“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.
An excellent editorial in the Boston “Herald” explains the difference between genuine reciprocity and sham reciprocity. The position of the constantly shifting doctrine of protection is now that free trade is a good thing and ought to be encouraged, but that, in fixing what articles shall participate in free trade, we must go to the politicians in Congress, instead of to the business of the country, for a decision. The protectionists are simply stealing the name of reciprocity to betray its principle. “Real reciprocity,” says the “Herald,” “is a condition in which all business is on equal terms, and in which it is settled what business ought to have part in it by the survival of the fittest.” The same difference subsists between State currency and free currency; yet the “Herald” is willing to let the politicians in Congress regulate our currency and obstruct the process of natural selection in this and numerous other matters.
The English courts have held in a recent case that a combination to trade and offer in respect of prices, discounts, and other facilities such terms as will win so large amount of custom as to render it unprofitable for rival customers to pursue the same trade, is not illegal. The charge was that a combination of steamship companies was in the habit of allowing a rebate of five per cent, on all freights paid by shippers who shipped goods in their vessels alone; and it was also alleged that this was done with the malicious intent of injuring other companies’ trade. American judges generally pronounce against the respondents in such cases. The English courts, however, expressly affirmed that there are many things which might be perfectly lawfully done by an individual which, when done by a number of persons, become unlawful. It is much easier to say this than to prove it or to instance a single case in which it is self-evidently true.
A daily paper observes that, while the great political parties are still disposed to allow men to take care of themselves, the Alliance members of Congress make heroic efforts to reform society by statute. The pretence that the great parties favor non-interference is wildly absurd. The real difference is that the great party politicians rob and oppress the common people in the interest of the plutocrats, while the Alliance politicians concoct tyrannical and ludicrous legislative projects in the interest of the majority. This is, perhaps, a good place to state that, while Liberty expects nothing from the Alliance politicians and regards their schemes and antics with contemptuous amusement, it is glad to see them represented in the halls of legislation. By attacking the monopolists and exposing their conspiracies, the Alliance congressmen can render valuable service. Of course, even this negative work requires intelligence; whether they possess it or not, time will tell.
In a recent issue of the New York “Commercial Advertiser” appeared an article on the “Menaces of Anarchism.” The sub-headings were: “Fostering an Order Whose Creed is Murder,” and “The Doctrines and Deeds of These Boastful Cowardly Assassins.” The article was signed “Colmolyn,” but is believed to have been written by a well-known State Socialist. The newspaper organs of Anarchy are enumerated, and Liberty is found side by side with the “Freiheit,” “Vorbote,” and other revolutionary sheets. To prove that there is no difference between the teaching of the “Freiheit” and Liberty, the writer adduces the fact that at the latter’s head a passage from Proudhon has been put proclaiming that the Revolution abolishes at one stroke the sword of the executioner, the seal of the magistrate, etc., etc. I have no doubt that the writer is more of a knave than a fool, and that he knows very well that the word Revolution in Proudhon’s passage means something different from the revolution on the lips of the revolutionary Communists. Such misrepresentations might have injured Liberty a few years ago; but now we can afford to ignore them.
Sidney Olivier, of the Fabian Society, attacked in a lecture Parliamentary State Socialism and expressed the opinion that the legislative eight-hours day, factory inspection, and the multiplication of State regulations, if they do not remain a dead letter, may do more to extend the jealousy and antagonism between the public and the officials than to promote the growth of Socialistic ideas and tendencies. For his own part, he shrinks from the prospect of the enormous army of officials which State Socialism would call into existence, and favors the return to nature, to simple forms of life. It appears that other Fabians have independently arrived at the same conclusions. Is this the beginning of the end? Individualists have nothing to fear from those who dream of simple country life and who view with alarm the present trend of the State Socialist movement. To faithful adherents of Marxism nothing is more utopian and sickening than the vague talk about simple life in the country. “Scientific Socialism” is emphatically a factory and city growth, and we can easily imagine the disgust of such practical politicians as Webb and Hyndman at this reversion to primitive sentimental communism.
