“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.
The London “Anarchist” has stopped again,— this time definitively. The concluding issue contained the promised decisive article on Egoism, which, however, decided only that the editor had nothing new to offer.
The London correspondent of the New York “Sun” informs us that “a very entertaining epistolary war has been raging in the columns of the ‘Daily Telegraph’ on the question ‘Is Marriage a Failure?’” and that “many funny opinions and experiences have been brought to light.” Not having seen the “Telegraph,” I am without knowledge as to the value and results of that discussion, but the very fact that the subject is being discussed in such a form in such a paper as the “Telegraph” seems to testify most positively that marriage is a failure.
When the publisher of Liberty or any of his coworkers begin to make money out of the paper or get any reward for their labor beyond the pleasure of its performance, or even when they have ceased to pay roundly in money and toil for the inestimable privilege of “saying their say,” it will then be in season for those who desire to be particularly generous in the supply of their brain products to Liberty’s readers to accompany their offers to write for these columns with an assurance that they will do so “free of charge.” Until then, that goes without saying.
“Lucifer” prints an extract from Gronlund’s book derogatory of majority judgment. This is misleading. Those who are familiar with “Lucifer’s” view of government and ignorant of Gronlund’s are liable to receive the impression that Gronlund’s deductions from the fact of the non-competency of the majority are identical with those of “Lucifer.” But the truth is that Gronlund would indignantly repudiate “Lucifer’s” advocacy of individual sovereignty, and would demand “a government of the few for the many,” which demand “Lucifer,” if I am not mistaken, would protest against with equal warmth.
The place of those who believe that great reforms can or will be inaugurated through the ballot is in the political parties. There is no reason whatever why such should deny themselves the privilege of remaining in the ranks and helping to realize the great reforms. The raison d’être of Anarchism is found in the growing scepticism among students of social and economic problems in relation to the competency of political methods to accomplish any estimable good; and the conviction that liberty is the only thing needed and the only thing really potent is what brings us into the field as full-fledged Anarchistic reformers.
The editor of the “Workmen’s Advocate” is “astonished” that the London “Commonweal” speaks of new Italian Communist-Anarchist organs as having entered the field of “Socialist journalism.” Perhaps it is too much to expect men of his mental calibre to perceive that William Morris himself is far more of a Kropotkinian than an orthodox State Socialist, but it certainly does not inquire any great power of penetration to plainly see that, after quoting approvingly two definitions of Socialism as a theory advocating more harmonious and equitable social arrangements, it is absurdly illogical to deny the title Socialist to anyone who strives after what seems to him a more harmonious and equitable social order.
The State Socialists and other worshippers of the majority principle have never forgiven the Anarchists’ Club for that article in the constitution which provides that “the conduct of each meeting shall be vested solely in the chairman, and from his decision there shall be no appeal.” The torrents of fierce protests, indignant reproach, abuse, denunciation, sarcasm, ridicule, which have been discharged on our heads would probably have resulted fatally for the Club, were it not for unexpected miraculous help from the enemies themselves. First a non-Anarchistic organization in Boston, after taking an active part in the attack against the “despotic” provision, all at once turned right-about-face and adopted the Club’s policy, and now the New York Socialists have followed suit and worked out “a new set of rules” for the conduct of their meetings, by which the chairman is authorized to enforce a previously-made programme, without allowing the introduction of any business by the audience or entertaining any motions. It is safe to say that the Club will now enjoy a rest from the fire of the ardent friends of “popular rights.” But what, meanwhile, about the Socialists? Do they not realize that they are violating the principles of social-democracy and furnishing encouragement to believers in individual control and management? If they do not, they are poor reasoners indeed, and, in this instance again, build wiser than they know.
Vive le Parapluie!
[The Listener in the Boston Transcript.]
There is a passage in Mr. Bellamy’s “Looking Backward” which illustrates neatly the mistaken position which that interesting work takes upon social subjects. In its Utopian Boston of the year 2000, nobody goes under an umbrella in a shower, because the street fronts of all the buildings are provided with water-tight awnings, which are let down over the sidewalk whenever it rains,— and also across the street-crossings, though the author does not explain just how the year 2000 Bostonians manage that,— and under these canopies, provided at public cost, everybody goes dry-shod. In the book, when the nineteenth-century Bostonian, walking along to the “Elephant.” with the fair Edith Leete and her father, expressed his astonishment at the apparatus over the streets —
Dr. Leete, who was walking ahead, overhearing something of our talk, turned to say that the difference between the age of individualism and the age of concert was well characterized by the fact that, in the nineteenth century, when it rained, the people put up three hundred thousand umbrellas over as many heads, and in the twentieth century they put up one umbrella over all the heads. As we walked on, Edith said, “The private umbrella is father’s favorite figure to illustrate the old way when everybody lived for himself and his family. There is a nineteenth-century painting at the art gallery representing a crowd of people in the rain, each one holding his umbrella over himself and his wife, and giving his neighbors the drippings, which he claims must have been meant by the artist as a satire on his time.”
Now, the Listener is perversely reactionary enough to maintain that the nineteenth century is ahead of the last year of the twentieth in this respect. The difference between the individualistic umbrella and the socialistic sidewalk canopy is precisely the difference between freedom and servitude. With an umbrella, the citizen is free to come and go where he pleases; he can walk in the middle of the street if he likes to, or cut across the corner of the street if he is in a hurry, and be independent of everybody else, just as everybody likes to be as far as he can, and just as everybody will like to be as long as the world lasts, and as everybody ought to like to be. Under the sidewalk canopy, one would have to follow the beaten path that the State has laid down for him, or else go in the rain. Under his handy umbrella, the citizen can get all the air there is, and all the light, and not be at the mercy of a State canopy, shutting out the light and confining the air, to say nothing of the drenching leaks that the beneficent State, if it is like all other State that have ever been, would now and then be sure to provide through some official’s maladministration. The umbrella serves very well as a symbol of civilization, because it is the emblem of the individual effort, upon the basis of which all progress has been made. As such it is the symbol of progress, while the State sidewalk canopy would be the symbol of fraction. Vive le parapluie!
They’ll Call Honesty Censor Now.
The London organ of our Communist-Anarchist comrades, “Freedom,” says: “We Revolutionary Communist-Anarchists differ from our Revolutionary Mutualist comrades in their theory that, after the workers have destroyed the existing monopoly of property, they will set about creating it afresh — by attempting to secure to every individual neither more nor less than the exact amount of wealth resulting from the exercise of his own capacities.” Apart from the statement that we would set about creating the monopoly of property afresh (which is not true), we fail to see wherein denying the worker the result of his toil is consistent with freedom and Anarchy,— that is, if it is meant that such conditions are to be imposed upon the individualist; and we would ask our comrade to harmonize it with this statement in an early number of the same paper: “Individuality is indefeasible and cannot be abrogated.” The existing inequalities are not the result of individual accumulation, as “Freedom” asserts, but of exploitations made possible by the existence of the State. If “Freedom” denies that, it denies Anarchism.
Anarchism and Optimism.
When any writer proposes new organizations on identical plans with the old for wielding arbitrary powers by casual majority delegation, or when this is the fair inference in the absence of any specific proposals, such writer has done less in effect than might have been accomplished by the same graphic description of evils accompanied by a candid confession that he is at his wits’ end for a plan or principle of betterment. Planning indeed is not in order except upon an established principle. Is the principle of political control, even by the elect of a majority, over the business and morals of all the people, for other purposes than the prevention of direct offences against natural rights of individuals, a correct principle? If it is, there is nothing for reformers but to form new parties or purify old parties until they get the right official personnel under the right civil service rules. In the case that the opposite view is entertained, party changes may be compared to the momentary relief sought by the man who is bearing a heavy burden and who transfers it from one shoulder to the other, to use the simile of a modern German writer who has written interestingly on the conventional falsehoods of civilization. It has been asserted that the pessimism of the present day argues a worse state than the optimism of the first French revolution. This assertion to open to the criticism that at the first French revolution the people not tried representative government, and were therefore naturally hopeful. Now they have tried representative government, and under it they are disappointed. This is cause enough for an access of gloomy feelings. But if reflections may suggest in a while to the mass, as it has already done to some students of history and sociology, that the political machine to not the proper organ of economic relief, but that this is really practicable by industrial science, a new optimism quite unlike the blind instinctive optimism of political revolutionists will be the result. The political convention and the legislative assembly may appear as circuses, and the first step in reform may appear clearly to be to cease expecting from political forms and powers what they are incompetent to afford. That power has throttled industry and caused a train of evils, which power is vainly invoked to correct by any constructive action of government, may yet appear as plainly as that men cannot promote peace by waging war, or charity by proving to each other how uncharitably they have acted.
The Rag-Picker of Paris.
By Felix Pyat.
Translated from the French by Benj. B. Tucker.
Continued from No. 131.
The new-comer seemed too courteous and too sagacious to violate this rule.
Bremont made haste to give him a seat.
For a moment there was silence.
“To whom do I owe the honor of your visit?” said the banker, impatiently.
“Frankly, Monsieur, and saying nothing of sympathy, I make you this visit as a matter of self-interest,” answered the unknown.
And as Gertrude and Bremont made a show of going out, he added:
“Oh! I can speak before you all”. . . And continuing: “I am a stranger to you, unknown even, Monsieur Barville; but with you it is different; you are known to me, at least by name, as you are to all Paris, especially since your misfortune.”
