“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.
Of course Liberty wishes its readers a happy and prosperous new year; but it can do nothing to turn its wish into palpable fact. If the readers wish Liberty a happy and prosperous new year, they have the fortunate advantage of being able to realize their wish by swelling its circulation and extending its influence.
What Mr. Walker found in the antediluvian reasoning of “Wheelbarrow” on the sources of poverty to make it deserving a conspicuous place in the columns of “Fair Play,” I cannot surmise. Mr. Walker thinks that “privilege it is that robs labor of its pittance,” while “Wheelbarrow” still preaches the gospel of virtue to the workingmen, whose intemperance and improvidence he considers the source of their misery.
Indebted as I am to Col. Greene’s “Mutual Banking” more than to any other single publication for such knowledge as I have of the principles of finance, it seems to me scant justice to it to speak, as Mr. Westrup does, of the “limited help” it has afforded to thinkers on this subject. The little work remains today what it was before Mr. Westrup and I began to write upon finance,— the most compact, satisfactory, keen, and clear treatise upon mutual money extant.
In the State of New York a law is soon to take effect prohibiting newspapers from printing any details regarding the execution of criminals. It is an unquestionable violation of the freedom of the press, but no more so than the laws by which Anarchists are hanged for voicing their opinions. Nevertheless the very journals that are bitterest in denouncing Anarchists as reckless enemies of law and order declare almost with one accord that this new law is utterly unjust and that no self-respecting newspaper will pay the slightest attention to it, but will violate it at every opportunity. How different things seem since our ox was gored!
The Boston “Globe” calls upon its New York contemporaries to resist the new law excluding representatives of the press from the scenes of execution of criminals and bring about its repeal. The law, it alleges, conflicts with their duty to furnish news to the public. Will the “Globe” answer a respectful question: Is not ours a government of, for, and by the people; and are not legislators simply servants expressing and enacting into law the wishes and opinions of the sovereign people V How, then, can newspapers owe it to the people to violate a law made at their own bidding and in their own interest? Or does the “Globe” mean to deny that we are self-governing?
In the last election, according to the New York “Tribune,” the American people have decided that the Democracy is unfit and incompetent to govern the country. After a four years’ trial, they have found it wanting and defeated it at the polls. Now if this is so, then in 1884 the Republicans were similarly pronounced unfit and undesirable. And as there is no reason to suppose and no evidence to show that the Republicans are now better and wiser than four years ago, it seems, by the admission of the “Tribune,” that after March 4, 1889, we are to be ruled by dishonest and stupid politicians. Great is the ballot! Long live law and order!
Mr. Yarros’s reference to Bernard Shaw’s citation of the English postal service as an example of what the State can do in the way of administration reminds me of an incident that occurred recently. I sat in a hall in Boston one Sunday afternoon listening to an American State Socialist as he extolled the United States post-office department as the most wonderfully well-managed institution on the globe. A very prominent English State Socialist, who is also a government official, sitting beside me, whispered in my ear: “That’s what we say of ours at home, but it’s very doubtful if the claim is a true one.” This gentleman was either more candid or better informed than Mr. Shaw.
“Freiheit” and the “Alarm” are edited in the same office, though the former is tasked with the propagation of communism, while the latter champions liberty. But in a recent issue of “Freiheit” Most has expressed his contempt for the “Anarchy espoused by a certain American school,” describing it as “nothing but unscientific balderdash, liberal Manchesterism of anno Tobak,” to use his own elegant phrase. Poor Lum, I shall now expect him to strike his tent, like the Arab, and as silently steal away. He has my sympathy, but he ought to have known at the start that it would never do to run counter to so eminent an authority in the realm of economic science as is that of Most.
The Chicago “Unity” is made heart-sick by the report that a London dealer sold two million birds last year for the decoration of women’s hats, and the editor asks in a half-menacing, half-despairing tone: “Shall we reprint our bird issue of over two years ago?” By the “bird issue” is meant a number of “Unity” which was entirely devoted to “pleading for the birds and trying to shame women out of the criminal atrocities of fashion.” When I reflect upon the number of human lives that have been taken to feed and clothe the congregations of the clergymen who edit “Unity,” and upon the fact that no entire issue of their paper was ever devoted to arousing a sense of shame in those who profit by these murders, their effusive concentration of sympathy upon bipeds with feathers not only makes my heart sick but my stomach nearly turn.
Under date of December 12 Comrade Westrup writes to me from Chicago as follows: “I have been meeting a few friends for some months past to inquire into the economic question. Last night the meeting was held at the house of Mrs. H. E. Bartholomew, 678 W. Jackson Street. After the discussion had lasted about two hours, the following resolution was unanimously approved. ‘Resolved, that free money, or the abolition of all interference on the part of the State in the subject of money, is necessarily the first step in economic reform; and that the establishment of mutual banks, in order to eliminate interest above cost in the issue of currency, is the first step towards economic freedom.’ All present signed it. Their names are H. E. Bartholomew, William Trinkhaus, Hans Rossner, Mrs. H. E. Bartholomew, and the writer. At the next meeting, which is to be held next Tuesday, it is proposed to elect a secretary and chairman and keep a record of the proceedings. So far they have been only informal.” This is work in the right direction.
It is stated in the newspaper reports of the general assembly of the Knights of Labor, lately held in Indianapolis, that that body gave its unanimous adhesion to the puritanical and tyrannical scheme of Rev. Wilbur F. Crafts for the passage of a bill by congress forbidding all Sunday traffic and work, except works of religion, necessity, and mercy, in the nation’s mail and military service, and in inter-State commerce, and in the District of Columbia and the territories. Liberty has been scoffed at for maintaining that State Socialism means a State church, but this fact tends strongly to confirm that position, for the platform of the Knights of Labor is mainly State Socialistic. I do not believe, however, that the adhesion was “unanimous.” George Schilling of Chicago was a member of that body, and it is scarcely possible that he voted for so Archistic a proposition, even though he be a devotee of the religion of compromise. If so, this stampede among the Anarchists has already gone farther than I thought. One should not be surprised, however, for compromise, once begun as a method of propagandism, knows no stopping-place.
Mr. Charming Burnz, in writing to “Fair Play,” says that the typography of that paper and general get-up of it are the best in the liberal line. I am sorry to note in an old subscriber to Liberty such a hopeless difference between him and its editor as to the nature of liberalism, for I certainly would not insult him by supposing that he means by his words that “Fair Play” is superior to Liberty in point of typography. People may and do differ about liberalism, but it is utterly out of the question that there should be two opinions among experts as to the comparative typographical merits of Liberty and “Fair Play.” No man appreciates more than I the efforts of the publishers of “Fair Play,” struggling under difficulties, to give their paper a presentable appearance, and no man is more gratified than I at such degree of success as they attain. In this they enjoy an honorable distinction from those liberal editors who seem to take pride in their sheets in the ratio of their typographical similarity to a stud-horse poster. But in thus giving credit where it is due it is needless to make invidious comparisons that not only do injustice to comrades, but involve treason to the first principles of the “art preservative.”
Henry George’s “Standard” makes a protest against the attitude of the Chicago authorities toward public meetings and processions. It is too late in the day, Mr. George, for you to pose as a champion of freedom of speech. You once had a chance to vindicate that cause such as comes to a man but once in a lifetime, and in the trial hour you not only failed the cause, but betrayed it. Let one of the meetings against the suppression of which you now protest be held; let some one present throw a bomb and kill an officer; let the speakers be arrested on a charge of murder; let a jury packed with the hirelings of capital convict them; let a judge sentence them to be hanged; let the supreme court formally sanction the whole; let a large portion of the people, hounded on by a bloodthirsty and prostituted press, clamor for these men’s death; and let this culminate in the middle of a political campaign in which you are running for office: under these circumstances should we not see you do again what you have done once already,— declare that a supreme court can do no wrong, that in face of its opinion you recant yours, that the convicted men deserve to be hanged, and that you will not lift voice or pen to save them? We have known you, Henry George, in the past, and we know you for the future. The lamp holds out to burn, but for no such vile sinner as yourself. In vain your efforts to return to the fold. As Ingersoll says, “’Twon’t do.”
The Rag-Picker of Paris.
By Felix Pyat.
Translated from the French by Benj. B. Tucker.
Continued from No. 139.
So we find these gentlemen again awaiting these ladies in a private dining-room of the Maison-Dorée, facing the boulevard. Chandeliers, gilt decorations, a carpet, carved chairs, a velvet divan to sit or lie upon, a table supplied with fruits and flowers for show, silver-ware and choice dishes, the entire scale of glasses large and small, for wines in decanters and in bottles, warming in their baskets or freezing in ice, in short, all the usual luxury and commonplace elegance of a great fashionable restaurant.
Camille Berville, in a black coat, with a camelia in his buttonhole, a new flower then, was reading a newspaper before the gaily flaming wood fire.
Gripon had just taken his place at a little table, while Louchard and Loiseau were in their seats. Frinlair, very nervous and over-excited, was standing, stealthily eyeing Camille and in anything but a good humor.
“Waiter, the bill of fare,” said the notary, breaking the silence.
“Waiter, a pack of cards,” demanded the broker.
“Waiter, some paper,” requested the journalist, in his turn.
“Waiter, some cigars,” added Frinlair.
“There, gentlemen, there,” said the waiter, serving them promptly, with a haste proportioned to the fee.
“Absinthe first,” said Loiseau.
“That’s right, make out the supper order, and give me the rest of the paper for my journal.”
“Which one?” asked Loiseau.
