“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.
One of the commonest ways of answering the Egoists is to assert that “the good old rule sufficeth them, the simple plan, that they should take who have the power, and they should keep who can.” Yet the very poem from which these lines are quoted — Wordsworth’s “Rob Roy’s Grave,” given in another column — asserts that the rule of might is founded in the principles of things, and needs only to be supplemented by light in order to tell for sympathy instead of cruelty, for liberty instead of tyranny, and for society instead of barbarism. If the enemies of Egoism will exhibit the whole poem, instead of the detached lines, as an expression of the philosophy which they attack, the Egoists will not complain.
Objecting to a bill introduced into Congress denying naturalization to any Anarchist, Socialist, or Communist, Henry George says: “The proposer of this law probably had a vague notion, derived from the Chicago troubles, that Anarchism, Socialism, and Communism are synonymous with crime.” Probably; and perhaps he imbibed this notion from Mr. George himself, who, when the supreme court of Illinois emphatically endorsed it in an elaborate opinion denying the Chicago condemned a new trial, obsequiously accepted its utterance as unquestionable truth, and thereby did what he could to secure the murder of several Anarchists, Socialists, and Communists who had committed no crime.
One of the bravest and most truthful, one of the rarest and most original, one of the finest and most artistic works of fiction that have seen the light for many a day is Olive Schreiner’s “Story of an African Farm.” Those who have read “Three Dreams in a Desert” will be hungry as soon as they hear that the author of that allegory has written other works. The “Story of an African Farm” was published several years ago in England, and is only now beginning to attract the attention it deserves. So radical is it, especially in its attitude towards love and marriage, that I have determined to include it in Liberty’s propaganda, and will supply it, bound in cloth, post-paid, at sixty cents a copy. More extended reference to the nature of this remarkable work will be made in these columns hereafter.
In a letter to the “Alarm” Kropotkine writes this of the “Alarm”: “I see that the ‘Alarm’ most earnestly tries to find out the right way amidst the different solutions proposed by various Socialist schools [by the way, what an ignoramus Kropotkine shows himself to be in thus speaking of “various Socialist schools”! Why doesn’t Kropotkine read the “Workmen’s Advocate” and learn from its authoritative editor that there can be but one Socialism, of which he is the only prophet?], and that is the best guarantee that it will find it out.” This may seem a rather left-handed compliment in the eyes of those who have regarded the “Alarm” as a paper with a clear programme and a definite place “amidst the various schools of Socialism,” and I am tempted to take up the defence of the “Alarm” by pointing out the identity of its basic principles with those of Liberty, but I think of Mr. Lum’s objection to my “inflicting” approval upon him, and desist.
Rob Roy’s Grave.
A famous man is Robin Hood,
The English ballad-singer’s joy!
And Scotland has a thief as good,
An outlaw of as daring mood;
She has her brave Rob Roy!
Then clear the weeds from off his Grave,
And let us chant a passing stave,
In honor of that Hero brave.
Heaven gave Rob Roy a dauntless heart,
And wondrous length and strength of arm:
Nor craved he more to quell his foes,
Or keep his friends from harm.
Yet was Rob Roy as wise as brave;
Forgive me if the phrase be strong; —
A poet worthy of Rob Roy
Must scorn a timid song.
Say, then, that he was wise as brave;
As wise in thought as bold in deed;
For in the principles of things
He sought his moral creed.
Said generous Rob, “What need of books?
Burn all the statutes and their shelves:
They stir us up against our kind;
And worse, against ourselves.
We have a passion — make a law,
Too false to guide us or control!
And for the law itself we fight
In bitterness of soul.
And, puzzled, blinded thus, we lose
Distinctions that are plain and few:
These find I graven on my heart:
That tells me what to do.
The creatures see of flood and field,
And those that travel on the wind!
With them no strife can last; they live
In peace, and peace of mind.
For why? — because the good old rule
Sufficeth them, the simple plan,
That they should take, who have the power,
And they should keep who can.
A lesson that is quickly learned,
A signal this which all can see!
Thus nothing here provokes the strong
To wanton cruelty.
All freakishness of mind is checked;
He tamed, who foolishly aspires:
While to the measure of his might
Each fashions his desires.
All kinds, and creatures, stand and fall
By strength of prowess or of wit:
’Tis God’s appointment who must sway
And who is to submit.
Since, then, the rule of right is plain,
And longest life is but a day;
To have my ends, maintain my rights,
I’ll take the shortest way.”
And thus among these rocks he lived,
Through summer heat and winter snow.
The Eagle, he was lord above,
And Rob was lord below.
So was it — would, at least, have been
But through untowardness of fate;
For Polity was then too strong —
He came an age too late;
Or shall we say an age too soon?
For, were the bold Man living now
How might he flourish in his pride
With buds on every bough!
Then rents and factors, rights of chase,
Sheriffs, and lairds and their domains,
Would all have seemed but paltry things
Not worth a moment’s pains.
Rob Roy had never lingered here,
To these few meagre Vales confined;
But thought how wide the world, the times
How fairly to his mind!
And to his Sword he would have said,
“Do Thou my sovereign will enact
From land to land through half the earth!
Judge thou of law and fact!
Of old things all are over old,
Of good things none are good enough: —
We’ll shew that we can help to frame
A world of other stuff.
I, too, will have my kings that take
From me the sign of life and death:
Kingdoms shall shift about, like clouds,
Obedient to ray breath.”
And, if the word had been fulfilled,
As might have been, then, thought of joy!
France would have had her present Boast,
And we our own Rob Roy!
Oh! say not so; compare them not;
I would not wrong thee, Champion brave!
Would wrong thee nowhere; least of all
Here standing by thy grave.
For Thou, although with some wild thoughts,
Wild Chieftain of a savage Clan!
Hadst this to boast of; thou didst love
The liberty of man.
And, had it been thy lot to live
With us who now behold the light,
Thou would’st have nobly stirred thyself,
And battled for the Right.
For thou wert still the poor man’s stay.
The poor man’s heart, the poor man’s hand;
And all the oppressed, who wanted strength,
Had thine at their command.
Bear witness many a pensive sigh Of thoughtful
Herdsman when he strays
Alone upon Loch Veol’s heights,
And by Loch Lomond’s brave!
And, far and near, through vale and hill
Are faces that attest the same;
The proud heart flashing through the eyes,
At sound of Rob Roy’s name.
[George William Curtis.]
An arrogant arraigner of other men and of common courses, a man who plainly assumes a personal superiority or merit, is the true Pharisee, who is instinctively repudiated by honest men. . . But if a popular man be false, or an accepted doctrine mischievous, or an agreeable habit dangerous, somebody must say so. In this case the censor, instead of insulting other men, cheers and helps them. . . . The man who is often described as a censor, and therefore an insulter of others, is usually a man who denounces the frauds and humbugs which he sees around him, and who has merely the courage of his opinions. . . . The small gibe of “censor” flung at such men expresses merely the jealousy of small men. . . The cry of insult in such circumstances is generally the cry of the wounded. It is a confession that the shaft has struck home. . . If censor be understood to be the name of a mere fault-finder, a man who points out faults only to jeer and not to correct, or who cultivates a habit of sneering, and of seeking the worse rather than the better aspects of life for the gratification of morbid taste, he is a nuisance and a pest. But It is an ill disposition which, inclined to self-indulgence of any kind, rails at the critic as a faultfinding censor.
Love, Marriage, and Divorce,
And the Sovereignty of the Individual.
Henry James, Horace Greeley, and Stephen Pearl Andrews.
Mr. Andrews’s Reply to Mr. James.
[Rejected by the Tribune.]
To the Editor of The New York Tribune.
Mr. H. James condescends to reply, obliquely still, to my structures upon his crude social theories. The condescension is amiable, but the imprudence is unpardonable. It was obviously one of those cases in which discretion is the better part of valor. He does not appreciate my disposition “not to be cruel.” Such ingratitude provokes a severity which he can ill afford to draw upon himself. I am surprised – I may even say grieved – that he compels me to a still further exposure of the unhandsome features of his course of reasoning upon the subject in debate. With an apology to the reader for a thoroughness of criticism, bordering on harshness, forced on me by the indiscretion of “Your Correspondent,” I will proceed, as cautiously as I can, and, even, notwithstanding all, with dome remaining touches of tenderness, to the dissection of “Your Correspondent’s” last article.
The following is the gist of his effort to restate himself:
“You feel that all man’s relations to his fellows, and especially to woman, should be baptized from above, or acknowledge an ideal sanction before all things, and that where this sanction is absent, consequently, the relation is either strictly infantile or else inhuman. In respect to this higher sanction and bond of conjugal fidelity, you call the legal bond inferior or base. As serving and promoting the former, one deems the latter excellent and honorable; but as ceasing any longer to do so, you deem it low and bestial.”
Now, the deliberate purpose of your Correspondent here is to show that he is not, and could not have been, adverse to the institution of marriage, because, forsooth, as he has “all along contended,” there are circumstances in which that institution is of value to society – namely, in its infancy – and to impress upon the incautious reader the idea that I am laboring under a woeful degree of mental confusion in attributing to him the doctrine that marriage (the legal bond) should be “incontinently abolished.”
Very good, so far; but it so happens that your Correspondent has very recently devoted large space, in more than one of his communications to the Tribune, to proving that Society among us is no longer in that state of infancy in which the outward marriage bind is “subservient and ministerial to the higher spiritual sanction,” but that it has now arrived, on the contrary, at that precise stage of advancement and full growth in which the legal bond is “inferior and base,” or “inhuman,” or “low and bestial,” or “purely diabolical,” and ought, therefore, to be dispensed with or wholly abolished.
