“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.
“Compulsory Voting” is the title of an article in the “North American Review” and the author’s remedy for the evils now threatening our free and glorious institutions.
“Those who have faith in anything court candid criticism of it,” says the Providence “People.” Yes, and such criticism they try to answer. This test makes it plain that Henry George has no faith in his land-value tax.
A Chicago woman was dressing for her wedding when her dress caught fire and she was burned to death. Moral: have no wedding and marriage ceremonies. As to the unfortunate woman, a sudden death is always preferable to slow roasting over the consuming fire of the hell of marriage slavery.
One of the most interesting features of Liberty hereafter will be Comrade Labadie’s contribution of “Cranky Notions.” He tells me that I must not hold him strictly to an appearance in each issue; but I may at least tell my readers that he has made me the Irishman’s promise to be regular, and, if he can’t be regular, to be as regular as he can. His first instalment will be found on the seventh page. His suggestive paragraph on the telegraph monopoly is especially rich in food for thought.
When asked if he would accept the nomination of the United Labor party for the presidency, Henry George replied as all politicians do that he is “in the hands of his friends.” In other words, “Barkis is willing.” But his “friends” don’t seem to have much enthusiasm for their prophet. Rev. H. O. Pentecost, to whose admonition that principle, not policy, should govern the action of the labor party Mr. George, in the interval between an after-election and the opening of a new campaign, is “very sensitive,” favors the putting up of a candidate, “but not necessarily Mr. George.” Many of his followers call him a demagogue, and others are astonished to hear William Morris denounce him as a “traitor.” The way of the transgressor is hard, and George now pays the penalty of his shameful stand on the Chicago executions during the election campaign when he was not “sensitive” to the brave and noble attitude of his follower, Pentecost.
James Parton touchingly describes the attractions of presidential campaigns in the “Forum.” The people, after all, decide for the right and the good, he says; and if his most cherished and strongest convictions were an issue in a campaign, and the people declared against them, he would begin to doubt them. The people generally, it seems, by some mysterious process, obtain wisdom and scientific information from a source entirely inaccessible to poor individual mortals, for whom it is impossible to form any valuable opinions except by study, mental work, and varied experiences. Mr. Parton contemptuously refers to the Protectionist school, and believes in free trade. Yet, though the arguments of the learned economists and able writers who stand for protection failed to convince Mr. Parton of the good of protection, he would begin to doubt his free trade theories if this mass of ignorant and illiterate people should vote for protection. In theology Mr. Parton is a freethinker, but in politics he is a slave of the blindest superstition.
The debate at the last meeting of the Anarchists’ Club between Victor Yarros and E. M. White upon the Henry George remedy for social ills drew a large audience in spite of the severe storm. In opening in opposition to the land-value tax Mr. Yarros suffered from the disadvantage of having to devote a portion of his time to a statement of the position which he intended to attack. Nevertheless, in the time left him, he assailed it with thrusts so keen that Mr. White did not deem it prudent to try to parry them, but devoted nearly all his effort to combatting the free money theory, which was not at all in question at the time. Mr. Yarros, in his subsequent speeches, strove hard to hold his opponent to the matter in hand, but in vain; Mr. White remained possessed of the idea that he had been challenged to attack Anarchism instead of to defend the George theory of taxation. At the next meeting of the Club, to be held in Codman Hall, 176 Tremont Street, on Sunday, January 15, at half past two o’clock, H. M. Bearce will read a paper entitled, “Monopoly the Foundation of Usury.” Mr. Bearce has given a great deal of thought to the money question, and all that he has to say upon it is well worthy of attention.
That is a very important point which Ernest Lesigne discusses in the “Socialistic Letter” printed in this number. The main strength of the argument for State Socialism has always resided in the claim, till lately undisputed, that the permanent tendency of progress in the production and distribution of wealth is in the direction of more and more complicated and costly processes, requiring greater and greater concentration of capital and labor. But, as M. Lesigne points out, the idea is beginning to dawn upon minds — there are scientists who even profess to demonstrate it by facts — that the tendency referred to is but a phase of progress, and one which will not endure. On the contrary, a reversal of it is confidently looked for. Processes are expected to become cheaper, more compact, and more easily manageable, until they shall again come within the capacity of individuals and small combinations. Such a reversal has already been experienced in the course taken by improvements in implements and materials of destruction. Military progress was for a long time toward the complex and the large scale, requiring immense armies and vast outlays. But the tendency of more recent discoveries and devices has been toward placing individuals on a par with armies by enabling them to wield powers which no aggregation of troops can withstand. Already, it is believed, Lieutenant Zalinski with his dynamite gun could shield any seaport against the entire British navy. With the supplanting of steam by electricity and other advances of which we know not, it seems more than likely that the constructive capacity of the individual will keep pace with his destructive. In that case what will become of State Socialism?
A Proudhon Class has been in operation in Boston for several weeks, and has already demonstrated beyond dispute its value as a means of propagandism. Among its members are included, besides several well-known Anarchists who are not sufficiently familiar with French to study Proudhon satisfactorily by themselves, a prominent State Socialist (perhaps the ablest in Boston), a strong believer in the land-value tax, a bourgeois of liberal and humanitarian tendencies, a recent convert from Greenbackism to the free-money theory, several studious working men and women, and representatives of the editorial staffs of three prominent Boston dailies. The number of members is restricted to twelve,— a number well adapted for easy conversational discussion,— and the class is full. The method pursued is a simple one. A member already tolerably conversant with the writings of Proudhon, and able to render French in English with some degree of fluency, reads aloud, at the weekly meetings of the class, successive instalments or chapters of one of Proudhon’s works, devoting to the book as many evenings as are necessary to finish it. Whenever any inquiry or comment occurs to a member, he is expected to promptly interrupt the reader, state his difficulty or suggestion, and gain or throw what light he can by an immediate interchange of views with the other members. The author’s stimulating sentences occasion frequent episodes of this character, from which even those who have already studied Proudhon glean much profit. The book chosen as the first to be thus read is the “General Idea of the Revolution in the Nineteenth Century,” generally considered the best textbook of Anarchism ever printed. The members show the greatest interest in it, and ,it is plain that those who do not accept the author’s ideas are steadily gaining a clearer conception of that to which they are opposed. Now, there being nothing so helpful to truth, nothing so disastrous to error, as clear conceptions, the Proudhon Class, within its sphere, is necessarily a potent agency for good, which ought to be speedily utilized by Anarchists wherever the plan is feasible.
“Hoch Die Anarchie!”
“Hoch die Anarchie!” cried Engel,
As he race to meet his fate,
Perishing for Truth and Justice,
Victim of the tyrant’s hate.
Spoke thus proudly to his foemen,
Sent the war-cry that he gave
Ringing from the gloomy gallows
As be stepped into the grave.
Sent the words to every people
Who shall seek for Freedom’s light,
Who can discard tyrant’s emblems
And emerge from Error’s night.
Ever will that dying challenge,
Sent to tyrants everywhere,
Roll adown the coming ages
And re-echo on the air.
Flacher, Engel, Spies, and Parsons,
Lingg, the bravest, beet of all,
Standing up, brave heroes, for us,
Perishing at Freedom’s call.
Shall they die and be forgotten?
Shall the battle-cry they gave
Die upon our lips in silence,
And go with them to the grave?
Shall the onward march of progress
Stop at tyrant’s cursed “Must”?
Shall eternal Truth be vanquished
And be trampled into dust?
Never, while the soil of freemen
Blushes red with martyrs’ blood.
Never, while the hearts of others
Wait to shed their crimson flood.
Rise, my comrades! Rise, ye brave ones!
Fling the scarlet banner out;
Let once more the glad earth tremble
With the sound of Freedom’s shout.
By Georges Sauton.
Translated from the French for Liberty by Sarah E. Holmes.
Continued from No. 115.
A week doubtless, hunger destroying you slowly, little by little, before twisting you in those convulsions of unheard-of sufferings which still are not the last, but are followed by intolerable, increasing exhaustion and an agony which is death coupled with the consciousness of the final catastrophe.
And she began to curse Treor’s granddaughter, who would not have him, but remained as insensible to his prayers as to his threats, and who, certainly, had listened to others. Not Paddy Neill, that monster: that was only to divert suspicion. . . . Who knew if a sudden enticement had not thrown her into the arms of an English soldier?
“Yes, a handsome soldier, well-built, like a Hercules; delicate, dreamy young girls sometimes find in such coarse dreams satisfaction of their craving nature!”
“Duchess!” exclaimed Richard, really becoming angry.
And she went on:
“You, Richard, with your taciturn air, your thoughtful attitudes, did not respond to her ideal. You would have been content to sigh at her feet, to sing songs to her, to recite verses to her, timidly kissing, in your boldest moments, the tips of her fingers. That was not what she needed, but the brutal assault of a powerful man.”
This time, Richard seized her by the throat to arrest the flood of insults; but, under the pressure, there came a rattle, a cry of joy, and he let go.
“You are wrong not to finish me,” she said, “for I shall begin again.”
“No! I swear to you”. . . .
“You will prevent me, how?”
“By leading you to the foot of the catafalque and forcing you to kneel there, your face touching the funeral cloth; and, if you are not hushed by that, then I will place the hand of the corpse on your lips to stifle your blasphemy!”
“No, no!. . . . I will say no more!”
And, in a new fit of her mad fears, in which she shivered through her whole body, cold and bathed in an abundant sweat, she turned away from Richard that he might not, in a frenzy of sudden rage, seize her and put into execution his diabolical threat.
