“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.
A remarkable confession from the “Nation”: “In truth, nothing defends itself so desperately, and with such serenity of conscience as to the means to be used, as property in danger.” This of course is true only of property acquired dishonestly.
The London “Freethinker,” in a five-line obituary of T. L. M’Cready, says: “Although Mr. M’Cready wrote mainly on Social subjects, his utterances were always thoughtful and manly.” Since when did Sociology become so degraded as to deserve this “although”?
An Irish judge has advised the people of Galway to invoke the aid of lynch law in order to stop boycotting. And now somebody, with far more reason and propriety, will advise the boycotters to invoke the aid of dynamite against such tyrannical judges. So does force breed force.
In the “Twentieth Century’s” compliment column appears this tribute from a puritan named Remington Congar: “There is no impurity nor intolerance between its covers. It is a paper that I am not afraid to have my wife and little daughter read.” Does the “Twentieth Century” print this compliment (?) because it is proud of it or because it is ashamed of it?
“M,” of the Denver “Individualist,” says with an air of dignity that he “cannot agree with Liberty that Mr. Sullivan is a single-taxer.” But Liberty has nowhere said that J. W. Sullivan is a single-taxer; it stated that he “calls himself a single-taxer,” which is a different thing entirely, and which is a fact. Before “agreeing” or “disagreeing” with Liberty, the “Individualist” editors should take pains to understand it.
Frank Pixley is certainly not to be suspected of undue partiality for the workingmen; yet his words on the subject of the relation between privileged capital and oppressed labor, which I elsewhere reprint from the “Argonaut,” may be read with profit by some editors of individualistic papers who regard themselves as eminently just and even friendly to labor, but who pretend to be unable to soberly pronounce capital and capitalistic government responsible for the misery and degradation of the masses.
“My recent address on the subject of the evils of organization,” writes Mr. Pentecost, “has been more misunderstood by my brother editors and other co-workers in the social field than anything I remember to have written.” That’s because it was your best, Mr. Pentecost. Liberty is the most misunderstood paper in the world. That’s a strong indication that it is the best paper in the world. Bear up under misunderstanding, Mr. Pentecost. And remember that at least one brother editor (perhaps your most watchful critic) has borne enthusiastic testimony to his admiration of the address in question.
The Atlanta “Constitution” urges a boycott on Northern industries if the federal election bill becomes a law. If the people of the North were really guilty of any injustice to the South, such a measure would be wise and Anarchistically commendable (provided of course the Southerners do not lose more than the Northerners by it). We are glad that the “Constitution,” which deems itself aggrieved, favors this Anarchistic weapon of defence, from which there is a short step to complete secession. But the Republican legislators do not represent the people of the North; it is therefore the politicians, not the people, that deserve boycotting.
The “Whirlwind,” recognizing that “young ladies are as much harassed by the canons of Society as individual citizens are by the enactments of parliament, and that the interference of Mrs. Grundy is just as frivolous and offensive as that of ‘our Grandmother, the State,’” counsels the girls to striker. It says: “Let them enter into a solemn league and covenant, refusing to attend a single crush, drum, ball, or dinner party, until these odious restrictions are removed. All half-timers, blacklegs, and bluestockings must be rigidly boycotted and the fullest and completest liberty be alone accepted at the hands of the arbiters of Society. All entertainments are got up for the benefit of girls, and without them the whole fabric of Society would ignoininiously collapse.”
“Do Nationalists propose to leave unused land free for occupancy?” is the question which Mr. Pentecost puts to a Nationalist critic who has denied that Nationalism is invasive and arbitrary; and he adds: “If Nationalism means that vacant land shall be free, I have no objection to it.” I think I understand Mr. Pentecost’s meaning, which is unobjectionable. But he has laid himself open to serious misinterpretation, and he should make himself clear to those who are not so familiar with his thought as his Anarchistic readers. Nationalism may leave vacant land free and yet be an intolerable and odious tyranny. It may deny other valuable liberties, such as the liberty of labor, of exchange, of love, of education, of speech. To become Anarchistic, Nationalism will have to allow, not merely the use of unoccupied land, but the exercise of every liberty except that of direct and unmistakable invasion.
John Swinton claims to have discovered a city in which there is no trace of the porcine element. He writes to the “Sun” that there are no human hogs in Edinburgh,— no staring hogs, no police hogs, no car hogs, no tobacco hogs, no jostling hogs, in a word, no hogs and no hoggishness of any kind. Everybody is polite, suave, considerate, and helpful. But I find also this significant statement in his letter: “I have seen gentle manners among the most abject wretches of both sexes, in the most squalid parts of the city.” To me, there is sufficient circumstantial evidence here to overthrow John Swinton’s whole claim. A city free from hogs and hoggishness would also be free from “squalid parts” and “abject wretches.” It is safe to say that there are plenty of landlord hogs and money-lending hogs and other usurious hogs in Edinburgh, as well as numerous government hogs. It is strange that John Swinton, the enemy of usury, should have missed such a plain inference from the pitiful facts he observed.
“National greenbackers believe that the birth of greenbacks was the beginning of a new and better civilization.... They believe that the word greenback was not an accident, but was heaven-born, and is the most fitting emblem to handle all the products of God’s green earth, from whence all the wealth, luxuries, and necessities we have in this world are derived. They believe that, as green is the only color on which the eye can always rest and never tire, so greenbacks will always remain to promote liberty, free government, intelligence, and human happiness.” If I thought that these words were uttered in sincerity, I should be inclined to award their author, Col. Geo. O. Jones, the cake for superstition. But Col. Jones is an old man of sixty-six years and knows better. He is not superstitious; he is simply a financial high priest preaching to a superstitious congregation,— namely, the greenbackers of Alabama in convention assembled. He knows that the greenbackers are even greener than the greenbacks, and will never interrupt him with the question: “What are you giving us?”
When Mr. J. W. Sullivan, in reviewing for the “Twentieth Century” the “Symposium on the Land Question,” characterizes Mr. Wordsworth Donisthorpe’s contribution to the pamphlet as “some pages of his usual inconsequential chatter,” he is himself guilty of chatter such as I am glad to believe is not usual with him. Mr. Donisthorpe easily ranks among the foremost intellects and most brilliant writers now living in England, and, while it is proper to differ with him and possible to convict him of error, it is impossible to successfully treat him with contempt. Nevertheless the attempt is now made in the “Twentieth Century” for the second time. Mr. Donisthorpe’s notable book on “Individualism,” of which the remarkable quotation made by Mr. Yarros in his article on Spencer in the last number is a sample page, was recently handled in the “Twentieth Century” as if it were the work of a nincompoop. That journal will in one respect fall short of the high level to which its editor aspires for it, if its book review department is suffered to be made ridiculous in this fashion.
“It is a matter of the simplest demonstration that no man can be really appreciated but by his equal or superior. His inferior may overestimate him in enthusiasm, or, as is more commonly the case, degrade him in ignorance; but he cannot form a grounded and just estimate.” So says Ruskin; and herein we have the true explanation of the doubtless correct statement that Liberty is uninteresting to many, and “Fair Play” unreadable, and both worthless as “missionary literature among certain classes. The old Greek philosopher was wise when he inferred from the fact that the crowd noisily cheered him that he had emitted some silly remark. Liberty expects to be abused, neglected, and misunderstood, for it is radical and philosophical and progressive. In the end, however, it and its real allies must obtain due recognition and triumph over all opposition. Let Ruskin explain this apparent paradox: “If it be true, and it can scarcely be disputed, that nothing has been for centuries consecrated by public admiration without possessing in a high degree some kind of sterling excellence, it is not because the average intellect and feeling of the majority of the public are competent in any way to distinguish what is really excellent, but because all erroneous opinion is inconsistent, and all ungrounded opinion transitory, so that, while the fancies and feelings which deny deserved honor, and award what is undue, have neither root nor strength to maintain consistent testimony for a length of time, the opinions formed on right grounds by those few who are in reality competent judges, being necessarily stable, communicate themselves gradually from mind to mind, descending lower as they extend wider, until they leaven the whole lump.”
A Hypocrite in a Hole.
[New York Voice.]
The “Evening Post” has been making for some weeks a series of savage attacks upon Messrs. Funk & Wagnalls for selling copies of one of the American reprints of the “Britannica.” In reply these publishers sent to the “Evening Post” the following letter, which it refused to publish, but answered in a remarkable personal letter given below.
To the Editor of the Evening Post:
We are sure that you and your readers will be interested in the following letter from Edinburgh, Scotland, which has just been shown us:
.... All our stories are regularly pirated by dozens of newspapers in all parts of the United States. We have never yet received one penny of compensation from any American newspaper or publisher; and the source from which our stories are taken Is seldom or never acknowledged. We have contributors in Hoston. New York, Chicago, etc., who give us the first offer of all their work, and have afterward the pleasure of seeing their stories reprinted wholesale in the newspapers of their own cities!! These men are naturally ashumed of their countrymen.
The Editor of Chambers’ Journal.
