“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.
“Actions springing from good qualities, but done in disregard of primary and moral commands, may increase the sum total of unhappiness instead of happiness.” The “Alarm,” in quoting the foregoing from Auberon Herbert, heads it a “A Hint to Egoists.” It should have been headed “A Hint to Fools.” The statement is one that no egoist ever dreamed of questioning, provided the phrase “primary and moral commands” be interpreted in the sense of fundamental social laws, which is Mr. Herbert’s evident meaning.
When the executive committee which had in charge the recent services in memory of the Chicago martyrs held its first meeting after those services, it was found that there was a balance of thirty-two dollars in the treasury after paying all bills. There were four State Socialists and one Anarchist present. One of the State Socialists, embarrassed by the possession of so much wealth, moved that five dollars of it be given to another State Socialist, a member of the committee, who had rendered services in the decoration of the hall. The motion was carried by the votes of the four State Socialists, regardless of the fact that the others who had contributed time and money did so supposing that they were cooperating with fellow-workers in a pure labor of love. The single Anarchist, either remiss in his duty or rendered hopeless by the majority against him, neither voted nor made protest. This is only a straw, but it indicates that, when the State Socialists get control of the public treasury, as they desire, there will be no further difficulty about the reduction of the surplus.
The New York “Alarm” attempts to be satirical concerning the stuff of which “Boston Anarchists” are made by charging, in an editorial, that a former writer for Liberty, whom it describes as “a howling Anarchist before the Haymarket riots” and thereafter a silent one from motives of cowardice, has recently abandoned a prominent position on a Democratic daily to accept the principal editorship of a “millionaire Republican” daily. It is correct that the gentleman in question has left one capitalistic paper to serve another, but it is false that he was ever “a howling Anarchist” or that the Haymarket riots had any effect whatever upon his opinions or his conduct. To appreciate the “Alarm’s” editorial it is necessary to know its authorship and “true inwardness.” I am convinced, both by the article itself and by circumstances that have come to my knowledge in connection with its appearance, that it was written, suggested, or inspired by a man who has not only declined at times, for bread-and-butter reasons, to do a needed service for the Anarchistic cause, but applied a very short time ago to the journalist whom he now attacks for a position under him on the “millionaire Republican” daily, and was refused. Hence these tears.
Incurable by the State.
[Rouxel in the Journal des Economistes.]
There is inequality in nature, but it is a moderate, orderly inequality; excessive inequality, great poverty by the side of extreme wealth, is the work of the State. It is only in its shadow that, flying the flag of solidarity, the egoism of some fails to be checked by that of others. How, then, is it possible for the State to remedy this wrong?
Read on November 14, 1888, at the unveiling of the monument erected on Boston Common to the memory of Crispus Attucks, the mulatto slave, and his four comrades, Samuel Gray, Jonas Caldwell, Samuel Maverick, and Patrick Carr, the victims of the Boston Massacre of March 5, 1770, the first act in the drama of the American Revolution.
Where shall we seek for a hero, and where shall we find a story?
Our laurels are wreathed for conquest, our songs for completed glory;
But we honor a shrine unfinished, a column uncapped with pride,
If we sing the deed that was sown like seed when Crispus Attucks died.
Shall we take for a sign this negro slave with unfamiliar name —
With his poor companions, nameless too, till their lives leaped forth in flame?
Yea, surely, the verdict is not for us to render or deny;
We can only interpret the symbol; God chose these men to die —
As teachers, perhaps, that to humble lives may chief award be made;
That from lowly ones, and rejected stones, the temple’s base is laid!
When the bullets leaped from the British guns, no chance decreed their aim;
Men see what the royal hirelings saw — a multitude and a flame;
But beyond the flame, a mystery; five dying men in the street,
While the streams of severed races in the well of a nation meet!
Oh, blood of the people! changeless tide, through century, creed, and race!
Still one as the sweet salt sea is one, though tempered by sun and place;
The same in the ocean currents and the same in the sheltered seas;
Forever the fountain of common hopes and kindly sympathies;
Indian and Negro, Saxon and Celt, Teuton and Latin and Gaul —
Mere surface shadow and sunshine, while the sounding unifies all!
One love, one hope, one duty theirs! No matter the time or ken,
There never was separate heart-beat in all the races of men!
But alien is one — of class, not race — he has drawn the line for himself;
His roots drink life from inhuman soil, from garbage of pomp and pelf;
He times his heart from the common beat, he has changed his life-stream’s hue;
He deems his flesh to be finer flesh, he boasts that his blood is blue:
Patrician, aristocrat, tory — whatever his age or name.
To the people’s rights and liberties, a traitor ever the same.
The natural crowd is a mob to him, their prayer a vulgar rhyme;
The freeman’s speech is sedition, and the patriot’s deed a crime;
Wherever the race, the law, the land — whatever the time or throne,
The tory is always a traitor to every class but his own.
Thank God for a land where pride is clipped, where arrogance stalks apart;
Where law and song and loathing of wrong are words of the common heart;
Where the masses honor straightforward strength, and know, when veins are bled,
That the bluest blood is putrid blood — that the people’s blood is red!
And honor to Crispus Attucks, who was leader and voice that day;
The first to defy, and the first to die, with Maverick, Carr, and Gray.
Call it riot or revolution, his hand first clenched at the crown;
His feet were the first in perilous place to pull the king’s flag down;
His breast was the first one rent apart that liberty’s stream might flow;
For our freedom now and forever, his head was the first laid low.
Call it riot or revolution, or mob or crowd, as you may,
Such deaths have been seed of nations, such lives shall be honored for aye.
They were lawless hinds to the lackeys — but martyrs to Paul Revere;
And Otis and Hancock and Warren read spirit and meaning clear.
Ye teachers, answer: what shall be done when just men stand in the dock;
When the caitiff is robed in ermine, and his sworders keep the lock;
When torture is robbed of clemency, and guilt is without remorse;
When tiger and panther are gentler than the Christian slaver’s curse;
When law is a satrap’s menace, and order the drill of a horde —
Shall the people kneel to be trampled, and bare their neck to the sword?
Not so! by this stone of Resistance that Boston raises here!
By the Old North Church’s lanterns, and the watching of Paul Revere!
Not so! by Paris of ’Ninety-Three, and Ulster of ’Ninety-Eight!
By Toussaint in St. Domingo! by the horror of Delhi’s gate!
By Adams’s word to Hutchinson! by the tea that is brewing still!
By the farmers that met the soldiers at Concord and Bunker Hill!
Not so! not so! Till the world is done, the shadow of wrong is dread;
The crowd that bends to a lord today, tomorrow shall strike him dead.
There is only one thing changeless: the earth steals from under our feet.
The times and manners are passing moods, and the laws are incomplete;
There is only one thing changes not, one word that still survives —
The slave is the wretch who wields the lash, and not the man in gyves!
There is only one test of contract: is it willing, is it good?
There is only one guard to equal right, the unity of blood;
There is never a mind unchained and true that class or race allows;
There is never a law to be obeyed that reason disavows;
There is never a legal sin but grows to the law’s disaster,
The master shall drop the whip, and the slave shall enslave the master.
O, Planter of seed in thought and deed! has the year of right revolved,
And brought the negro patriot’s cause with its problem to be solved?
His blood streamed first for the building, and through all the century’s years,
Our growth of story and fame of glory are mixed with his blood and tears.
He lived with men like a soul condemned — derided, defamed, and mute;
Debased to the brutal level, and instructed to be a brute;
His virtue was shorn of benefit, his industry of reward;
His love! — O men, it were mercy to have cut affection’s cord;
Through the night of his woe, no pity save that of his fellow-slave;
For the wage of his priceless labor the scourging block and the grave!
And now, is the tree to blossom? Is the bowl of agony filled?
Shall the price be paid, and the honor said, and the word of outrage stilled?
And we who have toiled for freedom’s law, have we sought for freedom’s soul?
Have we learned at last that human right is not a part, but the whole?
That nothing is told while the clinging sin remains part unconfessed?
That the health of the nation is perilled if one man lie oppressed?
Has he learned — the slave from the rice swamps whose children were sold — has he
With broken chains on his limbs, and the cry in his blood, “I am free!”
Has he learned through affliction’s teaching what our Crispus Attucks knew —
When right is stricken the white and black are counted as one, not two?
Has he learned that his century of grief was worth a thousand years
In blending his life and blood with ours, and that all his toils and tears
Were heaped and poured on him suddenly, to give him a right to stand
From the gloom of African forests, in the blaze of the freest land?
That his hundred years have earned for him a place in the human van
Which others have fought for and thought for since the world of wrong began?
For this, shall his vengeance change to love, and his retribution burn,
Defending the right, the weak, and the poor, when each shall have his turn;
For this, shall he set his woful past afloat on the stream of night;
For this, he forgets as we all forget when darkness turns to light;
For this, he forgives as we all forgive when wrong has changed to right.
And so must we come to the learning of Boston’s lesson today;
The moral that Crispus Attucks taught in the old heroic way;
God made mankind to be one in blood, as one in spirit and thought;
And so great a boon, by a brave man’s death, is never dearly bought!
John Boyle O’Reilly.
The Rag-Picker of Paris.
By Felix Pyat.
Translated from the French by Benj. B. Tucker.
Continued from No. 137.
Frontin in turn swallowed an ice and offered one to Marie, who refused.
“Well, my beauty,” he said to her, “you see you may believe Frontin; did he not tell you so? A dollar a day, with board, washing, and maintenance . . . not much work, and ices to eat . . . and love! Come and get your money and see your room, dear little Marton.”
And this airy faun, taking her around the waist, tried to kiss her on account, as he led her along.
