Vol. V.
<No. 15.

“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.”

John Hay.

On Picket Duty.

The next meeting of the Anarchists’ Club will be held on Sunday, February 26, at half past two o’clock, at 176 Tremont Street, for which occasion a debate has been arranged between Laurence Gronlund and Victor Yarros upon the comparative merits of Collectivist Socialism and Anarchist Socialism.

The Boston “Labor Leader” says that those workingmen who have secured a normal eight-hour workday would not exchange it for all the philosophy of Proudhon, I readily believe it: Where ignorance is bliss it is folly to be wise. But the Proudhonians know enough not to cast pearls before swine, and they have no use for people who are constitutionally incapable of forming higher ideals of happiness than a twenty per cent. reduction in the number of lashes daily given them. The intelligent workmen are sure to find out some day that Proudhon’s philosophy is not to be exchanged for anything short of its practical realization in actual life.

“Freedom,” the London journal edited by C. M. Wilson, is supposed to perform in England for Prince Kropotkine the same office that “La Révolte” performs for him on the continent,— that of promulgating his distinctive views. At any rate, it is the English organ of “Anarchistic Communism.” The February number has these words in its leading article: “There is scarcely a form of wealth which, if monopolized, may not be used as a means of extorting unpaid labor from the needy. All wealth, therefore, is a public possession, and the principle upon which it must be shared amongst the members of the community is. To each according to his needs.” The italics are Liberty’s. Now, when any one ventures to declare that Kropotkinian Communism is compulsory, William Holmes of Chicago turns himself inside out. But what else is it?

Dr. McCarthy, the Anti-Poverty champion of New York, took too narrow and material a view altogether when he intimated that Henry George had yet to make his first sacrifice for the labor movement. A minister ought to be able to lift himself above the plane of mere dollars and cents. Henry George, it is true, has not had to part with any cash for the sake of the cause, but think of the pangs, suffering, pain, humiliation, struggle, he had to endure before he succeeded in silencing the revolt of his conscience and native honesty and reconciled them to the tricky and contemptible ways of the politician! Does then, the sacrifice of self-respect, dignity, straightforwardness, and sincerity count for nothing? Oh, no; let us not forget these sacrifices of George to the labor movement, and let us honor him at least as much as we do the memory of Artemas Ward, who so nobly and heroically declared his readiness to sacrifice all of his wife’s relatives to the altar of his fatherland.

Comrade Labadie’s suggestion of a general conference of Anarchists at Detroit next summer is a good one provided anybody has any important and well-digested proposals upon which the conference could act advantageously; otherwise, it is doubtful if the Anarchists can afford such a luxury. Such a meeting would be very pleasant, but very costly. If twenty persons should attend from all parts of the country, it certainly would cost them an average of twenty dollars each, or a total of four hundred dollars. Now, unless the conference is sure to result in the realization of measures of great importance which have already taken definite shape in individual minds, this sum of four hundred dollars will do much more for Anarchy if entrusted to Comrade Labadie for the publication of Anarchistic literature than ever will be accomplished by paying it to railroads and hotel-keepers for junketing expenses. The “lots of things” which Labadie has left unsaid are the very things necessary to know before endorsing his proposal.

It is unpleasant to recall the controversy which led John F. Kelly to reduce his cooperation with Liberty to a minimum, but, as I have found out that, upon a matter of fact incidentally in dispute, he was right and I wrong, my love of fairness prompts me to make acknowledgment. It having been charged by Gertrude B. Kelly that I had suppressed a quotation from Clifford which John F. Kelly had requested me to print, the incidental question arose whether Mr. Kelly had made such a request. He gave one version, I another. It is my habit to carefully file away and preserve nearly all letters which I receive, but when I consulted my file to verify my version, I was greatly surprised to find the desired letter missing. Search failed to disclose it until a few days ago, when, in the midst of a hunt for a manuscript, I found the missing letter, as well as another from the same gentleman received at about the same time, under a heap of dusty papers. Its text establishes beyond question that Mr. Kelly made the request, and I am at an utter loss to understand my misconception and neglect of his letter. But of this I am positively sure,— that from the beginning of the discussion of Egoism to the present time nothing has been farther from my wish or thought than the suppression of any opinion upon any side of the question. The columns of Liberty amply prove the truth of what I thus declare.

I find myself almost entirely in sympathy with Zehn’s criticism of Henriette’s “Independent Women.” That article appeared in these columns, not because I deemed it a striking instance of logical adherence to liberty, but simply as a protest against that monogamic morality of which it has called out an expression from Charlotte. Not a thoroughly consistent protest either, but the protest of a woman whose natural impulses and desires conflicted with her unreasoning acceptance of custom, and who consequently steered a very devious course between the two. The fact that Charlotte can conceive of Henriette only as a “wanton” is to my mind sufficient excuse for exhibiting with approval any slightest, even though inconsistent, indication of revolt on the part of innocent and natural impulses against our monstrous and artificial moralities. Moreover, I take it that Henrietta is not a real person, but a character created by Gramont to voice the tendency towards liberty now showing itself among women who do not yet understand the logic of liberty. As the letter seemed to me to voice it faithfully. I printed it as a “human document.” I advise Charlotte to banish all prejudice from her mind, and then follow closely the discussion of “Love, Marriage, and Divorce” begun in this issue of Liberty. When that is finished, I shall be glad to receive her criticism of it and to consider it with her. Till then I offer her that discussion in lieu of any extended answer from my pen.

In view of the enormous amounts of time, ink, and paper that have been consumed in debating the question whether John Brown kissed a negro back on his way to the gallows, and since the ultimate consequences of a seemingly harmless misrepresentation of facts can never be foretold, it is important to correct any untruths that have been spread regarding the executions at Chicago. One such untruth Liberty has been instrumental in circulating by reprinting Heine’s poem, “The Weaver,” accompanied by the statement that George Engel recited it in his cell the night before the execution. The report that Engel did so first appeared in the New York “Evening Sun,” and was copied widely. Nevertheless it was, as I have later ascertained, a lie out of whole cloth,— in newspaper lingo, a “lake.” Neither Engel nor any of his fellow-prisoners recited Heine’s poem. My informant is a perfectly reliable gentleman, who made particular inquiries regarding the matter of the death-watch — a sympathetic old man very friendly to the prisoners — and of the other jail officials. All agree that nothing of the kind took place. The story was the invention of a sensation-monger. Though false, however, it was not malicious. It was very creditable to Engel. But there stands to the credit of the men of Chicago so much that is true that all lies had better be confined to the debit side of the account. Unlike their slanderers, they have no need to rely upon falsehoods to bolster up their cause. Hence this one is duly nailed.

The London “Freedom” has defined the habitat of Individualistic Anarchism. It flourishes, it seems, only in newly-settled countries. This accounts for “Honesty” in Australia, and for Liberty, “Lucifer,” Fowler’s “Sun,” and the new “Alarm” in America. On hearing of this discovery, the Individualistic Anarchists will straightway become Communists, no doubt; they will see that it is only a question of time, that when the country has been settled longer they must make the change, and that it is better to succumb to the “logic of events” without the waste of a struggle. So far as Liberty is concerned, at any rate, here goes for ––– But wait. It occurs to me already that “Freedom” may have mistaken an accidental association for a relation of cause and effect. Does Individualistic Anarchism flourish in all newly-settled countries? Has not its environment some distinguishing characteristic other than youth? Why, yes, now that I think of it, all the journals referred to are published among English-speaking peoples. And on further reflection I am reminded that these peoples have ever guarded more jealously than any other peoples the liberties of the individual. Perhaps this, after all, is the principal factor in the evolution of Individualistic Anarchism. But it does not appear in England, says “Freedom.” Under the distinctive title it does not, I admit. But the tendency in this direction is stronger in England than anywhere else on earth. And until a few years ago this tendency was all that existed either in America or Australia. If Liberty had not been started and Comrade Andrade had not begun to agitate, perhaps there would not have been a distinctive Anarchistic movement in either country today. But, as soon as the flag was unfurled, the tendency began to take shape and be identified. So it will be in England when some man of determination and intelligence shall raise the standard there. On the whole, I’ll not make the Communistic leap today; I’ll wait till the country has been settled a little longer.

Love, Marriage, and Divorce,

And the Sovereignty of the Individual.

A Discussion

By

Henry James, Horace Greeley, and Stephen Pearl Andrews.

Introductory Chapter.

The columns of the New York Tribune have been abruptly, though not altogether unexpectedly, closed to me, in the midst of a Discussion upon the subjects named in the title-page to this pamphlet, which had been courted and invited by Mr. Horace Greeley, the responsible Editor of that influential journal. After detaining my replies to himself and to Mr. James from four to eight weeks, Mr. Greeley at length returns them to me, accompanied by a private note, approving my criticisms upon Mr. James, but assigning reasons for the declination of both of my communications.

The ostensible grounds for excluding my comments upon positions assumed, and arguments in support of those positions, are, first, that my replies “do not get the discussion one inch ahead.” I obviously could not put the discussion ahead by stating and developing new positions, until I had answered those assumed by my opponent. Whether the real reason for “burking” my rejoinder was that I did not do the last well enough, or that I did it rather too effectively and conclusively for my continued popularity at the Tribune office, so many readers as I shall now be able to reach with some little industry on my part, will have the opportunity to decide. Second, that expressions are employed by me which are offensive to the public sense of decency, and especially that the medical illustration of my lady correspondent is unfit for publication. I purpose now to publish the rejected replies as written, that the world may judge whether any thing I have said or embodied in them is of a nature which might reasonably be supposed likely “to dash the modesty” of Mr. Greeley, or the habitual readers of the Tribune.

