“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.
According to reports of Maine newspapers, some parts of that State are remarkable for a high degree of popular intelligence. It is stated that in those parts farm work is regularly carried on seven days of the week without reference to the day of rest appointed by religion and legality. A wealthy and pious New Yorker has sent a minister of the gospel to that region to labor with the heretics, and the minister will no doubt hasten to call in the policeman.
Those who have caused the inscription “He Never Held or Sought Public Office” to be put upon the monument of the late Henry W. Grady, have builded better than they knew and have unwittingly proclaimed an important truth, — that men of refinement, self-respect, and culture are beginning to despise politics and to boycott official service. It is absolutely and literally true that no man can be a successful politician who entertains the least regard for truth or honesty.
The United States commission on emigration, having visited every European centre of population, are satisfied that the European “powers would eagerly coöperate with this government to prevent the emigration of persons liable to military duty at home.” Could this remarkable discovery have been made without visits to every European centre of population and a “double system of inspection,” official and unofficial? Some visionary and bookish theorists might think they could arrive at the conclusion by purely deductive reasoning; but our government knows the value of facts and wisely sends commissioners to collect them.
I am surprised and gratified to find the following significant hint in Philadelphia “Justice,” the single-tax organ: “Restricting the issue of money to the powers that be can never solve the financial question. Freedom, there as in other things, is the mother of prosperity and civilization.” This indicates that the Philadelphia single-taxers are beginning to appreciate free banking and to perceive the fallacies of Greenbackism and other schemes of governmental finance. They are to be congratulated. I think I could give the name of the propagandist to whose intelligent and quiet work we are indebted for this remarkable conversion. But what will Henry George say?
Referring to the statement of a public speaker that over nine hundred train hands have been killed and over nine thousand wounded on the railroads of this country in one year, Mr. Bellamy shakes his head at the effort to secure legislation compelling the railroads to adopt safety appliances. “In the light of history,” he says, “one cannot be over-sanguine about the results of any remedial measures which Congress may adopt in the way of hedging about the railroad corporations.” Considering that Mr. Bellamy wishes the government to own and operate the railroads, it is rash in him to allude to the light of history, which makes the impracticability of his own plan patent to everybody not hopelessly blind.
A certain class of littérateurs are raising their voices against the “degradation of literature” which they see in the advertisement by the newspapers of “Mr. Howells’s $10,000 novel.” The question occurs to me: if literature suffers no degradation from Mr. Howells receipt of $10,000 for the right to publish his novel serially, how can it be injured by the announcement of the fact? That the whole business is degrading to literature I have no doubt, but the real source of the degradation is the State-created monopoly which enables Mr. Howells to put such a price upon his work. And yet in the eyes of these offended littérateurs it is this monopoly that uplifts literature. It is creditable to their instincts, though not to their reason, that, having obtained for literature “the proud reward to which it is entitled,” they are ashamed to let the public know the amount of this reward.
A writer in the London “National Review” says: “In these days when the prefix ‘Free’ seems to be the gilt that adorns all gingerbread, political, moral, and social, manufactured for public consumption, — when our politicians tempt us with Free Trade, Free Education, and Free Land; our ecclesiastics with Free Churches, and our advanced moralists with Free Thought and Free Love, — it seems somewhat strange that no embryonic Cobden athirst for notoriety has entered the arena with the battle cry of Free Law.” It is still the habit of many people to assume that their ignorance of the existence of certain things evidences the non-existence of the things. Herbert Spencer is not, to be sure, an embryonic Cobden athirst for notoriety, but he has long advocated “free law.” His “Justice” contains some vigorous pages devoted to this subject. Lysander Spooner favored the free administration of justice in a book published as far back as 1850.
It appears that the girls of the London Gaiety Company came, showed their arms and legs, and conquered the young men of Hiawatha, Kansas. The “leading and best ladies” of the city, beaten in a fair field, determined to banish the fortunate possessors of beautiful forms, and and asked the council to prohibit the performances of the company. But the council refused to interfere, and the jealous and neglected ladies were compelled to content themselves with declaring a boycott upon the young men. They also armed themselves with pitchforks and scraped the company’s bills from the boards; but the young men don’t seem to mind this destruction of art as long as they can enjoy the natural spectacle. The ladies will have their revenge, however; they will elect some of their own sex members of the city council and compel the young men to protect, consume, and (if possible) enjoy home products. Still, there’s one thing the ladies cannot do — they cannot prevent emigration.
