“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.
Paris is to have a “Twentieth Century.” An organ of revolutionary Socialism entitled “Vingtième Siècle” and edited by M. Chassaing, a Socialist deputy, is announced as shortly to appear. Like the “Twentieth Century” of the United States, it will have, so it claims in its prospectus, both Socialists and Anarchists among its contributors. The Anarchists, however, are pretty sure to be Communists.
It seems that a “Tribune” editorial chair is enough to queer any presidential ticket. It is just twenty years ago that poor Greeley was whipped into his grave, and now an avalanche almost as heavy has descended upon the head of his successor. Whitelaw Reid has nothing to Wow for his “boodle.” Perhaps now he will tithe his revenge upon the printers whom he bought in vain. If I were employed in the “Tribune” composing-room, I should begin to took for a new job.
Whitelaw Reid declares that his nomination for the vice-presidency came to him unsought and as an utter surprise. Perhaps Mr. Reed will explain how it happened that one of his employees made the round of the New York newspaper offices a day or two before the nomination, hawking huge electrotypes of his employer, freshly made for the occasion, for use in the papers the morning after the nomination, and remaining those who hesitated to buy by telling them that it was a sure thing; that they ran no risk in purchasing, as the nomination was settled in advance.
The subscription to the book-fund is now close to four hundred and fifty copies. But the rate of increase has become so slow that, as Comrade Scott points out in another column, it will take a long time yet to reach the necessary five hundred. He therefore, to hasten matters, adds another copy to his subscription, and urges those who, like himself, have already subscribed for one copy to follow his example. I hesitate to second his motion, the response of those already on the list having been so generous; but in view of his letter and of the offer of James Rigby, who puts his name down for two copies and writes that, if more help is wanted to fill the list, he will do his part, I will simply point out that, if each of the one hundred and thirty persons now on the list were to add one copy immediately, the total subscription would rise at once to nearly six hundred, — a very satisfactory result. If any feel disposed and able to swell the list in this way, of course I shall be pleased. If the subscription should reach five hundred by December 15, I think the book would be out not later than February 15.
Zola and Dynamite.
Shortly after the recent dynamite explosion in Paris, by which several policemen were killed, there appeared in a Paris paper a pretended interview with Zola, in which he was represented as denouncing the dynamiters in very severe terms. This at once reminded all who have read “Germinal” of the finely-drawn character, Souvarine, the revolutionist, who destroyed the mines upon the failure of the strike, and with whom the author seemed certainly not less sympathetic than with the agitators of other types who figure in the story, — rather the contrary. Among those thus reminded was one of Zola’s most appreciative admirers, a Parisian woman, Madame Séverine, a very brilliant journalist, of radical instincts and broad sympathies, ever ready to aid the suffering and champion the oppressed, and full of tolerance for all who join in such championship even by methods not her own. Indignant at the expressions said to have been used by Zola, and prompted perhaps by the similarity of her own name to that of Zola’s hero, she assumed for the moment the character of Souvarine and in that capacity addressed to the novelist through the press an eloquent letter of protest. This was followed by a spirited correspondence between Zola and Madame Séverine as well as by newspaper interviews with both personages. The whole controversy appeared in “L’Echo de Paris,” from which I translate it for Liberty. I believe that there are many among Liberty’s readers who are sufficiently familiar with “Germinal” to share the interest I feel in this episode; it can be thoroughly appreciated, however, only by those who have read “Germinal” in the original instead of the mutilated English version. It should be remembered, in reading the controversy, that the words Anarchy and Anarchist refer solely to the doctrine of forcible revolution and its advocates, the success of the latter’s attempt to capture this name having been as signal in France as has been its failure in this country. I first give Souvarine’s letter:
To M. Émile Zola.
I should not like, my dear sir and biographer, to fall, in the inverse sense, into the ridiculous error of those who, on the day after the murder of the engineer Watrin at Decazeville, accused you of being in some way the instigator thereof, — of having hypnotized a population by the story of the massacre of Maigrat, the grocer, in “Germinal.”