“Alas! yes, too well known!” exclaimed Berville, with a sigh.
“But, Monsieur, that which has made you known to me has also aroused my sympathy.”
“Thank you, Monsieur, for your kindness.”
“And I come to give you a proof of it . . . by asking you to accept it.”
“What does it concern?” asked the agitated banker.
“It concerns your salvation, I think.”
“My salvation? How? Speak.”
“And my interest also, as I have told you.”
“Well, Monsieur, pray go on.”
“We no longer live in the golden age, I believe,” said the unknown with fine irony, “but in the age of paper. I am not a knight, but a capitalist. I do not come, I am ashamed to confess, purely to oblige you, Monsieur Berville. You do not see a Don Quixote before you, but rather his matter-of-fact squire. In short, I come to you, I tell you again quite plainly, in your interest and mine. I know your indisputable honesty and shrewdness. And if you wish to take me as a partner in your bank”. . . .
“What! Mousieur, in my present situation you would like to”. . . .
“Have the honor and advantage of aiding you and putting you on your feet again. I believe I have nearly the amount that you have lost! Three hundred thousand dollars, the papers say, do they not? If, then, you are willing, I will share in your losses in order to share in your profits. I put the amount at your disposal . . . this very day.”
It was Providence in person. Gertrude clasped her hands.
“Monsieur, such a service. . . . gratitude stifles my voice,” said the banker.
“No thanks. You owe me nothing. I do not render you a service; it is simply a matter of business. I repeat, I am your partner. Losses and profits!”
The trio who listened were mad with surprise and joy. They could not recover; amazed, hallucinated, duped as by a dream, scarcely knowing whether this was fraud, farce, or phantasmagoria. They were transported with hope. All three madly embraced each other in presence of the stranger.
Gertrude especially, fascinated by the generosity and delicacy of the offer, by this unforeseen, unhoped-for, unexpected aid, which shone the more brightly because veiled by egoism, gave thanks aloud, first to God for this token of grace, and then to the baron, whose title, of course, she had remembered.
The cashier was also charmed, although less piously.
As for the banker, who had at first cried: “Saved!” and who had accepted everything suddenly, without even an idea of a reference or even of reflection, as the falling man grasps a branch, the stroke of joy was too much for him after that of pain. His cheeks became purple, and the reddish petecchiæ which spotted them became violet, he had only time to cry to the cashier:
“Take down the placard!”
And he fell back on his chair, served with a second summons by the great creditor.
But there was no immediate execution. Death still granted a delay, long enough at least to allow everything to be regulated according to the desire of the baron and the banker.
M. Berville was on his feet again in time to establish the baron in his place as his partner and thus meet his obligations, restore honor to his business, avoid bankruptcy, and save his credit, his reputation, and his bank, which then became the bank of Berville, Hoffman & Co.
The baron, thanks to the aid of the diligent cashier and to his own aptitude, in twenty-four hours became familiar with the business end was initiated into the secrets of the ledger as well as of the note-book. Man learns nothing so readily as robbery. One would have said that he had had all his life no other merit.
“He will be worth two Bervilles,” thought Bremont.
In his partner, then, the banker had found at least his equal. All was saved,— the bank and honor. The proverb says; “As one makes his bed, he must lie in it.” Let us add: Each finds his honor where he left it. The banker had put his in a bag! He found it there, without asking too particularly what bag. Money has no odor. Non olet, as Vespasian said, an emperor whose name on this account has been given we know to what.
But if the baron had succeeded in the bank, he had no less succeeded in Gertrude’s heart. He had won that likewise, at one stroke.
He had literally bewitched her. His distinction, his courtesy, his gallantry even, the singularity of his intervention and of his name, and above all his title of baron, had subjugated her, taken her by main force, like an irresistible rape. Love had entered this weak heart through two of its broadest doors,— gratitude and pride. Everything comes to those who know how to wait, who can wait. Finally, like Archimedes, she had found.
In fact, the banker’s partner had confessed to Berville that it was with the keenest interest that he had seen Mile. Gertrude in society, at an evening party given by Laffitte; which explained to the banker the baron’s chivalrous generosity. Hoffman had even added that he would be happy to be connected with the house by one tie more and to rise from the bank to the family.
Consequently, feeling that he was about to die, Gertrude’s cousin had summoned her to his death-bed, had confided to her the intentions of his partner, had urged superior considerations and pressing circumstances, and, in the name of all the proprieties, the interest of the banking-house, the future of his son of whom she was to be sole guardian, under the same root as a bachelor, had adjured her to accept the baron’s offers were it only out if gratitude for past services and in the hope of service to come, saying, with all the emotion of which he was capable in his last hour, that he thanked her in advance for her devotion to his interests and that he should die happy if, by the sacrifice of her liberty, she should assure the future of the family and the honor of the house.
So much effort was unnecessary to victory. The fortress was captured, and made a show of defence only to surrender more gracefully. Age had undermined the walls, and, the prayer of the dying man aiding, without further discussion of financial conditions, money lifting all obstacles, granting all dispensation, delays, banns, and publicity (“there are ways of compromising with heaven”), and the religious marriage being of the most importance to Gertrude, reserving the civil ceremony for a later date, the marriage of love and interest between Baron Hoffman and Gertrude de Berville was therefore resolved upon in presence of the dying cousin.
In this forced precipitation of marriage and burial one upon the other, there was something rational no doubt, but also something forbidding which oppressed the heart of the old cashier and, though possibly in a less degree, that of the old maid as well.
The marriage took place at Saint-Koch, at night, by special permission, and consequently at greater cost and profit to the priest, Monsieur the abbé Ventron.
From that time, then, the Berville-Hoffman fortune and family were indissolubly united and made but one for life and death.
On the same evening, in spite of all the art of the great physician of the opposition, the famous Doctor Dubois, a third and last attack of apoplexy supervened; and cousin Hoffman closed the eyes of cousin Berville, who died in the odor of glory and peace.
And the next morning the “Constitutionnel” announced the death and funeral of the Liberal banker, devoting to him a dithyrambic obituary in marked contrast with that of the noble Duke de Crillon-Garousse.
Twenty-four hours later, at noon, the bell of Saint-Roch tolled a prolonged knell. The front of the church was hung, from cornices to base, with black draperies sprinkled with silver tears, and a large escutcheon bearing for device a capital B, also of silver.
In front of the steps stood a file of mourning coaches similarly caparisoned, escutcheoned, and lettered, official coaches of the family and the clergy, followed by private equipages in black and crape liveries even to the horses and whips.
Around was a crowd of curious people who watched the spectacle, mourners who laughed at their godsend, undertaker’s employees indulging in merry jokes over this fat corpse,— in short, all the grief of pomp, all the formal sorrow, all the dismal and savage, grotesque and lugubrious ostentation of first-class Christian burials.
Let us go with the crowd into this Catholic temple, Pagan — I beg Jupiter’s pardon — Jesuitic in its architecture.
Here, in fact, we no longer find Gothic art with its fugues and pinnacles, as at Notre-Dame; or even the art of the Renaissance still so spiritual in its juvenile grace, as at Saint-Eustache; or even the stiff majesty of the false art of the Great King, as at Saint-Sulpice. No, we find the senile sensuality of Louise XV, carnal and pietistic art, Pompadour and lewd art, with hearts of Jesus and Mary spitted, flaming like fire-pots, larded like calves’ livers, and garlanded with roses and ribbons like the newly-married.
In this temple, where the services are no more Christian than the architecture, and which is so fittingly dedicated to the God who knows not where to lay his head, to the Ecce Homo whose poor are members and whose rich are accursed, to the carpenter’s son who was born on the straw of a manger and who died on the wood of a cross, there were then in progress two funeral as well as two baptismal services.
One baptism in cold water for an elect of heaven, a child of the poor; another in tepid water for an outcast of heaven, a child of the rich.
As for the two burials, they offered no less a contrast in their solemnity.
For one, in the centre of the broad nave, before the divine altar and before the evangelical pulpit, stood an immense catafalque draped with Lyons velvet, ornamented with plumes and silver fringes and tassels, and lighted by a triple row of tapers, a mass of silk and fire. Beneath this splendid dome, in the midst of incense, between the banner and the cross veiled with black, God himself in mourning for man, rested, in a double coffin of oak and lead, an embalmed body, covered with a pall of damask and a shower of crowns, wreaths, branches, and bouquets.
Around this monument of human vanity and pious commercialism stood the relatives, the friends of the family, ultramundane society, thoughtless, frivolous, wearied, and absent-minded, men and women, gathered there out of propriety, especially to see each other and well acquitting themselves of their task, thus paying their respects to each other much more than to the deceased; black coats and black dresses struggling to surpass in luxury of mourning, rubies giving place to diamonds.
At the head of the coffin, more hypocritically if not more religiously, stood the clerical officiants, first the choristers, singers of the Devil as well as of God, in the morning at church, in the evening at the opera; then the priests, and, first and fattest of all, Monsieur the parish priest, the abbé Ventron, though not thoughtful, yet profoundly absorbed, calculating and storing in advance in his heart the product of these obsequies before putting it into the poor-box.
