Vol. IX.
<No. 51.>


“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.”

John Hay.

On Picket Duty.

If Spencer, Weismann, and the other biologists who are struggling with the problems of heredity, would read “Lucifer” and a few of Helen Gardener’s novels, they would find the matter fully elucidated.

“Why not make every man’s check legal tender?” asks the New York “Evening Post” with the view of nonplussing the fiat money advocates. Will the “Post” tell us why we couldn’t abolish the legal tender feature altogether? The man whose check is worthless is perhaps apt to favor fiat money; but are the motives of the legal-tender people absolutely above suspicion? If their checks are good, they need no legal tender law to protect them.

On two occasions, during the police board fight in Denver, the entire force was suddenly called late in the afternoon to guard the City Hall through the night, thus leaving the city without any protection. But a demand nearly always creates a supply. A committee of citizens, which had been organized to maintain peace, employed Pinkertons to guard the morals of the community. Here is another instance of private enterprise stepping to the front to fill the “functions of the State,” after that institution had failed.

It seems that there is a “free immigrant labor bureau” in the barge office, and that the officers of the bureau have been unable to meet the demands upon it for farm laborers and domestic servants. The New York “Times” and “Evening Post” naturally conclude that there is no problem of the unemployed in this country, that there is plenty of remunerative employment for all who want it, and that the unemployed are simply lazy, shiftless, and intemperate people who prefer to be tramps. If these papers are satisfied with such reasoning, the next thing for them to do is to claim that there is no business depression prevailing, no industrial crisis. The demand for labor exceeds the supply, as the barge office shows; when this is the case, it is preposterous to talk of a panic or industrial stagnation.

“The secret of monopoly is competition,” says the “Western Laborer.” This is too obvious to require demonstration. Who does not know that the first task of any and all trusts is to arrange for the sharpest competition among their members? Who does not know that the banking monopolists cordially invite the competition of State and private banks, pleading with a stupid congress to abolish all taxes and restrictions on note-issuing? Who does not know that American manufacturers, to have a monopoly of the home market, loudly demand such a reform of the tariff as would enable foreign manufacturers to compete with them here? Why did congress pass an anti-trust law if not because of the danger of an alarming reduction in prices through the remorseless competition among the members of the trusts, who seek to obtain enormous profits by underselling each other?

Referring to the review, by C. L. S., of Mr. Olerich’s “Cityless and Countryless World,” it should be pointed out explicitly, in justice to the author, that his reviewer does not allege or prove a departure from principle on his part. Mr. Olerich’s scheme is Communistic, but it is voluntary, and hence not inconsistent with equal freedom. C. L. S. is emphatically right in protesting against the attempt to parade the scheme as the natural and logical outcome of individualist principles, for it is so unwise and unreasonable that no rational man would elect to live under it. Mr. Olerich and his friends may entertain a different view, but it must certainly be clear to them that they have no logical warrant for claiming that individualist ideas necessarily imply, in practice, such conduct and organization as the book describes. Mr. Olerich is at liberty to tell us how he would live under freedom, what his idea of life and society is, but he must not make the principles which he holds in common with the rest of us responsible for his individual tastes and preferences. But I repeat that Mr. Olerich’s rules, regulations, and methods are not open to the charge of invasion.

Spencer tells us that trades unions have weakened his faith in free institutions, because the workmen who surrender their liberty to sell their labor as they please are not fit for a state of freedom. I venture to call his attention to the lecture of a leader and officer of an important labor organization, Aug. McCraith, portions of which are reproduced on another page. I imagine Spencer’s amazement at reading this address by a man who has surrendered his right to sell his labor as he pleases to an audience of workmen equally slavish and benighted! And Mr. McCraith is no exception, Mr. Spencer! There are many men in the labor organizations who share Mr. McCraith’s views and who promulgate them in labor meetings. Do these sentiments, does this spirit, argue unfitness for free institutions? It is very sad (otherwise it would be comical) that Spencer should have become the victim of such an absurd prejudice and delusion. Now a word to Mr. McCraith. He expresses the belief that even under free competition there will be need of public ownership of such “natural monopolies” as railways, highways, telegraphs, lighting, the postal service [?], etc. But inasmuch as he declares squarely for voluntary taxation, it is not easy to understand what he means by “public ownership.” When a State-man talks of public ownership, his meaning is plain: he wants the Government — that is, our national and municipal Tammany Halls — to run certain industries “in the public interest”; but what Mr. McCraith means is not clear. If he simply means that individuals and local bodies will find it expedient to coöperate in the carrying on of large enterprises, then we agree with him. Liberty has frequently expressed its conviction that the free society will be prevailingly based on coöperation. If Mr. McCraith means something else, he ought to state his position in a fuller and clearer form.


Mrs. Geese, the Kansasanine roaratress, insists that women (ladies?) have as much right to join the order of Ma’s sons as the sons themselves. The lady herself is a member of the fair (unfair?) sex; and is not unbeknown to various and many schemes for the insistence of women (ladies?); none of which, however, can compete with this, the latest, in originality of conception and necessity of consummation. Such important steps in the direction of women’s (ladies’?) emaciation cannot but be heralded by the male factor with earnest and hilarious approbation.

A bill was introduced in Congress the other day relating to the absenteeism trouble. It proposes fining members not at hand when the roll is called. This merits the warmest approval. All members who absent themselves should be fined a day’s pay. Those who do not, should be imprisoned.

The New York “Sun” thinks the Agricultural Department paternalistic and superfluous, and advises Mr. Morton to resign. Before the department is abolished, would it not be well, since its business is planting and the extermination of weeds, to make use of it in planting the Post-office Department deep in some good unproductive soil?

As I walked along the street the other day I saw a couple of small boys abusing a still smaller boy. “Here, stop that!” I cried, for I was bigger than either of them; “what are you hitting him for?” “Huh! he wears good clothes,” indignantly answered one of the youthful criminals. Moral: The under-dog will abuse the over-dog whenever he gets a chance.

A Silver Bill having caused a Panic in a certain country, the citizens got together and repealed it, with much incantation. “There!” cried the citizens with great joy; “now it is exorcised.” “You mistake,” said the Panic calmly, as it juggled with another bank; “merely exercised.”

W. D. F.

“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 Glimpse of an Anarchistic Future.

“Hold on! Wait a minute! Dave! Dave Tilford! David! I want to speak to you.”

“Well, Lathrop, what’s the matter now?”

“Let me catch my breath, I am quite winded running after you. I wanted to speak to you about that new pig-pen that you’ve got, down there by the fence. At first I didn’t notice it particularly, but now it’s getting kind of strong. You see, the southwest breeze carries it right through my windows, for the distance isn’t much with my house setting so close to our line, as the old man built it. Couldn’t you manage to put the pig-pen somewhere else, I’d lend a hand myself, and so would Jarvis, to move it, if you’re willing it should be moved.”

“Supposing I’m not willing it should be moved? Seems to me, Lathrop, you’re asking too much. Haven’t I a right to build my pig-pen where I please? I’ve occupied that land now fifteen years next fall, and farmed every foot of it, and nobody’s a better right to build pig-pens there. I’m sorry it annoys you, but there’s no other place I can spare for it. Seems to me you’ll have to stand it. Get used to it in time, you know; hey?”

“I don’t know about that, David. I didn’t think you’d take a friendly request in that way. It’s pretty bad. I don’t quite see that I can stand it. Come in now and try it your-self?”

“Can’t just now, Lathrop. Anyway, I don’t see what’s to be done. I’m not going to move it, that’s sure.”

“There’s no use in my getting mad about it, Tilford, but without getting mad at all, I don’t think you’ve any right to put that thing under a neighbor’s nose.”

