“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.
Henry George’s “Standard” agrees with an opponent that “there can be no natural property value in land not created by labor,” and says: “Therefore we propose to tax away that legal property value in land which is not created by labor.” It would seem more natural, more simple, more direct to do away with this legal value by abolishing the law. That is what the Anarchists propose.
At the next meeting of the Anarchists’ Club, to be held in Codman Hall, 176 Tremont Street, Sunday afternoon, December 18, at half past two o’clock, the principal address will be delivered by E. B. McKenzie on “The Sovereignty of the Individual.” The success of the Club continues. Its audiences are larger than those drawn by any other labor organization holding regular public meetings in Boston.
It is a common thing to see references, both in the capitalistic and the labor press, to one individual or another as “the arch-Anarchist.” Such a term shows how little the writer knows of the meaning of Anarchy. It never could have occurred to him that the affirmative arch before the hyphen is precisely the same arch to which, after the hyphen, a negative form is given by the privative an. There is no more sense in the term arch-Anarchist than in the term theistic-Atheist.
By the kindness of generous friends a special edition of ten thousand copies of this issue of Liberty is printed and will be distributed broadcast over the United States. Two extra copies are mailed to each subscriber, and it is hoped that these will be given to interested truth-seekers. Whoever obtains a copy of the special edition is requested to notice that it is printed on cheap news paper. The regular edition furnished to subscribers is always printed on an excellent quality of book paper.
“The little child that is familiar with the Christian Catechism is really more enlightened on truths that should come home to every rational mind than the most profound philosophers of Pagan antiquity, or even of the so-called philosophers of our own times. He has mastered the great problem of life. He knows his origin, his sublime destiny, and the means of attaining it.” This utterance is not from “Puck,” but from an article by that gifted amateur humorist, Cardinal Gibbons, in the “North American Review.”
The sermon of Rev. John C. Kimball of Hartford, one of the leading lights of the Unitarian denomination, is so conspicuous and honorable an exception to the fiendish utterances of almost the entire body of his fellow-clergymen of all sects in regard to the hanging of our Chicago comrades that I surrender a very large portion of my space to the publication in this issue of the text as originally delivered. It was nearly all in type before I knew that the author had revised and added to his discourse and published it in pamphlet form, together with an account of the persecution which his bravery has brought upon him (unparalleled since anti-slavery days), his address in his defence, and his triumph over his adversaries. I can best make amends for the inadequacy of this report by recommending every one of the thousands of people in whose hands this issue will be placed to send to Rev. John C. Kimball, Hartford, Conn., for one or more copies of the pamphlet. The price is but ten cents, and the discourse with its history is worth for preservation or for distribution many times that sum. As an exposition of Anarchism the sermon is in many respects far from reliable, but as a rebuke of the prevailing attitude towards new and revolutionary thought in such marked contrast with the treatment that it deserves it has not been surpassed for many a day.
Taking his cue from the English Personal Rights Association, which exists to secure the exercise of individual liberty, T. B. Wakeman, in the “Freethinkers’ Magazine,” advocates the formation of a similar society in this country, enumerating among the objects to which it might well devote itself the handing-over of the railroads, telegraphs, and many other things to the State and the passage of liquor laws as stringent as the laws governing the sale of poisons. If the use to which Mr. Wakeman is putting their example were to be brought to the notice of the officers of the English society,— say Auberon Herbert or Peter Taylor or Jacob Bright,— I fancy that the next “personal right” they would set about vindicating would be the right not to be misrepresented.
The “Anti-Monopolist,” published at Enterprise, Kansas, declares that, “of the twenty-two prominent anti-monopoly papers in Kansas, twenty sustain the Henry George land value tax, one opposes it slightly, and the other admits it has never studied the question and is not ready to take sides until it has done so.” Does the “Anti-Monopolist” mean to say that “Lucifer” is not prominent, or that there are twenty-two anti-monopoly papers in Kansas more prominent than “Lucifer,” or that “Lucifer” is not an anti-monopoly paper, or that it is not published in Kansas, or that it sustains the land value tax, or that it opposes it slightly, or that it admits it has never studied the question? The “Anti-Monopolist’s” statement seems to necessarily involve some one of these things as a corollary, and yet I had supposed them all to be false.
[Recited by George Engel in his cell the night before he was murdered.]
With tearless eyes, in despair and gloom,
Gnashing their teeth, they sit at the loom.
Thy shroud, we weave, Germany of old,
We weave into it the curse three-fold.
We are weaving, weaving, weaving.
A curse to the false gods we prayed to in vain.
In the winter’s cold, in hanger and pain.
Our hope, our waiting, all were for naught;
He fooled us, he mocked us,— a terrible thought.
We are weaving, weaving, weaving.
A curse to the King of the rich,
For none of our misery his heart did reach.
He takes our money, the very last cent;
To shoot us like dogs his soldiers he sent.
We are weaving, weaving, weaving.
A curse to the State, O false fatherland.
Shame and disgrace are nursed by the hand
Where blossoms are early broken by storm,
And in rot and moth delights the worm.
We are weaving, weaving, weaving.
The rattling loom, the shuttle’s flight,
We are busy weaving, day and night.
Thy abroad, we weave, Germany of old,
We weave into it the curse three-fold.
We are weaving, weaving, weaving.
Rev. John C. Kimball on Anarchy.
[A sermon preached in Unity Church, Hartford, November 13, 1887.]
Luke xxiii: 20, 21, 22, 23, 24. Pilate willing to release Jesus spake again unto them; but they cried saying crucify him, crucify him. And he said unto them the third time, I have found no cause of death in him. And they were instant with loud voices requiring that he might be crucified. And the voices of them and of the chief priests prevailed. And Pilate gave sentence that it should be as they required.
These words were written of an event which occurred more than eighteen hundred years ago, and of a person who is now worshipped throughout a large part of Christendom as another God; and yet how accurately they describe what has occurred this past week with reference to the despised Chicago Anarchists and the state of popular feeling which has led to their death! The deed is over now, the popular clamor answered, the so-called majesty of the law vindicated; and no arguments, no pleadings before Pilate, no appeals to justice and mercy and the higher sentiment of civilization, can be of any avail to save their bodily lives. But the subject itself is not over. Their teachings, their acts, and their execution are only the first red-lined chapter of what is to be a whole thousand-paged volume of the world’s coming history. Never has the popular mind been so wrought up over any hanging, unless it was that of John Brown; never so every word, act, and look of men reported; never such inquiries made as to what the animating principle could have been that has so inspired and upheld them in the face of death as in their case. And now, though they themselves have gone, it is our duty as citizens, as Christians, and as students of social philosophy, to consider the principles involved and the lessons taught by this experience, so as to be ready for action in other like, certain-to-come emergencies.
What is Anarchy? What the doctrine for which these men have sacrificed their lives and which so many others, some of them the profoundest thinkers of the age, are teaching, and are equally ready to die for, in every civilized country on the globe? It must be something worth studying. Men, so many and so wide-spread, do not become martyrs for a mere whim. I know it is dangerous to a decent man’s reputation even to mention the word; know that he cannot take it up even as an object of investigation, so violent is the prejudice against it, without being suspected as himself an enemy of good order and society. But, in spite of this, I have learned long since that the only way to deal even with a rattlesnake’s fang is not merely to kill its owner, but to study it scientifically; learned that the best friend of society is, not he who shuts his eyes to everything in its foes except the wickedness of their being arrayed against it, but he, rather, who candidly investigates the reason of their hostility and seeks to remove it and make them friends. And it is in this spirit, not necessarily as an Anarchist, but as a fair-minded Christian man, who can do justice here, as everywhere, to what he hates, were that the case, that I say what I am about to on the subject.
Anarchy is ordinarily understood to mean a state of utter confusion, disorder, and violence in society, a state in which numberless petty factions are making war on each other for supremacy with one victorious today and another tomorrow, and in which all the safeguards to life and property are destroyed,— a state in which everybody does what is right in his own eyes, and that right sure to be wrong. There is certainly good honest ground for this use of the word; and when it is remembered what historically has been the horror of such a condition of things whenever and wherever it has been tried,— in the French Revolution, for instance,— it is not strange that a dread of it, and a hatred of all who would inaugurate it here, have been wrought into our very Anglo-Saxon blood.
Possibly there are men in the world now who would like to bring about this kind of Anarchy. All robbers and villains, all the classes of people who get their living by merely preying on society, probably would. But this is not the Anarchy that the Chicago men and their fellow-workers believe in,— is as wide from it as the patriot soldier’s shot for liberty is from the murderer’s blow for money. The word means literally without government, not without law and order; and this is all that one large class of Anarchists intend by its use,— a state of society in which there is simply no government, that is, no arbitrary and legislative control of men’s actions. It is human laws, not natural or divine laws, that they would get rid of; statute books, not society, they would destroy. Instead of wishing to bring about a condition of confusion, violence, and disorder, they would bring about the very opposite of this, a higher peace and order. They believe that the present confusion, violence, and disorder of society are due to the interference of artificial government with natural laws, and that the only way to get rid of these evils is to get rid of their artificial, human, and necessarily imperfect cause. Nature, they say, in all her other associations, acts only on her own interior laws. The grasses and flowers of the summer meadow, waving together in a glorious company, have no statute books. The birds in the grove, the shoals of fishes in the sea, the beavers building their dam, and the cities of the ants,— perfect societies in their way,— choose no legislators, and maintain no governors, sheriffs, and police, none at least, but those who are their natural leaders. Yea, the family, the original state and type of society, has only natural government. And, if these can get along without artificial laws, why should man, with his higher intelligence, submit to their enactments? The disciples of Anarchy in this sense are not opposed to society, but are rather Socialists in the most thorough-going sense. Man they recognize as a natural social being. If left to himself, his own God-given instincts would lead him into an organization more complete than any which human art can devise, an organization like that of the human body in which every member would find his place and work, and in which all could cooperate harmoniously together. Governments of every kind, democratic and republican as well as autocratic and monarchical, are to them bad, almost equally bad, because they are only the different cords with which is bound the free man of nature; and when they war against them, they say, it is not in the interest of lawlessness and disorder, but for the sake of the larger liberty, larger than ever yet has been fought for, in which man uncompelled shall live obedient all the more to nature’s own eternal law.
