervision and protection. How is such a complex system, with so many wants, to be supported? There is but one answer, and that is by taxation. Of course, Anarchists denounce taxation as robbery.” The taxation to which Mr. Andrew refers must be compulsory taxation, for it is only compulsory taxation that Anarchists denounce as robbery. In that case history, as well as Anarchy, furnishes a second answer to his question. Is Mr. Andrew aware that in the four large and very prosperous cities which, prior to the formation of the present Gentian confederation, were known as the Free Cities of Germany the various needs which he specifies were provided for during a very long period, not by compulsory taxation, but by voluntary contribution, and that the proportion of non-contributors was smaller than that of delinquents in the large cities of America? If not, he can find the facts stated in an essay by President Warren, of Boston University, written in opposition to compulsory taxation. Had it not been for Bismarck, the system would probably be in vogue there today. Mr. Andrew needs to study Anarchy further.
Plumb-Line and Cork-Screw.
Why should these fall out by the way and dispute about their methods, instead of working together harmoniously as brothers? Why should the branches of a tree grumble at the roots for groveling so in the dirt, or why should the roots find fault with the branches for doing nothing but dance all day in the sunshine? Why not recognize the fact that each is an essential part of the whole, and each doing its own part of the work better than the other could?
Undoubtedly Plumb-Line is the real leader, and it is perhaps to he expected that he will be so absorbed in his own ideas that he will not be able to see value in any others; but he thereby usually gets but a very small personal following. And these few followers are not so tenacious of their methods as is Plumb-Line. They are more willing to fraternize with the Cork-Screws. The Cork-Screws, on the other hand, are the real movers and leaveners of the masses. They are able to drink in the ideas of Plumb-Line, digest and assimilate them, and send them out again diluted and modified, mixed up more or less with popular notions and superstitions, and clothed in language that is attractive to the unthinking multitude. Thus the Plumb-Lines produce the Cork-Screws, while the Cork-Screws move the world. Some men are born Plumb-Lines. Many more are born Cork-Screws. It is well. Both classes are needed, and in about the proportion in which they arise. It is high time they recognized each other’s true position and mutual relationships, and ceased fault-finding with each other.
[“D. D.,” like most D. D.s, tells two stories. In one sentence he makes the Plumb-Lines produce the Cork-Screws; in another he has the Cork-Screws born. I believe the first is the true statement; hence, the more Cork-Screws become Plumb-Lines, the more Cork-Screws there will be to move the world. But whether the first or the second be true, is there any reason in either case why a Plumb-Line should become a Cork-Screw. That has been the only question at issue in these columns, and “D. D.” does not touch it. — Editor Liberty.]
The Wedge of Anarchism.
Behold in Anarchism a wedge that will yet split the Liberal world in twain! Keen and pointed, with a hammer of logic behind it wielded by willing hands that know well how to strike, it knows no variableness nor shadow of turning. The doughty Liberals see its strange bulk coming down between them, and some shrink aghast, and some are drawn to it as steel fragments are drawn to a magnet. There is a running to and fro and a crying out in alarm, blessing and cursing, studied indifference and fierce denunciation. But it has commenced its deadly work, it has entered, and the line of cleavage is marked. It cannot be withdrawn, and henceforth, whether men strike it or let it be, notice it or look the other way, it will go on cleaving and separating. Its own weight will drive it; every frost and every sun-beat will aid it; and the very stars in their courses will fight for it. “The tricks of knaves and fash of fools,” the hatred of its enemies and blunders of its friends, cannot prevent it. The evolution of the ages is pressing upon it, and it must go on.
Woe be to those bard-heads who have indeed laid off the robe of clericalism, but who have retained the same old hide of bigotry and conventionalism that covered their bones when they were Christians! They may get under that wedge and shove and grunt and sweat till new constellations dance before their purblind vision. They will not stop it a particle. It will grind them to powder. They will serve only to lubricate its track.
But many a grown and growing Liberal — men who love Liberty more than largess — will not hesitate to slip in their little crowbars and now and then give a wrench in its favor. Thousands, attracted by the brightness of its edge, will survey its simple, yet sublime, proportions, and, perceiving with awe the growing vastness of its on-coming bulk, will cry: “Whereas I was blind, now I see! Make way for Liberty!”
Anarchism is a judgment day for Liberalism, and there will be a new separation of the sheep from the goats, and the free rangers of the earth will bound forward on one side, and the “respectable” lambs of conventionality will huddle back into the mouldy litter of their old folds on the other. This Anarchism is a dividing question. It furnishes no neutral ground Those who are not for it are against it. Those who try the fence will find the top rail too sharp for roosters, and will be obliged perforce to descend on one side or the other.
Choose then, ye teachers of progress and “meliorism,” this day whom ye will serve,— Liberty or Tyranny. It ye say Liberty, ye say Anarchy, and there is no escape. Upon the wisdom of your choice depends the success of your instructions and the brightness of your future fame.
