“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.
John Francis Smith is superseded by Harry C. Vrooman as editor of the Providence “People.” I doubt the wisdom of this change.
“Anarchy is no government; democracy is government to secure human rights.” So the “American Idea” puts it. I put it differently. Anarchy is equal liberty; democracy is reciprocal tyranny.
The second public meeting of the Anarchists’ Club was held in a hall twice the size of that which was hired for the first meeting. Nevertheless it was entirely filled. The third meeting will be held on Sunday, November 6, at half past two o’clock, in one of the halls at 176 Tremont Street,— probably Codman Hall. Benj. R. Tucker will read a paper on “General Francis A. Walker and the Anarchists,” in reply to General Walker’s recent address before the Trinity Club of Boston.
The day after the meeting of the Anarchists’ Club the Boston “Globe” in its news columns said of it: “The novelty of all this was sufficient to draw a large crowd, which filled Boston Hall yesterday afternoon till every seat was occupied and not even standing room was left.” An editorial in the same issue began with the following sentence: “The Anarchists’ Club, which held its first meeting in this city yesterday, was not largely attended, and did not excite great interest on the part of the public.” The editor of the “Globe” does not seem to place much confidence in the statements of his reporters.
Perhaps no feature of Henry George’s scheme is so often paraded before the public as a bait as the claim that with a tax levied on land values all other taxes will be abolished. But now it is stated in the “Standard” that, if any great fortunes remain after the adoption of the land tax, it will be “a mere detail to terminate them by a probate tax.” This is offered for the benefit of those who believe that interest no less than rent causes concentration of wealth. To those who fear the effects upon home industry in case of an abolition of the tariff Mr. George hints that he will be perfectly agreeable to the offering of bounties to home industries. To be sure, he would pay the bounties out of the land tax; but the use of the proceeds of the land tax for a new purpose, after existing governmental expenses had been met, would be equivalent to a new tax. So we already have three taxes in sight where there was to be but one,— the land tax, the probate tax, and the bounty tax. Presently, as new necessities arise, a fourth will loom up, and a fifth, and a sixth. Thus the grand work of “simplifying government” goes on.
G. Bernard Shaw, much of whose economic writing I find peculiarly fascinating, keen, and satisfactory, considers himself a scientific Socialist as distinguished from Utopian and sentimental Socialists from the fact that, though favoring the nationalization of land because it is not a labor product, and the nationalization of existing capital because its rightful owners — that is, its producers — are either dead or undeterminable, he nevertheless, immediately this had been accomplished, would insist on the right of the individual to hold his future labor product, or whatever he could get in exchange for it, be it machinery or what not, provided he should regularly pay his rent and public dues, scot and lot. It would appear from this that Mr. Shaw will be a State Socialist until the Revolution and a Henry George man after the Revolution. While I can congratulate him that his Socialism has not absolutely blinded him to the importance of the individual, I must add that I can see nothing “scientific” in a distinction, so far as proprietary right is concerned, between a piece of iron made into a spade and a piece of earth made into a tilled field, or in a proposition to readjust the ownership of existing wealth, even by the lumping process, when it is so easy, by inaugurating perfect freedom of competition, to make it harmless to laborers, and valueless, except for consumption, to its owners, who, as soon as they shall nave consumed it, will be obliged either to work or to starve.
After all, the capacity and the desire to be logical are the most essential conditions of sound and correct views. Right premises, highly important as they are, count for little when logic is waiting in the subsequent-formation of the chain of reasoning. But recently I heard an out-and-out governmentalist and believer in prohibition state that he thoroughly justifies the Anarchists’ claim to individual liberty (which he justly defined as the right to do what one pleases as long as the equal rights of others are not infringed upon)! London “Jus” reproduces from Liberty Victor Yarros’s “Reasons Why,” introducing them thus: “There is so much absurd misunderstanding of the principles of philosophical Anarchy that the following statement of an Egoistic Anarchist should be carefully studied. It sets forth in the brightest and clearest manner the reasoning by which a system of law, order, and justice is deduced from the fundamental principles of Egoism (commonly called Selfishness) and Anarchy (commonly called Lawlessness). Readers of ‘Jus’ will recognize in this kind of Anarchy exactly what they are themselves in the habit of calling Individualism.” A more unqualified approval than this can scarcely be expressed in words. Yet, in spite of this absolute agreement as to fundamental and basic principles, the writer of the “Reasons” follows the teaching of Liberty to the end, and finds no room for the State and its law, equity, and justice, while “Jus,” professing to believe in the kind of Anarchy promulgated in the “Reasons,” defends the rights of Parliament to make laws binding upon all indiscriminately, and denies the right to ignore the State to those who have outgrown it. It is evident that either Mr. Yarros or “Jus” is pitifully wrong-headed and illogical. Unless “Jus” furnishes some good reasons for dissenting from the conclusions which the author of the “Reasons” claims to reach through following the light of the fundamental truths that he holds in common with “Jus,” I shall be forced to accuse it of either being blind to, or afraid of, its own logic.
In the State of Texas, as in other States, there is a Sunday law. In the city of Galveston, as in other cities, saloon-keepers violate the Sunday law. This having become a matter of public scandal, Judge Gustave Cook issued a letter to the sheriffs and constables directing them to promptly enforce the law upon all alike, regardless of the social or financial standing of its violators. “I intend,” he declared, “that these laws shall be enforced or exploded.” The Galveston “News,” while admitting that the law might be unwise or oppressive, commended Judge Cook’s course. In consequence of this those who did not want the law enforced took their revenge by trying to stop the “News” from publishing on Sunday. The “News” went into court, showed that the publication of newspapers was one of the pursuits expressly exempted from interference by the statute, and was sustained. For this the New York “Truth Seeker” comes down on the “News” “like a thousand o’ brick,” calling it a “colossal hypocrite” and accusing it of “standing in” with the judge. Its campaign against the “News” has been going on for several weeks, and has been conducted with more vigor than politeness. It is hard to see any justification for the excitement. Where is the evidence of either hypocrisy or corruption in the demand of the “News” for the impartial enforcement of the law? And if its own business is exempted by the law, why should it not claim its legal rights? It seems to me especially mean and despicable to abuse the “News” as the “Truth Seeker” does and at the same time suppress the fact that the “News” is one of the most liberal papers in the world. I am not crazy enough to attempt to prove the absolute consistency of any daily paper of the magnitude of the “News,” but this I must say in fairness,— that, after pretty steadily reading that paper for two years, scarcely a week has passed in which I have not found in its columns more radical, more thorough, more intelligent championship of liberty than I have seen in the “Truth Seeker” from the beginning of its existence. If the political gospel which it preaches, day in and day out, with marvellous ability, were to be accepted by the people of Texas, the statute-books of that State would soon be clear, not only of Sunday laws, but of almost all other laws. It is small business to pour wholesale abuse upon such a paper, even if it does slip occasionally. My high opinion of the “News’s” fairness was confirmed lately in an unexpected way. I was talking on the subject of journalism with one of the editors of a prominent Boston newspaper. Neither of us knew that the other was at all acquainted with the “News.” Said he at last: “The ideal newspaper will have no policy in its news columns. There is no such paper yet. Unless, indeed, I except the Galveston ‘News.’ I worked some time for that paper and its offspring, the Dallas ‘News,’ and I can say with almost literal truth that I never knew either of those papers to suppress or alter the news of the day to make it harmonize with their editorial policy.”
“While we as individuals have sympathy for the men about to be executed, as an order we believe in the majesty of the law, and that the Anarchists, having been condemned, should be punished,” said General Treasurer of the K. of L. Frederick Turner. And “me too,” echoed Secretary Charles H. Litchman. The Order, like the State, must maintain discipline. We believe in the majesty of the law,— and he should have added, of the Order,— and if the men are condemned — well, they should be punished — not so much because they are guilty, as that is not quite clear, but to maintain the majesty of the law — and the Order. Now, if the Order, like the Church, could only hand its heretics over to the State to be dealt with, how easy it would be to maintain the majesty of the Order and the Law! Perhaps the secession of some of the “brothers” was anticipated by some of the Grand and Petty Masters, and that is why they may have utilized the funds of the Order in order to get into the Lawmaking business. How does this strike the Anarchistic members of the Order who believe in discipline and red-letter tyranny — when it is used to preserve the majesty of the Order?
A. H. S.
The Science of Society.
By Stephen Pearl Andrews.
Cost the Limit of Price:
A Scientific Measure of Honesty in Trade As One of the Fundamental Principles in the Solution of the Social Problem.
Continued from No. 110.