The defenders of slavery, and the fastidious aristocratic classes everywhere, make a similar objection to that here urged, to displaying the unsightly accompaniments of the systems they uphold. Much, however, as I dislike to have my feelings or my tastes offended, I can not help regarding the actual flogging of women, for example, in Austria, and the salt and pepper applications to the torn backs of negroes in the South, as not only in themselves worse than the pen and ink descriptions of the same transactions, but as fully justifying the latter, and actually demanding them, as a means of shaming the facts out of existence. So of the disgusting and intolerable features of any oppressive Social Institution. It is true that scenes of abhorrent and enforced debauchery, although covered by the respectable garb of legality, are not pleasing subjects for contemplation; but to my mind they are still less fitting to exist at all. If the denial of the latter fact can not in conscience be made, I have little respect for that sickly suggestion of virtue which, by turning its face to the wall, refuses to see, and hopes for the best, without so much as a protest against the enormous degradation of our common humanity. The position is one not often assumed by Mr. Greeley, and does not seem to me either natural or becoming to him.

Third, the third objection is, that he (Mr. Greeley) can not permit his paper to be made the organ of repeatedly announcing and defending doctrines so destructive to the public well-being, and especially that he can not tolerate the reiterated assumption that Fornication, Adultery, etc. are no crimes. I can hardly conceive why the first statement of a dangerous or offensive set of opinions should be innocent enough for the columns of the Tribune, and a re-statement of the same thing for the purpose of answering the objections or misrepresentations of an opponent should be too bad for the same columns.

I can discover no reason, consistent with good faith, for prohibiting a writer who has been permitted so to commit himself to unpopular doctrines, from explaining his meaning until he is entirely comprehensible to all who desire to understand him. But if this objection were really such as weighs with the Editor of the Tribune, which I will show presently it is not, it could only be founded in misapprehension. I am as honestly and thoroughly opposed to Adultery, for example, as the Editor of the Tribune can be, except that we might differ in the definition. I charge adultery upon nine-tenths of the married couples in this city, committed not out of, but within, the limits of their marriage bonds.

Let me endeavor to make myself clear upon this point. If I were in a Catholic country, and derided or denounced the mass and the other ceremonies of the Church, I should clearly be held by the whole people to be an opposer of Religion. Indeed, such a deportment might even be found described in the dictionary definition, in that country, of Irreligion or Atheism; and yet, it is quite conceivable by us, that just such a course would be, or might be, dictated by a zeal for Religion beyond any thing prompting the defense of the stereotyped formalities of the place. The ambiguity exists in the diversity of understanding of the word Religion. The one believes the thing signified to consist in, or at least only to co-exist with, certain rights and ceremonies with which it has always been associated in his mind; the other has a much higher, and, as we think, a much purer conception of the idea to which the word corresponds. The former is, nevertheless, confirmed in his impression by the outward fact, that those whom he has hitherto seen least regardful of the external worship to which he is himself addicted, are the lawless and vagabond, who are fitted for every species of criminal act. He is not sufficiently developed in intellect and expansive in comprehension to discriminate and individualize, and by generalizing too early, confounds me, the religious philosopher and enthusiast, with the vulgar herd of the godless and abandoned – the man who is above him with the man who is below him – because they both differ from him, and in one feature of that difference, to his cloudy understanding, they seem to agree. In the same manner there are those who are below the restraints of the marriage institution, and those who are above their necessity; while the majority in civilized countries are as yet upon a level with the institution, and manufacture the public sentiment in conformity with that fact.

At the commencement of the Protestant Reformation, three centuries ago, the world lay bound by three strong cords of superstition, the Ecclesiastical, the Governmental, and the Matrimonial. The Church, the State, and the Family, each claimed to be of divine origin, and to exist by divine right.

The claim of the Church was shaken by Luther, and from his day to ours, Religion and Ecclesiastical Organization have been separating themselves, as ideas, wider and wider in men’s minds. Washington and the American Revolution mark a similar era in Political Affairs, and modern Socialism foreshadows a corresponding change in the sphere of the Domestic Relations. Men now distinguish pretty clearly that elevation of aims and that devotion to the good and true, which they now mean by Religion, from a Church Establishment or an Organization of any sort. They distinguish, in like manner, the prosperity, the well-being, and civic order of the community, from Crowns, and Cabinets, and Parliaments, and Standing Armies of Politicians and Soldiers. In like manner, they begin to distinguish Purity in the sexual union of loving souls from the sordid considerations of a marriage settlement, and even from the humane, prudential, and economical arrangements for the care of offspring.

The fallacy – exploded by the development of mind – consists in the assumption, that “The Church” is essential to the existence of elevated sentiments toward God and one’s fellow-beings – that the love of spiritual truths and of the social virtues is not naturally in men, growing with their growth, but that it has to be put into them, and kept in them by the constant instrumentality of Popes, Cardinals, Bishops and Priests, Councils, Inquisitions, Constitutions and Synods – that men do not, by nature, love order, and justice, and harmony in their civic relations, and love it the more in proportion to their refinement, education, and development, and only need to know how they are to be attained, and to be relieved from hindrances and overmastering temptations adversely, to give themselves gladly to the pursuit of those virtues; but that, on the contrary, these elements likewise have to be provided and administered by Magistrates and Bailiffs, and all the tedious machinery of government; and, finally, that men do not, naturally, love their own offspring, and the mothers of their children, and deference for the sex, and sexual Purity, and all the beautiful and refining influences of that the purest and holiest of all our intercourse on earth, and gravitate powerfully toward the realization, of those loves, in proportion as they become, through all elevating influences, more perfect men – but that those virtues again have to be made, injected, and preserved in human beings by Legislation, which, strangely enough, is merely the collective action of the same beings who, taken individually, are assumed to be destitute of those same qualities. So opposite is the truth, that it is the love of these very virtues which cheats and constrains men to endure the organizations and systems under which they groan, because they have been taught that those systems are the only condition of retaining the virtues. It is the discovery of this sham, which, I have said, marks the development of mind. The cheat, thus exposed, is to be taken in connection with another. It is assumed, that just those forms of action which these artificial organizations or patent manufactories of Virtue prescribe are the sole true forms of action, that their product is the genuine article, and that every other product is Vice. Hence the attention of mankind is turned wholly away from the study of Nature, and the human mind gradually trained to the acceptance of authority and tradition without question or dissent.

In this manner, Piety is made to signify Zeal for the Church or a Sect, Patriotism, Loyalty to a Sovereign, and Purity, Fidelity to the Marriage Bond. In the same manner, Irreligion is identified with Heresy, Treason with the Rights of the People, and Debauchery with the Freedom of the Affections. It suits the Bigot, the Despot, and the Male or Female Prude to foster this confusion of things dissimilar, and to denounce the champions of Freedom as licentious and wicked men – the enemies of mankind.

In the case supposed, the Catholic denounces the Protestant as guilty of Impiety, and so in this case, Mr. Greeley denounces me, as favoring Impurity and Adultery. It is clear, as I have said, that whether I do so or not, depends upon the definitions of the terms. If by Adultery is meant a breach of a legal bond, binding a man and woman, between whom there are repugnance and disgust instead of attraction and love, to live together in the marital embrace, then there may be some grounds for the charge; but if, as I choose to define it, Adultery means a sexual union, induced by any other motive, however amiable or justifiable in itself, than that mutual Love which by Nature prompts the amative conjunction of the sexes, materially and spiritually, then do I oppose and inveigh against, and then does Mr. Greeley defend and uphold Adultery. As to Purity, I have no idea whatever that Mr. Greeley knows, owing to the perverting influence of authority or legislation, what Purity is. Nor does he know what Impurity is, for, since all things must be known by contrasts, no man, whose conceptions upon this subject do not transcend the limits of legality, can know it, nor loathe it, as those do, who, having conceived of or experienced a genuine freedom, come to distinguish a prurient fancy from a genuine affection, and learn to make the highest and most perfect affinities of their nature the Law of their being.

But however pernicious my views may be held to be, the fact of their being so is no reason, according to Mr. Greeley, why they should not be given to the world. At least, although he now urges it as a reason, it is only a few weeks since he stoutly defended the opposite position; and if there be any settled principle or policy to which he has professed and attempted to adhere, it has been, more than any other, that all sort of opinions, good, bad, and “detestable” even, should have a chance to be uttered, and so confirmed or refuted. It has been his favorite doctrine, apparently, that “Error need not be feared while the Truth is left free to combat it.” [Online editor’s note: paraphrase of Thomas Jefferson, First Inaugural Address. – RTL] Very recently, in stating the policy of the Tribune, he gave the noblest estimate ever promulgated of the true function of the Newspaper, namely, “To let every body know what every body else is thinking.” To a writer, calling himself “Young America,” who objected to the Tribune reporting the arguments of Catholics, Mr. Greeley replied in substance, that he should just as readily report the doings, and arguments, and opinions of a Convention of Atheists, as he should do the same service for his own co-religionists. In this very discussion he says, “We are inflexibly opposed, therefore, to any extension of the privileges of divorce, now accorded by our laws, but we are not opposed to the discussion of the subject; on the contrary, we deem such discussion as already too long neglected.” Of Mr. James he says, “We totally differ from him on some quite fundamental questions, but that is no reason for suppressing what he has to say.”In his reply to me, published herein, he repudiates the right to suppress what I have to say, while he avers that he would aid to suppress me if I attempted to act on my own opinions. Finally, in various ways and upon various occasions, the columns of the Tribune were formally thrown open for the full discussion of this subject of Marriage and Divorce, as well for those views of the subject which the Editor deems pernicious, as for the other side. The Editor of the Observer reproached him for so doing, and he defended the course as the only truth-seeking and honorable procedure. He wished especially to drag to the light, in their full extension and strength, those “eminently detestable” doctrines, of one phase of which he seems to regard me as a representative, in order that they might forever after have got their quietus from a blow of the sledge-hammer of his logic. If, now, the valiant Editor proves shaky in his adherence to this truly sublime position, of justice and a fair hearing to all parties, shall we, in kindness to him, find the solution in the supposition that he was dishonest in assuming it, or give him the benefit of the milder hypothesis, that he found himself rather farther at sea than he is accustomed to navigate, and betook himself again in alarm to the coast voyage?