J. Wm. Lloyd.
To the Editor of Liberty:
In the “Investigator” and “Truth Seeker” Mr. S. P. Putnam gives me a slight rap for defending the Mormons as encouraging cooperation. With the not unfamiliar illiberality of alleged “Liberals,” he has formed his opinion offhand on a subject which he has not examined. My assertion was based on careful personal investigation and truth seeking. If I desired information regarding the Secular Union and its champions, I would not seek for it from Christian sources; yet Mr. Putnam, on a flying visit through Utah, lending a capacious ear to avowed enemies and bigots on this subject, feels competent to decide without evidence. He says: “(1) The Mormons are money-getters, like the Jews; (2) I see that Dyer Lum, in Liberty, has some praise for the cooperative system of the Mormon church, but there is no genuine cooperation at all; it is only a form of monopoly to put the profits into the hands of a few. If anything is run by the capitalist, it is the Mormon Z. C. M. I., with its ‘Holiness to the Lord.’ There is not a particle of democracy in Mormonism; (3) it is the most thoroughgoing aristocratic and despotic institution in the world; (4) it makes the few rich and the many poor.”
Let us see. 1. If Mr. Putnam’s every-day, secular liberality will permit him to look up the “Articles of Association of Zion’s Central Board of Trade,” covering every county in the territory, he will find the preamble to read as follows:
The objects of this Association are to maintain a Commercial Exchange; to promote uniformity in the customs and usages of producers, manufacturers, and merchants; to inculcate principles of equity and justice in trade; to facilitate the speedy adjustment of business disputes; to seek remunerative markets for home products; to foster Capital and protect Labor, uniting them as friends rather than dividing them as enemies; to encourage manufacturing; to aid in placing imported articles in the hands of consumers as cheaply as possible; to acquire and disseminate valuable agricultural, manufacturing, commercial, and economic information; and generally to secure to its members the benefits of cooperation in the furtherance of their legitimate pursuits.
Does he think this was written by “money-getters, like the Jews”?
2. If he will take time to see and ask a Mormon for a copy of the Mormon Encyclical Letter, issued by Brigham Young and others, of July 10, 1875, I think he will learn something of the extent of Mormon cooperation he never dreamed of in his philosophy. The evils of our system are pointed out and general cooperation urged as a remedy, and as a matter of fact the Z. C. M. I. is not the only cooperative mercantile institution in Utah, being only the largest; smaller ones dot the whole territory. If he has no scruples about going to first sources for information, General Eldredge might, if there were room, plant at least one new idea in his head.
3. No officer in the Mormon church holds his office save on the tenure of popular election, repeated every year. Nor even then do any of them receive any salary, not even the president at home or the missionary abroad. They all, high or low, must earn their own living, a fact which may well excite the disgust, of apostles of other faiths or no-faiths.
4. If Mr. Putnam should stay in Utah so long that a spirit of truth-seeking could penetrate his armor of prejudice, he would never see a Mormon poor house or a Mormon appealing to him for alms.
If our secular investigating truth-seeker were really seeking information,— other than from avowed enemies,— I would commend to him two facts: 1. To search the court records and see if he can find six cases where a Mormon has sued a Mormon, or can learn of a single case where, in the adjustment of civil disputes between Mormons, either party has had to pay one cent for time and trouble taken or for witness fees. Singular conduct in a non-cooperative people, who thus eliminate the lawyer. 2. If he will look up the criminal records in Salt Lake City for the past year, he will find that his Liberal friends conjointly with the Christians, twin relics of Utah bigotry, have contributed over eleven-twelfths of the city’s criminals, although they only constitute one-fifth of the entire population! Whether the larger portion come from the followers of Ingersoll or of Jesus, I can only surmise, but I trust Mr. Putnam’s ministrations will tend to lower this liberal and alarming percentage.
From his own reports we see that Mormons attend his lectures; it is they who make his overflowing audiences, and that in Mormon halls in Mormon communities; that he has been treated by them in a liberal manner; and lo! the Liberal return. I once heard a good story out there that I will relate.
A Methodist protracted meeting was once started in Logan City in a small room. One evening a Mormon youth sauntered in late, and, seeing some vacant seats immediately in front, sat down there, unaware that it was reserved for spiritual “mourners.” When the sermon was concluded, the dominie came down to wrestle with his one convert in prayer, but was astonished to find him unresponsive to his solicitous inquiries concerning his soul’s health. He finally asked him if he was a Mormon. The boy answered: “Well, I reckon I’m what you call a Mormon.” “Why!” said the astounded parson, “what did you come in here for?” “Oh!” replied the boy, “father wanted me to come and see what a denied fool he made of himself at my age!”
Whether this accounts in any way for his “overcrowded audiences” I cannot say, but the Mormon looks on the Methodist pulpit-banger and the Secular exhorter as equally fit subjects for curiosity and mirth; and in reading the “News and Notes” written from Mormondom by Mr. Putnam, the same feeling is more or less shared by.
Dyer D. Lum.
An Example to be Followed.
The circular printed below shows what one man can do when he energetically sets about it. It comes to me from David A. Andrade, of Melbourne, Australia, with whom the readers of Liberty are already acquainted.
To the People of Australasia.
The Melbourne Anarchists’ Club extends its greetings to the liberty-loving citizens of these young colonies, and appeals to them to assist its members in their efforts to remove those public sentiments and public institutions which, having been transplanted here from the northern hemisphere, retard social progress and happiness, and to sulistitute in their place the ennobling principles of Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity!
