“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.
It may interest bidders for the files of Liberty now offered for sale to know that it is my intention to publish with the last number of the tenth volume a very complete and carefully-prepared index to the paper covering the entire first decade of its existence. This will very much enhance the value of the complete file to its fortunate owner.
On Monday, August 15, at 11 o’clock in the forenoon, at the auction rooms of Geo. A. Leavitt & Co., comer of Broadway and Tenth Street, New York City, the remnants of my stock of novels and Anarchistic books and pamphlets will be sold at public auction. It will be an admirable opportunity to buy good literature for a song. Liberty’s friends are invited.
The following choice item appeared recently in the New York “World”: “Conrad Beuker, the Anarchist employed by the Singer Sewing Machine Company at Elizabeth, ridicules the report that he and the man Peukert are one and the same. He knows Peukert well, and says that he never lived in Elizabeth, although he frequently went there to address meetings in Turn Hall, on High Street. He knows neither Berkman nor Miss Goldman personally, but has heard of them often. He calls them ‘Mugwump Anarchists,’ or followers of that sort of Anarchy first preached by Benjamin Tucker, of Boston.” Is this ignorance or malice? Or has Beuker simply taken his cue from Most, his master?
A friend of mine, who holds practically the same opinions on political and social questions that I hold, disapproves my methods, and tells me constantly that the way to achieve results is to work with the tide, not against it. I am told the same thing by numerous other people, who, while they believe in Anarchism, are working for State Socialism with all their might. Anarchism can be reached, they say, only through State Socialism; State Socialism is bound to come first; the tide is that way; we intend to work with the tide, not against it. Now, strange to say, my friend, who abominates State Socialism, thinks that these people, who are really carrying out his own doctrine, are guilty of the last degree of folly. Every new and true idea first gains a foothold by buffeting the tide. This is a rule to which there is scarcely an exception in history.
“There is but one way to reach the alien Anarchist in this country,” says the New York “Sunday Advertiser,” “and that is through Federal legislation. His infamous newspapers must be denied access to the mails, as the lottery companies are denied” I pray the gods, if gods there be, that this miserable editor may have his miserable wish. Nothing better for Anarchism could possibly happen. Of course the editor does not contemplate, as his words strictly imply, the exclusion of only such Anarchistic journals as are published by alien Anarchists. Such a law is out of the question. Suppose, then, that all Anarchistic journals were to be excluded from second and third class mail privileges, just as the lotteries are. What would be the result, in the case of Liberty, for instance? Why, I should add one dollar to the subscription price, and send the paper to the subscriber in a sealed envelope prepaid at letter postage rates. A two-cent stamp will carry Liberty across the continent. In consequence of the advertisement that the exclusion would give, I should soon have ten subscribers paying three dollars a year where I now have one paying two dollars. By this act of tyranny the influence of Liberty would be enlarged immeasurably. Unhappily there are but few members of the brotherhood of thieves who are such infernal fools as John A. Cockerill.
You Must Not.
“Here you are at last; I’m glad I’ve cornered you; I have been wanting to see you alone for days to tell you that you must not wear that red necktie any more — ”
“Indeed! Why not, Madame?”
“People are talking. They say all sorts of dreadful things about you; I cannot stop my ears. They go so far as to call you an Anarchist. You see how grave the occasion is now. Go right home, and put one of another color round that handsome neck.”
“But I wear this to please myself, and at present it suits me very well, perhaps because I am an Anarch — ” My sister-in-law interrupted me hastily.
“Don’t, Will, I won’t hear you. I like to be truthful. I prefer not to be able to define you when I am asked what your views are. I know they are not orthodox But to return to the point. It will injure your prospects if you persist in this eccentricity, — for the Mardens declare they will cut you dead.”
“In that case, for expediency I will follow your good advice and don another tie, my sister. Adieu.”
“Adieu, good boy.”
A week elapsed.