“For both the ‘Democracy’ and the ‘Appeal to the People.’ Let us go to work. Ah! if our ladies of the Musard ball were here, such collaborators would furnish me ideas.”
Loiseau consulted the bill of fare.
“On the Charter [Charte]?" said he to Louchard.
“No, that’s played out. . . on the supper order [carte]."
Gripon, with his cards in his hand, made a signal to Frinlair.
“In the meantime, let us have a game of écarte."
But the diplomat returned to his ruling passion.
“I should prefer a game of horse, ha, ha! It is night and freezing; I will bet five hundred dollars that I can go now from Paris to Saint-Cloud backwards in an hour and a half. Monsieur Camille, will you bet?”
“No,” answered Camille, wearily.
Gripon tried him, in his turn.
“Do you play, Camille?”
“No,” repeated the latter.
“Camille, what wine will you have?” asked Loiseau.
“I am not thirsty.”
“I am not hungry.”
“Camille, my good fellow,” said the facetious notary, “you are turning into an oyster.”
And he wrote:
Then, after enjoying his joke, he continued:
“We shall be ten, in spite of the old rule: ‘Neither less than the Graces, nor more than the Muses.’ Is that what vexes you? But you are not a classicist. What ails you, then?”
Louchard had just finished his writing. He heard Camille’s reply.
“Nonsense, crank,” he exclaimed. “You are troubled with ennui. . . . Listen to this wind-up. It is homoeopathic.”
And he read:
“The ‘Appeal to the People’: ‘The Republic agitates in vain among the dregs of Paris after having expelled the best of kings. France will not submit to the fanatics of the bratocracy. She is already preparing to drive them back into the dens from which they should never have emerged. The People, the real People and not the mob, trust in the future of the Napoleons, who are the logical successors of the excellent, eminent, but too indulgent Louis Philippe. The Pretender is sure of the love of the French. Thanks to him, anarchy will not prevail, and France will follow her progress in order and liberty under the sovereign of her choice.’”
“I will be a bull in stocks,” exclaimed Gripon, decidedly.
“Wait,” interrupted Louchard. “Hear this.”
He took up another sheet and read:
“The ‘Social Democracy’: ‘At last the people can celebrate their deliverance. Citizens have a right to wear at the masquerade the tinsel of kings, priests, and masters, the entire cast-off clothing of a past never to return; for the Republic is definitively established, and more and more tends to become democratic and social. What we have predicted is realized. Before February we danced upon a smoking volcano. Its lava has submerged, in a flood of mud and blood, frivolous sheets, lascivious priests, murderous dukes, and thieving ministers. And it is justice: royalty, as unreasoning as unfeeling, refused reform and offered the guillotine to the people who asked for bread and the ballot. It was a time to say as in 1830: Unhappy king, unhappy France! At last this régime is ended. . . . and we shall never see it more except at the carnival.’”
“I will be a bear,” said Gripon, shaken.
“The Boulevard will talk of these thunders,” concluded Louchard.
“Bah! less than of the masquerade,” said Camille, shrugging his shoulders.
“Waiter,” called Louchard, vexed. “Take these to the printing-office. . . and don’t mix them up.”
“What a marmalade!” cried Loiseau.
And he wrote the word on his supper order, while his friends smiled at his sallies.
“How wit becomes notaries!” said Camille, decidedly in an ill humor.
“Pshaw!” said Loiseau, “there is a time for everything. A notary is a Janus. . . . accustomed to play double. Now it is Jean who laughs and now it is Jean who weeps. He has to change his humor according to the acts. Thus this morning I drew up a dying man’s will at his bedside. Until noon I was sepulchral. Later I drew up a marriage contract, and I again became gay. Now my barometer indicates fair weather.”
But seeing that his remarks were not very successful, he said, pointing to Camille and addressing Frinlair:
“I know no man who takes pleasure more sadly than Camille.”
“Oh!” said Frinlair with secret malice, “on the eve of marriage there is good reason for that. You know something about it, you husbands.”
“Oh! a little,” observed Louchard, “as a matter of form, as Bridoison said.”
“Or of horns,” added Gripon. “I never take my wife out except when I move.”
“And I,” said Loiseau, “move when my wife goes out. . . But no matter,” he continued, coming back to Camille, to make him the subject of another witticism, “I have always seen our friend. . . croute aux champignons.”
And he wrote down this dish also amid laughter.
“What do you expect?” said Camille; “all your balls bore me; such things amuse you, but they make me as sober as this melon.”
And he jestingly designated the object that lay in the direction of the notary.
“Oh! indeed,” exclaimed Loiseau, with his notary’s merciless wit, “here is Werther, dreaming of a Charlotte. . . russe.”
He added this item to the menu.
“Well,” said Louchard, “we have puns at least. We might eat them.”
“And we will eat them,” said Loiseau, as gay as if he were drawing up a marriage contract.
Camille continued to dream aloud, talking to himself as well as to his friends.
“Yes, Opera balls, society balls, death dances, insipid or lugubrious farces, all of them bazaars of women and men for sale, where virtuous girls go to seek a husband whom they pay and others a lover who pays them. It is as gay as a fair.”
“So be it,” retorted Loiseau, “but the supper! Come, Puritan, sit down at the table, and swallow your wisdom. A host may be moral and a victim of ennui — all disgusts are natural,— but he must be entertaining.”
“Bah!” exclaimed Camille, “I am disgusted with everything, even with your witticisms.”
He rose and, throwing his cigar into the fire, said:
“Fortunately I am going to marry. It is a way of committing suicide.”
“Why, he is serious, upon my word! he is going to die,” chuckled Loiseau.
“Waiter, the soup!”
Camille went to sit down at the other end of the room, sober and demoralized. Gripon, who had succeeded in inducing Frinlair to play with him, threw down his last card, utterly routing his adversary (Jews always win, even against diplomats), and cried, enchanted:
“Now to the supper-table! That will bring the beauties.”
Louchard winked his bleared eye.
“Captain Mazagran,” said he, becoming aroused in advance, “has recruited a party of grisettes for our entertainment. Diplomats, financiers, notaries, journalists, here we are students again. Nobility, bourgeoisie, and plebeians, national unity. . . . What a leveller is love!”
Camille shook his head.
“Woman is only for business or pleasure,” declared Gripon. “What do we ask of her? Money or. . . her bed. Half of one. . . or all the other.”
“And it is enough for what heart is left us,” said Camille again.
The young Berville had reached the last stage of despair. He wished to believe and could not. To such a point had the liberality of his strange guardian carried him.
Frinlair, who seemed to be seeking an opportunity for a quarrel with his old friend, could not repress his impatience.
“Come, come, Monsieur Camille," said he suddenly, in his language of a gentleman of the stables, “change your black horse for a white one, or we drop you.”
Louchard intervened and, addressing Berville, said to him in a tone of gentle reproach:
“How can you be so gloomy, you, the darling of the ladies and of the bank, with everything on your side, youth and wealth? . . . . Yours the key of hearts, you the pink of dandies [fleur des pois, literally flower of peas]?”
“Stay, I forgot the vegetables,” cried Loiseau.
And he began to write again, while the waiter served the soup.
Camille allowed the disgust that filled his heart to overflow.
“Well, yes,” said he, “it is true. I have everything, and I have nothing because I have done nothing to have everything. I have lived what you call life, richly and vainly, thanks to my guardian, who has thrown the reins upon my neck and made me master of my fate and fortune. I have run, like a madman, as you all have, after happiness, after love, and I have been deceived, as you have been. I have mistaken pleasure for happiness, loves for love, as my future father-in-law, the baron, mistakes honors for honor. Quantity is not quality, friends; and in these matters I prefer the singular to the plural. I would give all women for a woman. The beauties, as you call them, wines, cards, horses, the possible and the impossible, I have used them all, all, even to the duel. I have fought with friends and enemies, at random, sometimes even with reason. . . . I have drained the glass to the bottom, and found at last only bitterness and dregs, ennui and disgust, and even — laugh if you will — remorse. Intoxication has left its after-taste, but without killing desire”. . .
Forgetting the sceptical society in which he found himself, carried away by the impulse of his frank and kindly nature, vitiated but not vicious, he smote his breast, saving amid the sneers and mocking exclamations:
“Surfeited as I am, I still feel here, in my heart, a void, a need like that of Tantalus. Yes, yes, I am hungry, I am thirsty still for that love, for that happiness, the shows of which have not satisfied me.”
“What an appetite!” exclaimed Loiseau; “waiter, two roasts for one!”
When the laughter had subsided, Louchard resumed his bantering remonstrances.
“How much will you charge for this speech for my journals?” he asked. “These fine things are only to be written, at most, my dear; they are not to be spoken, especially here and today. . . . Pure love in the Maison-Dorée, in the restaurant and on Mardi-Gras! You sing out of tune! Your heart empty? Nonsense. Your stomach? Ah! very well. Thirsty for love, hungry for happiness! What a poet! Come down quickly to prose. Doctor Véron’s soup and beef,— those will relieve you.”
Camille shook his head.
“No, I am a dead man, I tell you,” he continued, slowly. “Oh, of course I can eat and drink and laugh with you at our stupidities. But it is galvanism; death is in my heart. Life, the only real life, is love, and of that there is no more for such perverse persons as ourselves. That is our punishment and its revenge. Like Midas, we change everything into gold. We can no longer find a woman to give us happiness instead of selling it to us. At any rate, not in the ball-room shall I meet such a woman, and that is why the ball makes me sad.”
Louchard began to laugh.
“Midas, Tantalus, fabulous. . . these things are out of date, Camille; be a little positive. Do as I do. When I enter the ball-room, I leave my heart in the cloak-room with my cane or my umbrella and take them again as I go out.”