Breviary in one hand, aspergillum in the other, dipped in a silver holy-water basin, he whimperingly and with an air of grief intoned, in a tongue which no one believer in ten understood, in Latin, the De Profundis, which the opera-singers sang in chorus without understanding it any more than the listeners.
An odd, a barbarous thing, that priests should sing when others weep.
What said this De Profundi in Latin? Domine ad te clamavi, exaudi me! In English; From the depths of the abyss, O Lord, I have cried unto you, hear me!
Ah! if this fat priest of a lean God; if this priest of his Christ had been faithful to the human idea of the first sans-culotte; if he had himself understood what he sang; if he had touched, beneath its mystical form, the real meaning of this psalm; if he had applied to the facts of this world the chimeras of the other; if he had grasped the actual significance of this recourse of man to God, of earth to heaven, of the fallen, of the damned, to their lord and master; if he had not had, like his golden crucifix, like them metal idols, insensible, blind, and deaf, eyes not to see, oculos habent, ears not to hear, and a heart not to feel; if he had not had only a stomach and an abdomen, like the whole egoistic and vain crowd that surrounded him without listening to him,— what would he have heard, understood, and felt?
In this De Profundis, that psalm of psalms, that innermost and most intense cry of Christian faith, that summary, that most fervent outpouring of all the hopes and all the fears of the Middle Ages, that most complete and moving hymn of spiritual sorrow, a true canticle of the miseries of the human soul, a sublime invocation of the believer to his God, he would have heard other lamentations, perceived other sufferings, seen other abysses.
He would have felt, beneath ideal sorrows real sorrows, beneath imaginary limbos the present, living torments of an earthly hell.
He would have heard, no longer the clamor of souls anxious about their salvation on high, but of men anxious about their life here below. He would have seen the modern Job stretched upon his muck-heap. He would have heard beside the body of Dives thousands of Lazaruses crying from the depths of the abyss: De Profundis, O Lord, hear us!
And in this monster chorus of the victims of the rich, in this infernal harmony of the accursed, so infinite, so general, and so continuous that it is no longer even heard, he would have distinguished the cries of the shop, the hospital, and the prison, the voices of men crying: “O Lord, we have given you our arms, our sweat, our blood . . . . and we have no clothes, no shelter, no food! O Lord, hear us!” the voices of women crying: “We have reared our sons for your defence and our daughters for your pleasure . . . . and we are alone in weeping over our dead sons and our dishonored daughters. O Lord, have pity on us!” And among these feminine voices the youngest saying: “Our hearts, made to love, have not known the holy joys of love, dried up in poverty or spoiled in debauchery. O Lord, have pity! hear us!” Then the wails of children crushed in their flower, and the sighs and groans of the aged, alone and in despair, no longer even crying: “O Lord, hear us!”
Yes, he would have listened to all these growing clamors, rising incessantly en masse, like the dead in Michael Angelo’s “Last Judgment.”
He would have seen these prayers, left unanswered, change into gnashings of teeth; these laments into threats; these sorrows into furies; these cries of misery into cries of revolt, into a song of war; the “Marseillaise” of despair, an immense and terrible chorus louder than thunder, animating, guiding “avenging hearts and arms”; the cry of the Revolution once more starting forth to break sceptres and crosses, crowns and mitres, altar, throne, and strong-box; to force all the Bastilles left to be taken,— those of the master and the priest as well as those of the king; to scale the Louvre, Heaven, and the Bank, and to bury the Lord, in his turn, beneath their ruins.
That is what, instead of singing in Latin, the officiating priest of Saint-Roch, Monsieur the abbé Ventron, had he remembered the love-feasts of the catacombs, would have said in good French to his faithful living beside the body and soul of his faithful dead.
At the same time that the rich parishioner occupied the centre of the nave, in another direction, thanks to Bremont, under the lowest wing of the same church, at a side entrance, stood, as if banished, on a trestle almost bare, a coffin made of four badly-joined deal-boards scarcely covered with serge, between two dimly-burning candles; and beside it a poor widow on her knees, perfect image of the Mater dolorosa, holding in her arms her infant bathed in her tears.
A single priest, a sub-vicar, a young graduate of Saint-Sulpice, freshly tonsured, bran-new from the seminary, mumbled the prayer of the dead, without organ or incense, cross or banner, the aspergillum not even moist, in front of this blonde widow as beautiful as Mary, at whom he gave covert glances and not with the eyes of Saint John.
The services over, the two coffins were taken out: one by the main door, the other by the side door; one placed in a hearse drawn by six horses, the other on the hearse of the poor with two bearers; the one as it went by forcing the other to give place to it.
The one proceeding pompously to the family vault, a palace of pride for the receipt of stolen goods, which protests by its marble against human equality; the other returning simply to the common grave, to the bosom of natal earth, that equality-loving mother who recalls all her sons, rich or poor, to unity.
The one escorted by a throng of invited guests in dress-coats talking in a worldly way of the late banker Berville; the other followed only by the weeping widow of his collector and a friend in a blouse, a humble person, who had been unwilling to set foot in the church, Jean, the rag-picker.
End of Part First.
Twelve years have passed since Baron Hoffman became a partner in the Berville bank and a member of the Berville family.
The strong-box and the hearth have changed their location for the better, from the comfortable Rue du Louvre to the fashionable Faubourg Saint-Honoré, from the Berville mansion to the Hotel Hoffman.
The bank is no longer simply bourgeois; it has become royal.
The citizen king has replaced the legitimate king. The tricolor floats over the Tuileries instead of the white flag. The hammer pawned by the workingman at the Mount of Piety was redeemed in time to crush the royal punaises on the escutcheon of the Bourbons. That whose coming the abbé Ventron neither heard nor saw in his De Profundis has arrived. At least the reign of the Third Estate is here. The bourgeois, thanks to the people, has definitively conquered the priest and the noble and then united with them to hold more firmly at the bottom of the abyss, in the ergastulum, the disappointed slave who is now stirring on his own account and claims his sovereignty.
In beginning this second part of our work we are on the way to the democratic revolution of February, as in the first part we were on the way to the bourgeois revolution of July. Now the whole financial world is royalist. The opposition has passed to the government, cash and baggage. The strong-box is for and with the throne and altar, with a view to controlling them or at least balancing them. In a word, it is the constitutional régime.
At present Baron Hoffman swims in wealth, a shark of the high seas; one of the greatest financiers in Paris, a representative of the highest monetary circles; the first metallic and political personage on change. His clients are the king, the peers, the deputies, the Bishops, and all the merchant-princes of the Rue du Sentier,— client-accomplices. His dupes are all the rest. He is the banker of the Church and of the State, contrives loans, meddles in corporations, is necessary to the Treasury, useful to enterprise, and fatal to labor. In short, he is a high-flying, broadwinged bud of prey, an eagle hovering in the empyrean of the Bourse and plucking all the sparrows within reach of his beak, eating them legally without making them cry.
His hotel is tastefully sumptuous, with none of the coarse ostentation of the parvenu; his conduct is as observant of form as Bridoison could wish. In business exact and punctual, marking the hours like a dial; a man of the world undoubtedly, but orderly; proper in his life and correct in his morals; a model husband as well as a model banker; as attentive to his wife as to his cash; irreproachable, in every way admirable.
His predecessor, then, could rest to peace. He had left everything in good hands. All was safe, and Bremont was not mistaken. . . . Hoffman was worth two Bervilles as the head of the bank; as the head of the family, in Gertrude’s eyes, he was worth many more.
From the first days of her married life this prodigious husband had surrounded Gertrude with attentions and deferences which had outlived the rays of the honeymoon. He seemed always the lover of his wife and courted her like a sweetheart. Bouquets, gifts, new books, boxes on first nights, promenades in the park, he continued all the pleasures, amusements, and surprises which are so delightful to young brides and with which old husbands dispense so quickly for the benefit of their mistresses . . . and the lovers of their wives.
Entering into Gertrude’s tastes, he at the outset had her freed from her provincial domestics and attended by grand Parisian livery-servants, those trained Frontins who address their masters only in the third person, serve them only with gloved hands, and offer them their letters, as formerly the keys of Baris were offered to the king, only on silver plates.
He had even gone so far in the way of elegance as to retire — on a pension, of course — the simple cashier from Berri, too common for a baroness, and replace the familiar Bremont by a cashier, if not more honest, at least more modern and more deferential.
Thus all things, from top to bottom, were made new in the house and in the best of possible banks, around the former old maid, Mile. Gertrude de Berville, now Mme. the baroness Hoffman, by the grace of God, whom she thanked evening and morning.
In this general change which time had worked in men and things the baroness had grown old faster than the baron, in spite, or rather perhaps because, of the satisfaction of all her ambitions and passions, nobility and devotion, vanity and faith, fortune and power. She had lived too fast, so to speak, in the realization of all her dreams; for all her wishes had been met, save one,— she had had no children; and on this account her health was not all that could be desired.
The human organism has duties, failure in which is accompanied by penalties and the sanction of which is health, just as its pleasure and comfort are proportional to its functions, the joys of feasting being designed for the preservation of the individual, and the delights of love for the reproduction of the race.
Gertrude, then, had suffered the greatest physical and moral privation possible to a woman, the privation of maternal happiness. . . . matrem filiorum lætantem.