I had again a rencontre with my brother in the city. “Well met, Will,” he cried with a frown; “you must not wear that blue tie any more. People are talking; they say you are reactionary, that you have become a Conservative.”
“Let them talk if it amuses them, and it seems to. They did me the honor to dislike red, and it appears they also object to blue. I declare I will not change.” “But it will injure my future. They will not return me as a Liberal at the next general election if — ”
“Say no more, my brother, I will accommodate you and change the tie.”
A fortnight passed. I had been wearing a green kerchief, and had almost forgotten the event, but at the end of that time my Aunt called.
She is a strong anti-Home Ruler.
“Will,” she cried, gravely ignoring my proffered hand, “Will, what makes you go about in that horrid green tie? People are talking. You must not do it. They say you are Irish, that you are a Home Ruler. Have some respect for yourself and others; take it right off, and put this one on, which I have bought you on my way here.”
“That tie! my aunt,” said I, regarding it with extreme and unaffected aversion; “never! I fancy I see myself in black.”
“Now be reasonable. You really must not go about, as you have hitherto done, like a mountebank. No wonder your paintings don’t sell.”
“You think that this small article of dress, this minute concession to Society, will make my wares go up in the market?”
“Think? I tell you I know it.”
“Then I’ll put it on right away as an expediency.”
I was painting pretty fast to be ready for the rush, when a stranger entered my studio.
“Sir,” he exclaimed, falling back in sorrow, “you wear the habiliments of grief. I see I am too late. My sister, your mother, has then passed away.”
“No, Uncle,” I said, for I perceived this was my mother’s only brother from India, “she is far from that, being just now engaged in — But here she comes to speak for herself.”
“You must not wear that fatal black tie, Will,” she cried; “you have given your uncle quite a turn. I knew people would say that you were in mourning.”
I gladly removed it.
What shall I wear? I must not have red, blue, black, green. It appears that I am singularly unfortunate in pleasing others. I shall therefore please myself and revert to the Red rag and let the Public charge at it like a bull at will. The Public will soon tire of thinking of me. It adores itself. It does not buy my pictures. It does not feed, clothe, or warm me. This public is captious. I do not hurt it by wearing red, green, blue, or black.
To me say no more you must not; I answer I will. Hurrah for Liberty! Miriam Daniell.
As hares that from their burrows bound with speed,
Surpassed by no fleet hound in all the pack
Pursuing with long hot tongues lolling slack,
Where stretches the interminable mead,
And dewy grass bends low with scented seed.
Pursuers and pursued hold on their track,
As such poor hunted hares can never heed
Aught but escape, and how to double back,
So breathless on the path of modern trade
Men race, and see the dogs Necessity
From widely started eyes of wild affright,
And know that if they view the dawn or night,
Or pause to gather beauty, they will be
O’ertaken and flung dead by Usury.
Life tethered me upon a globe to graze,
Sweet herbs, green grass to nibble all around,
But still I tugged my cord, and strained my gaze
To see beyond horizon of my ground.
Me, to Elysian fields, Death comes to lead.
Ah! must I leave you, mine own flowery mead?
Fool! to have hungered all these weary hours;
There fancy paints no finer grass or flowers.
“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 Complete File of Liberty For Sale.
Readers of Liberty desirous of possessing the early volumes, now so rare, should remember that bids for them must reach me not later than August 13. The highest bidder will be given his choice of the following three sets, the second bidder to have second choice and the third bidder to take the remaining set:
1. A complete file of the first eight volumes of Liberty, unbound.
2. A set of the first three volumes of Liberty, bound in half morocco, red; first and second volumes bound together, the third separately.
3. Same as No. 2.
Shall We Destroy Civilization?