The Boston “Herald” has made the remarkable discovery that there is more than one way to put a stop to the erection of excessively high buildings in great cities. Referring to the failure of the Chicago municipal authorities to come to any definite conclusion on the subject, and to the action of the Chicago Fire Underwriters’ Association in putting a prohibitory insurance rate on buildings of more than a certain height, the “Herald” remarks that such action as the company’s is likely to be quite as effective as any municipal regulation. We might take exception to the phrase “quite as effective,” which claims altogether too much for municipal regulations, but we forbear. Even as it stands, the “Herald’s” admission is welcome. May we hope that the “Herald” will remember this lesson and apply it to other questions when municipal or other official regulation is suggested as the best or sole means of terminating an abuse? A little modesty in newspapers would not be unbecoming. When they do not see any other alternative, they are prone to assume that there can be none, and straightway demand official regulation. They mistake their ignorance of the existence of a thing for absolute proof of its non-existence. A few such discoveries as the “Herald’s” ought to make the average paper less dogmatic.
Liberty reprints Col. Higginson’s impressions of Col. Greene because, most of Greene’s disciples of today being entirely unacquainted with his personality, any account thereof that may help, however feebly or inadequately, to compensate for the absence of such acquaintance should be given the widest circulation. The anecdotes related by Higginson are thoroughly characteristic of Greene, and the description of his personal appearance seems to a certain extent faithful; on the latter point, however, I am not a good witness, for my acquaintance with Greene was confined to the last years of his life, and Higginson describes him as a young man. I, for instance, knew nothing of his “mass of jet-black hair,” his hair and beard having turned very gray, almost white, indeed, long before I first met him. But I can testify to the penetration of his eyes, the most wonderful eyes that I ever saw, and to the injustice of Lowell’s assertion about them, despite Higginson’s semi-acquiescence in it. The truth is that neither Lowell nor Higginson nor any of the abolition coterie ever understood or adequately appreciated Col. Greene. He was too big a man for them to comprehend. And he in turn cordially despised their shallow humanitarianism which bad no eye for the subtler forms of human bondage. Their incompetency to judge him could scarcely be shown better than by the astounding fact that Col. Higginson, after characterizing his fame as perishable, utterly neglects to mention, other than by the insignificant allusion in the closing sentence, his chief title to fame, his marvellous expositions of the principles of finance, by which almost solely he is known today, and which in the future will give a glory to his name such as no mere littérateur can ever achieve.
The editor of “Today” has grappled with the question of compulsory taxation. He deals with it in an argument spun out to a great length and stated very blindly, not to say unintelligibly. After an expenditure of much time and earnest effort in an attempt to understand it, I can get nothing from it but this (though by no means sure that I have extracted its sum and substance rightly), — that, while it is contrary to equal freedom to take an individual’s property from him without his consent, equal freedom permits the community (whatever that may be) to refuse its protection in the use of natural media to the individual who declines to hand over to the community such portion of his property as it may ask. The editor of “Today” advances this consideration as if it in some way conflicted with the Anarchistic position. But it does not in the least. Why “say an undisputed thing in such a solemn way”? To be sure, the editor of “Today,” by an assumption that the community’s protection is an absolute necessity to the individual, makes the individual’s consent to part with his property a matter of absolute necessity also, and thereby reduces the question of the freedom to give or withhold consent to a position of no importance. But the assumption is not admitted. The Anarchists maintain, on the contrary, that it is quite within the bounds of possibility for a non-consenting minority to protect itself in the use of natural media without the aid of the consenting majority, provided the majority contents itself with a simple refusal of such aid. If, however, it is claimed that equal freedom entitles the majority to go farther than this and dispossess the minority of its lands as a penalty for not giving up its money, then another question arises. But at present I refuse to believe that the editor of “Today” will follow his master, Spencer, to so absurd a conclusion.
“In abolishing rent and interest, the last vestiges of old-time slavery, the Revolution abolishes at one stroke the sword of the executioner, the seal of the magistrate, the club of the policeman, the gunge of the exciseman, the erasing-knife of the department clerk, all those insignia of Politics, which young Liberty grinds beneath her heel.” — Proudhon.
The appearance in the editorial column of articles over other signatures than the editor’s initial indicates that the editor approves their central purpose and general tenor, though he does not hold himself responsible for every phrase or word. But the appearance in other parts of the paper of articles by the same or other writers by no means indicates that he disapproves them in any respect, such disposition of them being governed largely by motives of convenience.
A 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.
Col. Ingersoll’s Antiquarian “Unit.”
How can a Freethinker accept and attempt to propagate a principle that has received the unqualified theoretical and practical sanction of the Christian Church and which has resulted in the enslavement and degradation of the half of humanity which the Freethinker who belauds the principle professes to be especially desirous of liberating and elevating?