“As for me,” confessed Gripon, pointing to his purse on the card-table, “there is my heart. And I never open it except knowingly.”
“And as for me,” said Loiseau in turn, “I put my heart in my glass. Old wines before young girls. Waiter, Madeira!”
“One does not prevent the other,” said Frinlair, with a smile that resembled a grimace, “any more than pure love prevents a big dowry, eh, Monsieur Berville?” And with design, laying emphasis on each of his words, he said to Camille:
“And you, Monsieur philosopher, do you not love the sole heiress of the great banker baron, your noble and rich betrothed, Mlle. Claire Hoffmann?”
“I marry her,” answered Camille, simply.
“Ha, ha! he is real as well as ideal.”
Camille closed Frinlair’s mouth with a word:
“It is doubtless a fine match for those who, like you, Count Frinlair, want grandeurs and big dowrys, a massive million and hopes. I conceive, though not sharing it, the perfect love with which this millionaire goddess, they say, inspires you. Oh! don’t be jealous,” he exclaimed, repressing a gesture made by Claire’s lover, “with me it is as the broker Gripon says, a matter of business and without pleasure. . . an end, not justifying, but justified by my means. Yes, it is to end that I marry; after Mardi-Gras, Ashes. Henceforth I shall live solely for money. . . . a strong-box, the husband of a purse. I marry a capital. I become Hoffmann & Company; I shall be the company, with a belly. I shall be, like these golden louis, a head without a heart, double-chinned, decorated, a deputy, and satisfied. . . with a wife scarcely my own, children altogether hers, and money that is everybody’s. . . . Guizot said: ‘Let us get rich.’ Brothers, it is necessary to die! Let Bréda put on moifrning! Let the lions and rats of the infernal box wear crape! Here lies the son of the late banker Berville, a young prodigal, who died or rather was buried prematurely; a victim of marriage, amounting to no more than the rest, having never done any good or earned his own living, regretted by nobody and regretting nothing. . . . Come, my groomsmen, dear undertakers, the prayer of the dead and wine by way of lustral water. Bury me, marry me, eat me in the elements of this stuffed turkey! Drink me, this iced champagne is my blood. . . . It is the devil’s communion, my last supper as a bachelor. Let us drink to my death! I die zero to rise again a million!”
All save Frinlair applauded this speech, and, touching glasses, cried in chorus: “To his resurrection! To the health and multiplication of the million!”
Just then the folding-doors opened, and a lackey, broken to his trade, announced in a quasi-familiar voice:
“Those ladies, gentlemen!”
All, rising, added with one accord:
“Ah! Mazagran & Co., at last!”
The young woman appeared with her companions, dragging, almost by main force, Marie Blushing behind her black velvet wolf’s mask.
“At the table already, and at the Madeira!” exclaimed Mazagran, indignantly; “without waiting for us. That’s a fine way to do. Come in! And quickly. . . hurry to your seat,” she continued, pushing Marie before her. “The monsters have already swallowed the soup. I protest. Let us catch up with them before the champagne.”
She noticed Gripon’s money on the card-table, and, throwing a louis out the window, said:
“Louis? For whom? Anything that falls into the ditch is. . . for the soldier.”
“Why, what are you about?” exclaimed the broker, non-plussed by this procedure and touched in his Jewish nature.
“I am amusing myself,” said Mazagran, indifferently. “Would you rather have me pocket it?”
Gripon quickly snatched up the stakes.
“That will teach me to leave my winnings lying about another time,” said he, with a smile as yellow as the lost louis.
And, an Israelite to the core, he could not help saying:
“You know, you will return it to me. Gambling money is sacred. It is a debt of honor, and whoso pays his debts”. . . .
“Impoverishes himself,” said Mazagran, decidedly.
“Indeed, you are right,” said Gripon, amazed.
But, returning to his louis, he insisted:
“You shall pay me. Money or nature”. . .
Mazagran burst out into a frank peal of laughter, singing with all her voice:
Ah! que c’est beau la nature,
Lea prés, lea bois, la verdure. . . .
Then, with an exclamation and like a flash, she said:
“In fact, I take you at your word; that makes you still owe me four louis. Agreed.”
“No, I decidedly prefer to lose but twenty francs,” concluded Gripon.
“You are not gallant,” said Mazagran. “But I don’t care, for between ourselves you are a good enough remedy for love. . . . Come! let each choose her companion. For my part, I take Frinlair.”
And amid laughter they placed themselves: Marie apart, at the soberest end of the table; Henri standing against the mantle-shelf.
“I am starving,” confessed Trompette.
“I am dying of thirst,” said Louisa.
“And I am both,” exclaimed Pauline.
“And I then!” cried Mazagran, glancing in the direction of her old admirer, Camille. “I have the appetite of a widow, of the solitary tape-worm!”
“Yes,” said Louchard, “eat and drink, my dear. You have reason to drown your sorrow. Decidedly this rascal Camille deceives you; worse than that, he abandons you.”
“He would have deceived me much more if he had not abandoned me,” said she, carelessly. “He passes to the position of a husband, he dies. I am a widow, and consequently free. After my mourning, in a night I tie myself up for a lease of three, six, nine, at the will and pleasure of the lessee, the last and highest bidder.”
And, addressing the journalist, she added:
“With you, if you like. . . . Pass me the pickles.”
Louchard held out the plate and declined the offer.
“Three, six, nine,” objected Pauline; “that’s a little long, my dear.”
“Oh! it is dissoluble,” observed Louisa.
“And without expense,” said Trompette.
“Hang yourself, notary,” exclaimed Gripon. “They are stronger than you at your own game.”
“To be sure, what notaries these merrymakers are!” approved Loiseau.
“And what merrymakers are these notaries!” said Mazagran, sending back the ball on the bound.
“Too much wit!” said Gripon. “We shall die young.”
“Oh! if that’s all,” retorted Mazagran, “you will live to be as old as Abraham your father.”
“He threatened indeed,” said Gripon, “to become the Eternal Father. At last he is dead. God keep his soul, as the earth keeps his dust!”
“And you the inheritance!” concluded Louchard.
The feast continued in this strain. The wine flowed in torrents. The gayety became inebriety. Marie, all trembling, tried to conceal it as much as possible, while Camille, still aloof with folded arms, looked at her with a distracted air.
“Say there, the late Camille,” cried Mazagran, suddenly. “Come and pour us something to drink. Because you are dead, my dear, is no reason for letting others die of thirst. Egoist, away with you!”
She rose and passed near Camille, who did not answer.
“What a catafalque!” exclaimed Mazagran, avenging her abandonment by lashing him with her tongue.
And, going toward Marie, she inquired of her:
“What do you say to this supper, little one?”
Marie answered in a low voice:
“Hush, keep still. Oh! how foolish I have been! I am dazed, stunned. . . . do not question me.”
“Who is this unknown beauty?” said Gripon, interested.
“How do you know she is a beauty?” asked Loiseau.
Frinlair took up this doubt:
“I’ll bet a hundred dollars she is!”
“I’ll bet she isn’t,” said the notary.
Gripon, Louchard, and Loiseau, exchanging their impressions, looked at poor Marie, who seemed to want to disappear through the floor.
“She doesn’t show herself.”
“She doesn’t eat.”
“She doesn’t drink.”
Frinlair started toward her.
“Are you made of marble or of wax?” said he, teasingly, “an object of art to put in a museum or in a shrine? a Venus or a Virgin, behind your wolf’s mask? timid or coquettish? Come, pose less as a master-piece, or we shall be harder to please. If it is a surprise that you have in store for our dessert, give us less cause to pine. Allow us at least to see, if not to touch. I have bet on you, make me a winner. You will not lose by it. Reserve is a good thing, but not too much of it.”
Camille could not restrain a movement of pity.
“This young girl seems to me like a saint in the circus,” he exclaimed, looking at her with his soft and sympathetic eye; “timid because she is among beasts; sad because she is among madmen; masked because she sees us unmasked, aping the vices if not the graces of our masters, with our appearances of gentleman Jourdains, harlequin diplomats, clown journalists, merry-andrew notaries, and Macaire courtiers.”
With a circular gesture he had passed in review the Count de Frinlair, Louchard, Loiseau, and Gripon, all displeased with his sally.
“In short,” he added, “because she is afraid of us.”
“Oh! we will break her in,” said Frinlair, drawing nearer to Marie. “When one has tamed Cabriole, a restive animal does not frighten him. Besides, for taming purposes the Maison-Dorée is as good as a riding-school.”
And addressing Marie, who was still masked, he said:
“Come, no trickery, you are to be weighed. Show us your foot, your neck, your head.”
With a quick movement he snatched off her mask.
“Sight costs nothing,” said he. “Superb! Ha, ha! I have won.”
Unanimous applause welcomed this last word.
“My God! where am I?” murmured Marie, in anguish, hiding her face in her hands.
“Poor girl!” Camille could not help saying.
But Mazagran reminded him of his marriage.
“Ah! Camille, you are defunct!”
Frinlair continued his ecstasy over his discovery.
“What a pupil! First prize! A gold medal to Mazagran. Pure blood, upon my word! Beautiful, fine, as fresh as Suava, a real thoroughbred filly. . . Notary, my hundred dollars.”
And Frinlair held out his hand to Loiseau, who caviled a little about tastes and colors. All tastes are in nature; the best is your own, etc. . . . but, pressed by all, he paid Frinlair.
Camille could no longer contain himself.
“Enough, enough, Monsieur Count,” he cried, indignantly. “We are not in a stable, but you behave here like a jockey.”