In running back over the volumes of the “Evening Post,” we find that your paper has been one of the most persistent of the “dozens” of American newspapers in “pirating” the stories of “Chambers’ Journal,” an act which the editor of that journal says should make American authors “ashamed of their countrymen.” We are deeply anxious to know vour answer to this direct charge. You cannot this time belittle it. It comes from one of the most prominent of the Edinburgh publishers, a neighbor to the Messrs. Black. You must not set up the defence that all newspapers do it. You hooted at the defence that all book publishers, from “time out of mind,” reprinted and handled foreign books “without explicit consent previously obtained.” No honest man will give that excuse, you tola us. Hence, you are estopped from giving it in reply to this Edinburgh charge against you of a “piracy” for which an American should be “ashamed.” Nor can you again say in your defence that magazine publishers like to have their complete stories or other articles “stolen,” if credit is given, as this serves to advertise their periodicals. You know better. The “North American Review,” the “Arena,” the “Forum,” have all served notice on the newspapers to stop this kind of “stealing,” and have threatened recourse to law. The English and Scottish magazine publishers have done the same in Great Britain. Extracts they are willing to have you use, but complete articles and complete stories, never; and this is just your offence, and you have been guilty of it literally hundreds of times. Your attention is being directed to this point, we are glad to see, by your brother newspaper editors. The following friendly words we quote from the last issue of the “Publishers’ Weekly”:
You, dear “Post,” to adopt your favorite method of direct address, know perfectly well that you would not dare to reprint complete stones from “Harper’s” or “The Century” as you reprint from the English magazines, on the plea that the publishers like it and that it advertises the excellence of their wares. The absence of law is a premium on dishonesty? and it leads very good people Into very bad ways. Let us have law.
We say Amen to that whole paragraph. Do you?
Dare you say, in justification against this charge of piracy by the Edinburgh “Chambers’ Journal,” that it is a little thing “to steal” stories from foreign magazines in comparison with the taking of a book? Is the right or wrong of dishonesty to be measured that way? Are there degrees in stealing, ethically considered? Is it a defence for a thief to say, “I stole only $100; you stole $1,000”? But your theft is not a little one. The aggregate of your story “piracy” during the past two-score years foots up enormously. These stories of 4,000 to 12,000 words each cost, at a low average, $200. If you “steal” one a week, that would amount to $10,000 a year, which, in forty years, would aggregate the enormous sum of $400,000 worth of stories “stolen” by you “for profit” from the “Chambers’ Journal” and other European magazines! But, say, your “theft” has averaged only one story in four weeks (it has been far more than that), the aggregate value of your stolen property would be $100,000. Remember your standpoint: Literary expression is property; to take it without consent, law or no law. is stealing just exactly as it would be to steal a man’s pocket-book. Believing that, how will you escape the charge of the editors of “Chambers’ Journal,” that you are a “pirate,” a thief of enormous proportions?
Now, we beg that you do not fly off at a tangent, and call names, and say that we are seeking to justify ourselves by the acts of others. Not so; we are simply testing your sincerity by your own acts, striving to see if your principles are unprincipled,— that is, unbacked by principles. Remember, we have called no names, we have avoided the “indecencies of newspaper warfare”; nor have we violated (a fault so common, we are sorry to see, in your replies) that canon of logic which requires that not anything Bhall appear in the conclusion for which no foundation was laid in the premise. Our point is clear cut. It is the charge of “Chambers’ Journal,” that you are guilty of a “piracy” of which your “countrymen should naturally feel ashamed.”
You say we have “backed down,” “surrendered.” Very well, if you prefer so to put it; then, from your standpoint, we did an honorable thing. Now, will you do an equally honorable thing, by backing down, surrendering, and thus illustrate your principles by a worthy example?
Funk & Wagnalls.
18 and 20 Astor Place, July 10, 1890.
“The Evening Post,” 208 Broadway, New York, July 11, 1890.
Messrs. Funk & Wagnalls.
We are in receipt of your letter of July 10 charging us with having, on various occasions for some years back, reprinted short stories from English magazines without paying its authors or publishers any compensation. The charge is true; our excuse is to be found in the old legal maxim: “De minimus non curat lex.” We have made inquiries ourselves as to whether the publishers of English magazines object to it. We assumed they did not, as long as the source was acknowledged, as none of the magazines are reprinted in this country, and none have more than a trifling sale nere. Finding that the publishers do object, we have stopped the practice. Please print this in the “Voice” and “Homiletic Review.” Yours truly,
The Editor of “The Evening Post.”
Of course, to borrow from his own choice vocabulary, used by him so freely during this controversy, Mr. Godkin, the editor of the “Post,” is now “a self-confessed robber,” “a pirate,” “a thief,” and, we regret to add, “a liar,” for who will believe for a moment that he is not “galloping over the houndlqss plains of untruth” when he says that only now, since we called his attention a few weeks ago to the matter, has he discovered that the English magazine publishers object to this “stealing” by the “Post” — in all these forty years. Manikin is a little man; Godkin is a little god, henceforth how little!
Instead of this “piracy” being so unimportant to these magazines, many of them have agencies in this country, and the chief reason that they have “a trifling sale here,” is that they are the victims of such “conscienceless pirates” (again to borrow from Mr. Godkin’s choice vocabulary) as Mr. Godkin confesses himself and his predecessors to have been all these years. Mr. Godkin, in his editorial of last Saturday, likens his story-“stealing” to the borrowing of a cotton umbrella. Let him borrow $400,000 worth of cotton umbrellas, and sell them “for profit,” as he has these stories, and see just how long it will be before the editorial headquarters of the “Post” will be removed to Sing-Sing. Remember, we are looking at this whole matter from the “Post’s” standpoint. There is another legal maxim which the “Post” should long ago have remembered, Falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus,— that is, freely translated, he who is dishonest in one thing, is dishonest in all things. We are glad that the “Post” stops its “piracy,” but what will it do about the past? When a man finds that his victims really object to his taking their “pocket books,” he not only stops if he is an honest man, but he makes full restitution. Will the “Post” send over to Europe the several hundred thousand dollars in payment for the stories it has “pirated”? It should remember that we had a better right to assume that the European holders of copyright did not object to our plan of reprinting and handling their books, paying them a share of the profits. For, in the whole history of our house, never but once was the money we forwarded returned or any objection made; on the contrary, these Europeans expressed themselves as thankful and often as most agreeably surprised, and sometimes they did this in a public manner, as did W. Matthieu Williams in the “Popular Science Monthly,” declaring that their books had been taken previously in America almost invariably without acknowledgment. How very common this fault is today the following letter from H. Rider Haggard, hitherto unpublished, will prove:
Ditchingham House, Bungay, June 29, 1890.
.. I have sometimes received twelve or thirteen pirated editions of a single book. How many more there may have been I cannot say... From the best of my recollection I have received pay from no American publisher with the solitary exception or the Messrs. Harpers. Per contra: (1) My books have been very freely taken and reprinted in America. (2) They have frequently been mutilated. (3) My proofs have been got at and published without my corrections. (4) One book to my knowledge has been published under my name of which I never wrote a line.
H. Rider Haggard.
We have labored faithfully with the derelict “Post,” and are glad that we have succeeded. It has labored faithfully with us, and we shall cheer its heart by telling it that it has also succeeded. We have determined to reprint no more European books without consent,— that is, we shall make what has been very nearly an invariable rule with us, an altogether invariable one. So far, so good. Now, friend “Post,” for a joint and vigorous warfare. If you will labor zealously with your sister derelict newspapers throughout the country, aqd convert them, we shall strive to do the same with our brother publishers, and who knows when the good work will cease.
Funk & Wagnalls.
18 and 20 Astor Place, New York.
Legal Privilege Crushing Labor.
[San Francisco Argonaut.]
While we write in bitter indignation against the laboring class for indefensible and un-American acts, we may not be silent in reference to the crimes of capitalists. There are sins of omission and commission common to both the moneyed and the working classes, and because the poor and dependent have less intelligence to guide them and less resources to support them, we must accord to them greater indulgences when the wolf shows his gleaming teeth at their doors than when discomforts disturb wealth and idleness in its luxurious ease or threaten to wake it from the dream of sensuous repose. The crimes which organized capital perpetrates upon the laboring poor are more cruel, more deliberately malevolent, and a thousand times more indefensible than all the offences which arise from working-guilds and labor-strikes or bread-riots. The one class of offence comes from a sense of personal danger. It is the universal sentiment of self-defence aroused for self-protection. Capital combines from cowardice and in order to satisfy its lust for gain. Capital is the bully that oppresses the weak — because they are weak, poor, and indefensible. Labor combines because it is too ignorant to know that it has — under the law and through the law — a better way to work reforms than by violence and illegal acts. Labor can not be patient, for while it deliberates and plans it starves. The crimes which capital perpetrates are too numerous to mention In detail. Oppressive and tyrannical governments depend upon and result from wealth. All the horrors of centuries committed through the feudal age are the results flowing from privileged and wealthy classes clothed with political power. Slavery, from the period of the patriarchs, through the Roman era down to the Civil War in America, is but one and the lesser of the evils perpetrated by the privileged and wealthy few. Standing armies, wars, and dynastic conflicts for succession and for empire, come from few other causes. Trusts, corners, combines, and moneyed syndicates, all are criminal organizations which men of wealth resort to in order to enhance the values of the necessaries of life indispensable to sustain physical strength necessary to enable the workingman to endure the hours of toil which the master exacts — usurious interest, a monopoly of lands, special laws for the protection of property, the cost of legal expenses. There is only one proceeding at law which is conducted by the State at the expense of the tax-paying public, and that is prosecution for crime. The rich may oppress the poor by corporate or other exactions, may deprive the poorer man of his land or estate and drive him to a ruinous defence at law, the success of which may impoverish him. If against any of these modes of oppression and devices to which rich and unscrupulous men resort to increase their capital, there should be strikes and unlawful combinations, and out of them should result destruction of life and property and an interruption of the law, let all reasonable, intelligent, and just-minded men calmly consider whether labor has not causes for dissatisfaction, which it has not the intelligence to consider nor the time to remedy. The world is in the throes of rebellion. The workingman has revolted from his yoke, and if he does not lie down in his furrow and patiently wait for relief, it is because the labor he must perform is the penalty of the original sin which the Church has imposed upon him as a religious belief. The Church and the State are in conspiracy to bind the toilers’ conscience and control his acts that capital may secure more than it earns in its coöperation with labor. The two are working in copartnership upon unjust terms, and this revolution will never go backward or be stayed till the classes who possess the wealth, the brains, and the leisure to consider the relations between labor and capital, shall adjust them more rationally and equitably.