220. As stated, then, the saving from the large scale now actually takes place, as it would do under the true system of administration; but, instead of going to the benefit of the boarders of the establishment, it goes first in the form of profits to the keeper of the house, then in the form of rent from him to the party who owns the house, and, finally, it is probable, in the form of interest from the owner of the premises to the moneylender, who has loaned the capital to construct it, while at the same time the operation of the principle is restricted, and the amount of the saving diminished, by the causes which prevent the population generally from resorting to such establishments. Under the operation of the Cost Principle all this is reversed. Nobody stands between the boarder and the saving which grows naturally out of the economical tendency of the large scale. Nobody receives the benefit but himself. The keeper of the house makes no profit, but is paid simply an equivalent for his labour, according to its degree of burdensomeness or repugnance,— less, if it is less repugnant, than an attendant on the tables, or a cook in the kitchen. The owner of the house receives no rent, in the nature of profit, but merely the wear and tear of the premises,— the cost of maintaining them in an equally good condition (241); and, finally, there is no moneylender, levying an additional contribution for the supply of a circulating medium so scarce and expensive as to be capable of being monopolised. Hence, whoever lives at an Eating-House managed upon the Cost Principle lives either at a much cheaper rate than he can live in a private way, or else in a much better style, or else with both of these elements of attraction combined. Hence, again, there is a potent influence under that principle, operating upon the whole community to draw them out of their present solitary and poverty-stricken household arrangements into a larger sphere of elegance, comfort, and refinement, while at the same time their full freedom is preserved to remain as they are, at their own cost. The seeds of a great social revolution are planted, while no prejudice is shocked. There is no pledge demanded, no premeditated concert of action, no sudden overturn or derangement of social habits, no enforced conformity, no authorised espionage and criticism. The change is effected gently, gradually, unobtrusively, and considerately toward all existing habits and feelings.
221. Nor is the social revolution thus foreshadowed less radical and entire than that which is aspired after by the most advanced of Social Reformers. It differs in the fact that it is a natural growth from simple roots implanted in the common understanding, in the form of principles or mere suggestions of honesty,— not a splendid and complicated a priori arrangement of details as a great work of art. The same principle here illustrated with reference to the Eating-House applies of course to the Public Wash-House, to the Infant School, or Common Nursery for the professional rearing, training, and development of children, and to every other advantageous arrangement of societary life. Relieved of the burden of cooking, washing, and nursing, except as her tastes lead her to participate in one or other of these pursuits professionally, it becomes competent to woman to elect and vary her career in life with as much freedom as man. Then, and never until then, can woman become an Individual herself, instead of a mere hanger-on upon the destinies of another. Then, and not until then, can the intellect of the woman be developed so as to form the appropriate counterpoise to her affectionate nature. There is not, in our existing society, one woman in a hundred who knows as much at the age of forty as she knew at twenty. Confined, for the most part, to the same narrow circle of household affairs, with children, nurses, and housemaids as her associates, she shrinks mentally instead of expanding, and comes finally to nauseate, and to object with sickly fastidiousness to those changes in her condition which are essential to her emancipation. Hence it is only in the rare case of highly endowed and well-developed womanhood that the Social Reformer meets the hearty sympathy of the sex in those plans of domestic amelioration which are indispensable to the assumption by her of that rank in the social hierarchy for which nature has disposed her, and which, despite of herself, as it were, she is destined to attain.
222. Again, when these several domestic functions are performed severally upon the large scale, additional conveniences will be found to arise from combining the Eating-House, the Laundry, the Nursery, the Lying-in Department, etc., etc., in one unitary edifice, and conducting the whole upon a plan not inferior, perhaps, in magnificence and extent to the Phalansterian order of Fourier. It is not my purpose to trace out these ulterior developments of the principle. The social philosopher will, from this point, do that for himself. However magnificent may be the scale upon which the social order, growing out of these principles, shall finally adjust itself, there will be in it always the marked distinction from every Social Reform heretofore proposed,— that every grand public undertaking, whether it be an Eating Establishment to accommodate several hundred persons or families, a Hospital, a Public Laundry, a Hotel for the accommodation of travellers, a Factory, a huge Workshop, a Plantation, the complicated arrangements of transportation and navigation, or, finally, the Phalanstery itself, combining every convenience and all the functions of social life on the most extended scale, will still be a strictly individual enterprise, the outbirth of the genius and activity of a single mind. Hundreds of men and women may be engaged in the administration, some of whom will be at the head of the various departments, but all of them rigidly subordinate to the grand design of the projector, who will be the despot of his own dominions, exercising, nevertheless, a beneficent despotism, wherein the highest and best expression of himself, wrought out in his work, redounds equally to the good of all others who are related in any manner to the transaction,— a self-elected governor of mankind, by the divine right of genius or supereminent ability to excogitate and perform. At the same time, whoever evinces the higher grades of inventive and organising talent will have the command freely of the requisite capital to aid the execution of his designs, limited only by the aggregate amount of surplus capital in the community as compared with the number of such beneficent enterprises on foot. This effect will result from the fact that, under the operation of the Cost Principle, capital of itself earns nothing, and hence that all persons in the community who have surplus accumulations of wealth will prefer that such accumulations shall be entrusted to, and be administered by, those persons who demonstrate the greatest capacity for doing so, in that way which will contribute most to the public welfare; a benefit in which the owners of such capital will participate along with the whole public,— in addition to their right to withdraw their investments in such instalments as they may require for their own use. The ideas involved in this paragraph will be further developed in the next chapter, in treating of Capital and the “Wages System.” (230, 249)
223. It follows, then, that by the simple operation of Equity attractive industry is secured, cooperation is rendered beneficent instead of destructive, all the economies are effected, and this still with a complete preservation, on all hands, of Individuality and the Sovereignty of the Individual. Cooperation is rendered universal by the same means, speculation is banished, antagonisms of all sorts are neutralized, a complete Adaptation of Supply to Demand is for the first time in the world rendered practicable, and mankind enter upon a career of harmony, development, and happiness which the experience of all past ages has been put a painful preparation to enjoy by strong contrast, as dark shadows relieve the lights upon the canvas of the painter. Let the man or the woman who desires to participate in the work of installing the Reign of Harmony put his or her hand to the work.
Capital, Rent, Interest, Wages, Machinery, Etc.
224. It remains to point out more specifically the operation of the Cost Principle upon Capital, Rent, Interest, Wages, and Machinery, with the true relations of these matters to labor. Serious questions have been raised, in the recent discussions upon reform, upon all of these subjects, and innumerable difficulties have been felt in arriving at any satisfactory adjustment of the points at issue. It has been seen that capital or wealth already accumulated is one element in the accumulation of additional wealth, and hence it has appeared to be equitable that such capital, or rather the parties to whom such accumulated wealth pertained, should have some share in the new accumulations, in the production of which their capital has been instrumental. In other words, it has been seen that wealth loaned to and employed by another is a real benefit to that other, and the question is forcibly asked, why, then, should not the borrower, in justice, remunerate the lender to the extent of the benefit received, or, at least, to the extent of some part of that benefit? This question has never been satisfactorily answered, and can never be answered so long as value, or benefit conferred, is recognized as a basis for remuneration or price. But we have seen that price rests, according to the true principles of science, wholly upon a different basis, and that benefit conferred is no ground of claim whatsoever.
225. As this distinction between the true and the false basis of price is one of great importance to the solution of the questions now about to be treated of, I shall be pardoned for stating it again, and, if possible, rendering it still more obvious. All commerce has heretofore been conducted upon the idea of an exchange of equivalent benefits. This is what has been denominated the Value Principle, which has been shown, as well by an analysis of the principle itself as by the pernicious consequences resulting from its operation, to be essentially erroneous. The basis principle of true commerce is, on the contrary, an exchange of equivalent burdens. No amount of benefit conferred by one human being upon another gives the slightest title to remuneration, provided the conferring of such benefit has cost nothing to the party conferring it. To impart pleasure, and to shed an atmosphere of happiness in every direction, is the true life of all refined and well-developed humanity. To levy tribute as a consideration for the exercise of one’s own higher nature is to profane the most sacred things. It, is true that the conferring of benefits does, by a natural effect, quicken the tendency to confer benefits in return, and in this manner to produce reciprocity; but that tendency is stronger in proportion to the absence of all claim to such reciprocity. Price, relating solely to what can be appropriately claimed, has, then, no basis in benefit conferred. Hence, there is no justification whatever for interest or rent on capital in the fact that the loan of capital confers a benefit upon the borrower which he would not otherwise enjoy. Whatever basis there may be,— and we shall see, presently, that there is a basis for a price, in some cases, for the use of capital,— it is not the benefit conferred, and the price must not be measured in any manner whatsoever by the amount, of that benefit.
226. Another argument is used on behalf of those who defend the participation of capital in the results of labor, with no clear distinction, apparently, between it avid the one above stated, in the minds of those who employ it. It is said that, if I have property which I have accumulated by my labor, and you desire the use of it to enable you to accumulate property for yourself more rapidly than you could otherwise do, and I forego the use of it for your sake, and to my own deprivation, that I ought to be repaid for the sacrifice that I make. This position is rigidly correct. It is merely one form of statement of the Cost Principle itself. It is a statement that the sacrifice made, the burden endured, or the repugnance overcome on the part of the party making the loan, is a basis of price. It should be said, to make the statement complete, that, such is the basis, and the only basis of price, so in to exclude entirely the flexed consideration of sacrifice endured by the one party and benefit, conferred upon the other. All just, price is in the nature of indemnification for damages. If no damage is incurred, no matter how enormous the benefit conferred, there can be no just price, and, if the damage be ten times the amount of the benefit, the extent of the damage is nevertheless the measure of the price. Hence, the Cost Principle does not arbitrarily decide that there shall be no price for the use of capital, or even that the price shall be extremely low. It simply determines when a price is allowable, and furnishes the standard by which the legitimate amount of the price may be ascertained. It sides with neither of the combatants upon the question, as the question has heretofore been discussed, but comes in between them and points out a new line of demarkation between the right and the wrong of the matter.