Now this position, as you see, is one which at least as a theory is entirely philosophical. It is in perfect harmony with that idea which is gradually permeating all modern thought, that nature is not the foe of man, but his friend, the very voice of God, and that her laws need no supplementing, but only to be carried out to be sufficient for all his needs,— an idea which is the foundation principle of all science, an idea which lies at the very core of evolution, an idea that we liberals fully recognize in the sphere of religion, an idea that medicine has caught a glimpse of, an idea that all the legislative progress of the last two hundred years has been tending towards,— the idea that the best governed people are those who are least governed,— yea, more than this, is the central idea of Jesus himself in his doctrine of the kingdom of God on earth; and the amusing and amazing thing in all this recent discussion of the Anarchists is to see evolutionists, statesmen, and Christians holding up their hands in horror over a doctrine which is the inevitable fruit of their own best faith, and what they are teaching their children, as the most sacred duty of life, every night to pray for,— Thy kingdom come.
But believing all this, why, it may be asked, are not you yourself an Anarchist? Why, recognizing the principle, should you disclaim the name? Simply and solely because I do not think the world is ripe yet for its realization; simply and solely for the reason that I and so many other Christians, while believing in Christ’s doctrines of “Resist not evil;” “From him that would borrow of thee turn not away;” “If any man take thy coat, give him thy cloak also,” do not put them in daily practice,— the reason that our environment and our human nature have not yet been developed into a fitness for them. Government is indeed, as I believe in common with every Anarchist, not an eternal fixture,— is only a temporary expedient. But, as an expedient, I believe, as the Anarchist does not, that it is absolutely necessary, and so natural. It is a bridge over the stream to humanity’s better land, is what the old Jewish law was to religion,— a schoolmaster to bring it to Christ; is what self-government is to the individual man, a means of bringing his lower nature up into harmony with his highest. Every man, to start with, has to govern his lower nature by edicts from his higher,— cannot yield to all his appetites and passions, natural as they are; otherwise he would have at once the lower anarchy within; cannot do it, because, older and stronger than the spirit, they have not yet learned to work in harmony with the spirit’s laws. But this is not to last forever. By-and-by, with every true Christian man, there comes a time when appetite and passion, as the direct result of this arbitrary control, come into such harmony with the spirit and with the divine law that they never need any control, that their instinctive prompting is only for what is right and good, which is the higher anarchy within, the very state which Paul describes in his famous seventh chapter of Romans as the highest Christian attainment, “the law of the spirit of life making him free of the law of sin and death.”
So with society. Government in its true function — alas, that practically it is so often the other way — is simply the control of its lower elements by its best. It is necessary now, because the lowest are as yet undeveloped, are under the dominion of appetite and passion, and cannot he trusted to govern themselves. What we need for ages yet is to perfect government, not destroy it; perfect, too, these lower elements of society, religion’s work,— you see how the whole thing falls in with my ideal of a church,— and then by-and-by, just in proportion as we all come under the great spiritual law of life, just in proportion as each member of society docs instinctively what is right, the need of outward law will pass away, the same as in the evolution of man’s physical system bones, muscles, and organs of various kinds, each of the utmost value to him once, have fallen into disuse and shrivelled up. Then the kingdom of heaven comes; men dwell together as a family, each doing voluntarily his part, and the higher social anarchy — people with no legislative government — everywhere prevails.
I have spoken thus far of only one class of Anarchists, those who believe in society and only disbelieve in government. But there is another class who go a great ways further than this, disbelieving in government and in society both,— at any rate in all existing society. They look around them and see wrongs, oppressions, poverties, degradations, evils of every kind, which do not arise from law, bad as it is, but from the very structure of society itself as it now is, evils — as for instance the natural tyranny of the rich over the poor and the strong over the weak — that doing away with legislation would tend only to increase. They would plunge the knife deeper down than statute books,— would destroy society itself as now organized, especially its economic organization, some to build it up again, and some to have it remain in its distinct individual elements, as really man’s higher condition. What is to be said of this form of anarchy,— that in such a dog’s teeth there can be any good? Yes, even here. Human progress is conditioned in this, as in all other relations, on two great antagonistic forces, the one ever tending to sink the individual, and to make man as a whole, man organized into one grand social structure, its end; the other taking the individual man as its highest aim and making society subordinate to his highest development. Each tendency carried to the extreme would be ruinous; a perfect society in which each man was only a part of man, become only a monster defeating its own object, which is to make men and women, who alone can survive death; and a perfect individualism in which each would give the other no social help, fail equally of reaching the highest manhood and womanhood. We need them both, as in the solar system we do the centripetal and centrifugal forces; and God, nature, with that exquisite wisdom, which is displayed everywhere, gives us both; and their names are organization and individualism, Socialism and — Anarchy, each operating on humanity, and each playing back and forth on the other with that rhythmic movement which is characteristic of everything in the universe.
For ages past the organizing tendency has been the strongest, and it is so now. Everywhere men are combining alike into society and into societies. No business can be done without the formation of a company or a corporation; and the result is what? Enormous wealth, but diminished manhood; a wonderful factory, but the individual workmen only a wheel in its whir; the citizen a splendid member of society, but in some respects loss even than his savage ancestor a complete man.
Suppose the process to go on without limit, what would the result be? All society a corporation; all workers parts of a huge machine, the composite man everywhere, the composing men and women nowhere. But nature no more allows such a result as this in society than she does the planets in her skies to mass themselves in the sun. In her majestic rhythm, the centripetal, the integrating, forces are reaching the limit of safety, they exhaust themselves, and the centrifugal, the differentiating, forces, those which tend to give prominence to the individual, take their turn of greater activity, the process which is now going on. Where and what are they? Why, some of them are these very Anarchists, these direct opposers of society that are springing up notoriously the world over, such a marked feature of our times. And what are we doing with them? Recognizing nature’s beautiful law, so full of the world’s higher safety, and giving a cordial welcome to its agents? No; hanging them!
Yet not all. The Anarchist movement in society looked upon with such horror is only one form of the individualizing tendency that is at work as an offset to the integration of the past. What is Unitarianism, what all Protestantism, but Anarchy in religion, the resistance of the private man to the organized churches and creeds of other days? What independence of political action, but Anarchy as regards the old party bonds? What all liberty but the assertion of the rights of the individual against the organized governments of the world? These men we hanged were out carrying forward into one more field — foolishly, perhaps, as regards means — the very principle that we and our fathers carried into ours, foolishly sometimes, too, as to means; and that we are all so rejoicing in today. Anarchy is simply one of the terms in that great law of differentiation and integration that Spencer has laid down as the fundamental truth of evolution, a law which so many persons recognize proudly in the weed and the dead earth, but which they are as blind as bats to in society and on the scale of humanity. And, considered philosophically, it is just as legitimate, has just as good a claim to he recognized, as the opposite one of integration.
But this is not all. What starts men into being Anarchists? It is not that they study evolution and say to each other, “Go-to, now, the organizing force of society has gone far enough; let us disorganize, just to have the rhythm and keep things balanced.” Most of them probably never heard of evolution and would laugh at it if they should. What they see and feel is the wrongs, the sorrows, the degradations and oppressions, the evils and imperfections of society; and it is these that turn them against it, these which inspire them to strike it down. Who shall deny that such things exist? Who say that some of them, at least, do not inhere in the social structure itself, as, for instance, its whole competitive system working such good, yet working, also, such terrible hardships? Who that we have reached yet even the type of society which, however improved, is to be the world’s finality?
How is a better one to be reached? Not certainly by an utter tearing of the present one down and beginning all anew. That is never the method of evolution; and practically it would be as absurd as to resolve the universe back to its atoms, losing all its ages of growth, and begin with them over, bringing it after ages more of work only again where it is now. The method of evolution is to disintegrate to a certain extent, loosen the old organized materials sufficiently to use them over again; the rock into soil on which for the plant to grow; the plant into nutriment for beast and man; and so unward and upward, who shall say how far? It is to do this service for society that the Anarchist force comes in. It is a rebellion against society not simply because it is society, but because of its evils, imperfections, and wrongs, these being all directly that it cares for. And it is in disintegrating its elements for higher combinations, not destroying them, that its real work is done, whether it thinks so or not. Precisely in the same way comes the organic impulse. For when the dissolution has gone far enough, a new set of evils arise, disorder, violence, all those disturbances which are commonly called anarchy; and it is to protect themselves from these that men unite and begin again to build up. Who shall say it is not in each of its terms a beautiful feature of the divine economy? Read history by it, and you will see how true it is in its philosophy, see what a wonderful new light it throws on some of its darkest chapters. It is the evils of society, first on one side and then on the other, which make it first integrate and then disintegrate; its evils which drive the shuttle back and forth which is weaving in its mighty loom forever a higher good and giving proper scope to both, they will accomplish together what neither could alone, build our race up at last — not yet, but at last — into the perfect man and at the same time into perfect men and women, a course, it seems to me, as grand in statesmanship and practical philanthropy as it is sound in religion and in theoretical philosophy.