Inevitable Drift of Paternalism.
Bishop Katzer of Milwaukee is too old-fashioned, or, to use an adjective of about the same import, too new-fashioned for anything. The bishop the other day protested strenuously against some resolutions of German Catholic societies condemnatory of the Wisconsin public school law, because they seemed to concede the right of the State to take children from the control of parents in cases of parental negligence. Of course when the principle that the proper nurture of children finally devolves upon the State is once accepted for systematic application, the question of parental negligence would be a mere matter of opinion, conscience, taste, theoretical vagary, or arbitrary caprice on the part of State officialism. The child might be taken from its parents if they neglected to bring it up on a particular diet, to administer to it particular medicines, to dress it in a particular fashion; if they neglected at a certain age to teach it a prescribed trade, to teach it dancing or music, to teach it religion or irreligion according to a State catechism, or to steep its tender mind in the dreamland literature and utopian idealities of Bellamyism. Any of these things might happen in strict keeping with the socialistic theory of the fatherhood of the State and filial dependence of the people. The good Bishop Katzer is amazed at the idea of children being appropriated, Spartan-wise, by the State, and of the natural parents being divested of both control and responsibility on their account. But he would hardly have been amazed had he considered how far government paternalism has already gone in treating people in general, adults and infants, parents and offspring, as children of the State. The idea of this promiscuous filialism is at the bottom of every measure of protection and regulation touching the industrial and business affairs of the people. The fact is that in this country and throughout the civilized world an epidemic of sentimental revolt against individualism is in progress, coupled with a fond vision of social regeneration by act of parliament process up to a state of celestial beatitude. Even Miss Winnie Davis, whose father was so stalwart a believer in the philosophy of individualism, is touched with this mingled spirit of revolt and enthusiasm. It is vain to remind the enthusiasts that the selfish and grasping individualism which excites their disgust is the distorted work and acrid fruit of antecedent and existing contrivances of government paternalism. They are apparently indomitable in the belief that the only way to remedy the evil is to indefinitely magnify the cause. Perhaps the wave of sentimental movement which they represent is resistless. Indeed, signs appear on every hand that we are entering a period of most fantastic enterprises of government paternalism not only in economic problems, but in the moral and religious concerns of society. The general principle invoked for Buch enterprises is that whatever is affected with a public interest is a proper subject for public control and official regulation. As religious institutions no less than educational institutions are thus affected it is easy to see that government paternalism in full headway must extend to the churches as well as the schools. It is true that the federal constitution forbids congress to make any law respecting the establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exereise thereof, but it does not say that this may not be done by the several States. By recent act of congress the property of the Mormon church in Utah has been escheated to the civil commonwealth. As far as the federal constitution is concerned every State is at liberty to make a like appropriation of the property of any church within its Jurisdiction which may offend its prejudice or tempt its avarice. But the drift of paternalism sets farther than this. Certainly parentage is not less affected with a publio interest than childhood. Hence in the progressive development of government paternalism touching both these subjects the State authority will find itself under an equal necessity, after seeing to the proper nurture of children, to provide the commonwealth with a fit selection of husbands and wives and to take charge in short of all the conditions of parentage. Some may think that such a suggestion is preposterous. But let them look around and they will see its speculative possibilities in every advance of thought and of policy in the line of government paternalism. If the present drift continues unabated, at no distant day more than one modern Sparta, with circumstantial variations, may be wrought into stupendous shape with iron laws and start upon its fatal career, the admiration or the terror of the world.
Tyrannical Hypocrites Declare War.
The prohibitionists are just now sorely exercised because the “original package” decision nullifies the “police powers” of the States, to a certain extent. They can not reconcile themselves to the fact that the powers of their beloved “Nation” can be exerted to protect the open sale of intoxicants in Kansas, Iowa, and other States, where it is assumed that a majority of the people are opposed to such sale. They have suddenly discovered that prohibitory States have certain sacred “police powers” with which it is sacrilege for the general government to meddle. That the liceuse and free whiskey (if there be any of the latter) States have equally sacred “police powers” is an idea that has never found lodgment in the brain cavity of the straight prohibitionist, or, at least, has made no outward manifestation. That it has not is proven by his continued shouting for a “National prohibitory amendment.” His conception of justice and equal liberty is that the Federal governmeut shall aid the Kansas authorities in enforcing prohibition in this state, where there is assumed to be a very small majority favorable thereto, but in Texas, where there is an overwhelming majority in favor of license, this same Federal government shall forbid and prevent the sale of intoxicants, thus overriding and rendering nugatory the “police powers” of that State. This is whtft a “National prohibitory amendment” means. You see it makes all the difference in the world whose ox is gored. The “police powers” of a prohibition State are as sacred in the eyes of a prohibitionist as the Ark of his God, but the “police powers” of a license State be would remorselessly wipe out by means of a prohibitory amendment to the National Constitution.
The spirit of rebellion is rife in Kansas. From the “Capital” down to the cross-road posters, the Republican sheets, with a few honorable exceptions, are covertly or openly countenancing the idea of mob violence against the original package men. So with the Attorney General of the State and quite a number of county prosecuting attorneys. To be sure, the officials veil slightly their encouragement of mobocratic measures, but all understand what they mean. In the face of the decision of the Supreme court, under cover of which decision the original package men are acting, and of decisions by Federal judges in the State, the prohibition county attorneys are piling costs upon the shoulders of the impoverished taxpayers by continued prosecutions, under one pretext and another, of the agents of the breweries and wholesale liquor dealers. Mobs seize liquors and ship them back to Kansas City or turn them into the gutters, and warn dealers to leave or take the consequences of their temerity if they remain. It is plain that nothing but fear restrains the-ultra-fanatical element. It is not fear in behalf of temperance that animates many of the most vociferous of this faction. They know that liquor has been sold and consumed in enormous quantities in this State during all these years that the farce of prohibition has been on the boards. But their pride is touched. They have claimed that prohibition was a success, although they knew that it was not, that to the evil of intemperance prohibition had added and super-added falMhood, treachery, adulteration, hypocrisy, betrayal, the spy system, every form of vice that riots under the protecting agis of repressive, suppressive, and invasive statutes. But all this was as nothing. It did not reduce the sum total of the stock in trade of the sumptuary journalist and orator. Skilful and persistent falsification of the facts would befool the credulous in other States. But the open original package house was another thing entirely. It introduced an element of candor into the business that made the fanatics grow pale to the very lips. They could never endure that, and for the reason that it was open to the light. That its tendency would be to reduce the consumption of the vile spirituous compounds, giving in their place the infinitely less harmful beer, counted for nothing. “Let loose the dogs of war”; nullify, if possible, the decision of the Supreme Court; assiduously wipe the outside of the platter while daubing a few extra layers of filth on the inside,— the general public will not be likely to turn it over to see what is hidden. Bah! How it all disgusts and sickens one!
And not alone in Kansas is the voice of rebellion heard; it is sounding ominously from all the so-called prohibition States, and from beyond their borders as well. For an hour the patent moralists can not use the Federal sword to cut down their foes, and it has made them frantic. They have determined that they will use it or break it. The recent utterances of their leaders can only be interpreted to mean “Peaceably if we can, forcibly if we must.” By the vote of the Constitution-forgetting and liberty-denying legislator, if so it may be; but if not, then by the musket and sword and torch. We will have our way, be it by trickery and ballot-boxism, or, these failing, by red-robed war.
Is this an exaggeration or a misrepresentation? Let us see: In June a National Temperance Congress was held in the city of New York. Among the speakers was Rev. H. C. Bascom. Here is a paragraph from his speech as reported:
“If the Federal Constitution provides no power to impose prohibition, there ought to be at least power in it to dissolve its infamous partnership with the rum traffic. If the Constitution be such a futile instrument, then for one I say with Horace Greeley: ‘Spit on the Constitution and step on it.’ [Wild applause.] If things have come to such a pass that whiskey is dominant in this country, I am ready for my musket.”
Rev. Joseph Cook, the well-known Boston lecturer, agreed with Rev. Bascom in these words:
“I fear that we may ultimately need the musket. We may have barricade riots yet. When the path to political preferment leads through the ginmill, free government is a farce, and the future may conceal a tragedy.”