Mr. Bellamy admits the truth of the contention of the defenders of competition who are reconciled to trusts that vast combinations of capital make it possible to furnish an article to the public at very low rates. But be points out that the season of low rates is short. “Low retail prices,” he says, “under trusts is not a permanent condition. The function of low prices under trusts is to precipitate bankruptcy upon all rivals, — that is, to kill competition. When this is accomplished, the conspiracy culminates and prices go up.” In their turn, the defenders of free competition will readily admit the truth of Mr. Bellamy’s account of the second phase of the movement described. But while Mr. Bellamy, ignorant of the meaning of free competition, is ready for State interference, the defenders of free competition proceed to make it plain that the trusts would be utterly deprived of their power for evil if banking and trade in capital were free. “What have the advocates of ‘free’ competition to say” to the mischief done by trusts? wonders Mr. Bellamy. Why, they have this to say, — that they cannot discuss the mischief done by trusts under free competition until they actually see free competition and mischief done under it. Give us free competition, Mr. Bellamy, and the logic of events will dissipate your fears and hopes.
To my recent reminder addressed to Mr. Pentecost that, in view of his adoption of the legal profession while opposed to law, an apology for his criticism of my resort to copyright in spite of my disbelief in it was now in order, he makes the following prompt response in the “Twentieth Century”: “My apology is hereby tendered to Mr. Tucker, together with a recognition of his great courtesy in not seizing the present opportunity to treat me as I treated him on the occasion to which he refers. The only excuse I have to offer for my conduct toward him is that I was ignorant, and that I was moved by moral enthusiasm to set him right when I thought he was going wrong. I was then under the impression that it was my mission to meddle with the universe in general and certain and sundry persons in particular. I was then trying to reform things and persons. I have since grown to see the error and folly of my way. Mr. Tucker, at least, will understand this better than I can explain it.” The apology is more than satisfactory; it is very handsome, — so handsome that I am half ashamed of having asked for it. I hope, however, that Mr. Pentecost will not cease his efforts to reform things. So much an Egoist may properly attempt. But it is only the meddlesome moralist who directly attempts the reform of persons.
Failure of the “American Idea.”
President Eliot, of Harvard, thinks that the “American idea” of government shows to least advantage in the sphere of municipal government. The affairs of our cities, he says truly, are notoriously mismanaged, revelations of corruption and inefficiency being too frequent to cause surprise. Ring rule is supreme, and the interests of the tax-payers are systematically subordinated to the purposes of party bosses and political schemers. The truth is that municipal government is but slightly worse than State and national governments. It is because the problems with which municipal governments deal are comparatively simple, and municipal interests narrow, and the consequences of mischievous rule obvious and direct, that so many people realize the hopeless failure of the American idea under this concrete exemplification. The problems of State and national governments being more complex, the consequences of corrupt legislation being less direct, and the evils resulting from inefficiency and knavery being less clearly traceable to their real cause, ordinary voters and even college presidents are blissfully ignorant of the terrible amount of mischief done. It is easy to convict a city father of venality; but a McKinley can pose as the champion of American labor without risk of exposure. When the streets are dirty, the voters see it, and raise their voices in loud protest; but when financial and industrial monopolies are created and supported by legislation, at the expense of labor, few are aware of the fact, while those who are aware find it uphill work to get even college presidents to realize the reality and enormity of the injustice. The disadvantages of the American idea are not confined to the municipal sphere; the trouble is that most people are too ignorant to follow its operation in wider spheres and more Involved transactions.
“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.
E. C. Walker, formerly editor of “Fair Play” and now a regular contributor to the columns of Liberty, is also an authorized agent for Liberty and for all books and pamphlets published by Benj. R. Tucker.