But this recollection of Marian, evoked by her for her own purposes, roused in her rancorous soul the keen hatred of her rival, and, daring no longer to insult the young girl, she still felt the irresistible need of expressing her sentiment:
“Your Marian! your Marian! your Marian!” she said, raging; then she added:
“Ah! how I wish she were in my place!”
She sneered and resumed:
“I am becoming reasonable, am I not? I am making honorable amends; I should like her to be with you. . . . in your arms. . . .”
“So much censure, and at such a moment! I pity you, madam.”
The Duchess, weeping, was in despair; now there was no longer any hope, as there had been just before, of salvation by an approaching violent death.
There was unfolding in her mind, in advance, the too long series of her last interminable days, without anything to mark the passing time, and the horror of which increased steadily from hour to hour, unless an attack of madness should suddenly extinguish reason, and leave to wander in this infected place only the animal in her more or less courageous in enduring bodily pain.
And she wished for insanity as she had wished for death.
At first, however, she tried to divert her thought, to bring it back to the memory of some fact of former days, before the crime.
She endeavored to recall the beginnings of her passion for Richard, or of some day when they had lived in the delights of a tender interview, or their adventurous rides far from the castle, the nights audaciously stolen from the Duke, in imminent peril of surprise, the intense joys of which were doubled by the apprehension of mortal danger; but no phrase of this past of forbidden love could she now retrace in her brain.
Nothing but fugitive impressions, corners of a picture, half-displayed and instantly effaced, figures which outlined themselves for a second and vanished like smoke, phrases the sound of which dissolved in the air, as if they had come from mouths which had suddenly lost the faculty of speech.
Then the Duchess fixed her attention more especially on the abhorred face of Marian, but succeeded no better in keeping this profile before her, for the odor of the corpse which was permeating the room brought back unceasingly the vision of Newington on his bed, and she called, at last, with all her might for mental alienation to come to her rescue.
And she meditated on the means of gaining this refuge; perhaps she could succeed by knocking her head against the wall often and violently, by accumulating so many hideous things at once before her mind that her faculties could not resist.
Yes, this last receipt was the best, and since Richard forbade her to abuse Marian under penalty of being dragged up to the catafalque and having her lips closed by the vile hand of the corpse, she would resume the litany of her base insults, and in a few minutes, all hope being lost through the intensity of horror, she would roll inert on the stone floor, insensible to all the tortures of the agony which awaited her.
But while she was still hesitating to take this frightful resolution, sounds of hurried steps resounded in the corridors, and a key was heard in the lock, a grinding on the hinges, a breath of fresh air entered, and a voice said immediately:
“Quick! You can escape! Fly from this room, quickly, and outside, with precautions, with prudence, you will be safe.”
“Marian!” Richard had exclaimed, as soon as the first words were spoken.
“Marian!” the Duchess, in turn, had murmured gloomily.
“See, my Lady, if you wish to fly, profit by this generous offer,” said Bradwell.
“If I wish it!” cried the Duchess in a tone of victory.
In the darkness, Richard had not seen Ellen, who, gliding along the floor, almost without touching it, had moved towards the open door, and he comprehended her manoeuvre only when it had noisily closed again and the key again had turned.
“She has locked us in, the wretch!” he muttered.
Through the wood, the Duchess cried:
“Thank me, then, Richard, I give you your Marian.”
“My God!” said Richard, “what a frightful thing! Oh! it is not for myself that I tremble; it is for you, Marian. Of course no one knows the step you have taken.”
“In that case, you are lost, condemned to die with me the death which was destined for her.”
“O well! I have on my conscience no crime to aggravate my agony.”
Suddenly, a thread of light darted under the door, and they could hear a shrivelling noise on the other side.
“It sounds like fire!” said Bradwell, frightened.
“Before leaving,” cried Ellen, “I illuminate your betrothal.”
“Oh! the execrable woman, who has lighted a fire by which you will be devoured, Marian, by which you will be devoured alive! Ah! why, why did you take pity on us?”
“Because I love you!” said the young girl, gently.
Still again the fortunes of war had turned.
Surprised in certain combats, betrayed by auxiliaries imprudently enlisted in the ranks of the insurrection,— the low herd of the cities, who, at the first engagement, disbanded in a “save-himself-who-can” way disastrous in its result,— the United Irishmen, experiencing several consecutive defeats, decimated, weakened, demoralized, no longer held the country with the same spirit, the same confidence.
The defection of the quota of the colliers dealt them a last blow. These recruits, enlisted into regiments with the hope of seeing them accomplish wonderful exploits, not only quitted them suddenly on the eve of an attack by the English, abandoning the positions which they had orders to guard and to contest, but also took away during the night the fire-arms and munitions of all their comrades in camp; and, without other defensive weapons than pikes against a strong enemy furnished with guns of rare precision and provided with respectable artillery, the troops of the revolution were obliged to retreat, not without a struggle, foot by foot, before a constantly increasing number of English divisions reinforced from all sides.
Around Cumslen-Park there was the same sudden downfall: landed surreptitiously, while the castle was in flames, regiments, attacking the insurgents unexpectedly, had defeated and routed them, and were now reconnoitering the country, patrols picking up on all sides the wretches fallen on the roads, enfeebled by their loss of blood, consumed by the fever of their wounds, dying of hunger and cold in the severe temperature which prevailed.
And the repression was not limited to the combatants, to those whose hands retained, even after being bathed with care, the dirt of the powder in the folds of their rough skin, or the blisters made by the pikes upon the epidermis; they arrested all who belonged to the family of the “poor old woman,” the men who had gone back into the country, and the others, refugees or those who remained in their huts,— the children, the women, the old people, as well as the men!
Convoys of the wretches whom they were leading to prison, exile, or execution after a show of absurd trials, followed each other along the roads, in the morning mists, over the ground hardened by the frost, which attained an excessive intensity.
Not from pity, but for themselves, that they might not fall, overcome with stiffness, the soldier-jailers, when a little wood was within reach, lighted fires at which the prisoners received permission to thaw out their freezing limbs at a distance, and there remained constantly, behind the column, those whose feet refused service, and who were soon stretched on the rugged earth, hardening there, taking singular forms of branches, trunks of uprooted trees.
In certain detachments, the severity towards the vanquished enemy was complicated with an ironical cruelty. When those who were so painfully chilled, overcome by suffering, begged permission to approach the fire, they invited them ceremoniously.
“How then I they have a right to it in exchange for the warming given to Sir Bradwell and Lady Newington;” and they pushed them towards the flames till the latter licked their clothes; and some were burned frightfully, amid the coarse and noisy mirth of their executioners.
They put an end to their tortures of the damned, equally with a joke.
“They are too warm, cool them again now;” and, with a blow of a gun, they would kill them, or draw their blood by piercing them with bayonets.
These soldiers had less fierce souls than the Ancient Britons, and if they sometimes abandoned themselves to deplorable atrocities, it was not from native ferocity, but often for diversion in sport.
From time to time they would feign a lack of watchfulness, in order that one of their captives might attempt to escape, and when he had gone so far as to conceive the possibility of salvation, the most skilful shooters would lay a wager on the one who should send, without demolishing him, the most morally discouraging balls: in the legs first, without breaking them, in order to retard his walk, in the body without striking an organ essential to life. The unskilful one who killed the run-away or even broke the bones in his legs lost and paid.
All this without hatred, but, on the contrary, with a certain esteem for the enemy whose valor in action could not be denied, or firmness of soul in adversity, or indomitable courage when put to the test.
The business, moreover, demanded severities, without which the prisoners would have rebelled and made off.
Their spirit of revolt, in spite of all disappointments and the defeat from which it would doubtless take some years to recover, was not completely subdued, but manifested itself in proud replies, which soldiers of order must not tolerate.
“Are we going to take root here?” said a sergeant after a halt too far prolonged. “It is freezing hard enough to break a stone.” “
But not hard enough to break your heart,” responded one of the prisoners.
“Come, old man, forward!” commanded the same sergeant, roughly handling a poor old man of seventy years, infirm and overwhelmed with suffering.
“My legs refuse to do service,” replied the old man. “Finish me!”
“Not yet!” sneered an officer. “You must have participated in more than ten revolts. That merits the cross; carry it!”
“Let us both carry it,” cried a tall lad, offering his shoulder to his grandfather to support him: “I will be in all the revolts to come.”
“Wait, you seed of rebels, we will prevent your sprouting and bearing fruit.” And, with a blow of his gun, the soldier who had made the threat completely crushed his skull.
And especially when they had passed the night on the bare ground and in the beautiful starlight did the soldiers rise in a bad humor and torment their band of prisoners.
At daylight they began to march; and, finding obstinate sleepers, crouched down in the ditches, shrivelled up in a furrow, they would shake them like plumtrees, or simply give them a few kicks to warm them up, or even prick them with the points of their swords when, in spite of everything, they did not awake.
“Freeze,” they said, and the band would move on, abandoning the sad human waif.
And it was in this way that one morning, ten days after the fire at Cumslen Park, a woman, carefully wrapped in ragged shawls, her face veiled, resisted every summons of the soldiers who exhorted her to rise from the pile of stones on which she was leaning, crouched in a heap, her face on her knees, clasping her legs with her arms and folded hands.