“Insolent fellow!” she cried, “let me alone.”
And by a sudden effort she released herself from this valet of the boudoir, worthy of being a vicar to the priest of Saint-Roch.
The Twenty-Fourth of February.
On the Twenty-Fourth of February, 1848, the municipal guard, composed in great part of the old royal guard of Charles X, which it had replaced under Louis Philippe, sharply defended the Tuileries, but at last was forced to yield by the People.
The soldiers of the line were the first to turn up their gun-stocks and fraternize amid reciprocal cries of “Long live the People!” “Long live the Line!”
It was a decided victory for the insurrection. The battle begun with the cry of “Long live Reform!” ended with the cry of “Long live the Republic!”
For having interfered with the pear and calf’s-head banquets, the king of the strong-box, like his cousin, the king of the altar, lost his crown.
For having refused qualified suffrage, he granted universal suffrage, to both the qualified and the unqualified.
And the unfortunate pear-king got into a cab crying in his despair: “Like Charles X. ...!”
Like him also and with the same madness he said to his Polignac, to Guizot: “The troops will not fire, then fire on the troops!”
In short, like him, he made concessions, and received the same reply: “Too late!”
So the Tuileries were taken by a handful of Republicans, at the head of whom figured Camille and the workman with a hammer.
The workman, with that honesty characteristic of the people, wrote on the door of the palace: “Death to thieves!” and Camille, remembering the bread-tickets, wrote on the front: “For Labor’s disabled civilians!”
The rooms overflowed with people singing the “Marseillaise,” cutting up the throne, throwing the pieces through the windows, gilded wood and velvet hangings broken and torn into bits. ... I am writing this story in slippers made from one of those rags.
And all this litter was burned by Camille on the Place du Carrousel, together with the scaffold and the confessional of the royal chapel, amid the cries, a thousand times repeated: “Long live the People!” “Down with the death penalty!” “Long live humanity!”
At the palace of the archbishop the same revenge!
Fire purified at the Tuileries; at the archbishop’s palace it was water.
The Seine carried away all the filth that the People found in the palace of the priest, as the flames consumed all the infamies that they found in the palace of the king.
Here crown, charter, and code; there mitre, Bible, and missal, to say nothing of skirts, corsets, and pomatum; in short, the double stables of Augeas, royal and clerical, the Herculean broom of the People thoroughly cleaning them out.
Camille, after taking possession of the castle in the name of the people and dedicating it to Labor, went to the office of the “National,” where the list of the provisional government was made up; and he was one of the three delegates who carried it to the Hôtel de Ville.
Camille found there but one of the members-elect, the Chevalier de Lamartine, an old member of the body-guard, a romantic poet, a Legitimist who detested the Orleans family and had become a republican in writing the “History of the Girondists.”
He was not, like his fellow-poet, Victor Hugo, a republican of tomorrow’, but a republican of yesterday. He was already at the Hôtel de Ville when the other was still at the Rue de Poitiers. Consequently he has had only a statue at Passy, while the other is in the Pantheon. Distributive justice.
Camille caused Lamartine to perform the provisional government’s first act of republicanism.
“It is not enough to have driven the Orleans family from Paris,” he said to him; “it is necessary to prevent them from returning. The youngest of the princes, the Duke de Montpensier, is still at Vincennes with his artillery. We must bar his passage, and cut him off from the Avenue de Vincennes by a strong barricade. Sign the order, and I will execute it.”
Let this troubadour of the coronation be given credit for it,— it was no sooner said than done.
The order executed, Camille came back at night to the Hôtel de Ville, where the government had taken up its quarters. The scramble for the quarry began.
Of all the old personages whom we met at the Berville dinner before the fall of Charles X, but two were left at the fall of Louis Philippe,— Arago, the savant, and the venerable Dupont de l’Eure, as they were called. The others were new men, young then, Ledru-Rollin, Louis Blanc, Flocon, Marrast, Albert, etc. The old, fatigued and drowsy, slept lethargically, seated around a table served with a cold bit of that democratic veal forbidden by the king. The young, seated with them, thought neither of sleeping nor of eating, for the People were surging in the square and shouting louder and louder: “Long live the Republic!”
The provisional government, hungrier for office than for veal, constituted itself in its own way, which was not exactly that of the People.
They may be said to have divided the Republic between the men of the “National” and the men of the “Reforme.”
Each of these two journals, to the establishment of which Camille had contributed, took and distributed the portfolios.
Louis Blanc, with his child’s stature, cramped in his military garb, carrying a cartridge-box, long shoulder-belts and straps, a sword dangling between his legs, and a gun taller than himself, had an appetite that exceeded his stature. He made himself president of the Labor Senate of the Luxembourg, and gave the management of the fine arts to his brother Charles.
Ledru, his extreme opposite, a giant contrasted with a dwarf, but having an equal appetite, became minister of the interior, giving the secretaryship to his friend Jules Favre.
Arago, the savant, took the ministry of marine, and gave the office of prefect of Lyons to his son Emmanuel.
It was a dynastic Republic.
Finally Lamartine, minister of foreign affairs, offered the secretaryship to his friend Bastide for the love of the pope, and the Roman embassy to Camille, who, on that sad night of the bourgeois Fourth of August, alone refused, saying in a melancholy voice that he was going to be married and wanted nothing — save to make young citizens for the Republic, which seemed to need them.
Each was drawing the cloth toward him and sharing the cake, when the workman of the Mount of Piety, Chaumette Brutus, threw his blood stained hammer upon the table, shouting: “And labor?”
It was the first false or true note, discordant in any case, to ring out in the bourgeois concert.
“Labor!” said the man of the forty-five centimes, another dynastic republican, half-brother of Gamier Pages; “labor! let it follow Louis Blanc to the Luxembourg or Emile Thomas to the national workshops!”
“One does not live by words alone; he must have bread also! In the land of promises they die of hunger,” answered the workman.
“But wait! One cannot reap the same day he sows; patience!”
“Well, we will give the Republic three months’ credit”
And, picking up his hammer, he went out with Camille, amid an amazement and even terror that was soon dissipated.
And the scramble for the quarry continued. . . .
Schœlcher got the colonies, Duclerc the finances, Crémieux the department of justice, Marrast the mayoralty of Paris, and the People — the forty-five centimes to pay!
The Twenty-Fourth of February. — The Luxembourg.
The old palace of the Luxembourg, that copy of the Pitti palace which the second Medici, Marie, of but little more worth than the first, brought us from Florence, has sheltered by turns the conservative Senate of the Empire, so called doubtless because it conserved neither the Empire nor the Senate, and the hereditary and life peerages of the kingdoms, to say nothing of what it may have to shelter yet; for it has had the good fortune to escape the popular fire which, in the absence of celestial fire, has avenged at least the Gomorrah of the Tuileries, built by Catherine, where queens had mistresses and kings lovers.
On the Twenty-Fourth of February the peers of King Louis Philippe had held their last session under the presidency of the famous Duke Pasquier, who had convoked them to receive the regent, the Duchess d’Orléans, and her son, the Count de Paris, then heir to the crown and today pretender.
But, with the courageous fidelity of peers and senators devoted by profession and oath to constitutional conservatism, these Newfoundland dogs of the throne and the altar, these saviours of State and Church, had, the most of them, failed of attendance and left the president, the regent, and her minor in the lurch.
The sovereign People had sent their delegates to take the place of the life legislators. The Chamber of Peers had become the Senate, of workers. Labor sat in the seat of privilege; and for the first time the palace of the Luxembourg was of public utility and national service.
Louis Blanc presided in place of Pasquier.
And the benches emptied by the noble cronies of the duke — barons, marquises, counts, and viscounts, the entire nobility old and new, pure-blooded like Garousse or smuggled like Pasquier, from the prince royal to the vidames d’espagnolette — were filled by the real nobility, not that of peers, but that of comrades, that of labor and science, that of which it will be the eternal glory of the second Republic to have declared the right and proclaimed the advent.
There all the aspirations of the nineteenth century, ours, all the schools that they have produced, all the theories and utopias that they have promulgated, were worthily represented.
For the first time the world, through its foremost people, France, saw a congress of workers, a labor council, a parliament composed of laborers for deliberation upon the social future of humanity.
As in every parliament, there were parties. They were called systems. Of these parties each had its part of the truth, for there errors were not contra-truths, but parts of truth, each, as the Indian fable says, having picked up only one of the thousand faces of the mirror fallen from heaven, none having had a hand large enough to pick up all of them.
Yes, all these parties of the Republic of February followed the law of the division of labor itself, and, to better bring out all the consequences of a principle, had divided between them the three great principles of the French Revolution, as religious sects divide between themselves the dogmas of the Bible.
The error was simply that .... a heresy. Let us throw no stone at them. They had passion, devotion, and belief, complete republican virtue, but not complete knowledge. Not in the least were they sceptics, or opportunists, or egoists, or traitors, and they did not sacrifice “principles to colonies” and the ideal to results.
The Fourierists represented only liberty without equality.
The Saint-Simonians, equality without liberty.
The third, the Icarians, simply fraternity.
The authoritarians said: Everything through the State. The libertarians: Everything through the individual.
The truth is that man is at once individual and collective, regulated by two forces, centripetal and centrifugal, and that the law lies not in the opposition, but in the composition, of the two forces.
“Mutualism, exchange, no association,” said the followers of Proudhon; “each man to have his own lantern at his own door.”
“No individualism,” answered the followers of Leroux; “association, solidarity, the circulus, even a common chamber-vessel.”
“No sentiment, no mysticism, no metaphysics!”