As if to emphasize the contrast between the “Twentieth Century” as it is and the “Twentieth Century” as it used to he, the present editor, in the same number in which he declared his adhesion to the State Socialistic platform of the People’s Party, printed an article by the former editor, Mr. Pentecost, written in his best vein and ringing with the old libertarian tone. The article was a review of Edward Carpenter’s “Civilization: Its Cause and Cure.” With some of Mr. Pentecost’s criticisms on the book I am not entirely in sympathy. For instance, I am not so thoroughly in love with clothing as Mr. Pentecost seems to be. Clothing is a good thing only so far as it is either useful or beautiful. It is not always the former and rarely the latter. When useless or ugly or unhealthy, and when worn (as it almost invariably is) as an expression of shame, it is an evil; and it is on these grounds, if I understand Mr. Carpenter, that he attacks it. To that extent I am with him, though not an enemy of clothing altogether. I am with him also in his glorification of passion and emotion. These undoubtedly are pain-breeders, as Mr. Pentecost charges, but they are also pleasure-breeders. Life without emotion is life without sensation, and life without sensation is not life at all. To advocate the annihilation of emotion is to advocate suicide. It is the task of the free civilization in which Mr. Pentecost rightly believes to make passion and emotion breed more pleasure and less pain. It can do this only by making them more intense and at the same time coupling them with the highest development of intellect and the utmost attainment of knowledge. The strongest passions governed by the strongest minds make the strongest and happiest men and women.
These qualifying remarks constitute too long a preface to the brief declaration which I now make of hearty sympathy with Mr. Pentecost’s review, on the whole. The essence of his admirable criticism is contained in the following paragraph, which is for the most part so good and true that I quote it with a renewed feeling of regret that the hand which wrote it is no longer the guiding hand of the “Twentieth Century”:
The ills which spring from monopolized property Mr. Carpenter ascribes to private property, and preaches Communism as a cure. But Communism is as undesirable as it is impossible. Private property, with absolutely free competition in acquiring it, is the one thing to be desired, the one thing ultimately possible. “Rents, mortgages, interest, etc.,” would fall away with the cessation of property in unused land, and the cessation of restrictions in the manufacture and sale of money. With the breaking down of the land and money monopolies all other monopolies — religious, political, commercial, conjugal — would fall; the disease of civilization would be cured, and human beings would roar with laughter at the notion of undressing themselves and taking to the woods. Civilization, as it is, is bad enough, but savagery at its best is worse. What we want is a better civilization, a civilization in which men shall be free to think, speak, write, labor, trade, play, love, eat, drink, come, and go, unpolicemanized, unpriestized, and undominated by a superstitious public opinion. What we need is competition on equal terms, not Communism; a chance to get clothing, not nakedness; a chance to get a better house, not a hut in the woods: more wealth, not poverty: freedom from superstitions, not moon dances on the hill tops; more reason, more intelligence, more clear thinking; not more passions, sacred or otherwise. T.
Compulsory Education Not Anarchistic.
A public-school teacher of my acquaintance, much interested in Anarchism and almost a convert thereto, finds himself under the necessity of considering the question of compulsory education from a new standpoint and is puzzled by it. In his quandary he submits to me the following questions:
1. If a parent starves, tortures, or mutilates his child, thus actively aggressing upon it to its injury, is it just for other members of the group to interfere to prevent such aggression!
2. If a parent neglects to provide food, shelter, and clothing for his child, thus neglecting the self-sacrifice implied by the second corollary of the law of equal freedom, is it just for other members of the group to interfere to compel him so to provide!
3. If a parent wilfully aims to prevent his child from reaching mental or moral, without regard to physical, maturity, is it just for other members of the group to interfere to prevent such aggression!
4. If a parent neglects to provide opportunity for the child to reach mental maturity, — assuming that mental maturity can be defined, — is it just for other members of the group to interfere to compel him so to provide!
5. If it be granted that a knowledge of reading-and-writing — i.e., of making and interpreting permanent signs of thought — is a necessary function of maturity, and if a parent neglects and refuses to provide or accept opportunity for his child to learn to read-and-write, is it just for other members of the group to interfere to compel the parent so to provide or accept?