The evening before, they had picked her up roaming about the encampment, and she had vainly tried to escape; Once seen, her strength failed her; immediately overpowered in the field, she still vainly struggled like a she-devil; her resistance did not last long, and on its ending in a faint, they threw her, like a bundle, on the stones where they found her again at daybreak.
Several times during the night she extended her hands to the fire, and they might have distinguished their fineness, although stained with mud, and guessed, from their elegant grace, that they belonged to a young woman; but she did not risk these exhibitions when any one, English or Irish, was near.
And they might have seen her turn her head, but without unveiling it, towards a bit of bread that had fallen from the greasy pocket of a soldier and greedily watch it a long hour at least.
They walked over it, and she felt a twinge of disappointment; a plaintive sigh escaped her, and, when no one was near, she rushed upon the trampled, dirty, vile crumb, and, barely wiping it with her dress, devoured it with her white, sharp teeth.
Now, motionless, as if sealed to the earth, as if petrified, she did not move, not withstanding their punches.
“I am going to wake her if she is only sleeping, but not her last sleep,” said one of the soldiers. And he bent down quickly, threw her at full length, lifted the skirts of the wretched woman and threw them over her head, denuding the splendid body which shone on the gray earth in the dawning light of the morning.
And the comrades gathered to contemplate this picture, applaud it, and make obscene comments on it; neither the biting cold nor this foul hilarity roused the young woman from her marble apathy, and they concluded that she had passed from life to death, or that she would do so in a very few moments.
“She will die there!” said a surly sergeant; “come, let us move on!”
“It is only dogs and Irishmen who die,” observed one of his comrades, “and if you will take the trouble to look closely at the lady, who is well worth this trouble, you will see that with such stockings, as soft as her perfumed skin, this is no beggar.”
These stockings, really fine and lustrous, contrasted with the tattered clothes of the apparently poor woman; and their black color contrasting with the whiteness of her skin, they were puzzled.
They were worn as mourning, for whom? Newington? Then the woman escaped from the castle must be one of the servants at Cumslen Park; in what capacity? A maid, doubtless, of the Duchess. She had dressed herself in this tattered garb to mislead the Irish whom she might encounter; so be it! But why had she not at once declared her identity? Why her desperation when they captured her, why these pains to hide her face?
To be continued.
The Science of Society.
By Stephen Pearl Andrews.
Reply to the Tribune by Mr. Andrews.
Continued from No. 115.
To the Editor of the New York Tribune:
You recently bestowed three columns and a half upon a notice of “Equitable Commerce: a New Development of Principles Proposed as Elements of New Society,” by Josiah Warren, with an incidental notice of “The True Constitution of Government”and “Cost the Limit of Price” — works upon the same general subject — ”The Science of Society” — by myself. The criticism may be regarded as relating to the circle of principles advocated by Mr. Warren and myself rather than to either of us simply as writers, and hence I feel authorized to step aside from usage so far as to reply to the criticism, the conclusion arrived at, which I cannot but think an unfortunate one for you, being that Mr. Warren’s theory of “Equitable Commerce” is a failure.
The books in question are not of the kind that can be profitably reviewed without being attentively read. The hurry and clatter of newspaper machinery are not, I am aware, favorable to the weighty consideration of those profound philosophical truths which lie much below the surface. If a critic under such circumstances, should fail, therefore, fully to grasp the significance of a circle of principles so revolutionary, and yet so simple, so perfectly harmonious in their relations to each other, so absolutely indispensable each to the working out of the other, and so thoroughly responsive to every demand of exalted human aspiration after Social Order and Freedom and Harmony, it should not be charged on him as a defect of acumen, or of sympathetic affinity for truth, but merely to the want of opportunity.
You accept and adopt the first of this circle of principles, “The Sovereignty of Individual,” but simply put in a caveat against the claim of exclusive originality on the part of Mr. Warren. This question of originality is one of little importance, and one to which no man would attach less consequence than Mr. Warren himself. The important question is, “Is it true?” and on this we agree. Nevertheless, it is, after all, likewise simply true that Mr. Warren is the first man in the world clearly to define this idea as a Principle, instead of a vague aspiration, to fix it in a Formula, to settle its Legitimate Limitation, to propound it as one of the Grand Practical Solutions of the Social Problem, and to connect it with its Correlated Principles in this solution. It is true that the idea, simply as such, as “more or less distinctly” pervaded the writings of nearly every modern reformer, that it swells and palpitates in every aspiration after a better future, and inspires even the blindest exertion after human emancipation. It is true that it is implicated remotely and prophetically in Fourier’s formula of “Destinies proportional to Attractions,” as it is in the American Declaration of Independence, which affirms that all men are entitled to “Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness”; but all this is a very different thing from the distinct announcement of the “Sovereignty of each individual to be exercised at his own Cost”, propounded as a scientific substitute for all Laws and Governments, and as one of the immediate working instrumentalities of Social Reform. So at least it seems to me. If it be not so, and Social Reformers of other schools accept and even claim the priority in the announcement of this Principle, as we accept and state it, why, so much the better; only don’t let them get frightened when they discover the whole meaning of all they are committed to.
But in the next place you come upon the next of our principles in the circle,— namely, that “Cost is the Equitable Limit of Price.” From this you dissent, on grounds which show that have not fully grasped the idea of the manner in which Principles are appropriately put forth after all notion of authority or enforcement is abandoned. The gist of your objection is contained in the following statements:
We have said that the possession of property is essential to the Sovereignty of the Individual. In this statement we find the refutation of Mr. Warren’s second principle, that “Cost is the Limit of Price.” According to this theory, equal amounts of [equally repugnant] labor are made to balance each other, without regard to the value of the product. Equitable Commerce, it maintains, is the exchange of the results of equal labor as virtual equivalents. A commodity which has cost you the labor of an hour is to be exchanged on equal terms for one that has cost me labor to the same amount of time, irrespective of the utility of the product to either party.
Individual property is based on the right of the Individual to the products of his own labor. But if the product of my labor is my own, no one can decide the terms on which I shall part with it but myself. The right of exchanging it at pleasure is involved in the right of ownership. The attempt to establish a compulsory law for this purpose is a gross violation of my acknowledged Sovereignty. This view, we think, is fatal to the theory in question, apart from the practical inconveniences that would arise from its application.
This indictment seems to consist of three counts, stated or implied. 1. That we deny that the Individual is entitled to the product of his own labor. 2. That we repudiate, in some sense not specified, the possession of property, and the right of exchanging it at pleasure. And 3. That we attempt to establish a compulsory law to regulate price in gross violation of our own other fundamental principle, “The Sovereignty of the Individual.” To all of these counts we simply plead not guilty, and put ourselves upon the country. Indeed, we are utterly unable to account for the fact that any man, having looked into our books, could have made them otherwise than by recurring to another of our principles. “Infinite Individuality,” which embraces and accounts for every conceivable diversity in the understanding of language.
The proposition that “the Individual is entitled too the products of his own labor”, cannot, it is true, be accepted without limitation and modification. If I have employed my labor in hunting, catching, and handcuffing you, and reducing you to submission, it can hardly be assumed as an axiom of Social Science that I become entitled to the ownership of you thereby. So, if I employ my superior wit, or skill, or accumulative labor, which is power, in reducing you by more subtle means to a condition of servitude, the axiom in question cannot be adduced in justification. In order to entitle me to the products of my own labor, my labor must have been justly bestowed; that is, it must have been exerted at my own cost; that is again, I must not throw the burdensome consequences of my conduct on others. Cost enters, therefore, in the final analysis, into the question of ownership. But let that pass. The question more immediately up now relates to the exchange of products confessedly belonging to the parties. We admit, under the modifications stated, that every man is entitled to the product of his own labor. Even this basis, chosen by our critic, excludes natural wealth, including uncultured or natural skill, from any claim for remuneration, and carries him headlong in our direction, as he will find when he has leisure to follow out his principle into its logical consequences
As to the second count, that we repudiate property and the right of accumulating and exchanging at will, we simply deny. We only repudiate the right of accumulating other peoples’s property; and as for exchanges, they are the burden of our whole doctrine.
As to the third, the attempt to establish a compulsory law to regulate price. This you regard as a gross violation of the Sovereignty of the Individual. Verily, so do we; and if we attempted anything of the kind, undoubtedly “Equitable Commerce” would be a failure. It is simply for the reason that we do nothing of the sort that it is not a failure, and is not, saving the judgment of the “Tribune”, like to be. It is precisely for the reason that we hold the doctrine of the Sovereignty of the Individual that we are forever prohibited form establishing not only this, but any other compulsory law. But this does not, we apprehend, prohibit us from discovering, accepting, announcing, and acting upon Principles. It is precisely this difference between a compulsory law and a Principle which our critic has failed to apprehend, and which the world sadly needs to appreciate. It is this misapprehension which lies at the bottom of the hasty decision he has rendered upon the System of Principles brought to his attention, which being rectified, the decision itself goes to the ground as destitute of any support or validity. As this is the hinge of the whole matter at issue, therefore, let us endeavor to make it a little clear.