“Right or no right, there it stays; that’s one sure thing.” “Right or no right? Not if I know it. I shall ask protection from our association, if you claim it as a matter of justice. I might concede it as a courtesy, but as a claim I will not.”

“All right, Lathrop, go ahead and ask.”

“Well, if you don’t mind, we’ll walk down to Tom Paterson’s together and get his opinion. He’s been arbitrator to the association for so long that we all know him to be fair-minded.”

“To Paterson’s? Why, he’s your partner’s cousin, Lathrop! I don’t see how you can want me to go by what he says.”

“What difference does that make? You know as well as I do that he’s fair.”

“Well, I suppose I must admit that. He’s square enough, no doubt. I’d like to hear what he thinks about it, anyway.”

“Good morning, Tom! Here’s Tilford and I come to submit a case to you, if you’ve time to hear it.”

“Good morning, Joe! Good morning, Tilford! Yes, I’ve plenty of time; go ahead and tell me what the trouble is; I’ll do my best for you. You speak first, Tilford.”

“You know, Paterson, I built a pig-pen not long ago, down in the corner where the line between Lathrop and me is. His house does stand pretty near, and now he says I’ve got to move my pig-pen, because the smell comes in at his windows. How is it?”

“State your view of it, Joe.”

“Tilford has stated it about right. I’m satisfied with the way he puts it.”

“Well, I can tell you, Joe, without stopping to think, how the association voted last time a case of that sort came before them. It was a case between Guthrie and Lowell, over in Bellport, — perhaps you don’t know them. Storekeepers they are, at Bellport Centre, and Guthrie complained that Lowell stored Guano where it spoiled his trade. The Association in that case voted that, although raising a stench might be considered an aggression in some supposable case, especially if malicious, yet it was too delicate a question for them to undertake to interfere in. There are so many instances where a bad smell is unavoidable; and it would involve such complicated questions. Better leave it, they thought, to the courtesy of neighbors. So, Joe, I’m afraid you’ll have to put up with the pig-pen.”

“Well, Tom, I suppose I shall; I shouldn’t for a moment think that friend Tilford was putting it there in malice. How is the macadamizing of the South road coming on? I will send the balance of my subscription just as soon as I sell the rest of the sprouts. It’s a good thing, I’m sure, although I didn’t think so at first, did I, Tilford?”

“What, Lathrop! Have you subscribed to the South Road improvement? I thought you refused.”

“I did refuse at first, partly because I wasn’t sure that it was money well spent, partly because I was short about that time. You know, I had a long pull with rheumatism last year, and Jarvis can’t do quite as well when I’m not around.”

“No, I didn’t know you’d been laid up, Joe. I thought you refused to subscribe because the road did me more good than it did you. So now you have subscribed, have you?”

“Yes, I put up all I could spare, Dave, and I wish I could spare more, for I’m sure it’s a good thing for all of us.”

“Well, Joe, I’m glad to hear you say that; and I don’t think much of myself either in the matter. I’ll move the pig-pen tomorrow. I don’t really think I put it there for revenge because you wouldn’t subscribe to the road, but if I hadn’t been grumpy about your not subscribing, I probably shouldn’t have put it there. Anyway, I’ll take it away at once. I thought you were the hog, but it seems I am. Yes, I’ll move the pig-pen today. What I ought to do by rights, is to go and live in it.”

John Beverley Robinson.

Cleveland’s Commission.

One of the most pitiable exhibitions in the whole range of political organizations of any time is the Democratic party at the present hour, and I am greatly mistaken if a considerable number of its members do not keenly feel that such is the fact.

To go no further back than Tilden and 1876, the party took its stand upon free trade and free coinage of silver. I say free trade, without allowance for such forced mode of speech as trimmers and equivocal politicians resort to. It was proposed to raise revenue, and trade was not indeed to be free as we Anarchists would have it, but there were to be no duties for protection. England is called a free trade country in the ordinary acceptation of the term, which is antithetical to a protective tariff. The wriggling of small or great politicians has not changed the term free trade, libre échange, Freihandel. Why do not the ridiculous quibblers ring the changes on free coinage by contending that it would not be free if there were a charge to cover the cost of labor in coinage? The policy of exclusion in either instance is the chief characteristic, the presence of which determines the use of language, — protection of the gold standard, protection of domestic industries. The owners of silver would cheerfully pay the cost of coinage, and most of the Democratic consumers of imported goods would as cheerfully pay some rate of taxation for the support of that imaginary creature, — as far as this country is concerned, — “a government economically administered.”

From Tilden to Cleveland the history of the Democratic party is the story of a political organization with two economic proposals, one of which it steadily adhered to, but the other of which suffered partial eclipse in Hancock and Randall. Congress, under Democratic inspiration, repeatedly snubbed presidents and their veto power on the silver question. Finally Cleveland came on the scene and immediately after his first election drove full tilt against the free coinage doctrine. Then his party began to waver. It had the power to place itself on record during the Harrison administration as before, but before the last presidential election the faction opposed to free coinage had succeeded in compromising the sincerity of the party.

The manæuvering on the approach of the presidential contest took the guise of an insidious counsel to concentrate on one issue. The free coinage men were offered assurances that after securing tariff-reform their day would come. While this lying pretence was being used, the national banks and lawyers in their employ were quietly stocking the conventions in the Democratic free silver states. They procured the sending to the last national convention at Chicago of delegations which simply betrayed the confidence of the great majority of their constituents and assisted to make, or passively submitted to, a jumbo plank, serviceable for no purpose but juggling. This could not have been done without putting the silver question out of sight, as if it were too well understood to need discussion among Democrats. Their whole attention was directed to the tariff.

Cleveland elected, it was somewhat of a shock to the Western and Southern Democrats to learn gradually that the tariff wasn’t the first and only question after all, but that silver coinage must be got out of the way by knocking in the head all aspirations on that subject. Now, however, they know the whole damned scheme by its fruition, and it rests with each to decide whether his attachment to a name and organization is greater than his disgust with the non-representative character of a national political organization whose objective points are the spoils of office for the political jackals and the spoils of monopoly for the pullers of convention and congressional wires, the privileged employers of the jackals.

If such are not the reflections of hundreds of thousands of sincere Democrats, I am in error simply as to the number. I look confidently for accessions to the adherents of liberty, though doubtless more will for the present go into the Populist camp. But a number of these tell me they do not believe in all the doctrines of Populism. They are going into that movement to coöperate in accomplishing only certain things, or, let us say, perhaps for political revenge. What those people need is an opportunity to read Liberty and other publications in its line.

As for the Democratic party, the maxim applies: False in one, false in all. It is shaping as falsely on free trade as on free coinage. Lest the reader suppose that I am surprised at this, I will say that I am not and have not been so. I earnestly desired that the party should have an opportunity of showing its quality. The mass of the people who support it are politically honest, as qualified by the usual amount of prejudice in all swayed by the fealty idea in any shape. Their eyes could not be opened without the object lesson, and there it is. If we give five per cent. to liberty, it will be something to congratulate ourselves upon, and Cleveland, like Carnegie, will not have lived in vain. Populism next, and I think we may gain fifteen per cent. on that turn.

Tak Kak.

Nationalism Dependent upon Anarchy.