The objects of the Melbourne Anarchists’ Club are:
1. To foster public interest in the great social questions of the day, by promoting inquiry in every possible way; to promote free public discussions of all social questions; and to circulate and publish literature throwing light upon the existing evils of society and the methods necessary for their removal.
2. To foster and extend the principles of Self Reliance, Self Help, and a spirit of Independence amongst the people.
3. To uphold and maintain the principles of Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity. By Liberty we mean “The equal liberty of each, limited alone by the equal liberty of all.” By Equality we mean “The equality of opportunity for each individual.” And by Fraternity we mean that principle which denies national and class distinctions, asserts the Brotherhood of Man, and says “The world is my country.”
4. To advocate, and seek to achieve, the abolition of all monopolies and despotisms which destroy the Freedom of the Individual, and which thereby check social progress and prosperity.
5. To expose and oppose that colossal swindle, Government, and to advocate Abstention from Voting, Resistance to Taxation, and Private Cooperation or Individual Action.
6. To foster Mutual Trust and Fraternity amongst the working people of all ranks, and to turn their attention to their common foes: the Priests and the Politicians, and their coadjutors, attacking principles rather than individuals.
7. To invite the cooperation of all who have realized the innate evils of our governing institutions and desire their speedy dissolution for the general benefit of Humanity.
8. To promote the formation of voluntary institutions similar to the Melbourne Anarchists’ Club throughout Victoria and the neighboring colonies, and, with their consent, to eventually unite with them, forming the Australasian Association of Anarchists.
Rights and Duties.
The controversy between E. C. Walker and the Kellys in regard to Malthusianism promises to be very interesting. I shall not attempt to advance any new argument either for or against the point at issue, for the disputants are well able to take care of themselves. But I cannot refrain from making one or two remarks on the singular views of Mr. Walker, which, if logically followed out, would lead us into some very dark and narrow holes. One or two of his ideas have a direct bearing upon the expediency discussion.
Mr. Walker now explicitly admits that limitation of offspring in itsel would not settle the labor problem or destroy our social evils. This, in my judgment, practically closes the original discussion, for it is just this point, and no other, that both Mr. Kelly in “Lucifer” and Miss Kelly in Liberty were trying to hold Mr. Walker to. But here Mr. Walker takes up a question of expediency, and argues that, “when men shall have attained to the degree of intelligence necessary to enable them to realize the duty of such limitation, they will have developed the sense needed to destroy the social evils.” Really, I am surprised at Mr. Walker’s mental obliquity. Does he not perceive that he has got hold of the wrong end of the thing? It reads more logically when reversed: When men shall have attained to the degree of intelligence neccesary to enable them to see the necessity of a radical change in our social and economic relations, they will have developed the sense needed to make them better, nobler, and worthier. It is as clear its anything can be that we can have no perfect men under such very imperfect conditions. And to seek to make people better or worse than they are while the conditions are daily becoming more and more insufferable is the height of absurdity.
The question now is: What are reformers to do? Shall they teach the people their natural rights, point out the evils and the remedies, or shall they attack the personal vices and bad habits of the ignorant, poor, miserable, and blind victims of our economic system? I beg the reader’s pardon for this A B C philosophy, but I will say for the benefit of Mr. Walker that, inasmuch as poverty is the mother of ignorance, vice, and crime, poverty is the first to be removed. Mr. Walker further shows an inexcusable lack of philosophical and historical knowledge when he asserts that this iniquitous system exists because the mass of mankind has been and is composed of reckless, hap-hazard, etc., sorts of people. It is the system that breeds and fosters this sort of people; it is the system that tends to increase their numbers in a geometrical ratio, and that reduces the chances of redemption to a minimum. The philosophy of Anarchism expressed in the words, “Liberty the mother, not the daughter, of social order,” is irreconcilable with the views of the purity and morality cranks, who would readily grant every blessing to the people, if they were but worthy of it. As an Anarchist, Mr. Walker must strike for liberty first and destroy that all-devouring monster,— monopoly. As to the question, “what can we do in the meantime?” it has been demonstrated again and again that nothing can be done in the way of permanent or general improvement under existing conditions. It is very unfortunate that we are living in the now, and not in the to be, but we can’t help it. The now cannot be made more comfortable, all the quack doctors to the contrary notwithstanding, and ought not. It is undoubtedly true that individuals do now and then succeed in life, but it is necessarily and unexceptionally achieved at the expense of other individuals. We teach and believe that individual initiative is primary, but this does not at all mean that we must begin by reforming our habits and preach purity to others. We may not all be prudent, virtuous, or brave, but this is no reason why we should be robbed and plundered. Stop crime first, and reform vice afterwards. As Anarchists we have one duty,— to destroy the State.
Tchernychewsky’s Life and Trial.
Translated from the Russian for Liberty by Victor Yarros.
Continued from No. 82.