227. This new line of demarkation runs with the amount of sacrifice which the owner and lender of capital undergoes in depriving himself temporarily of the use of it, no regard whatever being had to the amount of benefit which the borrower may derive from it. Hence it follows that all surplus capital — capital which the present convenience of the owner does not require for use or consumption, and which can be intrusted to the administration of another without more risk than would be incurred by retaining it in the custody of the owner (230) — will be open to loan, without price in the form of interest or rent. The element of risk is another ground upon which interest is defended. Just so far as augmented risk is actually incurred by a loan, it is, in fact, a legitimate element of price, being part of the cost, or burden imposed upon the lender. It will be shown, however, presently, that by the operation of these principles risk will be reduced to a minimum,— to those inevitable, possible contingencies which may attach to the existence of wealth as well in the hands of the owner as anywhere else. Hence all capital which is a positive surplus over present necessities will be loaned — the moral and pecuniary security being ample — without price. (230.)
228. But then the objection arises that the real sacrifice made by the lender in depriving himself of the use of capital, as of money, for example, under the existing regime, is precisely measured by the amount of interest which can be obtained for it in the market; since by lending it without interest he is surrendering the opportunity to accumulate that amount, and hence that the new rule comes back practically to the same thing as the old one. The fallacy of this objection would be quite obvious except for the perversion of the moral sense induced by the corrupting influence of the system in which we live. As it is, it may be necessary to probe it and expose it. It can be no sacrifice, it is no burden, it costs nothing, to the honest man, to surrender the opportunity which the wants of others confer upon him to force them to give to him what he is not entitled to receive. It has been shown that he is entitled to receive nothing upon the ground of their wants, or the consequent benefit or relief which the loan will confer. The argument is this: I recognize that, in a transaction which I am about to have with you, the limits of my just demand against you are the same as those of the amounts and claims which I am about to surrender; but then I find that among other things I am about to surrender an opportunity which circumstances have placed in my power to cheat you out of a thousand pounds, and I wish thereupon to augment my demand by that amount. Do you not perceive that I immediately forfeit all title to the appellation of an honest man? Do you not perceive that the case is the same, if I first recognize that the price I can justly charge you for the use of capital is the sacrifice which it costs me to part with it, and I then propose to include in that sacrifice the chance of getting from some one else more than the just price?
229. Risk is stated by all writers on the subject as one of the grounds on which Interest or Rent on Capital rests, and I have admitted that it is a good ground of price just so far as the risk is augmented by the loan. Even in the existing order of society, however, it frequently happens that capital invested in the hands of another party is rendered quite as secure as it would be in the custody of the owner. It is possible, by bond and mortgage on real estate, for example, with an ample margin of value, to render the risk positively less than would be incurred by the owner in hoarding his wealth in his own strong box, or entrusting it to his banker. The risks of losing property are in some respects the same whether the owner retains it himself or permits it to go out of his hands; in other respects the risk is greatly enhanced, in the present state of things, by ceasing to guard it personally. Some risks, from the accidents of nature, are perhaps such that they can never be foreseen and guarded against by any arrangements whatever, let the property be where it may. These, if there are such, make no basis of interest or rent on the capital when loaned, as it is a cost which the owner of the property must endure in any event. Other risks, dependent on the accidents of nature, are capable of being estimated with sufficient precision to be covered by insurance. These risks again furnish no basis of interest or rent to be charged on the borrower, unless the property is going to be employed in a more hazardous way. If so, the augmented rate of insurance falls equitably upon the borrower, and marks precisely the extent to which this element is the basis of price. Finally, risks are incurred, now, by the chances of speculation which attend nearly every use of capital, and by the prevailing habits of dishonesty which grow out of speculation, the want of any known standard of honesty, the general prevalence of poverty, distress, and commercial revulsions, together with the consequent want of security of condition,— in other words, out of the want of any knowledge in the public mind of what honesty is, and the want of such conditions of the individual as render honesty possible. Under the operation of the Cost Principle speculation is extinguished, and the dishonesty which grows out of that root is extinguished along with it. Poverty, pecuniary distress, and commercial revulsions will cease, and a general security of condition will be achieved; and along with these changes will cease the temptations and constraint of circumstances, which force men now into dishonest practices, against the protest of their consciences, and to the absolute loathing ot the veal man within. An exact standard of honesty will exist in the mind of every one. Public sentiment will become as stringent in relation to the right and wrong of every commercial transaction as it is now in regard to bribe-taking and perjury; and, finally, every man, woman, and child will be a banker, with a reputation to preserve untarnished, as the sole condition of enjoying merely commercial advantages and facilities, worth more than the most unlimited credit in the existing order of commercial affairs. Dishonesty, therefore, will cease along with the cessation of speculation or profit-making, and with the inauguration of these new principles of society. It is a fruit which grows upon the tree which is now cultivated, not upon that which we are proposing to plant.
To be continued.
By Georges Sauton.
Translated from the French for Liberty by Sarah E. Holmes.
Continued from No. 110.
Sending immediately to clear away the ruins, she verified the news and became convinced that the deed was done by the Irish. But various witnesses had seen from a distance, roaming about the presbytery, two men with caps puled down, one of whom soon fled, pushing before him the old Edwige, after which came the terrible explosion, sending the roof into the air, hurling the walls in all directions, and spreading a black smoke everywhere.
Again Lady Ellen became the prey of violent frights; but she conquered them; now the obsequies would not be longer delayed; they would take place the next day; numbers of the guests were already at the castle, and, surrounded with their friendship, or, at least, their solidarity, certain of being defended against any criminal surprise, and diverted by their society, notwithstanding the mournful gravity of the circumstances, she recovered herself completely.
After the ceremony, nothing would keep her at Cumslen-Park or in Ireland. It was natural that, widowed under such dreadful circumstances, she should leave the castle and the island, and travel. She would cross the channel and travel on the continent, safe from pursuit, if, her crime at last known, they should venture to trouble her.
In twenty-four hours there was little risk of any mischance ocurring. The persecutions of which Richard had been the object would be no more renewed; on that side there was, then, nothing to fear; if, indeed, anyone had had any interest in denouncing them, he would not have waited till the last moment.
If even a vague accusation had been secretly murmured, it would have come to her; her friends would not have continued the affability, the courtesies, which they lavished on her: intimate friends, like Muskery, would have warned her, in order that she might avert the calumny; Lady Carlingsford, so garrulous, so malicious, and who so detested her, would not have failed to make some allusion to the rumor which was afloat, and, feigning to have no faith in it, of course, on her honor, would have propagated and proclaimed it at pleasure.
Since, of all these symptoms of an alarming rumor, none presented themselves, the Duchess, fatigued with her tormenting vigils, towards midnight, following the general counsel, went to bed, where she soon slept the sleep of the just!
During the fortnight that, in its brilliant uniform starred with decorations and covered with laces, it had lain on its funeral bed, the corpse of Newington, notwithstanding the fact that it bad been most skilfully embalmed, had altered steadily.
The rosy light of the torches, thinking the catafalque worked with silver wire and adorned with plumes, was reflected in mortifying flesh, and, in spite of the incense, a nauseating odor filled the air, in which the rare conservatory flowers, gathered and renewed each morning, withered prematurely.
The officers, who, with drawn swords, formed, at the threshold, the supreme guard of honor, relieved each other three and even four times an hour, that the impure air might not affect them, and they extinguished the lights nearest the body, that their melting heat might not hasten the decomposition. On the morning of the obsequies, the servants succeeded in opening the windows, but, could not push back the heavy shutters. Going outside to see what obstacle resisted so obstinately, they found that, during the night, in spite of the sentinels and the ferocious bull-dogs loose in the yard, mysterious workmen had firmly padlocked them.
But, afraid of exposing themselves to the vengeance of these hellish artisans, the lackeys, without consultation, with one accord, resolved not to touch the padlocks.
They must have been put there for a purpose, and common prudence forbade them to thwart it; how did they know that the crow-bars would not cause an explosion like that which had just destroyed the priest? No one wished to pass from life to death in perilous leaps which scatter one into fragments; better breathe the impure air during the funeral service.
There was nothing to be done, moreover, but to wait patiently; in a few short hours the obsequies would begin by the placing of the body in the coffin; with the morning it would be over, or by noon at the latest; and when they had crossed the room for some purpose,— to carry wreaths, change the faded flowers, or put in place seats that had been disarranged, they would run at once to wash themselves internally with copious draughts of port or whiskey.
And the friends, the guests, obliged to salute for a last time the remains of Newington before they should be enclosed in the triple bier of glass, cedar, and chased silver, did not tarry, but bent hastily over the corpse, and filed away with rapid step towards neighboring rooms or out of doors, where they breathed freely.
Only Sir Richard and Lady Ellen lingered about the body and returned to it continually together, or oftener separately, feverish and agitated, not exchanging a single word, Bradwell extremely grave, the Duchess animated, more impatient with the time which passed with such deplorable slowness!
The fortnight just ended had not contained a day so long, and this last hour really seemed eternal.
Ellen had finished her widow’s toilet, received the mournful homage of a hundred persons, and more than twenty times already she had descended from her apartments to the chapel, kneeling for form’s sake, for the world, looking at the corpse with eyes which she tried to wet with false tears.
Vainly her maids tried to keep her in the reception-room which was her place, pointing out to her the violation of etiquette committed by this constant desire to see the dead, to drag her affliction — although legitimate! — through the corridors, and to expose it noisily and immoderately in the face of all: she would pay attention for some minutes to their observations while they re-fastened her veil or adjusted some bit of crape which had escaped, or while she cast a last complacent glance in the glass, or while some late comer deposited at her feet the customary condolences.