Let us betake ourselves again to quotation. Discussing this very subject, and having shown that the legal bond was a necessity of the infant state of human society, your Correspondent proceeded to say: “But now that [Society] has overleaped that period of infantile fragility, and feels the motions of ripe and sinewy manhood, the questions of order and harmony can be no longer postponed. It is bound by a feeling of self-respect to become decorous and orderly, and to put away, consequently, all those arbitrary methods of action which were dictated by mere expediency or self-preservation.” Hence, your Correspondent distinctly makes the changes in legislation requisite to adapt it to the present ripeness of human society, to stand in “fully legitimating divorce,” or in discharging our conjugal relations of the “purely diabolic element of outward force” – in other words, the virtual abolition of legal and forceful marriage, as “ceasing any longer to serve and promote the higher sanction and bond of fidelity” – having, “for his own part,” as he says, “not the slightest doubt that, in that case, constancy would speedily avouch itself the law of the conjugal relation, instead of, as now, the rare exception.”
Now, your Correspondent has repeatedly brought forward and urged, as you well know, and as the public well knows, this precise remedy for the existing disconsonance of Society and its legislation, as a practical cure for a practical evil. Now, then, he says, with an exclamation point for surprise, that I betray so crude an apprehension of the discussion, that I confound his “denunciation of base and unworthy motives in marriage with a denunciation of marriage itself!” What charming simplicity! what delightful innocence! A practical, straightforward, political, or legislative measure, of the most radical and revolutionary kind, proposed and repeatedly urged as the remedy for wide-spread actual suffering and disorder in the community, suddenly retires into the dimensions of a ghostly remonstrance, from a kind-hearted spiritual adviser, against bad motives in matrimony! Ah, Mr. Henry James, when hard pressed by a logic that won’t bend to “Individual Sovereignty,” an “artful dodge” may be highly creditable to one’s agility, but hardly to the higher attributes of a manly nature. Were it not for the cunning evinced in the maneuver, the want of courage and the seeming simplicity might be suggestive of “sheep’s head” without* “the pluck.” As it is, we are reminded, also, of a different animal. For myself, I once had a good practice in Virginia fox-hunting, an training after these doublings has to me the interest of reviving old reminiscences: to the reader who finds no such amusement in the chase, and who looks merely for candor, truth-seeking, and consistency, in a discussion, I fear they may be simply disgusting.
I, in the case adduced for illustration, the “Spiritual Adviser” had gone a step farther, and expressly advocated the theory that “all arbitrary methods of action,” in the premises, should be “put away,” that nobody should be compelled, by “outward force,” to restore property which he had found and that, by such freedom from the “legal bond,” the notion of the right of property would be “ennobled,” and the man and all men led to act, from their own “humanity and inward sweetness,” honorably and honestly in such cases; and if I, upon reading such a statement of views, should have said, perchance, that that is precisely my theory for the abolition of all laws for the collection of debts and the like – saving the question, to be settled afterward, what are legitimate debts bearing upon the conscience – and if Mr. Spiritual Adviser, shrinking from the more open and bolder presentation of his own theory, and determined to be respectable at all hazards, should, thereupon, accuse me of confusion of ideas, superficiality, etc., your Correspondent wants to know what I should say; and I reply that I should say, that this “Spiritual Adviser,” intent upon saving his own skin, did nor hesitate to slander and malign his neighbor, and to obfuscate his readers by a resort to trickery, and ad captandum pleadings unworthy of a man of some reputation and literary pretensions.
So much for Dodge No. 1. Before proceeding with the catalogue, permit me to furnish a gloss to the reader, to inform him of what I suppose the real position of your Correspondent to be. I do this to remove the impression, to which I feel myself liable, after the showing I have made, of engaging with a combatant whose statements of doctrine are too contradictory and absurd to aspire to the dignity of criticism. Notwithstanding appearances, I do not think so. There is, I am satisfied, a consecutive train of idea running through the whole of his reasonings upon the subject, which, if it can be cleared of a certain confusedness in the use of terms by which he is constantly prone to obscure, rather than illustrate, his thought, will be found quite as consistent as the notions of many other loose thinkers, who aspire to instruct the public upon philosophical subjects, and who gain considerable estimation for the want of just criticism.
What your Correspondent means to say, then, rendered into a comprehensible plainness of speech and tolerable brevity, is just this. Marriage is the union of one man and one woman for life. But there are two phases or aspects of marriage, or, in fine, two marriages, or kinds of marriage. 1. The outward or legal, that of which the perpetuity and exclusiveness depend upon human laws and are enforced by the Courts, which I will call Legal Marriage; and, 2. That which he calls “the ideal sanction of the conjugal relation,” and which I will call, for the sake of a convenient term, Spiritual Marriage. This last, he believes, tends to exhibit itself in the lives of all rightly developed men and women, in just the same form of perpetuity and exclusiveness which legal marriage now attempts to enforce by virtue of pains and penalties; that we have now arrived at that stage of development at which this tendency to the spiritual tie declares itself so strongly (or exists undeclared) that the continuance of the old legal bond, which was good enough in its day, instead of securing the action toward which it and the “higher sanction” both tend, operates as an irritant and a disturber, and hinders or prevents the very end at which it aims; that, consequently, sound morals and good policy both demand, as the remedy, that “Divorce be Freely Legitimated,” or, what is the same thing, legal marriage abolished; not that he is opposed to marriage, that is, to the same course of life which legal marriage enacts in the form of law, but because this last is not merely unnecessary but hurtful in securing that end.
This theory, so stated, comes pretty much to what is entertained in this age, more or less distinctly, by a good many persons transcendentally inclined, and whose views of prospective human improvement take no broader and no more practical shape than that of spiritualizing whatsoever thing, however stupid, which happens now to exist among us. Finding an existing relation so oppressive, that neither they nor their fathers were able to bear the actual yoke, they fancy that exactly the same thing spiritualized, must be exactly the right thing. Still the theory, such as it is, is quite intelligible when not “bedeviled” by unnecessary fog and pretensious mysticism.
It is true that you Correspondent has no right to claim any such sensible rendering of his views. He has pertinaciously insisted upon saying that “the legal bond” is the whole of marriage, that the spiritual tie is not marriage at all, and that the legal bond ought now to be dispensed with. I should, therefore, have been perfectly justified, upon ordinary views of criticism, if I had taken him for what he has repeatedly declared himself to be, in words, and stated purely and simply that he denounces the institution of marriage entirely. I have nevertheless kindly, as I thought, abstained from taking advantage of this verbal confusion, and inasmuch as he refers to “the higher sanction of the conjugal tie,” and uses other similar phrases, although denying that they signify marriage in any sense, I have confined myself to speaking of him as opposed to Legal Marriage. To talk of the law as sanctioning what will exist just as well without it, and what is not to continue to exist by virtue of it, is nonsense. The mere ceremony, having no binding effect, is nothing to which you or your Correspondent, or I, or any body, would attach the slightest importance.
To be continued.
The Rag-Picker of Paris.
By Felix Pyat.
Translated from the French by Benj. B. Tucker.
Continued from No. 133.
After this toast, which was the first and the last, Camille, pouring out his classical knowledge, had added, amid unanimous applause, that to talk was well, but that to act was better; that an ounce of deeds was worth a hundred pounds of words; that the best way to honor the heroes of the Convention was to imitate them; that there was no Capitol without a king’s head; that Athens had slain Pisistratus, Rome Tarquin, Lucerne Gessler, London Charles, and Paris Louis; that it was necessary to put principles into practice and restore Reason to Notre-Dame, the Convention to the Tuileries, and the Commune to the Hotel de Ville; in short, that they must enter upon their work, follow and avenge the ancients and the moderns, avenge Alibaud as well as Robespierre, deliver the People, and reestablish the Republic.
And upon his motion an order of the day had been unanimously voted that, on the first occasion when the king should appear in public,— laughter is mingled with everything in France, even with regicide,— they should rent a window on the Rue de Rivoli, extend a line, with a purse at the end for bait, directly over the royal head, and, at the moment when Philippe would certainly stop and lift his poire to this bait, fire at him the liberating snot.
Then they proceeded to select by lot the member to whom this duty should be entrusted.
At that epoch police traps were very common, a famous spy, Vidocq, having set the fashion.
His successors have imitated him without replacing him. The young believe that the world was made yesterday because they were born day before yesterday, just as the old believe that the world will end tomorrow because they are to die day after tomorrow.
The truth is that the world is of longer duration than old and young together; that there were strong men before Agamemnon, that there have been some since, and that there are more to come; that men succeed each other and events are constantly repeated; in short, that the world ends and begins again incessantly, with the same bandits and the same heroes, in a perpetual becoming.
So just then the police burst into the room. Each one kept silence and his place.
The officer in command of the police asked who was charged with the duty of killing the king.
Silence was the sole response.
The officer then said:
“I arrest all present.”
Then a new member, presented by Camille, a student like himself, the young Count de Frinlair, said:
“It is Camille Berville.”
“Traitor,” cried the officer, “I arrest you!”
“Oh!” exclaimed Frinlair, terrified.
“Yes, you, and you know the sentence! You must die.”
Immediately the sham police, which was merely a device to test the fidelity of the members, decided that Camille should carry out the sentence. Then, with shouts of “Down with the king!” “Down with the traitor!” all went out, except Frinlair himself and Camille who was charged with his execution.
It was Camille who had presented Frinlair, his friend, his schoolmate, his fellow-student at the law-school. . . . and his rival for Claire’s hand.