What a frenzied cry would go up from press and pulpit if so-called “Anarchists” had given expression to like “incendiary” utterances! And yet these followers of the “Prince of Peace” will be looked upon as heroes, the to-be leaders of a grand “social” crusade, by thousands who think they would be serving “God and Humanity” by chaining the Free Press and putting padlocks on the lips and cupboard of the citizen.
Beauties of Government.
[Clippings from the Press.]
London, July 18. While it was a guarded and conservative reply that the secretary of war made last evening to the inquiries as to the decision arrived at by the court of inquiry in reference to their recent meeting to discuss the action to be taken in connection with the disaffection in the second battalion of the Grenadier Guards, it is generally understood here, and reported at the military clubs, that the guard will be dispatched to Natal on Tuesday for a period of at least two years, and no leave of absence on any excuse whatsoever will be granted. The guardsmen today presented a petition to their commanding officer, signed in behalf of the entire body of troops at the Wellington barracks, reciting that the average quantity of food received by them is not sufficient to keep body and soul alive, and asking that in future they shall receive what is justly their due, and what the government undoubtedly intends they should receive. In strengthening their position, they call incidents and instances to the attention of their commander which point to the fact that, while they are supposed to be receiving three-quarters of a pound of meat, the corruption and inhumanity in the commissary system, and those intrusted with its carrying out, prevent their getting more than one-half of this daily allowance. They further allege that this meat is being sold to the officers’ servants and to the bandsmen, which the complainants brand as being dishonest and unfair, especially, so as the 13d. they receive from the government per diem is not sufficient to provide the extra feed. They are compelled to purchase at the canteen in order to retain their health and strength. The petition, which is very long, concludes by saying that the charges at the refreshment bar are too heavy, and that barrack damages should be abolished, as they are monstrously unfair. As an offset to and a compensation for all these faults, the men demand increased pay, and ask that necessary sanitary and other improvements be made in their quarters. It is loudly whispered that widespread and wholesale discontent is prevalent throughout the British army, and that other regiments, encouraged by the action of the guards, will take a similar stand, and make like demands, all of which is calculated to precipitate serious trouble.
“L. M. T.” writes to the New York “Sun”: noticed in a recent letter in the ‘Sun,’ giving a list of relatives President Harrison had appointed to office, the statement was made that every known relative of the President and Mrs. Harrison, except John Scott Harrison, the President’s half-brother, who is a Democrat, had been appointed to an office by the President. The fact is, John Scott Harrison holds a lucrative position in one of the Territories. So every known relative of the President and his wife is now living on the Government.”
The following “police case” was reported in the New York “Sun” of July 28:
When the Staten Island ferryboat arrived at the Battery slip at about 9:30 last evening, and a six-horse tally-ho filled with members of a coaching club attempted to drive away, there was a cry for police and an attempt to stop the vehicle. There was some loud talk for a moment, and then two policemen came up. Several witnesses tell this story of what happened:
A young man, hatless, coatless, his face badly bruised and covered with blood, came painfully forward and said he wished to make complaint against a man on the coach who had assaulted him. He bent over with his hand on his side as though suffering severely from some injury there. He picked out a man who, he said, had pounded and kicked him on the boat until he wras rescued by other passengers. The man accused at first denied having seen the complainant before, but finally said that the fellow had annoyed him and he had thumped him. Thereupon one of the policemen said to the complainant:
“See here, if you make this complaint you’ll be locked up, too. Do you want to spend the night at the station house?”
The young man thought a moment, and then made up his mind that justice wasn’t worth such a sacrifice. He decided to withdraw the complaint. The coaching man rejoined his friends, and the battered young man started off in the other direction. As he turned to go one of the policemen gave him a violent punch in the back with his long night stick. The victim doubled up with a groan, and tried to move faster. The policeman followed him and then struck him a blow on the body with a full swing of his long club. The bystanders cried:
“Shame! Shame! It’s an outrage!”
The protests were so loud that the policeman desisted, and the victim limped painfully away. Three or four men, who had witnessed the policeman’s assault, followed him, and insisted on knowing his number. They found it was 2,542. J. T. Canavan, of 280 Broadway, William Anderson, of 350 Broadway, and John Low, of Fulton street, Brooklyn, went to the Old slip station to make complaint against the policeman. The Sergeant at the desk refused to take the complaint, and directed them to Police Headquarters. They were about to start for Headquarters, when, to their surprise, policeman 2,542 came in dragging the wretched young man whom he had previously clubbed. He complained of him for “fighting [with the man who licked him, presumably], and raising a disturbance on the street.”
Both the Sergeant and the policeman seemed much disturbed that Mr. Canavan and the other witnesses should remain while the complaint against the young man, whose name is James Sweeney and who lives in Brooklyn, was made. The Sergeant gave them several hints to leave. Before the charge was entered the Sergeant was called away from the desk for a moment, and then the prisoner in tears and pain begged mercy of his captors.
“If you knew how hard I have to work to get along you wouldn’t treat me this way,” he said.
“You shouldn’t have made trouble and you wouldn’t be in this scrape. Where are your hat and coat?” said the policeman.
“On the boat; You know there was no trouble on the street,” was the reply.
The policeman was bothered by this fact and its bearing on the charge he had made, but he didn’t change the accusation wheu the Sergeant came back. Then Mr. Canavan and the others went to Police Headquarters. They learned that the name of the policeman against whom they desired to complain is E. F. Smith. The Captain in charge told them to call this morning and enter their complaint with acting Superintendent Byrnes.
Mr. Canavan declares that he will push the case vigorously against the policeman, and he desires that other witnesses of the affair will communicate with him. “Of course the young man would not have been arrested if we had not taken the officer’s number for the purpose of making complaint. He bad to hunt him up and arrest him then, in order to provide some shadow of a case in his defence. So we are really responsible for getting the young man into the last part of his trouble, and I propose to get him out of it if possible. Some of the passengers on the boat told me that he was attacked without cause, and that half the members of the club joined in pounding and kicking him before he was rescued by the other passengers.”
We are Turks Plus Refinement.
A telegram says that in Turkey certain officials burned some Armenian peasants alive for not paying their taxes,— and the daily papers speak of it as “horrible.” And it is horrible. But what is done with people in “civilized” countries when they can’t pay rent and taxes? They are not burned alive, of course — our nerves and manners are too refined for that. They are simply “put into the street” by one set of officials, and then told to “move on” by another class of officers. And they move on, some to the poor-house, some to jail, some to worse places, many to disease, shame, and suicide! Those Turks are very brutal. Let us be thankful that our way is the “civilized and enlightened” way,— but we get there all the same!
“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.
The Right of Ownership.
To the Editor of Liberty:
Will you permit me to ask you for the definition, from an Anarchistic standpoint, of the “Right of Ownership”? What do you mean to convey when you say that a certain thing belongs to a certain person?
Before directing my attention to the study of the social question, I had a rather confused notion of the meaning of this term. Ownership appeared to me a kind of amalgamation of wealth with the individual. This conception could, of course, not be sustaiued in an analysis of the social question and the distribution of wealth. For some time I could not obtain a clear notion as to what the term, as popularly used, really signifies, nor could I find a satisfactory definition in any of the books I had at command. The writers of dictionaries content themselves with quoting a number of synonyms which throw no light on the subject, and the writers on Political Economy seem not to bother themselves about such trifles. They need no solid foundations for their theories since they build their castles in the air. It is said that ownership is the “exclusive right of possession,” but this explanation fails to meet the inquiry of him who can nowhere find a satisfactory explanation of the import of the term “right.”
It is clear that a radical distinction exists between possession and ownership, though these concepts are in a measure related to each other. It seems reasonable, therefore, to expect to find a clue by examining the distinction that exists between the possessor and the owner of a thing. And this examination is not difficult. The owner of a thing which for some reason is in the possession of some one else, may demand its return, and, if it is not returned willingly, the aid of the law can be invoked. This leads to the conclusion that the right of ownership is that relation between a thing and a person created by the social promise to guarantee possession.
This is the only definition that appears satisfactory to me. But it implies the existence of a social organization, however crude it may be. It implies that a supreme power will enforce the command: “Thou shalt not steal.” And in the measure in which this social organization gains stability and in which this social power gains a more universal supremacy, the right of ownership will assume a more definite existence.
Now I can perhaps repeat my question in a way to be better understood. Has Anarchism a different conception of the right of ownership, or is this right altogether repudiated, or is it assumed that out of the ruins of government another social organization, wielding a supreme power, will arise? I can at present see no other alternative.
In discussing such a question as this, it is necessary at the start to put aside, as Mr. Bilgram doubtless does put aside, the intuitive idea of right, the conception of right as a standard which we are expected to observe from motives supposed to be superior to the consideration of our interests. When I speak of the “right of ownership,” I do not use the word “right” in that sense at all. In the thought that I take to be fundamental in Mr. Bilgram’s argument — namely, that there is no right, from the standpoint of society, other than social expediency — I fully concur. But I am equally certain that the standard of social expediency — that is to say, the facts as to what really is socially expedient, and the generalizations from those facts which we may call the laws of social expediency — exists apart from the decree of any social power whatever. In accordance with this view, the Anarchistic definition of the right of ownership, while closely related to Mr. Bilgram’s, is such a modification of his that it does not carry the implication which his carries and which he points out. From an Anarchistic standpoint, the right of ownership is that control of a thing by a person which will receive either social sanction, or else unanimous individual sanction, when the laws of social expediency shall have been finally discovered. (Of course I might go farther and explain that Anarchism considers the greatest amount of liberty compatible with equality of liberty the fundamental law of social expediency, and that nearly all Anarchists consider labor to be the only basis of the right of ownership in harmony with that law; but this is not essential to the definition, or to the refutation of Mr. Bilgram’s point against Anarchism.)