But when nothing obliged her to remain in this official room, where, on a kind of throne raised upon a stage draped in mourning, she should have preserved with dignity, under the eyes of her servants, the rigidity of a statue, she would promptly abandon this post, and return to the chapel where the visitors were becoming fewer and fewer.
Noblemen from afar merely got down from their horses and assured her, like their predecessors, of vengeance on the mass of the Irish for the abominable crime committed by one of them, who had unfortunately escaped expiation.
They stayed no longer than necessary in the foul atmosphere, having come from the fresh air with lungs expanded by the run; and soon the Duchess found herself alone with the four priests bowed in prayer at the corners of the catafalque, who astonished her by showing no sign of physical disgust, though near the body and enveloped in the pestilence which escaped from it.
But for the force which imperiously led her back into this fetid place, how far she would have kept from it! But while she paraded elsewhere in the pomp of her mourning, or when she isolated her pretended sadness in the retreat of her own apartments, might not some incident happen which would suddenly compromise her security and revive all at once her exhausted fears? So she felt the urgent need of her presence to promptly avert and drive away all danger.
Neither this danger nor the event was clearly defined in her agitated mind, obscured by dense vapors pierced by fugitive gleams, and in which surged furtive visions of individuals, of objects, of countries, while a confusion of noises buzzed in her ears,— the roaring of a far-away incendiary fire, the monotonous rumble of the sea.
But in this tumult of her brain, the apprehension of the uncertain, of the unforeseen, of surprise, dominated her, and from time to time a kind of shudder at the imminent froze her limbs.
Therefore with what wishes, more intense each minute, she longed for the end of this delay!
She inwardly censured Sir Bradwell, who perhaps did not sufficiently hurry those in charge, or whose taciturn and gloomy grief they respected, not daring to disturb him to indicate that the moment of final separation was at hand.
Moreover, for every one’s sake, it was important to terminate the ceremony, to remove from the interior of the castle these remains of the Duke which would scatter pestilence abroad and were, in any case, a monstrosity, the sight, of which offended the most pious.
Truly Richard took pleasure in nightmares; he was peculiar in his tastes, and she was on the point of going to ask him to hasten the end of his ignoble dream.
At that very moment he entered the room.
Grown several years older, with hair turning gray, emaciated, and with feverish looks burning in the depths of his heavy and cavernous eyes, he walked automatically, aimlessly, as in a dream, a body wandering through a sorrowful Gehenna.
At the least noise he trembled, and the call of the Duchess, given rather emphatically, caused him a shiver and made him lift his head, which was bent forward on his breast, in a nervous start of painful surprise.
What did she wish? He contracted his eyebrows heavily, and, as be did not advance, but rather made a movement of recoil, she approached and severely, jestingly, invited him to look at his face, more mournful than was fitting, exaggerating the desolation positively overwhelmed; a face of a lover whose mistress, adored as a radiant divinity, has expired in his arms.
But the free tone of this mocking reproach grated very harshly upon Richard in such a place, two steps from the corpse of their victim, and he manifested his feeling by somewhat bitter words, a recall to shame which she did not accept.
For some days Bradwell had been very irritable with her and had spoken to her harshly.
Although no secret menace came now to trouble him as at the beginning, touched with remorse, he felt towards Ellen a commencement of aversion which was increasing, which struggled still with the passion existing for the damnable marvel,— so seductive, pale, and slightly thinner, that is to say, refined, in her long mourning garments,— and which would end by triumphing over it.
Nevertheless Richard, in his justice, reacted against this new impulse; he did not recognize that he had a right to hate the Duchess, at least as the instigator and principal author of the poisoning of his father: this crime flowed from the other, from the first crime committed against Sir Newington,— adultery, almost incest; and the responsibility of that belonged to him alone.
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.
On the fifteenth of October the American Secular Union met in the city of Chicago to hold its eleventh annual congress. It sat, through six sessions, lasting two days. Many of the leading Freethinkers of the country took part in its proceedings, and much was said in a general way in honor of the liberty of speech.
Not far away from the hall in which, this body sat, one of its members, Samuel Fielden by name, lay languishing in a dungeon which he had occupied for a year and a half, awaiting the execution, to take place within one month, of a death-sentence pronounced upon him for no other offence than the exercise of the liberty of speech.
Yet, throughout these six sessions, and among all the delegates present, not one voice was lifted, so far as appears from several long reports in the “Truth Seeker,” in condemnation of the outrage thus in process of infliction upon a fellow-member of the body.
Shame! Shame! SHAME!
An Unfortunate Analogy.
A question has arisen in England whether the public have a right of access to the top of Latrigg in Keswick Vale, the public claiming such right and certain landowners denying it. It is probable that the claim of the public is good, but, as I am not informed regarding the basis of the landholders’ title in this particular case, it is not my purpose to discuss the matter. The London “Jus,” however, has discussed the matter, and I refer to it only to expose an inconsistency into which that journal has fallen. It seems that Mr. Plimsoll, who champions the claim of the public, has made this declaration: “What Parliament has given Parliament can take away.” Not rightly, declares “Jus;” and it imagines a case.
Suppose Parliament grants a life-pension to a distinguished general; suppose that the next Parliament, being of another color, rejects the grant,— will Mr. Plimsoll pretend that in such a case Parliament would have the right to take it away? Not he; no honest man could think so for a moment. Private persons do not consider themselves entitled to take back that which they have given to others, even without any consideration whatever.
True, so far as private persons are concerned. But private persons do consider themselves entitled to take back that which has been taken from them and given to others. If the body politic, or State, which compels A to belong to it and aid in supporting it, pledges a certain sum annually to B, and, to meet this pledge, forcibly collects annually from A’s proportional part of the sum, then A, when he becomes strong enough, may not only decline to make any further annual payments to B, but may take from B all that he has been compelled to pay to him in the past. To-day, to be sure, A, as soon as he acquires power, generally vitiates his claim upon B by proceeding to pledge others in the same manner in which others, when they were in power, had pledged him. But this fact, being accidental rather than essential, has no logical bearing upon the question of A’s right to recover from B. It follows, then, that private persons cannot be held to the pledges of an association which forces them into its membership, and that Parliament, which represents the will of a majority of the members of such an association, and of a majority which necessarily varies continually in its make-up, stands on a very different footing from that of private persons in the matter of observing or violating contracts.
But suppose that the position of “Jus” that they stand on the same footing to be granted. What has “Jus to say then? This,— namely that it finds itself in sympathy with Mr. Plimsoll and the people of Keswick in their desire to enjoy the beautiful scenery of Latrigg; that it believes the right of way to such enjoyment was originally theirs; and that the sooner they recover it, the better. But how? It has already denied that “what Parliament has given Parliament can take away”; so it finds itself obliged to pick its way around this difficulty by the following devious path:
If Parliament has given away to private persons that which ought to have been retained in public hands for the public use and benefit, with or without sufficient (or any) consideration, then let the Nation keep faith and buy it back.
The italics are mine. Bearing them in mind, let us return to the analogy between Parliament and private persons. Do private persons, then, consider themselves entitled to buy back that which they have given to others, on terms fixed by themselves, and whether the others desire to sell or not? That the private person who gives a thing to another and afterwards compels the latter to sell it back to him is less a thief than he would have been if he had taken it back without compensation is a principle unrecognized, so far as I know, either in law or in political economy. No more can be said of such a robber than that he shows some consideration for his victim. Then, if Parliament and private persons stand on the same footing, whence does “Jus” derive the right of Parliament to forcibly buy back what it has given away?
“Jus” is a fine paper. It maintains certain phases of Individualism with splendid force and vigor. But it continually puts itself into awkward situations simply by failing to be thorough in its Individualism. Here, for instance, it denies the right of the State to take from the individual without compensation what it has given him, but affirms the right of the State to compel the individual to sell to it what it has given him. In a word, “Jus” is not Anarchistic. It does not favor individual liberty in all things. It would confine interference with it within much narrower limits than those generally set by governmentalists, but, after all, like all other governmentalists, it fixes the limits in accordance with arbitrary standards prescribing that interference must be carried on only by methods and for purposes which it approves on grounds foreign to the belief in liberty as the necessary condition of social harmony.
In order to understand this article, readers should first turn to the sixth page and there read the communication from T. W. Curtis, to which this is an answer. Mr. Curtis criticises an editorial entitled “Henry George’s ‘Secondary Factors’” and an editorial paragraph on Burnette G. Haskell’s change of attitude towards Henry George, both of which appeared in No. 108. These also it would be well for readers to examine once more, if they do not clearly remember them.
Mr. Curtis’s criticisms are based upon a series of misapprehensions of Liberty’s statements, and in one instance upon something that looks very like deliberate misrepresentation.