Had the old maid killed the mother? Was it her husband’s fault or her own? In either case she had so far longed in vain for this happiness, and had envied the gift of English queens and codfish,— fecundity. And her repressed passion had altered her humors, though not her temper, which was always even in God.
Fortunately her husband, through a rare solicitude regarding his wife’s condition, had made her a present, on one of her birthdays, of a large child, his own natural daughter, six years old, whom he had recognized under the name Claire Hoffman, and whom Gertrude, for want of a better and despairing of her case, on the advice of her doctor and her spiritual director, had adopted with enthusiasm, love, and piety.
Seeing always the hand of Heaven in everything that came into her life, whether good or evil, she had again thanked it for this new gift, received also from the very man whom she adored next to God. So she had accepted without hesitation. . . . for to do otherwise would have been to blame God himself. Without reserve she had bestowed upon Claire the treasure of love buried in her heart.
Her husband’s daughter she had made her own child. She had made up for lost time with a will.
She had reared her with completely maternal affection and application. The child is the mother’s doll. She had spoiled it, formed and fashioned it in her own image, nourished it on her faith, imbued it with her ideas, brought it up in her principles, the good principles, and educated it in her prejudices in order that in the child she might live again, according to the law of nature. And when the time had come to teach her and the child had grown into a young girl, painfully she parted with her to put her in the principal religious and royalist boarding-school in Paris, the convent-school des Oiseaux.
Thence Claire had emerged at the age of eighteen, worthy of her mother by adoption, having profited by the lessons of the pious teachers, aristocratic and devout to the tips of her nails, filled with the false ideal which animated Gertrude and which was to make the daughter similar to the mother and dear to her, the one differing from the other only as Parisian levity differs from provincial solidity.
As for the young Berville, he offered a most perfect contrast to Claire under the same roof. . . . and, if opposites attract each other, Camille and Claire should have been united body and soul. Yet they were the two poles.
The young Camille had grown from a school-boy to a student under the guardianship nominally of his cousin but really of the baron, his guardian’s guardian, who had been as indulgent with him as Gertrude had been with Claire.
Camille had remained the same, as nature had made him; or rather, he had brought himself up under the surviving and powerful guardianship of his mother; he had developed under this invisible but effective influence the wholesome germ which she had transmitted from her heart to that of her son.
The “stubborn” child was now the free man. Grace and power, gentleness and frankness, he seemed like a Spartan or Athenian youth detached from the metopes of the Parthenon just attaining the age of manhood and transplanted into Paris.
Brought up in the English fashion by the method of toughening introduced by Lord Seymour, nicknamed Lord Arsouille* by the effeminate, practised in boxing, rowing, fencing, every branch of gymnastics, his friends called him Iron Arm and Golden Heart.
Too intelligent to be only an athlete, too generous to be only a banker, too moral to be only a voluptuary; in spite of all the stimulants of fortune, the indulgences of his relatives, the examples of his friends; in spite of the faults and follies common at his age; helped rather than hindered by his wealth and the connivance of his guardian; although tempted undoubtedly like others (for the beast always underlies the man), he had kept himself pure, stainless, and without reproach. On the verge of a bad action, he stopped short at the recollection of his mother’s word: “Remember!”
Like her, in sympathy with the people, he had thrown himself headlong into the Revolution. The Liberal movement had become republican. What good there was left in the upstart bourgeoisie, the young element, the student, still fraternised with the workingman; study prepared the way for and always guided labor. It was the heroic age of the Latin Quarter. The tradition was not yet broken, and the union between the head and the arm of France was still in existence. Alas! Why does it exist no longer?
Carbonaro with Mazzini, Jacobin with Carrel, chief of the Students’ Group in the secret society La Marianne, and a point of union between the laborers and the medical students, like the Greek Achilles he drove his two coursers abreast, pleasure and duty, letting neither outstrip the other, jolted sometimes, but never upset, always erect in his chariot in the struggle of life, in a word, balanced.
He went also with the same ardor from the club to the gambling-house, spending the morning with Cujas, the evening with Moliere, the night with Marianne or Lisette, betting on his horse, conspiring for the Republic, applauding Taglioni, and singing: “The kings shall never invade France!”
Nothing human, nothing Parisian, was foreign to him. A man of struggle and joy, united with the flower of society, of the press, of thought, of action, leading a four-in-hand life, prodigal of himself and his possessions, of his strength and his purse, pushed on rather than held back by the baron, who did him the excessive favor and doubtful kindness of giving him more money than advice, himself initiating him in the world to take the rust off, as he said, to guide him in case of need, to make him a man in his own image, in short, to make him his son-in-law.
Gertrude had other views in regard to their daughter Claire; and Claire in this matter thought with Gertrude and not with her father.
She had even confided to her mother by adoption that she could never love Camille; that she would refuse to marry him; that she loved another, the brother of a school-friend, the Count de Frinlair, whom she had seen for the first time in the parlor of the convent where he visited his sister.
The title of count had naturally had its usual effect, had exercised its magic power over the mind of the baroness . . . . and Claire, who knew and shared her mother’s weakness, had not failed to plead her cousin’s aggravating qualities,— his impious republican opinions and corresponding conduct.
After this confidence, the aid of the mother was irreversibly gained by the daughter against the father for the love of God and in the name of the king.
So one morning at the Hotel Hoffman, when the family was breakfasting, this tête-à-tête of three took place.
The baron, wearing an air of pleasantry tinctured with gravity, was seated between his wife, who was growing more and more bloodless and gloomy, and his daughter Claire, in all the brilliancy of her youth and beauty, superb youth and masculine beauty, the oval of her face a little squared, her black eyes a little heavy, her straight eyebrows a little pronounced and having a tendency to meet, her forehead flat but high, her nose arched, her chin pointed, under lips that were pink but full and downy, showing teeth that were white but large, all the signs of a powerful race, all the features of an excessively developed woman or a partially developed man.
“Where is your favorite this morning, my ward, the worthless fellow?” said Gertrude. “If he had the slightest intention or even attention toward Claire, he would be here,” she continued, shrewdly; “but no, he takes after his mother, not after the Bervilles,— an atheist, a democrat, and consequently a libertine. In vain do I pray for him; he is incorrigible! It runs in the blood; let him ruin himself alone, it is enough and too much. Claire is right in not wanting him for a husband; and I want him still less for a son-in-law. The young Count de Frinlair, he suits me!”
The baron tossed his head, and the baroness nevertheless continued:
“What a difference! What deportment! What propriety! What exemplary conduct! We see him, Claire and I, every Sunday, accompanying his sister to Saint-Roch. But Camille! Look you, my friend, his opinions and his conduct would surely expose our daughter to a premature widowhood.”
“Your solicitude on her account makes you unjust to him.”
“No, and it is your fault. You have wished him as he is.”
“But, my dear, I could not put Camille in a convent, as you put Claire. His mother would have risen from her grave. I love your cousin as well as you love my daughter, and I have no more desire to play the step-father than have you to play the step-mother. Camille is not a young girl, and the period of youth has to be passed through. Young scamps make good husbands. He will consent to what I want of him because I consent to what he wants; and when he has lived in this way long enough, which will be soon if he keeps up his present rate, then he will rest in the bosom of the family. Where can one be better? See, my dear, I have brought him up as I was brought up myself . . . . and tell me, do you find me so badly reared?”
To be continued.
* French slang for the type of man which English slang describes as the “tough.” — Translator.
“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.
Men must die. Some before they have been able to fulfil the promise of future usefulness and beautiful maturity their young life held out; some after the decrepitude of age has stolen upon them; some after a long period of suffering and disease has made death welcome; but some — and such a loss it is for us to mourn at present — are called away with appalling suddenness, in the prime of life, from the apparent enjoyment of perfect health, from the height of an exceptionally useful and noble activity, out of the midst of a happy family circle, and away from a host of loving friends. It is then we count it our greatest privilege to mourn; it is then our pain seems holier far than any joy we may experience; it is then we measure our own worthiness by the greatness of our sense of bereavement.
The readers of Liberty will pardon me if I use its columns to lament thus the death of one comparatively unknown to them,— of Dr. Paul Berwig, of Milwaukee,— and whose loss is largely a personal one to us, the co-editors of Libertas, to whom he was a brother, not only in the conventional sense of the law, but in that highest sense of kinship of spirit. It is befitting that I should pay a tribute to his memory here, for Liberty’s cause was his own, and, though but little known to the English reading public, his name will long be cherished among people of German speech as that of one of the ablest expositors of the principles of Anarchistic liberty in the German radical press of this country. His contributions to Libertas prove him to have been a thinker and a scholar of no small merit, a mind free from spooks. Thorough master of the Anarchistic idea, he expounded it with remarkable facility, and in a most convincing manner, for he possessed the rare faculty of combining closeness of reasoning with a pleasing style. His memory was extraordinary, and, being a student, his knowledge was ever at his command. He was never wanting in some striking illustration in elucidation of a point.
By profession a physician of European education, he had met with more than average success in his calling, and his future promised well. But although his professional duties were arduous in the extreme,— he met with his untimely death while overexerting himself in the performance of such a duty,— he still found time, working often till far into the night, for literary work. Of the nature of this work Liberty’s readers may still be given the opportunity to judge for themselves, for some of his contributions to Libertas will no doubt be translated.