It will be seen that the Anarchistic definition just given does not imply necessarily the existence of an organized or instituted social power to enforce the right of ownership. It contemplates a time when social sanction shall be superseded by unanimous individual sanction, thus rendering enforcement needless. But in such an event, by Mr. Bilgram’s definition, the right of ownership would cease to exist. In other words, he seems to think that, if all men were to agree upbn a property standard and should voluntarily observe it, property would then have no existence simply because of the absence of any institution to protect it. Now, in the view of the Anarchists, property would then exist in its perfection.
So I would answer Mr. Bilgram’s question, as put in his concluding paragraph, as follows: Anarchism does not repudiate the right of ownership, but it has a conception thereof sufficiently different from Mr. Bilgram’s to include the possibility of an end of that social organization which will arise, not out of the ruins of government, but out of the transformation of government into voluntary association for defence. T.
Clearing for Battle.
In No. 162 I assured the editor of “Today” that I should never attempt to satisfy his desire to “listen to an argument to show that ‘government is the father of all evil,’ and of nothing but evil, as the Anarchists, of course, believe,” grounding my refusal on the fact that I had never announced such a proposition. The editor rejoins by quoting from No. 113 this sentence: “Government is the father Of all social evil.” He makes this quotation as calmly and triumphantly as if it were identical with the words which he originally put in my mouth. He does not apologize for his first misquotation. He does not even allude to the difference between the two phrases. He utterly ignores the presence of the word social in the correct version. His disregard of this word, here so vital, is the most beautiful specimen of sheer cheek that I ever met.
But at any rate the phrase is now given correctly. (It never appeared in the editorial column, but I am willing to become responsible for it.) This is a point gained. The next step of the editor of “Today” is to criticise me for refusing to maintain this “anarchistic premise,” complaining that I desire to discuss conclusions before premises. But I have made no such refusal. What I refused to maintain was a proposition that was never made in Liberty, not the proposition that was made. The latter proposition I am entirely willing to maintain.
But before maintaining it against the editor of “Today,” it is well to be sure that he understands its meaning. When the proposition was originally stated in Liberty, I understood it to mean that government is the father of all evil that arises out of our social conditions. Mr. Yarros, the author of it, tells me that he meant precisely that. In that case the thing that I am bound to prove is that government is the cause of our social conditions, or — the same thing to all intents and purposes — the only serious obstacle in the way of their change.
But this is the very point which I have invited the editor of “Today” to discuss with me, and which he refuses to discuss on the ground that it is the Anarchistic conclusion rather than the Anarchistic premise. It is not the Anarchistic conclusion. The Anarchistic conclusion is that government should be abolished. The Anarchistic premise is that government is the mainstay of the social conditions that cause social evil. I repeat that the editor of “Today” must tackle* this premise if he wishes to discuss Anarchism with me.
And despite his refusal, he has tackled it. Or at least he is skirmishing around it. His recent article on interest was a feeler in this direction. It met prompt and vigorous response in the last issue of Liberty. If “Today” does not retreat, we shall soon be at close quarters. And then — nous verrons. T.
* I suspect from the manner in which the editor of “Today” quotes the word tackle from my article that he considers it an inelegant expression. Reference to Webster will show it to be an English verb in good standing, meaning to “seize” or “lay hold of.”
The Status of the Sophist.
That incorrigible cork-screw and exulting defier of logic, Dyer D. Lum, publishes, in the “Rights of Labor,” a defence of that deliverance of his in reference to the “scabs” which Liberty characterized, perhaps not very mildly, but very justly, as a contemptible lie. To reason with Mr. Lum is impossible. He is absolutely dishonest, and he is hopelessly illogical. Not only is he unable and disinclined to be fair and reasonable with an opponent, but he never understands his own position and is totally unfamiliar and unconcerned with the art and science of syllogistic argumentation. He glories in inconsistencies and contradictions, and plumes himself on his revolutionary disregard of all the rules of philosophical discussion. He is, in a word, irresponsible. Some two years ago I convicted him of disgraceful hypocrisy and shameless, deliberate perversion of truth in a manner that would have silenced forever any man not blunt to the feeling of decency; but Mr. Lum is as assiduous as ever in the dissemination of falsehood, nonsense, and malicious slanders. Since, however, he is perfectly harmless; since those who know him treat him as a clown and curiosity, to be indulged and forgiven on the ground of constitutional incapacity to take the part of a thinking man among men, and since his style is such as to debar those whom non acquaintance with his personality may tempt into the act of soberly considering him from getting any clue to the discovery of what he is for and what he is against, we have for a long time refrained from paying him our compliments. When he recently disgusted intelligent Anarchists with a booklet which, as he wanted people to believe, treated of “The Economics of Anarchy,” the provocation was strong, but we controlled oursejyes and remained silent. That book, were there any danger of its being read with the object of gaining information about the economic position of the Anarchists, would have been handled in Liberty as it deserves to be handled and characterized as it ought to be characterized. But its excessive dulness and obscurity and emptiness saved it from honest criticism. Those who do not know anything of Anarchistic economics will find nothing resembling scientific reasoning therein, to be sure, but, on the other hand, they will find nothing clearly and palpably absurd. Mr. Lum is the only man in the world who could write it, and let us charitably hope that he at least really understands the grounds of some of the assertions which he has copied from scientific Anarchistic writers, without troubling himself about the supply of demonstrations and proofs which readers rightly seek and seek in vain.
In the article referred to, entitled “The Status of the Scab,” there is, of course, the usual quota of misrepresentation, and either ignorant or wilful lies, and jibes and inuendoes. I am not going to defend the Egoistic doctrines which Liberty professes against Mr. Lum’s confused classification; neither am I going to protest against his false statement that Liberty favors “peace at any price.” We can afford to ignore Mr. Lum and treat his sarcasm and affected scorn and irony with sincere contempt. Time was when we hoped for some good and useful work from him; but we are under no delusion now. We have long known him for what he is,— a man with much bile and no sanity. I iutend to say a word or two only with respect to the part which he seems to consider substantial and argumentative.
The “argument” is two-fold, economic and ethical. In the first place:
The main object of all organization of labor is to struggle for vantage ground in an otherwise unequal conflict, unequal as that of the mediseval serf, armed with a lath sword, against a mail-clad knight. As in that case, so here, there is no third position. The object underlying the whole struggle of the workers being an assault upon the breastworks of privilege, whether consciously or not does not affect the fact. In an effort to secure wider range of opportunity in the struggle for life, the question becomes pertinent, on which side of these contending forces does progress lie? For where that is, there is the tendency toward a higher civilization. Capitalism entrenched behind legalized ramparts, necessarily strives to maintain a status fixity, and thus being essentially militant is reactionary toward industrial evolution which ever demands abolition of privilege and the widening of the scope of industrial opportunity.... Organized labor and organized “capitalism” stand arrayed against each other, and upon the issue depends a higher civilization. Although there are a host of stragglers, there is no third side; wherever abstract sympathy may be, whoever is not with labor, in spite of professed “sympathy,” extends aid and comfort to “capitalism” in its entrenched position, attempting to arrest evolutionary growth.
If this is reasoning, I do not know what is idiotic and insane twaddle. Every assertion here is a bare assumption, as wild as arbitrary. That capital enjoys unfair privileges and that labor is a victim of inequity, we know very well. A higher civilization must remove these privileges and establish equity and equal liberty; and every person, whatever his occupation, calling, name, who works for the removal of inequity is a friend of progress, while, conversely, every person who opposes the higher civilization and works for tyranny and inequity is an enemy of progress, be he laborer or capitalist. Good intentions should be taken into account, but they do not alter the fact. The laborer who believes in monopoly, in regulation, in government of man by man, is just as much an enemy of the higher civilization as a capitalist of the same faith. Mr. Lum assumes that labor, as such, works for a higher civilization, simply because it is the victim of our present civilization, and begs the question by saying that it makes no difference whether it consciously or unconsciously struggles against privilege. According to this, a laborer may favor tariffs, banking monopolies, majority government, and yet be “unconsciously” struggling against privilege! This is transparent sophistry, which I should be ashamed to stop to expose. Every man of sense knows that labor, generally speaking, simply fights for better conditions, without regard to liberty or justice. Those of the laborers who have been gathered into trades unions by leaders are more disposed to favor despotism and compulsory equality than industrial liberty. Capitalists are not demons, and laborers are not angels. The present system is sustained by laborers as much as by capitalists, and no class is personally responsible for its existence. Victory for labor would certainly mean a much lower civilization than the present, as long as labor is ignorant of social principles and unconscious of the real causes of existing evils. If Mr. Lum really identifies capital with militarism and labor with industrialism,-he is an ignoramus. If he does not, he is a demagogue.