I shall leave it to the public to decide, finally, what was the real cause of getting myself turned out of Court before I had fairly stated, much less argued, my defense. I shall not, in the meantime, however, hesitate to say what I think of the matter myself. I have not the slightest idea that any one of the reasons assigned influenced the decision a straw’s weight. The sole cause of my extrusion was, that Mr. Greeley found himself completely “headed” and hemmed in in the argument, with the astuteness clearly to perceive that fact, while he had neither the dialectical skill to obscure the issues and disguise it, nor the magnanimity frankly to acknowledge a defeat. Hence, there was no alternative but to apply “the gag” and “suppress” me, by the exercise of that power which the present organization of the press, and his position in connection with it, lodges in his hands. Had fortune made him the Emperor of Austria, and me a subject, he would have done the same thing in a slightly different manner, in strict accordance with his character and the principles he has avowed in this discussion. Such men mistake themselves when they suppose that they have any genuine affection for freedom. They laud it only so far as prejudice or education incline them to favor this or that instance of its operation. They refer their defense of it to no principle. No security has yet been achieved for the continuance of the enjoyment of such freedom and such rights as we now enjoy; no safeguard even against a final return to despotism, until the Principle upon which the right to freedom rests, and the scope of that principle, are discovered, nor until a public sentiment exists, based upon that knowledge. Americans, no more than barbarians, have as yet attained to the fullness of that wisdom, and as little as any does Mr. Greeley know of any such guide through the maze of problems which environ him, and, perhaps less than most, is he capable of following it.

Circumstances – the fact that he is a prominent Editor, that he has strenuously advocated certain reformatory measures, and that he has the reputation of great benevolence – have given to Mr. Greeley somewhat the position of a leader of the Reform Movement in America. The lovers of Progress look to him in that capacity. The publicity and the immense importance of such a position will justify me, I think, in giving my estimate of the man and of his fitness for the work he is expected to perform, in the same manner as we investigate the character of a politician, or as Mr. Greeley himself would analyze for us the pretensions of Louis Napoleon or the Duke of Wellington. Similar considerations will authorize me in mingling with the portraiture of Mr. Greeley, a few shadowy outlines of Mr. James, contrasting them a la Plutarch in his “Lives of the Great Men.”

In the first place, then, Horace Greeley is not a Philosopher – the farthest from it in the world. No greater misnomer could seriously be applied to him. He is a man of statistics and facts, but not of principles. He sees broadly over the surface, but never down into the center of things. As a Phrenologist would say, the perceptive preponderate over the reasoning faculties. He has no grasp of the whole of any thing as a system, but only of detached portions and fragments. Hence, instead of principles, he has whims, and acts from them as if they were principles. He does not see clearly the relation of cause and effect. He has no logical, or, what is the same thing, no mathematical mind. He is one of the class of men who will admit candidly that A is equal to B, and that B is equal to C, and then cavil over or deny point blank that A is equal to C. Hence, he earns the reputation of inconsistency, and a large portion of the public believe him dishonest. This last is, I think, a mistake. Mr. Greeley is a bigot, and bigotry is generally honest. His tergiversation is organic, not intentional. His incapacity for system is shown in the fact, that although he has been regarded as the grand embodiment of Fourierism in this country, he never accepted and never gave any intimation that he even understood the fundamental principle of Fourier’s whole social theory.

Fourier (who was really about the most remarkable genius who has lived) claims, as his grand discovery, that Attraction, which Newton discovered to be the Law and the Regulator of the motions of material bodies, is equally be the Law and the God-intended Regulator of the whole affectional and social sphere in human affairs; in other words, that Newton’s discovery was partial, while his is integral, and lays the basis of a science of Analogy between the material and the spiritual world, so that reasoning may be carried on with safety from one to the other.

This principle, announced by Fourier as the starting point of all science, has been accepted by Mr. Greeley in a single one of its applications, namely, the organization of labor, and wholly rejected by him in its universality, as applicable to the human passions, and elsewhere. The farthest he seems ever to have seen into the magnificent speculations of Fourier, is to the economy to be gained by labor done upon the large scale, and the possibility of the retention of profits by the laborers themselves by means of association. It is as if a man should gain the reputation of a leader in the promulgation of the Copernico-Newtonian System of Astronomy, by publishing his conviction that the moon is retained in her orbit by gravitation toward the earth, while denying wholly that the earth is round, or that the sun is the centre of the system, or that attraction can be supposed to operate at such an immense distance as that body and the planets. In the same manner, Mr. Greeley can understand the Sovereignty of the Individual in one aspect, as the assertion of one’s own rights, but not at all in the other, namely, as the concession of the rights of all others, and through its limitation, “to be exercised at one’s own cost” – the exact demarkator between what one may and what he may not do. He is a man of great power, and strikes hard blows, when he fairly gets a chance to strike at all, but with his prevailing inconsistency he reminds one of a blind giant hitting out at random in a fray.

To be continued.

Ireland!

By Georges Sauton.

Translated from the French for Liberty by Sarah E. Holmes.

Continued from No. 118.

“It is not safe to venture this way,” said he; and, lightening himself as much as he could, trying with the toe of his boot the places on which to set his feet, he advanced again, congratulating himself on once more escaping.

But, suddenly again, a noise behind him made him turn; an eruption of mud, enlarging the yawning hole which had just missed engulfing him, spurted up in tumultuous waves, and immediately spread itself on every hand.

Tom Lichfield, ignorant of the nature of the soil in these regions, had ventured on the surface of a peat-bog swollen by the diluvian rains of autumn, and which now, through the open orifice, overflowed with the fury of a torrent. Promptly the opening, at first limited to a radius of some feet, was enlarged by the rush of the liquid, and the ever-increasing flood of water and mire spread like lava from a crater.

From the height of his observatory, Harvey, seized with pity for the misery of Lichfield, although recognizing him with disgust, exhorted him to quickly regain the road, indicating to him the safest way to reach it; but in vain the traitor struggled, beside himself, running like a greyhound, his eyes out of their orbits, expressing his mortal anguish by prolonged howling.

Behind him the wave rushed on without swerving, broad and deep, and it soon reached the fugitive, overthrew him, swallowed him, dragged him into its stream of mud, without an eddy, a whirlpool, or a jet of foam to betray the accident!

Chapter XIV.

Night and day searching for the twentieth time, at the risk of falling into the midst of the English, the same villages, the same fields, the same roads, Treor, Paddy Neill, and Edith wandered, silent, taciturn, desolate, in search of Marian.

What had become of her? Struck by English bullets, her last breath exhaling in a supreme hurrah for Ireland,— truly this was the fate which all would almost have wished for her, and through their sobs an intense sigh of relief would have left their breasts if, at some turn of the road, at the foot of a wall, in the middle of a moor, they might have found the young girl with her breast or forehead perforated with a bleeding star.

For that would have been a brief and painless agony in comparison with what they often imagined,— her slow death in the terrors of cold, hunger, fever, wounds which she perhaps had received, or worse yet!

And, though they did not communicate them to each other, the frightful thoughts which formerly assailed Richard haunted them all incessantly, filling their hollow eyes with silent fear.

Sometimes, under the domination of this idea, Paddy, running at full speed, would take the lead, picturing to himself that down there, among those bushes, behind that heap of stones, Marian was lying in a faint or dead; but her attitude, her disorder revealing the horrors of a frightful struggle, and to spare Treor the heart-rending hideousness of such a spectacle, he would run to the supposed place where, in reality, he would often find a corpse of some Irishman, torn by birds of prey, the bony remains of his hand still contracted over the shamrock leaf or the green cockade pinned to his clothes.

And one night they experienced an atrocious fright. By the white light of the moon, Paddy — he was certain this time of not being mistaken — had perceived in the ditch of an old field of buckwheat the end of a white skirt with light green stripes, such as Marian wore. On the black earth, in spite of the stains, the colors showed brilliantly under the lunar rays. Paddy, promptly, tried to spring forward; the hand of Treor, falling on his shoulder, nailed him to the ground, while a hoarse cry escaped from Edith’s throat. All three had seen it at the same time, and, for an instant motionless, stood looking at it. Treor became livid, trembling, his mouth open in an exclamation of stupor which changed into an imperceptible rattle.

Then suddenly, automatically, the mournful trio rushed forward, clearing the fifty yards which separated them from the ditch, and when, at a few steps’ distance, Neill again tried to get there first, Treor rudely restrained him, veiled his eyes with his fingers; and, covering his old face with a corner of his tattered sleeve, commanded Edith:

“You.”....

She bent over for a second, and then, with a terrified gesture, throwing her head and shoulders back, she cried, in a hollow voice, scarcely articulate:

“Yes!”....

A simple “ah!” from Treor answered her, so grave, so frightful, that one could not believe it was spoken by a human voice.

Without waiting another order, the widow tried to draw the body from the mud in which it stuck, burying her arms up to the elbows in the thick mire, and trying to clasp the figure to lift it more easily.