This wondrous and extraordinary success did not turn Tchernychewsky’s head, he was neither proud nor vain. He worked very hard; from early morning till night he was at his desk. He loved his work for its own sake, and was utterly indifferent to public opinion. Being neither proud nor vain, he kept aloof from the élite of the literary world and passed his leisure hours in the society of struggling young journalists and students unknown to fame. He was ambitious, but nis ambition was of the noblest and highest order. With the death of Nicholas I. a new era dawned upon Russia. The Crimean war had stirred up the sleeping giant, given a strong impulse to Russian political life, and brought many burning questions to the front. Alexander II. was posing as a liberal ruler anil liberator. The air was filled with reform perfumes. The liberal monarch soon tired of this comedy and tore off the mask of civilization he had worn; but, while this spell lasted, Tchernychewsky accomplished much. He grew bold and out-spoken. He preached socialistic doctrines, proposed reform measures, spoke of radical transformations in many national institutions, confident in the sincerity of the government’s professions and trusting to the influence of cultured society. He entered into a discussion, which grew warmer and sharper as it developed, with learned officials, collegiate and State economists, on the question of land ownership, defending the Russian rural commune and attacking with his powerful weapons of sarcasm and wit what he called the “philosophical prejudices against the rural commune.” Defeated on the field of fair and honest debate, his enemies had recourse to vile denunciations and personal abuse. The question “with or without land?” which was a natural concomitant to the serf-liberation agitation, was solved by Tchernychewsky in such a manner as to give the opposition a very favorable opportunity to open fire on him. Then the crusade against Tchernychewsky began. He was savagely attacked from all sides; he was plainly accused of revolutionary propaganda, of inciting the peasants to riot and robbery of the landowners. He was denounced as a dangerous socialist seeking to ruin the State and destroy all law and order. The hirelings of the press joined in this hue and cry of alarmed stupidity. The press found it more comfortable and safer to serve “the powers that be” than bear the burden of truth and honesty. This could not fail to have a crushing effect on Tchernychewsky, who yet found the courage to meet his enemies face to face and hold them to account. He wrote a series of articles on the “Beauties of Polemics,” which have never been equalled by any of the most personal writers. They were the bitterest and the most cutting of all that came from his pen. Tchernychewsky stood alone, but he knew that “Young Russia” loved him, read and understood him, and he wished for no other or better support.
The government attempted to ensnare Tchernychewsky and destroy his influence by compromising his moral integrity. He was offered by an official of very high standing the position of editor of a semi-official reactionary sheet, the St. Petersburg Journal, with the understanding that he was at liberty to change its tone; but Tchernychewsky evaded this skilful plot. Afterwards he was asked to take charge of the “Military Magazine.” This position he accepted on certain conditions, only to find out that he was deceived, whereupon he withdrew. The government then took a serious view of the matter. Tchernychewsky was altogether too dangerous a person to be suffered at large, preaching his doctrines and exercising such exceptional power over the “impulsive” elements of the country. When all “legal” and “decent” means were exhausted, the government did not hesitate to employ another agency. Anonymous letters were fabricated at the “third,” or secret, department of police, in which outside parties were made to complain of Tchernychewsky and accuse him of all possible offences and conspiracies. Tchernychewsky was peremptorily arrested. The government had accomplished its object,— it had torn Tchernychewsky from the “Sovremennic.” But it found itself in a very awkward and distressing position: there were no charges proven and no evidence whatever of Tchernychewsky’s guilt. In fact, there was absolutely nothing to show against him. As to the fraudulent anonymous letters, there is a statute distinctly excluding all such evidence and disallowing any action on its weight. What was to be done? A happy thought struck the long heads of the official cut-throats. I. Arsenieff was instructed to make an inculpatory review oi Tchernychewsky’s writings, to detect in them a revolutionary spirit and criminal tendencies. This was most ambitiously done, but proved unsatisfactory. All of his writings, previous to their publication, were subjected to a most vigilant censorship, and could not, in face of shame and decency, serve as a basis for indictment. The government would not permit such a trifle as the absence of legal evidence to stand in its way. Charges were invented. Fraud and trickery, libel and falsehood, were brought into play. The notorious V. Kostomaroff, that sham political prisoner, who had rendered such invaluable service to the authorities in the case of that other Russian man of letters, Michailoff, appeared on the scene. The two official conspirators, Golitzin and Potopoff, solicited the advice and cooperation of this informer. He had a plan. He knew a person in Moscow, a certain Iakovleff, who would do anything for money. He could be induced to come to St. Petersburg and appear before Potopoff to denounce Tchernychewsky as an agitator and revolutionary socialist. He was to relate how, together with other-peasants, he used to visit Tchernychewsky, who ridiculed their respect for the law and sneered at their admiration of the Czar-liberator, asking them how they liked freedom and inciting them to riot and rebellion. This plan was enthusiastically endorsed by the upholders of law and justice, but unfortunately it was not triumphantly carried out. The reliable Moscovite did not prove trustworthy. He came to St. Petersburg, got drunk on the money paid in advance by Kostomaroff for his services, and disclosed all. He boasted that a good reward was promised him if successful and “smart,” and wondered why it was so necessary to belie Tchernychewsky. The rumor of this foul plot spread rapidly in St. Petersburg and filled everybody with indignation. Tchernyehewsky’s co-workers on the “Sovremennic” hastened to inform Potopoff about it “in order to worn him against malicious slanders and false testimony against Tchernychewsky, whose case was in his hands.”