Events so justified you, fate in such a fabulous fashion traced the facts over your hypotheses and realized your vision that the envious, and even the vulgar, much preferred not to recognize the triumph of your genius, and even to make you expiate it by an appearance of moral complicity. This had not realized That; on the contrary, That had inspired This.
Few were those who cried vates, who proclaimed in the admirable artist the marvellous prophet, and in your writer’s armchair the tripod of the Pythoness.
Such, however, was the truth; the comprehensiveness of your intellect, the amplitude of your vision, looking down on men and things, dominating time and space, had made, of that strike at Anzin which you spent a week in watching, the Strike; without indication of time or place, wherever underground the miners go in search of that black bread on which machinery feeds!
Little or much, you had divined everything, foreseen everything! As long as the capitalistic régime and the wageworkers’ revolt shall last, your book will remain the Bible of insurrection, whose verses apply successively, through the ages, to each stage of humanity.
You predicted, for Decazeville, this suppression of a master by a crowd; so that a journal, really haunted by you, imagined that the suggestion had been complete, in all its atrocious details, and reproached you therewith. Now, nothing similar had occurred. Death had been inflicted without phrases, but also without outrages.
It became necessary to recognize this, and, besides, that three-fourths of these primitive beings, not snowing how to read or write, could not have copied “Germinal.”
No more than those of Carmaux. And yet it is “Germinal” again which we have had to traverse lately, finding once more Rasseneur and Pluchart, the meetings and the parades, the speeches and the resolutions, the votes of censure or of enthusiasm, the eternal exploitation of the wretched by their employer . . . or their defender!
Watrin’s end certified Maigrat’s end.
But, at that time, the principle which I incarnate, the terrible nihil, remained in the shadow; at Decazeville no one encountered my dreamer’s profile wandering, solitary and gloomy, through the lanes and footpaths, in the pale moonlight or the darkness of the night.
This time, M. Humblot, surrounded, threatened, seemingly lost, has miraculously escaped death. The leaders, by a common accord (and from one red to the other of the scale), have persuaded the ignorant multitude that It has won a great victory — as they had encouraged It to sacrifice itself for the benefit of a personality, and of a political principle by which they alone will profit.
With songs, with dances, flags, and flourish of trumpets, the laborers have resumed work, which they ought never to have left except for themselves, their bread, or their freedom!
And some one, not I; whom I do not know, but whose soul must be made in my image; who, to use the poet’s expression, undoubtedly resembles me “like a brother”; some creature of sorrow and destruction, intoxicated by his dream, has risen — and has acted!
Five unfortunates, five poor beings have paid for others; as would have paid for others, it must be said, the clerks in the mining company’s office in the Avenue de l’Opera, if the projectile had done its work where it was deposited; as, in “Germinal,” paid for others, whose names even we do not know — “the satiated and crouching god to whom they gave their flesh and whom they had never seen” — the living whom I turned into dead, my victims, those of Voreux!
A cry of pity, a dreadful outburst of wrath arises. All those who have a heart feel it start at the description of the remains of what were five men, and of the sufferings of one who lived a few hours. All those who have a strong box invoke Scylla, wholesale proscription, and a permanent scaffold; their indignation comes from their fright.
Those who have a brain stand astonished, shuddering, before the sphinx with purple claws, devourer of those who do not know the meaning of Tomorrow.
Then all thoughts turn to you, the forerunner who simply by a faithful picture of the turpitudes, the vices, the crimes, and even the ridiculous features, of the bourgeoisie, has most deeply undermined its power and shortened its reign, — tearing from the sovereign his purple and his crown, pushing him naked before the hissing crowd, potbellied like Vitellius, bald like Caesar, rotten like Tiberius, cowardly like Nero, — all turn to you, poet and seer, powerful mind whose eye pierced the darkness and whose hand, dispersing the fogs, pointed in the distance to the gleams of the dawn; to you, so far above common sentiments that it seems as if you would surely preserve your serenity, though all others lose their heads, — they turn to you and question you.
Without evading, you declare: “It is abominable, it is monstrous, it is a crime, it is stupidity!”
What reply have you left for M. Ohnet?