Recognizing thus the philosophical principle which lies at the basis of the Anarchical movement, the way is prepared for answering, not empirically and passionately, but logically and calmly, the second question at issue: Ought the Chicago Anarchists to have been hung as murderers? answering it, too, with an emphatic No. It is not an answer which turns on the point of whether they were actual conspirators against the government and society, deliberately intending to use the bombs for their overthrow,— though I think when passion has passed away, we shall all see this, as we now do the banging of John Brown and Mrs. Surratt, in a very different light,— not an answer, either, which turns on the justification in any way of their violence. Let me say in the strongest terms that I do not justify violence. Violence should always be the last resort of a principle. I do not believe in the use even of violent words. Arguments, facts, ideas, the truth spoken in love, the philosophy that recognizes the true place, even of its opposite,— these are its natural, God-given weapons, these the bombs, as Proudhon and Karl Marx have shown, with which for Anarchy to make its assaults; and in the moral even more than in the military field the greatness of a victory is to be measured by the fewness, not the number, of its battle grounds. At the same time it is to be remembered that a cause is not to be condemned on the score merely of the cranks and fools who get together under its name, or of the mistakes and follies even of its sensible upholders. Every great tide is sure to bear with it a multitude of straws and chips; every great movement to run into some excesses and follies. Religion itself, as we well know, has not been without its horrors. Well could Madame Roland exclaim, “O Liberty, Liberty, what crimes are done in thy name.” Even our civil war, so full of real heroes and martyrs, had, also, by the hundred, its cranks and lunatics, not all, either, in the ranks. So it is not strange that a movement like this should have its Mosts and Avelings and its hot heads who would help it along with dynamite and bombs.
But admitting to the fullest extent the fact of a conspiracy, and the folly and wickedness of the violence used; admitting, as I do, that the government had the right to slay every one of the Anarchists, if need were, in putting down their assault, this does not furnish a reason for putting them to death afterwards in cold blood.
They ought not to have been so punished, first of all, because their crime, bad as it was, cannot in any fair sense of the word be called murder. Murder is the killing of a person to gratify some private bad motive, as revenge, or robbery, or to conceal the evidence against some other crime, as theft or lust. But no one has ever claimed that the Anarchists were actuated at the start by any such bad motives as those, whatever bad feeling they might have bad afterwards against the authorities. Some of them had recently been down among the Hocking Valley miners and beheld there scenes of suffering and oppression which we at the East, if we knew but a tithe of them, would be as horrified at as they were. At the very time of the outbreak they were surrounded by thousands of workmen who were out on a strike for the eight-hour rule and smarting under a sense of injustice and wrong. Their sympathies were aroused, their moral natures maddened by what they saw; and it was in behalf of these men, rather than for themselves, that they conspired, so far as they did; to denounce the government and the state of society that would tolerate such outrages, that they met together; and to defend themselves against the police trying to break up such a meeting, that their bombs were thrown. And to punish them for it with the same penalty of the gallows as the thief who creeps into a house and strikes down his victim for money, or the ruffian who waylays and ravishes and murders an innocent girl, is to ignore the whole Christian doctrine of motives as the measure of guilt, and to confound and dishonor the very name of justice.
Worse than this, at the very time these Anarchists, striking, as they believed, a blow for suffering humanity, were being hung, there were over a hundred first-class murderers, murderers about whose selfish motives there could be no question, abroad free in our land. We have had twenty foul killings of this kind in our own State of Connecticut this past year. Illinois and every State has had them, with two or three new ones every day,— murders that one-tenth part of the energy, time, and money spent on these Chicago men might, to some extent, at least, have ferreted out. And if any hanging was to be done, if the majesty of the law was indeed to be sustained with blood, what unbiased man will say it would not have been better to begin with the undoubted murderers first, rather than let all the other wheels of justice stop to hang those whose crime was the striking of a blow for an idea?
Again, I believe they ought not to have been punished as murderers, because all experience shows that the taking of such lives is not only useless as a means of suppressing their “use, but often in after years a loss and shame to the people and to the State by which it is done. If they were indeed the representatives of a principle, as I have tried to show, a gigantic swing of society from its organizing to its individualizing side, then government might as well attempt to stop the earth from passing out of summer into winter by hanging its inhabitants as to stop their movement by putting a gallows in its way. No nation ever yet succeeded in wiping out a great social tendency with the shedding of blood, the stream which, left to itself, might have been a mild blessing, dammed up, becomes a raging, wasteful flood. What we need is to direct the energies of such men, full of grand humanitarian enthusiasms, into helpful channels to cure the evils of which they complain, not keep the evils and kill the complainers. We have invested them now with the glory of martyrs, have made the mistake which governments in all ages have made,— that of judging the significance of a movement by the crankiness of its pioneers. All great revolutions are preceded by the outbursts of a few eccentric impatient spirits, failures themselves, but whose martyr fires stir the blood and light the way for others to follow, Arnold Van Winklereids, who rush ahead on the foe, gathering into their own bleeding breasts the spears through whose broken line their countrymen march to victory. It is never the sober, industrious, law-abiding citizens who inaugurate the steps of the world’s progress, but, as Emerson says, the wild, restless, law-breaking spirits,— these, the despised of the State, that are the darlings of humanity; these, the most worthless citizens of the kingdoms of earth, that are the choice ones for advancing the kingdoms of God. Woe to the nation which really succeeds in killing them off! Spain tried it, and what is Spain today? France, with her Huguenots, and she has paid the penalty on many a battle-field since. Its folly, to be sure, is never seen at the time, never recognized by the State as anything but “the triumph of law and order.” Thirty years ago John Brown went down into Virginia to free the negro, as rash and foolish an undertaking, and as truly a conspiracy, as the assaults of the Anarchists on society at this later day. He, too, was tried and hung, and all the virtuous newspapers of the land, and all the sober, law-abiding citizens, talked of it and rejoiced in it precisely as they have over these recent executions — get their files and see if it is not so — yet in less than three years afterwards five hundred thousand men were marching, under the nation’s banner, south to do the same law-breaking work to the song and inspiration of the old man’s name; and with many of these same papers, the crank and fool of yesterday, is the saint and martyr of today, their editors, indeed, as Lowell says;
Making virtue of the faith they had denied.
And these recent victims to the law and order,— though their individual names may be forgotten, though they may become a part of the indistinguishable crowd who in all ages have died on defeated battle-fields, and died, apparently, as the criminal dies, as the foes of society: not the less on God’s greater muster roll will they be counted in the list of those who have died for man, and not the less their deeds be a part of the influence to which the world, by and by, for the overturning of these same evils, will itself go “marching on.”
Again, I believe they ought not to have been punished as murderers because of the degrading effect which the barbarism of its method has had on our whole broad land. The entire management of the wretched business, from beginning to end,— the suspense in which victims were kept, month after month, as to their fate, marching down to the very eve of their execution; the cruelty that was shown to their wives and families — Mrs. Parsons appealing at the gates of the prison for a last look at her husband till she dropped down on the pavement in a swoon — the insults heaped by the jail officials on those who were admitted within its precincts; the horrible method taken by one poor wretch to end his life; the prolonged struggles of the others on the gallows; and then all the details of the affair paraded with pictures in the daily press and sent into every family of the land for children to see and mothers with unborn babes to be influenced by,— could anything be more demoralizing, anything less likely to impress a person with the majesty of the law? Why, if the same thing had been done in Ireland or Russia, how our newspapers would have rung with denunciations of its barbarism! Yea, as it is, in some of them, side by side with a savage endorsement of what our own government has done, you will find equally savage criticisms of England’s treatment of O’Brien and the Irish resistance of law,
Then on the other side the bearing and words of the prisoners, melodramatic and posing very likely, but still wonderfully impressive; their personal characters so far removed from those of ordinary murderers; their intelligence, enthusiasm, and devotion to their principles down to the very last; the groups of women gathered around them with their wifely and romantic attachments stronger than death; Spies’s noble offer to die for his comrades, could they be spared; and the unflinching courage and serenity with which they all met their fate,— the newspapers may try to belittle them and laugh them down, but they are the very ore out of which the poets and balladists of all ages have wrought the lines of song which have shaped the world’s onward way, and to which the golden youth of humanity generation after generation has thrilled and — marched. We can recognize their quality in other lands and other times,— these same editors who cannot find words harsh enough to stigmatize their present exemplars, hardly find phrases strong enough to honor them in a Prudence Crandall or a John Brown, literally fulfilling the lines:
From the tombs of the old prophets
Steal the funeral lamps away
To light the martyr fagots
Round the prophets of today.
And yet with all this, there are millions of plain common people to whom even now the one thing which shines resplendent out of this whole affair is the majesty of Anarchy rather than of law.
I have one reason more to offer why they should not have been punished as murderers, the showing it would have been to other men, the world over, of the immense difference there could be between a republic and a monarchy in dealing with a State offense. Anarchists generally have derived their hatreds of governments from their knowledge and experience of them in Europe; and, as they have seen there only tyrannies grinding down the common people, they very naturally class them all together, wherever found, as the foe of man. We had a most splendid chance to show them practically their mistake, show them that there was at least one government on earth so strong in itself and in the affections of its people that it had no need of killing in return even those whose hands had been raised against its life. It did this very thing with Jefferson Davis and his associates, the men whose conspiracy caused the death, not of seven policemen, but of more than five hundred thousand of its sons. And who doubts that by reason of it the nation is a stronger and more honored nation today in the estimate of man everywhere than it would have been, had it, out of a sentimental regard for the “majesty of law,” taken their lives? So it might have been in the case of this smaller band. But as it is what have we done? Gone back to the old bloody methods of the past; put our republic in the same category with the despotisms and tyrannies of Europe, as not large or strong enough to treat leniently a child’s foolish thrust against itself; and, to vindicate law, have struck a blow against liberty, that will be felt as wide as the world.