Before any of these questions can be answered with a straight yes or no, it must first be ascertained whether the hypothetical parent violates, by his hypothetical conduct, the equal freedom, not of his child, but of other members of society.
Not of his child, I say; why? Because, the parent being an independent, responsible individual and the child being a dependent, irresponsible individual, it is obviously inequitable and virtually impossible that equal freedom should characterize the relations between them. In this child, however, who is one day to pass from the condition of dependence and irresponsibility to the condition of independence and responsibility, the other members of society have an interest, and out of this consideration the question at once arises whether the parent who impairs the conditions of this child’s development thereby violates the equal freedom of those mature individuals whom this development unquestionably affects.
Now it has been frequently pointed out in Liberty, in discussing the nature of invasion, that there are certain acts which all see clearly as invasive and certain other acts which all see clearly as non-invasive, and that these two classes comprise vastly the larger part of human conduct, but that they are separated from each other, not by a hard and fast line, but by a strip of dark and doubtful territory, which shades off in either direction into the regions of light and clearness by an imperceptible gradation. In this strip of greater or less obscurity are included that minority of human actions which give rise to most of our political differences, and in the thick of its Cimmerian centre we find the conduct of parent toward child.
We cannot, then, clearly identify the maltreatment of child by parent as either invasive or non-invasive of the liberty of third parties. In such a difficulty we must have recourse to the policy presented by Anarchism for doubtful cases. As I cannot state this policy better than I have stated it already, I quote my own words from Liberty, No. 154.
“Then liberty always, say the Anarchists. No use of force, except against the invader; and in those cases where it is difficult to tell whether the alleged offender is an invader or not, still no use of force except where the necessity of immediate solution is so imperative that we must use it to save ourselves. And in these few cases where we must use it, let us do so frankly and squarely, acknowledging it as a matter of necessity, without seeking to harmonize our action with any political ideal or constructing any far-fetched theory of a State or collectivity having prerogatives and rights superior to those of individuals and aggregations of individuals and exempted from the operation of the ethical principles which individuals are expected to observe.”
In other words, those of us who believe that liberty is the great educator, the “mother of order,” will, in case of doubt, give the benefit to liberty, or non-interference, unless it is plain that non-interference will result in certain and immediate disaster, if not irretrievable, at any rate too grievous to be borne.
Applying this rule to the subject under discussion, it is evident at once that mental and moral maltreatment of children, since its effects are more or less remote, should not be met with physical force, but that physical maltreatment, if sufficiently serious, may be so met.
In specific answer to my questioner, I would say that, if he insists on the form of his questions, “Is it just,” etc., I cannot answer them at all, because it is impossible for me to decide whether interference is just unless I can first decide whether or no there has already been invasion. But if, instead of “Is it just,” he should ask in each case, “Is it Anarchistic policy,” I would then make reply as follows:
2. Yes, in sufficiently serious cases.
5. No. T.
A Letter from Mr. Westrup.
To the Editor of Liberty:
In your comments on my article in Liberty of June 4 you say my “estimate of the Chicago ‘Economic Conferences’ . . . does not coincide with other reports that I have heard. Several Chicago Anarchists have spoken to me most enthusiastically of the good that these conferences have done, and I have had the best of evidence that there was no disposition on the part of the managers to exclude the Anarchistic view of the money question. Is it not possible that the boycott was directed against Mr. Westrup rather than against his subject?”
