Vol. IX.
<No. 52.>


“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.

A writer in the “Atlantic Monthly” endeavors to show that the referendum does not insure Switzerland against vicious legislation. This conclusion might be reached à priori. The referendum means actual majority rule, and if the majority are ignorant or aggressive, their legislation will reflect and represent ignorance and aggression. It is curious to note, however, that one of the instances cited as justifying opposition to the referendum is really a point in its favor. It seems that by means of the referendum compulsory vaccination has been abolished in Switzerland. As far as it goes, this is a victory for liberty, but it may be doubted whether the hostility to compulsory vaccination was prompted by an appreciation of its invasive quality.

London “Personal Rights” prints the following “answer to a correspondent”: “A. Narohist. — Yes; we saw the comment, and judged it unnecessary to reply to it. ‘Miscreant’ is etymologically misbeliever; and we confine our use of it to those wrongdoers the seat of whose error is in the intellect rather than in the emotions and the will.” This manifestly refers to Liberty’s editorial, “Valliant no Miscreant,” in which “Personal Rights” was criticised for denouncing Vaillant as a miscreant. Of course, if the term miscreant was used in its etymological signification, Liberty’s criticism did not apply. Liberty entirely agrees with the view that Vaillant followed a false faith, a delusion But whether the explanation of “Personal Rights” is not an after-thought, may be doubted.

The Rhode Island legislature has repealed the compulsory vaccination law, despite the bitter opposition of the physicians, who are almost unanimous in favor of such a law. This result is due to the efforts of a prominent citizen and manufacturer of Rhode Island, who believes that vaccination is a mischievous delusion. After a long struggle, he has succeeded in getting a legislative endorsement of his view of vaccination. Liberty is not an authority on medicine, and does not know whether vaccination is or is not a preventive of disease; what it does know, however, is that compulsory vaccination is an unmitigated evil, a cause and effect of tyranny. It is the business of every physician who understands liberty to fight the compulsion feature, whatever he may think on the subject of vaccination itself.

“Social Evolution,” a new book by a new English writer, Benjamin Kidd, is pronounced to be a remarkable production by English and American reviewers. The majority of American “reviewers” are, of course, of no consequence whatever, but English reviewers, as a rule, are scholarly and competent. Their praise of the book for philosophical as well as literary merit entitles it to careful consideration, and Liberty hopes to find time to examine the work, which is said to mark a turning point in the great social controversy raging all around us, which, as the London “Spectator” says, is “developing a new series of phenomena in politics, often of a dangerous, and sometimes of an amazing character.” But if the “Spectator” borrows the proposition that “reason alone would not have evolved Christianity” from Mr. Kidd, then the seed of distrust is at once planted. Such a proposition is either a truism or a piece of nonsense. If the system of superstition known as Christianity is intended, surely reason has not evolved it any more than it has evolved any of the other systems of superstition. If the body of ethical doctrines is meant, our conceptions and sentiments of justice and beneficence, then, in the first place, it is absurd to use the term Christianity as synonymous with this aggregate of ideas and emotions, and, in the second place, no evolutionist, no Darwinian even, has ever affirmed the view that reason alone has evolved our ethical ideas and sentiments.

I am surprised that General Trumbull should go so far astray as to affirm that “there seems to be little moral difference” between an injunction issued by a judge ordering railroad employees to stay at work, and an injunction issued by officers of a labor organization ordering members to quit work. General Trumbull says: “One may be issued by a lawyer judge and the other by a labor judge, but the moral character of both injunctions is the same, — they strike at liberty.” This is a very superficial view. There is all the difference in the world between these two injunctions; one “is drawn from the code of serfdom,” the other from the principle of individual freedom, which includes the freedom to combine and submit to officers chosen for certain or uncertain purposes. As long as strikers refrain from aggression, it is outrageous tyranny to “enjoin” them from anything and then punish them by fine and imprisonment for disobedience. But a “labor judge,” in issuing an injunction, performs the very function he was elected to perform. The organization having agreed to be guided by his judgment, it is his business to issue injunctions to stay or quit. Labor organizations are voluntary associations supported by voluntary taxation, and their only punishment is expulsion. Officers and members of unions may be (and generally are) unwise and unreasonable, but men have a right to be foolish and to submit to foolish orders as long as the folly does not lead to invasion of the rights of men outside of the unions.