Friends, treating this subject so difficult in itself, with the bold, free hand that I have, not stopping to put in all the shadings and qualifications it might in other circumstances have been well to give, I hope I have made my position fairly understood. It is not that I approve the acts of the executed men, but that I recognize the principle and the force that are behind and within the acts; their desire, undeniable, while striking at government and society, to save the larger man for whom government and society exist; their impulse, below its foolish outside, as a part of nature’s own law. You who know me can well believe it is not from any desire of a mere sensation that I have spoken, but in all the earnestness and sincerity of both mind and heart faith. The analysis I have given of Anarchy and of its place in sociology may be stigmatized by some omniscient editor as theoretical, fine-spun, a mere minister’s conceit; but not the less will it be recognized, the more thoroughly it is examined, as a part of that magnificent philosophy in accordance with which the whole practical world is evolving today, the master-key that one by one is unlocking its dark chambers and opening its treasure chests. If I read the laws of evolution and the signs of the times aright, the force touched upon in this occurrence is to play a mighty part in the world’s future. Happy the nation, happy the social state, that shall learn to deal with it aright, learn to use it as the friend, not foe, of progress. It is to help place it in such a light that I have spoken. And if in doing so I have seemed too kind, too sympathetic, too much a defender of its recent unfortunate exponents, remember the severity and unscrupulousness with which everything has been arrayed against them month after month, and consider whether something a little strong the other way may not come appropriately from a pulpit set to proclaim a religion of mercy and the higher justice, and from a preacher ordained as the follower of one who met his own death as a breaker of law and in response to the popular cry, “Crucify him! Crucify him!”
The Science of Society.
By Stephen Pearl Andrews.
Continued from No. 113.
Equitable Commerce. A New Development of Principles, Proposed as Elements of New Society. By Josiah Warren. 12 mo. pp. 117. Fowlers & Wells.*
This is a new and enlarged edition of the original work on Social Science which has furnished its present editor, Mr. S. P. Andrews, with the basis for the views which he has set forth with so much force of argument and felicity of illustration in his recent publications, entitled “The True Constitution of Government” and “Cost the Limit of Price.” Of the profound importance which he attaches to the alleged discoveries of Mr. Warren no one can doubt after reading the preface to this volume. He announces it as “one of the most remarkable ever printed,— a condensed presentation of the most fundamental principles of Social Science ever yet discovered.” He does not “hesitate to affirm that there is more scientific truth, positively new to the world, and immensely important in its bearings upon the destiny of mankind, contained in it than was ever before consigned to the same number of pages.” It is the deep conviction of the truth of their system which is cherished both by Mr. Warren and Mr. Andrews, we are willing to own, which has awakened our interest in the subject, rather than any sympathy with its methods or any faith in its pretensions. We have an inborn catholicity of taste for everything which claims to be a scientific improvement, and can never repudiate a theory which challenges our acceptance on rational grounds without first endeavoring to look at it in the point of view in which it is presented. Indeed, we hold it the duty of every free mind to exercise a large hospitality to novel systems, in proportion to the scorn and neglect which they are likely to experience at the hands of a timid and unreasoning conservatism. In the present case we can not better show our appreciation of the ability and genuine devotion to social progress displayed in this little volume than by the perfect frankness with which we shall criticise its claims.
One of the two leading principles to which the work is devoted receives our hearty concurrence. This is the establishment of individual sovereignty as the object of social organization. A variety of forcible considerations, in support of the position, are brought forward by Mr. Warren. But on this point his views cannot pretend to novelty. They have, perhaps, never been more admirably stated than by Mr. Andrews in his treatise on “Government”; but they more or less distinctly pervade the writings of all who have perceived the superiority of man to his accidents. In our opinion the guarantee of individual rights is the paramount object of reform. Our zeal for the masses is based on a sense of the individual injustice which arises from the usurpation of privilege. The most complete development of humanity in all its parts, all its members, all its fragments, is as much the purpose of a true social order as the most perfect action of the productive elements of the earth and atmosphere is the aim of a true system of agriculture. It is the inspiration of this idea which has prompted the efforts of every wise social reformer, and most emphatically of Charles Fourier, the most philosophical, the most profound, and the most comprehensive of all teachers of social science in the nineteenth century. We quarrel with the present order of society because it enslaves the man to institutions, subjects the masses (the aggregate of individuality) to oppressive and crushing influences, keeps the noblest elements of humanity in a state of slumber or paralysis, leaves no scope to the various manifestations of genius, reduces the people to a dead level of custom and fashion, and absolutely deprives myriads of the living, breathing, aspiring beings, who bear the impress of creative Deity on their natures, of the essential conditions of physical health, spiritual culture, interior harmony, and glorious beatitude, which is implied in the Christian verity that man is made in the image of God.
The development and sovereignty of the individual is a chimera without the possession of property. The universal instinct which dreads poverty as the crowning terror of life is a genuine impulse of nature. If in one sense it is true that the rich man cannot enter the Kingdom of Heaven, it is equally true in another sense that the Kingdom of Heaven cannot enter within the soul of the poor man. He is shut out from the command of himself, which is the essential foundation of celestial felicity. He cannot do what he will with his own; for he has neither choice nor ownership. He is under bondage to the external world, to society, to his own physical wants. His very selfhood is eaten out of him by the canker of sharp necessity and inexorable care. He has no guarantee that he can find a place to lay his head, for houses and lands are monopolized. He may be in want of food to eat, for the silver and gold are no longer the Lord’s, nor the cattle on a thousand hills, but have become the prey of the strong, and the shrewd, and the ungodly. Even the right to gain his bread by the sweat of his brow depends on the convenience of capital, which may be the least in need of his work when he most wants something to eat. Still less has he any chance of attaining the spiritual culture and harmony which are the birthright of man, the golden fruitage of affection and hope, the enchantments of poetry, the charms of divine philosophy, the ample revelations of science, and the serene grandeur of thought and feeling inspired by the consciousness of an ever-present God. Alas I he is the first to lose the sentiment of humanity amid the dismal shades of ignorance and the blind terrors of superstition.
Hence we maintain that man cannot be a man without property. He cannot be his own without an outward owndom. He cannot be master of his soul without first being master of external nature. If he would be an individual, he must also be a proprietor. In fact, this is involved in the very significance of the terms. If the individual is divided off (individualized), he must possess something peculiar, proper to himself (proprium, property), or he might as well be lost in the mass.
Socialism, accordingly, which aims to make all society a body of proprietors,— giving each man the ownership of everything essential to his development,— establishes the Sovereignty of the Individual.
The whole course of political progress tends to the same result. He must be stone-blind who does not see that the revolutionary spirit of the age is a struggle for Individual Sovereignty,— for the inauguration of man in the power and glory of universal humanity. This tendency is apparent from the progress of history, and its successive gradations may be easily traced to their first principles in human nature.
In a state of society where brute force and cunning are the prominent features, monarchy is the natural, perhaps the inevitable order. The sovereignty of one man usurps the sovereignty of the people. The will of the masses, and, of course, the will of the individuals composing the masses, is lost in the will of the despot. The sentiment of humanity is absorbed in the possession of power. A step in advance is gained by the development of aristocracy. The sovereignty is claimed by a privileged few, to whom the masses are subservient instead of to the monarchy. But here is a step toward the diffusion of privilege. The one-man power has yielded to the power of the magnates. Humanity, however, is far from its goal. The will of “the dear God who loveth all” is not yet accomplished. Democracy must be established, proclaiming equality against privilege, the people against the aristocracy, the masses against classes, man against men. But the practical working of democracy effects only the sovereignty of the majority, faking power from the few, who had seized it from the monarch (the one-man power), it gives it to the many. But with all its pretensions democracy does not emancipate the masses. The Sovereignty of the Individual has not yet arrived, because the majority to a great extent ignores the interests of the minority, and the majority of today may become the minority of tomorrow. Hence democracy does not guarantee the rights of universal humanity; hence it is but a stepping-stone to better things to come; and hence a new and larger development in the cycle of the ages is as certain as that man has been made partaker of an infinite nature. The last step is the emancipation of humanity by inaugurating the Sovereignty of the Individual. This is the object of Socialism, or at least that form of Socialism which is better known as Association. The Socialist or Associative idea of human society is not monarchy, the sovereignty of one man, nor aristocracy, the sovereignty of a privileged class, nor democracy, the sovereignty of a majority for the time being, but humanity, or the integral Sovereignty of the Individual.
This, as we have stated, is a prominent thesis of the present work. But it is not so original as the author seems to suppose. It underlies, more or less definitely expressed, the great humanitary movement, the instinct of which gave such a fervent inspiration to Rousseau, which found a devoted apostle in Herder, which softened the arid formulas of Kant and Fichte by the promise of a glorious future for the race, which has blended with the highest philosophy and poetry of the present age, which has fired the master-spirits of the world with quenchless fervor, and which, in another form, is now everywhere at work in the hearts of the people, and with “fear of change perplexing monarchs.” Among social reformers by profession St. Simon and Fourier regarded the Sovereignty of the Individual as the ultimate end of a true social order. Differing from each other and from the author of this volume as to the methods of its attainment, they agree in the supremacy of man over institutions as the true destiny of the race. The same idea has been elaborated, we need not say, with rare force of logic and eloquence, by our friend Henry James; and, though less directly and consciously, is the dominant thought in the most valuable writings of Dr. Channing and Theodore Parker. We do not call in question the fact that Mr. Warren has drawn his system from his own mind. In that sense his claim to originality will stand good. There is no reason to suppose that he owes it to foreign suggestion. But he exaggerates his own share in its promulgation. He is by no means the exclusive herald of an idea with which the age is fermenting.
* This review, and the reply from Mr. Andrews which follows it, appeared originally in the New York “Tribune.” The review is supposed to have been written by George Ripley, a prominent disciple of Fourier and at one time president of the Brook Farm Association.
By Georges Sauton.
Translated from the French for Liberty by Sarah E. Holmes.
Continued from No. 110.
He must possess irrefutable proofs; let him, then, produce them: he had to summon witnesses; let them appear!
As if to respond to this tacit invitation, Treor, by a sign, gave an order to two Bunclodyans, Murphy Gall and Nett Droling, and they pushed in front of them the astonished Miss Hobart, ignorant of what they wanted and frozen with fear when Treor named her.