We do not deny your right to the product, and the full product of your labor. We allow you to retain the possession of it as long as you choose. Nay, further, if you determine to dispose of it, we do not require nor insist in any manner upon your disposing of it otherwise than upon any terms that you choose, if you can find a purchaser. We do not oppose a feather’s weight to your entire freedom. We commit no encroachment upon the fullest exercise of your Individual Sovereignty. We cannot do so consistently with ourselves. We admit your full title to the freedom, first, of not selling at all, and then of selling for any price, no matter how great the hardship to the purchaser. In other words, you are entitled to the freedom of doing right or wrong, for the better or the worse, with what is clearly your own. This leaves the question, however, of what it is right or wrong for you to do, entirely upon to be settled, further on, by other principles — but to be settled still solely by and for yourself, with no foreign interference whatsoever. It is not possible that being thus entirely freed from compulsion, and thrown entirely upon yourself for a decision, you may wish to know for yourself which is the right and which the wrong principle upon which to carry on your exchanges — which will place you in harmonious, equitable, and the most truly advantageous relations with your fellow-men, which will bring you into antagonism with all the world, confusion, general insecurity of condition, and prevalent wretchedness. Will the man who shall communicate that knowledge to you thereby commit any breach of your Individual Sovereignty, provided he “adapts the supply to the demand”? If you are desirous of knowing the laws of health, and I make you aware of the Principle of Physiology which demands the ventilation of houses, is that “a gross violation of the Sovereignty of the Individual”? If I undertook to compel you to construct your habitation upon a given plan, even for your benefit, I admit that it would be so; but, is simply communicating the knowledge to such as want it any encroachment? If a dozen individuals, operated upon by such knowledge, voluntarily, in concert or separately, enlarge their windows or otherwise modify their residences to insure this desirable end, is there any surrender on their part of their Individual Sovereignty? Yet to assert this would be precisely equivalent to the fault found with our circle of Principles, by the “Tribune.”
It does not follow, because I have the right, and every other man has the right to the products of his labor and to the liberty of retaining them forever in his own hands, that it is, therefore, either right or best that all men should retain all their own products, and that there should be no commerce whatsoever. Neither does it follow, because any man has the right to the freedom to sell his products in any manner that he pleases, that it is, therefore, either right or best that he should sell them upon the very worst principle that can be conceived of. It cannot be rightly said that any man has a right to do wrong; but every man has the right to the freedom to do wrong. In other words, he has the right not to be interfered with in the exercise of his own judgment of right, although it may lead him to do what all the world pronounce wrong, provided only that he acts at his own cost, that is, that he do not throw the burdensome consequences of his acts on others.
Having thus completely disposed of the charge that the “Cost Principle” is per se an infraction of the other Principle — ”The Sovereignty of the Individual” — the question returns, what is the right Principle to regulate the exchange of products between man and man? I ask this question, not for the purpose of enforcing that Principle compulsorily upon you, but for the purpose of satisfying the intellectual and moral attributes of my nature. You ask it, if at all, in the same manner, for yourself. In reply, we have placed before us two different Principles; one, that of the exchange of equivalent Values or Benefits; the other, that of the exchange of equivalent Costs or Burdens. One is the Value Principle, the other is the Cost Principle. The one now prevails in the world, the other we contend for — not, be it remembered, to enforce it upon any body, but as the true or right thing. I have found no less than two hundred and fourteen pates absolutely requisite to set forth, in the most condensed manner, the parallel between the two. I cannot repeat (in a newspaper article) what I have thus said. I cannot conceive how, having read the book, you could simply repeat the old theory, the wrong, the outrage, the civilized cannibalism of which are too patent to be either disguised or palliated. It is equally inconceivable how, having rad the book, you could reject the simplicity, the obvious truth, and the high harmonic results of the Cost Principle. We may, perhaps, seek for the solution in the radical misconception into which you had been betrayed by haste, and which I have endeavored to rectify.
Not having time or space here, then, to expound or defend the Cost Principle, permit me to conclude, dogmatically and prophetically, by affirming somewhat in relation thereto. It is nothing less than the grand reformatory idea in commerce, corresponding to the Protestant idea in the religious world, and to the idea of Self-Government in the political; and inasmuch as “Commerce is King,” pre-eminently so, in this age, it is the Grand Idea of the Age. It is now in its infancy. Many a man who will cast his eye over this discussion will hardly know what the words mean. “Cost the Limit of Price”, will be to him a jargon of terms. Nevertheless in those words is contained the Most Fundamental, the Most Potent, and the Most Revolutionary Idea of the nineteenth century; a watchword of Reform which comes not humbly, saying, “By your leave”, but with power, saying to the capitalist, “You must.” By means of it, the rendering of justice to labor is no longer to be a matter of Grace, but of Necessity. It is an idea, too, which is to permeate the public mind without bluster, without agitation. Already the organization of Equity Villages is going on with a quietness which leaves them to be sought for by those who have a demand for truer relations among men, and with a real success which will dispense with all criticism at an early day. The time is not distant when the fact that a leading Social reformer and reviewer pronounced the Cost Principle a failure, will be quoted among the Curiosities of Literature
“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 in German.
Early in the spring, probably in March, there will be issued from this office the first number of a fortnightly Anarchistic journal, to be called Liberty, but to be printed entirely in the German language. Though the new paper will be under the same general management that controls the English Liberty, its active editors will be George Schumm and Emma Schumm, who are coming to Boston from Minnesota to undertake the work. The paper will be of the same shape and size as the English Liberty, and the two will alternate in the order of publication,— the English appearing one week and the German the next. The subscription price will be one dollar a year. Send in your subscriptions at once to Benj. R. Tucker, P. O. Box 3363, Boston, Mass.
For the First and Last Time.
When the Chicago “Alarm” was revived by Dyer D. Lum, Liberty gave it a cordial greeting, welcoming it not as the Communistic organ which it once was, but as the journal of genuine Anarchism which it seemingly had become. For sole acknowledgment of this friendly salutation, the “Alarm” contained a paragraph from which not one of several intelligent people to whom I submitted it could gather any meaning beyond the fact, upon which all agreed, that it was intended as a sneer. Liberty’s greeting, however, was criticised — and very justly — by E. C. Walker in “Lucifer” as not wholly warranted, in view of the fact that the initial number of the “Alarm” contained paragraphs which, if not savoring of Communism, at least tended to confound it with Anarchism. I was forced to recognize the inconsistency, but I sought to explain it on the hypothesis that Mr. Lum, while really holding sound principles, was sometimes willing to obscure them under the influence of a mistaken spirit of chivalry toward the Chicago victims. It now appears — and one needs but to read the scathing letter of Mr. Yarros to Mr. Lum in another column to be abundantly convinced of it — that my interpretation of Mr. Lum’s conduct was far too charitable. His frequent, petty, and too evidently malicious sneers at Liberty and its propaganda,— but for which he today would know no more of Anarchism than he knows of intellectual honesty,— coupled with his fawning readiness to applaud in others who give him their support the expression of views identical with those which he contemptuously condemns when declared by those whom he prefers to consider as rivals dangerous to his designs, shew that he is trying to curry favor where be can and deliberately subordinating all considerations of justice and decency to the success of his newspaper enterprise, regardless of perspicuity and consistency. Such conduct, generally speaking, is beneath notice. It receives notice here simply because my recent remarks regarding Mr. Lum cannot stand unqualified. But hereafter he may fling his gibes as he will; this is their first, and will remain their last, consideration at my hands.
An Open Letter to the Communist-Anarchists of Chicago.
War and authority are companions; peace and liberty are companions. . . . Bloodshed in itself is pure loss.
B. R. Tucker.
At the mouth of the tomb, in the very presence of your murdered dead, your hearts swelling with alternating emotions of joy and gloom, of glory and regret, of pride and pain, the echoes of those noble dying words still throbbing in your ears, you, the Communist-Anarchists of Chicago, found yourselves face to face with this stern question: “What now! Men of Anarchy, will you have revenge?”
And in voices loud or low, fiercely, sternly, solemnly, you took the awful oath: “We will!”
And we too, the Individualist-Anarchists of the world, who had loved and honored these dead heroes, though we could not, in their life, in all things walk with them, echoed after you the solemn vow: “We will!”
But how? The question of methods now becomes paramount. Shall it be by war? Shall we, with Robert Reitzel, “demand blood for blood” and “learn to bitterly hate”? Shall we pursue these men, who have slain our beloved, with the secret awful shadow of our implacable vengeance? Shall the bludgeon smite them down in the darkness, the poisoned dagger sting them at midday, the terrible volcanoes of dynamite roar out their doom in the still hours of midnight?
Or shall we raise ourselves in our might, in hordes, like howling wolves of the steppe; and, in a revolution of blood, frightful with sword and torch and bomb, lay their cities, their dungeons, their courthouses, palaces, and drawing-rooms, in smoking ruins, tear their armies and police forces into bloody fragments, and thus, by the awful forces of Hate and Fear, avenge the dead and make room for liberty? With pale, set faces, with eyes black with fury, between their clenched teeth, thousands have answered: “Yes!” but unhesitatingly, emphatically, we answer: “No!”
Yet if ever, from the dawn of history, there was a deed so foul perpetrated on men so innocent that it was held to undoubtedly justify war, this judicial crime must rank its peer. The tyrant hand of Power was stretched out for blood, and the veins of our bravest and most eloquent were emptied to fill the cup.
But, comrades, cui bono? What good has bloodshed ever done? What stains has it ever wiped away — nay, has it not simply hidden them ’neath a darker blot? Let us have done with the foolish fiction of blood-atonement, in all its forms, once and forever.
You tell me that war has overthrown dynasties, broken down thrones, slain tyrants, exterminated armies, liberated nations. Granted; but what are all these worth? It has overturned kings that other monarchs might rule; from its broken thrones other and heavier thrones have beer built; its slain tyrants, like dead flies, have only bred others and more; for every army it destroys it calls ten thousand into life, and its liberated nations have never been liberated peoples.
