“For always in thine eyes, O Liberty!
Shines that high light whereby the world is saved;
And though thou slay us, we will trust in thee.”
On Picket Duty.
For an article compact with original, suggestive, valuable, and lofty ideas on one of the most delicate of questions, read Zelm’s “Reply to Victor” on the sixth and seventh pages.
Just before we go to press the capitalistic papers bring the news that the “Alarm” is to be revived in New York with financial backing, and that it will be conducted by Henry London, John Most, and Dyer D. Lum. This is interesting, to say the least.
B. F. Underwood, editor until recently of the “Open Court,” has been engaged as the editor of the Chicago “Illustrated Graphic News.” It is to be hoped that he will exclude from its columns such slanderous references to Anarchists as were lately made by him in the columns of the Boston “Investigator.”
My recent complimentary notice of E. C. Walker’s forthcoming fortnightly, “Fair Play,” made Moses Harman, editor of “Lucifer,” so boiling mad that he dumped the whole of it into a department of his paper which he calls “Spirit of the Opposition,” along with Talmage and other pietists. Really, Mr. Harman, a man of your age ought to have better control of his passions.
“All taxation is an evil,” says Speaker Carlisle. Now, when greenhorns talk to you about the blessings of government and the beauties of law and order, point out to them that this man, who certainly is more competent than they to pronounce judgment, since he has long been and still is in the business, completely knocks them out. If government is a necessary and serviceable institution, then there is nothing to complain about in the expense of running it. Taxation is an evil because government is a farce and a snare.
Hereafter the “Workmen’s Advocate,” the organ of the Socialistic Labor Party, will be published in New York, from the office of the German organ of the party. It is to be hoped that the change of external surroundings will be accompanied by an improvement in the tone and quality of the editorial mouthings. The paper has been too shallow and stupid even for a place as small as New Haven, and Liberty is anxious to meet an “Advocate” of Socialism with whom it would be refreshing to occasionally exchange a word or two. It is inconvenient to have to go for intelligence and originality to the London Socialistic market.
A New Jersey court has decided that the will of a citizen of that State, by which Henry George was given a large sum of money for the circulation of his books, is invalid on the ground that the bequest is not educational or charitable, but intended for the spread of doctrines contrary to the law of the land. Probably the judge who rendered this decision thinks regarding the determination of economic truth, as Mr. George thinks regarding the issue of money, the collection of rents, the carrying of letters, the running of railroads, and sundry other things, that it is “naturally a function of government.” And really, if Mr. George is right, I do not see why the judge is not right. Yet I agree that Mr. George has correctly branded him as an “immortal ass.”
Judson Grenell of Detroit edits the “Advance,” and he is so Communistic that he directs his compositors to throw the type into their cases regardless of the compartments in which the various letters respectively belong, which probably accounts for the following extraordinary statement in the “Advance” of May 19: “Benjamin Tucker of Boston edits Liberty, and he is so indiviualistic [sic] that the little [sic] of the paper, though in scrip [sic] type, has a space between the letters, so that each one stands alone.” If Judson Grenell were more individualistic, he would know how to spell that word, would be able to distinguish between little and title, and would not confound script with scrip or an artist’s taste with a crank’s whim. (Should this paragraph lead any one to accuse me of triviality in criticism, no defence will be attempted.)
The State Socialists are forever citing the efficiency of the postal service as a sample of the superiority of governmental over private enterprise. Yet here comes the Fort Worth “South West,” a paper very much given over to State Socialistic doctrines, and says that a reduction of the rate of postage is of less importance now than an increase in the efficiency of the service, which, “through mistaken economy, has been lowered to an inexcusable extent.” Until the State Socialists can agree that the post office is well managed, they had better look in some other direction for a pattern of public administration. First and last I have a good deal to do with the United States postal department, and I have seen enough to satisfy me that, were I to take the time necessary for a thorough investigation of its workings, I could show it to be a most stupidly and wofully mismanaged concern.
The death-rate among the labor and liberal journals has reached an appalling figure during the past month or two. In all directions the ground is covered with the dead and dying. First, the Winsted “Press” passed in its checks in Connecticut. Then the “Alarm” gave up the ghost in Illinois. At the same time the tidings came from London that the “Anarchist” was in a state of suspended animation, though with a prospect of resumption. And now I must announce that the London “Radical” has gasped for possibly its last breath, the Denver “Labor Enquirer” has “risen,” as the Spiritualists say, and the San Francisco “People” is in its grave. What manner of pestilence is this that is stalking abroad, decimating our ranks? Let us pray that Boston may not lie in its fated path. But if it should, let those who shall be left behind us sing as we do now:
Then fill up your glasses steady;
This world is a world of lies;
Three cheers for the dead already!
Hurrah for the next that dies!
Abused by the Paris newspapers and boycotted by the bourgeoisie, Zola’s “Germinal” was forced from the stage after fourteen representations. Judging from “La Révolte’s” account, however, the play was by no means a dramatic failure intrinsically, but, on the contrary, a production of startling power, which would have achieved corresponding pecuniary success, had it not been so bitter a pill to the rich that they would not swallow it, even though Zola, in anticipation of their wry faces, had consented to give it numerous coats of sugar. The cheaper seats were well filled at every performance, but the receipts from these unfortunately are insufficient for the support of a first-class theatre. First a victim of the official censor and now a victim of plutocratic censure, Zola’s play must await the future’s sure seal of approbation. Meanwhile the novel from which it was drawn has already taken its place among the books — perhaps half a dozen in all — which can contest with any show of success for the honor of being the greatest work of fiction ever written.
In his last sermon before the Unity congregation of New York Rev. Pentecost said among other things that “men who get rich by interest do not earn the money, but violate the laws of justice,” and that there “would be no such thing as interest in a society justly ordered.” I expect that in the next “Standard” Mr. Pentecost will be taken to task for this anti-Georgian heresy and advised to read “Progress and Poverty.” But as I have reason to believe that he is not unacquainted with that book, I am puzzled at his apparently wilful opposition to the precepts of his prophet. Of course he must have heard all about the “time” argument, and he must know that interest and wages rise and fall together, as well as that both capitalists and laborers would be benefited by the single-tax. How, then, can he speak as he did? If interest is an evil which (according to Mr. George’s own emphasized declarations) appropriation of land values by the government would not only leave untouched, but foster and develop, it is evident that the single-tax can not be the cure for poverty and the solution of the social problem. It looks very much as if Mr. George has lost another of his most prominent and thoughtful disciples.
“Jumping” the True Solution.
[The Radical, Australia.]
This mistake of nationalization has multiplied itself, and its consequences are now felt amongst the units or individuals of every nation. The history of England shows that, in proportion as nationalization of land has gained ground, monopoly by the few and suffering by the many have increased. State control has resulted in legalized monopoly, in grants of land to the few and enslavement of the many, in despotic tyranny and the denial of liberty; the same horrors which today Land Nationalists say Socialists and Free Communists are endeavoring to bring about. The history of Australia shows the same effects from nationalization. From the time when land was held for use only to Thomas Garrett’s system is but a few years, and yet what changes have been wrought. When the diggers used their claims, or had them taken from them by “jumpers,” to the time when disused claims were legalized by a Minister for Lands, was but a few weeks or days, yet what a change came over the spirit of our dream. Under the former system peace, employment, and prosperity reigned; under the latter confusion, social discord, and starvation are seen everywhere. Under the former system the land was individualized and de-nationalized; under the latter it is monopolized and nationalized. The former was nature’s law, the latter is artificial or unnatural law.
We are suffering from Nationalization, and, like the drunkard, we desire a hair of the dog that bit us; or like the protectionist who is suffering from the protection of his master, and still wants another homoeopathic dose of protection. Henry George says truly that we have become so imbued with the idea that labor must be protected that we fail to calculate the benefits to be derived from freedom, yet George falls into the same error by failing to see the benefits of denationalization of land or true nationalization based on liberty, equality, and fraternity, or, in other words, the freeing of land from political corruption and control. The true solution of the land question lays in making it free to all so that it will cost men and women nothing to use it. Instead of nationalizing land, it must be de-nationalized, so that the only title to the land will be use. We mast solve it in the way that the diggers used to solve it in the days gone by. Land that is held in disuse must be “jumped”; which is the natural way to break up the land monopoly, and which way will be found to be the best economically and socially.
The Rag-Picker of Paris.
By Felix Pyat.
Translated from the French by Benj. B. Tucker.
Continued from No. 124.
They constituted the flower of liberalism, the pleiades of the opposition, financiers first, lawyers, soldiers, literary men, artists, all the celebrities of the bourgeoisie of the day.
At the right of the host was seated his friend, his master, the great national banker, Jacques Laffitte, in a dark blue coat with brass buttons, the promoter of the Foy subscription, the treasurer of the party, the quarter-master of the army, destined to be minister of the revolution and to lose his fortune in victory. By the side of Laffitte, his confrere and rival, Casimir Perier, who was to supplant him, and his protege the young little Thiers, who was to betray him. Farther along was the historian of the cause, Sismondi, the surest and also the soundest of our historians, and his young and brilliant pupil, Lieutenant Carrel, the pen and sword of the party, the rebel of Bidassoa ana the republican of the “National,” who was to fall by the bullet of a thief. Then David d’Angers, the sculptor of Barra, and the astronomer Arago, predicting the return of a red comet.
Near them the lawyer of the middle class and the middle king, Dupin, in heavy iron-tipped shoes, more rustic than Roland and more crafty than Pathelin, still hot with the Orleanist protest against the birth of the Count de Chambord, and already meditating the will of the Prince de Condé.