The words “collectivist” and “individualist” are commonly treated as if they were equivalent to “authoritarian” and “libertarian.” It seems to me that a distinction may usefully be made. I consider that a collectivist is one who wants the State to do a great deal; an individualist, one who wants it to do very little; an authoritarian, one who wants to force all men within certain boundaries to a common line of action; a libertarian, one who wants to let all men do as they like. An authoritarian cannot be a thorough-going individualist, but a thorough-going libertarian can be a thorough-going collectivist.*

Obviously men are today divided into two classes, of approximately equal strength: those who like to be part of a great machine, to give up their own individuality and receive in its place a share in the imposing individuality of a great organization, and those who like to paddle their own canoe wherever they can. The course of politics, so far as it is guided by real principles at all, shows the struggle of these two forces. Each, hampered by the other, carries out its ideas half way. The protectionist makes as strong a tariff as the free traders will allow. If he makes it too strong, the free trader comes into power, and cuts it down as far as the protectionists will let him. The constant change injures business more than either protection or free trade could. A Nationalist wants a city to furnish its residents with water, light, and fuel; the Individualist wants all this left to private enterprise. The result is that the city does about half the work, and that about half the taking care of this work is done by those who are opposed to its whole principle, — that is, so far, of course, as principle enters into the matter at all. It cannot be surprising even from the Nationalist standpoint, if business undertaken under such conditions sometimes fails.

Neither can the Nationalist carry out his ideas through a private association. If he tries to do it, he must keep on paying tribute to a State which is quite out of harmony with his ideas, and whose laws probably throw many vexatious obstacles in the way of his colony. If he is patient enough to endure this, he finds that of the various functions which the perfect Nationalist State must unite, our government monopolizes some while refusing to undertake others. This makes the union of all these functions squarely impossible.

Suppose Anarchy to be established. The State will be stripped of its authority, but its organization will remain and continue to perform about the same functions as before. The law of gradual evolution forbids us to expect anything else. Then either the Nationalists will get control of its organization, — in which they will be helped by some who sympathize with their aims, but are now held back by respect for the principle of liberty, which Nationalism in the present state would so greatly violate, — or else the most earnest Nationalists will secede and start a Nationalist State of their own. In the former case, those who most strongly object to Nationalism will secede. In either case the Nationalist State will be a united body, carrying on a policy which consistently aims at the realization of their ideal, and not hampered by bitter opposition to this ideal among its citizens. If the Nationalist State is in any way practicable, here is their opportunity.

It is well known that the organization of the State has always been much influenced by that of the Church, and that many parts of our national and State constitutions are historically founded on the polities of the Congregational, Episcopal, and Presbyterian churches. Now, about 150 years ago, Butler, one of the hardest-headed men the Church ever had, said: “A constitution of civil government without any religious establishment is a chimerical project of which there is no example.” But within a few years examples were created. It was not a disaster to the Church. On the contrary, the Church has flourished much more where it is not supported by compulsory taxation; it has made more converts, sent out more missionaries, accomplished more charitable work, and been more successful in everything except in paying its officers high salaries for little work. If the Church is today in danger of speedy extinction anywhere, it is in those countries where the compulsion of the State has most firmly “established” it.

By the analogy of history, then, we must expect that, as the State has hitherto followed the Church, the “disestablishment” of the Church will be followed by the “disestablishment” of the State, and that, when the State is no longer supported by compulsory taxation, it will become more effective in punishing crime, transacting collective business, and all the functions for the sake of which its friends mainly support it, — everything except paying its officers high salaries for little work. Whether it is destined to perpetual life or to slow decay, I cannot tell; but in either case the remainder of its life will be healthier, and whatever it does will be better done, when it has been taken off the basis of compulsion.

I am sorry that logical Anarchism has so little collectivist support. It seems to me that the difference between individualists and collectivists is largely congenital, and cannot be got rid of by education. If so, Anarchism must appeal to only half the people till both sides begin to see that liberty offers to every honest man the best chance of realizing his social ideal, be that ideal what it may.

Stephen T. Byington.

* In reading this article, it should be borne in mind that the writer uses the word State in a sense entirely different from that in which Liberty always employs it. Liberty considers the distinctive feature of the State to be the assumption of authority over all the individuals residing within a given area. If this be so, then no libertarian can be what Mr. Byington terms a collectivist. This, however, does not affect the soundness of Mr. Byington’s argument. But he ought to give his definition of the word State. — Editor Liberty.

The French government has given up its petty warfare against the Church, and this is said to be one of the effects of the dynamite revival. Yes, these are trying days to politicians, and, seeing that the executioner can do little for them, it is natural to turn to the priest. But this readiness to drop all disguises, catchwords, and pretences will only tend to open people’s eyes to the emptiness of the bourgeois notion of political liberty and progress. “Le cléricalisme” has long been fought as one of the most dangerous enemies of the Republic, yet it is now proposed to bribe it into coöperation against the revolutionists. But the Church is too crafty a politician for that. The time when the tyrant is weak is not the time to forget, but to rub it in.

The World as Superstitious as the Church.

[John Morley.]

The man of the world despises Catholics for taking their religious opinions on trust and being the slaves of tradition. As if he had himself formed his own most important opinions either in religion or anything else. He laughs at them for their superstitious awe of the Church. As if his own inward awe of the Greater Number were one whit less of a superstition. He mocks their deference for the past. As if his own absorbing deference to the present were one tittle better bottomed or a jot more respectable. The modern emancipation will profit us very little, if the status quo is to be fastened round our necks with the despotic authority of a heavenly dispensation, and if in the stead of ancient Scriptures we are to accept the plenary inspiration of Majorities.

“The garden of the laws is full of ironical plants, of unexpected Mowers and by no means its slightest charm is this subversion of the natural order, whereby appear at the end of stems and branches fruit just the opposite of that which is promised by the essence of the tree or bush. The apple-tree bears figs, and the cherry-tree medlars: plants yield sweet potatoes, and hollyhocks salsify. It is delicious.” Séverine.

The Beauties of Government.

The readers of Liberty are urgently invited to contribute to this department. It is open to any statement of facts which exhibit the State in any phase of its fourfold capacity of fool, meddler, knave, and tyrant. Either original accounts based upon the writer’s own knowledge, or apparently reliable accounts clipped front recent publications, are welcome.

The Cost of Municipal Socialism.

[London Personal Rights]

The “Railway World” gives the following account of the working of the Huddersfield Tramways under corporation management: “The Town Council have worked the tramways since they constructed them in 1883. While there is some difficulty in arriving at the exact significance of the figures in the yearly reports of the borough, owing to the fact that the expense of renewals of the permanent way appears to be charged to capital account, it is clear that actually the tramways have always been unremunerative. But for the last three years there has been a constant and even extraordinary increase in the deficiency. The accounts of the Corporation show that for the financial year ending March 31, 1891, the loss was £1,609; for 1892, £3,636; and for 1893, £8,092. The loss for 1892 is made to appear smaller by crediting the revenue account with sums of £2,613 and £2,000 for renewal of the permanent way, etc., which have been drawn from the depreciation fund. In fact, during the past two years there has been an actual loss on the working expenses, exclusive of any charge for interest on loans or contributions to the sinking fund; nor does it appear that in any year has the surplus over the working expenses been sufficient to cover all appropriations to these funds, although the Corporation enjoys an advantage over private companies in the saving of considerable sums in directors’ fees and in interest on debentures, which, in the case of a corporation, is naturally lower than in the case of private companies. The condition of things is going from bad to worse. The present financial year has been the most disastrous since the tramways were opened, and, at a meeting of the Council in November, the Mayor announced that an extra rate of 2d. in the pound would be necessary to make good the deficiency. During the six months ending November 18 last this deficiency amounted to £5,444 11s. 1d. It is probable that the total loss for the current year will exceed £11,000, or an average loss of £647 per mile. Methods which would hardly commend themselves to the shareholders of a private company have been freely pursued by the Corporation. Particularly unfortunate appears the policy under which extensions have been laid down.”