A gentleman in Ohio having accused Col. Ingersoll of selling “out to the devil in his Chicago speech on liberty, where he ignores the marriage rite, and advises universal divorce,” the “Truth Seeker” comes to the rescue and reprints from Ingersoll’s lecture on the “Liberty of Man, Woman, and Child” (the “Chicago speech”) a passage strongly defensive of the marriage institution. The opening sentences of the passage quoted I give below, with the “Truth Seeker’s” italics:
Let me say right here tonight, I regard marriage at the holiest institution among men. Without the fireside there is no human advancement; without the family there is no life worth living. Every good government is made up of good families. The unit of government is the family; anything that tends to destroy the family is perfectly devilish and infamous. I believe in marriage, and I hold in utter contempt the opinions of long-haired men and short-haired women who denounce the institution of marriage.
Does the “Truth Seeker” subscribe to the dictum that “the unit of government is the family”? And does it believe that “every good government is made up of good families”? But what is a “good family”? If the family is the unit in government, if all of its members are but one in the eyes of government, then there must be a head to that family, through whom alone the government can take cognizance of the family. To enable the family to act always as the unit it is asserted to be there can be permitted no divided counsels; all subordinate members must render unquestioning and unqualified obedience to the head thereof. No family can be called a “good family” which lacks this oneness of sentiment, thought, and action. No family less homogeneous than this can be a “unit,” an ultimate atom, in government. A government constituted of such units will levy taxes on families only, never on individuals. It will conscript families, not individuals. All its punishments will fall upon families, through their acknowledged heads, never upon the individual wrong-doers.
I shall be grateful to Col. Ingersoll or to Mr. Macdonald if either of them will take a careful survey of contemporaneous nations and tell me the result of their observations. I wish to know under what modern government or governments they find the family most nearly approaching this ideal, and also under what government or governments they discover the widest average departure from this conception of the family as the unit. That is, under what government or governments does the husband stand most completely as the representative, or, rather, the embodiment, of the entire family, in accordance with Col. Ingersoll’s unitary theory of the family, and, on the other hand, under what government or governments is the individual regarded as approximately or wholly the unit. Then I shall be pleased to have them tell me which government or which class of governments they regard as the best. Also, comparing past ages with the present age, at what time and in what countries did the idea of the family as the unit in government receive the fullest acceptance and undergo the test of the widest application? On the other hand, at what time and in what country was or is this family-the-unit idea most distrusted in theory and discredited in practice? Having ascertained the facts which this latter comparison would unveil, inform us, please, which government in either epoch most closely approached or approaches your ideal of a “good government.” The truth is, Col. Ingersoll’s conception of the family as the unit in government is mouldy with age. It is antiquarian in the worst sense. As the London “Personal Rights Journal” observes, “In very ancient times the unit of society was the family, the individual (the unit of modern society) was then ignored; and, in order that such units should be multiplied without confusion — as in the natural course of things was inevitably desired — the family, strictly speaking, consisted only of males; for females were regarded merely as the vehicle for perpetuating the genus and possessed no social status whatsoever. Descent was never counted through them, and their names were even sometimes omitted from genealogical tables.” Col. Ingersoll is welcome to his chestnut.
To show what the theory of the family as the unit involves and the condition of the society which puts it into practice I reproduce here part of an article from the London “Personal Rights Journal.” As it consists almost entirely of excerpts from Sir Henry Maine’s “Ancient Law” it should not be without weight in the estimation of Ingersoll the lawyer.