Nothing could be more opposite than these two friends, nothing more different than their characters. By birth, by nature, by instinct, by tendency, and by education, they thwarted and combatted each other. They hated each otter as naturally as Montaigne and La Boetie loved each other, and for no other reason than that one was Frinlair and the other Berville.
Camille’s well-grounded goodness had overcome the spontaneous repulsion which Gaston de Frinlair had inspired in him.
Camille had often said to himself: “Because he is light and I am dark, because he has a flat nose and I a straight one, must I kill him?”
Frinlair was less scrupulous, and abandoned himself absolutely to his repugnance, his jealousy, his rivalry, and all the passions of race, caste, and class which animated him against Camille.
But duty got the upper hand of pity in Berville, who handed his weapon to Frinlair and said to him, in the manner of a Roman:
Frinlair was not a coward, but a traitor; his cry did not arise from weakness, it was the cry of an informer.
“Thank you,” said he, taking the pistol; whereupon he fired at Camille, wounding him in the right hand and running away.
Camille, surprised and bleeding, had then left also, saying to himself: “I am wrong. The first time a man deceives me, he is wrong; the second, it is I.”
And he recalled that the Count de Frinlair, an ambassador’s son and an attache of the embassy, who had inspired in him an antipathy which it would have been well to have obeyed, had been his first deception and his first duel.
In fact, some months before, smitten with a grisette,— there were still grisettes in the days of Beranger,— and wishing to place her in furnished apartments, like the high-born student that he was, he had called on the handsome Camille and used this diplomatic language:
“Come, do me a friend’s service. I am willing to shower extravagances on Mazagran, but first I wish to know if she is worthy of them. Pay court to her yourself; here is her address. If she resists you, you the irresistible, then I establish her. But give me your word of honor that you will tell me the truth.”
“A vile errand, my dear; I refuse.”
“But, I assure you, Mazagran is charming.”
“I know it! I call it a vile errand, not because of her, but because of you and me.”
“Not so sure that you would succeed, eh?” said Frinlair, piqued; “but try; friendship before scruples.”
“Ah! on the ground of friendship? So be it, then, since you wish it and exact it! I go in search of pleasure through devotion.”
After having thus hesitated, he had succumbed to youth, and had accepted.
Camille was certainly more seductive than Frinlair, and, above all, more prodigal.
Having made the test triumphantly, he was still in doubt whether he should be true with Frinlair. To inform against this good girl, whose only wrong consisted in having been risked by one and tempted by another and in having preferred him to her lover, seemed to him unworthy. But then, to deceive his friend! to violate his word of honor! Where will honor lodge itself next? A lesson, he had said to himself. The mistake lay in having accepted. He should have refused. Finally his promise proved the stronger with him, and, when he next saw Frinlair, he had said to him:
“What! It is not true.”
“You give me the lie?”
“It is conceit!”
“Conceit and falsehood, two insults! Too many for one service, a bad one, it is true, but still a service asked and rendered. I demand, then, retraction or satisfaction.”
The duel had taken place, and Camille had been wounded by a sword-thrust in the same hand. Decidedly this hand was unfortunate.
* * *
After the second wound made by the pistol, the unlucky Camille went to have it dressed by Doctor Dubois; and that is why he had his right hand in a scarf, neither heroic nor marriageable, powerless to offer a ring to Claire or the purse to Philippe, regretting one more than the other, and certainly owing his life to Jean.
If all had changed, and for the better, in the Berville mansion which had become the Hotel Hoffman, it was different in the Didier mansard.
Mansard! the glory of the architect who gave his name to this invention which benefits the poor at the expense of the rats and to the advantage of proprietors! Glory! Be sure that a bad invention brings its author more renown than a good one. The guillotine made Guillotin illustrious; nicotine, Nicot; the bayonet, Bayonne; the plough, nobody. If you kill a hundred men, you have a cross; a thousand, a statue; a million, a column. To great men the world is grateful.
In the Didier mansard nothing had changed, at least for the better; nothing had improved, but, on the contrary, everything had deteriorated; to be sure, there was still and always the same care, the same order, the same cleanliness, Jacques’s watch, rescued from the clutches of the Gripon, serving as the household clock. But there was no longer the enthusiasm, the passion, the ardor of former days. It was duty done by habit but wearily; the painful was manifest on every hand, after twelve long years of mourning, privation, and sickness.
What a difference and what a distance! Formerly this poverty was brightened and vivified by the joys of love and the family. The child’s cradle, the sun of this poverty, flooded it with light and hope. Louise sang as she waited for her husband. Today this is ended and forever. Hope no longer dwells there. The widow waits for nothing but rest in the grave, her remains mingled with those of her husband. Her existence, like her countenance, is covered with a black veil. Every step in her life is a step towards death.
Seated at her work-table, exhausted by so many trials and sorrows, omaciated and pale, her hair thin and dull, her temples sunken, her eye leaden, her ear pallid, her nose pinched, her red cheek-bones indicative of quick consumption, her hands bony. Louise Didier labored with feverish activity, interrupted by fits of coughing which her bent posture aggravated.
She accomplished her task, the price of her daily bread, but without any heart in her work. That indescribable feeling of privacy, intimacy, belonging, the English home,— the French lack the word if not the thing,— the happiness in short that renders labor light, no longer existed for her. “No more love, hence no more joy,” said Lafontaine, the eighth wise man if not the first.
The widow’s look wandered for a moment from the table where she was sewing to the bed where Jacques had once lain for three days awaiting burial. Her gloomy thought did not evoke memories of their life together. This bed was no longer the nuptial bed of their lost loves, but the death-bed of Jacques. Misfortune had struck the poor mansard with its black wing and turned it into a tomb; all was mourning now for the widow of the money-bearer. The blow which opened Didier’s forehead pierced just as fatally the heart of his companion. She had no further reason to be, to live, to hope. Her soul was killed, but not her conscience.
And, thinking of her daughter, she began again to sew and cough.
“Oh! this cough is breaking me down,” she said between two attacks. “Never mind, my neighbor is right. Marie is still so young, thirteen years. . . It would be necessary to take care of me. . . But how, without time or money?”
And she sorrowfully shook her head, absorbed in the fate that pursued her.
A discreet and yet familiar knock, which she recognized, recalled her to herself. “Come in,” said she, trying to put a tone of gayety into her voice.
The rag-picker entered respectfully. . . still robust after these twelve years, but grown old and gray; time spares nobody, not even rag-pickers; a little bent from the habit of carrying his basket, and saddened, like his poor protégée, by the very rebound of the evils from which she suffered, brave heart! It was no longer Jean, it was Father Jean.
“Ah! it is you, Father Jean,” said the widow, affectionately.
“Yes. I bring you a little work which Madame Bremont handed me from herself and from Madame Gertrude; more than you can do, sick as you are.”
And he laid on the table a bundle of materials with a note of explanation.
“And how are you this evening?” he continued.
“Always the same.”
“Did you go to the consultation?”
“I have just returned. Again they have told me the same thing.”
“Ah, yes, not sick enough to enter the hospital. I am not a doctor, but I say that it is none too soon to take care of you.”
And, nothing doubting, he added:
“My heart must be clear. I will go to the doctor of the Board of Charity. They say he is a good man. And what did they prescribe for you?”
“Nothing,” said Mme. Didier with a shrug of the shoulder.
“What, nothing I. . . Doctors. . . . impossible!”
“Nothing, I tell you, less than nothing. . . . follies. . . . The open air, the country, a journey to Nice, Bordeaux wine, roast meats.”
“A fine prescription! It lacks nothing save the means of following it. A little money would serve the purpose better than their knowledge. And Mam’zelle Marie?”
“She is at confession. . . . for her first communion.”
“Hm!” growled Jean, twisting his beard.
Time, so damaging to those who are descending, is kind to those who are rising. The little Marie had become Mam’zelle Marie.
The child had grown, charming and clever like her mother, inheriting beauty and goodness. There was no moral deficiency in her poor but healthy education. Precept, lesson, example, and practice, in labor and patience, tenderness and duty, had cultivated all the gifts of her pure, fine nature.
How account for this exceptional flower, which ought to be the rule in a better civilization?
Given the social creature, certainly the most human is that whose type offers the most harmonious ensemble of the highest and noblest faculties. We can say logically that the best of beings will be the most beautiful. The beautiful is the form of the good, says Plato. Organs are proportional to exercise, the social as well as the others. The serviceable, devoted, generous being developing more and more the highest organs at the expense of the lowest, by what is called the law of balance, it follows that the Didier species is likely to be more beautiful than ruminants like the Bervilles or carnivora like the Garousses.
The deformation of the race through egoism, pride, and interest is proverbial. The lip of the Hapsburgs, the nose of the Bourbons, and the ugliness of the Spanish grandees are historical.
Marie Didier’s youth was of that type which art par excellence, Greek art, has characterized and named in its goddess Juno. Her hair of a golden-grain color, her eyes the color of the corn-flower and as brilliant as the corn-poppy, a perfect Ceres in the matter of color. . . . and in form as regular as a Madonna. Marie was to Claire what a Raphael is to a Goya. . . . the beauty of the flower and the goodness of the fruit.
Marie, physiologically, was what her mother was, plus the power given her by her worthy father.
Thus she had inherited the skill and clearness, as well as the elegance and conscience of her mother. She even surpassed Louise. For accumulation by hereditary transmission, as long as the race is not decrepit, is another law of nature; this makes progress. Raphael, the painter, surpassed his father; Charlemagne, the warrior, likewise. It is true that we have the younger Racine and the younger Dumas, but the exception proves the rule.