Leaked Down Official Throats.

[New York Sun.]

Appraiser Walter H. Bunn has just begun an investigation looking to the leakage of imported champagne between the time of its arrival and the time of its delivery to the importer. It was ascertained yesterday that certain examiners had been accustomed to “sampling” baskets of champagne, and that Deputy Collector Williams had called the attention of the appraiser to this. The examiners, replying, declared that they were accustomed to take out a bottle, or two bottles, here for the purpose of “sampling” the champagne. Inasmuch as all champagnes, quality not considered, pay $3.30 duty a dozen, the explanation of the examiners was not accepted. The appraiser sent for a number of champagne importers and laid the matter before them, and an effort will be made to break up this ring of “samplers.” Collector Kilbreth is also determined to break up the ring of wind and liquor samplers that is said to exist among certain store-keepers in Deputy Collector Dabney’s division.

[The only consumer that would not benefit by free trade is the official consumer. For him the free list is all-embracing, — free not alone of duty, but of price.]

Does the Criminal Never Pay His Debt?

[New York Sun.]

Chauncey Johnson lingers in a cell at Police Headquarters, Newark, merely because Detective Sergeant Stainsby met him in the street, and, recognizing him, thought it would be better to put him out of the way of temptation, especially as he seemed to be hanging around the banks on Broad street, and Stainsby knows Mr. Johnson is one of the most expert bank sneaks in the world, in spite of his 70 years.

It was he who put on an ink-daubed linen duster, end, sticking a pen behind his ear, made himself at home in a bank in this city some years ago, and escaped with a large sum of money. There is no definite charge against Mr. Johnson in Newark.

[If all the people who hang around banks were to be arrested, Mr. Johnson would not be a very lonely prisoner. It is difficult to see why Mr. Johnson, if he was to be again arrested before the commission of any other offence, should have been released from jail at all. There is no sense in definite terms of imprisonment, if they can be virtually turned into life sentences at the pleasure of the police. I lately suggested that a judge who goes outside the penalty provided by statute and presumes to publicly lecture a prisoner should be impeached. It is equally important to put an end to the policeman who, after a criminal has once paid the statute penalty, attempts to reimpose it.]

Those Columbian Stamps.


(The Postmaster General has ordered that no other than Columbian’stamps be sold until the present supply — several billions — is exhausted.)

I’m a law-abiding citizen and an honest business man

But. I’ve shut my mouth and kept it shut about as long’s I can.

And now rm going to rise right up and speak so’s to be heard,

For I think our Gov’nment’s acting in a way that’s quite absurd.

The two-cent stamp is pretty, and Columbia’s band looks proud,

But I hate to set out every day to lick the whole blamed crowd.

The Columbian kick rm making now, of course, is re the size —

It paralyzes business for him who sells or buys.

My pretty girl stenographer — she used to buy the stamps —

She’s been away for a month or more with her right arm filled with cramps.

Well, then I sent the office boy, but he was much too small,

And came back with one dozen — said he “couldn’t fetch ’em all.”

Then the old cashier was asked to go, he of the brawn and brain,

And he went — but hasn’t yet returned to Cr. Loss and Gain.

Then at last I went for the stamps myself, staggering down the road,

Past whispering friends, who winked an eye and smiled at my awful load.

I broke just three of my shoulder blades and sprained at least three more,

And here I sit in a leather chair inside of a bolted door;

While the new cashier, with bulging eyes and a tongue as big as six,

Arrives at my conclusion as another stamp he sticks —

To wit, i. e., and namely: we’re in an awful mess,

And letters from this office henceforth go by express.

Love’s Inferiority Before the Law.

[New York Sun.]

Honesdale, Pa., March 10. — It cost young Arthur Richardson, of Hawley village, $48 recently, besides the expenses of a lawsuit, because he testified on the trial of the suit that he married his wife because he loved her. Richardson was an apprentice in the employ of the Hawley Glass Company. About seven months ago he married and went to housekeeping in one of the glass company’s tenant houses, where he lived six months. Then the company brought suit against him for rent for that length of time, at $8 per month. Richardson’s defence to the suit was that when he went to work for the glass company he had no idea of marrying, as he did not feel able to support a wife; but the superintendent of the company was anxious that the employees should be married men, and urged Richardson, as well as others, to marry, offering as inducements six months’ rent of a house free and $10 for the first child born. Richardson finally married and moved into one of the company’s houses, supposing that he was to have it rent free for the stated six months. Witnesses for the defence swore that they had married on the representations as to free rent made by the company’s superintendent, which representations had been carried out, and one apprentice testified that upon a child being born to him he had received the $10 bounty offered by the company. The case of the defendant would have undoubtedly been won upon the testimony had the glass company had a less astute lawyer. When he cross-examined Richardson he asked him:

“Did you not marry because you loved the girl you made your wife?”

“Yes, sir, I did!” was Richardson’s emphatic answer.

“Then, your Honor,” said the lawyer to the justice, “I submit the point that since this defendant married for love, and not because of the offer of house rent free, he cannot enforce the contract.”

The justice decided that this admission of the witness was fatal to his case, and gave judgment against him.

[As a premium on legal prostitution, the State was ready to enforce the offered privileges; as an encouragement to honest lovers, the State could not give it recognition.]

The Tariff As a Promoter of Ethical Culture.

[New York Sun.]

Ottawa, March 18. — A deputation of printers representing the typographical unions of Montreal, Toronto, and Ottawa, waited on the Tariff Committee of the Dominion Government today and urged the retention of the present duties on stereotype plates. The printers pointed put that there was an abundance of plate matter produced in Canada, which gave employ merit to a large number of printers, stereotypers, and others, who would be thrown out of employment if the duty on American plates was removed.

They also asserted that the moral tone of American plate matter was greatly below that of the Canadian and was calculated to injure the morals of the people, especially of the young. The committee promised to consider the matter.

[The ethical anxiety shown by the printers who favor protection of native morals by tariffs, like that shown by many Christians who favor the amendment of savage morals by missions, is not sufficiently free from the commercial taint to be viewed entirely without suspicion. Despite the saying that money has no odor, it certainly lends at times a most offensive odor to morality.]

All on Account of the Boy.

[New York Sun.]

The Tenderloin Club, of 114 West Thirty-second street, was visited recently by Anthony Comstock, his assistant, George Cram, and half a dozen officers of the Society for the Suppression of Vice. Comstock was armed with a warrant issued by Justice Taintor in the Tombs Police Court, charging the members of the club with keeping indecent pictures, which threatened to injure 15-year-old Eugene Leonard, the negro hall boy of the club. Comstock had authority to destroy all the indecent pictures in the place, and to arrest all persons in charge of them. The 15-year-old hall boy was the only person in the house at the time of Comstock’s visit.

The men, armed with axes and other weapons, started in on a tour of demolition. They began on the first floor, the walls of which were lined with pictures, and in a few moments had made a wreck of the reception room, which an art committee and a corps of artists spent a summer in decorating or indecorating.

The pictures that could not be torn down were destroyed by hacking them to bits, and the fantastic dado of the main room was ripped to pieces. Everything in the place that savored of nudity was demolished.

While the wreck was proceeding, a couple of members of the club entered and tried to induce Comstock to desist, but he paid no attention to them. After everything had been destroyed to his satisfaction, Comstock departed, taking the seized pictures and the colored boy with him. The boy was taken to the Tombs.