“Miss, one evening, the evening of the hunt when the Duke of Newington, run away with by his horse, narrowly escaped being crushed at the bottom of a precipice,” he said, “you were leaning your elbow on one of the windows of the castle, and you witnessed a tragedy which has not yet been brought to the light, but no phase of which escaped you; recall and repeat what you saw, if you are without hatred, without passion against the Duchess; through a friendship of which this woman is unworthy, conceal nothing; do not disguise the truth.”
Very red with the fire of all eyes converging on her with a feverish curiosity, and her habitual worldly frivolity paralyzed at the gloomy appearance of this extraordinary tribunal, Miss Hobart was disconcerted and really recalled but vaguely the far-off pictures which Treor evoked; and, moreover, her mind had been so saturated with hasheesh that she had contemplated them in a stupid horror.
She objected, but Treor nevertheless exhorted her to reveal all, if her memory could furnish her the information sought and required.
But, now that the reminiscences began to stand out more and more clearly, and the light outlines to take on more substance, the incorporeal to incarnate itself in tangible personalities, the amiable young lady, terrified at the consequences of her testimony, was silent.
“Speak!” Treor warned her.
She preserved, nevertheless, an obstinate speechlessness; a second time he summoned her to obey, and, timidly, still pleading the mental aberration caused in her that evening by meddling with hasheesh, she retraced the long and moving scene of the murder of the gelder. Almost every one present knew the denouement,— Casper fallen into the midst of the pack and devoured alive; but at the narration of the circumstances, so shudderingly pathetic, of this long passion of the drunkard and at the manoeuvre of his perfidious executioner, the flesh of the hearers quivered with fright, perspiration started under their hair, an oppressive feeling of horror restrained their breathing and stifled the exclamations of a wrath which was boiling in their breasts.
For, though most of those present doubted the story of this odious and bloody trap, and banished it to the domain of nightmare, they were nevertheless struck with the similarity of the observations of Treor and Miss Hobart in their intoxication.
The principal peculiarity of the hasheesh in Lady Ellen’s case consisted, then, in deforming her into the principal character in an immense crime. But just now she accepted without reserve the responsibility for the martyrdom of Sir Richmond, in spite of the abominations amid which it was perpetrated, and she did not revolt at the orgies of the rascals employed by Gowan; it must be, then, that, under her caressing manners, her alluring grace, her enveloping charm, her outward seductiveness, she concealed a soul as ferocious as it was insidious and crafty, a soul of a felon together with a felon’s enigmatical and treacherous exterior, undulating carriage, and swinging gait.
At this very moment, her eyes contracted under her half-closed lids, the prominence of her contracted brows accenting the retreating of her forehead, crouching as if ready to spring, she resembled a lioness, cunning, vindictive, and cruel, and she made many of those who were looking at her shiver.
Since the decease of Newington, the dogs had howled day and night, and had been banished to a distant kennel in the middle of the woods.
Suddenly set free, the entire pack, collected at the gate of the castle, set up their chorus of lamentations, and the sinister, prolonged howlings impressed the Duchess painfully; she imagined that they were going to throw her as food to these beasts probably starved for the purpose,— a quarry like that in which had perished the gelder, and by way of retaliation.
But Treor, after having left her for a few seconds to the horror of this fear, banished it. He reserved for her a worse torment. Her cowardly murder of Casper was only a secondary matter, and committed only to annihilate the awkward instrument, the indiscreet accomplice, of her then unsuccessful attempts upon the Duke’s life!
The ball which grazed Sir Newington’s head on the green of Bunclody really came, as Tom Lichfield had said, from the gun of Casper, and the irritation of the Duke’s horse in the hunt was also the work of Casper, commanded by Lady Ellen.
The Duchess protested with virulence, treating as miserable inventions all these stories, based on what? The wanderings of an eater of hasheesh, confirmed by the aberration of another victim of hallucination: so many idle tales which would burst like soap-bubbles on any impartial examination.
With a look, she questioned the audience, but their eyes turned away from hers; she felt herself no longer sustained except by the rare obstinacy of those tenaciously infatuated, of those generous and upright souls who could not admit that a young and pretty creature could abandon herself to crime with such aptitude and persistency, not recoiling from any atrocity, even the most excessive!
And the gallant Muskery, the interpreter of the sentiments of several Lords at his side, argued the anomaly of a woman, of humble extraction, attaining to the height of rank, of name, of riches, and preparing for herself, with her own hands, a sudden, irremediable fall into the abyss, reigning in the castle and dreaming of the prison, enjoying a life most unexpected, most brilliant, most enviable, and aspiring to an ignominious death.
Such a decline of gratitude, such a perversion of taste, such a misconception of one’s interests, are not to be found.
Did not Newington yield to all the wishes, all the whims, of the adored Lady Ellen? We rid ourselves only of our burdens! The Duke, so to speak, crawled at the feet of the young woman; one kills only the despotic master, not the submissive, respectful, fervent slave.
“But the husband whom one hates, in order to belong only to the lover with whom one is smitten.”
“Lady Ellen has no lovers,” loudly replied Muskery, who had courted the Duchess and judged from his repulse that Ellen’s virtue was unassailable.
“She has Richard Bradwell for a lover,” answered Treor.
“It is false!” cried Muskery.
“A falsehood which is not to be discussed,” said the Duchess at the same time, shrugging her shoulders, but deigning nevertheless, in a jesting and haughty manner, to refute the imputation.
Richard her lover! And who invented, then, this silly story? Treor, Marian’s grandfather. He was, however, not ignorant, unless through unheard-of blindness or deafness, of the unlawful love of Richard for his granddaughter; and if he had any doubt up to the time of the battle, on that day Richard had clearly expressed it, it would seem. All the Irish, all the English officers, all the surviving soldiers were witnesses of it; Bradwell had been the laughing-stock of his camp!
“One thing astonishes me,” closed the Duchess impudently; “it is that, leaping from his funeral bed, Newington does not rise in fury at this reminder to confirm my words.”
She was winning. The variable crowd of English, familiar with the facts which she invoked in her defence, manifested its approbation of this argument.
But Treor replied to the Duchess coldly, and as if there had been no question of his grandchild.
“I repeat,” said he, “that Lady Ellen, in spite of her denials, has Richard Bradwell for a lover.”
“It is false!” cried Muskery again, surprised that Richard did not rise with the energy of indignation against an imposture so monstrous.
Everybody, even she, was astonished at his silence; they summoned him, Muskery called on him; but he, unmoved, deaf to the insinuations, insensible to the rumors of unanimous reprobation excited by the revelation of Treor, looked fixedly, without thought, upon the ducal corpse, which he had approached, with folded arms, and head lowered, according to his habit when near the catafalque.
At intervals his lips moved in silence, uttering some private word, and he did not move from this attitude, notwithstanding the line of witnesses who testified to details tending to establish the adultery of the son and wife of Newington.
“They lie, they are avenging themselves, they are paid to ruin me, they are buying their liberty,” answered Lady Ellen, vehemently, to each of their imputations.
But the sonorousness of her distracted voice did not move Bradwell from his stem trance, nor did the rustling, almost the contact, of the witnesses heard, of whom Treor demanded the oath, sworn over the corpse!
But, on the whole, all the testimony was debateable; the charge was supported by no crushing arguments. The promenades, the tete-a-tetes cited, the unconstraint, the caresses, the liberties charged, had not, perhaps, passed the limits of an unimportant familiarity.
A servant, it is true, pretended to have observed demonstrations more compromising, to have seen Sir Richard enter at night the apartments of the Duchess, and reciprocally Lady Ellen glide at night, and twenty times rather than once, into those of Sir Richard; but the chamber-maids of the accused flatly contradicted him.
Obstinately the valet persisted that he had heard the most serious dialogue between the mistress and the lover; she saying, “To be by turns in his arms and in yours sickens me; he must die!” and Sir Bradwell exclaiming, “No, no, he is my father, you shall not kill him.”
The maids of the Duchess proved that the lackey, discharged some time before for theft, was taking vile revenge.
And new, impassioned debates arose; they admitted generally the crime of the Duchess, but not yet the motive, not the adultery, which nothing decisively affirmed and against which Muskery set himself, screaming himself hoarse, with a heat worthy of a better cause, excited by the Duchess, declaring herself the victim of one infamy more.
“Bradwell!” said Treor, in the tumult of the controversies; but he had to touch the shoulder of the young man, who did not hear him.
“What?” said he, at last.
“Deny then that you are the lover of Lady Ellen,” cried Muskery, “and that it was to be yours alone that she has poisoned the Duke, after having, on various occasions, tried to rid herself of him, especially with the aid of Casper, whom they accuse her also of ridding herself of by a crime.”
The old Lord had given all his voice to this request, and put into it an accent which dictated to Bradwell his response, signifying: “Even if you must perjure yourself to save her, deny, deny, deny still, deny always!”
But, in spite of this pressing invitation, Sir Bradwell remained silent; and when Treor questioned him on the subject of his relations with Ellen, he still did not speak; but, on the question being renewed, he answered, after hesitation:
“What is it to you, approvers on one side, conquerors on the other?”
A murmur greeted the inconclusive reply, an evasion rather than an answer.
And, in face of the hue and cry, of the exclamations, of the loudly-confessed disappointment, he went on:
“Let them shoot me; let them hasten to hang me; I accept even torture; what need of any more questions?”
He seemed to be rousing from a heavy sleep and disposed to fall back again, in any case desirous that they should not disturb him in his absorption, in which doubtless he enjoyed comparative peace,— that of the conscience communing with itself at the approach of accepted death.
But this persistent refusal to explain himself was equal to an acquiescence in the assertions of the accusers and involved the condemnation of his mistress, and Lady Ellen, comprehending this perfectly, begged him to speak.