At the most glorious period of Rome’s supremacy, the ancient system of calculating relationship, based upon the Patria Potestas, or “life-long authority of the father or other (male) ancestor over the person and property of his descendants,” was rejected by the Roman jurisconsults in favor of the Natural Law, which recognizes woman as a human individual; and the position of Roman females, whether married or unmarried, became one of remarkable independence. “But,” to use the words of the authority above quoted [Sir Henry Maine, in “Ancient Law”], “Christianity tended somewhat, from the very first, to narrow this remarkable liberty. . . . During the troubled era which begins modern history, and while the laws of the Germanic and Scandinavian immigrants remained superimposed, like a separate layer, above the Roman jurisprudence of their provincial subjects, the women of the dominant races are seen everywhere under various forms of archaic guardianship, and the husband who takes a wife from any family but his own, pays a money price to her relations for the tutelage which they surrender to him. When we move onwards, and the code of the middle ages has been formed by the amalgamation of the two systems, the law relating to women carries the stamp of its double origin. . . . The husband has drawn to himself, in his marital character, the powers which had once belonged to his wife’s male kindred, the only difference being that he no longer purchases his privileges” — an effect, perhaps, of Christian influence, though scarcely a tribute of esteem to the sex. “But the chapter of law relating to married women was, for the most part, read by the light, not of Roman, but of Canon law, which in no one particular departs so widely from the spirit of the secular jurisprudence as in the view it takes of the relations created by marriage. This was in part inevitable, since no society which preserves any tincture of Christian institutions is likely to restore to married women the personal liberty conferred on them by the middle Roman law; but the proprietary disabilities of married females stand on quite a different basis from their personal incapacities, and it is by keeping alive and consolidating the former that the expositors of the Canon law have deeply injured civilization. . . . I do not know how the operation and nature of the ancient Patria Potestas can be brought so vividly before the mind as by reflecting on the prerogatives attached to the husband by the pure English Common Law (which borrows, for the greatest number of its fundamental principles, from the jurisprudence of the Canonists), and by recalling the rigorous consistency with which the view of a complete legal subjection on the part of the wife is carried by it, where it is untouched by equity or statutes, through every department of rights, duties, and remedies.” E. C. Walker.
The Advisability of Violence.
To the Editor of Liberty:
When you preach passive resistance, is it not precisely the same thing as what is commonly called non-resistance?
When William Penn (or was it Fox?) refused to take off his hat for the king it was certainly passive resistance; but as he made no attempt to punch the king’s head, it is accounted as quite compatible with the Friends’ non-resistance tenets. (1)
I do not think that any practical difference exists between passive resistance and non-resistance. Yet you urge that in emergency violence must be resorted to. Why? In what emergency? If violence is as a matter of principle advisable in certain cases why not in other cases? Why not embrace the advocacy of violence of the Communists throughout? (2)
Intelligible enough as a political measure, Anarchism halts as a system of philosophy as long as it includes violence at all. To people who think government exists to suppress robbery it is sufficient to point out that government exists by robbery; and to enlarge upon the advantages that might be expected to follow the establishment of freedom of membership in political societies. (3)
But all this involves no question as to what constitutes invasion. It is simply stated that each shall take such measures as he prefers to protect himself, and that each shall determine for himself what protection is.
If however we go farther, and lay down a formula, however defensible the formula may be; and say that we will by violence enforce that formula, whether it be the formula of equal liberty or any other formula, I must maintain that the action is precisely parallel to the course of everybody in the past and present who have compelled others to regulate their conduct in accordance with other formulas, alleged to be moral, and held to be as irrefragable as you now hold the formula of equal liberty to be. (4)
“Do not pick people’s pockets to make them pay for protection they don’t want” is good enough as far as it goes.
It may perhaps be well to go no further.
But if we have to go further and ask, What is protection? or, What is invasion? the complement of protection, the only reply you can give is that invasion is infringing upon equal liberty.
Until some method is devised by which we can tell whether a given act does infringe upon equal liberty the definition is vain. (5)
For instance, in a state of liberty Mr. Yarros prints a book. You copy it. He organizes a society for the suppression of pirates and imprisons you. Your friends organize and a battle ensues.
You will doubtless say that you would not advocate violence under such circumstances to either side. I again ask,
Why not? (6)
Investigate your own principles and you will find that the recognition of equal liberty rests upon the recognition of contract as supplanting violence. Although we may think it wise among cannibals to become cannibals ourselves; although when forced to it we may degrade ourselves to use violence; let us at least recognize that the state of affairs when every one shall do as he pleases can only occur when all lay aside violence and appeal only to reason. Let us at least recognize that it is for us to totally abjure violence as a principle of action; and if we at any time deem ourselves compelled to do violence let us admit that we do it under protest and not from principle. (7)
John Beverley Robinson.
(1) The chief difference between passive resistance and non-resistance is this: passive resistance is regarded by its champions as a mere policy, while non-resistance is viewed by those who favor it as a principle or universal rule. Believers in passive resistance consider it as generally more effective than active resistance, but think that there are certain cases in which the opposite is true; believers in non-resistance consider either that it is immoral to actively resist or else that it is always unwise to do so.