And the Bonapartist general, the Corsican, Sebastiani, destined to be less famous for his deeds than for his phrase, “Order reigns at Warsaw,” and for his poor dead daughter assassinated by the hand of her husband, the noble Duke de Praslin.
In the middle, opposite M. Berville, in the place of honor, sat the eldest, the venerable patriarch of the Revolution, the ex-Marquis de La Fayette, en cheveux blancs (in the words of the poet Delavigne), who had cut off his particle together with his cue on the night of the Fourth of August and had since called himself Lafayette for short; the “hero” of Two Worlds, a would-be Washington, a miscarried Cromwell, a gallant Warwick, dethroner of kings and courtier of queens, still, in spite of his age, treating all the fair sex as Marie Antoinettes, and, placed near Mile. Berville, dominating the whole company by his high stature, his great renown, and his all-powerful authority.
At the left of Berville was Benjamin Constant, a beau of the Consulate, a skeleton, with three garments to fill him out, who, like a certain Greek, would have needed lead in his boots to hold him before the wind, his head covered with long hair, now gray but formerly light, which fell over his shoulders and curled angelically, in the style of Bernardin, the author of “Virginie,” his chin buried in a Directory cravat, in the style of Talleyrand; in short, all that had been left of him by his fat mistress, Mme. de Staël. Such as he was, he was the tribune of the opposition. The King’s body-guards had demanded satisfaction (raison) for his last speech, and he had answered them that they undoubtedly stood in great need of reason (raison), but that he had not so much that he could spare them any. Which had amused France.
Then there was the deputy Manuel, still covered with glory by his expulsion from the Chamber by the gendarmes who had laid hands upon him after the national guards on duty at the Palais-Bourbon had refused. Which had made France indignant.
Then his friend Béranger, his forehead already bald, a real alabaster globe above his two handsome, delicate, soft, radiant, sparkling blue eyes, who had just lampooned in song the Carabas and the Hommes noirs.* Which had set all France singing.
Without counting the newspaper writers of the “Constitutionnel” who enlightened her, Jay, Jouy, Jal, and even the publisher Touquet,— in short, all the stars of the political and literary firmament, all the glories of liberalism, all the forces of that opposition which was turning towards conspiracy to end in Revolution. Brilliant stars then, obscure today, which have had their influence, shot across the heavens, and disappeared in the limbo or become nebulous in the galaxy of history, from which the novel rescues them for a moment for its use if not for its pleasure.
After the period of silence with which a grand dinner usually begins, there was a running fire of raillery, anecdote, political, literary, and financial gossip on all the subjects of the day, tarring the fashions, woman not being represented at this table of black coats, save by Mlle. Berville, who represented only the reaction and the kitchen.
Witticisms were showered on the Bourbons, the king a l’engrais, Louis XVIII., and his honorary mistress, the hunter, Charles X., and his Jesuit confessor, the Miraculous child and his immaculate mother, and especially the responsible ministers, their legislative projects and administrative policies, the double vote, right of primogeniture, law of love, law of sacrilege, tickets of confession, abolition of civil marriage,— in short, all the clerical and royal pretensions contained in the ominous Article 14 of the granted Charter.
The scandals and crimes of the clergy, high and low, of Archbishop Quelen and Father Mingrat, were no less bombarded.
All this political and religious artillery, varied with financial petards regarding bonds and discounts, conversions and loans, rise and fall of prices, heavy stocks, the latent crisis, suffering commerce, canals, roads, imports and exports,— all was of the opposition.
While biting the legitimate dynasty, they never failed to set their teeth in better meat. Upon the artistic appearance and the flavor of each dish they congratulated Mlle. Gertrude, who, the only woman at the banquet, with her abbe beside her, was the target of the male sex and threw her grain of feminine salt into the conversation.
“Well,” she replied to Benjamin Constant, an epicure who, while eating the king and the priest, regaled himself and complimented her on a languet de Vierzon,** “will you always speak evil of religion?”
“A monk’s dish!” exclaimed the delighted orator.
“You are right; I hold the secret directly from the convent of the Benedictines. Ask my cousin, M. de Berville.”
“Berville, if you please, cousin.”
“Yes, the last monk whom your frightful ’93 expelled from the convent left the receipt to my aunt, the mother of my cousin de Berville.”
“You see, the Church has done some good.”
“Ah I if it had done nothing but give banquets!” said the orator, laughing and licking his chops.
“Your Revolution has not done as much, has it?”
“That is Voltaire’s fault.”
“To say nothing of the burnt almonds of Bourges, and the pastries of Linieres, and the case-museaux de Mehun, all products of the convents of our religious Berry.”
“That is Rousseau’s fault.”
“And the liquor of Chartreux, and the gingerbread-nuts of Reims, and the feet of Sainte-Menehould, cousin,” added M. Berville, who liked to tease her.
“Your guillotine has killed cookery with the rest. No more Vatels; I am going to discharge mine, first because he swears, which I do not like, but especially because he has a notion that he will not make the white sauces which I like,” said Gertrude, laughing.
“Ah I if our poor defunct were here, what a lesson in equality she would give you, cousin.”
“Yes, the dear republican who called Our Lord Sans-Culotte and God Citizen . . . . who sang her child to sleep with the Marseillaise. That God may forgive her is my daily prayer. The old Christmas hymn and the blessed bread would have been better.”
“Yes, we do justice to the Church, but at the table, not of communion, but of Mardi Gras,” said Constant. “This fine languet makes up for the insipidity of the host.”
But the coarse bourgeois wit of the sceptical banker, his swaggering incredulity and vulgarity, redoubled when the poultry was served, a turkey truffled ministerially which he invariably called a Jesuit, offering Monsieur the abbé the rump, which he pitilessly called a bishop’s cap, and accompanying it with some pastry, which, to cap the climax, he described as nun’s wind.
There was only a shout of laughter.
“Respect for the child,” said Gertrude.
“With the mitre,” said M. Berville savagely to the poor martyr, “you cannot fail to succeed the archbishop of Paris, and even become cardinal-minister, like Dubois, or at least king’s confessor, like Father Cotton. And, speaking of confession, have you read Paul Louis’s latest pamphlet on celibacy?”
The abbé, stout and fat, Gertrude’s spiritual director, did not breathe a word, but closed his ears and opened his mouth, as much as to say, like his Cardinal Mazarin, “Let them sing, they will pay for it!” and took his revenge upon the banker’s larded truffles, gluttony being the most venial of the seven capital sins.
Benjamin Constant, as gluttonous as he was thin, came to the aid of the priest out of sympathy with his vice, saying that the Church had civilized table manners as it had civilized morality, politics, and literature,— Alma parens, holy mother of all knowledge!
And straightway the conversation took an upward turn.
“Well and good,” said Mlle. Gertrude, “you, a Protestant, do more justice to Catholicism than these freethinkers like my cousin de Berville. You are at least Christian. But these Voltaireans, these infidels, these atheists, like my charming neighbor, Béranger”. . .
“I beg pardon, Mademoiselle,” said the poet, “I an atheist! You forget the ‘God of the good people.’ I an infidel! Not to ‘Lisette.’”
“It is true. But you do not recognize as we do the glory of the century, Monsieur the Viscount de Chateaubriand, the illustrious author of the ‘Genius of Christianity’”. . .
“And of ‘René,’ the incestuous.”
“You do not like our modern literature so original and so new”. . .
“New, humph! as new as the Middle Ages.”
“So Catholic, so monarchical, so national”. . .
“Like Pitt and Cobourg.”
“Ah! I can see them all gathered in their coterie at Abbaye-aux-Bois, at the beautiful, noble, and pious Madame de Récamier’s.”
“Ah! yes, the Magdalen of the Directory, but little repentant! No, indeed!” “Radiant constellation, of which Viscount de Chateaubriand is the sun, and the planets Viscount d’Harlincourt, Chevalier de Lamartine, Baron Taylor, Count de Vigny, and the son of the happy Vendean, the young Count Victor Hugo.”
“Yes, all counts. . . the Gotha almanac. . . all nobles, and Apollo was a shepherd. . . . stay, you forget Dumas, the Marquis de la Pailleterie, a negro marquis, and the printer Balzac, who has also become a noble author,— Honore de Balzac.” “Just as my cousin is de Berville,” said M. Berville.
“Oh, speak not so ill of the noble particle,” said Gertrude. “Are not you yourself, dear poet, noble also, M. de Béranger?”
“Oh! oh! if my father, the tailor, could hear you in his grave, he would be capable of recrossing his legs.”
“No matter! you, a poet, you, the singer of ‘Lisette,’ admire at least the child of genius celebrating in song the child of miracle, the poet of the ‘Ode to the Duke de Bordeaux’! What poetry! ‘the flower of the grave.’”
“Humph! the flower of the grave! what a perfume! the odor is unpleasant”
“And the ‘Ode to the Column,’ great patriot, what do you think of that?”
“Yes, there is something for all tastes, except mine, you see, Mademoiselle,” said Béranger, seriously, “I am only a song-writer, but a Frenchman; and all your poets are only foreign troubadours, English and German minstrels, sons, and, I fear, fathers, of invasion. Wellington and Blücher have invaded and abandoned us; but they have left us their fellow-countrymen, Scott and Goethe! Voltaire and Rousseau are conquered, like France. We are, I repeat, invaded and occupied. Are we going to progress backwards, advance toward the rear, retrace our steps, return to the Middle Ages, and relapse into childhood, the second, the ugly childhood, that which precedes death? I have said: ‘Kings never will invade France.’ I was wrong. With this poetry they will regain it. You will not make citizens with René and citizenesses with Atala. And to save ourselves, to restore us to the path of progress, a second revolution is needed.”