“They charge me, Richard, with the burden of your silence; a word from you will extricate me from the grasp of this implacable tribunal, which is animated, I wish to believe, by the sentiment of the justice which it has undertaken to enforce; venomous witnesses pretend that I am your mistress, and they infer from this imposture that I have poisoned the Duke, my husband, to become your wife; tell them that we are to each other only affectionate relatives and nothing more.” Bradwell could not repress a look of weariness, but continued to maintain silence, and this obstinacy, confounding the Duchess, plunged her into a terror which she could not well conceal.
“Speak, then, Richard, I beg of you, speak! Have you gone over to my enemies? But my death will result, if you persist in refusing to speak.”
And, addressing herself to Treor, to Paddy, to all the people present, she said:
“His suffering has doubtless impaired his mind, destroyed his understanding. Did he not show his insanity even on the battle-field? Regarding his love for Marian, which prevented him from possessing me, I appeal to all women; one does not divide his affections; his passion, repulsed, has unsettled his weak brain, and the mourning for his father, this sudden catastrophe, has finished the work of deranging his reason, not completely but temporarily,— sufficiently, nevertheless, to render him incapable of heeding what is going on around him; so that he does not comprehend under what a load they are crushing me without his caring to lift it from my head.”
“What next?” exclaimed Richard, annoyed at all this “quarrel,” and immediately plunging again, terribly gloomy, into his repentant prostration.
“And you wish my destiny to hang on a word that may at last come from this mouth? This would be scandalous,” resumed’ the Duchess. “Let them believe me and cease to accuse me, or let them call my word in question and lead me to my punishment!”
She cast again a triumphant look over the assembly, certain of having made an impression by her vibrating tone, the logic of her dilemma, the energy of her conclusions, and her superb attitude, her shoulders erect, and carrying high her head beautified by excitement.
But Treor, who would not so lose ground or be stung by declamations, interrogated Bradwell once more:
To be continued.
History Repeated — With a Difference.
In May, 1854, the slave Anthony Burns was kidnapped. He was held in Boston Court House. Against this outrage a meeting was held in Faneuil Hall. The Boston “Commonwealth,” proud of its record on behalf of Liberty — in the days gone by — the other day reprinted some extracts to show how it stood in the then unpopular days. Its news columns then reported that at the meeting at Faneuil Hall “Theodore Parker and Wendell Phillips made eloquent adddresses and stirred up a remarkable enthusiasm.” An attempt was made to rescue Burns from his durance in the Court House, during which a deputy United States marshal, who “protected” Burns, got killed. The militia was called out to protect the Court House. The Sunday following, at the Music Hall, Theodore Parker delivered his “Lesson for the Day.” He attacked the slave system, the law that protected and fostered it and the judge who administered the law. Referring to Judge Loring, before whom Burns was brought for trial, he said:
Edward Greeley Loring, Judge of Probate for the county of Suffolk, in the State of Massachusetts, Fugitive Slave Bill Commissioner of the United States, before these citizens of Boston, on Ascension Sunday, I charge you with the death of that man who was murdered last Friday night. He was your fellow-servant in kidnapping. He dies at your hand. You fired the shot which makes his wife a widow, his child an orphan. I charge you with the peril of twelve men, arrested for murder, and on trial far their lives. I charge you with filling the court house with one hundred and eighty-four hired ruffians of the United States, and alarming not only this city for her liberties that are in peril, but stirring up the whole Commonwealth of Massachusetts with indignation which no man knows how to stop,— which no man can stop. You have done it all.
It will be observed that there were just four more hired ruffians around the Court House than there were at the Haymarket meeting, and that four more men were on trial for murder. But the men were not convicted. There were Parkers and Phillipses and Garrisons and Pillsburys in those days. Today we have Joe Cook and Henry George and Powderly — and some more. That was before the war. Things have changed since then, but the infallible newspaper, like the infallible church, is the same now as then. The same papers that clamored for blood then now clamor for blood again. The Boston “Journal” of May 20, referring to Mr. Parker’s address, said: “If any one is more guilty than another [of Batchelder’s death], it is the Rev. Theodore Parker.”
Here is a choice sample from the “Democratic Advocate,” June 15,1854:
How can the thing Parker stand in the presence of his God and smack his lips over the warm blood of a newly-sacrificed victim [Batchelder]. . . . If the civil authorities will not enforce the law, let the people take it into their own hands, and shoot them [Parker and Phillips] down as they would highwaymen or murderers. . . . Suspend a few Parkers and Wendell Phillipses from the bough of the first tree, and the cowardly assassins will scamper like frightened sheep.
It is fortunate, perhaps, that Phillips and Parker lived before the war. Then they could hang John Brown only because he did an overt act. In these days they could be hanged not for what they did, but for what they might do, if — it the Supreme Court and the newspapers think they ought to be hanged.
A. H. Simpson.
“In abolishing rent and interest, the last vestiges of old-time slavery, the Revolution abolishes at one stroke the sword of the executioner, the seal of the magistrate, the club of the policeman, the gunge of the exciseman, the erasing-knife of the department clerk, all those insignia of Politics, which young Liberty grinds beneath her heel.” — Proudhon.
The appearance in the editorial column of articles over other signatures than the editor’s initial indicates that the editor approves their central purpose and general tenor, though he does not hold himself responsible for every phrase or word. But the appearance in other parts of the paper of articles by the same or other writers by no means indicates that he disapproves them in any respect, such disposition of them being governed largely by motives of convenience.
Anarchy and Christianity.
Elaborate and detailed criticism of Mr. Kimball’s sermon on Anarchy would be out of place. Having gone so far, he may be safely left to complete the journey. Further investigation will remove the errors and misstatements into which he certainly could not help falling. Owing to the wide-spread confusion and popular misinformation prevailing in relation to the subject of the isms,— “confusion made worse confounded” by the utterances of alleged public teachers,— it is almost impossible for outsiders to form intelligent estimates of the various phases of the revolutionary movement. Thus Mr. Kimball was led to identify the teachings of Proudhon with those of Marx, characterizing them both as believers in none except intellectual force; and thus it is that he makes Aveling share Most’s desire “to help along” the revolution with dynamite. Mr. Kimball is guilty of a more fundamental and serious error, and of one for which it is more difficult to account, when he speaks of a class of Anarchists who “disbelieve in government and in society both,” and who would “plunge the knife deeper down than statute books.” As an Anarchist, I can confidently assure Mr. Kimball that none of my brother Anarchists dream of “destroying” society, but that, on the contrary, all unite in the conviction that society is by its own organic laws and the nature of its constitution spontaneously being lifted to perfection, and that government is the only force which holds it in check and interferes with its natural progress. No doubt Mr. Kimball has in mind some school of authoritarian reconstructionists of existing society, whom he miscalls Anarchists. But I pass on to the point which principally concerns me. It is the reasons offered by Mr. Kimball in explanation of his own position on the question of Anarchy.
Eloquently and forcibly expressing the views of the philosophical Anarchists, and accepting their ideal of a future condition, Mr. Kimball, nevertheless, claims his divorce from them in the here and the now on the ground that government is “absolutely necessary” as an expedient while not all men prove themselves capable of wise self-government. Believing in Anarchy as an ideal, he does not think the world “ripe for its realization”; he is not an Anarchist “simply and solely for the reason that, though believing in Christ’s doctrine of ‘resist not evil,’ etc., he does not put it in practice,— the reason that our environment and our human nature have not yet been developed into a fitness for them.” Now, I am not prepared to rebuke Mr. Kimball for his half-hearted devotion to his Master, though I must remind him that, for a professed follower of Christ, to plead in the way he does is to beg the question and to virtually decline to act in accordance with the Master’s injunctions altogether. Jesus did not mean his disciples to wait for the ideal state, but expressly instructed them as to their immediate conduct. If Christian doctrines can only be carried out in a perfect world, then Christianity, as a working factor, does not exist in the present; what, pray, is to bring the world up to the perfect state? As a minister, Mr. Kimball is illogical; as a man, he is very sensible. I, as an Anarchist, while recognizing that Jesus preached some Anarchistic ideas, can attach no value and no practical worth to his efforts. He appealed to sentiment, which is sterile and powerless as against the force of economic and political circumstances. So it costs me nothing to entirely forgive Mr. Kimball his inconsistency as a minister for the sake of his common sense. But his intelligence must answer my question how the world is to attain Anarchy, if Anarchistic conduct is not to be expected as long as the world is not perfect, and who is to do the purifying and perfecting.
Government, says Mr. Kimball. “It is a bridge over the stream to humanity’s better land”; “in its true function, it is the control of the lower elements of society by its best.” Granting for a moment this theoretically absurd proposition, let me ask Mr. Kimball if eighteen centuries of experience under governmental moulding and fitting of the people for the ideal Christian state is not sufficient to demonstrate the effectiveness or futility of the “expedient.” How long ought it to take us to pass the bridge? Surely, in the course of eighteen hundred years of indefatigable and steady pilgrimage under the lead of “government,” we ought, if not to have reached the promised land, then, at least, to have come near it. What is the reality? Let the eleventh of last November answer! And not only are we not encouraged by the government, but Mr. Kimball sadly confesses that practically the “expedient” very often hinders rather than aids the evolution of the world. Is it not time to pause and reconsider the arguments which led to the employment of the expedient? Is it not in order to examine the results of the long experiment and decide upon future proceedings? Answering these questions in the affirmative, the Anarchists are discovering, as a result of their investigations, that the expedient is no expedient at all, and that the arguments in its favor are fallacious and unsound. Emancipation first, and improvement afterwards. Only relaxation of government and gradual familiarization with freedom and Anarchic conditions can eventually bring human nature into fitness with the ideal order of society. To expect government to prepare and fit men for Anarchy is to expect poison to restore a patient’s health. Hygienic conditions make recovery possible. Society needs liberty’s hygiene.