(2) Because violence, like every other policy, is advisable when it will accomplish the desired end and inadvisable when it will not.
(3) Anarchism is philosophical, but it is not a system of philosophy. It is simply the fundamental principle in the science of political and social life. The believers in government are not as easily to be satisfied as Mr. Robinson thinks; and it is well that they are not. The considerations upon which he relies may convince them that government does not exist to suppress robbery, but will not convince them that abolition of the State will obviate the necessity of dealing violently with the other and more ordinary kinds of government of which common robbery is one. For, even though they be led to admit that the disappearance of the robber State must eventually induce the disappearance of all other robbers, they will remember that effects, however certain, are not always immediate, and that, pending the consummation, there are often serious difficulties that must be confronted.
(4) If Mr. Robinson still maintains that doing violence to those who let us alone is precisely parallel to doing violence to those who assault us, I can only modestly hint once more that I have a better eye for an angle than he has.
(5) Not so, by any means. As long as nearly all people are agreed in their identification of the great majority of actions as harmonious with or counter to equal liberty, and as long as as increasing number of people are extending this agreement in identification over a still larger field of conduct, the definition of invasion as the infringement of equal liberty, far from being vain, will remain an important factor in political progress.
(6) Because we see no imperative and overwhelming necessity for an immediate settlement of the question of copyright, and because we think that the verdict of reason is preferable to the verdict of violence in all doubtful cases where we can afford to wait.
(7) It seems that there are cases in which, according to Mr. Robinson, we may resort to violence. It is now my turn to ask, Why? If he favors violence in one case, why not in all? I can see why, but not from his standpoint. For my part, I don’t care a straw whether, when Mr. Robinson sees fit to use violence, he acts under protest or from principle. The main question is: Does he think it wise under some circumstances to use violence, or is he so much of a practical Archist that he would not save his child from otherwise inevitable murder by splitting open the murderer’s head? T.
Woe is me, the unhappy Yankee, and all the rest of the unhappy Yankees! It is against the anti-Lottery law to guess. Anthony Comstock says so, and who could doubt his word? Rather he says that it is unlawful for a merchant to offer a prize to the person who guesses the nearest to the actual number of seeds in the closed interior of a pumpkin. This, to be sure, is not directly forbidding me to guess, but it does so indirectly, for if the government can intercept and confiscate the dollar which Smith sends to the Louisiana Lottery it certainly can intercept and confiscate the guess which I try to give into the keeping of the pumpkin-exhibiting merchant. And if the merchant dares not venture to offer a prize to the expert guesser, what is the use of my puzzling my brains over the number of seeds in a pumpkin or beans in a jar? By the way, dear Mr. Anthony Comstock, is it unlawful to attempt to guess what asininity you and the rest of the government will be guilty of next?
The Chinaman is no fool. If he cannot come to this country as an immigrant he will not come as an exhibitor. There are worse people coming from Europe every day than the Chinaman. We give them welcome, and the first we know they torn up as Anarchists, tossing around dynamite bombs. It is to the credit of the Chinaman that he never does this. — Dubuque Times.
No, the Chinaman is not a fool; neither is he a lickspittle. His refusal to take part in the World’s Fair is manly, dignified, and a timely rebuke to our savagery and provincialism. But it is pertinent to ask the Republican “Times” what room it has to growl at this date about the exclusion of Chinamen. Its party is responsible therefor. And, by the way, what foreign-born, or native, Anarchist has been “tossing around dynamite bombs”? Name him, please. Revolutionary Socialists threaten to do so, but have you any evidence to show that even they have suited their actions to their words? E. C. Walker.
Reminiscences of Col. Wm. B. Greene.
In a series of articles entitled “Glimpses of Authors,” now running through the new literary periodical, “Brains,” T. W. Higginson dwells at some length on the personality of the author of “Mutual Banking.” Referring to the monthly meetings of the Town and Country Club, which existed in Boston over forty years ago, Col. Higginson writes:
There seem to have been at least four of these monthly gatherings, addressed respectively by Theodore Parker, Henry James the elder (then of New York city), Rev. Henry Giles (an Englishman and well known as a Shakspere lecturer), and Rev. William B. Greene. The last-named was a man so unique, and of a fame so perishable, that it is worth while to dwell on his memory.