It is not a political quarrel that I seek with you, but a literary quarrel. You have a right to your opinion, as the believer to his God and the negro to his color.
That Coppée, who is a tender heart, that Vacquerie, who is a romanticist, that the sentimentalists should express their sorrow or their severe disapproval is not at all surprising. But sentiment is not your specialty; and when it appears in your works, O Master, there is always the germ of revolt beneath the sadness, like an eagle’s egg under a hen’s wings.
The death of Miette — you foresaw Fourmies also! — in “La Fortune des Rougon,” and the death of Alzire in “Germinal,” make the tears fall like raindrops from the driest eyes. But the bullet or the famine also pierce a hole in the reader’s soul, and the seed of vengeance falls therein.
Excess of power suppresses the sense of littleness; the elephant does not in the least suspect that each of his steps costs the life of billions of creatures. He is too high to see them and too heavy to feel them.
Thus you have traversed half your career, crushing and imposing; crashing through thickets, twisting oaks as if they were straw, creating a deafening tumult simply by your passage.
Suddenly you stop. Before you lie five poor birds, with feathers torn and breasts open; around them flutter all the birds in the vicinity, threatened with the same lead. And you come to a halt, trunk lowered; and your cry strives to attune itself to the plaintive twittering of the tomtits.
Oh, Master! . . . Why this?
Do you forget that I am your creature, that the hero of “Germinal” is not Etienne or Maheu, but I?
To have thus depicted me you must have penetrated to the marrow my unconsciousness of everything but the Idea. You have given me the grand rôle, if not the beautiful rôle, in your social drama. I terrify; but I am not despised, like Rasseneur, who is an intriguer, Pluchart, who is a hypocrite, and Lantier, who lacks resolution.
You have made me gentle by nature and implacable by reflection. When, from habit, my fingers wander in Pologne’s hair, they feel that I should like to be able to be good; and when, frightful fanatic consigning to death hundreds of comrades, I saw the partition of the goyot, they feel that I act without hatred, from a sense of duty.
Ah! that all should insult me, that all should abuse me, is natural; these people defend themselves. That the executioner’s fist should fall upon my neck, that upon my dead face should rain the spit and blows of those whom I have made widows and orphans, from whom I have taken their son, their love, their stay, this is justice; they cannot understand me, and my skin is their indemnity.
But you, you who, if you did not create me, at least evoked me and transferred into the popular soul a little of the intense fever which burns in my veins; you, Father of Anarchy, as once there were Fathers of the Church, remember how you made me leave the scene of my crime:
“Yonder he went, into the unknown. He went, with his tranquil air, to the work of extermination, wherever there should be dynamite to blow up cities and men. It will be he, doubtless, when the bourgeoisie in its death-agony shall hear beneath it at every step the splitting of the pavement of the streets.”
Time has done its work, the prophecy is fulfilled. It was not necessary to pronounce upon the result, — to approve in the domain of fact that which you did not brand in the domain of fiction.
But I had a right to your neutrality. All could overwhelm me with their anathemas — save you!
Pour copie conforme,
The day after the appearance of the foregoing, “L’Echo de Paris” published the following correspondence:
To Madame Séverine:
Dear Madame, — Why have you truncated two lines given by me to a young journalist. It is not very honest, that!
I have written: “These bombs that kill poor devils are abominable.”
So, whatever my thought regarding the social drama of which we are witnesses, I am forbidden to utter a cry of pity? You astonish me.
Are you, then, no longer a woman?
Cordially yours, all the same,
Paris, November 11, 1892.
To Monsieur Émile Zola:
Dear Master, — Why do you get angry . . . and so beside the mark, too? It is not very Parisian, that!
I based my article not on your autograph, but on your interview, — the interview in the cab, from which this is an extract:
Oh, yes! it is abominable, it is monstrous! The Anarchists fail of their purpose. It is really the poor devils who are the victims of these attacks. The powerful, the bourgeois, are sheltered from them; the bombs never reach them; and yet it is against these that the Anarchists intend them to serve. Coppée is right in saying, it is at once a crime and a stupidity; a crime, because these attempts strike the innocent only; a stupidity, because their sole result is to plunge into mourning a few families of poor people who have always lived by their labor.