[I believe it was a preacher who once declared, to illustrate the increasing declivity of the downward path of crime, that a man who begins by committing murder will end by breaking the Sabbath. This same preacher would probably consider that the fragile youth who has been thus removed from the dangers of the Tenderloin to the elevating influences of the Tombs is on the upward road. If lodged in a cell in Murderers’ Row, he may never do anything worse than murder. The credit shall be Comstock’s. More power to his elbow!]

Cost One Per Cent. More, Quality Vastly Inferior.

[New York Herald.]

Chicago, March 17. — In discussing the controversy between the American Institute of Architects and Secretary Carlisle, Daniel H. Burnham, of this city, president of the Institute, said today:

“The disreputable practices of municipal politics rule in the Treasury Department. The total expenses of the supervising architect’s office for 1898 amounted to six per cent. of the work actually done, or one per cent. more than the cost of the same work done by the best men in the country in private life”

The Very Man Needed for the Bench.

[New York Sun.]

Washington, March 12. — In response to a Senate resolution, the Secretary of the Treasury sent to the Senate today a list of all persons who have received a sugar bounty and the sums so received. In the list appears the name of ex-Senator Edward D. White, who in 1892 and 1893 received $31,367.06, and up to March I of the current year $18,186.86. Senator Caffery owns a plantation, where he raises the cane, but has it handled by the Caffery Sugar Refinery, in which, however, he has no pecuniary interest.

[The Democratic party, which declares a protective tariff unconstitutional, is doubtless glad of an opportunity to promote to the supreme bench this senator, whose pecuniary interests will tempt him to judicial decisions adverse to his party’s platform. It is the trick of successful politics to place obstacles in the way of keeping party promises.]

Helping the Propaganda.

[New Yak Sun.]

The French Anarchist Rouseet, who two weeks ago was condemned by a Paris court to eight months’ imprisonment, bad a curious record of the opinions which he had heard the most conspicuous Frenchmen express concerning Anarchy. Rousset had been the leader of the soup kitchen committee. He had sought to collect a fund which, he said, was to be used in feeding the unemployed. In fact, the money was used to spread the doctrines of Anarchy, which were taught by agitators in the soup kitchens every time there was a distribution of food. Rousset’s diary contained these notes of his experience with celebrated politicians, editors, and publicists:

“Ex-Premier Goblet. — Lived in apartments furbished luxuriously. Appeared to be rather uneasy in our society. Gave only five francs, but when reminded that he had given ten francs in the preceding year, decided to add five. Said he was not an Anarchist.

“Paul Dechenel. — Young, active, intelligent. Found the philosophical ideal of the Anarchists beautiful and in harmony with his own feelings, but deplored the Anarchists’ activity. Discoursed to us about the old bourgeois theories, and gave us ten francs and a hand-shake.

“Elysée Reclus. — Splendidly received. Endorsed our plan.

“Delombre (deputy and editor of the “Temps”). — Conversed with him in the street. He declared that he was more of an Anarchist than I.

“Henri Fouquier (of the “Figaro”). — Did not know us and would not receive us.

“Aurélien Scholl. — Well received. Deschamps, director of the “Plume,” was with him. They gave us some whiskey forty-five years old. Scholl, effeminate and blasé.

“Granet. — A man of great energy. Asked no explanation, and gave twenty francs.

“Clémenceau. — Always energetic. Received us, but appeared reserved. Gave us ten francs and pronounced our plan excellent. Promised us a notice in the “Justice” and “Rappel.” Recommends above all that we should not blow up his house.

“Jules Oppert (of the Institute). — Ignorant old man.

“Francisque Sauey. — A fat fellow, grumpy, and looked like a hog. Received us without ceremony, and refused to attend the lectures, but gave us five francs. His servant grunted at us because we got mud on the carpet.

“Vacquerie. — Denied that he had written against Anarchy, and maintained that in his way he too was an Anarchist.

“Léon Say. — Received us suspiciously and watched us. Listened, to what we had to say, and gave us twenty francs because he still knew too little of our work. Would look into it later.

“Jean Ajalbert — Well received.

“Stephan Mellarme. — Said he was not wholly Anarchist.”

Many of the Paris journals, as well as the dailies of Vienna and Berlin, remark that it is little wonder Anarchy flourishes in France when the republic’s conspicuous citizens are ready to give such encouragement to men preaching the propaganda of the deed.

American “Journalism.”

[New York Evening Post.]

The “Herald” is agitating an amendment to the libel law which would enable the publisher of a newspaper to plead prompt and conspicuous retraction, or mistake or misapprehension, as a bar to punitive damages. No one who has had any experience of the libel law will question the justice of this change. No amount of are will prevent misstatements about somebody creeping into the columns of a newspaper, and when there is no room to suspect malice, prompt retraction ought to satisfy every complainant. But the reason the public is hostile to every attempt to mitigate the law of libel is the absolute want of editorial supervision exercised over their reporters by some newspapers. They are sent out with full liberty to lie, to invent, to misrepresent and caricature, and if the result be “spicy” and “sells the paper,” they are never called to account. Fictitious interviews, for instance, are now so common that they hardly excite any attention. A reliable and sensible report of the speeches or public meetings of the opponents of a paper is hardly ever seen. Personal ridicule is one of a reporter’s commonest pastimes. A young fellow fresh from college or school, and with barely enough English to be funny, will load a man of prominence and old enough to be his father with a column of abusive caricature, with perfect impunity. Of the prying into family affairs, especially when families are bowed down with sorrow or disgrace, we do not need to speak, as everybody is only too familiar with it. In fact, the way the press is surrendered by the responsible publishers to the control of irresponsible and reckless young men, is one of the great scandals of the day.

There has probably no change occurred in the modern world so great as the change in the public reeling toward the press within the present century. Fifty years ago everybody hailed it as a wonderful addition to the instruments of civilization and enlightenment. This feeling is totally changed, and not a few even go about asking whether our civilization can resist it. The indictment of his own press that M. Brunetiere, the editor of the “Revue des Deux Mondes,” made the other day before the French Academy, was a very mild description of ours. Ignorance and frivolity are the vices of the French press of today, to which a portion of ours, in the estimation of our own public, adds salaciousness and silliness. One hears this everywhere if there are no reporters present, and, to be sure of their absence, one has to look under the table and in the china closet. A swarm of young men is being trained up all over the country to consider prying and lying and distorting creditable professional pursuits if any fun can be got out of them.

Freedom for the Fit in Money.

[H. V. H. in Philadelphia Justice.]

Here’s the knock-out argument against free money. “Your individual money wouldn’t circulate outside your personal acquaintance.” That may be, but somebody’s money would, and that that somebody should be free to make it, is our contention. Your monopoly money will not pay your way now over the water, but the piece of paper issued by Drexel of this city will “go” anywhere in Europe or America. The fittest will survive under free competition.

Horse-Nails Better Than Nothing.

[New York Evening Post.]

It is perhaps worth mentioning that horse nails have been used as money within modern times. Chevalier says that they were so used in certain villages of the coal basin of Graisseesac, in France, during his lifetime, and Adam Smith records a similar fact as to a certain place in Scotland during his time. But in both cases they passed for their actual value. They were not redeemable in something else, not even in horseshoes. Nor was there any legal ratio between horse-nails and silver.

Anarchist Letter-Writing Corps.

The Secretary wants every reader of Liberty to send in his name for enrolment. Those who do so thereby pledge themselves to write, when possible, a letter every fortnight, on Anarchism or kindred subjects, to the “target” assigned in Liberty for that fortnight. All, whether members or not, are asked to lose no opportunity, of informing the secretary of suitable targets. Address, Stephen T. Byington, Eddytown, Yates Co., N. Y.