It will be noticed, upon careful reading, that my article is not a wail because I did not get a chance to speak, as those who read only Mr. Tucker’s comments would naturally infer, but because my subject, free money, was boycotted. My position on the labor question is that free money — free money! — is, essentially, the first step in the emancipation of the industrial classes from the thraldom of capital; that the very beginning of reform will date from the establishment of free money, and what I have written and said, including the advocacy of Col. Greene’s Mutual Bank idea, and even my insistence that the possibility of a standard of value is an absurdity that mature reasoning will dispel, has had for its object the recognition of the necessity of this first step. Mr. Tucker affirms that a majority of believers in free money consider my position in regard to a “standard of value” as a “deplorable heresy,” and reminds me that I should not “blame the managers of the ‘Economic Conferences’ for seeking an exponent of free money who could give a really representative view.” In view of the fact that the money question was suppressed, not discussed at all, except that it was incidentally touched upon by speakers upon other subjects, it is difficult to understand why Mr. Tucker should make the statement last quoted; and in view of the fact that of the answers I have received during the last three years to the series of questions I have been sending out for that period, about seventy-five percent, of them deny the existence of any such thing as a measure or standard of value: and inasmuch as those who give such answers, invariably to the question, “are you in favor of free trade in banking, including the issue of paper money?” answer in the affirmative, I think Mr. Tucker is a little off when he says “that a majority of believers in free money consider that position a deplorable heresy.”
As to any opponents that I may have, I know of but three who ventured to appear in public. One, my friend and co-worker, Mr. Wm. Trinkaus, merely stated that he differed from me in regard to a standard of value, or words to that effect; Mr. Hugo Bilgrain, whose last rejoinder with my answer I did not publish because of the suspension of our paper; and Mr. Tucker, whose guns were silent after I had fired my last shot at him. I concluded that this was an evidence that he was weakening; and now that he says, “while Mr. Westrup may be right in the position he has taken regarding a standard of value,” strengthens my belief.
But Mr. Tucker is wrong in supposing that I meant that the “Economic Conferences” did no good. How could I have meant that when I said that the conservatives who originated the idea, “notwithstanding their wealth and culture, the ablest lectures came from the other side” that they were “ignominiously beaten in argument,” and that as a result, “instead of ‘putting up,’ they ‘shut up.’” We have been enlightened, but further than that we are in the same boat, and the conservatives are still at the helm.
In closing, let me urge those who have anything to criticise in my pamphlets, or anything new to offer in favor of, or against, the idea of a “standard of value,” to send their statements to Liberty, for I feel persuaded that Mr. Tucker will gladly afford space for the discussion of this paramount question, and gladly, cheerfully will I confess my error if a “standard” can be devised that can coexist with freedom.
Alfred B. Westrup.
529 N. Grove Ave., Oak Park, Ill.
[I simply reiterate my statement that I have had the best of evidence that the managers of the “Economic Conferences” did not desire to boycott the Anarchistic view of the money question. The fact that no lecture was devoted to it shows nothing more than that, among those competent to give a really representative exposition of it, no one was found who was able to accept an invitation. Mr. Westrup does not fill the bill, because, as I still maintain, the believers in free money do not consider him sound in his opposition to a standard of value. The answers to Mr. Westrup’s circular prove nothing until he publishes the names of the answerers. The probability is that most of the answers came from people who don’t know what they believe. It is a cardinal point in the Greenback creed that the government should have a monopoly of the issue of money; nevertheless ask the Greenbackers individually if they are “in favor of free trade in banking, including the issue of paper money,” and the majority of them will answer unthinkingly in the affirmative. I have a tolerably wide acquaintance with the real believers in free trade in banking, and at the present moment I can think of only one who is in agreement with Mr. Westrup on the matter of a standard of value. Doubtless there are a few others. But the fact remains that all the great public expositors of the subject, from Proudhon to Bilgram, recognize the necessity of a standard of value, and nearly every Anarchist of my acquaintance adheres to that position. Mr. Westrup should not take my silence for consent. I began a discussion of the subject with him only because of his great services as a worker for free money. It seemed worth while to make an effort to set such a man right. But it became immediately apparent that the task was hopeless, and I stopped, though with the satisfaction of knowing that I had saved several from accepting this childish heresy. The question is too plain for argument; at least so it seems to me and to those with whom I have conversed. I shall not reopen the discussion unless there is something really new and weighty to be advanced. If any one desires to air such folly, the world is wide and Liberty’s columns are few. — Editor Liberty.]