Think not, Mr. Kimball, that the Anarchists would straightway level down the whole structure of government. No, they would still “resist evil” and restrain the “lower elements” of society. But for those that are already a law unto themselves, and who can be trusted to walk in the path of righteousness, the kingdom of heaven should now come; and for all the rest, in so far as they do show a disposition to act honorably, there should be perfect liberty. Because some persons, some times, in some matters, are incapable of self-control, shall we govern all alike and at all times? What sane mind will entertain this view?
Jesus taught us not to resist evil; and, as that was impracticable sentimentality, the world ignored it. Christianity, in its pure and ideal form, is simply a dream of the future. Anarchy appears to point out the way of eradicating evil and teaches us not to resist good. Evil may be and should be resisted while it exists, but only evil. Government stifles pure thought and honest aspiration. Government prostitutes and debases manhood. We cry therefore, abolish it!
The New York “Sun,” in an editorial opposing governmental control of railroads, takes occasion to express regret at the blunder of the founders of this republic who made the postal service a government monopoly. Is it possible that the “Sun” has not heard of Lysander Spooner’s famous argument in support of his belief that the postal service never was intended to be a government monopoly? If so, by all means let it familiarize itself with that remarkable document. But, whatever the intention of the framers of the constitution, if the “Sun” believes the postal monopoly to be an evil, why not abolish it, even if it may involve an amendment of the constitution? The constitution exists for the people, not the people for the “eternal” constitution. (Liberty cares nothing about the constitution, but it discusses this from the “Sun’s” own standpoint.) A few years ago the “Sun” bitterly opposed the effort of the business men of New York to establish a private mail, but it is never too late to repent and reform.
James Freeman Clarke, in the “North American Review” gives this reason why he is not a free religionist: “Free religion seems to me opposed to the law of evolution and incompatible with it. Evolution educes the present from the past by a continuous process, while Free religion separates itself from the past by ignoring the personality of Jesus.” Being an evolutionist, Mr. Clarke cannot embrace a religion which, by its repudiation of the essential element of all the religions which preceded it, practically attempts to create something out of nothing. But he does not explain why he is a Christian and how he reconciles the theory of evolution with the myth of the fall of man and the mission of Jesus. Intelligent people are generally of the opinion that all religion “is opposed to the law of evolution and incompatible with it,” and, unless Mr. Clarke rises to further enlighten us as to why he is a religionist, he will be curiously viewed as one who strained at a gnat after swallowing a whole caravan of camels.
The Demagogue and the Sophist.
[Rejected by the Standard.]
After reading carefully your article on the case of the Chicago Anarchists, and also Judge Maguire’s legal opinion, in the recent issue of the “Standard,” I am at a loss to know whether amazement, humiliation, or indignation control my feelings, although the three passions strive for mattery. Equally at a loss I am to understand whether you believe in Anarchy or Socialism — they being, as you admit, antipodes, the one desiring the coercion of the individual for the benefit of the State, and the other desiring the coercion of the State for the benefit of the individual. Verily you
Wriggle in and wriggle out,
Leaving the reader still in doubt.
But on one point there can be no doubt: that is, on the pure demagogism (this word seems harsh, but I know of no other that so well expresses the idea) of your entire article, and on the sophistry of the Judge’s legal opinion in this case. Said a gentleman today, after reading yesterday’s “Standard”: “Can it be that Henry George, after all, has become a mere ‘ward politician,’ a panderer to the mob?” I regret to say, it looks so.
Believing, as I and many of my friends do, that your idea of the principles of taxation will promote the best form of government, nothing that you can write, or say, or do, will affect my action so far as the encouragement of that principle is concerned when government is in question. And yet such an article as that from your pen almost makes one despair of ever reaching the goal of better government through that form of coercion or force known as the ballot, which, after all, is simply a system of the majority coercing or ruling or governing the minority. Today the adherents of the theory of the taxation of land values, as a means to an end, are being coerced most cruelly by a vast majority,— which does not prove that majorities are right, or that a government by the majority is right. Those who believe in the proposition that “the best government is that which governs least” might feel that the vast majority who will, very likely, in time govern this country on the theory of the taxation of land values alone, are oppressors, and the novel spectacle may be presented of an uprising to annihilate even this relic of the “divine right” of one or more men to govern others. That would simply be progression, unless it is assumed that the government, by the machinery evolved under the necessities of the principle of taxing land values, is utopian and hence perfection.
You say that “Anarchy is a reaction from Socialism.” Well, what if it is? Socialism is a reaction from that sort of anarchy which leaves the monopolies and the rich nabobs lawless, free to prowl upon those unfortunate waifs of humanity who have not been able to join the shining few in ths realms of golden splendor and lights far above the iron castes which keep the masses in ignorance and rags. “Henry Georgism” is a reaction from that paradox which I shall call lawless socialism, because it means a surfeit of law, but of the kind which governs only those whom the law-makers wish it to govern. But is that any argument against Mr. George’s theory? Hardly; and yet it is “the argument of despair,” for, if this or some other means of relief is not afforded soon, “the impulse of men bitterly conscious of injustice and seeing no way out” will force them to do something desperate.
So “Anarchy is an importation into the United States,” is it? Shame on anybody who will make such absurd flings as that! What has it to do with the question? Absolutely nothing. It is simply a cringing evasion of the question and a pandering to public sentiment,— a method which the propoverty press makes use of to strike down Henry George, Dr. McGlynn, and all who want to better the condition of their fellow-men. Unless there is a glaring anachronism, Christianity is “an importation into the United States.” So is the printing press; so is the principle of the taxation of land values; and so is — but what’s the use of attempting an enumeration of the good and bad things and ideas which are entirely “un-American”? I did hope that Henry George would not fall into that low pithole of ignorance or subterfuge. But Henry George is only a man, after all, even if he has not yet quite become a demagogue.
After my pleasant talks with Judge Maguire, his cold legal deductions in regard to the equity of the findings in the case of those seven men in Chicago come like a blasting wind on a field of flowers. They strike one with frigid loathing of legal enactments. They seem born of a social condition which sacrifices the individual to the State with a relentlessness worthy of the Inquisition.
It seems strange that neither Henry George nor Judge Maguire should have thought it worth the while, in making up their minds as to the legal status of the case, to “go back of the returns,” as it were; i. e., to inquire into the nature and character of the evidence on which these men were condemned. Did it never occur to them that this evidence may have been suborned, that “Pinkerton thugs,” time-serving policemen, angry and alarmed monopolists, may each and all have had a motive in making the case against these men appear just as bad as possible? No; it seems never to have occurred to them. And yet the friends of the condemned men say that the evidence produced and the methods resorted to in securing the conviction of the men, were the most glaring outrages on a so-called system of justice they ever witnessed. It has come to it that courts have declared that Pinkerton’s men are not to be believed under oath, except where it is to their known interest to tell the truth. And the same proposition is notoriously true of the average urban policeman, who holds his position through the “pull” of some low ward politician. And when it comes to swearing that black is white, who can beat a monopolist in the full vigor of his determination to crush the enemy? Yet Henry George and Judge Maguire take the evidence formulated and furnished by these men with a sang froid that would seem to say, “Well, here’s the evidence; damn the facts; and who cares for the sentiment of mitigating circumstances?”
It does seem strange that these two able proponents of a great and revolutionary principle, a principle which is so revolutionary that it’s leaders declare it will abolish poverty and put men on a grand equality so far as opportunities are concerned,— and that is all that any honest man asks for,— it seems strange, I say, that these two men could not have said something for or against these seven men at a time when their word would have had some weight in settling the great controversy as to their fate. Believing them deserving of being hanged, it is strange the leaders of the United Labor party should not have given timely notice to the public that the methods and principles of the Anarchists were not the principles and methods of this new party. Or, if the merest scintilla of doubt as to the wisdom or justness of executing the extreme sentence was entertained, why not have demanded a halt and still farther time for reconnoitring? I looked for some word from Mr. George, but only a strange silence brooded. This may be diplomatic, but it is not noble. “Hew to the line, let the chips fall where they may.”
Judge Maguire makes this strange statement:
Any man may freely advocate the abolition of government, or commit any like folly, without any interference on the part of the representatives of the law, and no man has ever been molested for so doing. Mr. Tucker of Boston has been for many years advocating Anarchy in his paper, Liberty, and no person has ever interfered with him.
But does Judge Maguire pretend to say that, if Liberty bad been published in Chicago, Mr. Tucker’s sayings would not have been construed into causes which incited the Anarchists to talk “seditiously” and “revolutionary”? And how easy to have arrested and hanged Mr. Tucker with the others! Does Judge Maguire suppose that, were a riot to occur in Boston, under similar circumstances, Mr. Tucker and Liberty would not be held responsible? Of course Mr. Tucker in Boston was not tried for what was done in Chicago. Neither were the abolitionists in Boston tried for what some rash and over-zealous friend of freedom said or did in Charleston in ante-bellum days. It is true, Wendell Phillips and Horace Greeley were not “interfered with” because John Brown raided Harper’s Ferry in the interest of freedom, and got hanged for his pains. Oh, no! They were not “molestod.” But who doubts that they “incited” John Brown, and many other martyrs, to become victims of the thing they all hated so much, and the only thing that makes slavery and misery,— the law? But I think they would have been forcibly “molested” and sternly “interfered with,” had they advocated in Richmond or Charleston what they did in New York and Boston.