“And you perhaps like a knight,” said Frinlair, provokingly.
And approaching Marie, who sat as if nailed, he took her by the arm and said: “A kiss for my hundred dollars.”
Marie, through horror and instinct, recoiled from Frinlair and sought refuge near Camille.
“Ah! centaur that you are,” said he to the count, who was pursuing Marie. . . “to maltreat a woman. Then your mother was not a woman. Stop your kicking and neighing. Respect Mademoiselle!”
He placed himself in front of the young girl, and in this sudden movement tore the lace of her dress.
Mazagran saw the accident.
“Save the dress,” she cried, mocking at Marie, by whose honor she was condemned.
“Ah!” exclaimed Marie, more and more frightened. “What have I done? Why, why did I come here?”
And she ran toward the door.
“Marie! Marie!” cried Mazagran, displeased at this flight.
“Ah! let me alone,” exclaimed Marie, in terror. “You have ruined me!”
She fled before they could stop her.
“Ruined,” sneered Mazagran. “Ah! poor dress!”
They began to laugh at the incident, and the laughter exasperated Berville still further. Beside himself, he paced the room with long strides, and abruptly stopped in front of Frinlair.
“Ah! quadruped,” said he, with profound contempt, “now you are triumphant. You make a woman run. Your brutality is your prowess. Your nobility, then, is incurable?”
“I have him at last,” thought Frinlair. “This time all is over.”
And he rejoined haughtily:
“You are going to withdraw these insults, I hope.”
“I never take back what I give,” said Camille, dryly.
“It is for me, then, to thank you as I must.”
“At your pleasure.”
“You know to what these words bind you?”
“To anything you please.”
“Insulted, I have the choice of weapons,” said Frinlair.
“Yes, it is your right and your habit,” sneered Camille, alluding to the affair of the banquet. “Do you choose the pistol again? "
“No, the sword,” said Frinlair, now fairly livid.
“Very well,” assented Camille.
“At the Porte Maillot, then, at eight o’clock.”
Camille bowed slightly.
“I shall await you there,” he said, cutting short the interview.
“Oh! don’t be silly," said Loiseau; “see here, Camille, I want to draw up your contract."
“And I to buy your stocks,” said Gripon. “A duel, what madness!”
Camille took his cloak and hat.
“Killed or married, what difference does it make?” said he, turning his back upon Frinlair.
“I will bet on killed,” muttered the latter.
“With such an adversary one must expect anything,” said Camille, intentionally.
And upon this last word, which increased the count’s hatred tenfold, the young Berville went out.
“Ah! gentlemen,” cried Louchard, trying to smooth the matter over. “A duel to the death for a grisette; settle it with champagne rather.”
But Camille had closed the door precipitately, cutting off all intervention.
Mazagran had lighted a cigarette.
“What a success!” said she.
Frinlair took her around the waist.
“Supplanted by your pupil. Vengeance! One always returns to his first love. Ha, ha. . . . For want of a monk — and what a monk! — the abbey will not close. We will not let this end our fun.”
“End, never!” said Mazagran, explosively. “That would be too silly. No, never!”
And all repeated with enthusiasm:
“And our game!” said Gripon.
“And the champagne," said Loiseau, filling the glasses to overflowing.
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.
Stating, in his lecture on “The Transition to Social Democracy,” that the Socialistic “problem is to drop the rent arising out of the people’s industry, not into the pockets of private proprietors, but into the people’s pockets,” G. Bernard Shaw continues:
Yes; but where is the people’s pocket? Who is the people? what is the people? where is the people? Tom we know, and Dick; also Harry; but solely and separately as individuals: as a trinity or collectivity they have no existence. Who is their trustee, their guardian, their man of business, their manager, their secretary, even their stockholder? The Socialist is stopped dead at the threshold of practical action by this difficulty until he bethinks himself of the State as the representative and trustee of the people.
Troubled by the fact that the State has hitherto proved itself anything but a faithful trustee of the people, Mr. Shaw rises to offer a long explanation. He begins by asking us “to form a hasty picture of the governments which called themselves States in the days of Ricardo. . . their class interests, their shameless corruption, and their waste and mismanagement,” in order that we might understand why Ricardo, who was the first to clearly perceive the economic consequences of private appropriation of rent, could not for a moment entertain the idea of State appropriation as a possible alternative. I confess that my mind is so prejudiced against Ricardo as to make it next to impossible for me to contemplate him in the character of a land reformer. Indeed, the thought seems to me utterly preposterous; and for this sin and injustice (if such it be) Mr. Shaw will have to call to account his own countrymen, Cliffe Leslie and Bagehot, to whom we are chiefly indebted for the estimate formed of Ricardo’s personality. But this is immaterial. What now interests us is not the political conditions of the days of Ricardo, but those of our own day. Are the governments under which it is our good fortune to exist such as not only to allow speculation regarding the alternative of State appropriation of rents, but to render this alternative obviously possible and beneficial? For the modern Social Democrat Mr. Shaw does not hesitate to answer affirmatively. For, unlike “Ricardo’s vulgarizers who accepted the incompetence and corruption of States as permanent inherent State qualities,” the Socialist, having learned from Hegel the conception of a perfect ideal State, sees nothing in the nature of things precluding the possibility of making the existing State practically and entirely trustworthy. All that needs to be done is “to make the passing of a sufficient examination preliminary to entering the executive, to make the executive responsible to the government, and the government responsible to the people.”
Orthodox State Socialists love to designate their school as “scientific,” and they base their claim on the fact that since the advent of Marx Socialism has been completely emancipated from useless system-building and utopian plans of social organization, and has only insisted on certain fundamental principles which have become historically necessary and the realization of which will constitute the next step of social evolution and industrial progress. Mr. Shaw’s school rejects Marxian Socialism and, aiming at improvement, lands instead in the sphere of utopia. A reformer must not be satisfied with a knowledge of alleged economic law: he must be something of a psychological student and know human nature. Marx understood that it is futile to appeal to men to change their conduct while the environment remains unchanged; that human nature changes with every modification of the material basis of life; and he looked therefore to spontaneous natural processes for the development of new conditions. Mr. Shaw again puts the cart before the horse, and expects to evolve golden fruit out of leaden instincts. The Duke of Argyll wrote of Henry George: “He declares over and over again, in language of virtuous indignation, that government in the United States is becoming more and more corrupt. . . . Yet it is to it that he would confine the right of absolute ownership of the soil; it is this government that he would constitute the sole and universal landlord, and confide the duty of assessing and of spending the rents of everybody.” George never grappled with this difficulty, and Mr. Shaw’s attempts at refuting “Ricardo’s vulgarizers” are sadly unsuccessful. He hopes in vain to reform governments by new methods of election and supervision. In such thoroughly democratic organizations as the Knights of Labor and trades unions waste, extravagance, favoritism, incompetence, and dishonesty are fully as prevalent and rampant as in government departments. Mr. Shaw also repeats the ludicrous blunder of his American fellow-partisans of pointing to the post-office as a triumphant illustration of the superiority of State management. According to the Manchester school, he sneers, it should have been a very nest of incompetence and jobbery. But this is what it in fact is known to be to all who have much to do with it. Liberty has often had occasion to discuss the theoretical and practical sides of this branch of governmental service, and London “Jus,” during its publication, scarcely issued a number that did not contain complaint and denunciation of stupidity, insolence, and carelessness of post-office functionaries.
Mr. Shaw is brilliant and plausible, but he is extremely superficial, and holds himself supremely independent of facts and logic. The “extraordinary success” of the post-office is a myth, having no foundation whatever in reality. A sample of his logic is found in the averment that “every successfully-conducted private business establishment” is an “example of the ease” with which the State can be transformed into a competent guardian of the public interest. Were it not for the grave and sober tone of the entire lecture, I should take this for one of his deliciously humorous utterances. Private enterprise is usually considered the antithesis of public control, and to nobody except metaphysicians to whom “yes” and “no” are ultimately identical conceptions, can an antithesis prove the soundness of the thesis which it contradicts. Mill treats elaborately of the “limits of the province of government” and of the considerations which establish the inferiority of official management to interested personal control of enterprises, to which portion I would fain direct Mr. Shaw’s attention. But I am afraid that Mill will be classed among Ricardo’s vulgarizers. V. Yarros.
The Freidenker’s Folly, or Worse.
For one without any comprehension of the theory of Anarchy, the editor of the Milwaukee “Freidenker” exhibits more valor than discretion in antagonizing it. The theory appears to have given him considerable uneasiness of late, for he has made it the subject of special discussion in the two annual publications, the “Freidenker Almanach” and the “Turner-Kalender,” and is giving it no end of “critical” attention in the columns of his paper. Now, in itself this is purely laudable, and if I have any complaint to make, it is exclusively on account of the nature of the treatment he bestows on a view of society which he appeal’s to be constitutionally incapable of truly appreciating. I have no quarrel with criticism. I believe in it. I hold the critic in high esteem. His service is invaluable. It helps life and society. Things would not go very well without it. But there is this demand to be made of the critic: he must thoroughly understand the subject he handles, and he must be fair. He can treat of even a pet aversion unintelligently and unjustly only on pain of being accounted either incompetent or dishonest. And the editor of the “Freidenker” will find it as difficult as any other man exercising the function of criticism to escape the natural punishment of any violation of this rule. Let him beware, then, and violate it no longer in dealing with Anarchists and their propaganda.