All that remains for me to say of him at present is that struggling humanity has lost in Dr. Paul Berwig one of her bravest and most intelligent champions. Of the German Anarchists of this country he was perhaps the best educated and the ablest. But above all his rare qualities of mind there throned the man, the whole-souled, noble man, one who could love and hate in the right place with the instincts of a warm, generous heart that was never wanting the guidance of a clear, calm head. In him liberty and the people have indeed lost a true friend. As such he followed the coffins of the Chicago martyrs at that memorable November funeral, and few were there who followed worthier than he. He too is gone, and many a heart that can appreciate the greatness of the loss is sorrowing, and many an eye is moist, but those who knew him best and loved him dearly are broken-hearted.
Covetous death bereaved us all.
To aggrandize one funeral.
The eager fate which carried thee
Took the largest part of me:
For this losing is true dying;
This is lordly man’s down-lying,
This is slow but sure reclining.
Star by star his world resigning.
E. H. B.
Competition and Monopoly Confounded.
To the Editor of Liberty:
Does competition mean war? you ask, and then go on to answer:
“The supposition that competition means war rests upon old notions and false phrases that have been long current, but are rapidly passing into the limbo of exploded fallacies.”
Pardon me, Mr. Tucker, but are you quite sure that the supposition in question rests upon nothing more than “old notions and false phrases”? Go out into the highways and byeways of the work-a-day world, look around you, and then tell us candidly if what you see there is likely to inspire any lover of his kind with a wish to foster competition.
Ah! but you reply: “This is not free competition; this is monopoly and privilege.”
Exactly so, but what is monopoly but the very soul of competition? I venture to submit that it is not for wealth per se men strive, but for the mastership it confers; hence, if you deny the spoils of victory to the victor, you sheathe the sword forever. Monopolies and privileges of every kind are nothing more than resultants of a competition as free as nature could make it, for even the grand old Sphinx herself has not been able to evolve “equal liberty” from the free competition of unequal forces.
When the benefits of competition cease to “be won by one class at the expense of another” and when they are shared “by all at the expense of nature’s forces,” competition loses its raison d’être and dies.
When lower and semi-barbarous economic forms are subjected to the strong solvent action of higher ethical concepts, they disappear; that is to say, when mutual confidence and good fellowship prevail over hostility and love of mastership, competition must give place to cooperation; hence, to my mind there is no escape from the conclusion that competition means war so long as it is the economic expression of hostility and mastership, and after that it will mean — nothing.
“Equal liberty,” however, would still remain, for what is it at bottom but community of interest?
W. T. Horn.
What the person who goes out into the work-a-day world will see there depends very much upon the power of his mental vision. If that is strong enough to enable him to see that the evils around him are caused by a prohibition of competition in certain directions, it is not unlikely that he will be filled with a “wish to foster competition.” Such, however, will not be the case with a man who so misapprehends competition as to suppose that monopoly is its soul. Instead of its soul, it is its antithesis.
Whatever the reason for which men strive for wealth, as a general thing they get it, not by competition, but by the application of force to the suppression of certain kinds of competition,— in other words, by governmental institution and protection of monopoly.
Inasmuch as the monopolist is the victor, it is true that to deny him the spoils of victory is to sheathe the sword of monopoly. But you do not thereby sheathe the sword of competition (if you insist on calling it a sword), because competition yields no spoils to the victor, but only wages to the laborer.
When my correspondent says that all monopolies are “resultants of a competition as free as nature could make it,” he makes competition inclusive of the struggle between invasive forces, whereas he ought to know that free competition, in the economic sense of the phrase, implies the suppression of invasive forces, leaving a free field for the exercise of those that are non-invasive.
If a man were to declare that, when the benefits of labor cease to be won by one class at the expense of another and when they are shared by all at the expense of nature’s forces, labor loses its raison d’être and dies, his sanity would not long remain unquestioned; but the folly of such an utterance is not lessened an iota by the substitution of the word competition for the word labor. As long as the gastric juice continues to insist upon its rights, I fancy that neither labor nor competition will lack a raison d’être, even though the laborer and competitor should find himself under the necessity of wresting his “spoils” from the bosom of his mother earth instead of from the pocket of his brother man.
In Mrs. Glass’s recipe for cooking a hare, the first thing was to catch the hare. So in Mr. Horn’s recipe for the solution of economic forms in ethical concepts, the first thing is to get the concepts. Now, the concepts of mutual confidence and good fellowship are not to be obtained by preaching,— otherwise the church militant would long ago have become the church triumphant; or by force,— otherwise progress would have gone hand in hand with authority instead of with liberty; but only by unrestricted freedom,— that is, by competition, the necessary condition of confidence, fellowship, and coöperation, which can never come as long as monopoly, “the economic expression of hostility and mastership,” continues to exist.
“Marriage” under the “Sun.”
The August number of the “Westminster Review” contains a striking article on “Marriage” written by a woman, Mrs. Mona Caird. The evils of our present forms of sexual relations are described with rare ability and denounced with uncommon force. Her plain talk about the respectable stupidity and stupid respectability of modern bourgeois society is very refreshing, and her “sharp sayings” are, indeed, as the New York “Sun” fears, “sweet morsels for the opponents of marriage.” Mrs. Caird’s remedy is absolute freedom of marriage, “out-and-out free love and nothing else,” as, again, the “Sun” has it. Excepting her belief that a replacement of the present competitive system by “some form of coöperation” is absolutely indispensable as a preliminary to the inauguration of freedom in love relations, the whole article is thoroughly round and Anarchistic.
In the “Sun” an editorial criticism of Mrs. Caird’s reasoning appears, which is also very striking — for its dullness. The things it has to say against Mrs. Caird are perhaps even sweeter morsels to the opponents of marriage than what she offers in support of them. It starts out with a lie and a dishonorable intimation that speech on this vital question is very unwelcome. It lies when it says that the “Westminster Review” “expressly disclaims responsibility” for her “revolutionary views,” the fact being simply that her article appears, among others on different subjects, including, for instance, one on so inoffensive a topic as Mr. Whistler’s views on art, in the “Independent Section,” — a regular department in which the editors allow the free expression of opinion on all topics of public interest. And when it confesses that “there is enough of truth” in Mrs. Caird’s statements “to make their unqualified utterance pernicious in a period like the present,” it stimulates bold investigation and criticism while inviting suppression.
As an argument in favor of State interference, we are told by the “Sun” that “the State and society have an interest in marriage so clear and so important that of right and of necessity they cannot be disregarded in the contract. When a man and a woman marry, they enter into a relation which is not of private concern merely, but one which is also of deep public concern, for the increase of the community, the rights of property, and the maintenance of children are involved. Besides the man and the woman, all society is affected by the contract, and the general interests far transcend in importance the sentimental gratification of the couple themselves.” Now, I have known the “Sun” to repeatedly contend and vociferate for a Jeffersonian-democracy government,— one that would prove best by doing least. How is this view of the marriage contract to be brought into harmony with Jeffersonian principles? What new interpretation is intended upon the declaration of our inalienable right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness? It is the prevalent idea among modern students of social science that a “simple” government should restrict itself to the punishment of actual offenders against clearly-defined rights of person and property. But here we have a proposition to control men’s action with a view to prevent their making any arrangement that might, in the opinion of the Solons of the government, indirectly develop a tendency unfavorable to social stability. Can the “Sun” see in this nothing incompatible with its professed opposition to paternalism in government? What Comtist has gone farther than this? What authoritarian Socialist would ask more? Surely, if, as Rousseau has said, “gods would be necessary to give laws to mankind,” someone even wiser than the gods would be required to originate such legislation.
Inconsistency, however, is not the only sin chargeable to the “Sun.” In raising the objection of society’s interest in marriage contracts, it really begs the whole question. Granted that society has such an interest; what comfort does it yield to the advocates of slave marriage? Are the interests of society fully protected at present? Is there no ground for complaint, no room for improvement, no necessity for reform? If there is, then the question is what other system would be more conducive to the ends in view, these ends being the happiness of the parties immediately concerned and the benefit of society as a whole? Mrs. Caird’s chief task is to show that the evil of woman’s marital bondage brings in its train innumerable vices and wrongs which extend their influence on nearly all important relations of life; and her demand for freedom, grows out of her desire to remedy these and make life better and safer and worth living. In face of all the facts universally known of the miseries of married life, the horrors of prostitution, the sufferings of children, and the false and morbid and degrading ideas about sexual relations now nourished, the “Sun’s” declamations are an insult to the intelligence of its readers. No one conspires to victimize poor “society” or to deny it recognition; the question merely is whether trusting to spontaneous human sentiment and reason is not far better and more certain of successful results than official regulation.
Finally, when the “Sun” pretends to think it not worth the while “to argue against a proposition so offensive to common sense, to say nothing of its moral bearings,” I become so disgusted with its hypocrisy that I lose all patience and must decline further discussion. Evidently the eighty thousand prostitutes swarming in London streets are not “offensive to common sense,” and “Pall-Mall” revelations and Colin-Campbell divorce cases are all that can be desired in their “moral bearings.” Well, if the “Sun” likes this sort of thing, this is the sort of thing it likes.