So Marie promised to be a beautiful girl as well as a good worker. And though she could already aid her mother in toiling for the daily bread of both, unfortunately she could also please the idle who eat bread without earning it for anybody.
Though her cunning hands relieved her mother by sharing her task, her youthful form attracted the looks of the idlers whose only task is pleasure.
Her youth was precocious. It was a beautiful early fruit, such as the Parisian hot-house produces prematurely under the influence peculiar to great cities, the current of ideas, labor, and even want, which rapidly ripens the subject, when it does not rot it, for the thousand and one hands always ready to pluck it.
At thirteen, then, Marie was or seemed sixteen; and already she was called the rose of the faubourg. She already went to the clothing shops to carry patterns and bring back orders which she executed, Louise aiding, successfully.
The mother, who followed, as she had said erewhile at the parish-church, her religion by birth and habit, had wished Marie to make her first communion, and had sent her to catechism and consequently to confession, but at the Church of Saint-Roch, where her husband had been blessed, and not Saint-Paul, her parish-church, where she had been received so badly.
Marie had returned in tears.
Her mother, on seeing her with her white cheeks and red eyes, became alarmed and asked her why she had wept.
Marie did not answer.
“What’s the matter?” urged Louise.
“Nothing, mother,” said the child.
“It is your first lie.”
“Why!” ventured Jean, with a shake of his head, “she comes from confession.”
“Is it repentance?” said Louise.
The child, either from shame or from fear of grieving her mother, said nothing, but took her work and labored in silence.
“There is something beneath all this,” said Jean to Madame Didier, “and in your place” . . . .
“Has Monsieur the priest sent you away for lack of memory, attention, or obedience? Tell me, I beg of you.”
“I will not go back to confession.”
“Bah! a false shame. Monsieur the priest has scolded and punished you. But, dear little mule, don’t you see that, in refusing to speak and obey your mother, you are committing another fault, a sin, for which you will be obliged to return to confession and get absolution in order to make your communion?”
“Well, then, I will not make it.”
“What! at your age? But it is necessary. You are thirteen, and we have no time to lose at catechism; we must work all day long, for I feel that I am growing worse.”
“Yes,” said Jean, “he who labors prays.”
“Come, then, speak! Does Monsieur the priest refuse you? Do you say your prayers badly? If that is why you are sent away, go back to the church and ask pardon of Monsieur the priest; or else I will go myself, sick as I am, to have an explanation with him.”
“No, mother, I will go tomorrow to take the sacrament quickly, and then work with you and for you, in order that you may rest and that I may leave you no more.”
And they kissed each other effusively.
Jean bade them good night, still shaking his head and repeating:
“There is something beneath all this, and I am going to find it out!”
The next night, her day’s work done, Marie, out of filial piety, went to confess.
A word before her arrival.
Is there in the world an institution more infamous and an outrage on morals more flagrant than the confessional?
Auricular confession has come with celibacy for the greatest glory of God, the priesthood, and the sanctuary. It is the crowning of the edifice.
Formerly confession was public; it was a delusion rendered by the private conscience to the public conscience, distressing no doubt, but worthy of the remission of sin. Confession, like gambling, has gained nothing by secresy, and this monstrous clerical custom causes the most shameless and pernicious of immoralities to be, not only tolerated, but approved, consecrated, and paid for.
To be continued.
“In abolishing rent and interest, the last vestiges of old-time slavery, the Revolution abolishes at one stroke the sword of the executioner, the seal of the magistrate, the club of the policeman, the gunge of the exciseman, the erasing-knife of the department clerk, all those insignia of Politics, which young Liberty grinds beneath her heel.” — Proudhon.
The appearance in the editorial column of articles over other signatures than the editor’s initial indicates that the editor approves their central purpose and general tenor, though he does not hold himself responsible for every phrase or word. But the appearance in other parts of the paper of articles by the same or other writers by no means indicates that he disapproves them in any respect, such disposition of them being governed largely by motives of convenience.
A French View of Boston Anarchists.
The March number of the “Journal des Économistes,” a magazine appearing monthly at Paris and generally conceded to be the foremost economic periodical of the world, contained an article from the pen of one of its regular contributors, Sophie Raffalovich, on “The Boston Anarchists.” It was fourteen pages in length, and devoted almost entirely to a review of Liberty and its propaganda. Written from the standpoint of the laissez-faire economists by one who had really examined the Anarchistic movement before passing judgment on it, it was in the main a very fair representation, entirely devoid of malice, pervaded in part by a tone of raillery, but as often lavish of generous and hearty compliment, and, whether praising or laughing or condemning, preserved always a perfect good nature. I lay this stress upon the tone of the article, because it is a novelty for Anarchism to receive decent treatment from either the bourgeois or the State Socialistic press.
If Liberty were a journal of large dimensions, the whole article should be translated and reproduced in these columns. But unfortunately it is not; so the best that I can do is to recommend those who understand French to hunt up the magazine and read it for themselves.
About the only criticism calling for any notice was offered in the concluding paragraph of the article, which was as follows:
Progress consists, not in abolishing the state, as the Boston Anarchists repeat, but in clearly fixing the limits of its influence and in rendering its action more restricted and more effective: this is more difficult than to destroy.
Since Mlle. Raffalovich frequently called attention in her article to the fact that I have drawn largely upon Proudhon for my ideas, I need feel no hesitation about borrowing from him again in answer to her criticism, which reminds me very strongly of that which the economist Blanqui passed upon Proudhon’s “What is property?” In substance, he said to Proudhon: It is not property that we want to abolish, but the abuses of property. Proudhon thus answered him:
M. Blanqui acknowledges that property is abused in many harmful ways; I call property the sum of these abuses exclusively. To each of us property seems a polygon whose angles need knocking off; but, the operation performed, M. Blanqui maintains that the figure will still be a polygon, while I consider that this figure will be a circle.
Similarly, to Mlle. Raffalovich, who tells us that we must abolish, not the State, but its abuses, I reply: I call the State the sum of these abuses. Abolish the abuses, and you have left, not a State, but a voluntary association for the defence of persons and property. The figure, now that the angles are gone, is no longer a polygon, but a circle
By all means, “fix the limits of its influence.” That is just what the Anarchists are trying to do. And the limit they fix is the line which separates invasion from defence. If I understand them, the same limit is fixed, theroetically at least, by Mlle. Raffalovich and her editor-in-chief, M. de Molinari. Now, what difference does it make whether we define the State as an invasive institution and advocate its abolition, leaving only defensive institutions, or define it as a defensive institution and advocate the abolition of all the invasion that is now connected with it? Plainly a difference of words only. Now the serious blunder in Mlle. Raffalovich’s article is her mistaking this difference of words for a difference of ideas.
But with its many virtues, and despite this blunder, it has done Liberty a very useful service, the first fruit of which readers of this issue will enjoy. It called the attention of an eminent Italian economist, Signor Vilfredo Pareto, of Florence, to the American Anarchistic movement, and so interested in it did he become that he offered to furnish a series of Letters from Italy setting forth the situation of affairs in that country and its bearing upon the question of liberty. That offer I promptly accepted, and in this number appears the first of the series. If not thoroughly Anarchistic, the letters will at least have an Anarchistic tendency, and it is easy to see from the first one that they will give much valuable information. T.
Theory vs. Practice.
These are Charles A. Dana’s “celebrated” journalistic maxims:
First — Get the news and get all the news and nothing but the news.
Second — Copy nothing from another publication without complete credit.
Third — Never print an interview without the knowledge and consent of the party interviewed.
Fourth — Never print a paid advertisement as news matter. Let every advertisement appear as an advertisement — no sailing under false colors.
Fifth — Never attack the weak or the defenceless, either by argument, by invective, or by ridicule, unless there is some absolute public necessity for so doing.
Sixth — Fight for your opinions, but don’t believe they contain the whole truth or the only truth.
Seventh — Support your party, if you have one, but do not think all the good men are in it and all the bad ones outside of it.
Eighth — Above all, know and believe that humanity is advancing, and that there is progress in human life and human affairs, and that, as sure as God lives, the future will be greater and better than the present or the past.
Commonplace enough they seem and doubtless are,— in all respects save one: when, after assimilating the theory laid down by this expert for the guidance of the inexperienced, we turn to the practice of the same expert, as well as any and every other, we perceive that success depends precisely upon the extremely opposite policy. Can it be that Mr. Dana, who has achieved remarkable results by systematic violation of most of his own theoretical maxims, and their practical negation, meant to deliberately deceive his confiding listeners and start them on the road to ruin and failure? Or did they, like that hero of the great Russian satirist, Schedrin, who declared that the Ten Commandments are to be interpreted just the other way, understand that he counted upon his words being taken in a Pickwickian sense? Be this as it may, the “practical” maxims by which our great newspapers go are, “on the contrary, the reverse” of Mr. Dana’s maxims. The New York “World,” for instance, owes its fortune to the following rules, from which it never allows itself to deviate:
First — Print only such of the news, and in such a manner, as would serve your own purposes and lead to your own ascendancy.
Second — Try to outwit and discredit all other publications, and do not hesitate about practising deception and knavery to that end.
Third — Print all sorts of bogus interviews with admired public men, make them say just what you would have them say, and, if they dare to expose your villainy, silence them by abuse and vilification.
Fourth — Print nothing that advertisers are likely to regard as offensive; sacrifice everybody and everything to the interests of your advertising patronage,— no scruples about honesty and real merit.