The burden was too heavy for the weak creature exhausted by the. tears, fatigues, and cruel fasts she had so long endured; forced, in spite of her will, to drop the heavy mass, she fell backwards.

Intimating to Paddy not to move, Treor then went to the rescue, and, kneeling on the edge of the muddy hole, with a single attempt, by an heroic effort of energy, he tore the corpse from the unclean paste, in the network of entangled grass which retained it. A horrible odor of decomposition rose; and yet, without faltering, without even being disturbed, the grandfather, holding against his breast the soiled, infected body, gently deposited it on the ground.

The dress violently torn, the bruises on the arms and shoulders, told enough of the infamy of the English; the face was half hidden under clots of blood, and the trace of a bite was distinguishable on the neck. Without a tear in his dry eyes, Treor covered with his ragged coat the throat and shoulders, modestly closing his eyes that he might not profane Marian’s nudity, and as he brought together the half-bare feet, a sudden cry escaped him:

“No!”....

No, this could not be, this was not Marian! The height was the same, but it was the medium height of many women of the country. The dress was hers, perhaps! But in this time of ruin and of fires, they shared the little linen and the few clothes saved by some from the pillage and the flames. What was certain was that the young, frail, slender girl did not have the strong, robust feet and limbs which he was at that moment touching. The hair, in this doubtful light, appeared of the same shade, but less long, less supple.

“Water, snow!”

Paddy, and Edith, who had recovered herself, brought it; with a corner of her neckerchief the widow was preparing to wash the face of the dead, when, suddenly, the moon, which had been clouded for some minutes, entirely hid itself behind a thick cloud, plunging the country into complete darkness.

A quarter of an hour, which appeared a century, passed in this way; the three knelt around the young dead woman, Treor and Paddy holding their breath, while the widow piously recited the prayers for the dead.

When the rays of light reappeared, the grandfather slowly and gratefully made a great sign of the cross, and it was Paddy Neill who murmured, moved:

“Ah! my dear soul!” The corpse was that of Nelly Pernell, the gracious and laughing gossip, once so infatuated with the joyous Paddy.

“Poor woman!” said Treor, also.

And while Edith, near her, finished the psalms, with the ends of their rifles they dug a grave for her in the field of buckwheat.

A strange thing: this mournful work for some hours inspired Treor, Edith, and even Paddy with a vague confidence. It seemed to them that, since at this juncture, when they had been so certain of its being Marian, fate had favored them, God would carry his mercy to its limit, and restore them the young girl intact and safe.

And, to give stronger ground for this ray of hope, Paddy pleased himself with recounting the astonishing, miraculous fashion in which Marian, after the massacre, had escaped all perils, thanks to her marvelous courage and to her keenness also, which detected, by the slightest indication, inappreciable to all others, the danger of the paths which else would have been deemed practicable, of hiding places which others would have declared invisible, the heroic girl enduring with a manly firmness the fatigue of the precipitate marches over thorny or marshy land, in the cold nights, being frequently obliged by the approach of the English to crouch down among the bushes, holding her breath, or hide behind a pile of snow.

The danger passed, she valiantly resumed her course, crossing the frozen streams, scaling the steepest and most rocky paths, with the view of gaining, some miles from Bunclody, the less unfortunate village of Cherborough, where Treor had friends whom she would rouse to avenge their brothers.

And it was through the woods of this village, whither Paddy had come with similar intentions, that he had providentially met her. Sublime in her torn clothes, with her naked feet bleeding on the stones, her eyes burning feverishly in her pale and wan face, her streaming hair sprinkled with green twigs of fir and larch which it had caught, she had appeared to him like the living image of his Country, no longer the Poor Old Woman famished, exhausted, tortured, with back bent under the blows of the conquerors, but an Ireland rejuvenated, proud, menacing, indomitable.

He grew excited, and, raising his forehead, in the horror of his mutilated face his enthusiasm, his faith, shone out superb. A bitter and broken-hearted laugh from Treor extinguished this impulse of reassuring pride.

Incredulous, the grandfather shook his head. Paddy, according to the proverb, had tried to prove too much. Admitting that Marian had, to his eyes, personified Ireland, well! at the same time as the assassinated Country, she had rendered up her soul, and this double bereavement, this annihilation of all his loves, of all his dreams, of all his illusions, he should not survive.

Younger ones like Harvey, like Paddy, might still embrace the chimeras of the future, proclaiming to the orphans of Ireland liberty, vengeance, and the seed of their words would no doubt germinate in their hearts. But he, who could not assist in the flowering of these harvests, who believed no longer, alas! in the possibility of revenge,— he would fall with this insurrection which, full of ardor, he had fomented, believing it a decisive, saving one, and which, bloody and vain, for sole result had weakened the country and deprived it of its stoutest defenders.

Unless, indeed, an infamous outrage had been committed on his child. In that case, traversing, if it must be, Ireland and England, and swimming across the channel, succeeding by strategems that could not be baffled, he would push his way to the very throne of George the Fourth, and, in his royal blood, wash away the ignoble affront sustained by the Irish virgin.

The force, the vigor necessary for the accomplishment of this task would be inspired in him by the very sight of the violated body, and with bitter impatience he set out again on his search, exploring the streams filled with human remains, dragging Edith and Neill to the sea, and remaining there hours, believing that the waves breaking into foam would presently bring him the remains of Marian, and trying to pierce their green depths with his eyes.

The balls of the scouts stationed along the shore obliged them to move, to hide somewhere till the protecting night, during which they could drag themselves from place to place, less exposed but also, each instant, more weary. Paddy, whose thigh was injured in the last battle, obliged sometimes to stop to stanch the reopened wound, ended by falling one evening at the edge of a wood, under the twinges of intolerable suffering.

In spite of the lack of care, the wound had remained healthy, thanks to the cold, but now was growing worse; and when Edith, crouching down beside the young man, had drawn away the torn bandages, which soiled and poisoned rather than protected, she sorrowfully shook her head:

“Gangrene!”

Not pronounced, but menacing; its white leprosy beginning to show in the tumefied flesh, swollen and red.

“Ah!” exclaimed Paddy with a gesture of rage and disgust, “to die rotting, like a dog, and meanwhile to hinder your search and be an encumbrance and a danger to you, capable of contaminating you. Never! Treor, there is no more lead or powder in our muskets; but break my skull with the butt of one of them, I beg you!”

The old man, silent, grave, looked at Paddy, seeming to reflect on the justice of his demand, and a pity, mingled with a kind of remorse, invaded him at the thought that Paddy would die sacrificed not to Ireland, but to his almost filial devotion to Treor. By no means enfeebled, his flask half full, instead of joining the old man and Edith to assist, them, he might have easily gained less disturbed regions, as Harvey had urged him to do, and with the agitator again, without despair or scepticism, have sown the seed of approaching revolts.

Selfish and regardless, the old man had failed in his duty as a man and a patriot, and, extending his hand to Neill, almost humbly, he murmured:

“Pardon!”

Paddy grasped the fingers of the grandfather, but without comprehending, without even hearing the word uttered. He was curiously watching Edith, who, at their feet, was digging with her nails in the snow.

Always apparently just ready to die, at once stiff and bent, emaciated, with the frightful face of a skeleton, this woman astonished them by her constant revival of vitality. With stomach empty, limbs freezing, hardly protected by a rag against the north wind, the snow, the frozen rain, the cutting squall, without a complaint, she went on always. Paddy had compared Marian to Ireland! No, the real image of the country was this exhausted, tortured, frightful, unchangeable old woman, her vacant look incessantly wandering into the past.

And still, before Neill’s anxiously questioning look, the widow clenched her teeth, her active hands continuing to tear up from the hardened snow bits of roots and leaves.

“If I find the Sacred Herb, I will stop the gangrene.”

In the hideous and grotesque face of the man tortured at Dublin an infinite gratitude beamed, while, turning away, Treor disguised a shrug of the shoulders. But of what use was it to take from the unhappy man this last ray? Let him hope, on the contrary, as long as possible, all the time that it would take Edith to find this undiscoverable plant.

And, through fear of letting a sentiment of irony or incredulity pierce through his face, Treor resolved to go away for a few minutes. Notwithstanding the evening which was falling clear and dry, announcing a polar frost, the bushy copse where Edith and the wounded man were grouped would protect them sufficiently to prevent the repose and inaction from being fatal to them. Moreover, he would not go far.

“I am going to explore the field,” said he, aloud.

Skirting the edge of the little wood and the fields, the gray, dull road wound with an abrupt descent. Mechanically Treor followed it. This deserted road attracted him; the main highways were the only places which they did not search, on account of the English soldiers, in regiments or patrols, who were constantly marching through them.

By the propitious and brief chance which left him free, he must hastily profit. As accessible to illusion as, just before, Paddy had been, he imagined he might meet on this road — which he recognized — not Marian, but someone who knew her fate. Hurrying his steps, almost running, the hard earth resounding under his heel, he did not feel anxious lest this noise might betray his presence to some sentinel in ambush. And very soon he uttered an exclamation of surprise.

A woman lay across the road, not dead, for she stirred, thrown there only by fatigue, exhaustion, the benumbing of the cold. An Irish woman, and even from Bunclody or some near village; this he could see by the arrangement of her hair. On his knees beside her, he set about helping her, rubbing her temples and striking her hands, and then suddenly rose and started back, indignant!

Drunk, this Irish woman! In spite of the vow solemnly taken by all! In the midst of the disaster of the country, of its agony and death-struggle! Dead drunk! Her brandy-laden breath forbade him to doubt it.