“Touch property, and you touch marriage; touch marriage, and you touch property.” So wrote Col. William B. Greene, author of “Mutual Banking” and one of the profoundest economic writers which America has produced. I commend his words to those critics of Liberty who deplore what they consider the undue amount of attention given to the “sex question,” as they call it, in these columns, preferring that it should be devoted strictly to economic discussion. I am thoroughly at one with my critics in the thought that liberty, to be effective, must find its first application in the realm of economics, and nowhere has that view been emphasized more continually than in this journal. But liberty will find very little application in economics or in any other field, until, as a fundamental principle of all social relations, it is understood much more generally and profoundly than at present. To such understanding of the principle nothing is more helpful than a general flashing of the light upon it from all sections of the social circle. Lysander Spooner, who looked to economic and especially financial reform for the righting of almost all social wrongs, appreciated this fact, when, after devoting years to the elucidation of the principles of finance and the hammering of them into men’s minds, he wisely decided, in the concluding years of his life, to apply all his remaining energies to an attack upon the principle of government itself. What a tremendous attack it was all his readers know, and in making it he drew not alone upon economic arsenals for his weapons and ammunition. He made a general fight all along the line. That, too, is the method of Liberty. The battle will wax hottest now here, now there,— the time and the circumstances must always locate the thick of the fight,— but at whatever point waged, it will be steadily a battle to dissipate the darkness of power which now separates liberty from its applications by a continual flashing of the light back and forth between them.
For some weeks past the contest has chanced to centre to a considerable extent around the application of liberty to the love relations, and, as I view it, with exceedingly good results. For few of the persons, I think, who have carefully read the articles referred to, have failed to see the principle of liberty in a clearer light in consequence. Ere long new circumstances will arise to concentrate forces in another direction; and so the struggle will go on. In my editorial capacity it is not my purpose to guide its course too carefully, my principal care being that all persons who enter the lists for or against liberty in these columns shall come provided with arms and ammunition of a calibre calculated to inspire respect. Thus equipped, they may aim where they will.
I paraphrase and generalize Col. Greene’s words as follows: Touch liberty, and you touch every social question; touch any social question, and you touch liberty.
While acting on this rule, I would nevertheless remind those critics who think that Liberty devotes too little space to economics that they have the remedy in their own hands. Liberty’s hospitality in that direction has always been unbounded and will remain so. If they have anything to say on economic subjects that is at all worth saying, they need but offer it to get it printed in this journal. Many of them, however, if I may judge from the quality of the journals which win their approbation, care less for economic discussion than for economic ejaculation. The latter they need not offer, for it will find no favor here. Economic discussion, with the emphasis on the discussion, is what Liberty desires.
I half suspect, too, that some of these people are moved, though perhaps unconsciously, less by an utterly absorbing desire for exclusive attention to economics than by a dread of the discussion of love relations. A little self-examination on their part, to see whether there is any foundation for my suspicion, might not be amiss. If thereby it should be revealed to them that, so far as love is concerned, they really prefer, like the ostrich, to hide their heads in the sand, it is to be hoped that thereafter they would assume that attitude frankly and with the same naive and unguarded confidence which characterizes that foolish bird.
The State as a Carrier.
Suppose that our postal system were managed as a private business, do you think that it would be as inefficient as it is now? In all the years that I have been in the book business I have never known the mails to be as reliable as the express companies, but for two years now the postal system has far exceeded all its past blundering. One letter, plainly directed, was thirty days in reaching us from Chicago; another, plainly directed also, was forty-six days in getting here from Philadelphia. Scarcely a month passes that we do not have to duplicate book orders, the purchasers failing to receive the first invoices. And never yet have I been able to trace lost books, whether lost in transit to me or from me. To complaints sent to the Department I have received the stereotyped answer that my inquiry had been referred to so-and-so and recorded in so-and-so, and that would be the last of it. On the other hand, I have never lost a package sent by express. The change of administration did much to demoralize the postal service, not because it was a change from a Republican to a Democratic management, but because it was a change. To conduct any business well requires experience, and no business can have the advantage of experience where tenure of position depends upon political affiliations. Carrying the mails is a purely business matter, and government should not go into business. It is no more its function to carry and deliver letters and papers and books than it is to carry and deliver milk and ice and mowing machines.
The usual notion of social progress is that we go from a simple state to a complex state. Now is it true that, as society develops to higher conditions, it must become more complex? In the matter of machinery this does not seem to be the case. The old Washington hand press, for example, was a very simple machine. But the printing-press gradually became more complex,— that is to say, the machinery was more cumbersome and the power for the accomplishment of the desired end was not so directly applied as formerly. Note the ten-cylinder Hoe press. What a mass of wheels and drums and tapes and flies it was, and what an army of men and boys it took to run it! But that ponderous machine is now discarded,— not for a more complex machine, but for machines that are simpler in their construction, and more effective. The higher development is from the complex to the simple. May this rule not also be true in social-industrial development? The primitive savage had few wants, and his methods of satisfying those wants were very simple indeed. A stone or a broken limb served as a means of gaining a living. From this he went to bows and arrows and the rudest kind of agriculture. He made his own implements. His functions were becoming “complex,” because in him were combined the implement-maker and the user. As he reached a higher condition, his functions were simplified. The user and the maker of the implements were not the same person, but many different persons, each person doing some simple act. Again, in earlier days the printer was everything, from devil to editor. His was a complex condition; he performed many parts. But the development of printing has simplified the functions of each individual in the printing business; so that the art of printing is simpler today than it ever was before, and there has been real, substantial progress. Now, does a number of simple things produce a complex thing? or does the collectivity take the nature of each of its units?
* * *
My notion of Anarchy — of a very highly developed community of human beings — is where simplicity is the most highly developed. Anarchy is the ideal of simplicity, and therefore more difficult of understanding than government. It deals with the individual — or, rather, lets the individual deal with himself. What is more simple than that, if I want a place to live and find a vacant spot of land, I go there and make my home, without the intervention of the landlord, the real estate agent, the notary public, the register of deeds, the assessor, the tax collector, and a horde of other parasites in the shape of lawyers, money-lenders, etc., etc.? What is there more simple than that, if I want something to eat, I till the soil and raise it, or give my labor to someone else for something to eat? In one’s every-day life, even in our present complicated system, how few we actually come in contact with! And even those few are too many. The friction produced by coming in contact with those few is what retards us on our way to justice and to receiving the full results of our work. The aim of Anarchy is to lessen the number. Government agents — those fellows who come to us with “Your money or your life” — produce the greatest amount of friction, wear us away much faster than those who meet us on more equal footing, and say to us “Your money, if you will, and we will give you something for it.”
Am I right? Is the ideal social system that in which the greatest amount of simplicity prevails?
Joseph A. Labadie.
“Let one song be a pæan of triumph.”
O tender, brave, and faithful soul,
Above whose bark the waters roll —
The Silent Sea —
Yours is the good man’s gentle fame,
In grateful hearts to write a name
O hero in the soul’s deep war,
Of superstition conqueror,
Your fear was slain:
No more the cark and care of life,
No more confusion, no more strife,
And no more pain.
Weep not the tear, withhold the sigh,
As brave as this how sweet to die.
So wisely calm;
It cometh swiftly to us all —
To close the act the curtains fall —
And death is balm.
Quenched is the corse’s funeral flame,
All quenchless burns the living name
We read and bless;
Enshrined within the people’s heart,
His fadeless, deathless, better part
We still possess.
We leave him where his field was won,
In dreamless sleep of duty done
He is relieved, and he may sleep,
But ours is still a watch to keep —
J. Wm. Lloyd.
Love, Marriage, and Divorce,
And the Sovereignty of the Individual.
Henry James, Horace Greeley, and Stephen Pearl Andrews.
Mr. Andrews’s Reply to Mr. Greeley.
Continued from No. 131.
The State is to you something other than what I have called it,— a mob,— because you believe that the heat of passion and the lust of gain may blind men in judging their own conduct, and not so in judging the conduct of others. If this is good for anything, as a principle, it must be of reciprocal and universal application. Let us take a case and try its operation. John Smith and Sally Smith, after years of miserable experience, and horrid example, too, as I should say, amicably conclude to separate, do separate, provide for their children by some appropriate arrangement which removes them from a daily scene of sickening and vitiating contest, and each unites with a new partner, and all the parties feel conscious that they have added infinitely to their happiness and well-being; but you, on your principle, that somebody else, who is not blinded because he has no interest in the matter, can decide better than they, interfere, and decide for them that they were led by a shade of passion which you define to be lust into their new relations; denounce them in your newspaper, and invoke the mob, and send them all packing to the calaboose. Very well, so far; but now for the next application.
Upon the same principle, I can judge better than you can of the purity of your motives in this very act, and I determine that you were influenced by an undue desire to increase the popularity of your journal, by parading your zeal for the current morality of the day, and that such an example of the venality of the press is extremely vitiating to the public mind. My impartial position for judging authorizes me to judge and to punish you for deviating from my judgment. Hence I resort to the mob, and burn down your printing-office, or throw your types into the ocean. Now, then, how is your mob any better than my mob,— except that yours is called “the State”? Do you find it in the distinction you attempt to establish between freedom of utterance and freedom of action,— one of which is to be tolerated and the other not? That would only be to turn my vengeance from you personally to the passive instruments of your opinion,— the juries and prison-keepers.