A New Book Given Away With Each Renewal. — Payment of subscriptions and of renewals is required in advance. The names of subscribers not heard from within two weeks after expiration of subscription are removed from the list. But to every subscriber who sends his renewal for one year, accompanied by the cash, so that it reaches the publisher not later than two weeks after it is due, will be sent, postpaid, any book published in the United States that the subscriber may select, provided that its retail price does not exceed 50 cents if published by Benj. R. Tucker, or 25 cents if published by any other publisher. This is a permanent offer, and enables every promptly-paying subscriber to get a new book each year free of cost. But only one book will be given at a time, no matter how low the price of the book selected.
Machiavellianism and Government.
That governments can do no wrong to their own subjects is a dogma which no men of ordinary intelligence would dare to uphold in face of the scandals, corruption, inefficiency, and ignorance of which governments are every day openly accused and convicted. Some years ago an English politician said, “We are all Socialists now”; with more propriety it might be said that we are all Anarchists now. Not that compulsion and invasive legislation are going out of fashion; on the contrary, never was authoritarian Socialism more rampant, more confident, and more popular than today. But, while everybody is conspiring against personal liberty and calling for compulsory regulation of one kind or another, I believe it may be safely affirmed that nobody really trusts the agents to whom the appeals are addressed. Nobody believes that governments are honest, sincere, or honorable; nobody respects office-holders or office-seekers; nobody credits the official with intention or capacity to render useful service to the people who reward him handsomely for his perpetual scheming in his own behalf. Governments exist; few can imagine a world without them; few know how to get rid of them; and nobody entertains any hope of their speedy disappearance. So people continue to vote, to pay taxes, to perform the thousand and one things which go to make up the political activity of citizens. Prohibitionists know full well that prohibition has signally and completely failed in the localities where prohibition is the rule — on paper; yet they continue to work for their cause. They know that the police will not enforce the law, and that the public will not obey it, yet they cannot desist from the work of perpetuating and extending the fraud and humbug which they know prohibition must always remain. Labor reformers know perfectly well that all the labor legislation governments have passed or ever will pass can never benefit a single wage-worker; they know that employers easily defeat the laws directed against them, and that the officials charged with the enforcement of the laws find it more profitable to coöperate with the employers than with the workmen; they know that labor bureaus perform no really useful service and the tons of matter annually printed are never really published, — that few care to read the reports, and that the reading of them by every man, woman, and child in the country would result in no earthly good; yet they go on passing resolutions demanding more of these dead-letter laws and more of the useless compilations. Everybody knows or feels that governments are a terror to the honest, industrious, and peaceful, and a powerful aid to seekers of privileges, monopolies, and “unearned increments.” Everybody knows that the elements of goodness and beauty in life owe nothing to the fostering care of governments, while a great deal of the evil, militant and triumphant, is directly or indirectly the product of governmental interference. When a Republican stump-speaker sought to ingratiate himself with the citizens of the State by delivering a stilted and pompous eulogy upon the greatness of Massachusetts, one of the dailies reminded him that the State would be great even if it had to do without any government. In short, as I have said, in a certain sense we are all Anarchists now, and governments are regarded as an unnecessary evil which has to be endured simply because it seems impossible to abolish it.
But the inherent and essential viciousness and criminality of governments can best be seen in international affairs. Some writers, it is true, assume that ethical standards cannot be applied to the so-called diplomatic relations. They frankly take the position that governments can do no wrong in their dealings with other governments, and they sanction what Mr. Spencer calls political burglary. But the men who adopt these views do not know what liberty means and how liberty is preserved and achieved. It can be easily shown that such a position is theoretically unsound, while there can be no doubt that it is opposed to the deepest feelings of civilized human nature. The evidence is overwhelming that invasion and injustice abroad are accompanied and followed by tyranny and oppression at home. When, therefore, we find that the theories and practices of governments are violently opposed to the ideas and sentiments which differentiate the civilized society from the uncivilized, we are bound to conclude that government is a relic of barbarism, and that progress and order, instead of depending on it, are eternally at war with it. Along with social evolution there goes governmental dissolution, and the advance of justice implies the retreat and defeat of the forces of government.
A new edition of Machiavelli’s “Prince” has revived the interest in the subject of “Machiavellianism” in politics and government. Few critics, however, have the intelligence to perceive and the courage to enunciate the truth that government and Machiavellianism are synonymous terms, and that Machiavelli’s picture is as true, as “realistic,” today as it ever was. I am glad to find the following sensible utterances on the subject in the New York “Nation’s” review of “The Prince”:
Machiavellianism is an element which human society has not eliminated, a force whose working can be as clearly traced today as in the days of the Borgias.