It was a desperate case, and the plotters resolved to try a desperate means. A circular of the most incendiary and revolutionary character was printed in the secret police department and addressed to the serfs. The manuscript of the circular counterfeited Tchernychewsky’s hand-writing. A note was written in the same hand-writing to journalist Plescheieff, which, though containing nothing positively offensive to the government, had a good deal “between the lines” and many obscure, suspicious expressions, as, for instance, “this is a time for action, not reflection.”
This was all. There was and could be no other evidence against Tchernychewsky. Thus was made up a “case,” which was deliberately dragged along two years in the expectation that the prisoner would be forced to confess to some offence in order to bring his sufferings and terrible suspense to an end. In prison he suffered intensely. The tyranny and cruelty of the authorities knew no bounds. He was not allowed to pass five minutes with his sick and helpless wife except in the presence of some titled ruffian. He was often reduced to the necessity of refusing food several days in succession to gain some point or concession from his heartless torturers.
But Tchernychewsky was firm, bold, and defiant to the last. He denied all knowledge of the secret circular and the note to Plescheieff. He denounced his persecutors at every interview, accused them of conspiracy and fraud, and in every Tchernychewsky’s. Many of the official clerks and secretaries who were called in as experts were obliged to admit this.
We reproduce here the official document of the ease. It will throw some light on Russian law and justice.
“Titular councillor N. G. Tchernychewsky, a journalist bv profession, was one of the editors of the ‘Sovremennic.’ The tone and tendencies of that periodical have attracted the attention of the government. It had chiefly propagated materialistic and socialistic ideas aiming at the complete negation of authority, religion, and morality. The government deemed it proper to temporarily stop th publication of that periodical. At the same time certain facts were disclose which led to Tchernychewsky’s arrest, it being proved that he is one of the dangerous agitators and rebels to the law.
“At the third department of His Imperial Majesty’s Police an anonymous letter had lieen received, in which the government was warned against Tchernychewsky, ‘that cunning socialist and traducer of youth,’ who boasted that he will never be detected in his crimes. ‘Tchernychewsky,’ says the writer, ‘is a revolutionary propagandist, repudiated by all his former friends. If you do not restrain him there will surely be serious trouble and bloodshed. Everywhere secret societies are being organized, and the youth are inflamed by their incendiary talk. The demagogues and desperadoes are capable of any beastly deed. Even if they shall eventually be crushed out, many innocent lives will have been sacrificed. Rid us of Tchernychewsky in the interest of public peace and order.’
“In June, 1862, information was received at the third department that a certain Vetoshkin, a friend of Herzen and Bakounine, was on his way to Russia fron London, carrying correspondence from the above-mentioned exiles and a lot o revolutionary publications. The police succeeded in arresting Vetoshkin, and among other things found in his possession was a letter from Herzen to Serno-Soloviovitch, in which the latter is urged to push the revolutionary propaganda in Russia with more vigor, and in which Herzen takes occasion to inform him of his and Tchernychewsky’s intention to publish the ‘Sovremennic’ somewhere out side of Russia. [This Herzen pronounced a lie. He did publicly offer to publish the “Sovremennic” at his expenses in London or Geneva after it was temporarily suppressed by the government, but his offer was ne accepted or considered by the editors.]
“In consequence of this letter Tchernychewsky was arrested and his apartment, carefully searched. Among the confiscated things bearing upon the case are: (1) An anonymous note in regard to the manifestation at Moscow at a lecture of Professor Kostomaroff in March, 1862, stating that the case will not be investigated and that nobody need fear any trouble; (2) A letter from Moscow in Bartukoff’s handwriting, stating that the city is deeply agitated over the Tver troubles, am that a revolution is feared; (3) An unaddressed letter from Herzen, criticizing Tchernychewsky’s advice not to enlist the youth in any literary societies, and proposing in vague expressions some plan of a secret organization with branches in the provincial towns; (4) An unsigned threatening letter to Tchernychewsky, in which he is charged with the intention to destroy the existing State and establish a democracy; (5) An alphabetical key on some pieces of paper and a diary which appears to have been written before his marriage.
Justice or Force, Which?
Revenge and wrong bring forth their kind.
The foul rubs like their parents are.
In a lecture delivered some time ago in Newark, Caleb Pink showed, as only Caleb Pink can show, that the moment we leave the domain of abstract justice, that very moment we enter the domain of force; that, if we lay aside the standard of justice, we have nothing by which to decide any question but brute force. It is the old story of a “lie having no legs.” Every lie needs a host of other lies to support it, and every one of the host also limits forth after its kind, and so the mass of falsehood goes on daily and hourly increasing. That this is so, no one can look about him in society today without being fully convinced. We have departed very far from the domain of justice, we have no standard of justice whereby to regulate our actions, and consequently we have war on all sides, we have brute force called in to settle every question.
The great fundamental evils are not questioned, the right to increase without work is not questioned, for the spirit, of robbery is still to a very great extent the controlling spirit of the times. When the robbery shows itself in a very huge form, when the Vanderbilts and the Goulds accumulate their millions, then arises a cry against the Vanderbilts and the Goulds, but none against the system which produces them. There is no cry against interest, profit, or rent,— that is, there is no cry against robbery in itself but ouly against the amount taken.
The spirit of robbery is as strong in the trades-unions, in the Knights of Labor, as it is in the capitalists against whom they are contending. The capitalist never questioned what was due to the laborer; the laborer does not now question what is due to the capitalist; each takes all he can take.