Merely mentioning, by way of furnishing a measure of the information that would sit in judgment over what Herbert Spencer describes as “the most advanced political theory of our own day,” the assertion put forward in the “Freidenker Almanach” that Anarchists take special delight in tracing back to Rousseau their fundamental principle, and the brilliant classification, in the “Freidenker,” of Ernest Lesigne as “a Proudhon-Kropotkinian Anarchist,” let me direct the reader’s attention to what it pleases Mr. Boppe to place before the public as the philosophy of Anarchy. And here at the outset I am forced to express my surprise at the stupid perversions and misconceptions, if not intentional falsifications, of what has now been taught since 1881 in these columns, and of what constitutes the key-note of the works of many of the world’s deepest and soberest thinkers. The editor of the “Freidenker” has repeatedly been given to understand that in treating of Anarchy he is in fairness bound to take account of Anarchistic definitions, and that it will not do to judge of it in the light of arbitrary definitions of his own. Such has hitherto been the practice of reactionaries, but I had expected the editor of the “Freidenker,” pluming himself as he does with the leadership of German-American radicalism, to be above it. But this was my mistake. Entirely mindless of the friendly counsel given him, he continues to discuss the subject of Anarchy in utter disregard of the real content given it by its champions and disciples. So it happens that he meets with small difficulty in giving the doctrine of the sovereignty of the individual the most violent and absurd interpretation. Ignoring the equitable limit Anarchists have always placed upon its exercise,— the equal sovereignty of all other individuals,— he predicts from its operation the most fearful consequences for society, and places over against it the eternal tutelage of the individual. It is a childish fear that dreads the advent of free, self-reliant, egoistical, independent men and women, or that distrusts their perfect ability of coping, either individually or through voluntary associations, with any and all forms of vice, crime, and invasion imperiling their interests. Of course, all this gloomy delirium indulged in by our adversary falls to the ground the moment it becomes known that Anarchy does not contemplate favorably, if it is necessary to say it, the absolute liberty of the individual, but proclaims simply the highest liberty of each limited by the like liberty of all. But this the “Freidenker” lacks the fairness to publicly admit. Should the “Freidenker” decline to accept my interpretation of the Anarchistic position with regard to this point, it may be well here to reenforce it by Herbert Spencer’s definition of an Anarchist as one “who denies the right of any government, autocratic or democratic, to trench upon his individual freedom,” but “who admits that there are limits which individual action may not transgress — limits which he regards as deducible from the equal claims of fellow-citizens.” Is it reasonable to expect the “Freidenker” to represent us fairly hereafter?
Or, if it is mistaken policy to claim and promulgate this highest liberty, we share it with Wilhelm von Humboldt, and others equally great and greater, and for the reasons he assigns. Aiming at discovering the most favorable position which man can occupy as member of a political community, it appeared to him to be that “in which the most manifold individuality and the most original self-reliance subsisted with the most various and intimate union of a number of men — a problem which nothing but the highest liberty can ever hope to solve.” But there is no mistake about it. Confronted with the choice between liberty and authority, we have unreservedly pledged ourselves to the service of the former, because by the light we possess she alone promises to lead mankind out of the bogs and fens of social wrong into the pure and airy uplands of human life. Involving, as liberty does, economic consequences of the highest importance, such as the cessation of the exploitation of man by man, and the more equitable distribution of wealth, and satisfying, furthermore, the more refined needs of civilized man, we cannot content ourselves with championing any thing less. If this is Utopianism, Utopians we will be, until a more discriminating race of men shall some day award the Anarchistic scheme of social evolution the palm for sober sense.
But should I at this point persuade the “Freidenker” to allow that it is not absolute liberty tending to social chaos, but equal liberty productive of social harmony that Anarchy is contemplating, he would raise the objection (as indeed he does whenever for the nonce he unwittingly admits the true import of our propaganda) that in order to bring about this equitable and beneficent rule, recourse must be had to government, and that in combating government Anarchists come into conflict with themselves. The answer to this is that Anarchists are in no way bound to invoke the aid of government, and that since in the last analysis government is reduced to a system of organized robbery and invasion, they are thoroughly consistent in demanding its abolition. Both history and reason show government not to rest on contract, as the “Freidenker” asserts, but to be based on conquest and aggression, and maintained by aggression and invasion. Even conservatives and defenders of government concede this, seeking its warrant in historical necessity. Nothing short of criminal stupidity could therefore lead Anarchists to entrust the government with the enforcement of the law of equal freedom, or indeed to expect anything for their cause at the hands of government. Nothing friendly to true progress is ever to be expected of any institution that relies ulteriorly on aggressive force for its continuance. Anarchists, consequently, leave the pursuit of the realization of their social ideal very properly to the manifold private agencies of individual initiative and voluntary association. And in so doing they do not lay themselves open to the charge of inconsistency,— as a child may see, though the “Freidenker” does not,— since a voluntary association for the purpose of securing the operation of the law of equal liberty and protecting property based on labor is not another form of government, but an essentially different thing altogether. The two are not to be confounded. By far the larger portion of what amenities and blessings life already affords originated in the extra-governmental sphere of society, have their source in the diversified and spontaneous activity of the people. It is the end and aim of Anarchy to enlarge this sphere by claiming for the individual, and the associations he may enter into, the rightful exercise of all those functions now claimed for, and monopolized by, government. And in laboring for the achievement of this great end, for the benefit and glory of man, we are not to be dismayed by the objection raised by a Russian lackey in dialogue with a friend championing the liberal promises of the future, and which finds such ready response in the columns of the “Freidenker,” — that our ideal presupposes the impossible approach of human nature to the angelic type, and that, if such approach were possible, it would not be desirable. Fortunately our ideal, rightly understood, does not require angels to realize it, nor are we troubled by the fear lest we become angels. G. S.
A Fact That Puzzles Financiers.
Italians constitute seventy per cent. of the immigration to the Argentine republic. It is rich in good lands and has a favorable climate. Lately there has been much talk of overspeculation in that country, but at the same time there is apparently great prosperity. A liberal banking system, in which mortgage banks of issue are included, has made money plentiful, but financiers of the old school are puzzled to find that, instead of gold leaving the country, it is going there in millions.
To the Editor of Liberty:
I am glad that Mr. Foster follows up his inquiry in relation to the mutual feature in the issue of paper money. He need not be discouraged. If some of us, years ago, worked it out all alone, or with such limited help as is found in Col. Greene’s pamphlet, which at that time comprised almost, if not all, the literature on the subject; notwithstanding it is irreconcilable with popular notions of money and the theory of the text-books, and at utter variance with the writings of all the learned professors of the “dismal science,” and in spite of the ridicule and scoffs of friends as well as foes; with scarcely a publisher who would lend his columns to its discussion, and none who would take part in it if he did,— certainly Mr. Foster need not despair, for now there are a number of champions who can lend him aid and are abundantly able to meet all the objections or difficulties that may appear insurmountable to the beginner.
In this article I shall endeavor to clear his mind of the difficulties apparent in his article in the last number of Liberty, although Mr. Tucker may have already done so.
Mr. Foster says in substance that, if the mutual bank did not lend capital that belonged to some one other than the borrower, he did not see how it would answer its purpose. If Mr. Foster will carefully analyze the transactions of a bank doing a strictly “gilt-edge” business (and a mutual bank is to do none other), he will have to confess that the borrowers of its paper money are simply utilizing their own capital. If the paper money borrowed represents wealth (some product of labor) equivalent to its face value which is kept on deposit to secure the holders of said paper money, of course the bank parts with so much capital, is deprived of its use for the time the money is loaned, but this is the reductio ad absurdum in the popular monetary philosophy that we want to do away with. If bank bills secured by a deposit of an adequate amount of gold or silver will perform the functions of money, so also will bank bills secured by mortgages on buildings (not vacant lands) to an adequate amount, or, indeed, bank bills that are secured by the same collateral and under the same conditions as banks now lend money, except that the security must be deposited if movable, or mortgaged if immovable. To accomplish this is the object of the mutual bank. We claim that what is good security for a money lender is good security, by means of the mutual bank, to secure the holders of its paper money. It may be said that the mutual bank will not redeem its paper with specie. This is true, but if the paper of the mutual bank will buy other commodities, it will also buy gold and silver, as no one will have any further use for it except in the industries. The mutual bank redeems periodically instead of “on demand.” No one thinks of demanding gold or silver now; the paper is much more convenient. In the mutual system the people will have even less desire to demand specie, as they will be infinitely better secured and vastly more prosperous.
But Mr. Foster’s reasoning is quite common. It infers that paper money must first be issued to some one, not to be used as money, but to be loaned to some one else who needs it as money. The idea that mortgages, as already stated, should take the place of United States bonds, and a mutual association should take the place of the United States treasury seems to be a problem, even to such men as Mr. Atkinson of Boston (unless he has never heard of his fellow-townsman, Col. Greene (?)), as incomprehensible as a complicated formula in algebra to the uninitiated. It was to meet this deep-seated superstition about money that led me to formulate my principles of monetary science in order to centre discussion upon principles, instead of leaving it diffuse and desultory, as it has ever been with few exceptions on economic questions. I first defined paper money as a representative of wealth. I then formulated three principles or propositions: First, “Paper money being a representative of wealth, a money system must provide a sufficient volume and facilities to enable all wealth to be represented by money.” I say, as in the science of mathematics there are facilities for dealing with numbers,— quantity, no matter how great,— so monetary science must be competent to solve any problem in regard to money. Suppose all at once the owners of all unencumbered wealth should wish to borrow money, offering their property as security. Will you say that some individuals have a right to get money and others have not? What is a “system” worth that cannot solve a difficulty? Or rather, what is a system worth that has any difficulties? Can the present or any system but the mutual furnish the volume required under the above supposition? Is there any science in it if it cannot? The first thing that would happen would be an enormous rise in the rate of interest; second, the banks would shut down because they would be “out of funds”; third, the last borrowers, instead of going into the business they contemplated, would be induced to abandon it, and loan their money on account of the high rate of interest offered them. And the end? We should then be ready to exclaim with Proudhon: “Property is impossible!”