You, too, desire “the harmonizing of freedom with order, but not through the removal of restraint upon vicious appetite; the harmonizing of desire with duty,— not through the blotting out of the latter, but through the chastening, renovating, and purifying of the former.” Very well; but how? According to you, through a system of mutual espionage, suppression, and constraint; from which I dissent. You say, also, however, through “the diffusion of light and truth with regard to our own natures, organizations, purposes, and that divine law which overrules and irradiates all.” To this I agree. Choose, I beg of you, before you write again, between the two systems, which are as opposite as light and darkness. But this harmonizing will never come by any system through the tempering and modifying of desire alone; it demands equally the softening and liberalizing of duty, since “to the pure all things are pure.” We differ, perhaps, both as to the source whence a healthful restraint must emanate, and as to the amount of restraint which is healthful.
You think there is no such radical difference between us as to the right of self-government, because, you say, I acquiesce in the imposition of restraint upon the lunatic, the thief, burglar, counterfeiter, forger, maimer, and murderer. If I do, it is as the temporary necessity of a false and bad social system, which makes such characters, and must, therefore, take care of them. It is your duty, I think, to advocate a Maine liquor law as long as you advocate compelling a woman to bear a drunkard’s child, with a drunkard’s vitiated appetite from the hour of quickening into life. Can you perceive no difference between my making this admission of your duty relative to a prior wrong, and advocating the whole system as a right system, as you do? I would, like another man, enforce the barbarous discipline of the camp in time of war, if war must be; but that should not hinder me from insisting that war itself is a great folly and had much better be replaced by amicable relations and the interchange of reciprocal benefits between the contending people. I beg of you to endeavor to master, and to keep always in mind, the distinction which I drew in my last between principle and expediency. Is it possible that I cannot make myself understood upon this point? I do not even assert that your laws against seduction and the like are not necessities of your present system, just as the patrol organization, the violation of the post office, and the hanging of abolitionists are necessities of slave-holding, and just as an army of spies and the censorship of the press are necessities of European despotism, so long as either is to remain.
If two cats are tied up in a bag, the tendency of this “too close connection” will be toward contest and clamor. You will probably have to choke them to keep them tolerably quiet. If the bag is, then, assumed to be a necessary institution, to be maintained at all hazards, and if quiet is also a desideratum, the choking will also remain a perpetual necessity. Even when the discovery is made — and it is to this point that I ask your special attention — that the cats are well enough disposed to be quiet if you will let them out, it may still be necessary to keep your fingers on their throats until the bag can be cautiously and safely untied, the cats extracted, and a little time allowed them to become convinced of their prospective good treatment. If an existing bad system cannot be changed at once without some bad consequences, they are to be charged, not upon the right system which is to follow, but upon the remaining influence of the old and vicious one.
I would have the order of society so founded on a scientific knowledge of the nature, organization, and purposes of man, and of that divine law which overrules and irradiates all, that there shall be no thief, no burglar, no maimer, and no murderer; and I take the burden of proof upon myself to show that the principles are now known in accordance with which it is just as practicable to have such a society as to have the “Pandemonium” we now have. This whole harvest of gallows-birds is the fruit of your tree, not of mine, and, while you continue to produce them, it belongs to you to provide for them. I do not even deny that you may know better than I what is necessary to that end.
I come now to your statement of principles. 1. “Man has no moral right to do wrong.” I deny this proposition, if by wrong is meant expediency as distinguished from abstract right, or principle. I hold to expediency just as religiously as I do to principle itself. Yet every expedient which deviates from abstract principle, or the final right, is, in the higher sense, wrong. I hold it, then, not only innocent, but a positive duty, often to do one wrong thing because another wrong thing has been done. I refer you to the apology for your tariff doctrines in my last. I deny your proposition again most emphatically, if by wrong is meant what somebody else, or everybody else, judges to be wrong, and which I do not. What wrong is it, then, that I have not a right to do? Is it yours? or Mr. James’s? or Louis Napoleon’s? or the Chan of Tartary’s? or Mrs. Grundy’s? or that of the majority of the mob? That is the vital question which I shall never let you off from answering; and, until it is answered, every general proposition you make on the subject will, when analyzed, mean just nothing at all. Who is the umpire, or standard of right and truth?
2. “The State ought to forbid and repress all acts which tend, in their natural consequences,” etc., “to corrupt the morals of the community,” etc. Here, you perceive, comes right up again the same vital question, without the answer to which all this laying down of principles is mere words. “Which tend,” etc. — in whose judgment? That is the point to which I must hold your attention. The teachings and conduct of Christ tended, in the judgment of the Jewish “State,” to corrupt the morals of the community. Did that confer on them the moral right to crucify him? It is nonsense, Mr. Greeley (excuse me, since you taught me the use of that word), to call either of these propositions of yours principles, until you first settle the jurisdiction of the questions which they raise. I vest it in individual sovereignty. Where do you vest it? I beg of you to lay down a general principle covering this point.
3. “It is wiser,” etc., “that crimes should be prevented than that they should be punished.” Herein we agree; but how prevented? You say in one breath, by your suppressing me, and my suppressing you, whenever we happen to differ,— that is, by the exercise of the right of the strongest; and in the next, “by the diffusion of light and truth with regard to our own natures,” etc., as I have already quoted you. I accept the latter method, and discard the former.
4. “The great mass of criminals,” etc., “begin their downward courses by gambling, tippling, and lewdness,” etc. I take this to be a mistake. I think you substitute effects for causes. Crime has its origin much farther back, and, if you are to “deal with it in the egg,” you must look to the laws of procreation, by which parents impress all the falsity of their own lives upon their offspring. I shall notice this subject again.
5. “Sexual love was implanted,” etc., “not merely that the race should be brought into existence, but properly nurtured, protected,” etc. This, too, is a mistake. Nature has secured the procreation of the race by the sexual passion. She has not intrusted their maintenance and protection in infancy to that passion, but inspired both parents with another expressly to that end,— namely, the love of children or offspring. It is the ignorance and folly of men that would enforce upon one of these impulses of our nature the vicarious performance of the duties of the other, thereby introducing confusion between them and marring the beauty and efficiency of both.
To be continued.
The Problem Which the Child Presents.
In attempting to give utterance to some of the many thoughts suggested to me by those who have found much to take exception to in my ideas about love and the life in love and the life that comes from love, I would rather it were not looked upon as an answer to my critics. I have read no comments which have not seemed to me to hold some germ of truth. While I differ with them, I also feel that in many ways they have expressed phases of thought with which I can feel much sympathy. If we are not in the same truth, we have certainly touched truths here and there, and this touch has not been, with me, without its glad inner recognition of a common fellowship. Even if it were less so, my own words express my thoughts so clumsily, it may easily be that theirs have at least in some degree failed also in revealing their own conceptions. That is, we may have mistaken each other.
I am not a Turner. I can not paint seas or clouds. But in my dream of love there is no less depth of sea, no less beauty of changeful cloud-form. I am so far from being able to paint it that I shall have to write the word “love” on the margin before you can, perhaps, recognize it. Even then, if you have not felt it, if you have not dreamed that dream, you will deny it.
If I thought that Mr. Lloyd was very serious in his suggestion that it might be well to require the child to pay for its life, I should feel like very seriously quarreling with him. Once in life, we cannot turn back. A new choice has been put in our hands. It is no longer life or — nothing; it is life or — death. And death has always been looked upon as a very black door, whatever it led into. The dread of death may be one of kind Nature’s ways of teasing us, but the existence of this dread cannot be denied. One would not feel like calling the frying-pan good, because there was no way to jump but into the fire. Even going out of a room is not quite the same as not having come in. Suppose my enemy is there. Under some circumstances, staying might even then be preferable to going, while yet I can not thank anyone for having invited me there. We have even come, some of us, to look upon marriage as not altogether a good thing. Yet consider how few people ever apply for divorces.
Also, before you can settle it with your boy that he should be grateful to you and willing to pay you for giving him life, you must not only show him that “the door to death opens with an easy touch,” but prove to him that it leads nowhere or into something better. The old words so often quoted “whether ’twere better to bear those ills we have than fly to others that we knew not of” have found their echo of real doubt in so many minus that no one can say that “the dread of something after death” has not stayed the hand of many a despairing wretch. And your “cheap and painless death in every drug-store” has been of no use to men in prisons or under torture. Life is not a good thing. Some life is very good. Some life is very wretched. There are possibilities of happiness to come, and we, for ourselves, may choose to take the chances. But no one of us can say at any moment whether, if we knew what the future would bold, we would still choose to go into it. And we will always remember that, if we call upon a child to pay for his life, we are, with much fuller knowledge of possibilities than he can possess, asking him to pay for what may develop into a frightful alternative.
But Mr. Lloyd was dreaming of a glorious anarchical future when the chances for happiness will be infinitely greater. Yet I would prefer, even then, to give my child her life. On the whole, it is always a more inspiring thing to give than to lend. Both for myself, and that I might leave her free to spend her first surplus, not in paying, but in giving, I would choose that way.
And there is one thing that will surely never be less true than now. If we insist upon establishing a balance-sheet, three years of a happy baby-life in a mother’s home will make her its debtor forever.
When anyone claims that men will have no motives to beget children whom they cannot control, does he not forget how many women, today, bear children gladly, even although they know that law and society may at any time give the control of them into the father’s hands? Loving him, they trust in him, and believe that he could never be cruel or hard to his children. The fathers of the future will have no less confidence in the mothers of the future.