The corps starts, at the time I write this, with seven members. I think it enough for a good solid start, even if I did not hope that several who are not enrolled mean to coöperate with us. But to such I would repeat that they can help us more by sending in their names, so that we may know what we have to depend on.

Members will bear in mind that the success of the corps depends as much on their keeping me well supplied with targets as on their writing to targets.

Suggestion No. 1: Don’t make your letters a general missionary agency. Don’t try to teach a Christian that the Bible is foolish, or a Prohibitionist that the liquor trade is no bad thing, or a gold-bug that the gold basis is a fraud. These are side lames for our purpose. The mission of Anarchism is not to cure men of folly, — except as the law of natural selection, when it is allowed to work freely, will be the best possible means to this end, — but to let each man have his own foolish way. If you have a fool to attack, attack him on that side. Avoid rousing prejudice.

Target. — Thomas J. Powell, Naples, N. Y., is a Seventh Day Adventist, and, like all that sect, is strongly opposed to “union of Church and State,” especially to Sunday laws and to the movement for putting an acknowledgment of God into the Constitution. He has a letter in the “Home Advocate,” of April 3, along these lines. Show him that all acts of government, unless based on free consent or self-defence, must involve the principle he objects to.

Of course, all suggestions of mine must be taken for what they are worth. You are to write to this target along the general line of Anarchism; the rest is at your discretion.

S. T. B., Secretary.

Communism Sweetly Flavored.

The principal of the public school of Holstein, Iowa, has written a book which the author claims is “an outline of practical coöperative individualism.” This suggests Anarchism, and the suggestion is borne out by the fact that the author, Henry Olerich, Jr., is a reader of Liberty and has been a contributor to its columns. But whether “A Cityless and Countryless World” is Anarchistic is a matter which I shall now consider.

The preface of this work must not be ignored, for in it Mr. Olerich has taken us into his confidence to the extent of informing us why he has given us a book. Briefly stated, his intention is this: “To contribute my infinitesimal part of this conscious work of progress by outlining . . . a social and economic system from which, I believe, our existing evils are eliminated.” And, while his narrative is that of an inhabitant of Mars, who has succeeded in reaching the earth and is describing the condition of things on our neighboring planet, I shall treat it as an outline, as he calls it, of a new social and economic system, which is one “which recognizes extensive voluntary coöperative individualism as its fundamental principle of production and distribution,” and which is based on the law of equal freedom.

As I shall have space to deal with the practical matter of the book only, I shall pass over the comparatively unimportant description of the Mars visitor’s arrival and accidental acquaintance with the Nevins family, at whose house the story was told. This family consisted of Mr. and Mrs. Nevins; a daughter, Viola, aged eighteen; Roland, a son of fourteen; Celestine, a daughter of six; Rev. Dudley, a brother of Mrs. Nevins; and Thomas Fulton, a boarder, and the chronicler of the events recounted in the book. The man from Mars is Mr. Nudith, who happened in while canvassing for Spencer’s “Synthetic Philosophy,” and who was induced to tell the story which the author has given us. The narrative is drawn out by questions from the different members of the family, principally by Rev. Dudley, who seems to have been unanimously elected a nincompoop, and whose questions are all silly and of the most trivial character. Mr. Nudith, however, is patient, and all goes well.

The Marsians, as indicated by the title of the book, have abolished both cities and the country, and the population is evenly distributed over all the territory occupied and used at all, in “big-houses,” containing about a thousand persons each, situated at intervals of half a mile on the perimeter of a rectangle, twenty-four miles long and six miles wide. These are all connected by motor lines, less directly with railways, with all the interstices mathematically laid off into conservatories, gardens, orchards, fields, etc. Factories are situated along the motor lines and railways. Draught animals have been relegated to desuetude, their place, as well as that of steam, being taken by electricity generated by wind and water-power, and the most modern improvements in the houses and the most highly developed labor-saving machinery in the factories and on the farms render living luxurious and production easy.

The “big-houses” and the country contiguous are described at great length and with elaborate diagrams, so that the whole scheme is rendered easy to comprehend. There are treated in their order commerce, money, land, government, sex relations, and education. And it is evident that, while Mr. Olerich has been a close student of Bellamy, he has a clear conception of the evils resulting from our present paternalistic and monopolistic form of government, and his remedy — voluntary coöperative individualism and free competition — is a step, an enormous stride, toward the goal which Anarchism seeks.

The chapters on education I find to be the most commendable of all. Compulsory taxation being abolished, State-schools can no longer exist, and with them departs a system which is one of the most pernicious relics of slavery. Mr. Olerich effectively shows that private, voluntary, and natural education secures results that could never be dreamed of under the present régime of compelling and cramming. State schools dwarf and stunt children both mentally and physically; free education — I mean by this education acquired at the option and upon the volition of the learner — and rational adult instruction by example more than by precept tend to cultivate and broaden the mind and encourage physical development.

The author’s observations upon the land question are sound and to the point; occupancy and use are demonstrated, in a lucid manner, to be the only rational title to land. But the abolition of the individual holdings of land, made necessary by the gigantic scheme of coöperation, is what lays the work open to the charge of Communism. It may be that there will be a time, before this planet has run its course, when people will no longer find pleasure and advantage in living in cities or in more or less secluded spots in the country; when human nature will have become as perverted by the rule and vote and symmetry of system that it will care nothing for a diversified landscape, for oddity and unicity and originality in architecture, or for virginity in nature; when, in short, people will have attained such an automatic and machine-like disposition that routine will be the rule and uniformity the universal ideal. But to out-line something of that sort as a solution for the practical problems of present-day sociology is a grievous mistake, and this is the mistake that has been made by offering “A Cityless and Countryless World” as such a solution. However, as all the land will not be needed for the purposes of this enterprise, and as secession is not to be denied, there is a chance for Anarchism yet.

In this semi-Communistic society proposed by Mr. Olerich, money of course performs a very perfunctory part. The unit of its value is a day’s labor, and is stamped in “days, hours, minutes, and seconds.” And it is over this labor-time fallacy that the author stumbles and falls, for he had but a few pages previously stated that the length of the regulation day varied according as the labor performed was agreeable or disagreeable. It is obvious, to be sure, that, if the money were stamped in days and fractions of days only, there would be no difficulty about the value of the fractional currency; but, if the day be the unit of value, and if it vary in length, how are uniform-hours, minutes, and seconds to be obtained as parts of the variable day? Mr. Olerich will have to answer this question satisfactorily before his system of finance can be comprehensible. Furthermore, he tells us that money is not capital, and this assertion closely follows the admission that wealth is capital, and that money is the representative of wealth, and again, that communities are anxious to exchange their wealth (commodities) for the representative of wealth (money). Surely, then, his own argument proves that money is not capital only when it has no purchasing power.

It is perhaps needless to say that to the subject of government Mr. Olerich does not devote much space. He has simply abolished it. There are no criminals in his society. Such persons as have happened to violate the amenities of that perfected civilization are only lunatics, and are treated accordingly. But Mr. Olerich abolishes one form of government only to introduce another, — namely, the Community. This community, comprising in area the rectangle of 144 square miles hereinbefore described, issues its own money and undertakes to pay so much per day of about two hours each for all the productive labor that anybody wishes to perform, taking to itself, of course, the products of such labor. And it will perhaps surprise and pain the author to be told that this act of guaranteeing a stipulated amount for all work that may be done makes this community-administration a paternalistic one.