He first came to my knowledge as a favorite protégé of Miss Elizabeth P. Peabody, when he was said to have been converted, for the time being, to the Baptist faith; and I saw him first at her modest “foreign book-store” in West Street, then a great resort of all young students and a boon to us all. I saw him first after a Social Reform Convention which had excited much interest; Rev. Dr. Walker, whom we all revered, was describing it in his weighty way, in the book-shop, and with him sat a young man who seemed to me the very handsomest and most distinguished looking person I had ever seen; nor could any one, I think, ever separate this picturesque aspect from his personality. He had not the Greek profile and ideal look of Burrill Curtis, George William Curtis’s brother, who had been the admired of all admirers during the Brook Farm period. Greene’s features were not so regular, for his face was somewhat long and of the Jacksonian type, — with an effective sort of narrow domineering decision in the chin. He was more than six feet high, slender, somewhat high-shouldered, but with an erectness brought from West Point, where he had been a cadet though not a graduate. He had served in the Indian wars in Florida, and his whole bearing was military and almost defiantly self-assertive. He had a mass of jet-black hair, and eyes that transfixed you with their blackness and penetration; at least such was their effect on me, until I beard Lowell irreverently declare that they looked at you “with a very intensified nothing in them,” which was, in a manner, true. In reality his power lay on the surface; once get beyond that aggressive mien, and there was not much in reserve; he was not a scholar, but he was a good mathematician, a very keen logician, and had read a vast deal of philosophical literature, then little known among us, — Pierre Leroux’s work, “De l’humanité,” being his favorite gospel.
He had a favorite theory called “The Doctrine of Life” and published an abstruse little book about it; once grant his premises, and he bad you at his mercy; it was only by keeping outside of them that you were safe. He afterward came to the Cambridge Theological School, where he stoutly advocated baptism by immersion, though be afterward became a Unitarian minister. Once in the recitation room, when Professor Noyes, who was a delicate invalid and was a respirator, had made it a point against baptism by immersion that it could not conveniently be practised during the winter, Greene said, with his usual combativeness: “Doctor, the ice was cut a foot thick for me, when I was baptized.” Dr. Noyes shuddered at the thought, and said blandly: “Mr. Greene, that might do very well for you, but it would certainly kill me.” “Doctor!” retorted Greene, rearing his tall form and shaking his finger, “the Scripture says, ‘Seek ye the Lord while ye are young’!” and sat down triumphant.
The next event in Greene’s life was his marriage to one of the most admired belles of Boston, a woman as fair as he was dark, nearly as tall as himself, quite as distinguished in appearance and far nobler in bearing, — a woman of so much character that Maria Lowell once said to me: “Whenever Anna Shaw enters the room, I feel as if a great many people had come in at once.” With her Greene retired to a small country parish in Brookfield, Mass., and was also a member of the Massachusetts Constitutional Convention of 1853; but later left the ministry and went to Paris, where be studied and philosophized in the old irregular way until the Civil War recalled him. Offering his services to Governor Andrew, he was made colonel of the 14th Massachusetts Infantry, which, being long stationed at forts near Washington, and drilled at the great guns, became ultimately the First Massachusetts Heavy Artillery, still under Colonel Greene’s command. He also commanded for a time an artillery brigade under Gen. McClellan, but was mainly stationed in the forts and had little field experience. My cousin, the Rev. William Henry Channing, then chaplain of the U. S. Senate, visited him occasionally in the forts, and used to take pleasure in describing Greene’s jocose insistence upon the terms of evangelical companionship even in the midst of war. “Now, Brother Channing, if you wish to know bow to make the fire from this gun really destructive. I’ll explain it to you.” There were rather diverse accounts as to his success in discipline, and ho remained in the service but little more than a year; after which he published various pamphlets on mathematics, socialism, and finance, dying in England in 1878.
Light and Darkness.
By George Forrest.
I sat out on the hurricane deck of the evening boat from Long Branch and watched the gentle rolling of the sea and the multi-colored spray tossed aside by the steamer as it cut heavily through the waves. The sunset colors were deluging the hazy blue of the sky with Oriental brilliancy, and through the wool-like fleece of the clouds threads of gold were beginning to run. From the great nucleus of light, narrow ribbons of sunbeams stretched out into space, throwing their rainbow colors over the transparent blue of the ocean and bathing the dark-green of the shore with opal tints.
It was beautiful. . . . I turned to see if others were looking also.