Have I said anything else?
So, whatever your opinion regarding the social drama of which we are witnesses, it is forbidden to emphasize its phases? You astonish me.
Are you, then, no longer an Anarchist?
After all, perhaps it is written that there will be more joy in the Academy over one Anarchist who repenteth than over thirty-nine reactionaries who have never changed.
Cordially yours, all the same,
P.S. — Angelique will bless you; it is La Monquette who will not be pleased.
Paris, November 11, 1892.
On the following day the same journal printed an interview with Zola, which the reporter opened thus:
“Well, dear master, here you are, accused of teaching Anarchy in your books, and then of failing to harmonize your words with your writings?”
“And you have come to interview me about it?”
“After all, what’s the difference! I have a settled opinion regarding this fashion of reporting. I receive all the journalists who knock at my door, because I have no reason to be disagreeable to them, but I decline all responsibility for the remarks which they attribute to me; generally they tell the truth, sometimes they torture it, and occasionally it happens that they invent from end to end a conversation that never occurred. I never protest, what is the use? I attach importance only to that which I sign. Now, my little quarrel with Madame Séverine arises from an interview which is pure fantasy. The young journalist who wrote it, and whom I invited into my carriage the other day for a short drive, asked me questions about everything, except Anarchy: he told me of his literary projects and of the tiresomeness of his calling; he confided to me his hopes and related the story of his life; we even talked, I believe, about the rain and the fine weather; but of dynamite and Anarchists not a word. The next day a journal published my Impressions on this exciting question, and, I must admit, made me say things that are very wise. I have not felt bound to deny the conversation: first, because I do not wish to assume responsibility for any interview whatever, though it should be reported with absolute fidelity; and, secondly, because in this case your confrère, for whom I have a friendly feeling, has not made me say anything stupid. But here Madame Séverine has taken the thing seriously, I have the keenest sympathy with Madame Séverine: she has much talent, a generous nature, and a loyal heart; but she sometimes gives way to childish attacks of the nerves. The idea of making me out a revolutionary writer and of taking my books for the Bible of Anarchy! One has only to open my novels from the first to the last to see that I am not an Anarchist, but an evolutionist.”
“Evolution and not revolution, how do you use these terms?”
“I am for the slow transformation of society; I wish reforms without violence, and I believe that we cannot hasten progress or solve serious social problems with shells or kettles of dynamite. All the characters that I have put into my works signify nothing else; and none of my peasants, bourgeois, workmen, or representatives of other social classes which I have studied, are beings that obey the instincts of the wild beast, inspired by subversive instincts. The Souvarine that Madame Séverine has seen in ‘Germinal’ does not exist there, and my charming quarreler, in her vibrating article in ‘L’Echo de Paris,’ has created one in conformity with her own dream. You see, my friend, on the question of Anarchy I have ideas which I keep to myself. All that I can tell you is that I find our Anarchists miserable, petty, and ugly. But of the bourgeois now crazy with fright, of a great city in a fidget, I have an opinion far from flattering. I cannot understand why Paris should be afraid, why Paris should be angry. In the first place, anger always makes me laugh; when I see a man abandon himself to epileptic furies, I am convulsed: he is so ugly, so grotesque. As for the fidget of which we have seen such singular manifestations during the last few days, I find no excuse for it. Our would really think that the Parisians had lost their heads; what! so much fright over a bomb that bursts and makes five victims! Come, let us be logical; the other day, in the Rue de ‘Precise, a scaffolding fell and crushed four workmen; tomorrow some sudden catastrophe may plunge a house, a city, a nation, into mourning. I see no pretext for a panic; all this is life, with its risks, its shocks; has not the earth its volcanic eruptions? The fear which chokes Paris at the present moment disturbs me; we tremble after a catastrophe, frightful I confess, since it has made widows and orphans: but then, suppose France were on the eve of some terrible event, some dangerous crisis, a war for instance? Let us be courageous and philosophical. Let us defend ourselves against the Anarchists with the law, with a good police, and with coolness. Let us especially beware of the fidgets, and let us not give to an isolated explosion the importance of an earthquake that destroys a metropolis. Paris is a solid city, and the people who live in it have no right to be poltroons.”