Almost immediately, however, he reconsidered. Drunk, yes! But the whiskey poured between her lips by some charitable Englishman was perhaps the only restorative imbibed by her for days, and the draught taken had been sufficient to stupefy her; in her stomach, gnawed by hunger, the cordial became poison. Ah! poor woman! Compassionately he drew near again, bending further over her, and this time something more intense than stupor made him rise again:

“Lady Ellen!”

At the sound of her sad name pronounced with infinite surprise by Treor, the Duchess appeared to rouse from her beastly torpor, and, half lifting herself to see who called her, with her emaciated fingers she put aside the great masses of dishevelled hair soiled with mud which thickly covered her face.

But vainly opening her eye-lids, blinded by the strong light of the moon which came full in her eyes, she did not recollect the old man and stammered vague words which would have betrayed her if he had not already recognized her.

She imagined herself seated in her rooms at the castle, waiting for her maids to dress her, and, taking Treor for a servant, she complained that they let her rage and wait without a fire in such dirty, mean clothes, when it was already long past dinner-time!

She was disgusted with herself, and she was dying of hunger.

Never, no, never, had they served her so badly, abandoned her with such heedlessness about her toilet and with such carelessness about her appetite. What were the cooks doing, then, that they did not prepare the dinner; and the chambermaids, who did not even bring water to bathe her?

“The skin of my face is all wrinkled with the dust which covers it, making a, mask so stiff that it will crack presently. And my hands!.... Ah! ah! Muskery would hesitate to kiss them!”

And now she believed that she saw in the old man the nobleman who paid his court to her so gallantly, and she poured out to him all her trouble, which he would, moreover, see for himself, and from which he would promptly extricate her.

“Your arm, Muskery, and let us get away quickly from this inhospitable castle where they treat me as a prisoner, where they are, doubtless, condemning me to perish with cold and hunger and in filth. Oh! my dear friend, deliver me most quickly from the dirt which is tormenting me, and which must fill you with horror as well as myself.”

Her speech was thick and embarrassed, and she pronounced with difficulty, restrained by the stiffness of the muscles of the jaws, and the petrifaction of the brain congealed by drunkenness. She stood swaying on her limbs, which tottered incessantly.

And, recovering her equilibrium, she rubbed her hands, which she then spread out in the light, extending them to the moon, with a drunken, foolish laugh at the dirt on her fingers, those fingers which she had once guarded so fastidiously, even at her father’s house, where she appropriated money from the masses to buy perfumed soaps.

Treor looked at her, very much puzzled at meeting her at liberty, in real flesh and blood, on the road, when, at the most, the wind could only have sown her ashes along the ground.

He asked himself by what miracle she had escaped the double prison of bolts and flames, and he felt an imperative curiosity to question her on this subject, to learn whether it came by simple chance, or through an accomplice out of commiseration; but above all he was filled with pity at the misery nevertheless endured by Lady Ellen, which had ended in this abjection; and, averse to exhibiting more inclemency than heaven, which had permitted the wretch to escape from Cumslen-Park, he prepared to pursue his way and his researches indifferent to the fate of the dying woman, which was, however, easy to surmise. But an expression which she uttered confusedly checked him.

“Before we go away, the fire! Muskery!”

And, radiant, her eyes dilated at the spectacle of the evoked conflagration, she applauded, following with a savage joy the leaping into the air of the sheaves of flame, listening with savage delight to their crackling, then their formidable roaring and the crash of the beams, of the sides of the walls falling in.

Treor looked at her anxiously, endeavoring, in this manifestation of barbarous joy, to discover how much was the result of the temporary insanity caused by the gin and how much belonged to reality. Had she really lighted the fire, or did she imagine that she had lighted it?

To be continued.

“In abolishing rent and interest, the last vestiges of old-time slavery, the Revolution abolishes at one stroke the sword of the executioner, the seal of the magistrate, the club of the policeman, the gunge of the exciseman, the erasing-knife of the department clerk, all those insignia of Politics, which young Liberty grinds beneath her heel.” — Proudhon.


The appearance in the editorial column of articles over other signatures than the editor’s initial indicates that the editor approves their central purpose and general tenor, though he does not hold himself responsible for every phrase or word. But the appearance in other parts of the paper of articles by the same or other writers by no means indicates that he disapproves them in any respect, such disposition of them being governed largely by motives of convenience.

Libertas.

On March 17 there will be issued from this office the first number of a fortnightly Anarchistic journal, to be called Libertas, but to be printed entirely in the German language. Though the new paper will be under the same general management that controls Liberty, its active editors will be George Schumm and Emma Schumm, who have come to Boston from Minnesota to undertake the work. Libertas will be of the same shape and size as Liberty, and the two will alternate in the order of publication,— Liberty appearing one week and Libertas the next. The subscription price will be one dollar a year. Send in your subscriptions at once to Benj. R. Tucker, P. O. Box 3366, Boston, Mass.

Liberty’s New Serials.

As promised in the last number, Liberty begins in this issue the serial publication of “Love, Marriage, and Divorce,” the famous tripartite discussion between Henry James, Horace Greeley, and Stephen Pearl Andrews, opening with Mr. Andrews’s introductory chapter.

In the next, number “Ireland” will be concluded, and at the same time will appear the first instalment of a new serial Socialistic romance, translated from the French by the editor of Liberty, and entitled:

The Rag-Picker of Paris,

which, within the last year, has been written as a novel by the gifted author of the drama bearing the same title, this author being no other than the well-known revolutionary Socialist, unexcelled in dramatic power by any revolutionary writer,

Félix Pyat.

The sketch of Pyat’s life promised for the present number is postponed until the next.

“The Rag-Picker of Paris,” when first produced on the Parisian stage many years ago with the great actor, Frédérick Lemaitre, in the principal role, Father Jean, achieved a success as a play paralleled in that city only by the success which Eugene Sue’s “Mysteries of Paris” achieved as a novel. The chorus of praise with which it was hailed was led by all the literary celebrities of the time, including Heinrich Heine, Victor Hugo, Alexander Dumas, Béranger, Proudhon, Ledru-Rollin, Théophile Gautier, Michelet, Saint-Beuve, Ras-pail, Arsime Houssaye, Victor Considérant, and Louis Blanc.

The two serials above announced will appear, not only in the English Liberty, but in the German Liberty as well, and those who intend to subscribe to either should not fail to begin with the issues containing the first instalments of them.

All papers friendly to Liberty will confer a favor by noticing these announcements.

Jordan Not an Easy Road to Travel.

Those equitable relations of factory, store, and bank which Charles T. Fowler presents in another column as the principal economic desideratum are precisely what Liberty has had in view from the beginning, but it does not share Mr. Fowler’s opinion of the simplicity of their attainment. There are obstacles in the path which Mr. Fowler underrates.

The law is practically prohibitory of any attempt at the organization proposed.

To be sure, Trusts have no legal status, and yet, as Mr. Fowler says, they control corporations. But why do they control corporations? Simply because, while capital is so hard to get, the single corporation is powerless against a gigantic combination. But when capital is made easily accessible through free banking, the combinations will be powerless. For banking is a business in which Trusts are impossible. Mutual banks need no capital, and upon an enterprise which is independent, of capital combinations can have no effect. The law which forbids or taxes the establishment of mutual banks thereby creates an all-powerful legal Trust, which is known as the money monopoly, and all other Trusts do indirectly have a “legal status” from the fact that they could not wield their powers but for the existence of this legal Trust back of them. If Mr. Fowler thinks this legal Trust will not “resist as an entity,” I advise him to run up against it. He will then find out whether it has an objective existence outside “the emphasis of the superstitious beholder.”

It is advantageous to have a factory and store, or several of them, specifically pledged to act in conjunction with the bank, but the only thing that renders this imperatively necessary is the fact that, in the face of the law and its attempts to suppress it, the bank must have the strength and standing which an organization of producers alone can give it. If the law were out of the way, the mere establishment of the bank would result in all that is aimed at (though, as I said, it would be advantageous even then to have the definite backing of producers); for there would be no such difficulty in “finding a field for circulation” of the bank’s notes as Mr. Fowler imagines. The “organization of business” that already exists is becoming impoverished daily just for the lack of the circulating medium which mutual banks would supply, and in itself furnishes an ample “field for circulation.”

By all means let us “build the economic organism,” Mr. Fowler, but it must be no fair-weather structure. A foundation must first be laid upon which an edifice may be erected that will resist the storms of litigation, the gales of persecution, the cyclones of oppression, for from these it will know no security save in its inherent power to withstand their shocks. That foundation Liberty is laying in economic and Anarchistic education.

T.

The Economic Freedom of Women.

I cannot see that much advance toward individualism in the relations between men and women is possible until the economic freedom of women shall have become an established fact. Nor do I use economical freedom here in its large and true sense, but simply with a relative meaning. I use it in the sense of the same economical plane that the other sex is on. That they should be on that same plane, wherever or whatever it may be, seems to me a thing so desirable that it is to be ranked alongside of free banks. Though the latter, I imagine, will be realized many decades before the former. It is not solely for the sake of its benefit to woman that this condition of relative economical freedom is desirable. It will have a wholesome effect upon man as well. For man is still a little bit tyrannical. Even the best of men and those most imbued with a desire for justice and equity and best able to apply individualist ideas to actual life,— even these still have something of the tyrant left in their feeling toward and their treatment of women. They are not to blame for it, I suppose, any more than they are for the fact that hair grows on their heads instead of on their feet. For so many, many ages man has been superior to woman, has been accustomed to have her clinging dependently to his fingers and begging to be taken care of, that it has become a part of his nature for him not only to feel, but also to use, his superiority. Vestiges of it still cling to him. Not until woman becomes a self-supporting, independent creature who has ceased to beg alms of him and who can and does support herself as easily and with as much comfort as he does, will he respect her as his equal and lose the last remnants of that old spirit of tyranny which made him get everything under his thumb that he could. He will become a freer being by this one step in woman’s emancipation.