“We will make it; we shall see the Republic again!” cried Carrel, raising his head filled with enthusiasm.
“Yes, we shall have the ‘best of republics,’” said La Fayette, diplomatically. “We shall have the citizen-king,” insisted the little Thiers, with his owl’s head and his rattle voice.
“Yes, yes, the golden mean,” added Dupin.
“And then all will not be ended,” said Sismondi, shaking his head. “The Revolution perhaps will go farther and faster than they would like to have it. Let us remember! The taking of the Bastille caused the taking of the Tuileries. The taking of the Tuileries will cause the taking of the Bank.”
At this word Bank, M. Berville stopped laughing and teasing his cousin. His interest, in the absence of intellect, comprehended the historian Sismondi and checked the sage.
“Yes, not so fast and no extremes! Let us be positive!” said he. “I am very willing to subscribe to the ‘Constitutionnel,’ but for the Constitution. I desire the Charter, but not the Republic. I am for the golden mean, as M. Dupin says. Frankly, I do not like priests or nobles, as my cousin well knows; but I like democrats no better. I say more; I even prefer knights to citizens and ‘short-robes’ to sans-culottes. Anything rather than demagogues who have neither house nor home nor faith nor law”. . .
“Very good,” exclaimed his cousin, laughing; “soon you will call yourself de Berville. Bravo, and thank you, my cousin, for thus defending religion and royalty.”
“They are necessary for the People,” said Berville, with a sagacious air.
“So, then,” replied his malicious cousin, “you deny the nobility from pride.”
“As you desire it from vanity. Yes, my dear vain cousin, no more nobles. All Frenchmen are equal before the law.”
“That is just what the People say to the bourgeois.”
“They are wrong.”
“And you right?”
“Undoubtedly the People are at least our equals. I even maintain that the most insignificant workman who calls himself a slave is freer and happier than I”. . . .
“Yes. Les gueux, les gueux sont des gens heureux,” hummed Béranger.
“Allowances, fees, wages, salaries,— the same thing under different names. Really the employee has neither responsibility nor care nor supervision nor obligations. I am not his master, I am his steward.”
The young Berville, who had listened to all this long conversation without going to sleep, thanks to the nun’s wind and other holy bonbons of the great confectioner of Rome, at this point addressed an indiscreet question to his father between two mouthfuls of gingerbread-nuts:
“Say, then, papa, why don’t you become a workman?”
The guests smiled.
The father, nonplussed, evaded the question.
“There, Camille, children of your age should be seen and not heard. Gentlemen, I may seem paradoxical; but really I declare to you that the meanest of my employees is more independent than I.”
“Oh! oh!” exclaimed Carrel.
“Take, if you will, the lowest of all my collectors,— Didier, for instance. I take him because he is steady. He earns eighty cents a day, and for doing what, my God? He goes, he comes, he receives, and he carries. A terrier would do as much. His life is assured, and, as he is honest, he is more than rich,— he is happy.”
Why don’t you change places with him?” asked the enfant terrible. “He would ask nothing better.”
And the guests shouted.
The father, now indignant, was about to resume his argument after an angry gesture at the child, when behind a valet a man of mature age entered cautiously, and with an air of embarrassment and anxiety approached the banker’s chair.
It was the cashier of the establishment.
“Monsieur,” said he, in a hesitating tone.
And in a low voice the following conversation began.
“What do you want, Bremont?” said Berville, testily.
“To speak to you in private.”
“You know very well that I do not wish to be disturbed when I am at the table.”
“Excuse me, Monsieur, but”. . .
“And how happens it that you are here at this hour? Why come back?”
“I have not come back; I have remained.”
“I have been waiting for the collector, who has not yet returned.”
The banker leaped from his seat.
To be continued.
* The priests.
** This phrase and another occurring a few paragraphs farther on, case-museaux de Mehun, are not to be found in the dictionaries, and are unknown to such French cooks as I have been able to consult. They doubtless describe dishes or products peculiar to the places specified in them. – Translator.
Love, Marriage, and Divorce,
And the Sovereignty of the Individual.
Henry James, Horace Greeley, and Stephen Pearl Andrews.
Mr. Greeley’s Comments.
Continued from No. 124.
We have no doubt this wise law, while essential to the progress of the race in intelligence and virtue, is eminently conducive to the happiness of individuals. True, there are unhappy marriages, discordant marriages, unions sanctioned by law which lack the soul of marriage – but these occur, not through any inherent vice or defect in the institution, but through the levity, rashness, avarice, or over-mastering appetite of one or both of the parties, when the law counsels deliberation and demands pure affection. If a general proclamation were issued tomorrow, with the sanction of all our civil and ecclesiastical authorities, authorizing every married couple to obtain a divorce by merely applying for it within two months, and, in default of such asking, to remain undivorced ever afterward, we do not believe one couple in ten would apply for divorce. But let it be understood that marriages would hereafter be sanctioned and honored, biding the parties to regard each other as husband and wife only so long as should be mutually agreeable, and leaving them at perfect liberty to dissolve this tie and form new ones at pleasure, and we believe marriages would be contracted and dissolved with a facility and levity now unimagined. Every innocent young maiden would be sought in marriage by those who no plot her ruin without marriage, and the facility of divorce would cover the arts and designs of the libertine with all the panoply of honorable and pure affection. How many have already fallen victims to the sophistry that the ceremony of marriage is of no importance,– the affection being the essential matter? How many are every day exposed to this sophistry? Marriage indissoluble may be an imperfect test of honorable and pure affection,– as all things human are imperfect,– but it is the best the State can devise; and its overthrow would result in a general profligacy and corruption such as this country has never known and few of our people can adequately imagine.
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 vitally necessary and already too long neglected. The free trade sophistry respecting marriage is already on every libertine’s tongue; it has overrun the whole country in the yellow-covered literature which is as abundant as the frogs of Egypt and a great deal more pernicious. It is high time that the press, the pulpit, and every other avenue to the public mind, were alive to this subject, presenting, reiterating, and enforcing the argument in favor of the sanctity, integrity, and perpetuity of marriage.
Extract of Reply of Mr. James to the Observer.
To Mr. Greeley:
I do not see that Mr. Andrews’ queries need detain us. The numerous fallacies and misconceptions on which they are grounded either suggest their own correction to the observant reader or else stand fully corrected in my replies to the “Observer” and yourself. Besides, the entire “indifference” which Mr. Andrews professes as to any possible issue of the discussion between the “Observer” and myself gives a decided shade of impropriety to his interference in it. I value my time and thoughts much too highly to bestow them upon those who can afford to be indifferent to them; and, accordingly, I shall hold myself excused if I confine my attention to yourself and the “Observer.”
Mr. Greeley’s Comments.
We do, indeed, believe that most parties are now as happy and contented in their marriage relations as their own natures will allow; because we believe that marriages are now contracted with a very general understanding that they are practically indissoluble; that nothing short of death or the deep demoralization and lasting infamy of one of the parties can ever dissolve them. But let it be understood that marriages may be dissolved whenever the parties are tired of each other,– and we can conceive no essential modification of our resent system which will not amount practically to this,– and we believe more false than true marriages would be contracted; because libertines would resort to marriage as a cloak for their lecherous designs, which the legal penalties of bigamy and adultery now compel them to pursue by a more circuitous and less shaded path. Apprise sensualities that they may at any time be rid of the obligations of marriage by simply dishonoring them,– and if Mr. James does not intend this, we cannot understand him,– and thousands would incur those obligations with deliberate intent to throw them off whenever they should be found irksome, as, with their appetites, they are morally certain soon to become. We insist, then, that what Mr. James intends or contemplates may be ever so innocent and practically just without at all discharging his proposition of the responsibility of such use as the carnal and unprincipled would inevitably make of it. And this use we determine by the ruin they are now too often enabled to effect through the influence of the sophism that the ceremony of marriage is of no account where the essential marriage of heart and soul has already taken place. We determine it also by the demoralization and degeneracy of the Romans, especially the Patricians, following closely on the heels of the liberty of divorce accorded by their laws in the last days of the republic. We find, also, that the mist flagrant social disorders were diffused and aggravated in France by the liberty of divorce accorded during the frenzy of the first Revolution. In short, we believe this liberty always did create or immensely inflame such disorders wherever it has been legalized, and we think it always must do so; at least until the human race shall have been very differently trained and developed from aught the world has yet seen. If there ever shall come a time when the whole race shall profoundly realize that lewdness, with all transgression of the laws of God, is a ruinous mistake, destructive of the happiness of the transgressor, there will then be no need of human laws or penalties, and they may be dispensed with altogether. But so long as there shall exist a social necessity for interdicting and punishing murder,– which we reckon will be rather longer than either Mr. James’s or our writings will continue to be read,– so long we believe there will be a necessity for punishing seduction and adultery and forbidding divorce.
We contend that Mr. James’s liberty of divorce, no matter what his intent may be, or what hedges he might seek to set about it, would practically open to the licentious and fickle a prospect of ridding themselves of the obligations of marriage at pleasure,– would say to them, “Get married, if that will subserve the ends of today; and you may get unmarried again tomorrow, or as soon as you shall think proper.” And we regard Mr. Andrews’ queries and well-understood position as most significant and pertinent, pointing, as they do, to a still larger (or looser) liberty than Mr. James contemplates. Once admit divorce on Mr. James’s basis, and it will be utterly impossible to confine it within his limits.