In the first place, he misapprehends my expression of greater respect for and sympathy with the State Socialist than Henry George, seeming to think that this preference included in its sweep, not only matters of doctrine, but matters of tactics and spirit. The form of my assertion shows that I confined it to doctrine simply. The declaration was that I have more respect for the State Socialist than for George “just as I have more respect for the Roman Catholic Christian, who believes in authority without qualification, than for the Protestant Christian, who speaks in the name of liberty but does not know the meaning of the word.” No one but Mr. Curtis would dream of inferring from these words that I prefer the tactics and spirit of Torquemada to those of Channing. I left tactics and spirit entirely aside in making the above statement. In respect to conduct I asserted superiority neither for the State Socialist nor for George. Whether the State Socialists went to George or he to them, or which seceded from or betrayed the other, are questions which interest me only in a minor degree. To me reason is the highest and grandest faculty of man, and I place George lower in my esteem than the State Socialist because I consider him the greater offender against reason. This is the sense in which I prefer Catholicism to Protestantism, Asia to Europe, and monarchy to republicanism. The Catholic, the Asiatic, and the monarch are more logical, more consistent, more straightforward, less corkscrewy, more strictly plumb-line, than the Protestant, the European, and the republican. This is not a novel idea, and I am at a loss to account for Mr. Curtis’s surprise over it. Did he never hear that there is no half-way house between Rome and Reason? Likewise there is no room for logical, consistent theory or intelligent, systematic experiment between State Socialism and Anarchism. There is plenty of room between them to jumble theories and to experiment blindly, but that is all. The pity is that room of this kind should be so popular.
Yes, Henry George and his co-workers are of that class who “speak in the name of liberty, but do not know the meaning of the word.” Mr. George has no conception of liberty as a universal social law. He happens to see that in some things it would lead to good results, and therefore in those things favors it. But it has never dawned upon his mind that disorder is the inevitable fruit of every plant which has authority for its root. As John F. Kelly says of him, “he is inclined to look with favor on the principle of laissez faire, yet he will abandon it at any moment, whenever regulation seems more likely to produce immediate benefits, regardless of the evils thereby produced by making the people less jealous of State interference.” The nature of his belief in liberty is well illustrated by his attitude on the tariff question. One would suppose from his generalizations that he has the utmost faith in freedom of competition, but one does not realize how little this faith amounts to until he hears him, after making loud free trade professions, propose to substitute a system of bounties for the tariff system. If such political and economic empiricism is not rubbish beside the coherent proposals of either Anarchism or State Socialism, then I don’t know chaff from wheat.
Liberty, of course, had something to do with the writing of “Progress and Poverty.” It also had something to do with the framing of divorce laws as a relief from indissoluble marriage. But the divorce laws, instead of being libertarian, are an express recognition of the rightfulness of authority over the sexual relations. Similarly “Progress and Poverty” expressly recognizes the rightfulness of authority over the cultivation and use of land. For some centuries now evolution has been little else than the history of liberty; nevertheless all its factors have not been children of liberty.
Mr. Curtis tries to convict me of contradiction by pointing to my statement that Burnette Haskell, a State Socialist, has no definite ideas. This he thinks inconsistent with my praise of the simple stable views of the State Socialist. Here is where the color of misrepresentation appears. In order to make his point Mr. Curtis is obliged to quote me incorrectly. He attributes to me the following phrase: “the ridiculous figure the Socialists now cut in their sackcloth and ashes.” My real words were: “the ridiculous figure that some of them now cut in their sackcloth and ashes.” It makes all the difference whether in this sentence I referred to the whole body of State Socialists or only to a few individuals among them. It was precisely because I was about to criticise the conduct of one State Socialist in order to show that he had no real idea of State Socialism that I felt it necessary to preface my criticism by separating doctrine from conduct and declaring my preference for the State Socialist over George in the matter of doctrine. But Mr. Curtis will have it that I took Haskell as a typical State Socialist, even if he has to resort to misquotation to prove it.
He next turns his attention to the editorial on “Secondary Factors.” He thinks that my assertion that George asks labor to “begin this world anew” ought to be backed by some show of argument. Gracious heavens! I backed it at the beginning of my article by a quotation from George himself. Dislodged by his critics from one point after another, George had declared that “labor and land, even in the absence of secondary factors obtained from their produce, have in their union today, as they had in the beginning, the potentiality of all that man ever has brought, or ever can bring, into being.” When such words as these are used to prove that, if land were free, labor would settle on it, even without secondary factors,— that is, without tools,— what do they mean except that the laborer is expected to “begin this world anew”? But if this is not enough for Mr. Curtis, may I refer him to the debate between George and Shewitch, in which the former, being asked by the latter what would have become of Friday if Crusoe had fenced off half the island and turned him loose upon it without any tools, answered that Friday would have made some fish-hooks out of bones and gone fishing? Isn’t that sufficiently primitive to substantiate my assertion, Mr. Curtis? Tell Mr. George that the laborer can do nothing without capital, and he will answer you substantially as follows: Originally there was nothing but a naked man and the naked land; free the land, and then, if the laborer has no tools, he will again be a naked man on naked land and can do all that Adam did. When I point out that such a return to barbarism is on a par with the remedy attributed to the Nihilists, the total destruction of the existing social order, Mr. Curtis asserts that “this is wild talk,” but his assertion, it seems to me, “ought to be backed by some show of argument.”
He is sure, however, that there is no need of going to the backwoods. There is enough vacant land in the neighborhood of cities, he thinks, to employ the surplus workers and thus relieve the labor market, But this land will not employ any workers that have no capital, and those that have capital can get the land now. Thus the old question comes back again. Make capital free by organizing credit on a mutual plan, and then these vacant lands will come into use, and then industry will be stimulated, and then operatives will be able to buy axes and rakes and hoes, and then they will be independent of their employers, and then the labor problem will be solved.
My worst offence Mr. Curtis reserves till the last. It consists in telling the workingman that he would be a fool not to prefer the street bands, the shop windows, the theatres, and the churches to a renewal of barbaric life. Mr. Curtis again misapprehends me in thinking that I commend the bands, the windows, etc. I said explicitly that there is nothing ideal about them. But society has come to be man’s dearest possession, and the advantages and privileges which I cited, crude and vulgar and base as some of them are, represent society to the operative. He will not give them up, and I think he is wise. Pure air is good, but no one wants to breathe it long alone. Independence is good, but isolation is too heavy a price to pay for it. Both pure air and independence must be reconciled with society, or not many laborers will ever enjoy them. Luckily they can be and will be, though not by taxing land values. As for the idea that persons can be induced to become barbarians from altruistic motives in sufficient numbers to affect the labor market, it is one that I have no time to discuss. In one respect at least Mr. George is preferable to Mr. Curtis as an opponent; he usually deals in economic argument rather than sentimentalism.
In conclusion, I recommend to Mr. Curtis and those who agree with him the remarkable words (also on the sixth page) by R. S. Moffat on the “Inadequacy of Land Gospels.” Excepting the single statement that a general opportunity of sharing in the land would involve the surrender of the advantages of organized industry, the entire extract is admirable, and it thoroughly undermines all schemes for saving society by beginning with the land.
The Boston “Globe” having asked the Anarchists, who declare that they will not consult the State as to the weapons to be used for its destruction, how they can complain when the State, as in Chicago, does not consult them as to the way they shall be destroyed, “An Anarchist” thus replied in a communication: “The Anarchists view the State as an aggressor upon the individual, in the same sense that they regard the professional thief and murderer as an aggressor upon the individual. They intend to defend themselves against both, and will consult neither as to the methods of such defence. And when the Anarchists complain of the methods of either the State or the professional thief, they do not do so in the sense of expecting either to voluntarily abandon their aggressive practices. Both State and thief are regarded by the Anarchists as enemies of the human race,— hostes humani generis,— and no Anarchist thinks them susceptible (except under special circumstances) to appeals based on considerations of justice. The complaints which the Anarchists make are addressed, not to the offending State and thief, but to the public and the bystanders. The Anarchists, by these complaints, try to show the public that all honest people have a common interest against the invaders, and appeal to them for their cooperation in compelling the invaders to desist. And if any invaders have agreed with each other to follow certain rules in conducting their aggression, the Anarchists, like sensible men, will take advantage of those rules in their own defence.” The “Globe” replied that the State is the public, and that Anarchists, in appealing to the public, thereby sustain the “Globe’s” contention that they appeal to and complain of the State. Indeed! Then I suppose that, if Jake Sharp, instead of appealing to the supreme court, had appealed to the people to rise and rescue him from his prison, he would have been none the less appealing to the State, for the “Globe” says that the State and the people are one. But what else could it say? It had to say something, and “An Anarchist” had not left it the smallest loop-hole of escape.
Sir Wilfrid Scawen Blunt, the author of that wonderful poem, “The Wind and the Whirlwind,” which will one day receive the approbation that it merits, but to which as yet even the readers of Liberty have done but scant justice, has thrown himself into the thick of Ireland’s struggle with the same enthusiasm which marked his steadfast championship of Arabi Pasha, and, in consequence of resisting the police who hurled him from the platform at a “proclaimed” meeting in Ireland, has got himself into jail for two months. When he comes out, he will rank in Ireland second only to Parnell in popularity, and, though belonging to the Conservative party, will be honored as a hero by the Liberal Home Rulers of England. He is, of course, doing Ireland a poor service by furthering the ends of politicians like Parnell, who desire Ireland’s separation only that they may take England’s place as her oppressors, but none the less do his bravery and ardor and desire for justice separate him effectively from those Nationalists who are after power. This Blunt is a singular character. How a Catholic Tory, which he is said to be, could have written “The Wind and the Whirlwind,” nearly every line of which breathes the spirit of rebellion, passes my comprehension.