The Story of Auban.
I am not content with the reception given this book of Mackay’s.
A story so unique should hare attracted more attention.
But I am not surprised. A book so purely of the reason, in which the cold, severe intellect is insisted upon on almost every page, is not likely to be popular in an age so impulsive, when all the winds of doctrine are blowing at once.
This is a listening age. Men are just waking up. They are hearing everything. They are not yet deciding.
The story of Auban is a surprise. They hear it, and ponder its new, strange secret, but have little to say about it. They will distrust it, but there is a magnet in the book that will draw them, and little by little, shyly, secretly, half unconsciously they will follow it, growing ever bolder, gladder, clearer-minded as they find health, Nature, truth, deep-breathing and wide, disillusioned vision where they feared a seductive snare.
It is the first novel of Egoism, that strange, new philosophy, the deepest, most fundamental, most explanatory of all, which is the peculiar glory of our time, which by a series of great and logical negations — the denial of Marriage, Law, Government, God, and Altruism — brings man inevitably to the only great and really satisfactory affirmations, — Love, Liberty, Society, Natural Method, the sane Self, and the inclusive Universe.
The author takes you to the pinnacle of reason, and from that clear height launching, in a balloon as it were, gives you a bird’s-eye view of that picture of civilization which he wishes you to see.
He explains to you with the vivid force of the Frenchman, tempered by the scientific accuracy of the German, — above passion, holding himself, cool, impartial.
You feel yourself with an intellectual giant; you know not whether to love him, but you trust him.
You see London where all the misery of the world is focussed; and you see Whitechapel, the Hell of hells, — all.
You see in Chicago the whole tragedy of the new Calvary, — the sickening, blood-stained crush and over-roll of the wheels of that Juggernaut whose progress it is supremest folly for the few and weak to defy.
You see in Trafalgar Square how impotent Ignorant Impulsive Right is in the direct struggle with Selfish Intelligent Might.
Everywhere the moral is driven home that the invisible mental forces are the emancipators, the final destroyers of Force; that Self-interest, clear-eyed, sane, convincing from within, makes free, — not by Eruption, but by Growth.
The debate between Auban and Trupp is admirable; Mackay reveals the impartiality of his mind in the fine presentation of Anarchistic-Communism which he puts in the mouth of the latter, and the thrust which the former gives to its central folly is to the heart, fatal, but just, as Trupp feels.
Auban’s dislike to speaking in public is a characteristic touch. Egoists, Anarchists are not men of the platform, or who love persuasion: they prefer the coldly-printed word, and the self-statement which leaves others free to accept or reject; they are not men of emotion or of repartee.
But why should Auban make his heroes so little attractive? Is it true? Does Egoism attract such men? or produce them? Is this the fruit?
It seems to me that almost inevitably the Egoist must be a cheerful, tolerant, good-humored philosopher, understanding the springs of human conduct, troubled not over much by his own or others’ faults and failures, enjoying life, and lacking in bitter reproach for the course of things generally.
He has the self-indulgence which makes man jolly, tempered by the over-look which makes him wise and serene.
Auban in all his mental life reminds me of no one so much as Tucker, but physically what resemblance is there between this slim, lame, melancholy, close-shaven spectre, with his taste for morbid spectacles, and the well-fed, full-bearded, genial gentleman whom we all know, who certainly mortifies not his flesh, nor speaks with the loud, hard tone? — or between the harsh, bitter Dr. Hunt and the humorous editor of Egoism?
Undoubtedly many such men become Egoists, but are they types? Manifestly these men were miserable because the world was miserable, which I submit is not sane egoism. The Egoist should have the surgeon’s sympathy, which works, wisely and promptly, for recovery, but wastes no vitality in sympathetic suffering.