“Sensation, sentiment, knowledge, the human trinity, manufacturers, artists, and scientists . . . the whole crowned by the Comtists with their pope and popess, the rehabilitation of woman, the worship of great men and anthropotheism.”
Certainly, a deep faith in the human ideal; fanaticism for humanity was the substratum of these contrary theories,— contrary because separated,— of these errors which required but union to become truths, of these utopias which needed only fusion to become realities.
So this splitting-up, this cancelment and separation of the principles of ’93, were denounced by the friend of Camille who reflected his ideas, the workman with the hammer, who, from the height of the tribune, said:
“You destroy unity, you divide the indivisible. . . No sects! The Revolution!
“My name is Chaumette. I am the son of the great Communist. My father was master of Paris, and my child, like the children of Rousseau and so many others, has lived in the hospital.
“I represent the idea for which my father died, and which, dying with him, carried the Revolution to the tomb.
“The Revolution is the Commune, and the Commune is Paris, and Paris is France.
“As long as the Commune of Paris lived, the Revolution lived. As soon as the Commune died, the Revolution died. It was the Commune that cried: ‘Cannoneers, to your guns!’ and saved the Republic from the Gironde. It was the Commune that declared ‘the Country in danger’ and saved France from Prussia. It was the Commune, finally, that, killed by Robespierre, was unable to save the Republic from the Empire or France from invasion.
“The Commune alone can save the second Republic as it did the first, and once more save the Revolution and France.
“My system, my school, my especial theory, is revolution. I am not a sectarian, I wish complete revolution, one and indivisible in its three principles, Liberty, Equality, Fraternity, founded on its historical and political basis, the free commune in the nation, like the free nation in humanity; established on the rights of man, of the citizen, and of the laborer; the ballot, the bullet, and the soil universal; each his own soldier, his own king, his own master, in short, the complete sovereignty of the People.
“The sovereign People has replaced the legitimate king and the middle-class king. It is not like any other king. It is a king without subjects. It is the laborer king. It does not reign by force, war, or plunder; it can reign and live only by work, peace, and right. Its civil list is its product, its throne its anvil, its sceptre its tool, its code justice, and its kingdom labor.
“It has no enemies but the elements, no conquests but over matter, no war but labor. This war has its victims, its wounded, and soon its column will replace all the columns of the Cæsars, crowned, as ’93 intended, by the statue of the laborer.
“The priest has made labor a penalty, the noble has made it a shame, the bourgeois has made it a favor, the people makes it its right. And to that end it has other Bastilles to take. After the king’s, the jail, it must take the priest’s, the church, and the master’s, the Bank. It must free itself from the triple tyranny,— servitude, ignorance, and poverty. It has raised the Genius of Liberty on the site of the Bastille, it must raise the statue of Equality at the cross-streets where stands the Bank, and that of Fraternity in the porch of Notre-Dame.
“Then, citizens, the Revolution will be saved, because it will be completed.”
Thus these doctors sought, in good faith and in proportion to their knowledge, the best remedy for the second republic, already threatened with a return of imperial eclampsy and all its fatal consequences,— scaffold, throne, altar, and strong-box.
In these days Father Jean never left the Luxembourg,— that is, the door. There were so many bills there, so much waste paper with which to fill his basket! As many constitutions voted as Aristotle wrote, and all lost like his and even like ours, at least fifteen up to the present time.
End of Part Second.
Twenty years to a day have elapsed since the crime of the Quai d’Austerlitz.
It is Mardi-Gras, 1848.
The people, sovereign in name but not in fact, has replaced the citizen-king.
The carnival is back again, and misery has remained,— both of them more stable than governments.
The second Republic is founded.
The Revolution has not impoverished the bankers, and consequently has not enriched the rag-pickers. Baron Hoffmann still has his millions, as Father Jean still has his rags.
It was night; alone in her garret, Marie was working on a silk dress trimmed with lace.
“Half past eleven,” she whispered, looking at her watch and then sewing again; “my eyes, my hands are weary. I can no longer hold my needle. . . I am benumbed, and — I know not why — I feel like crying. . . But come! to work! . . I must finish my task, and return this wedding dress. . . My fire is low, my lamp is going out.”
She trimmed the wick, which was getting charred, and resumed her reflections.
“How dark it is, how cold it is! Oh! how cold the dead must be under ground! .... But I am stupid. They are less uncomfortable than the living. I wish I were dead, like my poor parents. Am I not alone already, as much so as if I were buried? And to that add labor and poverty.”
She redoubled her activity.
“What a dress! ... It is an endless task; it seems to me as if I were sewing my shroud. Ah! if my mother were only with me, I should still have courage. In kissing her morning and evening, I at least regained the strength to work when I worked for two, to earn the daily bread when there were two of us to eat it.”
She wiped away a tear.
“But now that I am alone in the world, I have no heart left for anything. I cannot even finish this dress at the appointed hour. Cursed thread that is always breaking.”
And again threading her needle, she continued:
“After all, what am I and what is to become of me? What a present and what a future! Fatigue and lack of sleep when work is pressing; hunger and torture in the dull season . . . and always alone. That is my lot! Should I be more alone in the grave than in this room? I should know less want, fatigue, and ennui. Ah! I should like to go to join my father and my mother. I should like to die.”
She gazed for a moment at the portraits of her parents placed upon the mantle-shelf under the globe of her modest clock.
“It seems as if their dear image gave me new life, as if their eyes were looking at me, as if their lips were calling me. They fill me with hallucination . . . But I have no time to dream when there is such a hurry for this dress.”
She went to work again with more fever than attention.
“There!” she cried suddenly, “now I prick myself, to advance matters. I must not spot it at the last moment.”
And at last having finished it, she said:
“Ah! it is done, and no damage.”
She stuck her needle in her cushion, took off her thimble, rose, and, carrying her lamp to the bureau, undressed to try on the new garment.
“Let me see if it fits,” she said, fastening the waist and looking at herself in the little glass. “That’s it! Happy woman who will wear it! The pain for me, the joy for her. Married, loved, feted in this dress. It fits me well too,” she continued with a sigh. “But what’s the use? What good does it do me to be young and beautiful, if I must live thus isolated, in a corner, in abandonment? Shall I not always be poor? Shall I ever have such a dress for myself?”
As she kept on looking at herself, she spoke in a more satisfied tone:
“It is singular; if I continue to look, I shall come to believe it. My mirror says so, the liar! Why, yes, I could wear silk as well as another. What else should I need with this white dress? A pearl necklace and a rose in my hair.”
She took a rose from a little vase.
“There! And then, thus dressed up, I should have a carriage, with two horses, to go to an evening party .... no, to the play .... no, to a ball . . . yes, to a ball!”
She leaped with joy.
“There my admirers would say in low tones: ‘What a pretty girl!’ I should pass by without seeming to hear and yet hearing everything. . . Then the handsomest invites me to dance. . . . Then he loves me, marries me . . . and we live long, happy, happy. . . . Oh! how silly I am! Yet there are those who have all these joys. . . . Love, family, fortune. But I shall die without knowing them.”
She stopped to listen to the sounds and cries of the carnival rising from the street. Then she continued sadly:
“I should never marry. ... Oh! the ball-room, the masquerade which I have never seen, the music, the dancing, the pleasures of others! But of what am I thinking tonight? These songs, these noises, make me lose my head. . . No, no, all these joys are not made for me. . . . For me, an old maid, neither wife nor mother, a hospital frock for a wedding dress . . . solitude, labor, and death.”
She gave a last look at the glass, and was getting ready to take off the dress, when a swarm of young girls in disguise, acquaintances of the shop, whom she had met in going to get work or to return it, burst noisily into Marie’s room.
In front Mazagran and Trompette, the one as a zouave, the other as a hussar of the fancy. Behind them other grisettes, less forward surely, and disguised as titis and lumpers.
“Up at this hour!” cried Mazagran, surprising Marie at the mirror, “and in full dress! Gracious!”
To be continued.
Love, Marriage, and Divorce,
And the Sovereignty of the Individual.
Henry James, Horace Greeley, and Stephen Pearl Andrews.
A Letter from Mr. James to H. Y. R.
My dear friend:
Mrs. Woodhull has labored very hard to make Mr. Beecher out a free-lover in a practical way; and certairdy (from the silence of Mr. Tilton and the rest as I judge) with some show of success. But as to that I feel indifferent. He at all events is not a technical free-lover, and his infirmity will be condoned by society therefore as a weakness of the will under great temptation, etc., etc., and as not indicating any hostility to marriage or the social sentiment. This is what makes the public hate technical or professional free-love,— that it is the enemy of all society or fellowship among men, inasmuch as it makes organic instinct supreme in human action, as it is in the animal nature, and gives an eternal lie to marriage as the sovereign dignity of our race. Speculative free-love has actually no case against our existing civic régime even, which a judicious enlargement of the law of divorce would not at once refute. I should have no quarrel with it, but on the contrary would bid it godspeed, if it sought only to hallow marriage in men’s esteem by securing such a law of divorce as might permit every one to whom marriage was hateful or intolerable to leave its ranks as soon as possible, and so close them up to its undefiled lovers alone. Of course I am not so stupid as to suppose that there is anything essentially evil, or incompatible with innocence, in the indulgence of natural appetite and passion. But I hold just as clearly that it is fatal to all manhood — much more, then, to all womanhood — to make such indulgence an end of action.
No man and woman can do that deliberately without converting themselves — into brutes? No! for the brute is heavenly sweet compared with such men and women — but into devils. The distinctive glory of man is personality or character, the power of transcending his organization and realizing divinity; and he attains to this personality or character, not by foolish doing, but by wise and patient suffering; that is, by subjecting his self-will, or will of the flesh, to the welfare of his neighbors whenever itself prompts injustice to them.