For woman herself this condition would bring unnumbered goods. It is the only escape for her from the bondage of conventional marriage, which, according to the confessions of women themselves, is a condition which could have given Dante points for the Inferno. Until at least relative economical freedom for women is realized, the separate individual existence of the man and the woman is an impossibility. But I am afraid it will not be realized for many a long year. The author of that beautiful allegory, “Three Dreams in a Desert,” anticipated the future. When the childless women who now sit around in boarding houses and think they have done a lot of work if they darn their husbands’ stockings understand that their position is exactly the same as that of the prostitute whom they abhor, it will do to say, and not until then, “And slowly the creature staggered on to its knees.”

F. F. K.

“The Things Which Are Not Seen.”

A word to the wise being sufficient, I shall not occupy much space with the examination of Comrade Labadie’s remarks upon the eight-hour movement. He presents two considerations in its favor: first that experience establishes the possibility of trades unions shortening their hours without proportional by reducing their wages; and, second, that reduced hours mean increased opportunities for study and development. I take the liberty of thus dividing his argument and making two reasons instead of the one which he really gave, because, as I shall presently show, his assertions carry with them much more than he meant they should. For, if working people’s organizations have it in their power, things all remaining as they are, to gain gradual concessions from the employing class and thus slowly ameliorate their condition, then the solution of the labor problem — the complete, true, and permanent solution — is to be found in such organizations and in such efforts on their part. If the laborers can, by simply organizing and demanding it, shorten their workday, they can, by the same method, raise their wages and effect other reforms, thus step by step advancing toward filial emancipation. If, on the other hand, there are certain fundamental principles involved, which so simple a method as organization into unions will not settle either one way or the other, then no improvement is possible outside the sphere of those fundamental principles. There are, in addition to the things which are seen, a great many things that are not seen, in connection with this question. (I hope to be pardoned for making use of Bastiat’s style, and I am positive that Bastiat would not think it misapplied.) The things seen are the temporary, direct, and immediate results, such as the “clear gain” of two hours by the Detroit printers (by the way, unless the Detroit printers, forming an exception to the general rule, receive their pay by the day and not by the number of ems, their wages were reduced if the prices remained “the same as last year”) and the perfectly independent place occupied by the locomotive engineers, who “have no quarrel with capital” and who invite such “friends” of labor as Depew, Dana, and Hewitt to address them. The near-sighted think these isolated instances justify all sorts of conclusions, for they do not suspect the existence of the things which are not seen on the surface. Little talk would be heard about eight hours, if those who preach it should, like those who oppose it, always discuss the labor question from the broad and scientific view of the relation between the capitalists as one and the proletaires as the other of the two great social classes standing face to face in radical antagonism. But the eight-hour men, while quite extravagant in oratorical flourishes regarding their “remedy,” have only the narrow interests of a special privileged trade in mind. Those who are more penetrating and better informed trace the effect of the eight-hour agitation to such apparently remote things as the introduction of machinery, intensiveness of labor, employment of children, etc., which, once seen, change the whole aspect of the matter.

Time being “a very essential element in the work we have on hand,” we should indeed be careful not to waste it. Comrade Labadie can see that he gained two hours through agitation, but he strangely ignores the fact that it took considerable time to achieve this victory! Why should one spend his time for the purpose of getting time for study, when one can utilize this same time for the studying? Let those who think they want eight hours, or a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work, or any indefinite half-measure, continue to blunder, but let those who know better teach them better. If I speak at an eight-hour meeting, I oppose this remedy and endeavor to direct the attention of the audience to what I consider worthy of attention. Do I understand that, when Comrade Labadie is invited to speak on such an occasion, he “favors” eight hours in order to be able, after the hours have been reduced, to teach the same audience the things which they want to know? This “cranky notion” requires some explanation.

V. Yarros.

The American versus the French Idea.

In a recent article in Liberty entitled “Independent Women” some sentiments were expressed which, coming from a woman who has evidently broken the traces of some “ancient opinions,” are a surprise to many who had hoped that the coming woman had begun at least to see the real nature of the liberty she hoped for.

The “tendency to modify the condition of women” has truly set in, but it has not been by appeals to editors to permit such tendency or to reserve criticism where it infringed on the prerogatives of men. Every woman who has started on an independent career has done so at her own risk. She has taken her fate in her own hands, has bravely endured calumny where misunderstood, reproach and contumely where needful in maintaining her natural right to do as she pleased. I for one am proud to follow where such brave women have led, and to encourage other women to do likewise. But, I fail to see how self-dependence and a full development of her powers will unfit any woman for making a home; I can scarcely imagine a true woman without a home. She need not necessarily make it for a man, or share it with him. If she has but one room, she can make a home. But she is poverty-stricken indeed if she has for her future no higher ideal than the life of an average bachelor, for whom society has a caress for every gallantry and who ascends the social ladder with every peccadillo.

Henriette concedes that it is laudable in women to choose to submit themselves to restraint, but claims they should not be compelled to. She forgets that nothing can compel a free man or woman but their own conscience. And it is to be hoped she will soon be brought to see that “the indulgence shown the other sex” is not desirable to a highly intelligent woman; and that “eccentricities in morals” and “caprices in behavior” will encounter in the future the same degree of odium now accorded them by men and women of refinement.

I take issue with Henriette as to the indulgence granted exceptional women. I believe immorality is always censurable, and deservedly so. But discriminating and intelligent people are willing to concede certain liberties to women who have chosen a career of their own. Such people, without appeals to their indulgence, very readily discern the difference between a Cora Pearl and a Sarah Bernhardt. The latter, of whom it is said she is called by her son “Mudemoiselle ma Mere,” has brought up her children honorably and made a home for them. Such a woman is accorded a warm respect as compared with the mere wanton who lives by making a free disposal of her favors.

And too, right here it may not be out of place to venture the suggestion that with fuller opportunities for study and comparison we may come to realize that so-called “natural inclinations” in both men and women may be but symptoms of nervous derangement, like nervous headache or similar disorders, and like them may yield to the intelligent application of hygienic principles.

Our French sister may go forward with confidence, for in establishing liberty for women as for men we maintain the right to lie or to tell the truth, to cheat or be honest, to be pure or impure, drunken or temperate, provided we are willing to take the consequences of all our acts. We cannot be immoral, however, and escape the censure of our enlightened neighbors.

But, when Liberty reigns, let us hope that ignorance will be dethroned with other tyrants. When Reason prevails, we shall not be guided by Passion. In the coming woman, that she may be worthy the position to which nature has called her, we look for the dominion of the brain instead of the pelvis, and, when she has learned the true meaning of Freedom, she will give birth to a race that is fit to survive.

Charlotte.

Shall Woman Beg for Liberty?

I am surprised and puzzled at Henriette’s letter to Gramont in No. 117. Why in Liberty? I can find no liberty in it; only a pathetic appeal to be let alone if one should want a little. If “nothing can be better and more laudable” than for women to voluntarily submit to the bondage from which men have delivered them, why is the letter written? Is this presumably emancipated woman asking society no to censure conduct which she does not consider laudable? Somehow I am reminded, by all such entreaties to that world still in the bondage of old ideas, of the chorus in “Princess Ida.” They are all lovely girls and they have put on shining armor and come out to fight. They are well drilled and delight the audience with their martial hearing and the beautiful precision of their military evolutions. Then they make a curtsy and sing a little song:

If you please, sir, do not hurt us;

Do not hurt us, if you please.

How can women who really believe free love better than slave love beg for the social support of respectable society? How can anyone, finding spontaneity in love better than the disposal of one’s self for a consideration, mercenary or moral, desire this support? Can a woman with any real self-respect and dignity beg for the favor of those who are capable of thinking only lightly and scornfully of her highest thought?

I am thinking now only of social support, of which, as I understand it, Henriette is speaking. If a woman finds herself boycotted in consequence of the expression, in language or life, of her ideas, or if she has reason to fear such boycotting, certainly that is a different matter, requiring deliberate consideration and choice. I might choose to forego the expression of my ideas rather than to starve; but, given food, can I not dispense with the rest? I will ask only for bread, not for smiles. A musician does not love discords. If, because he is honest enough to say so, he loses a pupil and has no other means of earning a living, let him consider carefully before expressing himself. Better that one musician should live than that the world be given over to discords alone. But if he secures the pupil, let him not also beg for the social privilege of listening to his practising rather than going to the theatre.

Either our ideas are better or worse than those of society. If worse, let us submit without complaint to our deserved doom. If better, let us not apologize for them or beg society to excuse and tolerate us in spite of our living on a higher plane than the rest of the world.

Zelm.

A Correspondent Classified.

To the Editor of Liberty:

When Joseph A. Labadie passed through this city on his way to attend the Minneapolis convention of the K. of L., I stated the position of the Chicago Communist-Anarchists to him in almost the same language used in his article, “Cranky Notions,” in No. 13 of Liberty. In this respect, and no other, we are Communists. Why, then, do you still insist that we do not contemplate “any such voluntary arrangement as Comrade Labadie supposes”? Are we not supposed to know what doctrines we teach? In short, do you set us down as ignoramuses or falsifiers,— which? According to your position we must be one or the other.

Wm. Holmes.

Chicago, February 2, 1888.