On the surface we are easy-going optimists, whatever may be our inmost genuine convictions, and either we strive not to see the evil forces by which we are hemmed in, or we call them by pleasant names. We assume that many of the enormities which shock us as we look back upon the past, perished with the past. But it is better to know the truth than to dream in a Fool’s Paradise, for, until we have measured an abuse, we cannot successfully combat it. And Machiavelli’s “Prince” is one of the books which should be read and pondered by every man who would see some of the aims and methods that have characterized the dealings of States and rulers since the beginning of history. The form which Machiavellianism assumes may vary, but its essence remains fixed. . . . . . . . . . We are shocked at the name, but not at the thing. Metternich, Louis Napoleon, Bismarck, Beaconsfield — be the result of their policy good or bad — were all practical disciples of the Florentine master of statecraft; and as evidence that under a republican form of government human nature does not change, we need only cite the success of such vulgar and clumsy Machiavellians as Butler, Blaine, and Quay. Their success is the best evidence that our public would be benefited by reading “The Prince,” in which are set down, as in a scientific treatise, the signs by which the political charlatan can be detected and so guarded against. Of course, Machiavelli no more invented the traits which are called by his name than Goethe invented those traits in human nature which he personified in Mephistopheles; to have analyzed and described them as he has done assures for him and his book the permanent attention of students of politics and ethics. “Religion, progressive enlightenment, the perpetual vigilance of public opinion, have not,” says Lord Acton, “reduced his empire, or disproved the justice of his conception of mankind. He obtains a new lease of authority from causes that are still prevailing, and from doctrines that are apparent in politics, philosophy, and science. Without sparing censure or employing for comparison the grosser symptoms of the age, we find him near our common level, and perceive that he is not a vanishing type, but a constant and contemporary influence.”
It is worth recording that the Italians, during their long struggle to oust the Austrian “barbarian” and to shake off their native despots during the present century, quoted, after Dante, none of their bygone great men more often than Machiavelli. But, on the other hand, the army of his enemies, large from the first, have kept up a persistent fire down to the present time, varying their points of attack and adopting different weapons, but holding fast to their detestation of “Old Nick.” To abominate him and his doctrines has long been an easy way to win reputation for superior virtue; but might it not be cited as evidence of the skill with which Machiavelli dissected human nature? It is significant that the Company of Jesus, which has persistently followed the teachings of “The Prince,” and that Frederick the Great, a Machiavellian monarch if ever there was one, have been among the loudest to denounce and deny their master. The attitude of the world towards Machiavelli reminds us of that of a camp meeting at which the revivalist preacher requests those of his hearers who hate the devil to stand up — and all rise.
There are men who, while conscious of the viciousness of government, love to dream of pure and ideal governments, — governments which should protect the weak and compel the observance of justice. Such dreams find no support in the facts of evolution. Evolutionists are tacitly Anarchistic. No evolutionist looks to government for any remedial measures or progressive action. His task is to promote the growth of those ideas and feelings which make man unwilling either to govern or to be governed, and to show how government may be ignored or dispensed with in the relations of life. While governments, by their crimes and blunders, are rapidly undermining their own citadel, the philosophic individualists are improving the opportunity by emphasizing the fact that government is bad in all forms and manifestations, — that genuine Anarchism consists, not in distrust and abhorrence of particular governments, but in natural dislike of invasion and love of freedom. V. Y.