Neither is this all. During the period of lactation, as well as during the more burdensome part of the period of gestation, the woman who bears children is considered to be performing productive labor and is paid therefor, presumably at regular rates. But here is a discrepancy. While Mr. Olerich says that, according to his system, “a woman who is about to become a mother receives the same pay for bearing the offspring as an engineer receives for running an engine, and a mother who nurses her infant receives like pay for that work alone,” he seems to forget that his engineer gets $10 for about two hours’ work, whereas his child-bearing woman gets only that amount for twenty-four hours’ labor, since he must admit that in that line of work a woman cannot choose the number of hours which she will work per day.

The mother may also draw on the community for money for the child before it is born and up to the time when it can begin to earn money for itself, at Mae age of about five years, by “picking strawberries, currants, weeding small patches of vegetables in the garden and greenhouse, etc.; also performing little jobs of work in the house and elsewhere.” This work is paid for by the piece, so that “a child can do it and receive the same pay for it as a grown person would.” How is this f Mr. Olerich’s justification for his action in paying a strong or skilful man as much for the same-labor-time as be pays the weak and unskilful man was that the strong man usually eats more, requires a larger suit of clothing, wears out more carpet, more furniture, etc., than the more frail man, but pays no more for it. There is plainly no reason why this rule should not be applied to the children as well. Indeed, Mr. Olerich is even so inconsistent as to pay the apprentice just as much as the journeyman; because, “as a whole, the apprentice’s efforts are as valuable as the skilled man’s, for we cannot get skilled men and women without first being apprentices.” Even being charitable to the writer of that sentence as to its meaning, what sort of logic does it contain? Because raw material is indispensable, does it follow that it is no more valuable after labor has been applied to it! Certainly no one but a lunatic is going to answer that question affirmatively. Mr. Olerich, however, sails gaily over the whole difficulty by simply saying: “To excel in our work is the aim and ambition of all.” But, pray, what is the incentive to this ambition if there is to be no reward?

Again he says: “It costs nothing with us to learn a trade. The person who is learning a trade receives just as much the first day he begins as he does when he is the best mechanic in the world: A day is a day.”

Why, then, are not children paid as much per day for picking berries, etc., as a grown person? After all his prating about justice, to the children who weed gardens Mr. Olerich is exceedingly unjust.

And now I am sure that, after the adduction of all this evidence, no sane person is going to dispute my charge of paternalism against “A Cityless and Countryless World.”

A part of what Mr. Olerich says on the question of sex relations is beyond cavil. But here again his source of information is apparent: he has read “Lucifer.” It is true that his remarks, which I have just criticised, about children come under this topic, but it is plain that he has been led to err in this respect by his overpowering desire to give freedom to woman. His laudable intention, however, is no excuse for his advocacy of paternalism in a work which he claims is based upon the principle of equal freedom.

Mr. Olerich would have men and women to be equally free. This is well. “They are under no obligation further than what they choose to do”; but this does not quite agree with what is said on another page: “Rearing offspring is one of our inevitable obligations, as you call it, — a service which our parents rendered to us, and which we in turn must render to our children.” The initiative in sex association lies wholly with the woman. Why! Because the sexual function is exercised “only for the special purpose of reproduction.” The human race, then, in Mr. Olerich’s millennium, has receded, in this respect, to the level of the lower animals.

Mr. Olerich has provided a sufficient number of private apartments, so that each person may have one or more rooms. The habit of sleeping together is severely denounced, and it is no longer practised. This is not altogether a new idea, for it is now by a great many people considered as hygienic to sleep singly. But Mr. Olerich inveighs against the present-day exclusiveness in public. He would have people of all sexes and classes commingle freely with each other everywhere; he would have them sit together, with easy familiarity, in railway trains, for instance. Will he pardon me for pointing out to him that this practice of two or more persons promiscuously occupying one seat is open to precisely the same hygienic objection as is the habit of two or more persons occupying the same bed for the same length of time?

“So what you call civilized man for long ages, shifts the burden of nursing and bearing offspring off unto their women as though it were little or no labor.” This complaint of Mr. Olerich’s is comprehensible only on the hypothesis that it is possible to men to share with women “the burden of bearing and rearing off-spring.” This hypothesis, however, is about on an equality with Mr. Olerich’s English, which latter is unworthy of the principal of a school; and I regret to say that this instance of bad grammar is only one of many.

I certainly can commend Mr. Olerich’s just arraignment of our marriage system. He sees the evils clearly, but he is not satisfied with perfect freedom; he goes beyond it and demands that, since we have all received parental care during our infancy, “we in turn should do the same for some one else, whether we are parents or not.” This is not only absurd, but it is positively vicious. It is simply slavery to the propagative act, which act is in itself an invasion if a child, after it is born, does not wish to live.

Mr. Olerich bewails the fact that women decorate themselves with ornaments, gaudy costumes, etc., and adorn their persons in every conceivable way, and that they are much more addicted to it than the men. He compares them with the lower animals, where he finds the reverse to be the cane, — that it is the males instead that are highly ornamented. This is sophism. He should have compared the natural adornments of the human race with those of the lower animals. He would then have discovered that the man could boast of more bodily decorations than the woman. But the costumes which Mr. Olerich has provided for his people are by no means gaudy. For instance, a winter outfit for a woman consists of “a fine, comfortable head-dress, a warm, short coat when out walking, bicycle riding, or when engaged in any other out-door sport or exercise.” This is a step or two in advance of even our ultra-radical dress-reformers, who have still an idea that a woman should wear trousers of some sort, and especially in winter; but it seems that Mr. Olerich has induced the women of his Utopia to discard all nether garments whatsoever, and it cannot be denied that this allows the most perfect freedom of motion for their lower limbs. I hail him, then, as the emancipator of women from the slavery, not only of skirts, but of the ugly, bunglesome, and superfluous trousers — Turkish, Syrian, gymnasium, and what not — affected by our modern saviors of suffering womanhood.

It is quite evident that Chicago is the only large city that Mr. Olerich has ever seen. For one of his objections against cities is that women who wish to take exercise “have no other place for it than a smoky city and muddy sidewalk.” Doubtless he will be startled to learn that on Manhattan Island alone, the most densely populated portion of the western hemisphere, there are more than a dozen parks, exclusive of Central Park, two and half miles long and half a mile wide, with which, for beauty and grandeur and utility, nothing in Mr. Olerich’s own State of Iowa can compare. There is seldom enough smoke to be unpleasant, and the streets are not muddy half the time.

“We are vegetarians,” says Mr. Olerich, “living exclusively on vegetables, grains, and fruits, with the exception of dairy products and eggs.” Just how he can be an exclusive vegetarian and yet make an exception in favor of milk and eggs may be perfectly clear to Mr. Olerich, but I fear that the verdict of common people will be that he doesn’t regard the meaning of words. He raises cattle only for milk and chickens only for eggs, and yet claims to be more economical than the people of today, who do not waste the bodies of cows and chickens, as he does, but eat them. He will here have to admit that some of the practices of his ideal people are more extravagant than ours.

Cremation, in “A Cityless and Countryless World,” is the only means of disposing of the dead. This is more evidence that Mr. Olerich’s scientists are behind the times. Here and now we know that, in order to replenish and rejuvenate the soil, all that is taken from it must be given back; if it is not, we must finally give in to Malthus. Burial is the only rational disposition of the dead; but in saying this I do not overlook the fact that the prevailing method of crowding numerous corpses in a small space, instead of distributing them over soil which is being cultivated, is a pernicious practice and cannot be too hastily discontinued.

The minor absurdities of this pretentious volume must go unnoticed. The one-horse, amateur theatrical performance necessitated by the non-existence of concentration in cities; the “electrical music,” which everyone who knows anything about music will understand to be inadequate and unsatisfactory; the grammatical errors and other literary defects; all these and more might be treated at length, but space forbids. I have tried not to overlook the good things in the book, but the things that are otherwise than good so overwhelm the former as to render them almost indistinguishable.