You say that by conflict and struggle humanity has developed strength and secured survival of its fittest. Something in that, too. The struggle with man, like the struggle with nature, has developed muscle, brain, and courage; but that does not prove that the struggle with man is not vastly poorer in such results, and vastly more expensive in obtaining them, than the struggle with nature. Evil tends ever, like the cassada root, to evaporate its poison and become good, but while the poison remains it is evil still. Human good is human happiness, and the happiness that comes by war has come mainly in spite of it. It may sound sentimental to say so, but I sincerely believe that the tender love and forgiving pity of women and the helpless cries of babes have done more for the development and perpetuation of every thing worthy in human nature than all the furious passions, brutal blows, and savage hates of men from time beyond speech. The gentle scholar, sitting in his quiet room, questioning nature as to her secrets, and teaching his fellows her replies, is doing more for liberty than would a judgment of God that should slay with fire every ruler on the round earth from the Czar to a Chicago policeman. If knowledge in general is worth so much, the value of knowledge in particular, of science applied to the teaching of liberty and the organization of free men, is altogether beyond calculation.
The world has had enough of blood. For untold ages the daily sun has looked down upon human beings struggling in deadly fight; from untold time it has sunk at night ’mid the smoke and dust of battlefields and risen in the morning on crops of carnage, through mists of blood. Night after night the fair moon has shone on wall and camp, glittered on helm and blade, or turned pale in the light of burning cities. For thousands on thousands of years the white, set faces of the slain have stared vacantly at the blue sky of day and the jeweled stars of night; the fountain of wounds has flowed perpetually; the groans of the dying have never stopped, the wail of the widows and orphans has never ceased. What good has it all done? Is it not enough?
Time was when a martial mania possessed me. I worshipped Force and believed in its salvation. I fretted like a war-horse at the ringing roll of the drums and the brazen clamor of the shrill-lipped bugles. I strained like a hound on the leash when I heard the measured tramp “of armed heels,” saw the waving plumes and banners, the prancing steeds, and the glittering steel. Alas! my enthusiasm was but the brainless fancy of a fool. There is a damnable intoxication about the pomp and passion of war more hellish than hasheesh, more insane than opium or alcohol. It overcomes the reason like the insidious fumes of a poison. It tempts us to our doom like a whirlpool or a giddy height.
Comrades, it is just this intoxication in war that makes it fatally dangerous to us. It destroys individuality and blasts the growth of the independent reason. It draws men in shouting insane herds to work the will of their crafty and merciless masters. The soldier recks nothing of liberty, and cannot. He is drunk with force. He is alternately, and at the same time, a slave and a tyrant. He is a robber without remorse, a murderer without compunction, an incendiary without inducement. He abdicates his free will. He forgets that he is a man, and becomes a dog, tearing those whom his master directs. He is as much a machine of death and pain as the musket he carries.
Assassination has something to be said in its favor. Assassins have done some good work for liberty. The assassin retains and develops his reason and individuality. As the third step in his career (after preparation and action) is martyrdom, he develops moral courage of the highest type. If what he should be, he is, like Brutus, a prince among men. But this remedy of assassination, to be effectual, should be common and often repeated. This cannot be. It is probably too contrary to the ordinary habits and instincts of humanity to be so. The assassin for liberty, worthy of the name, is a seldom product. The qualities necessary to make a man humane enough to joy to die for liberty, and yet, without tremor or compunction, in cold blood, take human life, are too dissimilar to be often united in the same man. Tyrants are alert, brave, well-guarded. The assassin can strike but once; and that blow, statistics show, is usually a failure, and that blow kills him. There is too much good stuff in the assassin for him to be wasted in that way. He is worth too much as a teacher and agitator of quiet radical revolution to throw away his life trying to prick one of the pimples of the social disease. He does but little, even if most successful, and in all events his act provokes a terrible retaliation from those he angers upon those he loved; every screw of government is given a tighter turn. Worst of all, it horrifies too many of those we wish to win, and makes them stand aloof. It is all too inefficient, too expensive. Let us have done with it.
Liberty begins in the brain, and throbs in the heart, and works in the hand of the individual. Every wise and comprehensive thought, every gentle and loving emotion, every generous and honorable instinct, every tender sympathy and refined aspiration,— these all make way for Liberty. Every whisper of self-respect draws her like a magnet; every fearless word and expression of individuality puts one by her side; every endurance of pain and dishonor for the maintenance of human dignity and equal right uplifts one to the glorious equality of her children. Every thing that makes the individual jealous and regardful of his dignity and untrammeled growth as a separate person, and scrupulous to regard the dignity and comfort of others because he perceives that their happiness is indispensable to his, makes for Liberty; and everything that obliterates his individuality and makes him heedless of the sympathies that bind him to his fellows, in no matter how slight a degree, makes against her. Individuality, solidarity, these two; war destroys both, and assassination cuts through the latter.
If we, then, who love Liberty and follow her, though it be never so far off; if we who have her light in our hearts, though it be ever so feeble; if we consent to become assassins and soldiers, slaves and tyrants, slayers and spoilers, to kill, hum, and destroy, hate and avenge,— when we stand (what are left of us) conquerors upon a world in ruins, and declare ourselves free, what then?
This. We shall find that the lessons War has set us are but too well learned; that we have lost the road to liberty and extinguished our light; that we have have become as other men are; that the very children begotten in our years of strife are soul-birth-marked with injustice; that the world is as it was before, and we worse, and the whole sad business is to do over again.
You cannot be free unless your fellows are. You cannot make men free by frightening them; you cannot free them by hating them; and every time that you stir up their stupid, stubborn, blind passions in the matter of Liberty, you succeed only in putting a stumbling block in her path. She can come only by the evolution, growth, and development of men’s minds by education, till they finally comprehend the supreme importance of freedom to their personal happiness. Every influential man thus won is worth more than the taking of a city,— is a gain for all time.
No one knows how a contest of arms will end. If we drink blood, we can be drowned in blood; if we take the sword, we may perish by the sword; our flags can be captured, our cannon dismounted. But if we lay aside all threats and deeds of violence, we are invincible, irresistible. What can courts, kings, armies, lawyers, policemen, do against authors and thinkers, philosophers, poets, and printers, logic and sympathy? Let them try. Break a pen, and it writes on in letters of fire on a midday sky; destroy a press, and its ink will blot the pages of history forever; “suppress” a book, and everybody reads it; “suppress” an author, and you give him world-wide fame; condemn a propaganda, and you become its chief apostle; capture a colparteur, and the winds of heaven will scatter his tracts to the ends of the earth.
Those who battle with knowledge find themselves in the toils of the Unseen; they are stabbed by invisibles; they struggle madly, but their blows fall only on themselves; they are tormented by the consciousness that at they are being used as instruments to accomplish their own defeat.
If a thousand men are killed in battle, who cares? If a million warriors should be slain, Fame would but put the conqueror on the back and say, “’Twas a famous victory”; but if so much as a fine be imposed or a sincere man who teaches truth and hates violence, the world holds its breath in attention; and if he be slain, Humanity weeps for her lover.
The blood of a soldier is no more than the rust on his gun-barrel; but if the blood of an inoffensive man is spilled, Treason stalks in the camp and Shame carries the standard. One martyr wins a greater victory than regiment of men in battle array can ever hope to; and his victory is certain, while theirs is most uncertain.
I tell you, Communists of Chicago, that your eight martyrs have done more to advance your cause than would the sacking of eight cities like Chicago. But I tell you again that the blood of the first man you assassinate by way of revenge will wipe out half their work, and when the first dynamite bomb thrown by your revengeful hands enters a drawing-room window and tears the tender flesh of innocent women and babes, the whole of it will be undone. If the manes of Spies and Parsons could revisit this life, would it be the sight of the slain bodies of their persecutors that would give them most complete satisfaction? Nay, these men were too noble, too magnanimous, to delight in blood and pain. It was liberty, justice, happiness, that they loved, and for the promotion of which they lived and died. War was not with them an end, but a means; and if we can secure their end by peaceful means, we shall avenge them in the way that they themselves in their wisest moments would have preferred.
In the propaganda of liberty failure can only come by making men misunderstand, fear, and hate us; success can only come by convincing the brain and touching the heart.
Swear you, then, Communists of Chicago, if you will, to a vengeance of blood; we swear to a vengeance of success: if you succeed, you fail; but we shall not fail.
J. Wm. Lloyd.
Some ten years ago I wrote an essay which led to the somewhat unexpected conclusion that every error, as well as every truth, is the product of experience.
In the case of error the experience is incomplete, that is all; but as those who are mistaken have seen, or have done what passes for seeing, there is no occasion for astonishment at finding that so many of them get angry when told that they are mistaken.
To the collectivists I say simply this:
You have drawn conclusions before having seen enough.
It is a repetition of the story of the Englishment who, landing on one of our shores, met a woman; the woman was red-haired; the Englishment again boarded his vessel, having written in his diary: “In France the women are all red-haired.”
The intellectual fathers of so-called scientific collectivism—Karl Marx, for instance, to cite only one name—belonged to that generation which was adult in 1830, and their conclusions date from an earlier period than 1848.
The revival of the memories of the Revolution was just at its height; historians were singing the praises of the great epoch, the suppression of servitude and privilege, the proclamation of liberty for all, of equal rights for all, the disappearance of aristocracy.