It goes without saying that the Anarchistic outsider will experience a feeling of relief when the political pot begins to cool down temporarily after the November voting match. It may then be possible to find something worth reading in the general run of newspapers. To be sure, he can extract an almost unlimited amount of disgusted amusement from the tides of campaign literature flowing in upon him, but when tons of printed matter are capable of exciting but one sensation in the mind, it is a question of only a very short time when the victim becomes utterly tired out and smiles placidly at the prospect of early entrance into Nirvana. Two or three appeals in tariff organs to the gullibility of the voter because the removal of the duty from sugar has reduced the price of that commodity, contrary to all protectionist theories and arguments, induce a smile of contemptuous amusement, but when the two or three are multiplied by thousands and tens of thousands the amusement evaporates, and we angrily wonder if there are in this country a dozen men who are so hopelessly imbecile as to be influenced in favor of a protective tariff by such transparent charlatanism. The politicians must think there are thousands of these uncaged loonies, else they would not work the game so assiduously. Then there is the “gerrymander” trick. Of course both the Republican and Democratic machines will fix the boundaries of legislative and Congressional districts so as to advance their own interests, so far as they dare, but the spokesmen of the Democratic machine have a great horror of a Republican gerrymander, and the talk-men of the Republican machine are fearfully shocked when the Democrats get a job of redistricting. This is natural, but why so much canting? Politics is a game of force and fraud combined, as all know each party will take all it can get, and the voters have no objection to swallowing a bare hook. As an instance of the rank demagoguery of the whole business take the present Republican hue and cry about the alleged Democratic intention to “Michiganize” Ohio and Iowa if the opportunity is afforded. I have not seen a congressional map of Michigan since the Democrats tried their hands at drawing lines to suit themselves, but certainly they did not find it possible to eclipse the Republican performance in Iowa when that State was redistricted. That big war-chief of the Republicans, Col. Henderson, of Jay Hubbell assessment fame, owes his present seat in Congress to that “trooly good” gerrymander. To overcome the heavy Democratic majority in Dubuque, his district, the Third, was strung in a thin line half way across the State, taking in the interior Republican rural districts and such strongholds of the faith as Waterloo and Cedar Falls. No wonder the Republican beneficiaries of power in the State were apprehensive of what the Democrats would do should they succeed in getting a majority of the legislature and in re-electing Governor Boies.
It is gratifying to find now and then a clergyman exercising the gift of common sense when speaking of the World’s Fair. The Omaha “Bee” reports Rev. Mackay, of All Saints’ Episcopal Church of that city, as expressing himself to the point, as follows:
I have no sympathy for the men who are trying to close the World’s Fair on Sunday. It is a step backward in our Christian march of liberty and will tend to widen the breach that already exists between the church and the working classes. The only valid argument so far advanced in favor of its closing is the extra labor devolving on the employees and those in charge, but an extra force of men will remove this objection. For the closing of the fair on Sundays means the exclusion of thousands of poor men. Do the men who are advocating such a measure realize that there are hundreds of thousands of people who cannot afford to lose a day’s pay during the week, and that every visit to the fair made by such people means a curtailing of the necessities of life?
The protest against the opening of the fair reminds one of what Macauley said of the Puritans,— “that they hated bear baiting not because of the pain it gave the bear, but because of the pleasure it gave the spectators.” Keep the Sabbatarians away from the fair on Sundays. Let them give the poor people a chance to see the sights on that day, their day. Let the rich go to church on that day in Chicago, but the man whose object was to see the fair, let him not be disappointed.
But is Mr. Mackay conscious of the richness of the expression, “our Christian march of liberty”? Who, for instance, are the active workers in the movement for the closing of the Fair on Sunday? Christians, all, are they not?
Rev. Lamar of Omaha is of the opinion that the legal hanging of Neal, the lynching of Smith, and other tragedies in that city can be traced to their source in “Sabbath desecration”! This discoverer of wonders also evidently sympathizes with the crusade against the nude in art. He says: “I believe that the young man who dashed a chair through that picture at the art exhibition last fall but acted out the impulse that has filled the hearts of 10,000 people in this city as they have felt themselves protesting against the daily exhibition of spectacular nudity by play pictures in public places. . . . In the name of God’s law which required woman since the fall to appear in the presence of society in proper apparel, and in the name of our wives and daughters I lift up my voice and call for the enforcement of the law against the exhibition of obscene pictures in public places.” The indecency of Mr. Lamar’s fancy is shown by his characterization of paintings of the unclothed human body as “obscene.” But I am pleased to observe that men of Mr. Lamar’s kind are not popular in Omaha. In the same sermon the disgruntled preacher said:
There seems to be a widespread contempt for God’s house and services. Apostasy from church services is a dominant trait of this city. By advertising, personal invitations, by free pews for the most part, by house to house visitations, by all these and many other ways, the churches invite the people to come in and partake of their hospitality. And I believe I am not talking wide of the mark when I say that these same churches, at great personal self-sacrifice, would gladly double their capacity within a year if they had any evidence that the people desired to attend God’s house.