How infinitely remote all this marriage doctrine is from the thought of the free-lover you can easily ascertain by recurring to Mrs. W.’s indictment of poor Beecher. The free-lover aims at no mere negative legislation. He is a doctrinaire, and what he wants is, not the reformation of men’s manners, but a revolution, whereby what has hitherto been subservient in human nature (the flesh) shall be supreme, and what has hitherto been supreme (the spirit) shall be subservient. He will allow no compromise with society in any form, for he doesn’t believe in the social destiny of man, and disposes himself to reconstruct the world simply by overturning it, or substituting universal discord in place of partial order. He holds that every man is absolutely free,— free not only in respect to outward compulsion, but free also in respect to inward constraint; thus that he is essentially devoid of obligation either to his fellow-man or to himself; in a word, his own sole law, and hence is never so unmanly as when he obeys the voice of conscience in preference to that of appetite and passion.
This gospel would go down with me if I were only a Chimpanzee. For in that case, knowing absolutely no other law than that of my organization, I should know nothing of the social sentiment, nor consequently of the marriage sentiment in which it originates. But you will please observe that I am not a chimpanzee, either in origin as Mr. Darwin would argue, nor in destiny as the free-lover would have it; and the gospel of free-love consequently turns my intellectual stomach. I have an animal organization, to be sure, but it is never my master from infancy to old age, unless I have perverted my human force by vice, but always my servant. This is because I, unlike the animal, am born into a miniature society, called the family, and undergo its law, which is that of reverence and obedience on my part toward my parents, protection, nourishment, and education on their part toward me. Such is the difference in origin and destiny between man and the animals. The latter are born to obey their organization, the former are born to obey a higher law. In a word, every man, by virtue of his birth in a well-organized family, is more or less subject, inwardly, to conscience or the social sentiment. And this sentiment early awakes in his bosom a sense of personality or selfhood utterly distinct from his organization; and if it be judiciously nurtured and cultivated by outside influences, it gradually leads him to abhor nothing so much as identification with his appetites and passions. He claims an infinitely higher, purer, and freer law of action. Of course, so long as he remains a child, or falls short, from any cause, of normal manhood, he feels the insurgence of his organic wants very often, and does in consequence many harmful and unhandsome things, which invite stern rebuke and discipline. But, if he be arrested in time, he is sure to disavow his base tendencies, and submit himself zealously to the higher law he has found within.
Especially is this the case in respect to the sexual sentiment and its promptings. Love has now ceased to be purely animal with him and is becoming human. He now no longer loves at the impulse of his organization merely, and without regard to the personality of the object, as the animal does, but is overpoweringly constrained by something in the object exclusively, a something divine to his imagination, which he recognizes as the consummation of his being, and in the possession of which he would sacrifice his existence. In other words, love now proclaims its transfiguration into the marriage sentiment, and if it ever falls away from that sentiment, it does so no longer as love, but only as lasciviousness, in which case of course the man reverts from man to monkey.
Here, perhaps, you will ask me what I mean by marriage.
Marriage has two aspects: one literal, as a civic institution; the other spiritual, as a divine education or discipline.
1. I marry my wife under the impression that she is literally perfect, and is going to exhaust my capacity of desire ever after. Ere long I discover my mistake. The world, the flesh, or the devil (or possibly all these combined) suggest a pungent sense of bondage in the marriage tie. My good habits, my good breeding, my hearty respect for my wife, my sense of what is due to her amiable devotion, prevent my ever letting her suspect the conflict going on in my bosom; but there it is, nevertheless, a ceaseless conflict between law and liberty, between conscience and inclination. I know that it would be possible to make a compromise or enforce a truce between the two interests by clandestinely pursuing pleasure and openly following duty. But my heart revolts from this. I feel that the burden of my race is upon me, and I will perish under it if need be, but I will not shirk it like a sneak, and let sincere men bear it unhelped by me.
So much is clear to me. The law I have sworn to obey is beyond my strength. It crushes me to the earth. It humiliates me in my self-esteem. I see in its light that I am no better than the overt adulterer; but I dare not resent its terrible castigation. The law is holy, just, and even good, though it slay me. Yes, death at its hands were better than life at the risk of dishonor at my hands; so I abide by my marriage bond. I see very well that the bond ought to be loosened in the ease of other people; that divorce should be allowed more freely than it now is, so that multitudes of people to whom marriage as a divine education or discipline is mere derision and mockery, might become free from its bondage as a civic institution, and so no longer profane it and their souls by clandestinely violating it. But as for me, I will abide in my chains.
2. I don’t find that there is any particular manhood, if by manhood merit is meant, in this decision of mine; for I have been becoming aware all along of a much deeper divinity in my wife than I discerned in her before marriage. The divinity she revealed to me then addressed itself to my senses, and fed me fat with the hope of being selfishly aggrandized by it. The divinity she now reveals is the very opposite of everything I find in myself. It is gentle where I am turbulent, modest where I am exacting, yielding where I am obstinate, full of patience where I am full of self-will, active where I am slothful, cheerful where I am moody, unconscious where I am morbidly conscious; in short, it is a divinity infinitely remote from my own petty self, and yet a divinity in my very nature, so that I can’t help becoming aroused to the meaning at last of living worship, worship consecrated by death to self. I see that there was no other way for the Divine to get hold of me, at all events, but by first binding me in sensuous love to this noble woman, and then letting into my interiors from the camera obscura of her person the accommodated blaze of His eternal purity and beauty, that I might see myself at last as I truly am, and know Him, therefore, evermore, past all misapprehension, as my sole light and life. Thus marriage is to me my truest divine revelation. I should simply have gone to hell long ago if my wife had not saved me, not by any conscious or voluntary doing on her part (for if she had attempted anything of that sort she would have damned me past all chance of redemption); no, far from it; but by unconsciously being the pure, good, modest woman she is. She was mine by legal right, and yet she was by nature totally opposite to all I call me. What then? Shall I renounce marriage, call it a snare and a cheat, and abandon myself to concubinage instead? Or shall I accept it as a divine boon,— the divinest boon imaginable to our race,— and so find myself no longer debasing women to my level,— the level of my selfish lusts,— but elevated gradually and surely to the height of her natural truth and purity. .... The end of marriage as a civic institution is the family. But the family is now blocking the way of society, which is God’s family, and marriage consequently, being no longer necessary to be rigorously administered as of old in the service of the family, must consent to be administered in the interest of society,— that is, must be relieved by greater freedom of divorce.
A Letter from H. Y. R. to Mr. Andrews.
My dear sir:
I inclose a newspaper slip of a letter published in a late issue of the St. Paul “Press,” in which you will readily recognize the ear-marks of your old antagonist of twenty odd years ago, Henry James, of Newport.
I feel assured that Mr. James is laboring under a misconception of the motive which animates the “free-lover” in assailing our present cruel marriage laws, and is thus led to misstate the issue. He is equally earnest in his desire for the emancipation of woman, and his vehement rhetoric has demonstrated on numberless occasions that the legal tyranny of marriage serves only to embitter and defile its otherwise sweet and wholesome waters. But he assumes that the hostility of the technical free-lover is based on a totally different motive from his own; that it is a supremely selfish one, wholly in the interest of his organic appetites and passions. As well might he assume that the effort to relieve the hard conditions of prison-life was made in the interest of thievery, and insist that anyone advocating such amelioration afforded instant evidence that he was a thief, or at least was calculating the risks involved in some scheme of private plunder. To make good his position, it is incumbent on Mr. James to show that the men and women known as “technical free-lovers” are, practically, libertines, debauchees, and harlots; are lecherous, libidinous persons, who shamelessly “obey the voice of passion in preference to the voice of conscience.” This is a task from which Mr. James would shrink with unfeigned abhorrence, but I see no other means by which he can vindicate his claim to candor and sober truth.
I have read the writings of Mrs. Woodhull, and heard her deliver her lectures; have read the current literature of the free-love movement these twenty years or more; and — while meeting with much that was repulsive and reprehensible — I am satisfied that the settlement of the question of social freedom involves issues of immeasurable value to the race, and invites the effort of every courageous and sincere man and woman; and I am also satisfied that, while a large proportion of the individuals who have espoused this unpopular cause exhibit a certain unhandsome egotism, and possess perhaps more vigor than cultivation, they are in all moral regards neither better nor worse than their neighbors.
But I fear Mr. James has confounded some of the exuvia of this new truth with the fair promise itself. The new truth in transition is always accompanied with irregular and sporadic manifestation. To be sure, well-bred people do not want to be always talking about their sexual relations; nor will they, after these matters have been readjusted. Once woman is emancipated from the social and household subjection in which she is now (in a great measure unconsciously) held, a cooling, healing influence of modest restraint will descend from woman herself, and these turbulent waves of public discussion concerning a domain of life so private and sacred will subside into equable relations with other departments of human activity.
Henry James sits a crowned king in the realm of metaphysics. His penetration is something marvelous. His admirers become enthusiasts and declare that he alone of all men living is entitled to the name of philosopher. Time and space confess themselves mere shams, and the material universe fades out of mind under the matchless power of his analysis; the innermost mysteries of being unfold themselves, fall into order and method, and ultimate in worlds and passionate human hearts as a matter of course; history is illuminated, and the splendid destiny of the race is forecast with overwhelming certainty. But in the midst of all this, or perhaps because of this, one detects in him a certain inability to cope with actual affairs as they arise in the ever shifting drama of life. His thought turns back upon itself when it comes in contact with the raw edge of things. And I hold that in this letter he has spoken unwisely; he has made his point, but it is at the expense of his own candor and magnanimity. He perceives the stupendous frauds we suffer in our social relations,— none more clearly; and he with us is moved to attack; but, while the common instinct of outraged justice urges the rough onset with whatever bludgeon lies at hand, he is dismayed at the turmoil and confusion, and puts up his keen and highly-tempered blade in disgust, confessing that he has no stomach for the fight. Hinc illæ lacrymæ.