Our own conviction and argument decidedly favor “indissoluble marriage,” any existing law to the contrary notwithstanding. But for the express words of Christ, which seem to admit adultery as a valid ground of divorce [Online editor’s note: presumably a reference to Matthew 5:32 and 19:9 – RTL], we should stand distinctly on the Roman Catholic ground of no divorce except by death. As it is, we do not object to divorce for the one flagrant and gross violation of the marriage covenant, though we should oppose even that, if it did not seem to be upheld by the personal authority of Christ. Beyond it we are inflexible.
Notice by Mr. Greeley.
We acknowledge the receipt of Mrs. E. Oakes Smith’s promised exposition of her views on the Divorce Question, which we shall publish soon. But we have had one much longer on hand from Mr. S. P. Andrews, which we shall print first, though we consider its doctrines eminently detestable, while Mrs. Smith’s conclusions are just, though her way of looking at the question differs somewhat from ours.
The world is full of perilous fallacies and sophisms respecting Marriage and Divorce, which, we are confident, are mischievous only because they burrow in darkness and are permitted to do their deadly work unopposed. Let them be exposed to the light of discussion, and they will, they must, be divested of their baneful power. We hope to do our share toward this consummation.
Mr. Andrews Reply to Mr. James and Mr. Greeley.
To the Editor of the New York Tribune:
Mr. James declines answering my questions on the ground that I expressed indifference between him and another party. I did not express any indifference to the information which I sought from him. By this expert quibble he gracefully waves aside queries to which it is simply impossible for him to reply, without committing himself, by inevitable sequence, to conclusions which he seems either not to have the willingness or the courage to avow. It would be cruel to insist any further. So let Mr. James pass. Before doing so, however, since he charges “fallacies and misconceptions” upon my article, and refers me obliquely to his replies in The Observer, permit me to recapitulate the positions at which he has tarried temporarily while boxing the circle of possibilities in that discussion. I quote from Mr. James’ various articles on the subject.
Position No. 1. “Marriage means nothing more and nothing less than the legal union of one man and one woman for life.” “It does not mean the voluntary union of the parties, or their mutual consent to live together durante placito” (during pleasure), “but simply a legally or socially imposed obligation to live together durante vita” (during life).
That is to say, if I understand, that it is “the base legal bondage,” or “outward force,” which characterizes the union, and not the internal or spiritual union of loving hearts which constitutes the Marriage.
Position No. 2. “It is evident to every honest mind, that if our conjugal, parental, and social ties generally can be safely discharged of the purely diabolic element of outward force, they must instantly become transfigured by their own inward, divine, and irresistible loveliness.” “No doubt there is a very enormous clandestine violation of the Marriage bond” [legal bond, of course, as he has defined Marriage] “at the present time. . . . The only possible chance for correcting it depends upon fully legitimating Divorce . . . because, in that case, you place the inducement to mutual fidelity no longer in the base legal bondage of the parties merely, but in their reciprocal inward sweetness or humanity.” “You must know many married partners who, if the Marriage Institution” [the legal bond] “were formally abolished tomorrow, would instantly annul that legal abolition again by the unswerving constancy of their hearts and lives.” That is, without Marriage.
Position No. 3. “I have. . . . contended for greater Freedom of Divorce on these grounds;. . . . but I had no idea that I was thus weakening the respect for Marriage. I seemed to myself to be plainly strengthening it,” etc. “It seemed to me the while, that I was saying as good a word for Marriage as was ever said beneath the stars.”
To resume: These three positions are, if language means any thing, as follows:
1. The whole and sole substance of Marriage is the legal bond or outward force which unites the parties for life.
2. This legal bond or outward force is a diabolical element, and should be wholly abolished and dispensed with.
3. By dispensing with Marriage altogether – that is, with all outward form or legal bond – you do thereby strengthen the respect for Marriage, and purify and sanctify the Institution!
Position No. 4. Goes a step further, if possible, in absurdity, and proposes not merely to allow parties to unmarry themselves ad libitum but to still further purify what remains of Marriage (after the whole of it is abolished) by turning disorderly members out, as they turn members out of church. See last article, passim.
Position No. 5. Entreats of the Editor of The Observer to let him off from the discussion – declines to answer my interrogatories – and, to make a verb of one of his pet substantives, he cuttle-fishes, by a final plunge into metaphysical mysticism.
When a writer, claiming distinction as a philosophical essayist, is content to rest his reputation upon a collation of his avowed positions such as the above, culled from his own statements made during the course of a single discussion, he shall not be compelled by any “shade of impropriety” on my part, to undertake the distasteful task of disentangling himself from the perplexing embroglio.
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.
A Seed Planted.
Time: Thursday, May 17, 7.30 P.M.
Place: Residence of the editor of Liberty, 10 Garfield Ave., Crescent Beach, Revere (a town in the suburbs of Boston).
Dramatis Personæ: Charles F. Fenno, so-called tax-collector of Revere, and the editor of Liberty.
In answer to a knock the editor of Liberty opens his front door, and is accosted by a man whom he never met before, but who proves to be Fenno.
Fenno.— “Does Mr. Tucker live here?”
Editor of Liberty.— “That’s my name, sir.”
F.— “I came about a poll-tax.”
E. of L.— “Well?”
F.— “Well, I came to collect it.”
E. of L.— “Do I owe you anything?”
F.— “Well, no; but you were living here on the first of May last year, and the town taxed you one dollar.”
E. of L.— “Oh! it isn’t a matter of agreement, then?”
F.— “No, it’s a matter of compulsion.”
E. of L.— “But isn’t that rather a mild word for it? I call it robbery.”
F.— “Oh, well, you know the law; it says that all persons twenty years of age and upwards who are living in a town on the first day of May”—
E. of L.— ůYes, I know what the law says, but the law is the greatest of all robbers.”
F.— “That may be. Anyhow, I want the money.”
E. of L. (taking a dollar from his pocket and handing it to Fenno)— “Very well. I know you are stronger than I am, because you have a lot of other robbers at your back, and that you will be able to take this dollar from me if I refuse to hand it to you. If I did not know that you are stronger than I am, I should throw you down the steps. But because I know that you are stronger, I hand you the dollar just as I would hand it to any other highwayman. You have no more right to take it, however, than to enter the house and take everything else you can lay your hands on, and I don’t see why you don’t do so.”
F.— “Have you your tax-bill with you?”
E. of L.— “I never take a receipt for money that is stolen from me.”
F.— “Oh, that’s it?”
E. of L.— “Yes, that’s it.”
And the door closed in Fenno’s face.
He seemed a harmless and inoffensive individual, entirely ignorant of the outrageous nature of his conduct, and he is wondering yet, I presume, if not consulting with his fellow-citizens, upon what manner of crank it is that lives at No. 10 Garfield Ave., and whether it would not be the part of wisdom to lodge him straightway in a lunatic asylum. If he will reconsider his conversation in the light of the article printed below from the pen of J. Wm. Lloyd, perhaps he may discover that there is some method in the madness of Anarchists who try to evade the “tax-collector.”
Trust All to Liberty.
Comrade Leahy confesses: “We take it that the cost of all benefits should fall on those benefited. But the benefits arising from the suppression of crime must necessarily fall upon all alike, and hence the cost should be borne by all alike, whether willingly or unwillingly,” and thereupon he beseeches, if he is wrong, that Liberty would give him light.
I have perfect faith that our natural leader will give it to him, broad and bright; nevertheless I, too, am fain to swing my lantern and add my “barbaric yawp.”
The trouble with the “American Idea” appears to be its idea that a man can in justice be required to pay for something bestowed upon him, without his request or consent, merely because the dealer insists upon its being a benefit. At least it believes this when the dealer is the government and is dealing out what it believes is benefit. This is indeed the American idea, and a devil of an idea it is,— that very Libertysmothering paternalism which Comrades Leahy and Allison elsewhere so ardently attack.
In referring to the cost principle, Comrade Leahy evidently thinks we shall be “hoist with our own petard,” but he forgets that behind and within the cost principle is the primary and greater principle of individuality. And because of the principle of free individuality a man cannot rightfully be charged for any benefit, or for any measure intended to benefit, to which he has not willingly subscribed. How now, if ten regulators in Missouri hang a highwayman, can they rightfully demand that Messrs. Leahy and Allison, riding afterward on that road, shall share the responsibility and pecuniary expense of the deed because of the alleged benefit? Can the Prohibitionists rightfully compel non-Prohibitionists to share the expense of enforcing the anti-liquor laws, and the cost of the prohibitory propaganda, because “suppressing drunkenness is a benefit”? Is it not self-evident that I must be satisfied in my mind that a given act is a crime, and a given method for its suppression efficacious, before I can be properly called upon to subscribe to the fund that makes suppression possible? And even if satisfied, have I not a right to refuse to subscribe? If not, why not?
A benefit is either a free gift, a ware in the market, or a weapon aimed at one’s liberty. If a gift, there is no indebtedness; if a ware, then the buyer has a right to say whether he will buy, or not, and what price he will, or will not, pay; if a weapon, let all beware.
Liberty’s cost principle requires that every man shall bear the expense of his own acts, unless others freely choose to share it with him. Incidental benefits are like the gifts of nature, “without money and without price,” and free to all who can appropriate them. Any attempt to admeasure them and exact compensation for them would, if successful (which it could never be except for the fetish of government), convulse society to its foundations and set every man against his brother.