I mean to do my little deed for the satisfaction of the world’s hunger because I enjoy doing it, but I am not going to let a morbid consciousness of that hunger spoil my appetite for any bite of good flavor that may fall to my teeth.
The book is full of golden sentences, which I might have written myself (had I been capable), so truly do they utter my thought, my experience, and my hope.
Once he had believed that mankind must radically change before he could be free; then he saw that he himself must first become free in order to be free.
. . . . . . . . . .
He saw consequently — and this was the most important and incisive perception of his life, which revolutionized the entire world of his opinions — that the one thing needful was, not to champion the creed of self-sacrifice and duty, but rather egoism, the perception of one’s own interests.
If there was a “solution of the social question,” it lay here. All else was Utopia or slavery in some form.
. . . . . . . . . .
He placed all his hope in the slow progress of reason.
. . . . . . . . . .
Trupp had placed himself in the service of his cause and felt as belonging to it in life and death; Auban knew that liberty does not bind one to anything.
. . . . . . . . . .
Liberty is nothing but independence of one another: the possibility of each being free in his own fashion.
. . . . . . . . . .
Equality of opportunities for all constitutes its basis.
On this basis of equal opportunities, the free, independent, sovereign individual whose only claim on society is that it shall respect his liberty, and whose only self-given law consists in respecting the liberty of others, — that is the ideal of Anarchy.
When this individual awakes to life, the knell of the State has sounded: society takes the place of government; voluntary associations for definite purposes the place of the State; free contract the place of statute law.
Free competition, “the war of all against all,” begins.
The artificially created conceptions of strength and weakness must disappear as soon as the way has been cleared and the perception of the first egoism struggled into light that the happiness of the one is that of the other and vice versa.
. . . . . . . . . .
When the resources of nature shall no longer be obstructed by the violent arrangements of an unnatural government which is a mockery on all common sense, and which, under the pretence of the care of the general welfare, purchases the mad luxury of an insignificant minority at the cost of the misery of an entire population, then only shall we see how bountiful she is, our mother. Then will the welfare of the individual in truth have become identical with the welfare of the community, but, instead of sacrificing himself to it, he will have subjected it to himself.
. . . . . . . . . .
Trusting in the power of reason, which has begun to clear away the confusion of ideas, I calmly look into the future. Though liberty be ever so distant, it will come. It is the necessity towards which, through the individual, mankind is ever moving.
. . . . . . . . . .
The truth has to be established that the interests of men are not hostile to each other, but harmonious, if granted free rein for their development.
Well may Mr. Tucker be proud of this, perhaps his greatest convert.
And now we wait for whoso shall translate “Sturm” for us.
And Stirner, the master.
J. Wm. Lloyd.
The Old Ideal: Possession.
I have a knife, Panchita,
Have a care!
Who was the gallant overnight
Below your window there?
The New Ideal: Freedom.
Nay, blush not. Nita, do not hang your head;
Your body is your soul’s own instrument,
As his is his alone, and mine is mine;
You, hate nor love can touch till you consent.
Awhile we dreamed we loved; that dream is dead;
Together our Life’s music jars; in fine,
You find in him I saw you last night with
Some notes that make your chords more great and blythe.
I wish you well; mistakes too oft become
Fatal, eternal errors through false laws,
And rob heart strings of harmony for some,
But we, invincible, shall mould a cause.
And may we still be friends? The world says “No,”
But I affirm we shall; to limit love
Is hopeless; can a man control the Sea
Or make monopoly of skies above,
Or into selfish breast direct sole flow
Of Nature’s Influence? Immensity
Defies possession. Men sate anger in
Bloodshed when slaves escape, break violin
That will not any longer play their tune,
So it may make no melody again;
Well. I say to you, be gay as June,
Perform your symphony, the world shall gain.
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.