To be sure, they had just seen this nobility of the past aped by an aristocracy of military braggarts; to be sure, they had seen it coming back, short-winded, in the enemy’s vans; but that was only a nightmare, and, thanks to the glorious three, though there were still a king, at least there were no more lords.
They were marching at a rapid pace towards complete equality.
Suddenly there arose an unknown thing, a sort of elevated tower, such as the old manors had, with a high panache. And walls rose all around it, bare, as cold as those of a fortress. The walls opened and closed at fixed hours, and under the arches passed multitudes, emaciated, debilitated, bent, and one could not tell whether it was fear or fatigue that prevented them from straightening up their bodies. In these modern castles the lord. A new servitude was born.
The high chimneys multiplied, and also the number of masters. A new aristocracy had arisen, brutal, monopolizing, coarse, plundering, arrogant, without bowels, inhuman, devoted to figures, devoted to gain, a predatory race, which thought less of man than of a beast of burden, for beasts had to be bought while man could be had for nothing; irresponsible, for, shrewder than its predecessors who had to feed the slave and protect the serf, it had found a way of avoiding every kind of obligation towards the proletaire.
And yet the proletaires disputed with each other for the favor of peopling these modern dungeons, of rowing in these galleys; they rushed, jostled one another, and fought at the doors to get in.
This was because the growth of all these high chimneys had carried hunger into many laborer’s homes; the connecting rod of the great engine had replaced human arms. There remained but one resource,— to make themselves wheels in the factory, instruments, valets of the monster machine, servants of the master of this monster.
Those eager for equality, the sons of the revolutionists, reflected; and those who were to become communists and then collectivists were made dizzy by the noise which issued from these modern dungeons that rose in black spots, like prisons on a soil green only the day before. They had no care, no anxiety save on account of this plague of an aristocracy which every day accumulated more, and this other plague of an enslaved proletariat.
That was the fact of the time; what would the future be, if the matter should not be ordered in some way?
And straightway they concluded:
“Since the aristocracy amasses more and more capital, means of production, and wealth, the time will soon come when it will have taken everything and when the nation will form two nations,— one a mistress minority possessing everything, the other a servant having nothing and living at the mercy of the first. This matter will have to be arranged, then; and since machinery is the cause of this cursed aristocracy, its strength, its creator, its sustainer, and since machines nevertheless are indispensable, we will keep the machines, but we will abolish the aristocracy. How? By handing over to the State, to the government, all the means of production. “
Whence a multitude of systems, solidly built, very fine on paper, but which would be also very dangerous in practice, since for the tyranny of the aristocracy, so much to be dreaded, they substitute the tyranny of political power, no less dreadful, no less iniquitous, odious, degrading, no less detestable.
Ah! let us beware of deductions!
Now, while the bloated aristocracy took from the belly after the fashion of the Esquimaux, and the system-makers systematized, a multitude of good people of a practical turn, handlers of tools, men of education, small mechanics, engineers, who had not the remotest intention of allowing themselves to be devoured by the capitalistic ogre or enslaved by the communistic despot, set to work as soon as the first moment of stupor was over.
At all times there have been these temperaments of free men wishing to remain free; they conquered the aristocracy of the Middle Ages and the despotism of the monarchical State; they will conquer the aristocracy of the nineteenth century, and will keep the dreams of communistic despotism in the cloudy realm of the imagination.
Big machines are menacing, embarrassing, and monopolizing, say to themselves these free and intelligent beings. Modern lords, you have in them a very fine armament. They are to you what high walls, breast-plates, and shields were to your predecessors. The villein could make no impression on them.
Precisely, but gunpowder was invented, and the castles were deserted by the serfs, abandoned by the masters themselves, who could no longer live in them. There remained but a few miserable ruins, to serve as examples to lords to come.
During the last thirty years or more, but since Karl Marx constructed his conclusions, they have been inventing little motors, little tools which will deliver the victims of the mechanical monster; the little industry of the artisan, for a moment thrown into confusion, is being reorganized; the machine is becoming democratic, portable, convenient, cheap, accessible, and shows its superiority over the monsters of the great factory in that it can wait without suffering at times when there is no work; it no longer holds the laborer at its disposition, it is becoming at the disposition of man.
In a near future all laborers, even the proletaires of today, each one by himself or in small groups of associates, will have their own machines, their own tools, and the desert will be in the industrial fortresses of today, around the high chimneys extinct, between the walls become lamentable. The sons of the aristocracy of iron and silver will work for a living,— which will not be a great calamity,— and historians will relate how the industrious people recovered their liberty, compromised for an instant by the infancy of machinery and the first spread of industrialism.
Such are the facts of science which the communists of the time of Louis Philippe should have been able to foresee, and which the so-called scientific collectivism of today has forgotten to see.
Neal Dow Gets Older and Wiser.
The constitutionality of prohibition was recently before the United States Supreme Court, and Neal Dow was asked what he thought would be the outcome of it. “I should feel no uneasiness as to the outcome of these cases if my faith in the integrity of courts were now as strong as it was before I became better acquainted with the world and with men. I am by no means sure that the personal habits of the judges and their social surroundings may not be a large factor in the determination of this question.” Fearing that the decision would be in favor of anti-Prohibitionists (and that it would carry with it the dictum that grog shops are sheltered by the Constitution of the United States), he remarked: “However monstrous such an opinion of the court would be, the possibility of it, I think, will depend very much upon the character of the judges and their personal habits, and upon their affiliations.”
A. H. S.
After Liberty’s Own Heart.
He was one of those large-hearted, sweet-blooded natures that never know a narrow or a grudging thought; epicurean, if you will, with no enthusiasm, no self-scourging sense of duty, but yet of a sufficiently subtle moral fibre to have an unwearying tenderness for obscure suffering.
Neither Fish Nor Flesh.
An Open Letter to Dyer D. Lum, Editor of the “Alarm.”
In No. 3 of your paper you printed an article on the “Chicago Anarchists” in which occurred the following passage:
I am pained to see many have used the phrase “so-called Anarchists” or “Communists” when referring to them. Before the jury, the judge, and the public they have not hesitated to avow themselves as Anarchists, and gloried in the term. To use the above questionable designation is virtually to brand their own assertion as false, or to imply that they were unable to indicate their own position in Socialism.
The inference is, of course, that you do not use the “questionable designation” and do not “brand their assertion” regarding their being Anarchists “as false.”
Indeed, you go on to express your confident belief that the “social heretics” thoroughly understood and unequivocally adhered to the fundamental principles of Anarchism. You assure us that “they proclaimed the abolition of privilege over land”; that “in asserting men’s inalienable right to possession and use of the soil . . . . they refused to lower the claim by compromising provisos”; that “their mission was to proclaim the broader gospel of abolition of all legal privileges, confident that freemen were able to arrange all minor details”; that they knew “that social cooperation was abundantly able, under free competition, to organize credit without seeking privilege by denying equal freedom.” You aver that “in proclaiming unconditional abolition of enforced regulation . . . . they were proclaiming Anarchy,” and that they held “that, as freedom prevailed, cooperation would necessarily result.”
Doubtless a large number of readers of your paper, not acquainted with your past record or with the teachings of the men you undertook to defend, accepted your statement as truthful and accurate.
But as I happened to know that all of your statements, without a single exception, were utterly and totally baseless and contradictory of fact, and as I felt certain that you knew that I knew that you knew them yourself to be false, I wrote you a letter, inviting you to erpiain a few things and to answer ten definite and “leading” questions. These were my questions:
1. Are not the views of Most identical with those held by Spies and Parsons as preached in their papers? If not, wherein are the differences?
2. Are not the teachings of Most similar to those of Kropotkine, and do not both Most and Kropotkine call themselves “Communistic Anarchists,” — the very name by which our Chicago friends advertised themselves to the world?
3. Is not “Communistic Anarchism” merely another name for State Socialism on a small scale?
4. Do not Kropotkine and Most preach expropriation of present owners of land and capital and public control of the same, to the exclusion of private ownership of capital and all means of production?
5. Did you not state in Boston Liberty that Spies, though really a State Socialist, miscalled himself an Anarchist on the strength of his opposition to the ballot as a revolutionary instrument? What induced you to change your estimate of Spies since then?
6. Did not the old “Alarm,” in reply to a correspondent who interrogated its editors as to the difference between the “Boston Anarchists” and the Anarchists of Chicago, say that what Karl Marx thought of Proudhon — namely, that he was not a Socialist, but a bourgeois reformer — was true of Proudhon’s Boston disciples, and that the Chicago Anarchists were Communists?
7. Did not Parsons attribute to competition many of our economic disturbances, and did not you tell me, when you visited New Haven, that you intended to write an article on competition for the “Alarm” with a view to correct its absurd declarations against it?
8. Do not “La Révolte” and “Freiheit” deny that Boston Liberty and Kansas “Lucifer” are Anarchistic papers, and do they not give it as their reason for such a denial that the papers named believe in free competition and private property?
9. Did not Most emphatically affirm, when questioned by Benjamin R. Tucker upon the subject, that no one would be allowed to work for wages after the revolution, and did not he characterize the “Boston Anarchists” as bourgeois because they insisted on the right of individual free contract?