During the meeting of the general assembly of the Knights of Labor at Minneapolis, many of the delegates met independently for the discussion of the various phases of the labor problem. At one of these gatherings the subject of “Anarchy” was debated, T. B. McGuire presiding. Anarchy was vigorously championed by Joseph A. Labadie, editor of the Detroit “Advance,” and George Schilling of Chicago, and strong Anarchistic tendencies were shown by W. E. Farmer of Minneola, Texas, Paul T. Bowen of Washington, D. C., and Charles Henrie of Topeka, Kansas.
Putting the Psycho-Twist on Chicago.
Whoever has once listened to a lecture by George Francis Train knows to what a sparkling and animated compound of wit, wisdom, eccentricity, and extravagance that unparalleled individual treats his audiences. Whoever has not may derive a faint idea of it from the following endeavor of the Chicago “News” to report the unreportable:
About five hundred men and a few women assembled in the Princess skating-rink yesterday afternoon to listen to George Francis Train. He was dressed in a black cutaway suit, white vest, plain black cravat, lavender kid gloves, and patent-leather shoes. Two uniformed policemen and a half-dozen central detectives stood in the rear of the hall outside the ticket gate.
“Being born on the mountain-top,” said Mr. Train, “I saw you couldn’t hang seven men in Chicago for committing no crime.” [Great applause.] “I have come here in splendid condition and in good nature; I am going to move here and settle down. All in favor of my living here say aye! [Ayes vociferously granted.]
“You hang those seven men if you dare, and I will head twenty million workingmen to cut the throats of everybody in Chicago. All in favor of cutting the throats of everybody in Chicago say aye! [Aye, given with a roar of laughter, and Train winks at the reporters.] I have come here to make no trouble, to organize no conspiracies; the seven ropes are not yet ready, and the seven coffins are not yet here. If you want me to be your friend, then be mine.
“How can you convict men of being accessories to a crime for which there is no principal?” he suddenly shouted. “Furthermore, how are these men accessories, and why should they hang? By similar reasoning Jeff Davis and Robert E. Lee ought to have hanged for the firing on Sumter; Denis Kearney, the rest of the sand-lotters, and all the coast editors ought to hang for the Rock Springs Chinese massacre which they fomented; and Mayor Harrison and the chiefs of police who permitted the Anarchist leaders to incite the Haymarket massacre during years of inflammatory speeches should hang. [Cheers of evidently earnest indorsement.] The fact is, they don’t intend to hang them. It’s a ‘boodle’ bluff for election purposes; else why should the execution have been fixed for after the election? How were they convicted? How was the evidence secured? Suppose I had been there, speaking as I now an, which is twice as incendiary, if you will it, as the speeches of Parsons and Fielden! The officers would have arrested me. For what? For making an inflammatory speech. Is there anything in the constitution of the United States against making an inflammatory speech? [A unanimous “No!”] Then all in favor of making an inflammatory speech whenever they like, say aye!”
There was no division in the “aye” which the audience gave him.
“Then they would have searched my lodgings. They would have found my old duelling pistols, my old shotgun, and my old red bandana which Allen G. Thurman gave me in Ohio thirty years ago. ‘Ha, a red flag, more damning evidence!’ Does the constitution of the United States say anything against carrying a red flag? [“No!” from the audience.] Then all in favor of carrying red flags if they like, say aye!”
A pretty general, but rather weak, “aye” was given, while one old man near the front arose and delivered himself of such a pronounced and long-sustained “n-o-o-o” that every one laughed heartily.
“That’s right,” cried Train; “I’m with my dissenting friend. The stars and stripes are still good enough for me, and good enough for any good cause,” at which he was musingly applauded.
“But,” said the lecturer, emphatically, “do you know what I would have done if I had been at home when the police called? Well, I would have kicked them down the stairs just so-fashion,” and, taking a long run across the stage, he launched a kick into the air that would have done credit to a star de ballet, and which served to move his audience to roars of laughter and applause.
“Manhood is dead, or not a house in Chicago would have been searched. [Cheers.]
“What do they want to hang these men for? Are they afraid of them? I wouldn’t so far make a laughing-stock of myself and insult my manhood as to be afraid of seven little picayune Anarchists up here in the county jail. All in favor of making a laughing-stock of himself say aye!” [Prolonged cheering and laughter, and again Train winks at the reporters.]
Once in the midst of his speech Mr. Train put it to vote before the reporters whether he should cease or proceed. The four who were present urged him on, and, with the remark “Sixty-five millions of people want to hear more,” he resumed his lecture. At last, when he determined to end his remarks, he called out: “All who think they’ve got their money’s worth say aye.”
The “ayes” were given without dissent, and, with three cheers for Train, the audience arose and left the hall.
Inadequacy of Land Gospels.
[R. S. Moffat in London Jus.]
The end of agriculture is to provide raw material for the supply of material wants to the community at large. But raw material is, as a rule, incompetent to the supply of human wants. It would be of no value unless it were elaborated, and there are many wants to which it ministers only in a very subordinate degree. Consequently, unless agricultural laborers can supply material for a very large number of additional laborers, human wants will be very badly supplied. It follows, then, that the greater the surplus population the agricultural population can provide for, the greater will be their efficiency, and the higher will be the contribution they will make to the general prosperity of the country. With regard to this interest it is no concern of the outside population how the earnings of agricultural industry are distributed among landlords, farmers, and laborers. Their concern is simply in the proportion of the aggregate earnings that are disposable for the employment of outside labor. This implies that the aggregate agricultural body is not the community, but a section of the community and that the more successful it is in performing its functions, the smaller proportion does it bear in numbers to the other sections of the community. I am at present supposing a self-contained community,— that is, I am not taking account of importation of raw material.
Now, this conclusion disposes at once of a few land gospels. When we are exhorted on the one hand to give every man an opportunity of sharing in the land, and, on the other, to hand over the whole land to State-management for the benefit of the community, or to substitute for the State something like the ancient Commune, whether these gospels may emanate from France, Switzerland, or California, we can recognize in them nothing adapted to the wants of a free and progressive community. The first requires us to surrender the advantages of organized industry, and to allow each cultivator of the soil lamely to supplement his agricultural labor by the isolated manufacturing industry of his own family. The second proposes to deprive the agricultural classes of the motives to industry by taking away an arbitrary share of their earnings to be spent in subsidizing other classes, so as to weaken their motives to industry. The third is simply a proposal to go back to the initial stage of industrial organization.
All these reforms ignore one great fact in the history of industrial development,— the growth of the landless capitalists. It is not my business to say that the present stage of industrial development is its final stage; but it is certain that in the present stage of development it is not the landlord, but the capitalist without land, who is the true organizer of industry. Hence, if there is anything wrong in the organization, it is to the capitalist, and not to the landlord, that suspicion primarily attaches. But the capitalist cannot be got rid of by going back to the very conditions which developed him. If there is any defect in the present arrangement, progress from it will be forward, not backward. These gospels are condemned not merely because they are retrogressive, not merely because they are opposed to the liberty which the progress of development has promoted, but on the specific economic ground that they are disproportioned to the problem they propose to solve. They treat the interests of a section of the community as those of the whole, and they pretend to cure the whole economic ills of society by annulling the variety of production produced by scientific development, and driving back the whole population on the most primitive and least productive toils.
Liberty and the George Theory.
There is much in Liberty to admire, and in Anarchism that I believe has a divine right of way. But I see little of these qualities in the criticisms made by Editor Tucker on the George movement, and much, as I think, of the exaggeration and inconsistency inherent in the Anarchistic temper and teachings.
You have “more respect,” you say, “for the State Socialist than for Henry George,” and “in the struggle between the two your sympathy is with the former.” This is vague, to say the least; and the meaning is not helped by the comparison with “the Roman Catholic who believes in authority without qualification, and the Protestant who speaks in the name of liberty, but does not know the meaning of the word.” Such expressions seem to me to point no issue, but to dodge or confuse issues. The question is threefold, relating to tactics, spirit, and doctrine, which are not always one, or of the same relative importance. You do not say whether the expulsion of the Socialists was just, whether they acted in good faith as members of the United Labor party, or believed their doctrine had any logical filiation with its platform. This ought to have something to do with our “respect” and “sympathy.” To hold to the belief of a Roman Catholic is one thing, and to enter an evangelical body as an emissary of the Pope is quite another. You seem to slur this issue in speaking merely of “the ridiculous figure the Socialists now cut in their sackcloth and ashes,” for “ridiculous” is not a word of a very specific meaning. But your closing remark appears to be a contradiction of the first so praiseful of the simple stable views of the State Socialist, for of the act of the “Labor Enquirer” in hoisting Henry George’s name one day and pulling it down the next you say it shows, not a revolution in ideas, but that it had “no ideas definite enough to be revolutionized”!
And do you really believe that Protestantism is not an advance on Roman Catholicism; that such men as Luther, Wesley, Channing, are not as “respectable” as the Roman pontiffs? Do you think the apostate or rebellious element in both Church and State is not as deserving of respect as the older body, simply because it does not reach the goal of freedom at a bound? Have you more sympathy with Asia than Europe, with Europe than America, with unqualified despotism than with a constitutional monarchy, with monarchy than with republicanism? And is there no room for theory or experiment between State Socialism and Anarchism, no foothold for large views and manly purposes? Are Henry George and his coworkers of the class who “speak in the name of liberty, but do not know the meaning of the word”? Is their talk and spirit rubbish by the side not only of Anarchism, but its opposite, State Socialism? Did liberty have nothing to do with the writing of “Progress and Poverty,” that book that has set so many to thinking and acting, and has done more to popularize the science of political economy than the writings of any dozen men, if not of all men, on that theme? Had liberty nothing to do with the starting of the “Standard,” the Anti-Poverty Society, the anointing of McGlynn, Pentecost, Huntington, Redpath, McGuire, and the rest of the new apostolate of freedom? I am aware there are things connected with this reform to which exceptions can and must be made, but they do not prove it is not liberty’s offspring, an onward movement freighted with benefit for the race.