The ethical argument is intended to show that it is the duty of the scab to sacrifice his personal welfare to social welfare and rather die of hunger than fill a striker’s place. Why the scab rather than the striker should make the sacrifice is not explained; nor is it demonstrated that social welfare is always furthered by the strikers and never by the scabs. Who is to define “social welfare” and the means of attaining it? Mr. Lum, being hopelessly illogical, cannot see the irrelevancy of the quotation which he makes from Spencer; but nobody would be more amazed and indignant thau Spencer at this perversion and abuse of his ideas. I cannot undertake to popularize Spencerian philosophy for Mr. Lum’s benefit, and so I must leave him with the assurance of my utter disrespect for his mentality as well as morality. V. Y.
Sense and Nonsense from Simon Newcomb.
Professor Simon Newcomb has acquired great celebrity as a scientific character; it seems worth the while, therefore, to call attention to his unscientific treatment of certain questions in the May number of the “North American Review.”
He entitles his article “Soap-bubbles of Socialism,” and has State Socialism, rather than Anarchistic Socialism, in mind, apparently, but he classes Socialists, Anarchists, and “labor-reformers” together as sharing a certain “view” with a large body of the “educated” community, and, apparently, he means to imply that the doctrines of all those just mentioned contain serious fallacies which he thinks it his duty to point out.
By way of silencing the outworks before proceeding to the fortifications, he calls attention to a question toward the affirmative of which he thinks the reader may well be sceptical,— namely:
“If all men were very good and nobody wanted to be richer than his neighbor, while everyone was ready to do whatever the combined wisdom of the community decided ought to be done, would the masses really be much better off than they are now?”
Is Simon Newcomb himself a State Socialist?
If not, why does he not show that the so-called question is not a question at all, because it involves incompatible elements, no “very good” man being willing “to do whatever the combined wisdom of the community decided ought to be done,” instead of endeavoring to show the affirmative improbable by statements which are incorrect. These will be referred to later.
Assigning a certain order to the “fallacies,” the first, in his opinion, is “that the inequality between the rich and the poor in the enjoyment of wealth is continually increasing.”
It would seem worth his while, if possible, to point out the fallacious character of the above affirmation. Why, then, does he, instead, proceed to maintain that “the benefits of this wealth are not so unequally divided as its ownership?” Suppose some one should say: “The differences between the numbers 1, 2, 3, etc., and their cubes 1, 8, 27, etc., go on increasing.” Would Simon Newcomb show this statement to be a fallacy by saying: “What I maintain is that the differences between the numbers 1, 2, 3, etc., and their squares, 1, 4, 9, etc., are less than the first-mentioned differences?”
The question is not, “Are the benefits of wealth as unequally divided as its ownership,” but,— “Is the inequality between the rich and the poor, in the enjoyment of wealth, continually increasing?”
As a matter of fact the more intelligent Socialists do not consider either question so much as this one: “Is this inequality in the ownership of wealth — whose existence Simon Newcomb has just admitted — an expression of injustice?”
What is regarded as the second fallacy is — “that the masses have good reason to complain of an unequal and unfair distribution of the wealth actually produced day by day and year by year, through their weekly wages being insufficient to purchase those good things to which they are fairly entitled.”
Treating of this, the Professor makes the remarkable statement: “Whether a person has or has not reason to complain is a matter of individual opinion which it is not possible to settle by any general principle.”
Does he mean to imply that there is, and can be, no such thing as justice?
Would he affirm that there are not, and cannot be, any principles in accordance with which a fair division of the products of labor may be made?
It seems as though his position was analogous to that of some of those persons spoken of by Archimedes,— if we have his words correctly,—
“There are persons, O King Gelo, who think that the number of the grains of sand is infinite.
“I do not refer to the sand about Syracuse and that spread throughout Sicily, but rather that found not merely in inhabited, but also in uninhabited places. There are some who think that the number of grains of sand is not infinite, but that no number greater can be given.”
Because it may be difficult to determine the just shares of producers, shall it be said that there are no principles in accordance with which just shares exist? From one who has written a book on the “Principles of Political Economy,” such language as “whether a person has or has not reason to complain is a matter of individual opinion, which it is not possible to settle by any general principle,” is startling.
The Professor would do well to study Liberty and some of the literature advertised therein.
It looks as though the possibility of justice was implicitly denied, and another question examined instead of the oiie in the so-called “fallacy.”
For now, instead of an examination of the question of unfair distribution, there is some talk about the success of the man who has succeeded in being comfortably housed and clothed without an exhausting or injurious amount of labor.
Suppose that Professor Newcomb and President Harrison were each employed to make shoes and each could make a pair a day, of equally good quality, without exhausting and injurious labor; and that the former had been hired first.
Suppose that, like George Green, the remarkable factory employee, he had been able to find happiness in mathematics while he supported himself by his labor. If now Benjamin Harrison came to the shop and was paid fifty dollars for every fifty cents paid to Simon Newcomb, would there not be complaint at once of unfairness? Under such circumstances would he say: “The first and greatest object of wages and wealth is to be comfortably housed, fed, and clothed. The man who can succeed in this without an exhausting or injurious amount of labor has fairly attained one of the great ends of human existence, and has the same right to congratulate himself, whether his daily income is fifty cents or fifty dollars”? In connection with this subject the bugaboo of division of expropriated wealth is exhibited.
It is an unfortunate fact that some persons who call themselves Socialists do advocate expropriation, and it is to be feared that they might find their justification for this in Professor Newcomb’s “Principles of Political Economy,” page 493: “The first step in improving our system will be to give up entirely every attempt to tax a man’s total possessions, and indeed to give up every idea of an abstractly equitable system. Our policy should then be .... to tax all visible manifestations of wealth in what the old geometers called a duplicate ratio: that is, in a ratio yet higher than that of the amount of wealth manifested.” These Socialists “give up every idea of an abstractly equitable system” or come dangerously near to doing so.
They propose to levy a higher rate of tax, probably, thau the author of the “Principles” would think advisable, but this would be their system; and to the dispossessed they might say, in the language of ther “Principles,” page 543, “that the motives which animate men in the pursuit of wealth are in the highest degree beneficent, and have led to a system which insures to every man fit to live the maximum of enjoyment from his labor, if he will only adapt himself to the system.”
The proposition next treated as a fallacy is that “there is plenty and to spare of food, raiment, drink, and shelter for all the poor and rich of the land; the only difficulty is, the former cannot get their share because they have not money enough to buy it.”
The writer of these remarks doesn’t know of any intelligent Socialist who maintains that the wealth of the world at present would be “plenty” for its inhabitants.
That there has been an unfair distribution of its wealth, however, and that there has been much consequent suffering among laborers from the lack of ownership of the products of their labor or a money equivalent, is held by many intelligent Socialists.
The laborer who receives his wages in the form of money does not, in most cases, receive enough to buy back his product. The price of the product receives an addition which represents interest or rent, or some other form of usury, so that there is an accumulation of products on the one hand, while there is a corresponding lack of products on the other, and this lack I is painfully felt by the dispossessed.
The next statement treated as a fallacy is “that the laboring classes are oppressed by capitalists.”
Professor Newcomb says: “Everyone knows that the one great feature of modern law in our own and most civilized countries is that the laborer, the capitalist, and the nobleman are equal before the law, and that to the first, individually and collectively, is allowed the most extreme liberty of action so long as he does not violently assail the equal liberties of other people.” There are many who know that the laborer, the capitalist, and the nobleman are not equal before the law, and that the laborer is not “allowed.the most extreme liberty of action so long as he does not violently assail the equal liberties of other people.”
Suppose that, when Simon Newcomb was teaching school, he had thrown down a dozen penoils before his pupils, saying: “Any pupil who will first pick up an y of these pencils may go out to play at recess time, the others must remain in their seats.”
Suppose there were fifty pupils; would not thirty-eight have had reason to complain that all were not equal before the “law,” although the words “any pupil” occurred in it. Obviously, the pupils nearest the pencils would have had an advantage not possessed by others. They would have had a monopoly of shortest distances.
Now, a vast number of laws produce monopolies. By their means privileged classes exist. Few understand this better than Simon Newcomb did once. In his “Critical Examination of our Financial Policy during the Southern Rebellion” he said, page 130:
Our own country will now have to be excepted from the list ot those in wliioh it is desirable to invest coin in savings hauks, rather than bury it under ground.
The depositors in the savings banks of Massachusetts alone have beeu defrauded out of twenty million dollars of their savings, which they would have kept had they buried them. It is impossible to form an accurate estimate of the entire losses sustained by the oreditor class of the community, but the following is an exhibit of some items.
Debts due the following institutions have “been diminished by 50 per cent. of the amount given: banks of issue, $280,000,000; savings banks, $1OO,OOO,OOO; insurance and trust companies, $50,000,000. If to these we add the losses sustained by individuals, we shall probably have a sum total of $1,000,000,000, one-half of which has changed hands by the legal-tender act.
What a commentary is this on our financial policy,— that the owners of property to the extent of $1,000,000,000 would have done better to bury their property in the earth than suffer it to be loaned the public for the public benefit!
What would we have thought in 1861 at such a conversation as the following between an owner of bank stock and an individual of sufficient prescience to see what was coming?
“I advise you, sir, speedily to sell your bank stook for coin, and keep that coin for three years or more; for, if you keep your stock, it and all its proceeds will then be worth little more than half as much as the gold.”
“What catastrophe is coming? Our stock is in the form of well-secured promissory notes of sound commercial men, and I cannot conceive how they should fall to pay us.”