For instance: if I live in a village, can my neighbor A, who lives across the street, compel me to share the cost of the pretty cottage he builds, and the neat lawn he lays out, because my view is rendered so much more beautiful than before, and the value of my property enhanced by his “improvements”? Can neighbor B, on my right, who puts up a high board fence to screen his back yard from observation, justly assess me with part of the expense because the frost is thereby kept from my cucumbers? Can I honestly compel neighbor C, on my left, whose lot is lower than mine, to pay part of the cost of an expensive fertilizer for my terrace, because, indeed, a good part of that fertilizer eventually washes down to his hedge? If Comrade Leahy answers “No” to these, then he must also, to be consistent, answer “No” when I ask him if a collection of my neighbors can, rightfully, tax me to pay the cost of a stone sidewalk they insist upon putting in front of my premises (whereas I prefer turf) or to pay the wage of a policeman to strut up and down on that walk when I prefer to guard myself.
No, friend Leahy, that “Liberty” which your “Idea” claims to be “the fundamental and only condition of all growth, all evolution, all progress,” is the equal liberty of each and every individual to labor in his own way, and to spend the fruits of that labor as he may please, and your plan of taxation for the suppression of crime only is an elastic necktie that will choke at last as fatally as a hangman’s halter. Comrade Tucker has asked you a test question, and your answer shows you to be in a position where, unless you “‘pent, sinner, ’pent,” you will soon be lost to Liberty altogether. And, if you follow up your doctrine of charging for incidental benefits, you will find no logical stopping-place this side of State Communism. But I do not fear this, and I look for the day when your American Idea shall become the Anarchical Idea, and you, with your learning and eloquence, one of the freest sailors on Liberty’s sea, and Allison your equal mate.
If I should propose to Comrade Leahy to support the judiciary of the United States by theft, he would start aghast, and quote something about “casting out devils by the prince of devils”; yet this is precisely his own proposition. It is admitted by almost all human beings that robbery is to take from an individual that which rightfully belongs to that individual without that individual’s consent. Mr. Leahy’s government would do exactly this; therefore his government would be a robber. All governments do this; therefore all governments are robbers. To suppress crime by crime is not to suppress crime, is only to change its form and seat. Anarchy only is honesty.
To invade a man’s liberty under pretext of defending his liberty is hypocrisy as damnable as anything Mr. Leahy can find in the house of the “harlot” of Rome, from whose allurements he has so lately purified himself. If some private ruffian insisted upon “protecting” Mr. Leahy, and compelled him to pay for the “protection,” he could see the outrage; but, when the State does this, he is blind. But Honesty recks nothing of minorities or majorities, things private or things public, knows only free consent and fair exchange; and Honesty and Liberty are coordinate.
I am reminded by all this of an argument once or twice brought to me in this form: If a group of Anarchists were attacked by an outside foe, would it not be just for them to compel their cowards and shirks to help fight, or at least help foot the bills? I replied “No,” for such compulsion would be government, the benefit received being an incidental one, the others having to defend themselves just the same, even if these meaner spirits were absent. If the associates constituted a defensive organization, bound together by voluntary pledges, the case might be different; but even then it appeared to me that Liberty would sanction no action toward these defaulters except the spontaneous boycott of natural contempt and disfellowship. It was argued, then, that such laxity would be pernicious, and that examples of successful cowardice and falsehood would demoralize and break up defensive societies. To this I replied that the natural forces could be relied upon to maintain them without invasive compulsion.
For example: if, after the enemy had been repulsed, and the cowards had secretly rejoiced that they had secured defence without cost, a deputation of the enemy should return with this message: “We will not trouble you again, for we see you are too brave and strong for us; but we perceive there are cowards among you who would not help in defence; if they would not help you, you need not them, and if you will promise not to interfere with us in plundering them, we will punish them for you, and be your friends forever.” What now? If the cowards are robbed, they will learn a lesson that will make them quick enough, next time, to join in the mutual defence. If the brave ones are too magnanimous to permit them to be despoiled, they will none the less perceive the imminence of their danger, and will have the additional motives of shame and gratitude to make them cooperate; the outcome will be the same either way, or any way,— that men will combine against danger whilst danger exists. Just as the perceived necessities of normal life (and many not perceived) make men moral without Christianity; just as the necessities of affectional satisfaction make true hearts link without marriage,— just so will the social forces, loneliness, timidity, sympathy, friendship, love, ambition, convenience, need of reciprocal assistance, and habit, hold men together and make them defend each other. And the carefully nurtured love of liberty will prevent them from becoming all alike and stagnant in development, as has been the case in all forced associations; their agreements, being free, will be perfectly harmonious, and their disagreements, being devoid of invasion, will contain the minimum amount of inharmony.
Again I say: Trust all to Liberty.
J. Wm. Lloyd.
Proudhon and Fraternity.
In the closing chapter of the first volume of his “System of Economical Contradictions” Proudhon discusses the origin of evil. He combats the doctrine of Rousseau that man is born good and that society depraves him, pointing out that, if men were good by nature, the social institutions which lead to inequalities could have no such effect, for the inherent goodness of man’s nature would at once restore the balance. In the course of his argument he uses this language:
Love thy neighbor as thyself, Jesus Christ tells us, after Moses. That is the whole of it. Love thy neighbor as thyself, and society will be perfect; love thy neighbor as thyself, and all distinctions of prince and shepherd, of rich and poor, of learned and ignorant, disappear, all clashing of human interests ceases.
Joseph R. Buchanan, the editor of the Chicago “Labor Enquirer,” in a paragraph which he considers, I suppose, a review of Proudhon’s work, quotes the above lines, and comments on them thus:
As near as can be seen from the mass of intricate arguments, the reconciliation sought for is Love — with a big L. This remedy is an old one, but it is thought by many that its application would destroy economical science instead of reconciling its contradictions.
It is unmistakably Buchanan’s intention to give his readers the idea that Proudhon proposed Love as an economic remedy. Is it possible that he sees no distinction between pointing to the absence of love as explanatory of the existence of social evil and advocating love as the means of abolishing that evil? Win. Lloyd Garrison held that, if slaveholders loved their neighbors as themselves, they would free their slaves. It does not follow, however, that his plan for the abolition of slavery consisted of a pouring of love into the hearts of the slaveholders. Nor is such Proudhon’s plan for the abolition of economic slavery. On the contrary, he, perhaps more than any other writer, discountenanced all reformatory projects resting on fraternity as a basic principle. If Buchanan had really read the book which he “reviews” in this quack fashion, numerous passages in it would have shown him this. I content myself with the quotation of only one of them, taken from the chapter on “Monopoly,” in which the author is discussing, not the origin of evil, but political economy:
Why, then, continually interject fraternity, charity, sacrifice, and God into the discussion of economic questions? May it not be that the utopists find it easier to expatiate upon these grand words than to seriously study social manifestations?
Fraternity! Brothers as much as you please, provided I am the big brother and you the little; provided society, our common mother, honors my primogeniture and my services by doubling my portion. You will provide for my wants, you say, in proportion to your resources. I intend, on the contrary, that such provision shall be in proportion to my labor; if not, I cease to labor.
Charity! I deny charity; it is mysticism. In vain do you talk to me of fraternity and love: I remain convinced that you love me but little, and I feel very sure that I do not love you. Your friendship is but a feint, and, if you love me, it is from self-interest. I ask all that my products cost me, and only what they cost me: why do you refuse me?
Sacrifice! I deny sacrifice; it is mysticism. Talk to me of debt and credit, the only criterion in my eyes of the just and the unjust, of good and evil in society. To each according to his works, first; and if, on occasion, I am impelled to aid you, I will do it with a good grace; but I will not be constrained. To constrain me to sacrifice is to assassinate me.
God! I know no God; mysticism again. Begin by striking this word from your remarks, if you wish me to listen to you; for three thousand years of experience have taught me that whoever talks to me of God has designs on my liberty or on my purse. How much do you owe me? How much do I owe you? That is my religion and my God.
From this and other passages it is clear that any reviewer of the book who says that Proudhon proposed Love as a reconciliation is either a contemptible quack, an insufferable blockhead, or a sophistical trickster. Come, Buchanan, make your confession. Of these three which are you?
Those were profound and valuable observations which Colonel Ingersoll recently made in the “Truth Seeker” and another New York paper in regard to the respective usefulness of the Church and the Stage to civilization. He who loves the drama must hate the Church, and he who is anxious about the glory and safety of the Church must recognize in the drama its most dangerous and successful rival. Some poet is recorded to have said that, if he were allowed to write the people’s songs, he would not care who governed and controlled them. So we can say, give us a free and independent stage, and we will cease to trouble ourselves about the pulpit. But unfortunately even the theatre has been converted by the canting moralists and hypocritical purists of the bourgeois world into a means of fostering superstition and ignorance. The bourgeoisie has even forced the theatre to a humiliating compromise and undignified overtures with the sneaking creatures of the orthodox pulpit. “Wilhelm Tell” is banished from the German stage, “Germinal” from the French, and “Ostler Joe” cannot be recited by a lady in fashionable society at Washington without incurring the angry displeasure of the mob of respectable fools and humbugs. Today, with very few exceptions, the lessons taught from the stage are no more healthful and rational than the sermons of such clowns as Talmage, Dix, Cook, or Jones.
So much the more precious, therefore, are the exceptions. And to some of them I wish to call the attention of radicals and men of progressive ideas and sympathies.