10. Does not Anarchy, in the true sense, mean liberty of individual production and exchange, accumulation and enjoyment?
Experience has taught me not to expect fairness and regard for consistency from you in polemics. I had reason to believe that evasion, artful dodging, and discreet silence would constitute the main part of your answer to my letter; and you have not disappointed me. But, even as it stands, your answer is sufficiently plain to convict you of deliberate, intentional, and conscious falsification and misrepresentation of facts, of glaring self-contradiction, of juggling with words, and of contemptible trickery. You thus answer me:
1. Not being a reader of German, I am not prepared to expound the views of Most, and as Parsons was equally ignorant I have not the encyclopedic knowledge to tell the difference between them.
2. I think very likely.
3. As defined by Yarros, yes.
5. Virtually, yes; have never deemed the matter of sufficient importance to undergo a change of conviction.
6. It is very likely, but as the authorities confiscated the files I cannot refer to them.
8. I cannot answer this in a monosyllable, and do not deem it of sufficient importance to write a pamphlet on the question.
9. I neither know nor care.
Were I now to say, as I think, that the dead revolutionists knew nothing of the principles v of scientific Anarchism, freely advocated Archistic and despotic measures, and, calling themselves for no apparent reason “Anarchist Communists,” contemptuously characterized the true philosophy of Individualism, as taught and defended by Proudhon, Warren, Greene, Andrews, Spooner, Herbert, and others, of which they never betrayed a comprehensive conception, as “bourgeois,” anti-Socialistic, and non-revolutionary, I would find confirmation of my opinion in your answers to my third, fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh questions.
Such being the fact, will you now explain why you felt pain and indignation at seeing the men referred to as Communists and so-called Anarchists? What is your excuse for “branding their assertion as false”?
You pronounced Spies a State Socialist, and you have not “undergone any change of conviction.” Do you confess, then, that the entire article on the “Chicago Anarchists” was absurdly false and dishonestly misleading? Where was the necessity of violently and desperately struggling with Liugg’s childish notions about the future economic relations, and of your vain effort to twist his words and confuse the reader in order to make out that Lingg was a man who intelligently accepted Anarchism and unconditionally repudiated coercion of the individual? Why, realizing the futility of the task, did you break out in a malicious and gratuitous attack upon those who, respecting Lingg for his true merits and giving him credit for what he really was, preferred to soberly view his errors as such and to interpret his words in the light of his own evident meaning? If you are content to leave Spies a State Socialist, why do you labor to save Lingg from suspicion?
Change of opinion seems to be with you a mere question of expediency. Thought and evidence are factors unknown to you in the matter of forming estimates. “Have not deemed the matter of sufficient importance,” you tell me. Do you change your conviction whenever you think it is important for you to do so; and do you profess beliefs contrary to ascertained proof just because you do not think it worth while to “undergo a change”? It may have been a “slip of the pen,” but you have inadvertently told the truth.
Only those “who arrogantly claim a pedagogical censorship over the exposition of Anarchy,” you tell us, can question Lingg’s right to the name. But in the last “Alarm” you print a crushing criticism of Lingg’s “improvements” on the “old school,” which you characterize as “sharp and logical,” from J. F. Kelly, who is one of those who “arrogantly” claim the right to deny that Lingg and his comrades represented Anarchy. As consistency is a meaningless word to you, I shall not invoke it.
Permit me to thank you for your kindness in accepting my letter. To be sure, you warned me that you would publish nothing more from me on this subject; but, as your motive was highly altruistic one,— regard for the taste of your readers, whom you did not think I could interest,— I do not complain. I feel that I am very dull and intolerable. I could say, perhaps, many instructive things on this question, but you do not publish your paper for any such “pedagogic” purposes. You do not aspire to be a “schoolmaster”; you “strive to say what the common people think,” and “endeavor to think what they mean and to set forth in your own way their half-inarticulate cry.” I might question your usefulness, and think your views as to the functions of an editor very singular and peculiar, but my Anarchism enjoins upon me the recognition of your right to do things in your own way. Börne said that every man has a perfect right to be a fool, and he only objected to the Germans’ carrying this right to the point of abuse. Editors have a right not to know, but, if you speak the truth when you plead ignorance of the views of Most, Kropotkine, and other prominent agitators in the revolutionary movement, I can hardly think you have reasonable ground to hope to succeed in making your paper a “representative” journal of reform. But I know better. However, you can have the choice between ignorance and disgraceful hypocrisy.
Summed up, your answers amount to this; Well, what if I was inconsistent; what if I said at other times that Spies was a State Socialist, that Parsons decried free competition, that the “Alarm” preached Communism, that none of the eight warred with authority per se,— what are you going to do about it? I choose to contradict myself twice a day; I take pleasure in befogging people’s minds and my own; I care nothing about your argument; to me Socialism, Communism, Anarchism are all one. Can you hinder me or stop me?
Clowns have their place in the arena. There is so much tragedy in the revolutionary struggle that the comical element will be welcomed by all who desire to relieve their minds and nerves for a few moments now and then. Especially is Chicago entitled to some fun.
Observe, I am not finding fault with you. You have, perhaps, disappointed others, who, in their innocence, rejoiced at the appearance of the “Alarm.” But I am not one of them. “La plus jolie fille ne peut pas donner plus qu’elle a,” say the French, and a cork-screw must ever remain true to itself. Nevertheless, I am curious to know your motives. I will say nothing of regard for the success of the Anarchistic movement; I will ignore the question of honesty and sincerity; I will not mention any of the considerations which weigh with men whose vocabulary includes such words as logic, reason, consistency, self-respect, earnestness, fairness, etc. But self-interest surely is something that even cork-screw minds can conceive. It, if nothing else, ought to have guarded your utterances, bridled your passions, controlled your spite. Yet you seem to be blind even to that.
Naturally enough, you wished to advertise your new paper and boom it by taking advantage of the Chicago situation. You tried to throw discredit on all other agents, you ignored them, you sought to belittle their importance, influence, work. It was your intention and ambition to have it spread that Dyer D. Lum is the only true and real friend of the Chicago labor martyrs, and that his paper is the only bold and genuine organ of Anarchy. Everybody else was false, arrogant, dictatorial, cowardly, selfish, dishonest, shallow, ridiculous, base.
Humbug, however, cannot long triumph over reality. Quackery will be rewarded with contempt; while modesty and earnest endeavor to imitate one’s tetters would meet with encouragement and cordial interest.
Pray, whom do you expect to deceive? Those who know little about the labor movement, who simply “want to know,” and to whom the difference between trade-unionism and Anarchism is no clearer than to Neebe (according to your own statement), are bound to find out sooner or later that the “purists” who are “not altogether unknown in this country” are the fathers and teachers of Anarchy, from whom the editor of the “Alarm” received his first lessons, and the only true representatives of the movement which aims to abolish all authority. Those who believe in the Communism of Parsons and Spies will not long suffer you to insult their dear memory by misrepresenting them, and cover up their beliefs in order to sell more papers. As to those few real Anarchists who support you for the sake of the good there is in you, in the hope of seeing it ultimately conquer the unworthy and ignoble, they will abandon you as soon as they realize the harm of such a course as yours to the Anarchistic movement. They are not likely to allow you to virtually say that a man can be both a State Socialist and an Anarchist, and to make open warfare on all rules of logic and consistency.
Reverence for the dead is no apology, no ground, for such vacillation, double-faced dealing, spiteful and unmanly conduct, or contemptible flings and gross slander. Respect for the dead demands that the truth be told about them, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. It signifies little that they erred in this or that matter, that they disagreed with us on this or that question. The person who should deny them immortality on account of their opinions would write himself down a fool. On the other hand, the person who would accuse those who frankly and fairly criticise their theoretical teaching of being disrespectful and cynical, if not irremediably insane, would prove himself deeply dishonest.
You taunt me with “being a Yarros”. Not knowing what you mean, I must leave this, together with many other brilliant remarks of a similar character, without an answer. I honor and revere the dead martyrs no less than you do, and I hate the enemy guilty of their death no less intensely than you. If I have not demonstrated my revolutionary zeal by as sad a fate as theirs, no more have you. You are still alive, if I am not mistaken.
Perhaps, in this letter, I have spoken with unnecessary harshness and severity. But there is no trace of the “I am holier than thou” sentiment in me. I believe in sparing neither friends nor enemies. The work in which I am engaged, and to which I intend to devote my life, is too serious and important to be injured by whimsical friends without an emphatic sign of disapproval from me. Anarchy is a new doctrine, and ours is a difficult task. There is enough confusion and misunderstanding and falsehood in society concerning it to keep us engaged for a tong while. It should be the business of all out friends to elucidate it. So far the “Alarm” has seemed bent on increasing the existing confusion, and its policy is alarming.
Religion and Morality.
[A page from Zola’s latest novel, “The Land.”]
Charles Badeuil was a fine-looking man of sixty-five years, with a shaven face, heavy eyelids drooping over dull eyes, and the dignified and yellow look of a retired magistrate. Dressed in a dark blue suit of nappy cloth, he had on furred slippers and an ecclesiastic’s cap, which he wore with dignity, like a man of spirit whose life had been spent in the performance of delicate functions, fulfilled with authority.