H. Y. R.
Comments by Mr. Andrews.
Henry James has, in a high degree, the rare qualities assigned to him by H. Y. R. But what shall we say of his persistent misrepresentation of the doctrine of free love? It is astounding that a man of his intelligence can write such balderdash. The fact argues either a crass and chronic stupidity on the subject, on his part, or else that he is wilfully bearing false witness against his neighbor. He asserts, not as his opinion, but ex cathedra, and as the undoubted fact, that the free love doctrinaires demand that the flesh shall be supreme; that free lovers are fleshly-minded or lecherous people, ignoring or subordinating the spiritual element of man’s nature; that they are chimpanzees, brute beasts, etc., etc. The free lovers have never said so. They have merely asserted the law of individual freedom, instead of, or in predominance over, social constraint, as the safer and better medium through which to conduct to the higher development of mankind. They are a set of social philosophers who have arrived at this degree of spiritual insight into causes, and of faith in the self-regulative powers of freedom, in the place of regulations imposed from without. They may be right or wrong in this assurance, but, if wrong, it is on the side of spiritual elevation. It is because the God within them denies the necessity any longer of outward constraint and discipline to lift them to the highest social and spiritual conditions. It is surprising that Mr. James should not sufficiently well understand the working of spiritual laws to know that in charging on others the predominance of low and animal desires and manifestations simply because they demand a free field to live their own true lives, he convicts them of nothing, while he implicitly confesses that he is such, and that he would habitually so manifest himself, if outward constraint were not so laid upon him; in other words, that he, individually, is still a chimpanzee and nothing else, except in so far as outward social and legal constraint, coupled with domestic discipline, compel him to the exhibition of an outward decency; with some promise, withal, that, by the continuance of these ministrations, he may at some future day be developed into the higher sort of humanity, upon the spiritual plane.
But, if there is this hope of a better result in the future, even in his case, it may be that other individuals, with a better nature from superior inherited conditions and other causes, may long since have attained to that higher state in which they are justified in claiming to be a law unto themselves, and to be exempt from disciplines which they or their ancestors may have had enough of, and which are now only hindrances for them, however necessary they may still be for less progressive individualities. Mr. James and a large class which he represents may still need a course of domestic infelicities, and, if I could accommodate them at the same time, I would even be willing that the dose should be increased in size and frequency; but that is no good reason why those who never had or have recovered from the chimpanzee disease should be required to go through, again and again, the same purgation.
I wonder whether it ever really did occur to Mr. Henry James and those of that ilk that possibly there may be men and women in the world who are built on a higher plane, or may have attained to a higher plane, spiritually, than any that he and they have yet attained to; instead of uniformly assuming that, if anybody differs from them and their personal standards, he must necessarily be on a lower plane of development. But Swedenborg, Mr. James’s supreme channel of spiritual wisdom, rightly no doubt says that an angel, lifted into a higher heaven than that where he resides, sees nothing.
Stephen Pearl Andrews.
* That portion of the discussion which begins here was a revival of the original controversy after an interval of about twenty years, occasioned by the famous Woodhull-Claflin exposure of Henry Ward Beecher. That exposure led Mr. James to write a letter to a friend, H. Y. R., on the matters involved, which was printed in the St. Paul “Press” two years later. H. Y. R. then sent Mr. James’s letter, accompanied by a letter of his own, to Mr. Andrews, both of which appeared in “Woodhull & Claflin’s Weekly” of April 18, 1874, followed by Mr. Andrews’s comments. This again called out Mr. James, whose letter in the “Weekly’s” issues of May 9 and May 16, 1874, together with Mr. Andrews’s reply thereto, closed the controversy. These documents conclude the present compilation. — Publisher’s Note.
“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.
Free Money and the Cost Principle.
To the Editor of Liberty:
I understand that the monopoly of money should be broken, and this would leave all persons who possessed property free to issue solvent notes thereon, the competition between them so reducing the rate of interest that it would enable would-be business people to borrow on advantageous terms. Now, to my mind this would do no good unless the new order of benefited business persons adopted the “Cost principle” in production and distribution, in order to break down the present bad arrangements in society that is composed of workers on one side and idlers and unproductive or useless persons on the other side.
If the cost principle was not in view, the result to my mind of “plentiful money” would only load to a short briskness of trade and a speedy breakdown, much speedier than now.
Neither do I think (in the absence of applying the cost principle) that competition among bankers would bring the issue down to cost through the sheer force of competition, because people would cease to go into the banking business if it did not yield the normal rate of interest on capital.
In conclusion, I must say I believe in the “Cost principle,” and yet as an Anarchist there seems something arbitrary in it. It is the reconciliation of “Cost” and competition that my mind cannot yet grasp.
Yours faithfully, Frank A. Matthews.
The Cost principle cannot fail to seem arbitrary to one who does not see that it can only be realized through economic processes that go into operation the moment liberty is allowed in finance. To see this it is necessary to understand the principles of mutual banking, which Mr. Matthews has not attentively studied. If he had, he would know that the establishment of a mutual bank does not require the investment of capital, inasmuch as the customers of the bank furnish all the capital upon which the bank’s notes are based, and that therefore the rate of discount charged by the bank for the service of exchanging its notes for those of its customers is governed, under competition, by the cost of that service, and not by the rate of interest that capital commands. The relation is just the contrary of Mr. Matthews’s supposition. It is the rate of interest on capital that is governed by the bank’s rate of discount, for capitalists will not be able to lend their capital at interest when people can get money at the bank without interest with which to buy capital outright. It is this effect of free and mutual banking upon the rate of interest on capital that insures, or rather constitutes, the realization of the Cost principle by economic processes. For, the moment interest and rent are eliminated as elements of price and brisk competition is assured by the ease of getting capital, profits fall to the level of the manufacturer’s or merchant’s proper wage. It is well, as Mr. Matthews says, to have the Cost principle in view, for it is doubtless true that the ease with which society travels the path of progress is largely governed by the clearness with which it foresees it. But, foresight or no foresight, it “gets there just the same.” The only foresight absolutely necessary to progress is foresight of the fact that liberty is its single essential condition.
Money and Capital.
To the Editor of Liberty:
I have read attentively Mr. Westrup’s farther statement on mutual banking, but fail to see wherein he touches what is to my mind the vital point. He says that the system “would not be making use of capital that belonged to some one else.” Then I cannot see how it would answer its purpose. The bank itself has no capital save the pledges advanced by borrowers, and if they take out no more than they put in, they make no gain, but are merely to the expense of the transaction. On the other hand, if they do take out more, some one else must have put it in. They do not increase their wealth by using their own property as a basis on which to make advances to themselves. It is only when some one else accepts it as a pledge on which to advance his property that they have made a gain. And if there is no one to be paid a dividend but “the same borrowers,” that some one else will go unpaid.
The borrower’s object is to get the use of additional capital, not of the money that represents it during the transfer. If he gets it, “some one [else] is deprived of the use of that much wealth,” as two cannot use the same property at the same time. Our farmer worth $1000, who borrowed $500 and invested it, found at the end of the transaction that he had at his disposal $1500 worth of property. Now, where did the last $500 worth come from? Like all created things, its ownership vested rightfully in its creator; the farmer was not that creator, or he would not have had to borrow it. The bank in issuing a volume of circulating medium neither increased nor diminished the aggregate wealth of the country appreciably. It engaged in no “productive” industry. It did not create 500 dollars’ nor 500 cents’ worth of property. In fact, Mr. Westrup’s rate of interest represents what it did create in additional value in making out the transfer papers,— a fraction of one per cent, of the $500. If, then, neither the bank nor the farmer created it, is it not clear that they “made use of capital that belonged to some one else”?
The distinction between owning property and merely having the use of it has been pointed out to me, but appears largely verbal, for the only value of property is the use thereof. At any rate, it seems clear that our farmer gets the use of $500 worth of property so long as he pays the expense of keeping $500 of circulating medium afloat. He uses his $1000 worth of property as a guarantee to the producer of the $500 of value that the latter shall receive back his property intact, but with no payment for use.
If I have understood correctly the reply to my former letter, this is Liberty’s idea; but I do not see that Mr. Westrup coincides. However, if I am in error, I trust I am “open to conviction” and await further light.
J. Herbert Foster.
Mr. Foster’s difficulty arises from the futile attempt, which many others have made before him, to distinguish money from capital, the real fact being that money, though not capital in a material sense, is, in the economic sense and to all intents and purposes, the most perfect and desirable form of capital, for the reason that it is the only form of capital which will at any time almost instantly procure all other forms of capital. Practically speaking, that man has capital who holds an instantly convertible title to capital.
If this be true, then Mr. Foster’s claim that mutual banking involves the “making use of capital that belongs to some one else” falls immediately. Does he mean to say that, when the borrower of a mutual bank’s notes goes into the market and buys capital with them, he is thereby keeping the seller out of his capital? If so, then Mr. Foster, when he pays his butcher cash for a beefsteak for his tomorrow’s breakfast, is keeping his butcher out of his capital. But does either he or his butcher ever look at his conduct in that light? If that is being kept out of capital, then is the butcher only too glad to be thus deprived. He keeps a shop for the express purpose of being kept out of his capital, and he feels that it’s very hard lines and a very dull season when he isn’t kept out of it. He knows that, when he sells a beefsteak to Mr. Foster for cash, he parts with capital for which he has no use himself and gets in exchange a title convertible whenever he may choose into such capital as he has use for, and he knows further that he greatly benefits by the transaction. The position of Mr. Foster’s butcher is precisely parallel to that of the manufacturer of machinery who sells a plough or a press or an engine to a borrower from a mutual bank. Clearly, then, Mr. Foster’s sympathy for this manufacturer is misplaced.