We can hardly blame the workingmen, whose hard physical labor and lack of mental training make it almost impossible for them to discover where the evil lies, for proposing to meet force with force, when we see the professional classes, those whose whole training consists in the cultivation of their intellects, propose nothing but force to settle the social question, seeming to think that society must always of necessity to divided into two hostile camps, the exploited and the exploiters. In a recent number of the “Christian Union,” in an article by Dr. Annie S. Daniel on “Tenement-House Workers” (women), she says the average wages of women who do sewing at home, working from 5 or 6 A.M. to midnight, is from thirty-five to fifty cents a day. She draws a terrible picture of the lives of these women, of their wretched physical and mental condition, of the little children sacrificed to increase the family income, and than proposes as a remedy — force. She says that of the six hundred women of whom she has statistics one hundred and ninety-seven actually needed to work,— that is, had no husbands tosupport them. She would have the married women prohibited from working at anything except their house-work, so that they should not come into competition with the other women. This is the remedy suggested by a woman whose position would lead one to suppose that she was opposed to sexual slavery. Another law added to this one, making the marriage bond perpetual, would be all that would be needed to make women the absolute, abject slaves of their husbands. Will this rule that a woman must not work after she is married apply to all women, professional and otherwise,— women-doctors, for instance,— or are we to have class legislation in this democratic country of ours? Then Dr. Daniel would have the tenement-house women form leagues in order to obtain higher wages from their employers. How much wages are they to have? As much as they can get, or what? What rule are they to go by? Is it to be a “game of grab” between the employers and the employees? Dr. Daniel told me some time ago that Bennett of the New York “Herald” had a right to all the property which he now possesses. Would she consider it right if Bennett’s employees should unite and force him to give them higher wages? If Bennett or any other employer rightfully owns all his property, is not any combination against him unjust and immoral? And if he does not rightfully own all, how much does he rightfully own? This is the question that the practical people — trades-unionists and philanthropists (who are supposed to have a very high moral sense) — never ask themselves.
Dr. Daniel also proposes the compulsory industrial education of children, and the total abolition of tenement-house work. I am shocked to find my democratic friend, Dr. Daniel, like her patron saint, Grover Cleveland, depart so far from the democratic ideal of “that government governs best which governs least.” Why, she is on the road to State Socialism. This departure from democratic principles is only another proof that all government tends toward centralization and despotism, that there never was, and cannot be, a simple government.
The ignorance that the so-called “educated classes” betray of the very first principles of political economy is somewhat extraordinary. This movement for industrial education as a solution of the labor problem is spreading all through the country with astonishing rapidity. Heber Newton, Edward E. Hale, Courtlandt Palmer, Felix Adler, and all the “philantropic ladies,” etc., are determined to make all the laborers “skilled,” so that all may obtain high wages, and happiness prevail all around. They fail to see what is patent to the most superficial observer, that the higher wages of the skilled laborers are due entirely to the fact of their being comparatively few in number. Make all the laborers, or a majority of the laborers, skilled, and under the present system the wages must inevitably fall to those of the unskilled laborers.
What is more sad to contemplate than the excusable blindness of the working classes, and the almost inexcusable blindness, of the professional classes, is the wilful closing of their eyes to the light by such men as John Swinton. John Swinton must know, if he knows anything, that the eight-hour movement can have no appreciable effect in the solution of the labor problem, and yet, in order to save his reputation as a practical man, he devotes all his time to the promotion of this movement. He says that “in our own country within the last fifteen years, the whole power of mechanism has doubled, having risen from 2,300,000 horse power to 4,500,000. By this growth there has been added to the resources of the capitalists, who own the enginery of industry, the strength of 22,000,000 of slaves.” And yet the only measure that Mr. Swinton proposes for turning all this machinery to the benefit of the laborers is the eight-hour measure, though he admits that the “advance of mechanism is sure to go on with ever increasing momentum,” — that is, that the intensity of the work is sure to be increased in exact proportion to the lessening of the hours of labor, as has been proved over and over again, and that more men will not therefore be employed. But Mr. Swinton says he has not time to deal with bottom issues, and hence resorts to what all compromisers must resort to — force.
It is for the reason that I cannot see how we can in the least compromise with the truth without entering the domain of force that I entirely disagree with Mr. Appleton in the position taken (much to my surprise) by him on expediency, in a recent number of Liberty. If Mr. Appleton can show us how we can compromise without both advocating and using force. I may perhaps be induced to adopt the compromising methods.
Gertrude B. Kelly.
Too Much Devotion.
In a recent number of the “Credit Foncier of Sinaloa” is a letter from Godin, the founder of the Familistére at Guise-sur-Aisne, in which he reproaches Fourier’s theory with having made more partisans to the idea of individual happiness for self than to the sentiment of devotion to the cause of humanity, i.e., to the love of the well-being of all and of general progress.
Instead of making individual attraction and happiness the basis of my conception, I have inculcated the principles of sacrifice and devotion. This, in my judgment, is the only way to the salvation of humanity.