Fifth — Never attack or displease the strong and the popular, however rascally you may know them to be. Always fight the under-dog; it is safe.
Sixth — Have no opinions of your own, but pretend, not only that you have them, but that nobody else has any worth considering.
Seventh — Be on the side of the party that has the best chances of winning, but claim that you are independent, and that all good men of all parties are with you, leaving none but criminals and their dupes on the outside of your line.
Eighth — Above all, know and remember that the dollar is getting more and more powerful, and that your progress is measured by the condition of your purse. God, humanity, truth, justice, are mere superstitions, and as sure as the almighty dollar reigns, the future, if you follow the above rules, will be greater and more comfortable than the present and the past.
Should anyone think me guilty of exaggeration, I will only recall to his memory the attitudes of our big dailies towards the Chicago Anarchists. Were Mr. Dana’s maxims applied in that case, or mine?
Our Two Communistic Institutions.
State Socialists generally admit that our present social order is to a considerable extent Communistic; they insist that everything that is good in it and worth retaining is more or less Communistic; and, as object and practical lessons of the beauty of their ideal system, they refer us to the government post-office and the public schools. They imagine that nothing more is necessary to completely “shut up” an individualist than to point silently to those two great institutions that speak more eloquently than any words in disparagement of private enterprise. I am sorry to see them so deluded, and ready to do much to save them from their ludicrous and awkward situation. For their enlightenment I reproduce the following from an editorial in the August number of the “Popular Science Monthly”:
It so happens that public attention and criticism have lately been directed to the public school system of our own highly-favored metropolis. And with what result? Why, that the system in question, which had often been lauded to the skies as a model of efficiency, as a shining example of what State authority, coupled with the taxing power, could effect, has been found wanting at almost every point, vitiated through and through by the methods of the politician, and half strangled in the bonds of routine. So great has been the dissatisfaction — we might almost say dismay — at the discovery, that we hear of the formation of a committee of citizens who propose to charge themselves with the duty of watching the action of our educational authorities, and, if possible, bring the working of the State machine into measurable accord with the reasonable demands of the community,— demands predicated upon a knowledge of the results which well-directed private enterprise is made to yield. So, then, we first of all arm the State with full power for all purposes of public education, and then, when the business falls (as it must fall) into the hands of the politicians, and these act according to their natural instincts, we organize volunteer committees to infuse a little of the breath of life, a little of the true spirit of science, into the unwieldy organization we have called into existence. We abandon private effort through a conviction [?] that it will not meet the case, will not educate fast enough, and then resort to it again in order to make the governmental machine move. Surely, under the circumstances, we are entitled to ask why private effort and enterprise should ever have been abandoned, why education should ever have been mixed up with politics at all. . . All is not for the best in the nominally and reputedly best possible system of education. Here, in New York, it has to a large extent broken down.
All this is neither fiction nor fancy, but hard fact. Equally disappointing is the following from George Gunton’s “Wealth and Progress” regarding that other great Socialistic institution, the post-office. Mr. Gunton doesn’t understand the labor question, but that does not disqualify him from occasionally expressing some sound opinions on the claims of Socialists.
The post-office department has not been a financial success,— that is to say, it has not been self-sustaining, and its deficiencies have had to be made up from time to time out of the general taxes. If any private enterprise was in that condition, instead of being called a great success, it would be regarded as bankrupt. But, it may be asked, could letters be sent across the continent for two cents by private enterprise? Certainly! Why not? What does the government do toward making it possible to send a letter three thousand miles for two cents? Nothing, positively nothing! All the government does . . . . is to collect, assort, stamp, and bag the outgoing and deliver the incoming letters, give out and receive money-orders, and render a correct account of the business done. All of this is purely clerical work, which, after being once systematized, is simple and even monotonous. . . . When the letter-bags leave the door of the post-office to start on their flying trip across the continent, they enter into the hands of private enterprise. It is the great railroads and steamship companies that make it possible for the letter to go three thousand miles for two cents. The cheap methods of travel and transportation which carry the mails are in no way due to State influence, but entirely to private enterprise. . . All the important work in the cheap and rapid transmission of the mails is due to the social development of the people under the impetus and control of private enterprise; and that portion of the mail service which is entirely in the hands of the State, unlike all private enterprises of a similar character, such as express companies, etc., is a complete monopoly, being entirely free from competition, and almost free from responsibility; at least so far as its relation to the individual is concerned. If I send a package through the United States mail, and it is lost, I have no redress, whereas, if I send it by any express company, they are responsible to me for the full value I set upon it when it is delivered to them. . . . There is nothing connected with the management of the post-office. . . to sustain the claim that State management. . . is necessarily superior or even equal to. . . private enterprise. Indeed, such a supposition is illogical and contrary to all known facts. . . . It is simply absurd. (pp. 222-224.)
Yes, it is simply absurd. If the Socialists are wise, they will let these two much-abused “illustrations” rest in the future, and seek support and comfort elsewhere.
A woman who writes a great deal better than she reasons contributes another article on marriage to the “Westminster Review.” After reviewing the modern revolt against marriage and paying deserved tribute to the ability and earnestness of the crusaders, Mrs. Chapman refuses her sympathy to those who would abolish the institution, and casts her vote with the party aiming at the “reform” of marriage. She would reform marriage by abolishing the inequality in the laws regarding property and the control of children, by revising the texts read during the religious ceremony and leaving out the expressions insulting to womanhood, and by basing union exclusively on affection. Well, this would not be so very bad for a beginning, and would not leave us without hope of better things from the writer; but the disappointment at the last paragraphs is too strong to be cheerfully borne. Mrs. Chapman not only wants the State to have a hand in our marriages, which is bad enough, but to insist upon their indissolubility, which is “a contradiction!” the reader will exclaim. “If marriage is to be based on affection, how can it be made indissoluble? Who can know the future?” Yes, reader, a contradiction, but I am no less astonished than you.
The different uses of the word “free” lead to many misunderstandings. For instance, a writer in the Denver “Arbitrator” gives the preference to free trade and free land over free money and free transportation on the ground that the former are “natural rights” while the latter are “privileges that can be conferred only by Society.” Here free money is evidently taken to mean the supply of money to the people free of cost by some external power. But it no more means that than free rum means the supply of rum free of cost. It means freedom to manufacture money and offer it in the market, and is a part of free trade itself. One may look upon free money and free trade as privileges, or as rights, or as simple equalities recognized by contract; that is a matter of ethics and politics. But whichever way one views them, he must view both alike, for economically they are the same in principle. There is no possible justification for calling one a right and the other a privilege, and giving a preference to one or the other on the basis of that distinction.
A writer in the Boston “Globe,” starting out with the principle that the “individual is the base of the social system,” and that “his freedom to live, move, and have his being as a free agent. . . is the foundation of all healthy social life,” somehow contrives to come to the conclusion that those who “affirm that the private function of corporations and combines is inalienable” “strike at the very fountain head of society.” This could hardly be improved upon even by that hero in Dostoievsky’s book who invariably reached conclusions flatly contradictory of his premises. Individuals have a right to compete, and individuals have a duty to compete. An individual has a right to fix his own prices, but he has no right to fix them as others do theirs.
The “Workmen’s Advocate” is unable to see that, in denying the possibility of wide difference of opinion among people united by a common and rightful claim to the name Socialist, it degrades Socialism from a catholic and comprehensive intellectual conception to a mere whimsical watchword of a wofully-ignorant-because-claiming-monopoly-of-truth clique. Every science admits of differences of opinion, and has numerous debatable points. One scientist may call another a mistaken fellow-laborer in his own field, without disputing his fellowship with himself. Luckily for Socialism, there are among its adherents and students far more logical and better informed people than those who so poorly advocate in the “Advocate.”
Blakely Hall, a newspaper correspondent, writing in the “Sun” about the scenes witnessed by him in the legislative halls of Germany, England, and America, sums up his impressions in one sentence: “Dignity seems to be incompatible with legislation.” Had he asked himself the reason why, he would probably have arrived at the true explanation of this incompatibility, which is found in the absence of sincerity and reason in the business of law-making.
I do not believe in the intrusion of private woes upon the public notice; I believe that, as a rule, the less we have to say about our losses and ordeals the better. And in this case I deviate from my practice simply because what I have to say will really, I feel, have some interest to the readers of Liberty.
On Tuesday, September 4, at 2.45 p.m., died, quietly as a child, one whose relation to my life and thought for the past decade has been constant and peculiarly close.
Maria Elizabeth Emerson (known to her friends as Bessie Emerson) was born in 1855 in Wakefield, Mass., being distantly connected with the family of R. W. Emerson. Her father died before her recollection, and her mother, also, when she was twelve years old, and her life has been one of strange vicissitude, hardship, and trial.
She joined the Baptist Church at the age of eleven, but became a doubter with the advent of womanhood, and progressively advanced till she became an agnostic of the atheistic wing and a radical Anarchist.
We were married May 10, 1879, in Beloit, Kansas, while both Liberal Christians.
Driven from Kansas by three years’ successive and intense drought, we wandered to Iowa, to Tennessee, and finally to Florida. When we came to Florida, she was for the first time thrown into the company of Spiritualists, and, to her great surprise, developed immediately into a “medium” of rare “gifts.” For a period of two years or more, she was in constant communication with what appeared and purported to be disembodied spirits. At all hours of the day and night they came to her like visiting neighbors, and in every phase from that of an unseen voice or a floating face to perfect forms as real to every sense as any on earth. She often spoke and wrote at their dictation, and occasionally was unconsciously controlled. Her visions of the scenery of the spirit land, and the symbols and allegorical tableaux she saw, were the most beautiful and wonderful I ever knew described. Some of this I wrote about at the time in a couple of articles in the “Freethinkers’ Magazine.” But, though her experience was so wonderful as to be convincing to many, including for a while even myself, her own scepticism never died out; and she finally became satisfied in a conviction, apparently supported by various tests, that the whole thing was a chimera, allied to dreams and somnambulism,— an “insanity,” as she emphatically termed it.