Are you ready for the question? Either the principle I have enunciated is sound, or it is not. If it is sound, then the present system (?) is condemned. If it is unsound, let us hear from those who can prove it.
There is no difficulty with the mutual system. The mutual bank will furnish any amount required, and do it without raising the rate of interest. On the contrary, the larger the scale, the lower the rate.
My second principle or proposition is: “As interest for money loaned is not ‘compensation for the use of capital,’ the borrower possessing the capital (wealth) and needing but the representative (except in cases where money is loaned without security), a money system must provide for the loaning of this representative at cost.” The question here is, has an individual a right to use his property for purposes of credit, or, is it just that he be compelled to pay a bonus to some citizen as a prerequisite to his doing so. Mr. Foster says of the members of the mutual bank, “they do not increase their wealth by using their own property as a basis on which to make advances to themselves.” No, paper money is not wealth, it is a representative of wealth, and, as Mr. Tucker says, it is the best form of capital. They do not increase their wealth, but they increase their capital. There are an indefinite number of reasons why an increase of capital is desirous, but all the space in a single number of Mr. Tucker’s paper would not be enough to elaborate these reasons. Some of them were stated in my lecture published in Nos. 128 and 129 of Liberty, and which Mr. Foster and so many others seem to have read to so little purpose. To oppose an increase in capital is as absurd as to oppose an increase in chairs or hats or any other useful thing. Let our opponents be precise in their methods of thought and statement. Paper money is a representative of wealth. Do you say that some of the owners of wealth have a right to a representative of their wealth, and others have not? If that is your position, give your reasons for it. If the opposite, and are still adverse to the mutual bank, suggest something better.
My third principle or proposition is: “As the holder of a bank bill or government note is not thereby the possessor of wealth, a money system must provide absolute security against loss to the holder of paper money.” The mutual system is the only one I know of that will so provide. Certain it is that the holder of gold or silver certificates is not secure when congress may appropriate the security for patriotic purposes, and a supreme court may declare its act “constitutional.”
Alfred B. Westrup.
I’ve Got a Little List.
(Sung by the writer at the second annual meeting of the Melbourne Anarchists’ Club.)
As it may shortly happen that some victims must be found.
I’ve got u little list, I’ve got a little list
Of society’s offenders who might well be underground,
For they never would be missed, they never would be missed.
There’s the Gov’rnor with his salary — ten thousand pounds a year,
A useless ornament is he, as idle as he’s dear;
And then there are his mansions, and his costly retinue,
And perquisites, etcetera,— (they’re all paid for by you!) —
And his ministry, who likewise run a tidy little list,
They never will be missed, they never will be missed.
Chorus to each verse:
He’s got a little list, he’s got a little list,
And they’ll none of ’em be missed, they’ll none of ’em be missed.
There’s the civil servant, as he’s called, curt master though is he,
I’ve got him on the list. I’ve got him on the list,
Insolvent premiers, knighted knaves, and those who’ve yet to be,
They never will be missed, they never will be missed;
And our country’s brave defender (?), with his coot of brilliant red,
Who’s plenty in his cartridge, though but little in his head,
Who once a year plays soldiering, as every youngster knows.
And as readily would shoot us as defend us from our foes —
All legal butchers who, to shoot their fellow-men, enlist.
They never will be missed, they never will be missed.
There’s bobby X. Y. number 1, who’s never to be found,
I’ve got him on the list, I’ve got him on the list.
He can’t prevent disturbance, though he often brings it round,
He never would be missed, he never would be missed;
The bankers filching interest, and landlords drawing rent,
(While not forgetting Ikey and his little “shent per shent”);
The judges who can take up bribes, and pack a jury too,
Or make the judgeship for themselves, as some are known to do,
And the lawyers who on payment of enormous fees insist; —
They’d none of ’em be missed, they’d none of ’em be missed.
The doctors who may kill you by prescribing God-knows-what,
I’ve got them on the list, I’ve got them on the list,
Who’d vaccinate our babies, and make corpses of the lot,
They never would be missed, they never would be missed;
The parson, who conducts a trade of pointing folks to heaven,
And guarantees their passage if they’re good one day in seven;
The chaps who make the laws for us, and make some stiff ones too,
Who are always making mischief, as they’ve nothing else to do;
And the man who lives on others, and is called philanthropist;
They never would be missed, they never would be missed.
And now, to be impartial, and treat every one the same,
I’ve added to the list, I’ve added to the list
Some folks well known to most of us, and some I needn’t name,
Whom nobody will miss, whom nobody will miss: —
The chap who says: “You Anarchists are on the proper track,
But as your goal’s a long way off, you’d better far turn back;”
Another who says Anarchy’s not good enough for him,
But while man robs his fellow-man, he’ll be in "with the swim”;
And the namby-pamby, lack a-daisy, weak-kneed Anarchist,—
They never can be missed, they never can be missed.
David A. Andrade.
Love, Marriage, and Divorce,
And the Sovereignty of the Individual.
Henry James, Horace Greeley, and Stephen Pearl Andrews.
Letter from Mr. James to Mr. Andrews.
Continued from No. 139.
Now, if by freedom of love you mean emancipation from marriage constraint, you compel me to regard your use of the word love as symbolical merely, and to view the word itself as meaning substantially hell. I hope you will not deem me silly enough to suppose that I thus stigmatize your doctrine to any good man’s regard. On the contrary, I am only making an honest attempt intellectually to characterize it; and as by the marriage-love of the sexes heaven has always been appropriately symbolized to the intellect, so I take no liberty with thought in saying that hell is no less appropriately symbolized by love as opposed to marriage. I repeat, then, that free love, regarded as the enemy of marriage, means to the philosophic imagination free hell, neither more nor less. Free hell, it is true,— which is a greatly improved aspect of the subject,— but still hell, and not by any means either earth or heaven. It is this fact alone as it seems to me which supplies the philosophy of the free-love agitation, and redeems it from an otherwise utter triviality. Free love is only the shibboleth of the movement, only the specious battle-cry under which its shadowy cohorts are being marshalled for the final field of Armageddon. But, viewed under the surface, it is a surging up of great hell itself into the current of our daily life, to become henceforth an acknowledged factor in human affairs, or to be reckoned with no longer as a suppressed and disreputable, but as an every way free and respectable force in our nature
You pay me the somewhat dubious compliment of calling Swedenborg my fountain of wisdom. I flatter myself that the fountain in question is somewhat more highly placed. I am quite sure at all events that Swedenborg’s stately wig would rise off his head in astonishment and awe of the waters that flow from that fountain. Swedenborg is not the least a man of ideas, but eminently a man of facts; and if any one goes to him therefore for ideas themselves, and not for the mere raw material out of which ideas are constituted, he will be sadly disappointed. This is what makes Swedneborg at once the most unauthoritative and the most instructive of writers,— that he has no pretension to supply his readers with intelligence, but only with facts, which nevertheless are a sure vehicle of intelligence to every one who knows how to use them. Now, altogether the most impressive fact I find in Swedenborg is the fact of the Last Judgment, effected, as he declares, more than a century ago in the world of spirits, and resulting in the complete practical effacement of the old antagonism of heaven and hell, and their joint and equal subjugation henceforth to the evolution and uses of a new manhood on earth, at once natural and spiritual, or finite and infinite, which he calls a Divine-natural manhood, and represents to have been the sole creative and the sole formative force in our history.
Now, if this Last Judgment of Swedenborg’s be a fact of our spiritual or race-history, and the elements of good and evil in our nature have become actually reconciled in a new divine manhood, have become actually fused, blent, or married in a new or divine-human life on earth, what can worthily express this grand spiritual achievement in our nature but society? Society then is the true form of human destiny. And if society itself be a marriage of good and evil, of spirit and flesh, of heaven and hell, consummated in the divine heart of our nature, why should not hell declare itself free of heaven, or love declare itself free of the purely enforced bondage it has hitherto been under to marriage? How indeed can it help doing so? The slave, in disavowing his coerced bondage to his master, does not refuse him a spontaneous loyalty on occasion. And love, in refusing a constrained homage to marriage, will not deny itself the honor and advantage of a spontaneous adhesion. Society, when once it is fairly established to men’s recognition as the sole law of their origin and destiny, as the sole divine justification of their past disreputable existence, will exhibit or express a perfect reconciliation of our most finite or personal necessities with our most free or spiritual and infinite aspirations. But that is only saying in other words that man’s life, whether inward or outward, whether celestial or infernal, will then be no longer moral or voluntary as centred primarily in self, or primarily in the neighbor, bur altogether aesthetic or spontaneous, as centred in self and the neighbor quite equally. And when the law of man’s life thus expresses itself no longer in the rugged forms of duty, but in every winning form of delight, the lower element in our nature will be found even more prompt to its social allegiance than the superior element. Hell in that event, as a recognized factor in human life, coequal with haven, will vindicate its freedom no longer by voluntarily deferring to heaven, but by doing so instinctively as the very condition of its subsistence; for reciprocal deference is the life-blood of freemen. Thus, when the veriest prudence of a man, or his inmost love of himself, binds him to society as the law of his being, he may surely be allowed to claim what freedom in love he pleases: his love— in spite of himself, if need were— will evermore strive to indue itself in marriage lineaments, for marriage is both the substance and the form of true society, and nothing derogatory to the marriage spirit can subsist in it. This is why it is written: “There shall in no wise enter into it anything that defileth, neither anything that worketh abomination or maketh a lie; but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.”