When Laure Fouan, then a seamstress at Chateaudun, married Charles Badeuil, the latter kept a little café in the Rue d’Angouleme. Thence the young couple, ambitious and bent on making a speedy fortune, went to Chartres. But at first nothing went well with them, everything went to ruin in their hands; in vain they tried another public house, a restaurant, and even a salt-fish store; and they were beginning to despair of ever having two cents of their own, when M. Charles, being of a very enterprising nature, conceived the idea of buying one of the houses of prostitution in the Rue aux Juifs, which had fallen into decay in consequence of its defective personnel and notorious filth. At a glance he took in the situation, the needs of Chartres, the void to be filled in a prominent locality lacking an honorable establishment, where security and comfort were on a level with modern progress. By the second year, in fact, No. 19, renovated, adorned with curtains and mirrors, provided with a personnel selected with taste, became so favorably known that it was necessary to increase the number of women to six. Officers, officials, in short, entire society, went nowhere else. And this success was maintained, thanks to M. Charles’s arm of steel and his strong paternal administration; while Madame Charles displayed an extraordinary activity, with eyes open in every direction, allowing nothing to be wasted, and at the same time not too watchful in detecting petty thefts from rich customers.
In less than twenty-five years the Badeuils saved sixty thousand dollars; and then they began to think of satisfying the dream of their lives, an idyllic old age in open nature, amid trees and flowers and birds. But they were detained two years longer by inability to find a purchaser for No. 19 at the high price which they set upon it. Was it not enough to tear the heart-strings to have to abandon to unknown hands, in which perhaps it would degenerate, an establishment made of the best of themselves and yielding a larger income than a farm? At the time of his arrival at Chartres, M. Charles had a daughter, Estelle, whom he placed with the Sisters of the Visitation, at Chateaudun, when he established himself in the Rue aux Juifs. It was a pious boarding-school, conducted with a rigid morality, and there he left the young girl until she was eighteen, in order to refine her innocence, sending her to spend her vacations at a distance, ignorant of the trade which was enriching her. On the day when he took her away he married her to a young excise clerk, Hector Vaucogno, a handsome young fellow, who spoiled fine qualities by an extraordinary laziness. And she was nearly thirty years old and had a little girl of seven of her own, Elodie, when, informed at last of the nature of her father’s business and of his desire to sell it out, she came of her own accord to ask of him the preference. Why should the business go out of the family, seeing that it was so sure and so profitable? All was settled, the Vaucognes took the establishment, and within a month the Badeuils had the sweet satisfaction of seeing their daughter, brought up though she was among other ideas, show herself mistress of a superior house, thus happily compensating for the idleness of their son-in-law, who was destitute of administrative capacity. It was now five years since they had retired into the country at Rogues, whence they watched over their granddaughter Elodie, whom they had placed in her turn at the Chateaudun boarding-school, with the Sisters of the Visitation, there to be brought up religiously, according to the strictest principles of morality.
The Palmer-Carnegie Incident.
Things move. When Mr. Carnegie, the Pittsburg iron millionaire, pricked Mr. Courtlandt Palmer’s epidermis at the meeting of the Nineteenth Century Club, in Mr. Palmer’s own house, so savagely, the other night, we suspected there would be some squirming. The fact is, Mr. Carnegie is not a gentleman, or he would not have so grossly insulted Mr. Palmer under the conditions named. Mr. Palmer is as thorough a gentleman as ever lived, and it is unfortunate that he invited such a boor to his hospitable mansion.
However, he deserves some punishment. He is trying to ride between two horses, as is evident from his declaring, as is reported, that he “is neither a Socialist nor an Anarchist.” As a matter of fact, he must be one or the other. Socialism is that condition in which law rules, coercing the individual for the benefit of the State. Carrying this principle to its legitimate consequences — the complete enslavement of the individual for the glory of the aggregation — is Socialism.
Anarchy is the precise antithesis of Socialism. It recognizes no right of man to govern or rule his fellow, and proposes the subjugation of the State and the substitution of the individual. With this condition comes liberty, love, and the happiness of the individual. This does away with force or law, and consequently the congestion of wealth and power.
Mr. Palmer believes in government and consequently in law, and of necessity is a Socialist. So is Mr. Carnegie. Therefore the little tilt at the Nineteenth Century Club was but an instance of a boorish Socialist insulting one of a mere gentlemanly character. Mr. Palmer needs simply to learn that there can be no liberty with laws, and no government without oppression. He is inclined to be philosophical, in spite of his vast wealth; his fellow-Socialist, Mr. Carnegie, belongs to the class of mere money-getters, and no one need look for anything broad or humanitarian from him. It would take several generations of the Carnegie to approximate the Palmer of today.
[If my correspondent, in referring to Socialism, means State Socialism only, his position is correct. But such a use of the word is unwarrantable, in my view. It is true that General Walker and some others have defined Socialism as exactly co-extensive with governmental control, but they can give no valid reason for the definition. Socialism properly includes all plans for the furtherance of human welfare which satisfy the two following conditions: 1, that of acting, not directly upon the nature of individuals, but upon their relations and environment; 2, that of acting upon relations and environment with a view to preventing possession of wealth from being a means of levying on the products of labor. Under this definition an Anarchist may be a Socialist, and, as a matter of fact, almost all Anarchists are Socialists. It is not accurate, then, to say of Mr. Palmer or any one else that he must be either an Anarchist or a Socialist. He may be neither, or either, or both. — Editor Liberty.]
An Author Who Knows What’s What.
[Robert Louis Stevenson.]
I am no believer in governments, and I do not see that one is better than another. I am no believer in treaties, for I do not know who draws them. The whole of this copyright business will come most properly to its most proper end when the public of both countries awaken to their duty, which is to bay the authorized editions, and not buy the pirated.
About three years ago I became connected with a labor paper in Detroit and was to furnish a column or so for it each week. I did not know what head to put over my column, and asked a friend to suggest some name. “I really don’t know what to call those cranky notions of yours,” said he. “That’s it,” said I; “‘Cranky Notions’ is what it will be,” and it has been “Cranky Notions” ever since. I have been asked to furnish a column of “notions” for each issue of Liberty. This I have promised to try and do. These notions are stray thoughts that come to me at odd times,— in the street cars going and coming from my work, at the printer’s case where I earn my daily bread, in the meetings of working people that I attend, and elsewhere. They are necessarily crude and “jerky” because they come from an unlearned mechanic who has not the time from the “demnition grind” to polish them up. I have no other excuse to make for them.
* * *
I have distributed the copies of Liberty sent me that had Mr. Kimball’s address in, and have heard several favorable comments on it. “I read that sermon over twice,” said a member of D. A. 50, K. of L., to me, “and I like it very well. I can go the kind of Anarchy he defines.” “Well, all Anarchists teach substantially the doctrine,” said I. “Oh, no; I guess not,” he retorted; and this man is a type of prominent labor man who in this day of books and papers fails to keep pace with the various thoughts on social questions. I do not expect all in the movement to keep abreast of the times on the subject of social science, but I do expect of the leaders a fair understanding of the various schools of thought on the subject.
* * *
The idea that we must be perfect men and women before we can have Anarchy is getting to be a very popular error, and Comrade Yarros’s criticism is pat.
Can we eat our cake before we get it?
Is it reasonable to suppose a prostitute will reform if she continue to live in a house of prostitution?
Will a drunkard ever get sober if he continue in the excessive use of liquor?
Will a child grow up honest in a den of thieves?
Of course not.
We must get the cake before we can eat it. The environments must be removed before the prostitute can reform. The drunkard must stop drinking before he will get sober.
The State is the thing that prevents us from becoming perfect men and women, and it therefore must be removed before we can attain a higher degree of perfection. A good illustration of this is seen in Russia. The State stood in the way of an education of the masses, and, as soon as it removed some of the restrictions, the people began to flock into the schools, and education and a move for the removal of still other restrictions was the result. The restrictions to education are again placed in the way of the people. If Mr. Kimball’s position is correct, then the people must get the education before the restrictions are again removed. And that is impossible. If we wait until we be perfect before we strive for Anarchy, we will never have it; and that is not desirable, because Mr. Kimball admits that it is the central idea of Jesus himself in his doctrine of the Kingdom of God on earth. I hope Mr. Kimball will review this point.
* * *
The telegraph monopoly is attracting a good deal of attention now, and the clamor for government monopoly is growing loud and strong just now that congress is in session. It is the prevailing fashion to appeal to the government for protection against monopoly. It is the lamb crying to the wolf for succor. But the evils of telegraph monopoly will not be removed by the government assuming control and monopolizing the telegraph business. A friend of mine, Mr. W. G. Brownlee of Detroit, who is in the business of furnishing telegraph supplies, says that the principal reason why the Western Union telegraph company has so long enjoyed a practical monopoly of the telegraph system is that it requires an enormous capital to build a system that will cover enough territory to compete successfully with it. He says that the cheapest and better way to abolish the present monopoly without government ownership and get the benefit of competition and lower rates for telegraphing is to reduce the cost of building and maintaining telegraph lines, and that can only be done by removing the tariff on the materials that go into the construction of telegraph lines. The tariff on copper wire is forty-five per cent., and increases the cost of construction twelve or fifteen dollars per mile for each wire. Iron wire has a tariff of two to two and one half cents per pound, which makes a tax of about seven dollars per mile on each wire. The tariff on sulphate of copper, of which a large amount is used in the batteries, is three cents per pound; on zinc it is forty-six and one half to seventy-one per cent.; insulators, forty per cent., and every other article used by a telegraph company is increased in price by the tariff. Add to these figures the further monopoly price in the ownership of the mines, the interest on watered railroad stock, the tamara poles, and all those things that are increased in price by virtue of the law, and we get the true reason why the telegraph business can be monopolized.
Joseph A. Labadie.
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.