She was an invalid all through her girlhood, and possessed always a most frail physique; but, having studied hygiene under Doctors R. T. Trail and Ellen Beard Harman, during the years 1876 and 1877, she was enabled, by a judicious and modified adaptation of their strict regimen, to obtain a great increase of health and strength. For years she wore the reform dress privately, and much publicly. Yet she maintained her scepticism in everything, and made herself the slave of no theory, doctrine, or “ism,” even in radical reform. For the last four years, however, she suffered from a gradually increasing chronic disease of the stomach, liver, and bowels, which finally terminated fatally.
By instinct and temperament, perhaps derived from Puritan ancestry, she was a pessimist, feeling that life was something to be endured rather than enjoyed. This pessimism, meeting my equally predominant optimism, produced a very natural conflict and final fusion of ideas. She came to believe that life was worth living, and I to admit that all things did not work together for good, at least as far as individuals were concerned. For a number of years she strongly opposed what I called my Philosophy of Happiness; but finally, when a peculiar combination of circumstances had brought us to the lowest ebb of poverty, and she was stretched upon a bed of well-nigh fatal sickness, light broke in upon her mind, and she attributed all her subsequent happiness, which was considerable, to the truth of its main precepts.
Yet her searching criticism aided me to discover many weak points in that philosophy, which I must some day revise. Similarly with Anarchism: after combatting it for a year or two, she accepted it unqualifiedly; and it became to her as the religion of her life.
In intellect she was remarkably logical and critical, as acute as she was modest, striking for the weak point, whenever she could be persuaded to make comment, with a swift and certain intuition that was little short of marvellous. Hundreds of times has her assistance in this particular been invaluable to me.
Her private character was most lovely. Her low, sweet, clear voice, her light, soft touch, and her girlish petite figure, made her seem the incarnation of gentleness; her mother love was an absorbing passion; and whatever may have been thought of her theories and actions in accordance therewith, the mythical Jesus could not have been more pure and irreproachable in every thought and motive.
She was industrious to a fault, and altruistic to a degree that was simply a vice, for she undoubtedly lessened her health and happiness by her constant and self-sacrificing ministrations to others.
The respect, love, and confidence between us were almost ideal. More perfectly than any other couple I ever saw, we actualized the poet’s dream of
Two souls with but a single thought,
Two hearts that beat as one.
Communistic marriage received in us its fullest and most complete realization. There were absolutely no secrets between us, and no quarrels. Yet (and this is of peculiar import to Anarchists) we both came to deeply deplore this fusion. We felt that we were mutually shaded and dwarfed. It seemed to me that, if she expressed a wish or dislike, I no longer had full possession of my impartial intellect, but was impelled, well-nigh compelled, to desire and dislike with her, and the sadness of her spirit was always upon me like a shadow, struggle against it as I might. On her part, she declared that she was swallowed up and smothered in my individuality; that she had no ideas or beliefs of her own; that she was simply a reflection and a follower. And she longed to know what she might become could she grow and develop according to the inherent tendencies of her own life.
Therefore, with no less love, but with increased tenderness and respect, we were earnestly planning, during the last years and months of her life, ways and means to enable us to lead more separate and normal lives. I will mention here that, soon after she became an Anarchist, as a significant and preliminary step in the assertion of her individuality, she resumed, publicly, her maiden name.
After a brief and painless illness in which all medical skill was powerless (after exhausting my own resources in hygienic medication without result, I employed the best physicians of Palatka), she died and was buried, as she had lived, without fear or superstition, without prayer or priest, without symbols or trappings of woe.
May I be pardoned if I subjoin one of the many little poems I have at different times addressed to her, this one bearing date July, 1887.
My Lady Gentle Wonderful.
Gentle-wonderful is my fair,
My sweet dark love with the unnamed charm,
With the clinging cloud of dusky hair,
Deep welling eyes of tender care,
And magnet arm.
Gentle-wonderful is her touch,
The silk-soft thrill of her little hand,
O who can tell why its spell is such!
Or tell at all why it means so much,
Simple yet grand.
Gentle-wonderful is her voice —
I have in any store no figure fit;
I can but tell that it fixt my choice;
I can but say that the winds rejoice
To carry it.
J. Wm. Lloyd.
Apropos of Trusts, Strikes, and Boycotts.
There cannot be liberty in trading without liberty not to trade, or liberty in selling without liberty not to sell, or liberty in employment without liberty to refuse to be employed.
Letters from Italy.
Florence, Italy, August 1, 1888.
To the Editor of Liberty:
In viewing different peoples we generally are struck more forcibly by their points of difference than by their points of resemblance; perhaps that is the reason why we do not attribute to the comparative study of their institutions all the importance to which it is entitled. Yet civilized peoples present many more points of resemblance than is generally supposed; attentive study shows that the same causes generally produce in them effects which differ extremely little, and that accordingly the experience of one people may always be of service to another, if the other understands how to profit thereby.
I think, therefore, that it may be interesting to Americans to call their attention to the social facts of Europe; in them they will find but very little, and perhaps nothing, to imitate, but they will see the evils that have been produced in Europe by pernicious tendencies, which America has thus far been wise enough to shun, at least in part.
Of the two forms in which the spirit of protection clothes itself, economic protection and military organization, the first extends its evil influence over the United States of America and over Europe, England, however, excepted; the second formerly weighed heavily upon England also, but now makes its influence specially felt upon the peoples of the European continent.
Herbert Spencer, after the war of 1870, predicted this revival of the spirit of protection; he described the manner in which the phenomenon would present itself, and his predictions have been realized with remarkable precision. This not only does honor to his perspicacity, but demonstrates also that sociology deserves to take rank among the sciences really worthy of the name; that it does not limit itself to the simple description of phenomena, but is able also to foresee them.
This theory which associates economic protection with the military organization of a nation now receives fresh confirmation in the movement for a reduction of customs duties which, after a long period of peace, is now taking place in the United States, whereas a contrary movement is going on in Europe under the influence of ever-increasing armaments.
Those who have proposed to employ the surplus accumulating in the United States treasury in strengthening coast defences had a very clear perception of the most effective way of defending customs duties. American workingmen may be sure that, if the movement to induce the United States to adopt, like Europe, the policy first of armaments and then of wars should be successful, their wages would soon be reduced, in spite of the immense resources of their territory, to a level with those of European workingmen. Mr. Henry George has made it perfectly evident that it is not to protection that the American workingman owes his higher wages, but rather to the fact that he produces more and better goods and under more favorable conditions than the European workingman. These conditions are not only those of soil and climate, but rather, again, those economic and social conditions by virtue of which the European workingman must support by his labor a mass of idlers who practise the manual of arms, and pay for immense armaments, whereas the American workingman escapes these burdens.
Since the days of the Greeks and Romans war has ceased to be of economic utility to the victors; it no longer even pays its expenses; as M. de Molinari has very well shown in his “Economic Morality,” it is now the most costly luxury in which a people can indulge. Therefore the persistence among European peoples of the tendency to devote themselves to war might give ground for great surprise, if it should not be remembered that its evils do not weigh equally upon all social classes; that the well-to-do classes may reap from war, if not economic advantages, at least an increase of power, and in any case are able to pay for the luxury.
When what are called the upper classes of society have grown rich in part by extortions, monopolies, and protective tariffs, they like to make a show of military glory; they must have laurels to worthily crown their festivities. They are very well aware, moreover, that they, the shrewd and powerful, are not the ones who will have to pay for them, but that, on the contrary, they perhaps will be furnished thereby with some new pretext for further extortion from their fellow-citizens.
Such is the explanation of the Italian expedition to Massowah. On the other side of the Atlantic the Italian people must be looked upon as tinctured with insanity for having already expended more than a hundred millions to gain a foothold on an inhospitable corner of the earth, where drinking-water is so utterly lacking that they have had to expend more than a million in apparatus for the distillation of sea-water, and where, in short, a climate prevails which is fatal to the European. But no; the Italian people have quite as much common sense as any other people; only they suffer themselves to be deceived as easily as other peoples. It needs but to inflate the voice and ring out high and loud the grand phrases, “national honor,” “expansion of the Italian race,” and the like, and the people suffer themselves to be caught with such bait, not too careful to go to the bottom of things and see what adulterated merchandise is hidden beneath this beautiful flag. As Italy has the Massowah adventure, so France has those of Tonkin and Tunis; from the standpoint of the interest of the peoples these are on a par, although from the standpoint of immorality that of Tunis unquestionably carries off the palm.
It is always very difficult to determine exactly how far a politician has sacrificed the interests of his country to his own interests; often he even believes that he is acting for the interest of his country while taking advantage of the circumstances to increase his fortune or his power. But it is a well-known fact in France that the politicians who planned and executed the Tunis expedition enriched themselves and their supporters. When the annexation of Tunis had been decided upon, and before the public knew anything about it, it was observed that the bankers who were in the confidence of the men in power were buying Tunis bonds in large quantities to the great astonishment of the unsuspecting, who did not understand this speculation at all. These facts are indisputable, as is this other fact that some persons who had little or nothing before the Tunis affair found themselves rich after it.