Of course the position which I have just taken does not hold with notes that will not command capital,— that is, that are not readily received as money. But that is not the point under dispute. When Mr. Foster shall question the solvency of mutual money, I will meet him on that point also. For the present, my sole contention against him is that the man who exchanges a material value for good money is not thereby kept out of his capital.
I hardly need add that my purpose in writing the above was not to head off Mr. Westrup, who is perfectly welcome to answer Mr. Foster in these columns in his own way.
Dr. Foote to the Rescue.
Am sorry to see your Liberty of November 10 (page 5) marred by unnecessary untruth and meanness.
V. Yarros credits Henry George with getting $500 a night from the Democrats for stump speeches; not in so saying directly, but every reader will retain that impression; while I have been in position to see that he and his party were snubbed, rather than favored, by the Democrats, were obliged to pay their own way, and were ruled out of the Democratic procession.
The meanness appears in your slur about Eugene Macdonald’s skirmish with election inspectors, in saying “this will gain him the thanks of loafers.” Contrast this with the following sentence, which appears in the last five lines of same column: “A man, from the very fact that he refuses to bend under the yoke to which everybody submits, and has the strength and courage to remain erect when others bend the knee, renders a service to his fellow-citizens by setting them an example of resistance. Even though such resistance have its source in class or religious prejudices, it is none the less precious; the main thing, in fact, is not the end which it has in view, but the example which it furnishes.”
Both Henry George and Eugene Macdonald are as deserving of admiration for energy, perseverance, and ability, as is Mr. Labadie, whose loftiness of motive you do not question. At least they both deserve not to be lied about or slurred in a liberal journal, for, as a constant reader of their writings, I have yet to see reason to suspect any lack of honesty of motive or consistency in course in either of them. Liberty cannot afford to be unjust to liberals of other faiths.
E. B. Foote, Jr.
New York, November 19, 1888.
Mr. Yarros’s article was written to show, not that George was paid by the Democrats, but that his course had been such as to inspire a belief in the minds of many that he was so paid. The passage which Dr. Foote complains of was an actual quotation from William Morris’s “Commonweal,” showing the impression made on that paper by George’s policy. Having seen him to be guilty of mean and treacherous dishonesty, it was ready to see dishonesty in every act of his life wearing the least doubtful look. For my part, I do not believe that George was in the pay of the Democrats, principally because I do not believe that Democratic folly has yet reached the depth of stupidity necessary to determine upon such an expenditure of funds. I believe, as Dr. Foote says, that they did not welcome his cooperation. On the other hand, I am perfectly convinced that George does not hesitate and has not hesitated at things much worse than the acceptance of pay from Democrats. I am sure that he has been treacherous to men and false to his convictions, and that he is afraid to face any statement of truth that clashes with his pet ideas. I have asserted this repeatedly and in many ways, and I have cited facts and given reasons. I have challenged Mr. George or any of his friends to make an explanation consistent with his honesty. This has all been done under Dr. Foote’s eyes. He has never attempted to refute my statements. But suddenly, because I charge Mr. George, not with accepting a bribe, but with conduct that leads others to suspect that he is bribed, Dr. Foote becomes highly indignant. I answer him that, when he has successfully defended Henry George against my direct and open charges, I will then apologize publicly for the appearance in Liberty of even so slight a trace of innuendo as some people may think they have found in Mr. Yarros’s article.
Now as to Eugene Macdonald, that other victim of my meanness whom Dr. Foote, with generous chivalry, takes under his sheltering wing. It is true that as a centre of resistance he is to be prized. It is true that even such resistance as his is a sendee to his fellows. It is true that his readiness to kick at trifles is far more to be valued than a spirit of tame submission. But when the editor of Liberty is addressing his readers, with whom he has spent several years in laying a foundation and coming to an understanding, all this goes without saying. And it does not in the least alter the fact that, when a man who professes to teach and lead rebels with much ado against a wrong that damages him but little comparatively while he not only submits to but vigorously champions those giant wrongs that inflict fearful damage both on him and others, he makes himself a fit subject for ridicule and sarcasm. When these weapons are directed against such a rough-and-tumble combatant as Eugene Macdonald, any wincing, by him or his friends, is a confession of weakness.
Of Macdonald himself it is only fair to say that he does not wince, but attempts an answer. Here it is:
Mr. Tucker’s drive at taxes is out of place. If there had been no court supported by taxation, the Anarchistic attempt of the election board to wrong a voter would have succeeded, as they were four to one. Therefore, we say, hurrah for the taxes, and confound the Anarchists who don’t want us to vote!
Something less than a severe logician can see that, if there had been no court supported by taxation, there likewise would have been no election board so supported, and that Mr. Macdonald, if he had been wrongly treated by an election board acting for a voluntary association, would doubtless have been able to appeal as successfully for justice to that voluntary association’s court. But in suggesting that he now try to establish a man’s right to keep his money in his pocket, I did not “drive at taxes” simply. If he will only join in the campaign against money monopoly and thus do what he can to enable men to keep that part of their wages in their pockets which is now abstracted from them in the form of interest, profit, and house-rent, I will applaud him to Dr. Foote’s content and keep mum on the tax question for some time.
Meanwhile shall we see, I wonder, a letter from Dr. Foote in the “Truth Seeker” protesting against the meanness and dishonesty of classing as Anarchists election inspectors who try for partisan reasons to prevent one man from voting, on the ground that Anarchists are opposed to voting (under a compulsory regime) as a matter of principle? Probably not, inasmuch as he has heretofore veiled with his silence many such meannesses from the same source. Is he so tender of the “Truth Seeker” because it is strong and well-patronized and successful, and so regardless of Liberty’s feelings because it is weak and struggling for a foothold? Or is it because he feels that the “Truth Seeker,” in the weakness of its error, needs a helping hand, while Liberty, having the strength of truth on its side, can fight its own battles? If the latter is the explanation, I appreciate the compliment that he pays me in leaving me to my own resources, while devoting himself, true physician that he is, to pouring balm into my victims’ wounds.
I find the following in the Denver “Arbitrator”: “If Henry George, Edward McGlynn, Benj. R. Tucker, Dyer D. Lum, Jesse Harper, Samuel Gompers, T. V. Powderly, Hugh O. Pentecost, Samuel Leavitt, the Harmans, Vincents, Putnams, and all other honest reformers could only be induced to test their particular doctrines, beliefs, or hobbies under the doctrine of natural rights; if they would measure each and every of their assertions and postulates by Herbert Spencer’s scientifically derived First Principle for the government of human social action,— then there might be some hope of uniting the various schools of thought. ‘Every man has a natural right to do whatsoever he wills, provided that in the doing thereof he infringes not the equal right of any other man.’ Do you admit the above principle to be logically true, gentlemen? Will you submit your theories, doctrines, and beliefs to this test? If so, the truths in your several teachings can be culled out and the fallacies exposed.” With a slight modification, which probably is immaterial to the purpose of the “Arbitrator,” I accept this principle. I hold: 1, that every man has a natural right to do whatsoever he will and can; 2, that the fundamental principle in the science of society is that successful and stable society is only possible where the rule is observed that every man may do whatsoever he will, provided in the doing thereof he infringes not the equal right of any other man. To these principles I am willing to submit all my beliefs. Now will the “Arbitrator” do me the favor to cull out the truths of my teachings and expose their fallacies? And will its editor tell me how it happens that he, who often advocates measures not in harmony with these principles, summons to trial by these principles the editor of Liberty, who never deviates from them in any of his doctrines?
Ratio of Currency to Bonds.
The second of the letters given below is an answer to the questions contained in the first, and is from a friend, better posted than I regarding the statistics of finance, to whom I had sent the first for comment.
To the Editor of Liberty:
Being unable to get reliable information on some points of our present financial legislation, I should be pleased to obtain it from you, if you can give it.
What proportion of the present bonded debt of the United States is not deposited as a security for the issue of national bank notes?
Is there any law tending to restrict the issue of national bank notes below the amount due to the use of the entire bonded debt as security; and, if not, why is it that a considerable portion of the bonded debt is not so employed?
Yours truly, H. B.
Dear Mr. Tucker:
The report of the comptroller of the United States currency for December, 1887, states that on October 5, 1887, bonds on which circulation of national banks was issued were $189,000,000. The public debt of the United States was $1,700,771,948. The difference shows the answer to question one.
As to the first part of question two, numerous laws and legal practices, causing comparative insecurity in other investments, have induced a preference for investment of trust money and savings in United States bonds, without regard to rate of interest or premium. This demand raises the price against the banks. Other facts are that many bonds are not on the market at all, the investment being prescribed by will or by State law; that the banks must pay (as a so-called tax) one per cent. a year on their currency for cost of issue and government administration of the said currency. The expectation of the application of the law for buying bonds with the treasury surplus has probably induced some persons who control banks to secure bonds and hold the same ready for sale to the government at a higher premium. To tie up such bonds for currency would be a contrary movement.