The municipal council of Paris having stated that the workmen of Paris want work, not alms, the Count de Ketrary publishes a letter which the “dynamiteur,” Henry, wrote to the council objecting to their statement of the case of the workmen. Henry said that education had opened the minds of the rising generation and proceeded as follows: “Do you imagine that work for the city of Paris will satisfy their needs? Certainly not, and there is no hope for these young men except in a bouleversement complet which will enable them to establish a society that will provide for every one according to his needs. Nor are these needs only those of the stomach. Do you suppose we have no right to intellectual and artistic enjoyment? Do you imagine that a man who earns four francs a day can buy books out of that sum and go to the theatre, not to mention other things? And how would he get time to enjoy himself if he works all day?” In these sentiments the New York “Evening Post” pretends to see evidence of the fact that Henry and the class he represents scorn honest work, and have their eyes fixed upon the fruits of others’ labor and saving. The bona-fide unemployed are satisfied with any work that can bring a living wage, according to the “Post,” while the Henrys insist on the right sort of work and the right rate of wages, or they will none of it. Now it is possible that the “Post” is really stupid, but the probability is that it is deliberately sophistical. It is perfectly clear that Henry, in the above letter, speaks of the aspirations of the workmen in a general way, not of any immediate individual demands. He intends to impress the fact that the question is larger than is implied in the statement that the workmen demand work. That the unemployed want employment to earn their daily bread, that the employed want decent wages, are things which the dullest bourgeois understands. But this is not the sum and substance of the “labor question,” of the social problem, and Henry tries to explain the larger and higher aspects of the problem. To say that the unemployed will not consider their case settled when they get work, is not to say that they will refuse work. The “Post” understands this as well as anybody, but it suits its purpose to misinterpret Henry’s language.

“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.

Ambrose Bierce on Anarchism.

Ambrose Bierce, poet, story-writer, critic, and free-lance journalist, has been wrestling with the question of Anarchism. Mr. Bierce is a vigorous writer, but he does not seem to appreciate the fact that vigorous writing is properly but a means to an end, and often sacrifices truth, propriety, sense, and substance in his effort to express himself in vigorous language. Mr. Bierce is doubtless a sincere hater of humbug, hypocrisy, and philistinism, and the best evidence of the fact that a good deal of his writing is wholesome and sound is the pleasure which Anarchists and radicals take in reading it. It is not certain, however, — it is very improbable, in fact, — that Mr. Bierce is fortunate enough to possess clear and scientific ideas on fundamental social, economic, or political questions. Right feeling is very important, but without right thinking the best man is liable to be betrayed into a vicious, reactionary attitude in matters where instinct and feeling are inadequate as guides. In dealing with such a problem as Anarchism, the unscientific writer is laboring under such difficulties that it would be cruel to subject him to rash criticism for any blunder or injustice resulting from the attempt.

Recently, it seems, a San Francisco Anarchist sent Mr. Bierce a copy of “Instead of a Book” with the view of helping him to a better understanding of the question to the solution of which he had been unsuccessfully trying to contribute something. Mr. Bierce acknowledged the kindness in print (in his own department in the San Francisco “Examiner”) as follows:

Thank you; you are at least civil, and in an Anarchist this is much, indeed. But the book you send contains nothing new. I detest “Philosophical Anarchism,” not because I do not know what it is, but because I do.

We have a right to infer from this that Mr. Bierce considers civility a desirable quality, and that he believes that, as a rule, Anarchists lack that virtue. But in the first place, it is both impudent and puerile to assume, à priori, that Anarchists are uncivil. There is nothing in philosophical Anarchism that justifies such an assumption, while there is much that plainly points the other way. Men who insist on absolute respect for equal liberty are apt to be finer than those who excuse or applaud or practise aggression. To be sure, equal liberty is mere justice, and a just man may be very unlovely otherwise; he may be uncivil, tactless, unsocial, cranky, and unamiable. On the other hand, an aggressor and unjust person may be polite, nice, magnetic, charming personally. We have heard of polite, gentlemanly burglars, and among the supporters of the present régime of invasion and violence there are doubtless many amiable and refined persons. Still, those who know something about the scientific classification of feelings, something about their evolution and origin, know that the just man is more apt to be generous and considerate than the unjust. What warrant is there, then, for Mr. Bierce’s assumption that Anarchists as Anarchists must be uncivil? In the second place, Mr. Bierce is certainly uncivil to his civil Anarchistic correspondent, and for an apostle of civility to set an example of impudence and cheek, is hardly consistent. In the third place, it is not true [this is uncivil, but the interest of a higher principle than civility demands it] that Mr. Bierce detests “philosophical Anarchism” because he knows what it is. It is not true for the simple reason that he does not know what philosophical Anarchism is. This I say with perfect confidence. The man who says that “Instead of a Book” contains nothing new, is, scientifically speaking, an ignoramus. When Mr. Bierce says it, he not only convicts himself of ignorance of the present state of ethical and political and economic discussion, but exposes the falsehood of his assertion that he knows what Anarchism is, for the man who knows that, knows that “Instead of a Book” contains much that is new to this day and generation. Further, the man who knows what Anarchism is (and who knows the proper use of terms) does not say that he “detests” it. One may disagree with it, but it is absurd to speak of “detesting” it. Mr. Bierce’s vehemence is simply ludicrous.