I am, dear sir, yours very truly, Henry James.
Cambridge, Mass., April 16.
Comments and Reply by Mr. Andrews.
The courteous, kindly, and generous remarks of Mr. James, in the opening of the preceding letter, would disarm at once every disposition that might otherwise have existed toward an acrimonious criticism of his views. It is far more congenial to my feelings to enter upon the ground of mutual investigation in the common field of the search after truth, than to be bandying phrases or hunting for pungent weapons of verbal offence to be hurled at a supposed enemy; or even to be training the heavy artillery of a crushing logic against hostile intrenchments. Still I do not propose to abandon the advantage of utter frankness which the past relations of Mr. James and myself have authorized between us. The fortiter in re may, I hope, be retained without, hereafter, any sacrifice of the suaviter in modo.
It is a task of no little difficulty to reply adequately to a letter of this kind. Apart from the occult nature, broad scope, and intrinsic importance of the subject-matter, and apart from the eminent originality and subtle originality of Mr. James in the treatment of whatever subject he handles, there are great incidental difficulties. His points of view are so transcendental and so original in their transcendentalism, his absence of preliminary definitions (for example, he never tells us what he means by marriage), his assumption of a scope of knowledge on the part of his readers which most readers are destitute of, and, finally, his novel and sometimes confusing and almost blindingly brilliant individuality of style, including a system of technicalities peculiarly his own, conspire to make a tangled mass of obstacle. He is one of the easiest of writers to treat adversely and to put conclusively in the wrong, by simply assuming that he means what other mortals would mean by the use of the same language; but one of the very most difficult to treat candidly, and first disinvolve, and then estimate fairly. He is one, therefore, in a sense, whose amity is more to be dreaded than his enmity. He needs an interpreter when he addresses himself to others than his own admiring acolytes; and I could wish that he had one at hand in whom he might more confidingly rely than in me; but, under the circumstances, I must occasionally take the liberty (and I sincerely apologize for doing so) of restating Mr. James, in my own words, for the sake of my readers, or of saying to them, in other language, what I understand him to mean. I will add, however, that I have so long and so lovingly pored over his writings, and have been myself so instructed by then, that I feel some confidence in my ability to apprehend him rightly; and that I hold myself completely subject to his correction wherein I may have failed to do so. A writer who talks of freedom to suffer, and man’s actual superiority over his own nature, and underscores these phrases as containing the gist of his thought, needs as friendly an interpretation as Christ’s words when he teaches us to hate father and mother for the truth’s sake. Whosoever wishes to understand may have to labor hard to succeed; and whosoever wishes to cavil may readily do so.
[I also take the liberty to insert numbers indicating paragraphs and subjects in Mr. James’s letter for ease of reference.]
The second branch of Mr. James’s definition of what he conceives to be the doctrine of the free lovers, what he calls “our point of disagreement,” and which I have marked, where it is severally restated, by the figure (2), is that they— that I, for example— hold myself “exempt from all inward liability” to my “own distinctive nature as man” for the use I make of my passional nature. Now what he means here to state I take to be that he supposes me and all those who think with me on this subject to have cast off deliberately and as an intellectual conclusion all deference whatsoever to conscience, to our sense of right, or of inherent and essential law regulating the proprieties of conduct, and all deference to the needs or behests of our own superior spiritual natures. I assure our readers (his and mine), with some misgivings as to their ability to credit me, that this is what Mr. James does really mean to say. I could not myself believe it upon the strength of any single formal statement, and would have accepted the theory, rather, that I was dull of understanding and did not comprehend him, except that by his reiterations here, and by recurring to his more elaborate presentation of his views in his previously published letter, I am constrained to know that this otherwise sane and even wise writer and thinker does, in his heart, suppose that bald stultification is the characteristic of a group of philosophers who are not, certainly, in other respects, absolute fools.
It was this sort of thing which in my previous critique I denounced as balderdash. I take back the offensive word, and will merely say that any such supposition as this is merely a figment of the imagination of Mr. James. Nearly every word he utters so forcefully and characteristically, although, sometimes, somewhat mystically, of the normal career and graduation of the human character and of society, out of a lower and sensuous life into a higher and spiritual life, is such that I entirely accord with it, affirm it in my teachings from time to time, with all the powers that I possess, and aim to ultimate it by every legitimate means in myself, in those about me, and in society at large. It is for holding and promulgating just these views that I have, in the midst of seeming dissension and inability to be myself comprehended by him, ever loved and cherished the noble type of personality which I always gladly recognize in him, and it grieves me more than I can express that such a man, and with otherwise lofty powers of comprehension, could so far misapprehend me as to attribute to me what my nature would prompt me to denounce with him as akin to a doctrine of devils. When people wilfully misunderstand me, I sometimes take no pains to explain; and perhaps I have even at times couched my doctrines in such terms that my assailants should seem to be successfully gratifying their malignity, while I have known that they were biting a file in attacking my positions; but whenever, as now, I am convinced that there is an honest attribution to me of opinions that I and my co-doctrinaires, so far as I know, utterly repudiate, I hasten to remove, so far as lieth in me, every possibility of a continued misunderstanding.
To be continued.
Letters from Italy.
Florence, Italy, December 1, 1888.
To the Editor of Liberty:#
The social and economic conditions of the people in the northern part of the peninsula are very different from those that prevail in the southern part, including the islands of Sicily and Sardinia.
In the north the social condition of the people is not unlike that to be observed in France, Germany, or England, but in the south and in the islands it is entirely different. If one were determined to find a term of comparison, he would have to go to Ireland for it; in that case the people in the south of Italy would be represented by the Irish people and the bourgeoisie by the English landlords. This, of course, on general lines, for there are also differences between province and province, to say nothing of those that exist everywhere between the city and the country.
I am now going to set forth briefly the condition of the people in southern Italy and the islands. The facts I shall point out so differ from those to be observed in all civilized nations, Ireland excepted, that I feel it necessary to cite in a foot-note* at least some of the authors to whom I am indebted for this information. I can assure the reader that I have avoided all exaggeration in setting forth these facts, accepting no information telling against the bourgeoisie or the authorities unless borne out by authors belonging to the conservative or at least moderate party, and as far as possible verifying it myself with the greatest care and rejecting everything that did not seem sufficiently proved.
I desire only the truth, and have no intention of entering with mind made up upon the defence of any social class. I set forth the sufferings of the people and the oppression practised by the bourgeoisie because these are real facts, but I am persuaded — and I hope that the facts which I shall cite will prove it — that, if power should pass into the hands of the masses, they would make no better use of it; on the contrary, as they are still more ignorant and brutal than the bourgeoisie, their oppression would be worse. Consequently the remedy, in my opinion, does not lie in a change of masters, although that perhaps will be a necessary transition; as I look at it, the only way of diminishing the sum total of suffering in the country is to withdraw the individual as far as possible from the power of the government or of the commune,— that is, to follow a path opposite to that which has led us to the existing bourgeois socialism, and which will lead us, in the future, to popular socialism.
This is not with me an a priori opinion, but rather the summary of the conclusions forced upon me by innumerable facts; I will even add that I have often thought, in certain special cases, that the intervention of the State might furnish a remedy for social diseases, but experience and a more attentive study of facts have always convinced me of my error, and have consequently made me more prudent in other similar cases.
The difference between social classes is much more marked in the south than in the north of Italy. This situation may be characterized in a word: in the north of Italy the persons belonging to the bourgeoisie and the upper classes have no common name to distinguish them from the rest of the people, while in the provinces of the ex-kingdom of Naples, on the contrary, they are known as galantuomini. In Italian this word is really equivalent to gentlemen, and this is its sole signification in the north of Italy and in Tuscany; but in the south it has come to designate simply any man who is above the simple artisan, peasant, or day-laborer. In the same way in ancient Greece persons belonging to the upper classes called themselves palloi kai agathoi, the beautiful and the good, although history shows them to us often as perverse as the rest of the people possibly could be, and even more so.
Between these social classes thus divided a struggle has existed from time immemorial in the Neapolitan provinces. It is less sharp where, better economic conditions having elevated the general level of comfort, the sufferings of the people are less; it is more intense where poverty is reducing the people to despair. This poverty is really incredible in certain provinces,— Basilicata for instance. Those who are acquainted with Ireland can form some idea of it by imagining a condition even more miserable and abject than that of the poorest among the Irish.
In most of the villages the people live in cellars. There in a single room lives an entire family with one or two pigs, its sole wealth. Men and women sleep all in a heap on the same mattress. In this shameless promiscuity the very name of decency is unknown, and incest is frequent. It is not uncommon to see children go naked until the age of ten or twelve; the human creature reduces itself to the level of the beast.
These wretched people eat only black and offensive bread and a few vegetables. Salt, the sale of which is a State monopoly, is so dear that these human creatures cannot afford the amount necessary to the maintenance of their existence. In case of sickness they receive no aid; the communes, to be sure, have a doctor for the poor, but the poor, being unable to buy food, are absolutely without the means of procuring the remedies prescribed for them. After a life of suffering, the man who is old and sick retires into a corner, like a beast, and dies there abandoned.