Omaha is driving away her preachers. She is driving them away by neglect. There is nothing more destructive than neglect: In the four and a half years of my residence in this city many of your best ministers have gone. We cannot get a hearing for our Saviour, and we feel that as we have but once to live, it is our duty to reach as many people as possible, and hence, being unable to reach them here, we are going where we can get a hearing.
Edwin Arnold is reported to have said to an interviewer in New York:
“Is Christianity advancing in England?” As well might you ask, “Is the nineteenth century advancing?” The two great dangers of civilization today are the Slav and the Mongolian. These are the avalanches that hangover all that we have achieved, and that threaten to sweep it all away some day, just as the Goths swept the Roman civilization away!
But is not the Slav Christian?
Should Col. Ingersoll apply the same reasoning to the weightier problems of life that he does to racing and betting we could rightfully claim him as a thorough-going Anarchist. A report in the Chicago “Herald” credits him with this: “The good people object to racing because of the betting, but bad people, like myself, object to the cruelty. Men are not forced to bet. That is their own business, but the poor horse, straining every nerve, does not ask for the lash and iron. Abolish torture on the track and let the best horse win.”
Bebel, leader of the Socialists in Germany, uses the terms “Anarchists” and “revolutionists” interchangeably, if the cable and papers report him correctly. Does he know no better, or does he deliberately seek to increase confusion? Or are there no philosophical Anarchists in Germany?
“Rises up in wrath. President Harrison issues orders that will set Americans wild. Immediate reparation and indemnity demanded from Chili. A notice to all nations which they would do well to heed.” Well, well, what is all this truculent braggadocio? Merely the head-lines to a dispatch of about a stick and a half in the Tacoma “Globe.” They are swaggerish enough to have emanated from a British Minister and to refer to some petty Asian principality or helpless South African tribe. How bellicose we become when Blaine campaign thunder has to be manufactured! Why should Americans grow “wild” at the vague prospect of trouble with some other country? Are we indeed savages, rejoicing in bloodshed and rapine? If so, let us have a scalp-dance and start at once for Chili, Canada, and Mexico. A wholesale leeching might cool the war-lust in our veins.
The police of New York are making themselves the talk of the country just now by the arrest of “green goods” men. Would the “green goods” men do any damage if there were no would-be customers for their goods? And can the latter be truly designated as more honest than the former? And if the purchaser is as big a rascal as the dealer, what is the use of wasting sympathy on him as a “victim” and “dupe”?
No known boodlers to be elected at the coming election. — Omaha Bee.
The use of “known” in this instance testifies strongly to the keen sense of Mr. Edward Rosewater.
The truth with the peddling industry in the busy streets in Boston is that the peddlers are altogether too numerous. They block the way on many of our leading thoroughfares. They ought to make themselves more scarce on get out altogether. — Boston Herald.
Ah, yes, there are altogether too many poor devils who are struggling for a bare living. It is not enough to discourage their industry by a license. Send them out; let them tramp. Make room by the curb-stone for the liveried coachmen and costly carriages and prancing horses of the stock brokers and grain gamblers and real estate speculators and scheming politicians. The earth and the fullness thereof belongs to the law-privileged.