[For answer to the first of Mr. Holmes’s questions I adopt that which he has already received in the Chicago “Alarm” from John F. Kelly:

Mr. Holmes asks me what Communist of the Kropotkine school proposes to enforce Communism and suppress competition. Why, Kropotkine himself! I have read for some years the journal for which he is considered responsible, and I can gather nothing else from it. “La Révolte” makes no mawkish distinction between capital and wealth, but goes in boldly for the expropriation of the whole and its being held in common by the community,— not a community, as Mr. Holmes would have it. In fact, not only does “La Révolte” draw no distinction between capital and other wealth in its schemes of expropriation, but it distinctly asserts that those kinds of wealth not usually considered capital should be expropriated first. Its continual reproach to the Paris Commune is that it was not Communistic, and it declares that the Communes of the future must be Communistic Communes. Well, when everything, from the land to the objects of immediate consumption, is seized by the Communists, will not Communism be enforced and competition be suppressed? Mr. Holmes may say that we will be free to live as mutualists, but what will that freedom avail us when our tools and our products will both belong to everybody? Or if there should be any Communist whose Anarchistic principles might prevent him from interfering with us, why, all he would need would be a few lessons in jesuitry from Mr. Holmes, so that he might be a revolutionist while interfering and an Anarchist at other times.

For answer to the last of Mr. Holmes’s questions I declare myself not sufficiently Communistic to lump all Communists under either of the heads which he specifies; but, if he must know under which I set him down, I explicitly state that I regard him as an ignoramus. — Editor Liberty.]

Would All Were so “Paradoxical”!

[From Max Nordan’s “Paradoxes.”]

The more highly developed an organism, the more original, the more differentiated it is, and the more subordinate the position of the race in it compared with that of the individual. This law affects not merely the individuals alone, but the race as well. In ancient and mediaeval times, the community was organized as a solid, compact body, and the individuals had no importance save as parts of the whole. In those days it was neither possible nor suitable for any one to be original; he was obliged to conform to the carefully drawn design followed in the construction of the State, the society, the corporation, or the guild. All those who had not been received into any community or privileged fellowship were wanderers with no claim to justice and outlaws. This stage of social development can be compared to a coral branch in which the single individuals have grown together, incompletely developed, without any organic freedom, and can neither live to themselves alone nor move about, and never attain to anything beyond a subordinate and stunted partial existence. We have progressed beyond this. We are no longer a coral formation, we constitute now a flock. Each individual leads a separate existence, even if all rely upon each other for certain offices. The tie of fellowship that unites us all allows us each a certain amount of liberty, and it is organically possible to us all to graze for ourselves. We sacrifice voluntarily this individuation — the prize won for up by modern times — for the old collectivity, in which the single being is nothing but a cell, an organ, a moving, senseless nothing. For this is where we inevitably land when we tacitly acknowledge that a man has no worth and no dignity except as they are bestowed upon him by the executive authorities, and that his station among his fellow-men is better determined by some name or distinction conferred upon him than by his own merits, his intellectual achievements, and his acts done without consideration of the official reports.

What is the State? In theory it means: us all! But in practice it means a ruling class, a small number of dominant individuals, sometimes only one single person. To state that we place the State above everything else means, simply and exclusively, that we are anxious to please this class, these few persons, or this single person. It means that, instead of developing towards the ideal implanted in us by nature, we have set up an ideal evolved by the mind of another person, perhaps even by another’s whim. It means that we renounce our inmost essential being, and conform to some external pattern, possibly repugnant to all our original dispositions and tastes. The history of a nation’s civilization becomes thus the record of an order, like that of the Jesuits, whoso members have offered up their own reason as a sacrifice and renounced the right of thinking with their own brains and passing judgment in their own consciences upon what is right and is wrong. We do not form ourselves according to the organic impulse within us, but complacently pour ourselves like melted metal into some mould set up for us by the authorities, and pride ourselves upon being tawdry zinc figures for docks turned out by the dozen, instead of living beings with an individual physiognomy. This process of melting and casting disintegrates the crystalline structure of a people and destroys its solidity. The beautiful and rich multiformity of natural development gives place to a forced, wretched uniformity. If you ask an individual abruptly what is his opinion upon a certain subject, he cannot tell you upon the spot, but has first to go to the chestnut grove to get the countersign. Millions renounce their intellectual freedom, and place themselves and all their thoughts and actions under a guardianship, to whose narrow tyranny they soon cease to be sensitive.

The strength of the whole is ultimately always directly dependent upon the strength of the single constituent parts. If they are weak, then all organization, all discipline, and all subordination to a single guidance will not make them strong. In vain do a thousand sheep combine in the most extreme solidarity: they will never be able to withstand a single lion, nor even inspire him with fear. If all manly independence is systematically suppressed and exterminated in a nation, if all character is crushed out by external pressure, it follows in the end that there is nothing left alive in the people as a people, and nought remains but an atomic dust through which a child might run its fingers in play. Original characters cannot develop, multiformity vanishes, the springs of truth which used to bubble forth from a thousand separate brains cease to flow and dry up, and in going through the land from one end to the other we meet none but regulation copies of one single figure, which has been officially announced as the only genuine and proper national type.

Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery — Why Not?

W. S. Lilly is a voluminous writer in English magazines on matters pertaining to morality. In the “Fortnightly Review” he has been tearing to pieces the utilitarian theory of morals as propounded by Spencer and Huxley, and attempting to show that self-interest is a misleading guide to conduct. He says: “The presence in our consciousness of the first principles of morality is an indubitable fact.” “If happiness, pleasure, is the criterion of action, it is pretty sure to mean in practice our own individual good.” After quite an exhaustive treatment of these two positions, he brings the whole argument to aclimax by submitting this poser: “Let us look at the old precept, ‘Thou shalt not commit adultery,’ in thought of this new morality. I present the injunction to a young man burning with passion for a married woman. He replies reasonably enough: ‘Why should I not commit adultery?’” What would be the obligation urged on the young man? he asks, and then puts this answer in the mouth of the “new moralists”: “Don’t you see that some day somebody may want to commit adultery with your wife?” Now, if there are any “new moralists” who would take such a position, their morality must be as disgusting as Mr. Lilly’s Christian morality, and they can only take such ground by ignoring woman’s individual sovereignty and assuming that she is the property — like his horse his ass or anything that is his — of the man who holds the legal title to her. Mr. Lilly never for a moment thinks of the woman in the matter, except as an object; and if the young man were to answer: “Why not, if the woman was willing?” he would be utterly astounded. Yet that conundrum would be too deep for the old morality or the “new morality.” If the new morality will sanction the old barbarism. Mr. Lilly will be willing to accept, it. I maintain that not only have the young man and the marred woman the right to commit adultery, but that in the majority of cases it is the best thing they can do — in the furtherance of liberty. The “wrongness” of the act is on a par with the “wrongness” of a fugitive slave. But to talk to a “moralist” of rights is like talking to a politician of justice,— it is not in his line of thought.

A. H. Simpson.

Self-wise Generosity.

Tak Kak and Prescott are sharpening up some pretty fine points,— too sharp for me, I fear, but, as Mr. Prescott insists, I will out with my whittle and bear a hand at the Yankee’s pastime. Tak Kak gave me a sharp dig when he said: “I have nothing but contempt for the man who needs to perceive the ‘self-wisdom’ of generosity in order to be generous”; but he rubbed in the balm of his “no-reflection” so quickly that I hardly felt it. And trusting that few would misunderstand me, I said nothing. And, it has happened, by reason of causes that it would only bore the reader to explain, that I have only just had an opportunity to read No. 113, and therefore was in no position to take part in this discussion before. In No. 115 Tak Kak seems to interpret my moaning in the use of “self-wisdom” very correctly. I did not mean self-wisdom as a synonym for egoism, for I regard all acts as egoistic, whether self-wise, or otherwise, or altogether lacking in wisdom. Whether it is synonymous with intelligent egoism, or not, depends upon the definition of the latter. By intelligent egoism some appear to mean a self-consciousness that all acts are egoistic; and some, a careful study and effort to make all acts in the highest degree useful to self. If the latter is truly intelligent egoism, then my self-wisdom is its synonym; otherwise not. Self-wisdom relates not merely to a benefit to self, for all acts performed by self in some degree benefit self, but to the intelligent choice of the greatest self-benelit among the many possible benefits that may at the time be perceptible to the consciousness. Imagine a man hiding from assassins. He inhales dust and desires to cough. To do so would relieve his irritated lungs — a self-benefit — but would also betray him to death — is not, therefore, self-wise; but whichever way he may act, he is egoistic. Self-wisdom relates to the broader, higher, more lasting, and therefore more admirable benefits to self — to happiness rather than pleasure. Generosity, as an impulse, I define as the desire to share a surplus of benefit with others; as an act, it is this impulse carried into execution. Ingersoll says somewhere (I quote from memory) that a man needs feel rich in order to be generous; and I agree with him. The instinct to be generous is usually derived from ancestors who have had a fortunate environment, and, therefore, is often manifested impulsively in the presence of need by those who are poor but who, by reason of inherited feeling, for the moment feel rich. We may suppose a line of savages too poor to be generous, but producing finally an individual destitute of the instinct, but rich enough to indulge it if possessed, and intelligent enough to appreciate something of its utility. Riding out one day with a spare horse, he meets a neighbor on foot. Coolly reasoning that if he offers this man a ride he will secure his gratitude, and very probably his valuable assistance in the next knock-down and drag-out picnic which they may mutually attend, he invites him to mount the animal. Here is the beginning of generosity. If the experiment is successful it is apt to be repeated, and more and more frequently, until it becomes a habit automatically performed in the presence of an appropriate environment. It is now in shape to be readily transmitted to the next generation as an instinct, or impulse, to be manifested whenever appealed to by the same conditions which called it out in the parent, but not necessarily accompanied by reflection us to its self-benefits. Let the sympathies be now consciously or unconsciously connected with it, and we have generosity in its most common form — a kindly spontaneous desire to share our superfluous good things with our fellows. Put this under the guidance of a thoroughly well-informed and carefully discriminating intellect, and we have it in its best form, self-wise generosity.