He repudiates Fourier’s theory of the passions, and of groups and series in attractive industry. He adopts from Fourier only the general idea of association, industrial and domestic. “His conception of attractive industry rests upon false ideas.” Wherein their falsehood consists M. Godin does not explain. He farther contests the natural availability of every type of character for social accord under properly adaptive conditions. He avows the ordinary Christian view of this life as but a short station in eternity, the importance of which consists in its relation to ulterior existences for the individual.
The good he has been able to accomplish in the material life is what serves him in his elevation, in his ulterior existences. It is in that other existence, my friend, that we will be able to enjoy together the fruits of the efforts we are making here below in the same thought of devotion to humanity. There distances will disappear, and, affection uniting spirits, we will know each other in societies fit for our loves. Here, on the contrary, our desires are of another world; nothing is done to give satisfaction to the aspiration of hearts burning to do good.
Well, Mr. benevolent capitalist with a fair talent for organization, who have made a fortune and built a palace for your workmen, you have had your own way some twenty years or so. What is the upshot? Is your industrial association a living germ, an organic growth, illustrating principles that will ensure its persistence after your controlling will is removed? He says elsewhere:
From those to whom I have shown nothing but devotion and from whom I ought to have received the most precious support, I have experienced the greatest difficulties and the most systematic opposition, and these are renewed today, when I am about organizing the association.
He means probably its corporative tenure of the property which has been hitherto held in his own name.
It seems then that certain ungrateful wretches are reluctant to be happified on the devotional system.
I find but incredulity and carelessness on the part of those who are the most interested in our success, those who have for a long time been benefited by the institutions of insurance, education, and amusement that have been established in the Familistére. I find resistances particularly among clerks. Each one would consent to enjoy the advantages of the association, but for himself alone; nothing for others. The dignity of the clerk believes itself in danger from association with the workman. You will see by the minutes of my last conference that I have motives of melancholy, not to say discouragement.
Suppose, M. Godin, that, instead of blaming the selfishness of your clerks, whose arrogance you probably foster by paying them better than your workmen in the foundry, you had, adopted from the theory of the Series, which you decry, the provision of interlocked groups. Then your clerks would either be working in the foundry a part of the time, or else performing accessory and subordinate functions, to the sensible improvement of their health and sociability. Your bureau of clerks, being drawn, moreover, from the educated children of your workmen, would preserve with these alliances of kinship and affection. They would not constitute a caste of clerks whose self-interest or whose ideas of respectability were distinct front those of your foundry men.
The great difficulty, M. Godin, is that you have not elevated yourself, in this world, to the conception of Fourier’s luminous genius, which discerned the method of utilizing those passions whose tout ensemble, constitutes self-interest, and whose legitimate satisfaction blossoms forth in altruism or devotion, spontaneous, not imposed as duty. With all your benevolence you are but a routinist. Your motto, “Le Devoir,” betrays the limitations of a narrow and superannuated system of discipline, while the harmonic future of mankind, nay, of animality entire, lies in the formula of “Attractions proportional to essential destinies,” whose modus operandi is the spontaneity of individualism in the natural or selective distributions of serial industry.
Progressive and Educational.
To those Anarchists who are so enamored of the Knights of Labor and entertain such hopes of them I recommend the following choice tidbits clipped from one issue of the “American Labor Budget,” a Knights of Labor organ which is very widely circulated, and which is published, I should judge, in Mr. Appleton’s country, “where liberty is not”:
Socialism, anarchism, and murder find no defenders in the K. of L.
If a conflict should ever occur as the results of communism, the Knights of Labor will be found upholding the constitution of the United States and laws of the country against all transgressors.
The Knights of Labor are the stoutest opponents yet placed against socialism and anarchy. They are friends of the law and of order. They believe in order, and are determined that the laws shall be obeyed. Down with socialism and anarchy. Up with education and equality.
As to the whole tribe of anarchists, nihilists, and socialists, there can be but one opinion among good citizens. Opposed to law and order, which are as necessary to labor as to capital, they are the enemies of the human race, and there is no place for them in this country. They have no sympathy with honest labor, and the workingmen, whose cause they injure, should be the first to denounce and oppose them. The honest workingmen are good citizens, and they know that this is the best country for them in the world. They seek not to destroy, but to build up. Their worst enemies are the destructives who do not know how to value free institutions. They and their whole doctrine and following should be driven from the country, or, better still, from the face of God’s earth.
And to the “American Labor Budget,” which thus proclaims the readings of the Knights of Labor to deal summarily with the enemies of “law and order,” I recommend the following embarrassing questions asked by the Kansas City “Journal”:
We do not assert that the Knights of Labor are directly responsible for the recent terrible carnivals of blood in Chicago and Milwaukee, but we do charge that the methods pursued by the Knights of Labor during the recent strike in the Southwest have been the strongest possible encouragement for such red-handed murderers as Parsons, Fielden, and others to institute a reign of anarchy in Chicago and Milwaukee.
Are the actions of the mob in Chicago any worse than that of the hand of Knights which ambushed a train near Fort Worth and fired a deadly volley from Winchester rifles into the ranks of the officers of the law?
Have the followers of Parsons and Fielden perpetrated any more heinous act than did the Knights who derailed the train on the Missouri Pacific near Wyandotte and hurled innocent men to their deaths?
Have Parsons and Fielden propounded any more anarchical doctrine than did the striking Knights at Parsons, who claimed the rights of belligerents in time of war?