No Egoist should fail to see Gilbert and Sullivan’s comic opera, “The Pirates of Penzance.” The beauty of duty and of sacred keeping of promises is the “moral” of the charming opera. “The Queen’s Favorite” is a drama which revolutionists should go miles to see whenever they have a chance. It is a splendid and exquisite satire on the farce of parliamentary agitation, politics, diplomacy, and the business of government generally. One such play is worth more than ten volumes of dissertations on civil service reform, tax reform, tenement house reform, or political improvements. I cannot enter into detail here, but I can assure all of Liberty’s readers that the seeing of this play would be something for them to always recall with the deepest gratification and keenest enjoyment. “Henrietta,” a comedy written especially for Robson and Crane (of whom Colonel Ingersoll is an enthusiastic admirer), who play it to absolute perfection, astonishes one by its bold and unsparing denunciation of the gambling and speculation and dishonesty and indecency of modern “business”; one wonders how it is tolerated for a single night by the cotton kings, coal barons, Napoleons of Wall Street, railroad magnates, and all the powers that be in the commercial world. That it is tolerated should be a matter for congratulation to all friends of progress. No better satire on New York society, fashionable churches, swell clubs, and business dealings can be desired or conceived.
“Henrietta” will do more good than all the pathos and eloquence of the Adlers of the Ethical Culture movement, who exhort business men to moralize their offices.
“Henrietta” and “The Queen’s Favorite” are not unimportant factors in the “revolution which is making all things new,” and, as a recognition of their influence and service, they should be preserved and treasured even “after the revolution.” When the Church will be buried and forgotten, and the political machine swept out of existence, these plays will still be more and more in demand by the free children of the future. Vive la Révolution Sociale!
The discussion of egoism vs. altruism in Liberty has been very interesting. To me there is no such thing as altruism,— that is, the doing of anything wholly for the good of others. We do things for self-satisfaction. I wonder if there are any altruists who would go to hell (presuming there be a hell) in order that their neighbors should go to heaven (presuming there be a heaven)? There is no hope of reward in hell, and a true altruist must expect no reward for his acts. One who would undergo all the tortures of hell so that his neighbors could enjoy all the pleasures of heaven would be an altruist indeed.
* * *
I do not like controversy for the sake of controversy, but as a means of arriving at truth, and unless my controversy with Comrade Yarros is to that end I must decline its continuance. In the last number but one of Liberty he puts me in the wrong positions. In the first place he makes me satirical where I am humble, and in the second place he assumes that I do not know the difference between an employer and a monopolist. No headway can be made if these misrepresentations continue; I am too serious to practise satire while discussing with those from whom I expect to gain valuable information. The difference between us is clear. He says the eight-hour movement is a cure-nothing; I say it is a cure-something, but not a cure-all. I know by hard, practical experience with men who were mentally incapable of grasping the great social-economic problems that lie at the base of the labor movement that they can understand when you tell them their working time is too long for a day’s work; that by shortening their day’s work their pay will not be less, because that is as low now as it can get; and that by working a less number of hours they will have more time for enjoyment and self-improvement. With a very large class of laborers the reduction of the hours of toil is absolutely essential before any considerable improvement in their mental status can take place, and I assume that radical reformers are mentally far more highly developed than those who toil and drudge from ten to fifteen and eighteen hours a day. Of course it is understood that, when I say the “eight-hours” movement, it implies any movement looking at shortening of the day’s labor. With some men who even work ten or more hours a day it is not necessary to urge the shorter workday, because they are mentally capable of understanding more difficult subjects, and are otherwise so conditioned as to be able to understand principles looking to more lasting and greater good. I call the attention of Yarros and those besides him who oppose the short-day movement to the bakers’ and brewers’ struggle for a shorter day’s work and the results. I am of the opinion that no other movement could have been of so much benefit to them as has been the movement which resulted in reducing their work time from fifteen and eighteen hours a day to eleven and even ten in some towns. And this, too, in a comparatively short space of time. An improvement in their mental and physical status is already noticeable, and they are now preparing for further gains. It is not true, either, that these gains are not permanent; that is to say, as permanent as are any human conditions. For we must recognize the fact that no human condition is so permanent as to be everlasting. If I gain an advance in wages from $2 a day to $2.50 a day, and that advance continues even only a year, I have gained absolutely 50 cents a day for that year, and I am for all time to come just so much better off than if I had not had that additional 50 cents. So it is with shortening the working time. My employment brings me in every-day contact with mechanics who are certainly not below the great body of people in mental development, and they consider me a kind of mild lunatic when I propound my radical position on social-economic questions; and, mark you, I lose no opportunity to present fundamental principles. Now, I would be doing the radical movement a positive injury by teetotally and uncompromisingly opposing their efforts to better their condition by shortening their working time, because they would close their ears to my arguments and dub me a nuisance altogether. I believe every Anarchist has a right to carry on the movement as to him seems best. I choose to help those who strive for less hours of work, especially as it gives me an opportunity for propaganda. An old fellow hereabouts used to tell us of a man who was so straight that he leaned backwards, and warned us that that was an undignified attitude. To stand straight is enough; I don’t want to lean backwards.
* * *
Radical Jack is asking the boys very pertinent questions, and I hope they will be answered. He, however, seems to have fallen into the notion of many others that Anarchists want to abolish all “law” at one sweep. This is not necessary. If the State would only remove those laws that stand in the way of free land, free money, and transportation, its other statutes would, in course of time, become useless and “repeal” themselves. Poverty is the cause of crime, and the laws that stand in the way of free production and exchange are the cause of poverty. Were these removed, the laws for the punishment of crime would not need to be exercised. Anarchy in trade and industry will lead to Anarchy in other avenues of human activities.
Joseph A. Labadie.
A Reply to Victor.*
“Independent men and women, in independent homes, leading separate and independent lives, with full freedom to form and dissolve relations, and with perfectly equal opportunities to happiness, development, and love.” I leave out the word “rights,” doubtful if I can use it without being misunderstood. Perhaps I can succeed in dispensing with its use altogether. This ideal, so stated, is attractive to me and completely in harmony with my idea of the course in life which will best further human happiness.
I am not sure that I quite understand Victor’s position in regard to the number of children desirable in the future family. Yet this seems to me so essential an item in the consideration of the social problem of the future that it must be dealt with at the outset. If the greatest amount of happiness can only be secured by obedience to the “natural” sexual instincts, unrestrained by consideration of any other pleasures which are renounced for their sake, then I can but admit that there seems no escape from the perpetual dependence of woman upon man. Of whatever form the new organization of society may be, it is not likely to be one in which one can “have his cake and eat it too.” And, allowing considerable margin for the “certain period” at which, Victor claims, “variety is only a temporary demand,” it is not too much to suppose, on his theory of life, that every Apollo will find his Venus before she is older than twenty-five. She has twenty years of child-bearing possibilities before her, and the simple gratification of by no means abnormal sexual impulses might result in her giving birth to ten children. During twenty years of her life she will have held, borne, and nursed these children. And yet his plan involves that, during this time, when, he asserts, she “needs the care, support, and service of others and is therefore unable to support herself,” she is nevertheless “educating the children and surrounding her lover with comfort”! It seems to me that, if I have not misunderstood him in this, he has been looking at the subject from a man’s standpoint.
But I do not see why we should let this sexual impulse lead us where it may. All our life is a foregoing what we are inclined to do for the sake of a future happiness we may thereby gain or a future pain we may thereby avoid. I do not always eat whenever I see appetizing food; I refrain from sitting in a draught and drinking ice-water when I am too much heated; I sometimes get up when I am still sleepy; and I do not stay in the ocean long enough to risk a chill. And I know the consequences of following the simple sexual impulses to be more serious than any other.
I may consider many of nature’s methods exceedingly wasteful and clumsy, and I may believe that, if I had made the world, I would have made it otherwise; that I would have made our simple, spontaneous, first, and most keenly-felt desires those which, if blindly followed, would result in the greatest conceivable happiness. But nature and the laws of the universe and of our own selves are facts which we cannot alter and to which we can only study to adjust ourselves. “If God exists, he is man’s enemy”; woman’s even more. Finding no escape from this conclusion, I no longer treat nature as my friend when she betrays me. I do not even insist upon trying all experiments for myself. When they are too costly, I am sometimes content to learn from the experience of others. Now, for the woman, the consequences of simply obeying the sexual impulses are the bearing of children. That means risking her life. It also means the endurance of intense suffering, such suffering as she has never before been able to conceive. In the future social condition I believe every girl will be taught this. Nevertheless, I believe there will still be children in the world. I believe that, when a woman no longer looks upon bearing children as either a duty or a slave’s necessity in the service of her master, it is not impossible that she will consider it the greatest privilege life may hold out to her. And with her claim to this child which has cost her so much once recognized by all men and women, why may it not be that she would choose this luxury rather than other opportunities”? A woman will no longer look upon children as a more or less unfortunate natural conseqnence of the satisfaction of a strong desire, but as a blessing — yes, the very greatest in life to any woman with the mother-instinct — to be secured with full purpose and careful choice, with a complete understanding of all else that must be given up for its sake. Victor has not made it clear to my mind that the woman is the loser who chooses this. It is hard to find the measure of other development or luxury that will be compensation for a woman’s loss of this possibility.