Of a piece with this criticism is another article in the same number, in which you go even farther and say: “Mr. George may as well understand first as last that labor will refuse to begin this world anew. It never will abandon even its present meagre enjoyment of wealth and the means of wealth which have grown out of its ages of sorrow, suffering, and slavery. If Mr. George offers it land alone, it will turn its back upon him. It insists upon both land and tools.” That is an astounding assertion that he asks labor to “begin this world anew,” and to “abandon” what it already has, and ought to be backed by some show of argument; but I see none. How are the people to lose by being made their own landlords? How are they to be robbed of their present advantages in having the land made free? Your whole argument, filling a column, is that “the city operative will not be tempted to leave what he has for the semi-barbarous condition of the backwoodsman without an axe, building a hut of mud, striking fire with flint and steel, and scratching a living with his finger nails”! Now, if the vacant lots and tracts of land in and about all the cities are brought into use by being built upon or cultivated, will not the stimulus given to industry and the increased opportunity for employment resulting therefrom not only enable the operative to buy an axe, rake, hoe, hammer, saw, and even a horse and plough? And not only this, but to find a suitable patch of land without going so far beyond the boundaries of civilization as you imagine? But the idea is not that every one will become a farmer or landowner, but that the cheapening and freeing of this primary factor of production, the land, will make it possible for those of very limited means and resources to do more for themselves and for the world than now, besides rendering capital more active, more productive; the clear tendency of which would be to relieve the labor market, and make the demand for labor greater than the supply, and so raise wages and secure to labor its just reward. And you do not see how this is in the interest of freedom; how the freeing of land will enable men to become the possessors, not only of the tools they need, but of their individuality as well! Taking taxes off industry, and substituting therefor the social values given to land, you call retrogression, or rather “a remedy similar — for a part of mankind at least — to that attributed to the Nihilists, the total destruction of the existing social order, and the creation of a new one on its ruins”! This is wild talk, and is none the less so because of the use of the feeble adjective, “similar,” and the halting phrase, “at least apart of mankind,” which destroy the value of the comparison for the purpose of argument, and, like the word “respect,” “sympathy,” “ridiculous,” and “semi-barbarous,” show that Liberty, the Anarchist organ par excellence, may dogmatize instead of reason, and make personal dictum or caprice the standard of right.
But there is something of more consequence than the vulnerable points in Liberty’s logic, for it goes deeper. Granting that this reform does mean the creation of a new order involving losses and sacrifices to the individual for a generation, is that its condemnation? Words cannot express my astonishment at the manner in which Liberty tells its readers that the city operative cannot be tempted “to begin life as a barbarian, even with the hope that in the course of a lifetime he may slightly improve his condition,” for he would be a “fool not to prefer to this the city with its “street bands,” “shop windows,” “theatres,” and “churches,” even though he have to “breathe tainted air” and “dress in rags.” Ah, it is indeed true, as you say, “man does not live by bread alone,” and for that reason he prefers pure air and independence along with isolation and struggle, to tainted air and serfdom along with brass bands and hand organs, gaudy windows, and Black Crook performances. But is that “beginning life as a barbarian,” no matter with implements however rude, at places however remote from the centres of pride and luxury, with fruits of toil however slow in ripening, if the persons are moved by the thought of bettering, not their own condition merely, but that of the world, of the generations to come? Have not the pioneers of freedom, the vanguards of civilization, again and again “begun life as the barbarian,” so to speak? This reform, it is true, means “bread,” but bread for all, though there be luxury for none. We know the advantages of city life, and for that reason we would deny ourselves those advantages in order that cities might spread and civilization expand.
We want the earth, but do not mean to run away with it; there will still be plenty of room,— yes, more than before, far more. It will be the beginning, not the end, of reform; not the last step, but a great stride forward. Socialism and Anarchism will both have a better chance then than now, if the insufficiency of the principle is proven. For it is Socialistic in asserting the common ownership of the soil and governmental control of such things as are in their nature monopolies, while it is Anarchistic in leaving all else to the natural channels of free production and exchange, to free contract and spontaneous cooperation.
T. W. Curtis.
Bound to Go Slow, Even If He Goes Backward.
To the Editor of Liberty:
In discussing Henry George in your paper, you say: “George offers Labor land; Labor insists on both land and tools.” Now, why don’t you go with George until you get part of what you want,— free land? After that, may be it will be easier to get the rest,— free capital. What labor wants is a leader. George made a magnificent start in New York last fall, when he pooled sixty-eight thousand votes. If free land gets a start of free capital anywhere, why not give it a boost, like practical men, and bide your time on the capital question? I presume you believe in evolution. Nature goes slow, one thing at a time, from the simple to the complex. Let us go up stairs one step at a time. It will be easier and surer than to try and leap the whole flight at once.
[In the words quoted from me it was not my intention to admit that George’s scheme would make land free, but only to say that, were it to do so, still land would be practically useless to the laborer without capital. I oppose the land-tax scheme because it would not make land free, but would simply make a change of landlords, and because it would enormously increase the power of a worse foe to labor than the landlord,— namely, the State. With men like J. K. Ingalls, who really favor free land and think it of chief importance, I have no quarrel. On the contrary, following the advice of my friend and labor’s, I “give them a boost” whenever I can, though I think them mistaken in not giving the capital question precedence, and tell them so. George may be a magnificent leader, but he is either a blind or a false one, and, if Labor follows him, it will fall into the ditch. One step at a time is enough for me, but it must not be backward or ditchward. — Editor Liberty.]
Egoism and Its Opposite.
I acknowledge the kindly spirit with which my friend, Mr. Yarros, received my criticism, and wish to reciprocate his compliment. In this discussion there is not only a difference in our ideas, but a difference in the use of terms. If justice and liberty are not rights, to me they are unmeaning words. To me, therefore, it seems an absurdity, after saying that justice is the condition of happiness, to add that no rights can be recognized. Nor, further, does it seem an accurate use of language to say that a man chooses a death which he has been forced to accept. But a mere verbal dispute has no charms for me, and may be carried on indefinitely without any useful result. So I will content myself with the statement of my ideas, and submit them to a comparison with Mr. Yarros’s.
My young friend (I trust my age is ample excuse for addressing him thus, if Miss Kelly’s is not) states the proposition that “personal satisfaction is the sole object in life.” This is contradicted by my studies, my observation, and all my experience. Right and wrong are clearly-defined, but adverse, qualities. The terms “selfish” and “disinterested” are necessities of our language, because they signify motives of an opposite, if not antagonistic, nature, between which life is a constant struggle. If men are to live in harmonious social relations, there must be some common standard of action. If each man were guided only by his own desires, there would be continual conflict. Therefore I said that the mutual recognition of individual rights was the best condition of security. What would be the result if all rights were discarded, and love of pleasure became the sole spring of action? Suppose a man took pleasure in doing wrong (this has seemed to be the delight of some persons): how would that promote the general happiness?
A man will labor in support of some object which he deems good and noble at the cost of pain and discomfort to himself. For this he sacrifices his means, his comfort, and perhaps his good name. He does it, not from love of pleasure, because he would find more personal satisfaction in a different course. He does it, let us suppose, that he may do his part to make the world a better place to live in. He foregoes present enjoyment to provide better conditions of happiness for others. Now, what is the proof that this is a nobler motive than that of self-indulgence? It is to be found all through history. Such men have aided human advancement more than all other classes of men. The mere lovers of pleasure are content to “let the world wag”; to be silent in the presence of great wrongs; to be deaf to the cry of human distress; to be indifferent to the outrages that make millions mourn. If there were not such a thing as “devotion to an idea,” such people would be, unhappily, more numerous than they are. An idea is the torch that lights the pathway of human progress. An idea is the intangible, but irresistible, force which inspires the noblest purpose.
The character of any action may be (though perhaps not always) stamped by the motive that impels it. This is seen in so trifling a matter as a writer’s assumption of a pseudonym. He may wish that his work should be judged on its merits, without reference to the fame or obscurity of the author. In this case his motive may be pure, and his act not deserving of censure. Or he may wish not to be known as the writer of what he prints. If he publishes anonymously because he dares not face the responsibility he would otherwise incur, or because he fears unpleasant personal consequences if he were known, his motive is detestable. (I intend in this illustration no reference to Tak Kak, whom I do not know, and whose identity I cannot guess.)
Take some other classes of actions. Suppose three persons become involved in the meshes of the same circumstance, and, whatever any two of them may do, the third must be a sufferer in consequence. Now, if I understand my friend’s philosophy, the Egoist, finding that a certain course of action in this matter would add immensely to his personal satisfaction, would take that course if he thought he would thereafter be “safe and secure in his possessions.” On the other hand, the Altruist (as I conceive him) would renounce the thought of his personal satisfaction, and forego the possible pleasure, before he would seek his happiness at the cost of another’s misery.