Now let us suppose a man in civilized life who has inherited a keen intellect, but no trace of generous impulse or instinctive justice. This man is in a position where he “needs to perceive the sell-wisdom of generosity” and justice in order to their manifestation. Intelligently he observes and analyses human nature, and concludes that friendship, love, sympathy, respect, are things precious to possess, things given freely on every hand to the just and generous in spirit and intention, but oftentimes most stubbornly refused to those merely just and generous in external act. Calmly surveying the whole situation, he deliberately determines that he will develop within himself just, generous, and altruistic impulses, and carry them into habitual practice till he wins the honor and love of those whose love and regard he covets. Has Tak Kak “nothing but contempt” for this man? If so, why? Why is it more contemptible for a man born deficient in the mental quality of generosity to calculatingly develop that virtue for self-benefit, than for a man born deficient in the physical quality of muscle to deliberately develop his biceps, or for a woman with weak lungs to expand her chest? The fact is, I have an inherited affection for human beings, simply as such, and if I ever found a man for whom I had nothing but contempt, I should probably have nothing but contempt for myself. I have never yet found such a man. This is no reflection upon Tak Kak who, I take it, has found no such men, either.

But what I have said above is no defence of hypocrites. A hypocrite is not a man who perceives the self-wisdom of just and generous desires and intentions ultimating in corresponding acts; be simply perceives that by putting on an external appearance of fairness and warm-heartedness he can allay suspicion and belay the unwary. This is the man, I take it, that Tak Kak has in his mind’s eye; for he, truly, “needs to perceive the self-wisdom of generosity,” and his present position is truly contemptible.

J. Wm. Lloyd.

Palatka, Florida, February, 1888.

Patrick is “Onto Us.”

[Irish World.]

In our own days and on our own soil the sensibilities of American citizens have been shocked by the frantic efforts of devotees of the “let-alone system” to abolish the institution of marriage and to force our national mails and post offices to be distributors of licentious publications, but now their energies seem to be concentrated upon the destruction of our industrial and social prosperity by pressing free-Trade fallacies.

The “Irish World” wishes to be charitable in all things and would rather that many guilty should escape than that one innocent person should suffer, but, sustained as it is by the teachings of history and concurrent testimony, it cannot resist the conviction that Free Trade should be classified with the fearful theories of the Free Lovers and Anarchists.

Co-oporation

Through Competition, Without Education, Capital, or the Expenditure of Any New Force.

To the Editor of Liberty.

I suppose, “upon last analysis,” that differing schools of labor reformers all agree that the one source of their complaints is that the laborer is defrauded of what he earns,— in fact, is supporting somebody who earns nothing.

Why does he do this? Why will he not stop?

Is it said that he cannot because of monopoly, or the law’s interference? But monopoly is a combination and an organization to gain strength, economy, and efficiency. Cannot the subjects of monopoly thus combine and organize? And is the law of the State such a legal, artificial, arbitrary thing that it can permanently efface all action, organisation, and execution of the natural law?

All monopoly of trade and profit is, today, centring under the control of “Trusts.” These Trusts have no legal status whatever and control corporations. Then are we still firing away at legal constructions which do not resist as entities, but only in the emphasis of the superstitious beholder? Why objectivize them into idolatrous recognition? If the State is to be “dissolved in the economic organism,” why not build that organism?

If Consolidated Trusts are to combine to control the price of wages through the price of products, and, under the guise of public economy, cause all the people to pay tribute to Caesar, then what are the people going to do? What can they do? Nothing short of forming a coalition on an antimonopoly and anti-usury basis. As the Combined Trusts, under the spur of profit, have organized to competition, in order to bring the demand to the supply, so must the people combine to invite competition on a cost basis, and thus bring the supply to the demand.

To first combine to produce would require capital and experience. With no data as to the consumption, who would know how much to produce? With no market but what was already garrisoned by the enemy, how could we hope to compete? And then, are there not, after all, too many factories in existence already?

To start with a hank, how could the notes find a field for circulation without any organization of business? And does not the issue of free credit beyond the needs of a complete equivalent labor exchange incur risk, speculation, loss, and poverty?

Everybody has to eat, whether he produces or not. Consumption causes custom; custom makes trade, which carries with it a profit. Goods that are sold must be replaced by others that must be produced. The consumption ascertained, the production can be regulated. The goods being already sold or contracted for before they are made, there are no middle men or jobbers or “drummers” to he supported, and the factory guarantees employment. The factory and the store both together furnish a complete field for the circulation of the bank. The factory, the store, and the bank constitute the complete organization of industry, which in turn furnishes the fulcrum of land values and rent. Not only would the elimination of these three indirect forms of taxation probably cause all Trusts to crumble, but the general government itself, in its minor and direct form of taxation, would probably subside into “innocuous desuetude.”

Now, is it not possible to organize our commissary stores, arrange our places of production and brokerage of exchange, and invite the “hewers of wood and drawers of water” to escape the present order? Can we not go down into the street and say: “Ho! here is food for the hungry, work for the idle, and justice for all!” Let us see what excuse there is for starvation, how many cannot get employment, and what constitutes a fair recompense. Let us lead this demand to our supply into the “Land of Promise.”

If we cannot do this, what virtue is there in our medicine? Do we not need doctoring by our patients? At least, with Yankee ingenuity.

If we can do this, then shall we not find that cooperation needs no other capital than an idea, no other learning than self-interest, no bluster aside from its inherent power, and no new expenditure of force save that of turning the rudder of our enemy’s frigate so that it shall sail into our own harbor.

Chas. T. Fowler.

Cranky Notions.

I have had a notion in my mind for several months that it would be a good thing to have a general conference of Anarchists, at which the principles and methods of Anarchy could be discussed and from which a manifesto could be issued to the world. And I suggest Detroit as the place and some time next summer as the time. Detroit is centrally located, and there is a fair number of liberal people here who would be glad to meet that breed of folks who have hoof and horns. Now, there are lots of things that can be said in favor of such a conference, but I don’t propose to say more now. What do the Anarchist readers of Liberty think of such a meeting?

Those who contend that Anarchy cannot exist until we are all perfect beings remind me of the old lady’s advice to her daughter:—

“Mother may I go down and swim?”

“Yes my darling daughter;

Hang your clothes on a hickor limb,—

But don’t go in the water!

The dear old lady could not see that her daughter could not swim if she did not go in the water, any more than the other old ladies can see that Anarchy is necessary before we can become more perfect.

The people of Chicago are to prevent strangulation by hanging themselves; or, in other words, they are to move legally against the gas monopoly which has been formed in that city. The Citizens’ Association of Chicago has requested the attorney general of Illinois (and he has consented) to bring quo warranto proceedings against the gas trusts and to compel the officers of the monopoly to show why their franchise should not be forfeited, on the ground that the powers granted them have been abused and have been exercised to the injury of the people. This action, the New York “Times” says, will attract attention throughout the country, because it is an attempt to break down a trust by the enforcement of such laws as are to be found in the statute books of every State. And if the attorney general succeeds in forfeiting the franchise of the gas trust, it will only show that the law is hot or cold, to suit conveniences; that no dependence can be placed in it, because the evident intention of granting the franchise was to prevent competition and therefore form a monopoly. But suppose the franchise to have been granted with the best of motives and with the intention of benefiting the people of Chicago, it is only another example of how laws have so frequently the exact opposite effect of what was intended. The best way to prevent monopolies (and the only way, by the way) is not to grant them any franchise at all.

While it is true that the eight-hour movement is not a cure-all, yet is it absolutely true that it is a cure nothing? What the eight-hour day has accomplished for the working people of Australia I have no reliable data at hand from which to learn, but it seems to me that a shorter workday could be made very beneficial in more ways than one. And I know that a day’s work can be shortened through trades unions because it has been done. Let me take my own case as an example. I am a wage worker and inclined to studious habits. One reason why I do not study and write and organize the working people more than I do now and help them to educate themselves while I am educating myself is because I lack time. Time is a very essential element in the work we have on hand. Now, last year the printers of this city (Detroit) worked fifty-nine hours for a week’s work. We have been agitating for a nine-hour workday all over the country, and were to strike for its enforcement on the first of last November, but circumstances intervened which prevented that. However, as a compromise, the printers of Detroit had two hours taken off their week’s work, and now fifty-seven hours constitute a week’s work with the same pay as last year. This, it seems to me, is a clear gain. Now, those two hours I can use in studying Anarchy and spreading Anarchistic principles. I know several others who will use these two hours to advantage. The working day has been shortened by the printers, cigarmakers, bakers, bricklayers, painters, carpenters, and several other tradesmen, and this has been done, too, through Anarchistic methods. I have frequently used these facts to show working people that when they want their rights they must take them and not depend upon politicians for the betterment of their conditions. It weans them of their State idol, and strenghtens their self-reliance. While the shortening of the workday in itself does not cure our social-industrial ills, it gives us time to learn what will cure. The physician must know the disease and its cause before he can cure it. We do not know principles intuitively and must have time to learn them. This is why I favor the eight-hour movement and why I believe Anarchists should not oppose it.

Joseph A. Labadie.


Don’t keep Liberty to yourself, share it with others!

Twitter share Reddit share Facebook share Google+ share Tumblr share

Liberty’s Library

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.