Coming to the last portion of the second question, the main and direct consideration for answer is that the bonds are all at a premium, and a permanent investment means the payment of that premium without recovery. Whether we take the short-time bonds at a lower, or the long-time bonds at a higher premium, the bank which wants $90 currency has to pay $100, plus the premium, plus one per cent. per annum, in return for which it will get the annual interest and ultimately the face value of the bonds. But if one must pay from $108 to $129 to get $90 plus annual interest on $100, and pay cost of issue, and sink the $8 or the $29, one may well consider that more could be gained by using the difference, viz., $18 or $39, in making short loans and discounts, especially by bankers, who are in relation with monthly borrowers and city business men. In either case, one has the $90 for a similar use.
[It might also be stated that the results of competition in a business requiring large capital afford no fair criterion of its results in a business requiring little capital. Only persons of large means can start a national bank, whereas a mutual bank may be started by men owning next to no property, for in mutual banking the capital is furnished, not by the bank, but by its customers. — Editor Liberty.]
Mr. Franklin’s Notions.
To the Editor of Liberty:
Joseph Labadie would have us help the Democratic party in the recent campaign because of its alleged free trade tendency and because Jefferson, the founder of that party, believed in less government. He goes even further. In his delineation (what a cranky notion!) he puts the Democrats and the free traders on the same level with the Anarchists.
Though I am as much opposed to the idea of “setting ourselves away from the common herd” as Mr. Labadie himself, I don’t feel very much inclined to accept that company. The record of the Democratic party as lovers of liberty does not seem to me such as to invite the admiration of an Anarchist. If I am not mistaken, it was that party that fought against the abolition of slavery, and it was left to the administration of the same party to make conspiracy laws in opposition to labor organizations and free speech.
Jefferson believed that that is the best government which governs the least. But the Democrats of today believe in that truth as much as the Christians in the teachings of Jesus and his apostles, who declared that he should not eat who did not work. Still I don’t believe that Labadie would advise us to join the church because the ancient Christians entertained such and many other Anarchistic views.
If there is any Anarchistic value at all in tariff reform, we ought to give credit for it to the Republican rather than to the Democratic party, for it was the representatives of the former who advocated it first. Besides, should we not give as much credit to the Republican party for its intention to reduce the internal revenue system as to the Democratic party for its intention to reduce the tariff? What does it matter to us, Anarchists, where the reduction of the income of the government is made? “But tariff reform would lead to free trade, and what is free trade but Anarchy in exchange of products?” I hear Labadie exclaim. And a reduction of the internal revenue would lead to free whiskey, and what is free whiskey but anti-prohibition, which you, Mr. Labadie, have put in your delineation even higher than Anarchism? I reply.
Free trade! Anarchy in exchange of products! What a blessing! Still I hear that the condition of the laboring class of England under free trade is still worse than in this country. The papers tell horrible stories of the misery and want which prevail among the inhabitants of certain quarters of the city of London. Why, cannot they freely exchange their products and get whatever they want? Fool, they have no products! The capitalists steal the products of labor in England even easier than in the United States. They simply tell their working men and women: “Work for next to nothing, or I will have my goods made in another country where people of your class work for nothing.” You see, it is the capitalist, not the workingman, who is getting the benefits of that freedom of exchange. Then I thought that William B. Greene was right when he said that it is well to have just weights when we have a just balance, but when we have an unjust balance, we must have unjust weights also.
“And the finance!” I hear again somebody exclaim! “Did not Grover Cleveland express such remarkable views on that problem that even the stiffest plumb-liner, the editor of Liberty, could not help acknowledging them?”
Well, and what of it? What would not a politician say in order to catch votes? Did not Moses, the author of the first political platform, promise the Jews to lead them into a land which flows milk and honey, but led them into a terrible wilderness to destroy them instead? What ruler, what tyrant did not promise many a good thing before he got into power in order to gain the confidence of his victims? Was it not with a view to catch the Greenbackers’ votes that Cleveland expressed some sound views on finance?
These, Mr. Editor, are my notions. Are they sound or cranky?
New Haven, Connecticut.
[Mr. Franklin makes one good point. I agree with him that Anarchists have no more reason to support the Democratic party because its founder, Jefferson, was Anarchistic than to support the Christian church because Christ was to some extent Anarchistic. But in parts of his reply to Labadie he falls into errors of logic and fact which our Detroit comrade will have little difficulty in exposing if he thinks it worth while. Attending, for my part, only to the last part of Mr. Franklin’s letter, I dissent from the view that Cleveland told some financial truth in order to catch Greenback votes. The truth he uttered was put forward as an argument against the retention of the treasury surplus, and the question of the surplus figured in this campaign, not in its relation to Greenback theories, but in its relation to tariff reform. Seeing that his argument was good against the surplus, he used it, forgetting that he was thereby lending aid and comfort to the Greenbackers and the free money men. But it does not make a particle of difference what his motive was. By some chance or for some reason he gave most prominent expression to a fundamental principle in Anarchistic economics, and as soon as he had done so it became my duty as a vigilant Anarchistic journalist to point out the real nature of his utterance. In thus acting I did not say or even hint that Cleveland was therefore worthy of any Anarchistic support. But Mr. Franklin, who sits up nights to catch Liberty napping and sheds tears in the morning when he has failed, made haste to put this interpretation upon my words. He has no warrant for doing so. — Editor Liberty.]
Capital, Not Land, Needed.
The underlying fallacy of Mr. George is to think that land is a thing like the sea, and raising produce from it is a simple process, like catching fish. ... At this hour there are millions of acres of the soil which are perfectly at the service of Mr. George and his friends, at a rental of one shilling an acre, if he likes to lease them and to convert them into farms. It is untrue that the soil, even of this island, is all allotted out and closed for ever. There are millions of acres still to be had which might be made perfectly serviceable to man at an outlay of so much per acre. What is lacking is the capital or the labor willing to convert them.
A Sermon to Donkeys on Their Packs.
Yesterday I read again in the papers of the destruction of the tolls in the Hessian country! I know not if this be the old or the new story. Probably the former, since you have written nothing of further happenings lately. It is a pitiful state of affairs; the more pitiful, since the governments know of no remedy. Force and bloodshed again! Why are the people left in ignorance on this subject of revenue? Why not teach them the necessity and utility of the toll? Why not endeavor to becalm and persuade them with gentle words? Why hesitate to instruct the clergy to spread light among the people from the pulpit? If I were a minister at Fechenheim, Bergen, or Bockenheim, I should have preached a sermon on the Sunday following the royal massacre on the Manikur, and thereby added more to preserve the peace than could have been accomplished by ten companies of Hussars. My sermon would have run thus:
“My dear brethren:
“What perfect donkeys you have proven yourselves again on Friday to allow the enemy to shoot you? Do you know the cause? I will abstain from wine one week, if you can tell me. You are fools and good-for-nothings. You groan, and say, ‘we will pay no more toll’: Do you know what a toll is nowadays? what it has been heretofore? Don’t you see how much better off you are today than you were in days gone by? Attention! I will have a lantern in your empty skulls.
“Many of you have, some time or other, paddled down the Rhine; there’s John,— I know how often he came to Holland on a raft, before he took a wife,— and a brave and generous wife! — and such a fatted goose she sent me yesterday! But those of you who shunned the Rhine, perhaps you preferred to visit Konigstein, or Falkenstein? All the same. Crowning the hills on either side the Rhine, you see the ruined castles, called burgs. But they were not always thus ruined and forsaken. Upon a time they were gorgeous palaces wherein dwelt wealthy knights,— and time sped merrily along. My dear brethren! Those knights were glorious men! They filled the hearts of the Lord with joy. When they scattered their wild oats within their father’s garden, while the old gentleman viewed their youthful performances from the window, he remarked, with a laugh: ‘Youth hath no virtue; impetuosity must spend itself; but they are my soul and my blood.’ But if a loving God beholds us desolate knights — his latest progeny — who daily sit behind their books and weep whenever the master toucheth them with his rule, then he, the all-loving God, must needs feel ashamed of his fatherhood; he closes the window, and says: ‘Yea, verily, age hath stolen upon me!’ Such a knight was the picture of health, strong as a bull; and when he had made his cross in the face of the ‘horned gentleman from below,’ he became utterly fearless. Such a fellow could overcome each day some ten pounds of venison and wild boar, six pounds of mutton, a pretty slice of ham, a huge raisin cake — but little of bread.
“In addition to this bill, he drank a bucket of Bacharach or Rüdesheimer wine, and in the evening before sleep, a quart or two of hot spiced-wine. I tell you, brethren, there is nothing so wholesome as this hot spiced-wine. Yesterday I caught a bad cold, and retired early. I was about to blow out my light, but who knocks? My housekeeper. Without a word, she had gone to the kitchen, made a pitcher of spiced-wine, and, setting it before my bed, she said: ‘Father, this will do you good.’ I drank the wine, perspired profusely, and this morning my cold was gone. Can you still perceive traces of it? Look you, brethren, such a merry life had led the knights of old: they ate well, drank deep, and slept soundly, and their spare time was reserved for the chase and sport. But it was not modern warfare, it was — sport. They struck each other’s helmet and shield, and when one happened to be hit badly, the blacksmith repaired the injury, and the next day all wounds were healed. The infernal era of powder was not yet dreamed of.
“But listen further. Those knights had gorgeous palaces, fine horses, trained dogs, and excellent servants, but money they had none. How to raise revenue? They labored not, and earned no wages. But all men are the children of God, and, if there are persons who do not work, it is the Christian duty of such as do work to support them. Those pious knights, who knew and honored God’s will, arranged their lives accordingly, and whenever they needed money they took it from the laborers who had some. And this is the way they managed it: On the lofty towers of their burgs they posted a poor knave with a horn, whose office it was to scan the region day and night, and, whenever a craft sailed down the Rhine laden with merchandise, or a team came along the highway, en route to Frankfort, the knave blew the horn. The knights, who understood the signal, sprang from the table or out of bed, grasped their weapons, and hastened down the burg. The craft’s crew and the teamster and the merchant alike were soundly thrashed, and their bags and boxes were opened — for inspection, and their goods were confiscated. Then said the knights: ‘Gentlemen, good fortune betide you on the way to Frankfort,’ and returned with the booty rejoicingly to the castles. This manner of bread-winning gained for them the name of robber knights. These goods they disposed of at wretched prices to Jews, and thus they got money. The Jews sold to the plundered merchants their own goods again, and thereupon they proceeded to the Frankfort fair,— and all was well. Thus originated the toll, or tax, and the robber knights of old have today their successors in the custom-house officials.