The whole written opinion of Judge Maguire on this subject is cruelly, coldly legal. It must afford the “saviours of society” a good deal of comfort. None of them could have made a better plea for “conservatism,” for “law and order,” for “anti-revolutionary” methods. He took the evidence as he found it, as the “fence” does stolen goods, not caring whence it came. It was evidence, and that was enough. He has no censure for the police who charged on a peaceable meeting, which the mayor of Chicago had authorized and had even just addressed;* there were no considerations for the fact that this meeting had been called to protest against murder; not a single doubt does he seem to entertain that all the detective and police stories about Anarchists and bombs and dynamite were not innocent and guileless of fraud; in fact, he finds no mitigating circumstances at all, and he seems only anxious to uphold a judicial system which could hang him for inciting this same riot just as equitably as it could any of those who were hanged. I have heard him condemn the present order of things just as vehemently as ever the Anarchists did. He preaches revolution just as truly as the Anarchist does. He wants it accomplished by force, moreover; it matters not that that force is the ballot-box, for it is force, all the same; it is the iron rule of the majority over the minority; it is surrounding the minority with bonds which restrict it and restrain it of its liberty. Under the present system Jay Gould is at liberty to accumulate millions of dollars. Anarchist Judge Maguire comes along and destroys that law which makes one man a millionaire and ten thousand paupers; but then, changing from Dr. Jekyll Maguire, he becomes Mr. Hyde Maguire, and, while Jay Gould’s liberty to plunder the masses is curtailed under Dr. Jekyll, under Mr. Hyde the “revolutionary” and “un-American” Anarchist must be hanged! High consistency, this!
But above and beyond all the reasons why Henry George and Judge Maguire should have evinced some show of sympathy for the condemned men is the fact that these Anarchists were fighting the common enemy of mankind,— the system which produces the robber monopolists. The latter slowly pinch, starve, and freeze millions of human beings. They put up the price of coal, of wheat, of clothing, when it suits their whim or convenience. They crush out the small business man; they foreclose the mortgage on the store, the home, and the farm. When the “panic” which they bring about comes, they say it is because of over-production. As Henry George has said, there is so much wheat produced that thousands are dying of starvation; so many new clothes made that people must go in rags; so many shoes that the poor must go bare-footed. Over-production, forsooth! But who ever heard of a policeman dragging one of these monopolists to court and hanging him for starving his thousands?
This is the miserable system which the Anarchists condemn. They demand a change. It may seem a remarkable coincidence, but it is a fact that Henry George and Judge Maguire have been heard condemning the same system, and, what, in the eyes of the “saviours of society,” is still worse, demanding a change. Aye, a complete, radical, and revolutionary change! They actually unite with the Anarchists in demanding that poverty be abolished. And yet it seems strange that Henry George and Judge Maguire should form an alliance offensive and defensive with the Jay Goulds of society and applaud the hanging of Anarchists because Pinkerton’s thugs and their allies, the police, say they had evidence connecting them in a conspiracy during which certain men were killed who would not have been killed had they not, in obedience to the demands of a mob, begun clubbing a peaceable meeting. They must feel honored by the alliance, and by the plaudits which these monarchs of capital bestow for fighting the latter’s battles so well. The man who dares brave public opinion and the ignorant clamoring mob is a brave man, and he must be sustained by a strong belief that his cause is a just one. Men who will die for their opinions rather than ask a pardon from a governor are not cowards, certainly, and future generations will doubtless accord them as much praise as those who stood by silently and saw the judicial crime, and then, to gain public applause, cried out: Let them be crucified! It is not the first time men have been killed by law for opinion’s sake; nor is it the first time that the cruel executioners of that miserable problem called law have sought to make the martyr appear a bad and dangerous character, even to the crucifixion between thieves.
Only Anarchists know what the theory of Anarchy is. The masses are misled by the dictionary definition, and by the idiotic howling and driveling of a mob of ignorant, lying hirelings popularly known as editors and reporters. These people, as a rule, sell their opinions to the highest bidders, and the highest bidders, of course, are the Uriah Heeps and the Jay Goulds. Hoping to better their own conditions and desiring rather to cater to or anticipate public opinion, these unsavory slaves of a system which they seem unable to comprehend go on and do their master’s bidding with wall-eyed and ogling impudence and Hessian-like servileness.
The Anarchist knows that his methods are peaceful ones, all the newspapers and magazine articles to the contrary notwithstanding. Let alone, he would preach peace and all the arts of peace. He even differs with Henry George and Judge Maguire in his system of revolutionary propaganda. The latter openly advocate the use of force, the coercion of the minority by the majority. But the Anarchist does not believe in coercion at all as an aggressive means, and would not use the force of the ballot to accomplish his ends. The great majority of the Anarchists do not vote at all; and the few of them who do vote do so under protest, and merely as an expedient by which they hope to avoid the necessity for the exercise of more violent force.
W. T. Doty.
Port Jervis, New York, November 20, 1887.
* Here the writer is slightly in error. Mayor Harrison did not address the meeting. But he was among the audience until the meeting was nearly over, and not until he had gone home did the police attempt to stop the proceedings. — Editor Liberty.
There are two Socialisms.
One is communistic, the other solidaritarian.
One is dictatorial, the other libertarian.
One is metaphysical, the other positive.
One is dogmatic, the other scientific.
One is emotional, the other reflective.
One is destructive, the other constructive.
Both are in pursuit of the greatest possible welfare for all. One aims to establish happiness for all, the other to enable each to be happy in his own way.
The first regards the State as a society sui generis, of an especial essence, the product of a sort of divine right outside of and above all society, with special rights and able to exact special obediences; the second considers the State as an association like any other, generally managed worse than others.
The first proclaims the sovereignty of the State, the second recognized no sort of sovereign.
One wishes all monopolies to be held by the State; the other wishes the abolition of all monopolies.
One wishes the governed class to become the governing class; the other wishes the disappearance of classes.
Both declare that the existing state of things cannot last.
The first considers revolution as the indispensable agent of evolution; the second teaches that repression alone turns evolution into revolution.
The first has faith in a cataclysm.
The second knows that social progress will result from the free play of individual efforts.
Both understand that we are entering upon a new historic phase.
One wishes that there should be none but proletaires.
The other wishes that there should be no more proletaires.
The first wishes to take everything from everybody.
The second wishes to leave each in possession of his own.
The one wishes to expropriate everybody.
The other wishes everybody to be a proprietor.
The first says: “Do as the government wishes.”
The second says: “Do as you wish yourself.”
The former threatens with despotism.
The latter promises liberty.
The former makes the citizen the subject of the State.
The latter makes the State the employee of the citizen.
One proclaims that labor pains will be necessary to the birth of the new world.
The other declares that real progress will not cause suffering to any one.
The first has confidence in social war.
The other believes only in the works of peace.
One aspires to command, to regulate, to legislate.
The other wishes to attain the minimum of command, of regulation, of legislation
One would be followed by the most atrocious of reactions. The other opens unlimited horizons to progress.
The first will fail; the other will succeed.
Both desire equality.
One by lowering heads that are too high.
The other by raising heads that are too low.
One sees equality under a common yoke.
The other will secure equality in complete liberty.
One is intolerant, the other tolerant.
One frightens, the other reassures.
The first wishes to instruct everybody.
The second wishes to enable everybody to instruct himself. The first wishes to support everybody.
The second wishes to enable everybody to support himself.
The land to the State.
The mine to the State.
The tool to the State.
The product to the State.
The other says:
The land to the cultivator.
The mine to the miner.
The tool to the laborer.
The product to the producer.
There are only these two Socialisms.
One is the infancy of Socialism; the other is its manhood. One is already the past; the other is the future.
One will give place to the other.
Today each of us must choose for one or the other of these two Socialisms, or else confess that he is not a Socialist.
Ralph Waldo Emerson on the Law.
In dealing with the State, we ought to remember that its institutions are not aboriginal, though they existed before we were born; that they are not superior to the citizen; that every one of them was once the act of a single man; every law and usage was a man’s expedient to meet a particular case; that they all are imitable, all alterable; we may make as good; we may make better.
The wise know that foolish legislation is a rope of sand, which perishes in the twisting.
The law is only a memorandum.
Our statute is a currency, which we stamp with our own portrait; it soon becomes unrecognizable, and in process of time will return to the mint.
The attributes of a person, his wit and his moral energy, will exercise, under any law or extinguishing tyranny, their proper force,— if not openly, then covertly; if not for the law, then against it; if not wholesomely, then poisonously; with right or by might.
Every actual State is corrupt.
Good men must not obey the laws too well.
What satire or government can equal the severity of censure conveyed in the word politic, which now for ages has signified cunning, intimating that the State is a trick?
This undertaking for another is the blunder which stands in colossal ugliness in the governments of the world. It is the same thing in numbers as in a pair, only not quite so intelligible. I can see well enough a great difference between my setting myself down to a self-control, and my going to make somebody else act after my views: but when a quarter of the human race assume to tell me what I must do, I may be too much disturbed by the circumstances to see so clearly the absurdity of their command.
Our institutions, though in coincidence with the spirit of the age, have not any exemption from the practical defects which have discredited other forms.
Any laws but those which men make for themselves are laughable. If I put myself in the place of my child, and we stand in one thought, and see that things are thus or thus, that perception is law for him and me. We are both there, both act. But if, without carrying him into the thought, I look over into his plot, and, guessing how it is with him, ordain this or that, he will never obey me. This is the history of governments,— one man does something which is to bind another. A man who cannot be acquainted with me, taxes me; looking from afar at me, ordains that a part of my labor shall go to this or that whimsical end, not as I, but as he happens to fancy. Behold the consequence. Of all debts, men are least willing to pay the taxes. What a satire is this on government! Everywhere they think they get their money’s worth except for these.
The less government we have, the better; the fewer laws and the less confided power.
The tendencies of the times favor the idea of self-government, and leave the individual, for all code, to the rewards and penalties of his own constitution, which work with more energy than we believe, whilst we depend on artificial restraints.
We live in a very low state of the world, and pay unwilling tribute to governments founded on force.
If a man found himself so rich-natured that he could enter into strict relations with the best persons, and make life serene around him by the dignity and sweetness of his behavior, could he afford to circumvent the favor of the caucus and the press, and covet relations so hollow and pompous as those of a politician? Surely nobody would be a charlatan, who could afford to be sincere.
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.