The reporter then called on Madame Séverine, who simply said:
“An interview, my dear comrade? I um very willing, but it shall not be long. I have but one word to reply to Zola, and it is this: I am much too grateful to the author of ‘Germinal’ — and especially ‘Pot-Bouille’! — to wish to enter into a controversy with him.”
“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.
We, the undersigned, hereby agree, in case Benj. R. Tucker shall decide to publish in book form a compilation of articles written by him for his paper, Liberty, to purchase of him, at the rate of one dollar each, the number of copies herewith set opposite our respective names, and to pay to Benj. R. Tucker one-half the amount due for these copies whenever he shall call for it, and the balance on the appearance of the book.
|Previously Acknowledged||434 copies.|
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|Edwin B. Hill, Detroit, Mich.,||2 “|
|A. A. Soreng, Marvin, So. Dakota,||1 “|
|August Belsmann, Stapleton, N. Y.,||2 “|
|James Rigby, Sr., Cambria, Va.,||2 “|
|E. B. McKenzie, Jr., Boston Mass.,||2 “|
|C. W. Pease, Waterbury, Conn.,||1 “|
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|W. G. Scott, Cincinnati, O.,||1 “|
Doubles His Subscription.
Dear Mr. Tucker:
You may put me down for one more copy of your proposed book. I wish I could know that I would be safe in saying five instead of two copies, but under present circumstances two are as many as I dare venture. I have added one, because I feel that, if we are to have the book at all, it should be gotten out as soon as possible, so that it may be read through the long winter evenings, in the season of most leisure, when people have more time to digest what they read. The list seems to be dragging slowly toward the five-hundred mark, and the reading season is going by. If those who, like myself, have previously subscribed for one copy will just double the number and do it quickly, — within two weeks, — then the work can be pushed vigorously, and we shall have the book to circulate before the hot weather comes on again. I suppose you can get it out in, say, two months? I hope so, at least.
W. G. Scott.
Cincinnati, O., November 18, 1892.
More “Reform” in Boston.
Boston seems to be corning to the front very prominently and unenviably of late in various phases of the prohibition movement. The most recent demand made upon the government of that city for the alleged protection of the people is a petition to the Board of Aldermen praying for “a strict surveillance upon the posters” which theatrical companies intend to display, and “a careful ruling out of all those which are an offence against modesty and decency.”
This petition was prepared by the Working Girls’ Clubs of Boston, and is said to hear the signatures of representative women in that city. The city, it seems, has been conspicuously placarded with theatrical bills displaying women in tights, and these appear to have attracted the attention of the Working Girls’ Clubs; and, as the purpose for which the bills were posted was to advertise, this evidence of the success of their efforts will doubtless be appreciated by the theatrical managers. It strikes me that it would be in order for these latter gentlemen to tender a vote of thanks, or even more substantial evidence of their gratitude, to the Working Girls’ Clubs of Boston for their generous assistance in the work of filling the theatres with people anxious to see the originals of the representations “which are an offence to the modesty and decency” of “representative” women.
And I fancy that, if this petition be granted, and the Board of Aldermen undertakes to decide what is and what is not “offensive to every clean-minded man and woman, and deeply corrupting to the unformed standards of youth,” there will be one of the most satisfactory displays of discord and dissatisfaction that governmental meddling with private affairs has ever produced. The difficulties of the Aldermen will be all the greater because of the fact that no really clean-minded man or woman can be offended at what the aforesaid clubs complain of. Let the attempt at suppression be made. It can but be a boomerang.
C. L. Swartz.
Straws, Fancied and Actual.
To the Editor of Liberty:
The chances are nearly all in favor of you being right regarding the improbability of the Democrats doing anything for free banking during the coming four years. The value of the Chicago declaration for repeal of the ten per cent. tax is found in the wide-spread agitation it engendered. No matter what the motives of those who were instrumental in making that demand a plank in the platform, the result is good, as I view the situation. Much educational work has been done. Those Anarchists who voted with the Democracy felt that every step libertyward of any party should have such encouragement as they could give, timid, uncertain, and halting though that step might be. Bolder, more certain, and longer steps will not be encouraged by giving our support, active or passive, to parties which are unalterably opposed to taking any steps forward.