But I do not admit that she must needs sacrifice her independence to secure this end. Under normal conditions a woman is by no means unfitted for any productive labor during pregnancy. It would be an exceptional case in which she would be unable to perform the three hours’ daily work necessary for self-support during the whole period. This is adding one hour to the limit set in the “Science of Society,” in which Mr. Andrews claims that two hours’ daily labor will be more than sufficient to support each individual in average comfort. I do not even admit that the woman “has to depend upon the man whom she made the father of her child for some time before and a long time after giving birth to a child.” All that is needful is that she have the service and help of some one. It is even impossible that he can give her the real sympathy of one who can understand just this. I think it must hare been the experience of every mother, however tenderly cared for by her husband, that, after all only some other mother could or did understand, and that all his offered sympathy was really only pity.
After the birth of a child, a woman may be unfitted for any productive labor for two months. And we must add to the list of expenses the support of a nurse during this time and the physician’s fee. During another seven months she will nurse her child and, perhaps, will do no other work except directly caring for him. But I am taking this for granted rather from a desire not to underestimate the needful expense of child-bearing than because it seems to me surely the better way. There is a strong feeling among advanced people that a woman ought to do nothing whatever during pregnancy and child-nursing but fold her hands and look at beautiful pictures and listen to beautiful music. But I think this is largely reactionary. The pendulum has swung quite over. It is like saying: “Women have done too much; therefore they should do nothing.”
It is a safe estimate, it seems to me, to say that it will cost not more than half as much to support a child for the first ten years of its life as to support an adult. That is, a woman will be obliged to work four hours and a half a day instead of three for ten years in order to support each child. And she must have previously saved money enough for the childbearing expenses which I have just indicated. After ten years, in the new order of economic life, a child may be self-supporting.
I cannot see how all this can seem to any one an impossibility or even an undesirability. When the nursing period is at an end, the mother engages in the four and a half hours’ daily employment, leaving for this time her child in the care of others. These others may be friends who assume this care because it is to them a delight and a rest. Or, in the absence of such friends, it may be simply trustworthy people who would find in it, not rest, but attractive labor, for which they would receive due remuneration. I am almost certain of encountering on this point a remonstrance in the minds of many women. A true mother will never leave a young child, they will say. But I am almost ascertain that every mother who is thoroughly honest with herself will admit that it would have been better, both for herself and her child, if she could have left him in safe hands for a few hours each day.
Victor’s plan involves the education of children by the mother, and I am quite sure that he is positive about every true mother desiring to educate her children herself, and that it will be her most ardent wish. I am less confident about that being the case. I can only admit that it may be her greatest desire that they be well educated. But the ideal mother, in my mind, is one whose most ardent desire is to be her children’s closest, dearest, best friend; that, in all their life, in all trouble and sorrow, they will look first to her with that sweet serenity of confidence that can only come of having never looked in vain. And I hold it to be a simple, utter impossibility for most women to stand in this closest and best relation in a child’s after-life if, throughout its childhood, she has wasted herself in attempting to be its sole educator. If the mother’s arms must ache for every hour of rest the child enjoys, if the tired, dull brain must be worried and strained to answer the many, many eager, carefree questions which are so easy to ask, so hard to answer,— there is nothing left for sympathy with the young, fresh, growing life. And the mother who, because of all the long, close first life with the baby heart and because of all which that little baby has inherited of her own nature, might stand in a special, peculiar relation to the little growing individual, is often farther off, actually, than any other friend. And I believe it to be a truth that many, perhaps most people, will silently verify that, when the stress, when the crises of life come, however much the mother may yearn to help, however sorry she may be for all the pain her child must bear, the sympathy she has to offer is not that which alone has worth,— the sympathy of an understanding heart.
Although, in a sense, education begins at birth, we may speak of it now as beginning with a child’s first questions, and, from this time, to secure its best possible development, it should have the help of real educators. Now, real educators are born, not made. And there are very few born. The ability to bear healthy, strong, beautiful children by no means argues any ability whatever to educate them. I do not say that any mother may not be able to answer a child’s questions somehow, but to answer them truthfully and in a manner fitted to the child’s just-dawning understanding is another matter. And that is education. It is a well-established belief among the most advanced minds that the best teachers are needed most in the Kindergarten. Older children are better able to dispense with the best of guidance. But this belief is a new, not an old idea; a product of evolution. A still later product, I believe, will be the discovery that the best of teachers are needed to answer a child’s first questions, and that the mother of any special baby is as little likely to be possessed of the requisite qualifications for success in that direction as she is to be able to teach the higher mathematics.
The feeling is sometimes expressed that it is hard and unjust for a mother to pay all the cost of her children. That is, I think, because, in family life as it has always existed, except in those cases where the mother has been left a widow, she has never known what it was to have what she had purchased. Consequently, in the minds of most people, there is no conception of the reward that might be hers. All that a woman may hope for, under present conditions, is that the father will be so occupied with outside cares that he will be content to leave the control of the children in her hands. But the fact that he is their father and supports both herself and them leaves him in no doubt as to his right to interfere. The suffering she endured in bringing them into the world is a cost which he can never estimate. Even if he has once witnessed it, and if it has made such an impression on him that he would never risk another such possibility for her, he does not consider it as giving her a right to anything.
Now, I do not feel that it is a blessing to a woman to bear children whom she cannot control. I believe that their existence is a joy to her only just so far as their existence is a happy one. That to be forced to see them harshly or unjustly treated, or even treated in any way other than what she conceives the best, is to be forced to endure greater suffering than could come to her in any other way. “Mothers never do part bonds with babies they have borne. Until the day they die, every quiver of their life goes back straight to the heart beside which it began.”
Suppose, some day, little Frank throws his ball through the window. It is papa’s window, bought with the money earned by his own labor. Frank has been told not to throw his ball in that room. And papa thinks he will never remember not to do it again until he is whipped. So he whips him. Mamma does not agree with papa about this. Indeed, when they used to talk about how children should be treated, papa was always quite sure that a child should never be whipped. But in this emergency he has abandoned his theory of education and adopted a new one. It is not enough to put this illustration by with the reflection that a more careful investigation into the possibilities and probabilities inherent in papa’s nature would have avoided the difficulty. It is impossible that a woman can know what any man will do in any position until she has seen him just there. We all know that no theory of education exactly fits all children; that, in actual life, circumstances are constantly arising where the long-cherished theory must be set aside for this individual child in just this individual case. And I am not claiming that a mother can ever secure herself against witnessing some suffering on the part of her child. It is only that if, in all cases, the course followed is chosen by her, unconditionally, uninfluenced by consideration for any other opinion than her own, she may then feel confident that, whatever pain has been caused, a greater has been avoided; and in that reflection lies her comfort and compensation.
On any theory of mutual control and paternal support, or of maternal control and paternal support, or of mutual control and mutual support, how will these questions be answered? Is Frank to be put to bed in a room by himself and obliged to lie there until sleep comes, or is he to be rocked and sung to? When he is sick, are physicians and drugs to be summoned, or is heroic cold water and hygienic treatment to be solely relied upon? Shall he be vaccinated? Shall all attention be paid to his physical development for the first few years, or shall he be given early opportunities for mental discipline? Shall he be allowed without remonstrance to follow his own will, or is he to be resisted when he becomes an invader? Shall this resistance be offered when he makes his first attempt to possess himself of another’s property, or must one wait until he threatens to throw the looking-glass out of the window? May he pick berries and chop wood for the neighbors if he prefers it to attending school? Must he learn to swim or go into the water first? Is be to have both a bicycle and a pony, or to go barefooted in summer? Is he to dress in crimson velvet or in dark-blue overalls? Is he to be fitted for a surgeon or a book-agent? Is he to have a private tutor and a bundred-dollar microscope, or to go to the village-school?
Even apart from the consideration of definite questions, it seems to me impossible that any but the most self-controlled man who has any claim, even a fancied one, shall refrain from continually interposing most well-meant suggestions which must oftener bewilder and hopelessly entangle the originally clear plan of the mother than serve any useful purpose.
This theory of independent living does not seem to me to involve any loss of the “home” which the family relation has always, it is assumed, been alone able to secure. There would always be, for the little children, the safe, sure mother-home. And, besides this, there would be the father-home, somewhere else, and as many friend-homes as there were dear friends, to which the little children would lend their sunshine whenever their wish so to do met with the mother’s consent.
I cannot readily understand anyone but a Communist being ready to favor “a sort of communism between lovers.” In every other social relation an Individualist would have the strongest faith in every plan which conduced to the greatest development of individuality as most certain to bring happiness. But in this relation, in which, of all others in life, mistakes result in the sharpest suffering, this general principle is set aside, and the development of individuality, at least of womanly individuality, less carefully considered than the securing, for her, of certain luxuries and other material advantages. It is true that, when one is in love, it is impossible to conceive happiness in any other form than the constant presence of the loved one. Nevertheless, I believe that neither the finest nor the keenest happiness lovers are capable of yielding each other will result from following this wish blindly, without reason or thought. I am even disposed to find fault with Victor’s saying that “between true lovers who are really devoted to each other the relations are ideal.” I do not think that “devotion” is any element of an ideal relation between grown-up people. A mother or father or adult friend may be devoted to a helpless baby, to a child, or to a weak, sick, afflicted man or woman. But only weakness has need of devotion, or desires it. What strong men and women want, in either the relation of friendship or in that fervid, passion-full form of friendship known as love, is simply to feel the “home in another heart”; a home not made, but found. Apollo’s Venus is doubtless altogether lovely in his eyes, but that fact is only tiresome or amusing to the rest of the world, and must inevitably tend to fill Venus with a narrow vanity which effectually checks all desire or capacity for growth. I no more admire a blind love than a blind hatred. Either is below the plane on which developed men and women will find themselves. That youth is inconstant is proverbial, but not all proverbs are quite true. Youth is the age of hero-worship, and the tendency of that period is to idealize the object of love. Today young people, experimenting in love, begin by finding an Apollo or Venus in every beautiful face, and end — in what? In finding the true one at last? Not at all. In finding that they were mistaken, but in concluding that this one will do. Having reached this conclusion, their inconstancy hides itself from public view under the veil of married life, and these young people become constant, but not always constant in their love. My prophecy of the future is that, after love has been left free long enough (I do not mean an individual man or woman, but all men and women), Apollo will find that he has no Venus. Because it seems to me that, as human life advances and human beings differentiate, there becomes less and less possibility of finding any one with whom one is completely in sympathy.