“Now follow me attentively. The merchants finally considered: ‘Were it not better to give the knights at the outset so much cash as the Jewish traders give them for our goods? These crooks exact from us double the price they pay the knights. It were a gain of half the amount, and the thrashing were also done away with.’ Accordingly they sent a deputation to Knight Kurt, which represented to him: ‘Sir Knight! you are an honest man; you have never done us wrong. But your neighbor, Knight Ruprecht, is a rascal and a robber who robs and maltreats us whenever we pass. So we come to make you this proposition: whenever we reach your castle, please give us an escort past the castle of your rapacious neighbor, protect us, and do not tolerate that he rob and destroy us. For this kind service we will pay you one hundred gulden.’ Knight Kurt replied: ‘You are shrewd people; I will consider the matter. This evening I tender my neighbors a party,— perhaps you have a cask of wine aboard?’ The merchants brought the wine, and, going to Knight Ruprecht, they said: ‘Sir Knight! you are an honest man; you have never done us wrong. But your neighbor, Knight Kurt, is a rascal and a robber who robs and maltreats us whenever we pass. So we come to make you this proposition: whenever we reach your castle, please give us an escort past the castle of your rapacious neighbor, protect us, and do not tolerate that he rob and destroy us. For this kind service we will pay you one hundred gulden.’ Knight Ruprecht replied: ‘You are shrewd people; I will consider the matter. Tomorrow I invite my neighbors to dinner,— perhaps you have a few hams among your store?’ The merchants brought the hams, and then proceeded to Knight Eberstein, and so on, from one to another, from Rüdesheim to Bonn, and reiterated the same story along the route. But when, one evening, many knights assembled at Sir Kurt’s castle, and each told the other how the merchants called them ‘honest men’ to their faces, but called the neighbor a rascal and a robber, they broke out in roaring laughter, and revelled until morning. But with the merchants things fared now much better than formerly.
“And thus things continued through several centuries. At last the emperors, kings, dukes, the nobility,— the ancestors of our gracious rulers,— began to deliberate; and they concluded that they had long been foolish. They thought: the knights derive a fine revenue from citizens and peasants; are we not utter fools not to get it ourselves? Who is master in the land, we or the knights? This must change. They said accordingly to the merchants: ‘Dare to pay no more tribute to the robbers; the money you have been giving them, give in future to us, in return for which we will protect you against all violence.’ This satisfied the merchants, while the royal masters forbade the knights their customary rascality. But the knights did not mind this, and, when merchants passed along and refused to pay, they were plundered and killed as formerly. They were obliged, therefore, if they wanted peace, to pay the knights also. Now our gracious rulers became aware of the facts, and they said unto themselves: ‘Our merchants pay the knights one hundred gulden for each cargo of goods, and the same to us; were it not better if they gave us two hundred gulden and the knights nothing at all?’ They summoned the merchants, and said to them: ‘In future you pay us two hundred gulden for each cargo, and refuse tribute to the knights; we will settle their business for them.’ And they kept their word. They destroyed all robber castles, took the knights prisoners, and led them to their courts, where with good feeding they soon became tame. The merchants were provided with escorts whenever they went to market. When now there were no longer any knights and robberies, and the merchants had no longer any fears, they went to their rulers and said to them: ‘We humbly thank you for the protection so far given us, but we need it no longer, since the roads are secure.’ To this the rulers replied: ‘We are pleased to hear that our services are no longer required, but we sorely need your money, and for an escort you must pay now as heretofore,’ — and this is now an old custom. After some time the rulers thought: ‘Is it not quite superfluous to give the merchants an escort of Hussars, now that the roads are secure? We can save the expense of the escort.’ They accordingly abolished the escort, and instituted the revenue system in its place; they built custom-houses at every entrance to and exit from the country, and whenever merchants came along with goods, they had to pay tribute — now under the name of ‘duty.’ If a neighboring ruler complained that his subjects were being wronged, he was answered: ‘My brother, do with my subjects as I do with yours; let them pay you toll; sheep need sheering, otherwise they will not thrive.’
“Now you must plainly see that you are oxen, if you complain about the tax. Have not you suffered much worse formerly? Then you were robbed and maltreated; now your boxes are opened in an orderly fashion, your money is taken politely, and whipping is done away with, though even now, as in the days of the robber knights, you will be killed if you refuse to pay the tax and offer resistance. But you are not now whipped to death, as then, which was rather rough; you are simply shot, which is much more refined and does not really hurt at all; and to be shot by order of a gracious ruler is also an honor. But when you ask: ‘Why does our gracious ruler, who surely is rich, take from us poor devils our few pennies? why must we pay thirty cents for a pound of sugar that cost us but eighteen a week ago?’ you again show what mutton-heads you are. Does our gracious ruler keep the money himself? Of course not. He does not need it, he has more than enough. But with your money he supports the numerous progeny of the robber knights, who, like their ancestors, produce nothing and earn nothing, who live idlers’ lives at his court, and for whom you, since they may no longer rob you, must, as is but proper, toil. But not alone for this brood of robbers does our gracious ruler need your money; he must pay his many soldiers. And now don’t be donkeys and ask: ‘Wherefore does he need soldiers?’ You have seen yourselves on Friday wherefore he needs them. If he had had no soldiers, how in the world could he have tamed you when you stormed the revenue office? Now, perhaps, you will say: ‘But if there had been no duty we should have kept quiet; peaceful citizens require no soldiers; in the absence of soldiers our money would not be needed; and if our money is not needed, the tax is unnecessary.’ Well, there is some sense in this, and I see you are not so stupid as you appear. But, my dear brethren, you must consider something else. Our gracious ruler needs soldiers not only against you, his children, but he needs them also against foreigners, against the external enemy. If you ask: ‘Who is his foreign enemy? who wishes to do him any harm?’ I must tell you frankly: No one thinks of it. But our gracious ruler has a large family, for whom he must also care. All emperors, kings, grand dukes, dukes, and princes are his near relatives, whom he assists in need. Such is Christian duty. Would you not do likewise? The czar is his brother, the emperor of Austria also his brother, the king of Prussia his brother-in-law. Now mark: Nicholas wants Poland; Francis Joseph wants Italy; Frederick William does not know what he wants, for he wants everything. But over yonder is mighty France. There the king is not lord over all; he is not more than every other; he is simply the first peasant in the land. There the people are all, and everything is done for the people. Now, the French say: ‘All nations are our brethren; we are all of one family. The Poles are our brothers, the Italians are our cousins, the Germans are our good neighbors. And we would rather help them than suffer an enemy to molest them.’ Our gracious ruler lends his soldiers to emperor and king that they may cope with the French,— and for this you must pay taxes. The soldiers sent against France are your own sons and brothers, and to make them march more willingly,— for who could force them against their will? — they are taught the lie that France is our inveterate foe, who wishes to conquer us. Believe it not. The French are your best friends, and when they come, they come only to assist you and the Poles, and you should give them a hearty welcome, and take them to the saloon. But lock up your girls securely until they are gone again.
“Now I have told you what the toll is. Now go and be wise. What will you say to your God and to your conscience, if you are refractory against your gracious ruler, and force him to send soldiers against you who are all your brothers and sons, and who, if they kill you, become parricides and fratricides. Go and pay the tax. And should you wish to come again to destroy the revenue office, be not like stupid cattle, remaining at a distance from the soldiers, which gives them heart to fire upon you, but draw quite near them, that they may recognize you. Bring your daughters along. Lisa, there, will certainly find more than one beau among the sharpshooters,— need not turn scarlet, Lisa, all of us were young and pretty once,— and if she advance upon them, and say: ‘Well, well, Peter; well, well, John, are you blind? Don’t you know me? Haven’t we danced together at the recent church dedication? Why Peter! there is my father, who plucked many an apple for you from his tree! John! here is my brother, at whose head you only recently threw a jug of beer. Dear Peter! have you forgotten your Lisa? Would you turn murderer for a loaf of bread? Are not you, too, a peasant boy? What’s a noble, what’s the toll to you? Come to us, my good John. You say nothing? Well, here I stand; kill a poor girl, if you have the heart to!’ But I tell you, my beloved brethren, John and Peter have not the courage to shoot; the murderous weapon will fall from their hands, and they will begin to weep. And all their comrades will throw away their guns, rush into your arms, and shed hot tears that they had been so godlessly wicked. Then you will no longer have to pay the toll. Now return home and be wise. He who fails to understand me is a donkey. Amen.”
A Tariff Reform Argument Neatly Turned.
[A. L. Ballou in Fair Play.]
We are told that the word tariff comes from the old Spanish town Tarifa in the Straits of Gibraltar, where the old Moorish chieftain claimed tribute from passing merchant ships, and Mr. Underwood tells us that “the protective tariff thus had its origin in robbery.” I would move, Mr. Editor, to strike out the word “protective.” The Moorish tribute was a “tariff for revenue only.” All compulsory taxation began thus, and it does not matter to the victims whether it be levied by a highwayman or a government agent. It always was and always will be simply robbery.
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.