Taken all in all, “A Cityless and Countryless World” may appeal to the superficial and sentimental, of whom there are droves, as did Bellamy’s picture of heaven on earth; but thinking people will readily see that the attempt to paint the possibilities of “voluntary coöperative individualism” has been overdone. Indeed, if there were no other reasons, enough to condemn it would be the fact that no provision is made for the publication of any periodicals except the official newspaper of the community; and I can scarcely conceive how Mr. Olerich could have succeeded, under his régime, in publishing his book, for certainly it would be audacious to claim that to be a productive enterprise, in the sense in which the term “productive” has been used all through his work, and he distinctly says that all unproductive labor is discountenanced.

However, as I have said, the right to secede will not be denied, and this is the one mitigating feature of the otherwise undesirable scheme. Of this precious privilege I shall gladly, joyously, rapturously avail myself, and leave “A Cityless and Countryless World” and take up my abode in a land where there are still cities and countries and enough freedom and competition between individuals to make life tolerable.

C. L. S.

Competition versus Monopoly.

The following are portions of an able address delivered recently before an audience of workmen by Aug. McCraith, secretary of the Boston Typographical Union, No. 13.

In the labor world we have three economic schools, which I have classed under the following heads:

1. Anti-competition.

2. Semi-competition.

3. Absolute competition.

The followers of the first are possessed with the idea that it is competition which exploits them, and under this head my be classed the average trade unionist. He sees the competition of the capitalists on the one hand, each bidding for the same contract, and competition between the workers on the other, each bidding for the name job. His organization is against competition between its members, and fixes a standard rate of wages; and it advocates combination among employers to stop competitive bidding. The average worker does not delve into causes; it is with effects he grapples. That there are two men looking for the same job, and a third man appropriating the profit, is plain to him. He would, therefore, combine the three under one head and divide the net receipts equally. He would do this by law, involving the aid of the State by a penal attachment for its enforcement. That there may already exist a law that creates these conditions, he may or may not have some idea; nevertheless, he invents a second law, a third, a fourth, or a fifth, if necessary, to offset the evil effects of the first. It seems that, having once recognized the necessity of statute law to protect, he must make it general, and keep adding thereto until, instead of protecting, the network becomes coercive, and the abuses which it aims to eliminate are as nothing compared to those which it creates. He sees, too, that some laws are injurious, notably the boycott law, or an edict against striking, which are direct in effect, and hence easily discerned. These he would abolish and substitute perhaps a law against lockouts. All that is necessary is to elect the right men to office, who are unselfish, humanitarian, just; who will at all times bury their personal ambition in the interest of the people. He assumes that officialism will work as it is intended to work, which it never does; that the history of the world is against the theory, counts for naught. It will work all right next time.

The advocates of semi-competition are those who believe in State control of some things and not of others. They would control-anything in its nature a monopoly, and allow competition in all others. This is not an untenable position, except that they look upon all monopolies of the present day as stable, forgetting that under competition many would disappear; and they also endanger their principle by adopting a bad policy, in that they advocate the immediate control of such monopolies by their enemies. Again, they take it for granted that it is the proper function of the State to issue money. They lose sight of their competitive principle here, and ignore the fact that the existing financial robbery is a product of the State. They are also advocates of compulsory taxation.

The advocates of absolute competition are in the minority, unorganized and passive, except what resistance is shown by their writings, which are not tumerous. They deny that it is competition that has brought our misfortunes, and assert that it is monopoly rather, and they contend that where the latter exists the former cannot. A careful scrutiny will repeal that it is vested privilege, not competition, from which we suffer. It is not the competition of the type-setting machine, but rather the monopoly of land, money, and patents. It is not necessary, they claim, that the State, or the people as a whole, should own the machine to reap its benefits or protect the compositor, for, under freedom, the effects of a machine would be to increase production, decrease the hours of labor, and create new demands. Absolute competition means the nearest approach to equitable distribution that imperfect mankind can attain. . . . .

Personally, I will have to class my economic belief under the latter head, — which is: Absolute competition. Where this is scientifically and practically demonstrated as impossible, then public ownership. There are those who believe that with open competition there will be no need of public.ownership; that the necessity of exchange will operate against monopoly value. With them I disagree; but not wishing to control before the laws of competition are given full sway, we can so far work harmoniously.

By admitting that public ownership is necessary in some cases, such as railroads, telegraphs, postal service, highways, and lighting, we admit the necessity of coöperation, but not necessarily government as we now have it.

I cannot see — I may be wrong, I hope I am — how an industry like a railroad could be run by individuals for the benefit of the people; it is true that in a community where general prosperity prevailed, a healthy public sentiment would be fostered that would frown on exploitation of the kind referred to; but whether it would be strong enough to shame the exploiters into justice is open to doubt. . . . . .

There is one principle I would rigidly adhere to, — no compulsory taxation under any circumstances. Such institutions would be self-supporting and run at coat. A government power is limited only by the amount of taxation it can collect. Therefore, no taxation, no power.

I would not advocate public ownership of any of these industries at this time. I would not add to the strength of the present regime one per cent. A government that legislates in the interest of bankers and monopolists is not such as is deserving of the support of those who labor and bear the brunt of their actions. From the issuance of $150,000,000 of usurious bonds at Washington to the $7 badges by Boston’s councilmen, we see evidence of jobbery and robbery wherever we turn, while a considerable portion of our people know not where to lay their heads. When our own governor recently stated that the State could not help the people, he put the case in a nutshell.

Our Anarchist friends, advocates of individual liberty and absolute competition, admit the necessity of combination to protect each other in their individual rights, but such combination would be voluntary, not compulsory, and I can see nothing inconsistent with that principle in an extension of the combine regardless of territory, which could form delegate bodies on territorial lines, set off by districts, not for purposes of invasion on their part, but for protection from invasion on the part of others. Such protection to be granted to those who pay for it, on the same principle as our private insurance companies. While it is perhaps true that some might refuge to coöperate in such manner and yet receive a share of the benefits, rather than exercise force in such a trifling matter it would be better to let them alone, at the mercy of public opinion, — a much stronger agency of justice in some cases than the policeman’s club. . . . .

It is admitted that competition will not produce exact equalization of product, any more than you can equalize brains or muscles; but rather than run the risk of greater evils, the difference can be well afforded.

The land, of course, we all want. It is fundamental, but not all. It should be free. Abolish the land laws now supported by the State and you make it free and at the same time reduce the great mass of corollary laws. Free land and free money should, to my mind, be the slogan of the working people. With liberty in these, we could readily discern what was monopoly and what was not, and, if necessary, control and direct.

Liberty’s Typography.

The typographical reform adopted by Liberty consists in the abolition of the process known among printers as “justification.” Under this new system, when the compositor, as he approaches the end of the line, finds that there is not sufficient room for an additional word or syllable, instead of filling the line by increasing the size of the spaces between the words, fills it with little blocks of metal known as quads, without disturbing the original spacing. In consequence of this, the reading matter does not present as straight an edge at its right side as at its left.

Æsthetically the new method is an improvement, because all inequality between the spaces in any given line and in the spacing of two lines in juxtaposition is eliminated. The spaces between the words remain equal in all parts of the column, the result being pleasing to the eye and serving to facilitate the task of reading. Commercially the new method is advantageous because it is much cheaper, nearly thirty per cent. being saved on the composition, and because it simplifies the work of composition and enables unskilled labor to take the place of skilled. The new method is available for book work and requires no capital for its adoption.

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Liberty’s Library

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.