“No catastrophe at all is coming. Your property will be legislated out of your hands so smoothly and gently ‘that most of your stockholders will never know it. They will, at the same time, be furnished with a pair of magnifying spectacles which will make every dollar look like a quarter eagle; so that when their stock Is reduced to one-half, It will look more valuable than ever.”
Here a distinct class was pointed out, the creditor class, which had been defrauded by law.
If a creditor class may be defrauded by law, may not other classes?
And if laws are made which defraud particular classes, where is the equality of all before the law?
Elsewhere, page 56, he says: “Our unworthy financial policy has indeed caused large sums to change hands unjustly, and caused us to lose largely in that moral wealth which is so much better than material wealth.” On page 187, Professor Newcomb quotes the “opinions of Story and the writers of the ‘Federalist’” as follows:
The history indeed of the various laws which were passed by the States in their colonial and Independent character upon this subject is startling at once to our morals, to our patriotism, and to our sense of justice. Not only was paper money issued and declared to be a tender in payment of debts, but laws of another character, well known under the appellation of tender laws, appraisement laws, instalment laws, and suspension laws, were from time to time enacted, which prostrated all private credit and all private morals. By some of these laws property of any sort, however worthless, either real or personal, might be tendered by the debtor In payment of his debts.
Such grievances and oppressions, and others of a like nature, were the ordinary results of legislation during the revolutionary war and the intermediate period down to the formation of the Constitution. They entailed the most enormous evils on the couutry, and introduced a system of fraud, chicanery, and profligacy which destroyed all private confidence and all Industry and enterprise. The prohibition to emit bills of credit* cannot, perhaps, be more forcibly vindicated than by quoting the glowing language of the “Federalist,” a language justified by that of almost every contemporary writer, and attested in its truth by facts from which the mind involuntarily turns away at once with disgust and indignation. “This prohibition,” says the “Federalist,” “must give pleasure to every citizen in proportion to his love of justice and his knowledge of the true springs of public prosperity.
“The loss which America has sustained since the peace from the pestilent effects of paper money on the necessary confidence between man and man, on the necessary confidence in the public councils, on the industry and morals of the people, and on the character of republican government, constitutes an enormous debt against the States chargeable with this unadvised measure which must long remain unsatisfied; or rather, an accumulation of guilt which cannot be expiated otherwise than by a voluntary sacrifice on the altar of justice of the power which has been the instrument of it.
“It was the object of this prohibition to cut up the whole mischief by the roots, because it had been deeply felt throughout all the States, and had deeply affected the prosperity of all.”
“Such,” says Simon Newcomb, “are the enlightened opinions of our wisest statesmen and jurists, and such the sad array of folly and wickedness on which those opinions were founded. And yet here we are restating the sophisms and reacting the history of a past century!”
The “ordinary results of legislation” which “entailed the most enormous evils on the country” appear to exist at the time of writing, apparently.
Certain acts of government are spoken of as follows, p. 191: “The issue of legal tender notes, and of certificates of indebtedness, the issue of bonds and treasury notes in a multitude of forms, the various devices to create a demand for government indebtedness, including that concentration of absurdities, the National banking law, the gold laws, the prepayment of interest on the publio debt, all these are mere temporary makeshifts in a grand attempt to achieve an impossibility.”
On p. 222 one finds the remark: “In the National Banking system we pay enormously for what is an unmitigated evil from the very beginning, with no benefit of any kind to counterbalance it.”
Such extracts show that Prof. Newcomb saw that legislation on money and banking might be, and at times was, productive of great evil.
There are others who realize that such legislation is still productive of evil, and that the assertion in the “North American Review” that “under the system which now prevails, dissatisfied men of all callings can form themselves into an association, and distribute among themselves all the products of their labor in what way they deem best,” is untrue.
If dissatisfied men wish to conduct banking and issue money whereby exchanges may be facilitated, in ways unauthorized by law, they, are liable to be fined or taxed in such a manner as to make success practically impossible. To adopt Judge Story’s language, this entails the most enormous evils on the country, and introduces a system of chicanery and profligacy which destroys all private confidence and all industry and enterprise. Other instances might be cited. A New York publisher, let us suppose, sends a package of papers weighing one-hundred pounds to Chicago by mail for one dollar. The recipient, if not a publisher, must pay four dollars to send the same package the same distance by mail. Suppose that, struck with the injustice of this arrangement, he and others form themselves into an association to furnish fairer and cheaper mail service. Would they not be liable to punishment in accordance with the law?
The fact is, that “the most extreme liberty of action” consistent with equality of liberty is very far from being realized. And in making so little of the great effects of the restraints upon liberty, especially with respeot to money and banking, Prof. Newoomb has adopted a course quite unworthy his great fame as a scientist. Alden.
* State bills are here referred to.
Emile de Laveleye, in his criticism of “Looking Backward” in the “Contemporary Review,” wrote as follows:
When remuneration is in proportion to the work accomplished, diligence and activity are encouraged, whereas an equal rate of wages is a premium on idleness. “But,” argues Mr. Bellamy, “honor is a sufficient reward in itself, for men will sacrifice everything for it.” It is perfectly true that honor has inspired the most sublime acts and heroio deeds.... But honor can never become the motive power of work or the mainspring of industry. It will not conquer selfish instinct, or overcome repugnance to certain categories of labor, or the dislike to the wearing monotony of the daily task. It may make a hero, but not a workman.
Bellamy’s rejoinder to this is so silly, so childish, so utterly and flagrantly false, that I am delighted to reproduce it in full:
I beg leave to differ most emphatically from M. de Laveleye. Honor does make a workman at well as a hero, and Is as essential to the make-up of one as the other. This la a matter of common observation, and every man and woman who reads these lines is able to judge between M. de Laveleye and myself on the issue raised. Upon it I am ready to rest the whole case of Nationalism, and appeal to the country. I know that in America, at least, the workman who does not carry the feeling of honor Into the performance of his task is not worth his salt.
I cannot believe that Bellamy is such a fool as to really think that wage workers “carry the feeling of honor into the performance of their task.” I know that his ignorance of sociological and economic subjects is most profound; but it requires only a little experience and a low degree of reasoning capacity to realize the fact that workingmen do no more and no better work than is strictly necessary in order to keep their places. Those who, receiving equal pay with the rest of their fellow-workmen, nevertheless seek to display superiority of skill, are frowned upon and scorned by all, it being well understood that they are actuated by dishonorable and sordid motives, by vanity and detestable egotism, rather than by any feeling of honor. Workmen frequently turn out work considerably below the standard insisted upon, being experts in the art of eluding the watchfulness of overseers. If Bellamy is ready to rest Nationalism upon this issue, we may well congratulate ourselves, for the <4>“appeal to the country” must result in overwhelming defeat for him and his crazy schemes. But I suspect that he is Bimply trying to flatter workingmen and win their sympathy by feigning to admire their nobility and exalted sense of honor. If this conjecture be correct, he will certainly fail. Those of the workingmen who do not divine his hypocrisy will be amused at his more than primitive simplicity. V. Y.
Among those who designate themselves by this name of Anarchistic Communists, two different schools should be distinguished. There are those who hold that under a condition of perfect liberty the inherent beauty of the Communistic principle would, agreeably to the law of natural selection, speedily gain general acceptance and become the prevailing method of social organization. They would not institute a Communistic system by force, but would seek to prove theoretically and practically the supremacy of such a system, depending upon the reason of emancipated humanity. Their ideal is voluntary Communism, which they inteud to reach by the Anarchistic method,— by the method of trusting to individual liberty, the unmatched educator and elevator. Then there are those who plot the forcible suppression of the entire system of industrial liberty and private property; who hold that there is no way of eliminating exploitation of labor by capital save by abolishing private enterprise and organizing Communistic control and enjoyment of wealth.
It is not necessary to suggest to men of mental culture that those who predict universal Communism as the outcome of individual liberty are without any rational ground for their prediction. The evidence is all against their hypothesis. Men are becoming more and more individualized, and their modes of living more and more diversified. Variety, not uniformity, appears to be the law of development, dissimilarity, not sameness, differentiation, not sirhplification in combination, originality, not colorlessness. The higher the society in the scale of development, the greater its complexity, the more numerous and pronounced the distinctive differences, both of character and function, of its units. To expect or believe that Communistic methods will predominate in such an advanced society is obviously irrational, unless such a superabundance of material wealth is postulated as would do away with all care or anxiety about the proper use and distribution of it, to which case all objections to Communism are inapplicable. But it is unprofitable to dwell upon this position, since it has no bearing upon the present situation.
Referring to the Communists of the second type, attention should be directed to two considerations. In the first place, after what I have said in treating of Nationalism and Marxian Socialism, it is plain that they have no case worth looking into. The process of reasoning by which they arrive at the conclusion that private property is incompatible with economic equity and that absolute Communism in the ownership of wealth alone can heal the wounds of modern society is identical with the one employed by the other Socialists, and everything I have said in that relation applies with equal force in this case. But even if they could really demonstrate the truth of their doctrine, they would be far from justified in claiming to stand for voluntary or Anarchistic Communism. They have no right to assume the acquiescence of the whole society in their constructive reforms, much less to ignore the protests of those who openly oppose them. In proposing to force a system upon society they are guilty of tyrannical designs and invasive intentions. Honesty should prompt the frank confession that compulsory Communism is preferred by them to inequality in liberty, that the element of tyranny in society is less repugnant to them than the element of economic exploitation. In pretending to abhor arbitrary government and political despotism, in professing to desire individual liberty above all, these Communists manifest either incapacity or insincerity, and are much inferior to their consistent and logical opponents, who squarely espouse the principle of majority rule and reject that of individual liberty.