The school board of St. Louis has recommended that detectives be employed by the city to watch the women teachers in the public schools. It seems that members of the board have been paying out of their own pockets heretofore for such ignoble spying, but they naturally prefer that the city foot the bills, and they also think that the espionage should be more extensive and systematic. The “Post-Dispatch” has started an agitation against the entire business and the educational journals of the country are joining in the exposure and denunciation. It is pointed out that the detective is bound to find a sufficient number of delinquents to justify the payment of his salary, no matter how much false swearing he may have to do. But I have not seen anywhere that the school board at any time expressed a desire to have the male teachers watched, so it is fair to presume that the latter are deemed incapable of participating in illicit sex associations, or it may be that it is not thought that the schools would be injured by such irregularities of men teachers. Be this as it may, however, there is a still more important omission in the discussion, so far as I have observed. It has not been stated, as it should have been in the most distinct and unmistakable terms, that teachers are hired to instruct pupils in certain scientific branches, and that in imparting this instruction only certain faculties are required and used. So long as the teachers are capable of instructing in the branches specified by the law, and while they fulfill the school duties required of them by the regulations governing the conduct of teachers and pupils, they are doing all that the board can exact of them in the way of services and conformity. When they have fulfilled the obligations detailed in the teacher’s contract, they are no longer and no further amenable to the control of the board, and when the latter puts spies upon their steps to discover what use they make of their sex faculties and functions, it offers them the filthiest of insults and commits upon them a dastardly and inexcusable outrage, an unprovoked and treacherous crime.
Recently I said something concerning the inhibition of married women teachers in Oakland. Thinking upon this subject the query has suggested itself whether the promoters of the movement have taken into account all the probable consequences of the scheme, should it be adopted widely and become a permanent feature of the school system. There can be no doubt that nearly all, if not all, who are pushing this “reform” are believers in and defenders of the institution of marriage and of the family as they are today. What will be the effect upon marriage of shutting married women out of the schools? So debarred, will not women of education and aptitude for teaching be less inclined to marry than they would be if married women were not excluded from the privilege of teaching in the public schools? Will not young women of spirit prefer the certain pay and the independence of the teacher to the uncertain pay and the dependence and quite possible misery of the wife? Are not the people who are attempting to emphasize and perpetuate the dependence of the wife by forbidding the employment of married women as teachers working in a way sure to lessen the number of wives and discredit the matrimonial mart? Besides, the action of the proscriptionists must have the effect of increasing the number of love relations outside of marriage, for, to the credit of humanity be it said, it cannot be expected that women forced by law to choose between marriage and an independent vocation, and choosing the latter, will by that forced choice have their respect for conventional rules strengthened in the least degree. On the contrary, their allegiance to Mother Grundy must be weakened. So, upon the whole, we are justified in concluding and rejoicing that the crusade against married women as teachers will prove to be a disastrous counter-march upon the part of the pseudo-moralists. In this connection it might be asked whether the reason that excludes married women from the public schools would not also exclude unmarried men. If married women may not teach because they have husbands to support them, why should not all the places that there are for male teachers be given to married men? They have wives to support, and so have greater claims than the bachelors, according to the logic of the exclusionists. E. C. Walker.
I met a little person on my land,
A-fishing in the waters of my stream;
He seemed a man, yet could not understand
Things that to most men very simple seem.
“Get off!” said I. “This land is mine, my friend!”
“Get out!” said I. “This brook belongs to me;
I own this land, and you must make an end
Of fishing here so free!
“I own this place, the land and water too!
You have no right to be here, that is flat!
Get off it! That is all I ask of you — ”
“Own it!” said he — “What’s that?”
“What’s that?” said I. “Why, that is common sense!
I own the water and the fishing right —
I own the land from here to yonder fence —
Get off, my friend, or fight!”
He looked at the clear stream so neatly kept, —
He looked at teeming vine and laden tree,
And wealthy fields of grain that stirred and slept —
“I see!” he cried, “I see!
“You mean you cut the wood and ploughed the field.
From your hard labor all this beauty grew —
To you is due the richness of the yield —
You have some claim,’tis true!”
“Not so!” said I, with manner very cool,
And tossed my purse into the air and caught it;
“Do I look like a laborer, you fool?
It’s mine because I bought it!”
Again he looked as if I talked in Greek,
Again he scratched his head and twirled his hat
Before he mustered wit enough to speak —
“Bought it!” said he — “What’s that?”
And then he said again, “I see! I see!
You mean that some men toiled with ploughs and hoes,
And, while those worked for you, you toiled with glee
At other work for those!”
“Not so,” said I, getting a little hot,
Thinking the man a fool as well as funny,
“I’m not a workingman, you idiot! —
I bought it with my money!”
And still that creature stood and dropped his jaw,
Till I could have destroyed him where he sat:
“Money!” said I, “Money, and moneyed law!”
“Money?” said he — “What’s that?”
Charlotte Perkins Stetson.
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.