Even if in certain localities, owing to favorable natural conditions, the people are not as poor as in others, they remain none the less in an abject state of absolute dependence upon the upper classes. For them there is no justice. In their commune all authority is in the hands of the galantuomini, who are in league against them; if some functionary of the central government sees fit to defend them, the galantuomini appeal to the deputy whom they have elected, and the latter induces the ministry, under some pretext or other, to appoint another in the place of this too zealous functionary. The same fate awaits the judge who is not sufficiently favorable to the galantuomini; as for the jury, it being made up from them exclusively, the poor man cannot look to it for justice.
The extent of usury is really incredible. The proprietor who lends a measure of wheat to the unfortunate farmer with which to sow his land makes him return a measure and a half at harvest-time, or an interest of fifty per cent, a year. To prevent such robberies the old government had established institutions called monti frumentari to lend wheat to the farmers at a moderate rate. These monti frumentari have passed into the control of the communes, and the galantuomini, who administer them, make these institutions lend the wheat to them, which they then put out at usury to the farmers. Now they are gradually abolishing these institutions everywhere, such a scandal has their administration become.
Private initiative alone has furnished some slight remedy for this state of things by the institution of popular banks. These lend at eight or ten per cent. a year, which is regarded as an extremely moderate and beneficent rate in comparison with that exacted by the usurers.
The communes possess vast tracts of land still undivided. They used to possess still more, but under the old governments the aristocracy usurped a large portion, and now these usurpations are pushed still farther by the bourgeois, who control the communal councils.
The poor inhabitants of the communes are now demanding the division of these communal lands, but the galantuomini, who manage the communes, are opposing this with all their might, for they rent these lands to their friends at low rates and divide the profits. This is a constant source of dissension in the villages. From time to time we read in the journals that the people of a village have gone upon a piece of communal land with spades, divided it by force, and begun to cultivate it. Then the public power intervenes and drives them off. The central government, which has no interest to defend the poor against the oppression of the galantuomini, is on the contrary very anxious to defend the latter. The reason is evident. Through their deputies the bourgeois have the government in their hands. It is this that those people — very well-meaning, by the way — who see in State intervention a remedy for the oppression of the people in the southern provinces refuse to understand. They do not see that it is the State, on the contrary, that defends and perpetuates this oppression. The people, however, understand it perfectly. Signor Fortunato, a deputy who sits in the Centre and belongs to the party that clamors for State intervention as a remedy for the evils of society, has published a dialogue that occurred between himself and a peasant. Among other things the latter said: “Under Franceschiello [the ex-king of Naples] the poor people fared better. The new king [the king of Italy] is the king of the galantuomini. Now the municipality belongs to them. These woods they lease among themselves; formerly we could cut wood without paying anything, but now woe unto him who touches a branch! They have manipulated the communal council in their favor, and find a way of compelling votes for their candidates!”
Signor Fortunato has done much good in these sections by pushing the movement for the establishment of popular banks; this belongs to the domain of private interest. On the other hand, one is warranted in believing that he and his friends have done the country harm as legislators by their votes in favor of excessive State expenditures; these, and the taxes which result therefrom, are the chief cause of the poverty of the Italian people. One item of statistics may give a general idea of this poverty. Three years ago the price of salt, which was five cents a pound, fell to three. Immediately the consumption increased; in the years 1886–1887 it was 146,000,000 pounds; after the decrease of price it became 151,000,000. This fact shows that the people were deprived of a food indispensable to life solely because it was too dear! And now, to pay for the warlike propensities of our governors and make up for the sad results of their protectionist politics, they propose to increase the price of salt to its old figure. The minister of finance, in the report lately presented by him to the Chamber, confesses himself that this increase in the price of salt will cause a diminution in consumption of nearly 18,000,000 pounds. Think of the amount of suffering which this deprivation of salt represents to the unfortunate people! After such facts it is really incredible that there should still be persons who believe that by increasing the power of government the evils from which the people suffer will be diminished, whereas, on the contrary, it is this very power which is one of the principal causes thereof.
Manufactures and commerce on a large scale have always been lacking in the interior of the Neapolitan provinces. The people know but three sources of large fortunes,— usurpation of communal lands, usury, and brigandage.
In the Calabres they cite you the names of the rich and powerful families who have become such through the usurpation of communal lands, and they show you the tracts which these have appropriated. Popular tradition designates the families who have grown rich through acting as “fences” for brigands; history gives the names of the principal brigands who obtained great wealth from the Bourbons, whether the latter thus rewarded them for the aid which they obtained from them against the liberals, or, unable to destroy them by force, these kings took this method of purchasing peace.
Brigandage is the natural consequence of the social state which I have just rapidly outlined. It has always existed to a greater or less extent in the interior of the Neapolitan provinces and of Sicily. Men have always been found who, weary of suffering from an oppression so unjust and cruel, have had recourse to arms to free themselves therefrom. If they have acted like wild beasts, it is simply because, having always lived in a condition bordering upon that of the brutes, they could not fail to have the brute’s instincts.
Now all agree in recognizing that brigandage, which experienced a great renewal of strength in 1860, at the time of the establishment of the kingdom of Italy, was a social and not a political phenomenon.
Statistics concerning brigands in Basilicata show that, of the one hundred and twenty-four communes of which this province is composed, the brigands belonged exclusively to the eighty which were the worst administered and where the abuses of the galantuomini were most crying and the class struggles most intense. The other forty-four communes, where these evils were less, had no brigands among their inhabitants. The special history of each brigand shows us that almost always they were people who had had to suffer from cruel injustice in their native towns. It is a general fact that the brigands were especially ferocious against the inhabitants of their own village, since it was to the outrages practised by these that they owed their sufferings. When they captured these, they almost always put them to death, whereas they gave the privilege of life to those who were not of their village.
The people and the brigands loved the old regime, not only because of their ignorance and superstition, but especially because the bourgeoisie, being liberal, was opposed to the government. Queen Marie Caroline, wife of Ferdinand IV, said: “Only the people are faithful; the bourgeoisie and the nobility are Jacobin.” On the return of the king to Naples in 1799 the common people burned five liberals at the stake, and, after having roasted them, ate their flesh! In 1866, the government having to withdraw the troops from Sicily on account of the war with Austria, there was an insurrection at Palermo, in which gendarmes were killed and their flesh exposed for sale in the butchers’ shops!
In 1860 it was the bourgeoisie that made the revolution and overthrew the old regime. It deserved to conquer, for it represented progress; and it would have been a frightful misfortune for the country if the common people had succeeded in giving their ignorance and superstition the upper hand. By whatever evils the victory of the bourgeoisie may have been accompanied, they are nothing in comparison with those which would have weighed upon the country, if a defeat of the bourgeoisie had led us back to the barbarism of the Middle Ages.
Only, now that it has finished its work, the evils which it continues to inflict upon the country are no longer tolerable. It has been the case with many social institutions that at a certain period they have had their usefulness, and then, having lost it, have become harmful. Thus there was a time, in the Middle Ages, when the monks and nobles were extremely useful to society, more than compensating for the evils which they inflicted; but when this usefulness disappeared while the evils remained, society had to destroy the privileges of these classes, which had become injurious.
The struggle between social classes is partly allayed in the south of Italy, but it is not extinct. Brigandage has ceased, it is true, but this result has been obtained by force and ow?ng to the roads which have rendered the brigands’ haunts accessible; but every one who knows the country well is of the opinion that at the first opportunity, if the government should lose its power, brigandage would begin again. From time to time reports are heard of woods that have been burned; this is the revenge taken by the people upon their masters. In the island of Sardinia these fires are so frequent that all the insurance companies now refuse to insure woodlands there!
Such facts reveal a very serious state of things, and our statesmen take a heavy responsibility upon themselves in not paying heed to them; perhaps the day will come when the bourgeois will pay very dear for their indifference and cruelty to the poor. Vilfredo Pareto.
* Colleta. — Storia di Napoli. An author universally esteemed In Italy.
Panirossi. — La Basilicata. 1868. The author was a prefect’s councillor under the government of the Right.
Raccioffi. — I moti di Basalicata.
Franchetti. — Condizioni economiche ed amministrative delle provincie napoletane. 1875. The author is a deputy, and sits in the Centre.
White Mario. — La miseria a Napoli. The author belongs to the advanced party. Therefore I have used none of his facts except those confirmed by other authors, moderate or conservative, or verified by myself. The same is true of the following author.
Dotto dei Dauli. — Sulle condizioni delle provinci del mezzo-gierno d’Italia.
Pasquale Tubiello. — Governo e governati in Italia. 2 vols. 1882. The author is extremely moderate, and considers that there is too much liberty in Italy.
Pasquale Villami. — Lettere Meridionali. The author is a very distinguished historian. He is a senator, belongs to the moderate party, and leans toward the systems of the German Katheder-Sozialisten.
Besides many other books and pamphlets too numerous to mention here.
The Growth of Free Thought Explained.
I suppose political slavery makes ecclesiastical superstition. I don’t believe the women of this land will vote half a dozen times before the majority of them will be Freethinkers. — S. P. Putnam.
Now I understand! Where was darkness there is a great light. Erstwhile I groped in the gruesome valleys of ignorance, but now I walk erect on the hill-tops of knowledge. Blind, I saw not, but now mine eyes, touched with the magic wand of Truth’s apostle, perceive the radiant glory of the ballot-box. I know at last why the vast majority of men in this country are Freethinkers. They vote! Thus have they been converted. So is explained the seeming paradox that, while there are millions of Catholic, Methodist, Baptist, and other orthodox men in the United States, there are so very few of either of these kinds of Christians, they being, in reality, Freethinkers!! Voting wrought the astounding change. This explains why men under twenty-one are never Freethinkers and why the very old are never anything else. Good for Putnam! By such discoveries is the domain of Science gradually but surely extended. The word is Onward!
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.