We submit in all fairness that the record of the Knights in the Southwestern strike furnishes them with but limited capital with which to point the finger of scorn at the followers of Anarchist Parsons.
Two Points Well Taken.
Those who believe that the best government is the government that governs least should not throw stones at Anarchists. They are Anarchists themselves, without the “courage of their convictions,” it may be, or else lacking the sense to follow professed principles to legitimate conclusions. Those who believe that a little law is a good thing and therefore more law is a better thing and all the law possible is the best thing, are worse than Anarchists, for the latter have their faces turned toward the light of liberty, while the former are marching steadfastly into the darkness of despotism.
Selfhood Terminates Blind Man’s Buff.
G. B. Kelly appears to hit near the mark on egoism versus altruism. Both are facts, but the completely self-conscious egoist becomes such only at the end of a process, and after that he owns and enjoys his own powers so completely that he will not permit an idea to become his master. Such egoism produces acts which the altruist may mistake for altruistic acts, but the self-conscious egoist treats ideas as his property, takes them apart and examines them at his pleasure, and sees that they serve his purpose and do not make him their servant. The child is physically dependent. The youth becomes subject to the power of ideas. Pre-Christian society, wrestling with physical powers, correspond to childhood in the individual. Christianity, rationalism, humanitarianism, communism, moralisim,— idealism, in a word,— correspond to the enthusiastic dreams of youth. In that stage egoism is scorned, though it persists without general acknowledgment except as alleged baseness. To the humanitarian idealist it is the substitute for Devil, as Humanity is the substitute for God. The individual who finally becomes conscious of himself is, just as he is, a universe,— humanity itself. He then knows that he has been dreaming about a something which is, after all, himself. He is incomparable. The process of thought that brings him to recognize himself can nevermore be continued as a process in which himself would be only a factor, for he is a greater fact than his ideas. Henceforth ideas are simply his possession. True views are useful, but any alleged sacred Truth is romanticism, or rant. When he does an act which to others may look unegoistic, it is nevertheless to be tested by this: Is it genuinely the will of the doer,— his good pleasure? Then it is purely egoistic. The egoist who has become self-conscious knows what he wills, and does just as he wills so far as he can. He interests himself in any pursuit or neglects any without a thought that he is fulfilling or slighting any calling or mission or duty, or doing right or wrong. All such words are impertinent. Nothing is sacred or above him. He recognizes forces, and does the best he can to make himself master of what he wants. The mental processes of selfhood are not those of justifying any conduct, as with the idealist, or seeking what will conform to a standard or serve a cause; but thought becomes an instrument to determine what course will procure what is desired. Are the means the best adjustable to the end? They are adopted. Justification is a piece of superstitious nonsense. Having found the pearl of great price,— come to a recognition of self,— we never throw it away. We give away what we like to give away, because we like. We may give life itself. But to the last we do our own will. Right and wrong, crime and virtue, are simply people’s ideas, of no consequence to the egoist except as such ideas make fanatics and dangerous people or make serviceable subjects. No one is a self-conscious egoist, to whom wrong in natural society means more than imprudence. The egoist, as an irrepressible, conscienceless criminal, is the coming force, who will destroy all existing institutions. Mark what is called criminal. It is always some action which is the retort to the egoistic pretension of a man or of an institution. It will make a great difference when many egoists become fully self-conscious and not ashamed of being conscienceless egoists. Language is now Christian; so the egoist has no very appropriate means of expression. His will and pleasure is not, however, a cause, or matter to be pleaded and granted. Of course he will take unbridled liberty. Think of our language when its common expressions are such that people are asked to assume the propriety of men’s wearing bridles! And they do wear them. A few self-conscious egoists, such as popes, kings, presidents, legislators, judges, and generals, rule the world because other people are in confusion, as unconscious egoists fearing their own nature and believing they ought to obey ideas.
[Tourguéneff’s “Poems in Prose.”]
The only son of a widowed peasant woman had died. He was a young man of twenty, the best workman in the village.
The lady of the village heard of the woman’s low, and went to see her on the day of the funeral.
She found her at home. Standing before a table in the middle of the hut, she was steadily ladling up cabbage-soup from an earthen vessel, and slowly swallowing it down spoonful after spoonful.
The old woman’s face was sad and troubled, her eyes red and swollen...but in spite of this she was standing there as erect and firm as if she were in church.
“Heavens!” thought the lady . . . . “Can she eat at such a moment? . . . . How little feeling these people have!” And the lady now remembered how, when she had lost her little nine-year-old daughter some years before, she had been so overcome with grief as not to care to hire a beautiful villa in the neighborhood of Petersburg, but had spent the whole summer in the city! But this woman went on eating cabbage-soup.
At length the lady grew impatient, and said: “In Heaven’s name! Tatiana, I am surprised . . . . Did not you love your son at all? Is it possible that you have not lost your appetite? How can you eat cabbage-soup at such a time?”
“My Wassia is dead,” said the woman, softly, and the tears ran down her hollow cheeks; “I shall soon die too! My head has been cut off while I was yet living! . . . . But why the soup should be wasten? It has been salted.”
The lady merely shrugged her shoulders and went away. Salt costs her nothing.
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.