It is much more difficult to arrive at any conclusion regarding the malversations to which, the Tonkin affair may have given rise, the facts cited being much less numerous. In general, in such investigations as these, which the public must conduct on its own account, for the guilty are almost never brought before the courts, facts that are too specific should be distrusted; general facts are of the most importance. If some persons then taking part in the politics of France found themselves richer after than before the Tonkin expedition, that of itself does not prove that this increase of wealth came to them directly from that expedition. But when an entire class of persons speculate in Tunis bonds and make enormous profits on them, and when it is found that these persons are precisely the friends and supporters of the politicians who made the speculation successful by effecting the annexation of Tunis, it becomes extremely probable that there was a previous understanding.
It may be said, to excuse at least in part the French politicians responsible for the Tunis expedition, that they did not believe that, in looking out for their individual interests, they were doing their country as much harm as they really were doing. Even now we hear perfectly honorable and sincere men maintain that France should think no more about Alsace and Lorraine, but should become reconciled with Germany and dream only of establishing; a colonial empire. This opinion may be as good as another, but before adopting it a politician in power should make sure that his country will follow him. It may be very well to attack other powers after having established harmony with Germany, but it is also necessary to be sure that the country is disposed to maintain this harmony; otherwise the nation will find itself on bad terms with the other powers and on bad terms with Germany also, which is far from being an advantageous situation. That is what has happened in France; she has alienated England by her Egyptian policy, and she has made of Italy an irreconcilable enemy by the Tunis expedition. It is this that has decided Italy to unite with Germany and Austria to form that triple alliance which now, like the Holy Alliance after 1815, weighs-upon the peoples and is directed partly against liberal ideas. Among the European powers France has no longer a single friend; to such a point has M. Ferry’s party brought her that she is reduced to beg the support of Russia, whose czar can scarcely feel sympathy for a republic, and which responds to the advances of France only with a disdainful silence.
When we say “Italy,” as when we say “France” or any other country, we make use of an expression sanctioned by usage, but none the less inexact. We suppose, by a legal fiction, that the acts of parliamentary governments are in perfect accord with the conscious opinion of the majority of the people. Now, generally, this is not the case. Shrewd governments know perfectly well how to create an artificial opinion; and, partially through indifference, partially through ignorance, the people are seldom conscious of the end toward which their government is leading them. If a direct appeal should be taken to the Italian people on this question: “Do you wish war with France, yes or no?” a very large majority certainly would answer, “No!” And yet this same majority suffers itself to be guided by its government in a path which, if not abandoned in time, has no other issue than such a war.
This phenomenon deserves careful examination.
In the first place, it is well to guard against being led astray by the names which parties take. The American who should form his judgment of European parties from the names Liberal or Conservative which they assume would make an error comparable to that of the European who should base his estimate of American parties upon a literal interpretation of the names Republican and Democrat, and who should imagine that the Democrats want to destroy republican government in the United States and that the Republicans want to establish there an oligarchical regime. The natural history of parties is yet to be written; it is an interesting subject, and I shall return to it in a later letter; now I shall dwell upon it no farther than is necessary to my subject.
For my present purpose we may divide parties into two classes,— those who want government of the people by the people, and those who, on the contrary, want the people governed by a directing class. The first category includes, in Italy, the parties calling themselves Democratic; the second, those called Moderate and Conservative. No distinction can be established between parties in Italy by means of the name Liberal, for all claim this qualification, even the most authoritarian. It is useless to debate about words; let us deal only with facts.
The Italian Democrats are naturally drawn towards the two great modern republics, the United States and France, especially the latter, with which they are better acquainted. The Moderates and the Conservatives view them with distrust, and, as educated men are more numerous in their ranks than in those of the Democrats, they understand better the United States, and, being conscious of that nation’s present power and foreseeing that it will be still greater in the future, they fear the influence of its institutions as much as that of the institutions of France, and even more. Here is a typical fact bearing upon this point. An Italian statesman, and a very distinguished one, Signor Marco Minghetti, now deceased, gave an address a few years ago at Bologna, in which he compared the republic of the United States to the Italian monarchy, naturally reaching the conclusion that the latter is immensely superior.
Some thinkers, to be sure, point out that these questions of the form of government are at bottom of no moment; that, for instance, the government of England is actually that of a republic with an hereditary chief, and that, if tomorrow a president chosen for a certain number of years should be substituted for the queen, there would be little or no change in England. But the question at issue between the Italian Democrats and Moderates is not a question of the form of government, but rather of institutions. It is not so much the republican form of government in the United States and France that excites the antipathy of the Italian Moderates, but rather the democratic institutions of those two countries. Germany, on the contrary, attracts them. They not only see in her one of the most powerful representatives in Europe of the monarchical principle so dear to them as long as it serves their interests, but also in the alliance with Germany they see a means of maintaining themselves in power. In relation to this subject we must include among the Moderates a party of men belonging to the parliamentary Left, who, now that they are in power, follow the same paths that were followed by the old Right and are even more authoritarian. On the other hand we must except those men of the Moderate party who, having been in political life in 1859, when France contributed to the establishment of Italian independence, have preserved a feeling of sympathy for that country. These men are few in number and have no great influence at present.
It was under the only Democratic ministry that Italy has had — that of Signor Cairoli — that the Tunisian events took place, and their first effect was the fall of that ministry. The Democratic parties, which were far from strong, were literally crushed. The Moderates, including under that name a great part of the Left, inscribed upon their programme alliance with Germany, and succeeded in persuading the country that they alone could save the national independence, threatened, as they said, by France. There might be some truth in this if M. Ferry’s party were to be returned to power in France; in that case, if at the same time there should be a Democratic ministry in Italy, it is evident that Germany would try to repeat the trick which succeeded so well in relation to Tunis, in order to again overthrow the Democratic ministry in Italy and with the same stroke definitively embroil France and Italy. One must really shut his eyes to the evidence not to see that the interest of Germany is to create as many enemies to France as possible. But now the Radicals are in power in France, and all the recent elections have confirmed the defeat of the Ferry party. Therefore the danger of which our statesmen seem to stand so much in fear has no existence; in endeavoring to escape an imaginary peril, they create another which is only too real, by exciting feelings of mistrust and hatred between the two countries. Things have now got to such a point that, wherever Italians and Frenchmen find themselves in contact, especially at the frontier, most deplorable incidents frequently occur. And when there are none such, they invent them. One day the Piedmontese journals announced that a post of Alpine militia had been massacred by the French; it is needless to add that this was pure fancy. Another day the captain of an Italian steamer declared, on reaching Genoa, that the French fleet had fired twice at his vessel with cannon loaded with ball! The newspapers talked of nothing else; a cry went up for prompt and energetic action. Investigation proved that the attack on the Italian vessel existed only in the imagination of this brave captain. His vessel had simply passed within a short distance of the French fleet, which was engaged in practice firing! The Italian government, therefore, had no occasion to ask explanations from the French government, nor had the latter occasion to give any, since the fact had no existence.
On the other hand we have the french consul at Florence taking the singular notion into his head that he will not recognize the laws and judicial powers of the country in which he is residing. He laughs at the orders of the Pretore (a sort of Italian justice of the peace) regarding the estate of a Tunisian subject who died at Florence. Thereupon the Pretore becomes nettled; without referring the matter to his government, he repairs to the French consulate, backed by the officers of the law and reinforced by a lawyer, and forcibly places seals upon the documents relating to the estate.
The French government protests against the violation of its consulate, contrary to the law of nations; the Italian government replies contemptuously; at last, either because Germany, which, as it appears, was not yet ready for war, counselled moderation, or for some other reason, they came to an understanding and a mutual recognition of the fact that it was possible for the French and the Italian governments respectively to be served by people possessed of a little more moderation and common sense than had been shown on this occasion by the French consul and the Pretore of Florence.
But in the meantime a great piece of news had spread throughout Italy. It was whispered in the people’s ears before the newspapers spoke of it. It appeared that the French fleet gathered at Marseilles and Toulon was in readiness to station itself before La Spezia to destroy that Italian arsenal and land a body of troops on that section of territory. Fortunately the Italian government was watchful, and the danger has been averted.
It is impossible to imagine anything more absurd and senseless than this idea of aggression attributed to the French government. From the military standpoint, to attempt to land troops at La Spezia would be, under existing circumstances, a ridiculous and stupid enterprise; from the political standpoint, the French government knew perfectly well that to attack Italy was to go to war with Germany; and how could any one imagine that it would thus suddenly determine upon so grave a step, whereas it had so far used all its efforts to avoid even the slightest subject of dispute with Germany, and knew perfectly well that the French people were absolutely opposed to war?
Yet people are found to lend credence to such insanities; and passion and interest can so bewilder the minds of men that even today there are persons who believe that France actually entertained the intention of landing troops at La Spezia!
It is useless to continue this review of incidents, in which the comic mingles with the contemptible; to relate the incredible statements of an English admiral, who felt it necessary to go to the authorities of the city of Genoa to confide to them that he had come with his fleet to defend Italy against France; to add also the absurd comments occasioned by the meeting at Barcelona of the fleets of France, Italy, and other countries; and to conclude with the last incident that happened on the frontier, where, it appears, a French customs official indulged in a few jokes regarding a portrait of King Humbert, which gave rise to grave diplomatic complaints.
From all these facts a single conclusion follows,— that the relations between France and Italy are strained to an extreme degree, and that the two peoples are excited against each other without any foundation of really serious motives therefor.
This state of things has its primary cause in the doings of the men of the Ferry party in France, and is now perpetuated by the conduct of the party in power in Italy.