Nevertheless, I believe there will always be love. Indeed, I believe in love. I do not see why hating should be so free and so — it would seem — comparatively virtuous. If one hates, it is a matter of course. But if one loves, it is something to be looked into, and there is probably something wrong about it. Now, I am going to assume, in spite of all public sentiment to the contrary, that love is not a bad thing, but a good thing; that it is a normal, healthful, strength-giving, developing force among the conditions of human existence; that it is called forth by the perception of lovable, admirable, fine qualities, wherever they exist; that in its intrinsic nature it is a blessing, and not a curse, wherever it exists; that it does not need to be sanctified by a marriage rite or even by the approval of friends; that if, in its results, it leads to suffering, it is because our own reason, not the authority of others, has not rescued us.
When a man “makes a home” for a woman in the way Victor proposes, he makes it impossible that either shall know any other love without calling upon the other to bear a certain amount of deprivation. For me, any arrangement which would involve the love of only one at a time would be sufficient to condemn it. Not to be free to love is the hardest of all slavery. But marriage is like taking a path in which there is only room for two. And a man and woman cannot take up a position before the world as dearest friends or lovers — call the relation by any name you choose — without by that action cutting themselves off from all fullness and spontaneity of other love and friendship. By the very announcement of their mutual feeling — in whatever form the announcement may be made — they have said: “Everything in my life is to be subordinated to this.” To voluntarily and deliberately “make a home” is to say that nothing foreign to either can enter. The result in life today is commonly this: of the old friends of either only those enter the new home who have a sufficient number of qualities that are equally attractive to both to make them welcome and who can be content to continue friendship on the basis of those qualities. If John does not like music, Ellen gives up her musical friends. Why should he be asked to hear the piano, when it is only so much noise to him, or even hear music discussed, when it is a bore to him? Why should Ellen be called upon to breathe tobacco-perfumed air, because John and certain of John’s friends feel restless and uncomfortable without their after-dinner cigar? Things are mainly either pleasurable or painful; not indifferent. If John and Ellen are honest with each other, they will discover that John dislikes music and Ellen dislikes tobacco, and that to lay aside their sensitivities on one occasion may be a slight matter, but that to be called upon to lay them aside at any time is a really serious matter. But Victor perhaps thinks the home need not be like that. John may have his smoking-room and Ellen her music-room. In that case the smoking-room would be, after dinner, John’s home, and the music-room Ellen’s home. The place where we are free,— that is home. That is perhaps the secret of all home feeling. The presence of our dearest friends helps it only when their mood meets ours.
But this is not “making a home.” To make a home, in the popular sense, is to buy land and build a house which is ours, buy dishes and furniture which are ours, agree to have children which are ours, and to make no change in our life arrangements except by mutual consent.
Victor puts the case simply, and it sounds easy: “When they cease to be happy together, they separate.” Is it so simple? It is not enough to say: We are not bound together one hour longer than our mutual love lasts. Mutual love does not come and go, keeping step like well-trained soldiers.
As the first flush of love passes away, people begin to discover each other. After all, they were not one. In very many cases it was only the blinding force of the sex element which retarded this discovery. There was no conscious deceit. But the discovery is apt to be a painful one. And the old hunger for sympathy in all things returns. If we are still free to seek it, no harm comes. There may even be no pain in the slow discovery that in no one other soul can it be found. But if we are not free, and if, by some chance, one, not both, comes to believe that the love was founded on a mistake? Jealousy is only pain at a loss suffered or threatened. It need not be angry pain. We have come to apply the word only to angry pain, but the anger is in the individual and not an inevitable result of the condition. And people are not commended, do not receive the support of public sentiment, when they are angry at the loss of something to which they have never claimed a right,— or more, have never believed they possessed a right. We all understand that in “What’s To Be Done?” the marriage of Véra Pavlovna and Lopoukhoff was simply a form, demanded by conditions of their environment which they were helpless to resist. Law and custom necessitated her going through the form of making herself his slave. Being a slave in her own father-and-mother-home, it was only on that condition that he could give her liberty. Later, when he discovered her feeling for Kirsanoff, his love for her liberty was greater than his desire to preserve an outward form of home from which the home had fled. Both he and Kirsanoff saw or dimly felt that she was not a woman who would love more than one at once. Their future showed that she could not even believe in a love she could not understand. In the fullness of her light-hearted content with Kirsanoff, she decides quite positively that Lopoukhoff did not really love her. We are all a little inclined to the view that real love is only that which we feel or have felt.
It is very true of love that we know not whence it comes or whither it goes. It is sometimes more sadly true, and makes one of life’s problems far more intricate, that we know not when it comes or when it goes. Its death is as incomprehensible as its birth. Sometimes it is drained away, silently and unsuspectedly, by the thousand wearing trifles inevitably attendant upon that constant companionship which the torrent of new-born love so imperiously demands. Sometimes it is swept away in one instant by the discovery of some quality of character of whose existence we have never dreamed. Sometimes, as in “What’s To Be Done?” the constant need of one is identical only with the temporary need of the other, and the discovery can not possibly be made until the temporary need has passed. All life is either growth or decay,— that is, change. And with every change in the individual there is change in his love. In the happiest lives and the longest loves its proportion and depth and character are perpetually changing.
Victor says: Variety may be as truly the mother of duality as liberty is the mother of order. Has he forgotten that this mother does not die in giving birth to her daughter, and that this child does not thrive well without the mother?
* For Victor’s article see last issue of Liberty, No. 124.
The Original Anarchist.
One of Liberty’s friends in Iowa, Werner Boecklin, sends me the following letter, which he lately received from an acquaintance, a learned pedagogue:
Just now I found record of the oldest Anarchist. It is “Demonax,” an ancient philosopher, whose works are lost and whose biography is found in Lucianus, the Voltaire of antiquity. Demonax said: “Laws are absolutely useless, whether they are made for good people or for bad ones; for the good ones do not need them, and the others are not made better by them.” You see, cursed Anarchism is not an invention of modern times, but the outcrop of a heathen’s philosophy. I am sorry that Lucianus does not say more on this point, which he mentions only as a ’cute saying.
They cluster at every corner;
They wearily pace the land;
Their starving eyes devour each loaf;
They stretch the begging hand.
They are hungry, and sick, and tired;
Their bleeding footsteps lag;
My brothers! — and none to help them!
Their nakedness mocked with a rag!
They bake, but others have eaten;
They burn, but others are warm;
They build, but their heads, unsheltered,
Are bare to the pitiless storm.
They till, but the crop goes from them;
They reap, but “The Harvest Home”
Means to them that their product is stolen;
They brew, and taste but the foam.
Ah God! — how sadly they call thee;
If thou wert, thou could’st not withstand;
But always the wicked have triumphed;
The cunning and strong hold the land.
The hearts of the mothers are breaking;
The daughters are bedded with shame;
The fathers are brutish with labor;
The thoughts of the sons are a flame.
And Hatred, and Arson, and Murder,
Like demons they beckon and tempt,
The hand to the sword is outreaching —
Blood! Blood! — O can nothing exempt!
O Wisdom be instant and help us! —
Quick rearing thy radiant crest —
O brothers the sword is a traitor!
The calm, thoughtful methods are best.
The way of the wise is the best,
That thinkers have pondered and planned;
The Gordian tangles are slipping —
Behold! — your release is at hand.
J. Wm. Lloyd.
Don’t keep Liberty to yourself, share it with others!
Leonard E. Read: Accent On The Right: To Frederic Bastiat (1801–1850), who sought for truth rather than outcome and never witnessed the fruits his labor bore. Obedience to conscience was his first rule; we witness the results.
Leonard E. Read: Anything That’s Peaceful: Many favor peace but not many favor the things that make for peace. — Thomas à Kempis
Leonard E. Read: Awake for Freedom’s Sake: Finally, share with others. Forget about “reforming” them! The more we share, the more we learn. This is in the interest of self and freedom!
Leonard E. Read: Castles in the Air: If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; there is where they should be. Now put foundations under them. — Henry David Thoreau
Libertarian Anarchy: Against the State: Political philosophy is dominated by a myth, the myth of the necessity of the state. The state is considered necessary for the provision of many things, but primarily for peace and security. In this provocative book, Gerard Casey argues that social order can be spontaneously generated, that such spontaneous order is the norm in human society and that deviations from the ordered norms can be dealt with without recourse to the coercive power of the state.
Major Conservative and Libertarian Thinkers: Murray Rothbard: Murray Rothbard (1926–1995) was an economist, historian, philosopher, and legal theoretician. His work was unified by a passionate and resolute commitment to a libertarianism that may be characterized as ‘anarcho-capitalism’ and which implied a belief that even the legal system may be provided privately without the need for a coercive collective authority. Hence, anarcho-capitalists envisage a society where the traditional role of government is wholly subsumed by private, profit-making enterprises and all social relationships are ultimately founded upon consent.