In estimating the worth of political straws, it is necessary to get hold of the right straws and to understand measurably well the force of the various currents that move them in one or another direction. This I think you have not done in instancing the defeat of “George Fred Williams and other free-banking representatives from Massachusetts.” The implication of your remark seems to be that George Fred Williams’s position on the banking question was not acceptable to his Democratic constituents, and that this divergence of view contributed to his defeat. But if we are to suppose that the defeat of this or that Democratic candidate for Congress is a straw indicating the tendency of the Democratic popular stream, we must take other than George Fred Williams as our warning example. Since Mr. Williams took his seat in Congress, then had been a redistricting of the State under the new apportionment, and he this year found himself in a district having something like fifteen hundred normal Republican majority. Had be been elected, it would have been by the help of several hundred Republican votes, and so his success, supposing that it was due to the banking issue, and that he was a conspicuous advocate of the repeal of the ten per cent. tax, would have indicated that not only did his assumed radicalism not frighten away his fellow Democrats, but that it actually attracted to his support a large body of Republicans. Such would have been the interpretation of Mr. Williams’s success if he had been a “free-banking” straw. But he was not. While accepting, as a Democrat, the platform of his party, and putting his own construction upon it, he has not achieved distinction as an advocate of repeal of the ten per cent. tax. To of hers belongs all the credit that attaches to the projection of this issue into the campaign.
If the reflection or defeat of this or that member of the Fifty-second Congress is to be taken us a straw indicating the sentiment of the Democratic masses on the bank tax repeal issue, then the success of Michael D. Harter of Ohio should not be overlooked, for he more than any other man of his party, has identified his name with the repeal demand. And not only has he advocated the repeal of the ten per cent. tax he has clearly, distinctly, and repeatedly attacked the principle of legal tender. He did that in his speech here before the Rankers’ Association, he did it in San Francisco, and he did it elsewhere. He said that no form of money should depend for its acceptance upon the legal tender flat of government. Well, to repeat if the success or failure of ally Democratic Congressman who stood for a return could be taken as an indication of Democratic sentiment on the State hank question, then the reflection of Michael D. Harter may be regarded as a most hopeful augury, a really significant straw. Mr. Harter’s district had been gerrymandered by the Republicans, and as a result he had an adverse majority of about fifteen hundred tired to overcome. He succeeded in dissipating this majority and securing a substantial plurality for himself. This would indicate that many Republicans indorse Mr. Harter’s advanced views on the banking question as well as that he has the Democrats of the district at his back. Understand, I am not claiming that Mr. Harter’s triumph is even slightly due to the cause indicated; but I do aver that, if the defeat of George Fred Williams in Massachusetts was in any degree caused by his mild views upon the repeal demand, then the victory of Michael D. Harter in Ohio is in a much larger measure attributable to his radical utter ances and his active work for the repeal of the ten per cent. tax and in behalf of non-legal-tender money.