Take another illustration. Here is a great reform or revolution, indispensable to the best welfare of the human family. The Egoist would say, “This is a good thing; but, if I go into it, I shall lose many valued friends, endure the pangs of social ostracism, and perhaps endanger my neck. I live for pleasure, and cannot think of it.” The Altruist would say, “If embrace this cause, my name will become a reproach; I must give up happiness, and make my life one of toil, privation; and obloquy. But I am indebted to the past; and if I have plucked apples from trees I never planted, I must plant trees from which not I but others can gather the fruit. The world’s heroes and martyrs helped to make me what I am; if I would emulate their spirit, I must not falter now.”
Heroes and martyrs! Why are their names valued among us? Because they rebuke that easy-going, pleasure-loving spirit which would take the world as it is, and make no effort to purify and ennoble it; because human life is not so wretched as it would have been had they never lived and suffered; and because of the existence in human nature of those instincts and impulses which sprang into active life despite the smothering passions of barbarism, which burst the shackles of superstition and despotism, and without which man today would have been a’savage, with no shelter but the caves.
I do not deny that the noble men and women who in life and death have added a new glory to human nature experienced a serene joy in their high purpose; but their joy was moral and not physical,— that is, it was joy of the heart, not of the senses. They did not make happiness the sole object in life, nor seek to avoid pain. They were impelled by impulses they could not resist and be at peace with themselves. They took up their lives, not as a pleasure, but as a burden. Surely there is a radical difference between such a spirit and that which is content with the satisfaction of desire. I fear that Egoism would not swell to any great extent the ranks of heroes and martyrs.
J. M. L. Babcock.
Wanted — the Opposite of Egoism.
“Anyone having any information as to the whereabouts of the ‘opposite of Egoism,’ as well as any knowledge of some characteristic feature which can serve as a means of its detection and identification, will confer a great favor by addressing Mr. J. M. L. Babcock (in care of Liberty, Box 3366), who has been engaged for some time in a fruitless search of that object. The undersigned, though not an authorized agent of Mr. Babcock, takes a deep interest in the matter, and is ready to reasonably remunerate any person or persons furnishing the desired information or helping to lay hold on the ‘opposite of Egoism.’”
The above “ad” was hurriedly written after a sympathetic examination of Mr. Babcock’s “statement of ideas.” I intended to publish it in all the principal labor and reform periodicals in the civilized world, and to postpone my reply to Mr. Babcock till the “ad” should be answered and the “opposite” found.
Not that I hoped to be able to destroy it after it was produced. Indeed, I despaired of my case, and felt that there was no chance for me and no use to exhaust my feeble powers, the moment Mr. Babcock declared that his “young friend’s” Egoistic views are “contradicted by his studies, his observation, and all his experience.” How could I, a poor young creature, with whom even Miss Kelly scorned to debate serious questions, undertake to argue with Mr. Babcock, whose age Miss Kelly herself would no doubt consider ample excuse for his addressing her as a young friend. No, the question was settled, and I admonished myself to take to heart the lesson and behave better in the future. My purpose in the above “want” was merely the innocent one of securing an opportunity to make the acquaintance of the “opposite of Egoism” and closely study it before accepting it as a guide in place of that usurper, Egoism, who so criminally imposed upon my inexperience and, shamelessly abusing my youthful confidence, led me into ways that are evil.
In short, I wished to become the opposite of an Egoist, which I could not be without knowing what the opposite of Egoism was, which knowledge, alas! I could not find in Mr. Babcock’s statement.
Upon further thought, however, I decided to take no hasty action, and to solicit another consultation with Mr. Babcock before proceeding with the execution of my designs. To say the truth, I strongly suspect that I do not understand Mr. Babcock. Perhaps, in fact, my “inaccurate use of language” stands in the way of my having an accurate understanding of it.
Mr. Babcock denies that “personal satisfaction is the sole object in life.” He says: “Man will labor in support of an object . . . at the cost of pain and discomfort to himself. For this he sacrifices his means, his comfort, and perhaps his good name.” But the question is, why man will do all that? What is it that makes him follow such a course? I will let Mr. Babcock answer my questions. “They [the noble men who made sacrifices] were impelled by impulses they could not resist and be at peace with themselves.” Precisely; but is this the opposite of Egoism? Where is the sacrifice and the self-denial? Those of our readers who have an accurate understanding of language will judge whether it is an “accurate use” of language to say that a man labors for an object at the cost of sacrifice because it would be painful for him to desist from such labor. My use and understanding of language would lead me to say that the man who labors for an object at the cost of pain does so because he finds such pain as be has to endure in the work far less acute than the pain which any other course would entail upon him. Where a choice of evils is unavoidable, men who do not believe in duty naturally take that course which seems least unpleasant. And we saw that Mr. Babcock entirely ignored the considerations of duty.
Should Mr. Babcock complain of misrepresentation, and remind me that he distinctly stated that “they [the heroes and martyrs] took up their lives, not as a pleasure, but as a burden,” I will refer him to his own words: “I do not deny that the noble men . . . experienced a serene joy in their high purposes.” Are a “serene joy” and a “burden” synonymous terms in Mr. Babcock’s “accurate” use of language? Surely the claim that there is a “radical difference” between being “impelled by impulses which it is impossible to resist and remain at peace with one’s self” and “satisfying a desire” can only be explained by some inaccuracy in the use of language. To me these are simply two forms of expressing the Egoistic explanation of motive for any given conduct. I am aware that Mr. Babcock makes a distinction between joys of the heart and physical joys, and implies that the Egoists, when speaking of happiness and personal gratification, mean only physical joys. But I challenge him and all the other of our opponents to produce a single sentence from the writings of the Egoists which warrants the inference that “joys of the heart” are foreign to our conception of happiness. If Mr. Babcock read my last article with any attention at all, he could not have failed to note that, in speaking of personal pleasures, I mentioned the pleasure which is derived by some from reading Mill’s “Logic” or Carlyle’s “Sartor Resartus.”
Having shown that Mr. Babcock himself offers nothing in explanation of noble deeds other than “serene joy” and the desire to be at peace with one’s self, I could lay down my pen and claim a complete victory over the “opposite of Egoism,” whatever it may be; but I will not abandon him at such a critical moment. Let us look into his “instances.”
The use of noms de plume has no relation whatever to the question at issue. The reasons for concealing identities are as numerous as the writers having recourse to pseudonyms. No general rule can be established.
In the hypothetical case of three persons involved, etc., it is safe to say that, whatever the parties may determine upon, that determination will be dictated by “personal happiness.” Whether one chooses to be the sufferer, or whether he tries to protect himself at the cost of another’s misery, he is merely following the line which is to him of the least resistance. We frequently see people who “love not wisely but too well” do many humiliating and bad things for the purpose of gratifying their idols which they would never do for themselves; and, on the other hand, we know of cases where worshippers preferred to die rather than allow their adored objects to taste of the cup of degradation. In both cases their conduct was thoroughly Egoistic.
People engage in reform movements or become revolutionists because they are “impelled by impulses which they can not resist.” They may be forced to renounce some pleasures and endure some hardships, but they find this incomparably easier than to bear the burden of a servile and cowardly existence. Those that are satisfied with things as they are take no part in revolutionary movements. Those who are dissatisfied and struggle for some reformation cannot ask us to bow to their superiority and venerate them for their “sacrifices.” (Mr. Babcock, exhorting us to prostrate ourselves before the martyrs and heroes of the world’s history, points out that it is illogical to say that they chose to accept the tragic fates which were forced upon them. Cannot Mr. Babcock see that, if the Chicago prisoners were promised liberty on condition of their espousing the side of monopoly, and they, rather than accept freedom at such a price, accepted death, they would be exactly in the position of which I spoke,— choosing the death which, in a sense, was forced upon them?)
The truth that all men are Egoists once recognized, the question of a “common standard of action” settles itself very easily. No duties and no rights existing, everybody governs himself by his own appetite and understanding. Continual conflict, insecurity of life and possessions, and general confusion being the inevitable outcome of such a state of things, intelligent self-interest slowly but surely develops a common standard and brings about a conception of equal liberty and equitable dealing. The desire for order and security produces harmony and peace. When an individual finds pleasure in violating such common standards, there is no reason in existence for him to deny himself such a pleasure. The consequences of his acts may help to clear up his ideas on the subject, and show him that he has a greater interest in maintaining the general harmony than he supposed he had. In the future he is more careful about his pleasures. But, apart from self-interest, there is absolutely nothing to induce him to show any deference for the rules of conduct which others, be they small or large in numbers, adopt for themselves with a view to secure their own welfare.
To conclude: while I made it apparent that it was impossible for Mr. Babcock to maintain the altruistic illusion without falling into glaring inconsistency and comical self-contradiction, I am far from charging him with either deliberately deceiving himself or trying to deceive others. He simply confuses his thought by the persistent endeavor to make old theological terms voice new ideas and newly-reached conclusions. The Egoists pronounce such labor futile as well as wholly unnecessary, and repudiate the “brainless words” along with the worn-out fictions which they denote; and they expect and insist that the definitions of the terms which they use shall be taken from them and not from unrecognized sources. Is this too much to ask from people who desire to merit the reputation of candor and fairness?
Would They Were All Mad!
[Canadian Labor Reformer.]
Mad King Otho, of Bavaria, has taken a craze for peeling potatoes. He peels bushels daily. Now, where is there a sane king so usefully and sensibly employed?
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.