With the men of the Ferry party the hostility of France to Italy has not been an end sought, but simply a consequence — to which their egoism rendered them indifferent — of their general politics and their speculations in connection with Tunis and Tonkin. On the other hand, the Italian authoritarians and moderates perhaps would not have created this hostility deliberately, but, finding it in existence, they have seen how they could further their own interests by it, and so have developed it and are using it as an instrument to distract the people’s attention from social and economic questions by shaking in their faces the bugbear of threatened national independence, in order to enjoy the benefits of an ever-increasing protective tariff, prevent too close an examination of their acts, which perhaps it would be impossible to fully justify, and, in short, assure and extend their power.
Of course it should be insisted here that on both sides there are men who in perfect good faith think that they are doing their country service. Similarly in all ruling classes we find persons who honestly believe that their privileges and the rule of their class is for the general good. But this circumstance in no wise justifies this rule; we must only conclude therefrom that we should be very indulgent towards men while remaining inexorable regarding principles.
Let us now ask ourselves what is the attitude of the Democratic parties in France and Italy upon the subject of the relations of those two countries.
To this question no simple reply can be given; upon this point the Democrats are much more divided than the authoritarians or moderates. This is to some extent the case on all questions, principally because of the discipline and skill possessed by the moderates in a higher degree than by our Democratic parties, which is the real and fundamental cause of their maintenance in power. But then, in this special case, there are accidental causes which conspire to increase the cohesion of the former and diminish that of the latter.
In the religious question is to be found the reason why the men of the extreme French Right hate Italy, which has occupied Rome and remains there in spite of the pope. Consequently, when relations with Italy are in question, we see the most touching accord between such a prelate as Monseigneur Freppel and the most Voltairean of the Opportunists of the Ferry party.
Again, the question of foreign workmen excites the aversion of a part of the French Socialists against the Italians, and similarly the competition of the products of French manufactures provokes antipathy to France on the part of the Italian Socialistic workmen.
The economic conditions of the French people being much above those of the Italian people, Italian workmen are going to France in large numbers in search of work. As is very natural, the French workmen are not at all satisfied with this invasion of competitors who come to lower their wages, and the Socialists would like to have the State undertake to repel it, as it has already undertaken to repel the invasion of Italian cattle, which come to lower the prices at which French proprietors are able to sell their live-stock. At bottom, admitting the spirit of protection which now prevails in Europe, this is perfectly logical. If the French market ought to be reserved for the products of French industry and agriculture, one does not see why it should not likewise be reserved for the labor of French workmen, and it is difficult to conceive of arguments valid in the first case which are not applicable to the second. The French custom-house which prevents the entrance of Italian beef because it costs less than French beef ought, by the same logic, to prevent the entrance of the Italian workman who offers his labor at a lower rate than that demanded by the French workman.
On the other hand, the Italian Socialists, starting from the principle that the State should guarantee labor to workmen, imagine that this object can be attained, at least in part, by preventing the entrance of foreign products, and the antipathy which they feel for the competition of the products of French manufactures extends to France itself.
Of course neither in France nor in Italy do the mass of the people go through all this reasoning. The are under the reflex influence of external facts in their simplest expression; and, without reasoning more than the animal who bites the stick that strikes it, French workmen blame their Italian competitors just as Italian workmen blame the French manufacturers. In Germany there are very intelligent people among the Socialists, but in France, and still more in Italy, they occupy the lowest rounds of the intellectual ladder. It is years since a single book has been published in Italy discussing the Socialistic doctrine, and in France the speeches made at certain public meetings would seem impossible of utterance by any but lunatics.
There was a project on foot for a great meeting at Marseilles to affirm the solidarity of French and Italian democracy, but the hostile attitude of a part of the Marseilles workmen defeated the purpose of this project. Influenced by the threats of disorder which were made, the deputies of the Italian Extreme Left abandoned their intention of going to Marseilles, and this meeting, which might have had the happiest influence upon the relations of the two countries, ended in ridiculous declamations.
Both in France and Italy the Radicals are intellectually superior to the Socialists. A number of them understand perfectly that the hostility between the two countries can only injure the cause of liberty, and are devoting all their efforts to the restoration of harmony between the two nations.
One of the best and most widely circulated of Italian journals, the Milan “Secolo,” is engaged in this noble work. It is very unfortunate that in France there is not a journal as widely circulated as the “Secolo” to aid these efforts, for such might serve to clear up many misunderstandings.
The leader of the Italian Radicals, Signor Cavallotti, in a letter which has been made public, has very clearly pointed out to the French Radicals that it is indispensable that they too should do something to second the action of their friends in Italy.
Signor Cavallotti is a very distinguished literary man, even his political opponents do homage to his character, and in one of the last sessions of the chamber of deputies Signor Rudini, a deputy of the Right, said of him that he was the Bayard of Italian democracy.
His radicalism is political rather than economic, which, in the present state of minds in Italy, is a virtue rather than a fault in a Radical leader; economic questions unfortunately are not yet sufficiently studied in Italy to make it possible to form parties upon them. The consequence of this state of things is that the Italian Radicals are drawn to France simply through sympathy with its form of government, most of them having no clear conception of the connection between the spirit of protection and the military spirit; and, classic reminiscences aiding, there are still men who dream of an Italian republic based, like the Roman republic, on war and conquest.
A sign of this state of minds was seen in the discussions which took place in the chamber of deputies over this unfortunate Massowah expedition. A few Socialists alone among the deputies had the courage to vote for a recall of the troops, whereas several deputies who call themselves Radicals, while condemning this expedition, believed, through a false national pride, that the honor of the Italian flag had been engaged at Massowah, and that hence it was necessary to remain in that country.
Thus, in the present condition of Europe, this question of military influence is decisive. Those who wish to make their country a conquering power must content themselves with the small amount of liberty which Germany enjoys, that being the maximum, not the minimum, compatible with the military state. If Italy desires to be a great military power, conquer a portion of Africa, and divide Turkey with Austria and Russia, the path that her government is now following is not really blamable, and the Radicals, should they arrive at power, could scarcely follow any other. Under these circumstances their opposition must be a question of persons, not of systems. The real opposition of system is that of those who believe that the happiness of a people does not consist in conquests, but in liberty, justice, and economic well-being.
A Word of Explanation.
In the comments appended to my last article, the editor accuses me of violating a voluntarily-entered agreement. I feel called upon to answer to this charge. It is true that the proposal, in the exact form in which it is stated by Mr. Tucker, emanated from me, and with the purpose of saving space. But I never regarded the part of the contract relating to number and method of the statements as essential. Zelm, in accepting my proposal, simply expressed her approval of my reasons, adding no others of her own, so that her aversion to controversy was entirely unknown to me. The perusal of her manuscript had made it clear to me that my plan was utterly impracticable, as, indeed, I would have known in the first place, had I been aware of the many differences that existed in our opinions on the subject under discussion. When, after some hesitation, I decided to submit my article for publication without revision, contenting myself with the announcement of my intention to return to the question, I took care to apprise Zelm of my change of plans by sending her the proofs of my article. If she had not read them, and so remained to the last under the impression that the original contract was being carried out, that was not my fault, surely, but her own. Had I attached more importance to the matter, I should have taken a more direct and certain way of informing her of the change; as it was, not having had the slightest suspicion that “she would not have entered into the arrangement on any other terms” than those agreed upon originally, I thought I had done all that was necessary in sending her the proofs. If, on the other hand, she had read them, why did she not protest against my proceedings then and there? Had she done so, I either would have withdrawn my article altogether, or else I should have tried to devise some new arrangement equally satisfactory to both.
However, though I feel that I am deserving of no reproach, I am sorry that the misunderstanding has occurred, and regret that Zelm should deem it sufficient cause to withdraw from the discussion. There are some points in my last well worth her attention. But I must leave it for the intelligent reader to judge of the strength of my exceptions to Zelm’s reasoning, cautioning him not to let himself be unduly influenced by Mr. Tucker’s dogmatic assertion of my imbecility, but keep in mind that the complete identity of his views on the subject with those of Zelm raises a reasonable doubt of his qualification to sit as a wholly impartial juror or absolutely just judge to the benefit of which I am fairly entitled.
[If “the part of the contract relating to number and method of the statements” had not been essential, there would have been no occasion for the contract. No contract is necessary for the inauguration of a controversy on the usual plan. Zelm, having entered into the contract, supposed it to be essential, and, in the absence of a definite announcement from Victor that he had abandoned it, construed his intimation that he should return to the discussion of certain points to mean that he intended to elaborate them in the subsequent controversy with critics which was looked upon as almost sure to arise. Zelm “withdraws” from no discussion with Victor, for the very good reason that she has been in no discussion with him. She abides by her agreement with Victor, which was that, when each had published an article, there should be no further interchange of criticism between them. It certainly was no intention of mine to ask readers to decide upon their articles otherwise than by their respective merits. Nor did I make any assertion of Victor’s imbecility. I simply offered my verdict, without argument, in favor of Zelm’s position, as an offset to the cheerful serenity of the assumption manifest throughout Victor’s final article that after it it was utterly out of the question that any intelligent person (under which head I hope to be included) should doubt the validity of his conclusions. And I submit that the fact that I have views of my own does not disqualify me for jury duty. No man is a competent juror in a question of this kind unless he has done a great deal of thinking upon it, and it is rarely possible to think long without entertaining more or less positive leanings in one direction or another. The impartiality of a juror depends, not upon his views or absence of views, but upon his native fairness. — Editor Liberty.]
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.