The deck was crowded, and, up close to the pilot’s cabin, near which I was seated, I noticed a young couple. It was evident they were lovers; and the delightful intoxication which comes over lovers when they are near to each other yet do not speak could be read on their faces. Each knew the other’s thoughts, and together they silently watched the sunset.
The colors were changing now and the rainbow-tinted rays grew dim; but the clouds remained beautiful and tossed the colors about in glorious confusion. I watched the delicate blending of the light till it began to fade, drawn in by its mother, the sun. Then I turned to look at the lovers.
They were still gazing admiringly at the sunset, in silence; but a tinge of sweet sadness had come over their faces as the light slowly faded, and I knew that the intoxication of their silent conversation was fading as the color of the evening sky.
Only a long line of gold now marked where the sun had disappeared; and it was rapidly changing to the soft opal tints which bring the day to a close. The violet colors of night were rapidly effacing the clear outlines of objects on shore. . . . Then came darkness.
And I looked at the lovers.
To me they were an ideal picture — a gentle love-poem which I was reading. . . .
A man at my side was whispering to a friend, and I beard the sentence: “They are to be married soon.”
Disenchantment had come: my poem was spoiled. I arose and walked back to the stern.
Before me the ocean spread out all in blackness.
A Patriotic Proposal,
An exuberant editorial in the Lockport “Union,” extolling the star spangled banner, ends in the following fashion: “There can be and must be but one flag in this country, and let that flag wave from every schoolhouse in the land.” If sufficient private sentiment, or patriotism, or desire for distinction, prevails to furnish every schoolhouse with a flag, we do not discern any special objection to the plan. But the moment the proposition is made to make schoolhouse flags a part of the public burden, it deserves to be opposed and defeated. These showy and noisy and spontaneously patriotic people, who advocate schemes of this sort, generally end by asking for an appropriation instead of going into their own pockets. Likewise, not a few papers and individuals that profess to believe in economy favor projects of this nature, which add to the tax burdens and oppress the payers. When any project involving a superfluous or extravagant outlay is presented, vote it down. Individuals may be as liberal, exuberant, and patriotic at their own expense as they please, but when it is attempted to make sentiment the excuse for enlarging the tax budget, it is time for a popular veto. The theory that a flag over a schoolhouse would enhance the virtue and patriotism of pupils is exceedingly attenuated. It is the instruction inside instead of the decorations on the top of a schoolhouse that leaves its indelible impress upon a pupil.
A writer in the French magazine, “La Nouvelle Revue,” states that, according to the statistics of 1881, there were then in France six million persons connected with small industries as against three million two hundred and thirty thousand connected with the great industries. It is not true, then, as the generality of writers with Socialist leanings unqualifiedly assert, that the small industries have been entirely “absorbed” by the great. The writer in the “Revue” refers to a school of French economists which believes that the era of great industries has now reached its height, and that a steady decrease in their number is certain. Steam, the economists of this school say, created large manufactories; they will be destroyed by the distribution of the motive power at dwellings or small workshops. The writer raises the question of the desirability of the return to small industries, but finds himself without sufficient data to express a general opinion. It appears that among the different sections of the group of the Exposition of Social Economy was one entitled, “Great and Small Industries.” The object was to call forth local studies intended to illustrate extensive statistical calculations. The jury received many interesting memoirs, but the responses fell short, both in quantity and quality, of the expectations of the organizers of the commission. The writer in the “Revue” was allowed to use the material gathered, and he thinks there is enough in the responses to show that, while concentration at one point of numerous workmen increases professional aptitude and skill, — a conclusion which contradicts current opinions, — the laborer working at his home with a few companions is more sober and frugal than the “hands” of the great factories. But the writer inclines to the opinion that the disadvantage of small industries outweighs the advantages. The workshop of small industries is apt to be unhealthy; the hours of work would be excessive, employment uncertain, and provision for infirmity and old age next to impossible. It is obvious, however, that the writer fails to take into account a variety of considerations and circumstances which put a different face on the matter. The workmen have acquired habits and information which they will carry with them into the new condition. The benefits of voluntary association and coöperation are more and more appreciated by them, and they can dispense with the philanthropic institutions established by the employers as well as with the support (?) of the government. The spread of intelligence and a higher standard of living will do more in the way of preventing overwork, dissipation, and improvidence than State inspection and supervision, which our writer puts among the “benefits” of great industries.
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.