Upon the question of methods to be adopted in the negative, destructive part of their task, all revolutionary Communists agree with Marx. They favor the “expropriation of the expropriators,” the forcible alienation of the capitalists’ means of production. The proletariat of all countries, having nothing to lose and everything to gain, is to recover its own from the present possessors by violence.
A very natural conclusion for those who hold the principle of private property and enterprise responsible for the poverty of the laborer, and who do not imagine that the expropriators can be induced to voluntarily surrender their property. Unfortunately, however, this plan is out of date. “The art of insurrection,” (as I have elsewhere written) “is declining, and the idea of an organized revolution on the part of either the whole or a majority of the people has been well-nigh universally abandoned. For revolution to thrive two things are essential: a mass of easily inflammable material on the one hand, and a constant supply of ardent and skilled conspirators on the other. Of both there is a noticeable scarcity at present. Of our day it might truly be said that the pen is mightier than the sword. To expect to persuade the possessing classes to surrender their wealth, or to dream of uniting the workers for a forcible expropriation of the capitalists, seems now bo puerile and utopian that discussion with those still persisting in hugging these fantasies is considered as out of date as a laborious argumentative attack on the superstitions of the seventeenth century. We now so plainly see the oon-fusion, reaction, and chaos that successful expropriation would plunge us into that really we feel it a boon to rest assured that no such Pyrrhus victory can befall us. Not only Anarchists, but even State Socialists, are discarding the ‘catastrophic’ policy.” Military and religious methods will not do in this sceptical and rationalistic age. At the present day the cry is for liberty and toleration; while the idea of wholesale expropriation distinctly belongs to the time when Socialism was in its infancy, when individuality and liberty were not recognized as factors, but stress laid on organization and discipline and revolutionary training.
Moreover, thought and investigation have since firmly established the truth that the heroic measures favored by the revolutionists are not necessary, and that there are better ways, surer ways, wiser methods through which the goal may be reached,— not, however, the goal of the State Communists, which is being more and more discarded together with their methods.
And now I must stop, having reached the end of my programme. “Here my words have end.”
* An examination of the various current doctrines of State Socialism. Concluded from No. 163.
It is not our intention to maintain a prolonged and elaborate discussion with the formidable array of the Denver “Individualist’s” editorial paragraphers. The chief reason is that, as the last issue of the paper has convinced us, they are, one and all (excepting the writer signing “C,” who has been consistently Anarchistic, and who is responsible for the paper’s absurdities only by his participation in the Communistic editorial arrangement), too ignorant of Anarchism, and too illogical generally, to make it profitable to devote much time and space to the correction of their innumerable misconceptions, blunders, and inconsistencies. The long editorial rejoinder to Mr. Yarros’s criticism of Spencer is remarkable for nothing but solid imbecility and unredeemed nonsense. The writer, “J. W.,” has not the remotest idea of what the Anarchistic position is; nor has he grasped our objections to Spencerian Individualism. We can only refer him to the editorial on Spencerian government in the last number of Liberty, hoping against hope that he may find therein what he has not been able to discover and master hitherto in Liberty. The same writer’s paragraph on interest and banking is so opaque with ignorance that we despair of the attempt to render it transparent. In the unsigned reply to Liberty’s rebuke h propos of the un-Anarchistic management of the “Individualist,” the ridiculous statement is made that “there are Anarchists and Anarchists,” — a statement which proves the editors to be utterly unsuspicious of the meaning of the words, “liberty is the mother of order”; and the assertion ventured, in exact opposition to the truth, as a study of “The Science of Society” would have shown, that “a czar in the editorial chair of an Anarchistic paper would be most un-Anarchistic.” To this is added the parrotry of the old maudlin charge that the editor of Liberty is trying to be a censorial pope of the Anarchist movement. Now it is neither a duty nor a pleasure to patiently analyze and refute every crude and chaotic notion irresponsibly and confidently put on paper by mysterious strangers. We have a right to choose our opponents for debate. What Liberty wishes to say now, plainly and concisely, is that it does not recognize the “Individualist” as an organ of Anarchistic Socialism, and that it holds its editors wholly innocent of any real knowledge of the ideas and principles which it has been spreading ever since it was started. While Liberty can have no objection to anybody’s preaching of anything under any name whatever, it will not permit the young gentlemen of Denver to sow confusion and pass off their paradoxes and puerilities for the doctrines of Anarchistic Socialism avowedly promulgated by Liberty and its allies. The “Individualist” may talk of “differing” from Liberty’s position, but we have no hesitation in saying that its editors simply do not as yet comprehend it. They need to learn before they can teach. They publish a paper for their own amusement, and we cannot take them seriously. For the rest, we think it safe to leave it to intelligent readers to decide which of the two papers in question consistently upholds a well-defined social doctrine, and which flounders and jabbers and incoherently chatters and makes confusion worse confounded.
One of the most delightful forms of retribution is that visited upon the hypocrite who, pretending that a perfectly innocent act is criminal, Indulges in the most extravagantly libelous language concerning those who perform it, and is then shown to be quietly doing the same thing himself and profiting by it. Such a fate has lately overtaken that righteous ranter and literary snob, E. L. Godkin, the editor of the New York “Evening Post.” Planting himself upon the ground of absolute literary property and maintaining that any one who reprints a foreign book without authorization is a robber, a pirate, and a thief, he has been showering these epithets in the most reckless fashion upon the heads of John Wanamaker and Funk & Wagnails and urging that Sing Sing is their proper abode. Now, it would not occasion me much grief if John Wanamaker should be sent to Sing Sing for some of the real crimes he has committed (such as the persecution of Harman and Heywood), and it is possible that Funk & Wagnalls may yet let their piety and their love of prohibition carry them to criminal excess deserving of restraint. But I am not yet ready to see either of them placed in durance for a fictitious crime; and now that they have been charged with such by Godkin, it pleases me immensely to Bee Funk & Wagnalls turn upon their accuser and convict him, by his own standard, of having “stolen” several hundred thousand dollars’ worth of property in the last forty years. And the only thing he has been able to say in reply is that he didn’t suppose the owners would object. A pretty excuse for a “thief,” this! It is so thin that he doesn’t dare to let the indictment appear in his own paper, although Funk & Wagnalls desired to make answer in the columns where they had been attacked. Rejoicing in the confusion of this believer in literary monopoly, I am glad to lend Liberty’s circulation to the publicity of the rejected letter, which appears in another column. The letter is all the more effective because coming from believers in copyright. It should be said, however, that Funk & Wagnalls reject absolutely the doctrine of literary property, and defend copyright far more rationally (though not, in my opinion, successfully) as a legal expedient to secure authors a reward for their labor by granting them a monopoly for a limited time.
In Harper’s for August, the occupant of the Editor’s Study says: “We look forward to the time when it will be regarded as monstrous and dishonorable for a review to keep an anonymous critic; and it will be no more permissible than for a gentleman to keep a masked bravo in his pay.” The Boston “Transcript” takes exception to this position, and says: “Possibly none of these critics that he criticises could, if they would, by signature make modest personality representative of a journal. Every whole is greater than its parts; every influential journal is greater than any man or woman who writes for jts columns.” No, not every whole is greater than its parts. Lubbock says that “in art twice two do not make four.” In journalism, the whole is not greater than its parts. A bad art critic is not strengthened by a poor musical critic, nor by a good one. A literary judgment neither gains n or loses from the support of a scientific writer on biology or astronomy. Each department of a paper mpst derive its strength from the ability of the person conducting it. If all departments are in the hands of competent men, the paper as a whole is powerful. If all are ignorantly managed, the paper is a failure. But some fit men and some incapables cannot produce a paper sound in all its parts. The present communistic arrangements in the journalistic world necessarily have the effect of degrading the high and discouraging the original instead of the opposite one aimed at,— of elevating the low and sharpening the wits of the dull. Journalism needs the invigorating and inspiring breath of individualism.
J. W. Sullivan seems to think that Mr. Donisthorpe’s “denial of rights, either abstract or natural,” puts him outside the pale of thinking and loving humanity. Is it possible that Mr. Sullivan does not know that modern scientific sociological writers, as a rule, discountenance the jargon of natural rights and the fiction of abstract morality? Is he unaware of the fact that Liberty (and often Mr. Pentecost) emphatically repudiates abstract or natural rights, and takes the rational utilitarian position? If so, the sooner he inquires into the matter, the better for him and the journal for which he does the reviewing. By the way, it strikes me as rather queer to find an “opportunist” expressing disgust at a denial of abstract rights. As an opportunist, Mr. Sullivan, of course, cares nothing about faithful adherence to general principles; and to see him displeased with Mr. Donisthorpe, who is so far Anarchistic that he would rather permit men to gratuitously enjoy indirect protection and benefit from voluntary social organizations than violate the general principle of liberty (professed on grounds of higher utility) by subjecting them to compulsory taxation, is certainly amusing. Liberty hopes to count both Mr. Donisthorpe and Mr. Sullivan among the full-fledged Anarchists r before long, but it cannot help perceiving that the distance which the former has to traverse is much shorter than that which divides Anarchism from Mr. Sullivan’s position.
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.