E. C. Walker.
4 Ashburton Place, Boston.
No one has disputed for a moment the educational value of the agitation resulting front the embodiment in the Democratic platform of the plank calling for the repeal of the ten per cent. tax. If only that had to he considered, I too should be in a mood for rejoicing. But “a little learning is a dangerous thing”; and if such Democratic friends of free banking as have emerged front this campaign in a half-educated condition should now be influenced by their own fears, by the wiles of less sincere party associates, and by the “wild-cat cry” of their Republican opponents, to institute a banking reform having some semblance of freedom but lacking its essence, we should be in imminent peril of a disaster that would more than offset all the education that can fairly be attributed to the campaign just ended. If such action should follow, the net result would be bad, very bad; if, on the other hand, no such action should follow, the net result would be good, very good; but in the latter case I wish the voting Anarchists to understand that, as facts within my knowledge warrant me in saying, the avoidance of the danger will be due, not at all to their disposition to let the Democrats proceed unexposed and even to abet them a little in a quiet way, but in a very considerable degree to the voice of warning lifted by Liberty in the critical period of the campaign. That was heard in Democratic councils and had its effect. If such action on my part can be considered passive support of Republicanism, so be it! But is my long record of opposition to Republican measures, methods, and men, to count for nothing, then, as passive support of Democracy? I hate both these parties impartially, but I strike my hardest blows at that one with which for the moment it seems most imperative to deal. Such must be the political attitude of the Anarchist, if I understand what Anarchism is. Mr. Walker’s policy, on the other hand, of devoting nearly all his opposition to one party and voting with the other to encourage it to take bolder, wore certain, and longer steps, betrays an expectation of results from politics that seems to me scarcely consonant with the Anarchistic position, — betrays, indeed, a forgetfulness of the fact peculiar to the economic revolution, that before there can exist a majority intelligent enough to achieve it by law or repeal of law, there must exist a minority intelligent and strong enough to achieve it by non-political means.
Mr. Walker has entirely misunderstood my reference to the defeat of George Fred Williams. He failed to notice that the reference in question concluded a paragraph dealing not at all with the causes that produced the electoral results, but exclusively with the electoral results as causes of future Congressional action. I did not mean at all to say, nor did I think, that Williams’s defeat was due in the least to his free banking views. I simply meant that the repeal party in Congress had been weakened and rendered less capable of successful action by the defeat of Williams and other Massachusetts Democrats. Mr. Walker will see at once that he is in vigorous contest with a man of straw which he himself has set up, and that this is the only straw that there is in the case.
Since he repudiates his own argument regarding the election of Harter, it is hardly worth while for me to combat it; but perhaps it will do no harm to point out that Harter’s participation in a landslide so general that it carried, not merely his district, but the entire State of Ohio into the Democratic column (or nearly so — I forget what the latest figures showed) is not a phenomenon sufficiently exceptional in character to establish or even indicate the causes of Harter’s success. T.
Denver Honors the Martyrs.
To the Editor of Liberty:
The Anarchists of Denver, Colo., held a memorial meeting November 18 in Coliseum Hall. About five hundred people were present. Mr. G. O. Shove presided and made an address of ten minutes. Mrs. Lizzie Jack and Arthur Cheesewright sang “Annie Laurie” finely. Mr. W. S. Bell of Oakland, Calif., gave the principal address. He furnished manuscript report of his lecture to several of the daily papers; nevertheless they did not follow copy, but perverted and grossly misrepresented his statements. Mr. Bell’s speech was splendid, and was received by the audience with many tokens of appreciation, especially when he gave utterance to such sentiments as the following: “All men are not created equal, as the Declaration of Independence affirms, because they were not created at all. They were not endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights, because they had no creator; and they have no inalienable rights, because, first, they have no rights that government does not take away when it chooses, and, secondly, they have no inalienable rights because they have no natural rights.
“Government is not based upon the principles of justice extended to all citizens, but upon privilege and robbery. Justice does not prevail in any department of government. At the caucus and primary meetings the shoulder-hitter and briber carry the day. In the national political conventions and in the national legislature fraud and privilege rule. Privilege, fraud, and violence are the necessary methods of government. It is not only an evil, and always an evil, but it is the parent crime, the crime-maker, the breeder of great and small crimes, and the protector of great criminals.”
James H. Jack.
Denver, Colo., November 18, 1892.
New York. — Samuel McWhinney, 2361 Eighth Ave.; Justus H. Schwab, 50 First Street.
Boston. — A. H. Simpson, 202 Huntington Ave.
Philadelphia. — Henry Heyne, Corner of Tenth and Market Streets.
Detroit. — Herman Reif. 94 Gratiot Ave.
Chicago. — Geo. A. Schilling, 85 Washington Street.
Denver. — Henry Cohen, 1239 Welton Street.
Canton, O. — Standard News Co.
London, England. — A. Tarn, 124 Temple Chambers; C. Attersoll, 44 Ellington Street, Barnsbury.
Melbourne, Australia. — D. A. Andrade, 213 Russell Street.
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.