I have heard it urged against the new plan of social life that the fathers will have an altogether too delightfully easy time of it in the world, with no care or responsibility. Well, I can’t be very sorry about that. I have no great veneration for care or responsibility. I hate careless and irresponsible people only because they shirk what they have assumed; but I do not want more care and responsibility in the world, but less. My own life as a worker and one of the exploited class, having been not without its burdens which have seemed “too grievous to be borne,” has brought me into great sympathy with others who are weighed down and into very little sympathy with careless, frivolous, or even light-hearted man and woman life. But it is not because I feel burdens and bowed forms the greatest and best and most to be desired things in life. It is only that, being ill myself, I am greatly in sympathy with others who are ill, and that I am very sorry for anybody who is in pain. I do not exactly understand how you, who are well, can be very jolly and hilarious while I am sick. Nevertheless, I believe in health, and, although I am a little cross with you now, in your insolent unconsciousness of the existence of pain or disease, I shall work, with whatever strength is in me, for the banishment of physical ills from the earth. I shall also work for the abolishing, as far as possible, of anxiety and painful care-taking; and this, I believe, is one of the results which will flow from the new order of things. There will be no further attempt to divide responsibility, because it will be perceived that the peculiar arithmetic of responsibility is that division is always multiplication. A kindergartner may keep six children busy, happy, and in the conditions most favorable for their education for three hours; but if six people have charge of one child, there may be six different opinions in regard to what shall be done with the child. If there are, five people will have to waive their responsibility before anything can be done with it. And all the six people will have to keep the child constantly in mind that it may not fall or hurt itself. I am afraid, if such division of labor were to be instituted in all departments of human activity, our future economic conditions would not be materially improved. We must come to learn, I think, that in this, as in all else, individual initiative, individual lead, individual responsibility, are the essential conditions to all progress.
And not only will responsibility be concentrated, and so lessened, but it will be placed just where it can never be felt as a burden. When a lover promises to spend the evening with the woman he loves, does he remember or think of it as a promise? Could he forget it? A mother is responsible, doubtless, for her child’s nourishment; but only a wholly world-corrupted mother, an unnatural mother, ever can think of anything but the delight of feeling the clinging of the baby lips and the pressure of the little head against her heart. It is not nursing, but weaning, that calls for heroism, for thought of future good instead of present joy.
It seems to me that we desire and conceive children, firstly and mainly, for ourselves. We wish to live again in them, to live with them; to take up this old, tired world and look at it once more through their fresh, young eyes that have yet known few tears. The old dream of immortality comes again in the longing to feel that something of ourselves may still exist in the world after we are no longer here; that a life something like our own, with something of our real selves in it, will perhaps love and take up our work where we are forced to leave it. We want the warm, soft, tender grace of their baby bodies and the truth of their fearless, uncorrupted minds. With it all and in it all we wish for them,— not alone for our selves in them, but for their selves,— the best that life can hold for anyone. Please fate, we will do our best to secure it for them. But I do not think we bring them into the world for the world’s sake or even for their sakes, but simply for the joy of perpetuating ourselves.
There are two phases of feeling in regard to the question of ownership which I am not in the least inclined to set aside as unimportant or meaningless. The first is the revulsion which all tender natures instinctively feel at the suggestion that a child is in any sense property or is owned by any one. “A child is not a slave,” Mr. Lloyd says. It is true; but a child is none the less a product for which a price has been paid. Suffering endured is cost in the same sense that repugnance overcome is cost. And this forever establishes the claim; this product is not anyone’s or everyone’s; only the mother’s. A gypsy may steal my child on the day of its birth, may nourish it and support it until it becomes self-supporting. All her care and all its dependency do not make it belong to her, simply because it was originally stolen. And yet all our sentiment is opposed to its belonging to any one, except as Mr. Lloyd uses the word, as the fruit to the tree. We are shocked at the idea of a human being as property, and if it could be, as Mr. Warren would have it, that a baby could be born sovereign, it might and would belong to itself from the moment of its existence. But it is simply a fact that, if its life is to be preserved at all, if it is ever to be able to reach its power of sovereignty, it must be cared for and educated by some adult mind and to that end controlled by some adult will. Whose mind and whose will is this to be? This little life being here, is it to be destroyed or saved? Has any one a right to insist that it shall be preserved until it shall attain the power of self-preservation; and, since it must always be a matter of varying opinion as to what means must be employed to accomplish this end, has any one a right to insist upon his decision in the matter? Or would it be better, think you, that there should be a “consensus of the competent” to decide who shall have it in charge?
I admit that the possession of power over even a becoming individual is a dangerous thing, a demoralizing thing; but the greatest possible safeguard against this is tenderness, and I most earnestly believe that all the pure, unadulterated tenderness which human beings are capable of feeling mothers must feel for their children.
The second phase of feeling is the sense of injustice to the father. His part in the production of the child being as essential as the mother’s, although destitute of the element of cost, and his desire for a child as great, perhaps, is it quite fair, it is asked, to deny him all right, and is it not a miserably inadequate social condition which leaves a man practically childless? To this it can only be said that the mother has the right to give her child to whom she will; nor do I know that she may not sometimes desire that it become the father’s. Yet I do not feel that, whatever any “court of equity or arbitration might decide,” there would be any justice in the child’s transference to the father, on the mother’s death, if this were against her wishes. Her choice of him as a father rested on her faith in his worth and her conception of the integrity of his character. If this faith is lost and this conception changes, she has the same right to appoint another guardian that would be hers in regard to any other possession. Suppose, for instance, that Romola had conceived a child before her discovery of Tito Melema’s share in the betrayal of Savonarola; or that the wife of the governor who did not commute the sentence of the men at Chicago had conceived a child three months before the execution; those children should belong to their fathers, do you think?
It is feared that a father will be less with his children, and that fatherly love will die out. But all this fear rests upon the idea that love is a less powerful motive in the world than the sense of obligation or duty or responsibility. A mother will certainly not wish less that he be with them. Nor are his opportunities less than before, but, on the contrary, as much more as the leisure of a man who is supporting only one instead of two or three or four.
Tell me, you who are afraid, does a lover spend less time with the woman he loves than a husband? After the first joy of long-delayed possession is past, where, in the scale of pleasant things, does a husband place an evening with his wife? And before she was his wife, would an evening away from her have been weighed for a moment against one by her side? Do theatres and concerts and the club attract husbands, or lovers? Ellen was always well cared for in her father’s house. John never felt the slightest shade of responsibility for her support in those old lover days. Was she less to him, do you think? Did he care less for a look from her eyes? Did he wonder with a less eager wonder what she would think about the book they were reading together? Did a cloud of tiredness or despondency on her face pass unnoticed by him then? Did the least touch of her hand thrill him less? Did he care less for her confidence, her trust, her restful, unwavering faith in his manhood?
In regard to what a father may do for a child (supposing always that he has kept the mother’s love and confidence), he would naturally be checked or limited in nothing which did not interfere with the mother’s plan for the child’s education. And here again, if you believe that the mother will refuse everything on this plea, you can only do so because you believe that a woman will cease to love a man as soon as she feels herself under no obligation to love him; that she will be ready, on any pretence, to deny him the blessedness of giving; that she will love him less because he loves her child; and that she will hasten to think him unworthy as soon as she is no longer dependent upon him for her existence.
There is, and I suppose there always will be, a great margin in our book of wants after the text page of necessities is written out; a wide range of things we would like, although we can do without them. I think the father may find scope enough for his generosity. He need not quarrel with a system which lets all that he does take the form only of gifts. Gifts are the only precious things in the world. It is well when a man pays his debts; indeed, it is very bad when he does not; but it calls forth neither love, nor gratitude, nor, in fact, any pleasant emotion whatever. A lover’s gifts, so long as they are gifts, are only treasures. But, in our present social system, they soon become no longer gifts, but only symbols of a claim. In the world’s code of honor, they are to be returned as soon as the engagement is broken. That is, they were not gifts, but mortgages.
A married lady who had preserved something, at least in her longing, of the romance and poetry of her first love feeling, said reproachfully one day: “George brought Clara some violets last night; you used to bring me violets.” “I bring you beefsteak now,” he said, smiling playfully, perhaps a little teasingly.
And no violets.
Now, in the world’s glorious future, in which I believe, the love of men and women will not take the form of violets first, and beefsteak but no violets ever after. And for my little girl my most yearning wish could be, not that she may never be really hungry before the dinner is quite ready; or that she may never work hard — scrub floors, if need be — to earn the money for beefsteak; but that she may never, in all her life, look into the eyes of an old-time lover and say: You used to bring me violets. I want men and women to keep their love as fresh as the baby-life to which such love gives birth; to be true, honest, strong, self-sustaining men and women first; and then to love; to love one or to love many — fate and the chances of life must settle that — but, one or many, I want each love to be as full of its own essential fragrant essence as a violet’s breath.
From such love — of one or many, again — will come into the world glad little children, conceived with the sunshine of life’s best gift. And they will come into a world of homes,— true homes, violet homes. And there will be one guiding hand, holding in it the thread and purpose of their education, trusting them to others who are to be trusted, but always and only of its choosing; and as these young lives grow into consciousness of love, they will find themselves in a world full of lovers,— not husbands, wives, families, duties, claims, responsibilities,— but, only and always, love and lovers.
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.