That Mr. Bierce is ignorant of the doctrines and methods of philosophical Anarchism appears also from what he says with regard to the so-called “Anarchism” of the dynamiters and propagandists by deed, in the revolutionary sense. Mr. Bierce’s chief complaint is that the bomb-throwers will cause the death of civilization “by making it impossible to meet for discussion and concerted action,” that they will deprive us of the “small security” we now enjoy by their indiscriminate attacks on the present society, that they do not seek amendment, but destruction. Now, if that is the reason why Mr. Bierce detests the bomb-throwers, then it is manifest that he can have no detestation for the philosophical Anarchists, who do not seek destruction, who would not deprive anybody of any security now enjoyed, who would not restrict in the slightest degree the opportunities for discussion and concerted action.

Listen to Mr. Bierce:

Two human beings cannot live together in peace without laws — laws innumerable. Everything that either in consideration of the other’s wish or welfare abstains from, is inhibited by law tacit or expressed. If there were in all the world none but they, — if neither had come with any sense of obligation toward the other, both clean from creation, with nothing but brains to direct their conduct, — every hour would evolve an understanding, that is to say, a law; every act would suggest one. They would have to agree not to kill or harm each other. They must arrange their work and all their various activities to secure the best advantage. These arrangements, agreements, understandings, — what are they but laws t To live without law is to live alone Our laws, being of human origin, are faulty, and their application is disappointing. Dissent, dissatisfaction, deprecation, proposals for a better system fortified with better laws more intelligently administered, — these are permiscible and should be welcome. The Socialist (when he is not carried away by zeal to pool issues with the Anarchist) has that in him which it does us good to hear. He may be wrong in all else, yet right in showing us wherein we are ourselves wrong. Anyhow, his mission is amendment, and so long as his paths are peace he has the right to walk therein, exhorting as he goes. The Communist who does not preach Petroleum and it rectified, is to be regarded with more than amusement, more than compassion. There is room for him and his fad; there are hospitable ears for his boast that Jesus Christ was a Communist, as he indubitably was, though I do not think he would be one here and now. But for the Anarchist whose aim is not amendment but destruction, not welfare of the race but mischief to a part of it, not happiness for the future but revenge for the past, for that animal there should be no close season, for that savage no reservation.

Now, with most of what Mr. Bierce says about the need of law, agreement, understanding, philosophical Anarchists fully agree, as an examination of “Instead of a Book” would convince Mr. Bierce. We do not use Mr. Bierce’s terms, but in substance there is no divergence. Our methods are those of education, discussion, and passive resistance to invasive laws, and our aim is not destruction, but improvement, amendment, betterment. Why, then, is there no “room” for us, why does Mr. Bierce “detest” us? It is obvious that he does not distinguish between the so-called Anarchists whose methods are those of war and whose aim, in so far as it is not manifestly tyrannical, is vague and indefinite, and the genuine Anarchists who demand nothing but the relinquishment of aggressive, invasive methods by the governing power, who insist only on the liberty to exercise their powers within the bounds of equal liberty. Mr. Bierce speaks of actual and potential Anarchists, and this, possibly, may contain the key to his position. Perhaps he believes that an Anarchist is necessarily a bomb-thrower, and when he discovers a pacific and philosophical Anarchist he “explains” him by saying that he is a potential bomb-thrower. The reason for this can be nothing else but the common name. But if Mr. Bierce should read “Instead of a Book,” this difficulty would be removed along with the others.

One word concerning Mr. Bierce’s treatment of the bomb-throwers, for I am not willing to afford the faintest ground for suspicion that I sympathize with Mr. Bierce in that respect. Mr. Bierce looks upon the dynamiteurs as the “rattlesnakes of politics,” and he would show them no mercy. Mutilation, torture, would not be criminal in their case, because their acts are not due to intellectual error, but to a bad heart. If we admitted the premise, we might perhaps feel constrained to accept the conclusion. But it is Mr. Bierce who manifests both a disordered brain and a bad heart in making his charges. Had he paid any attention to the facts, he would have been less “free” in drawing his conclusions. The facts conclusively show that the Vaillants are not brutal and fiendish, but gentle, refined, and reflective. Their tactics are the result of an intense desire to achieve something in the line of reform coupled with a false philosophy of history and progress. Now, if this be true, then what is the right and wise course for the present society to adopt with regard to such assailants? Whether society recognizes the reality of their grievances or not, both self-interest and sympathy would seem to counsel moderation and leniency towards them. Men are not brought to a realizing sense of error by torture and mutilation, but by discussion and a general disposition to discover and do the proper thing. Would people continue to throw bombs if legislators, journalists, and men of influence generally displayed anxiety to redress wrongs and prevent injustice? Human nature answers in the negative. In fact, if there is anything in France which may be said to hold out the promise of ending the dynamite campaign, it is the decent and relatively intelligent treatment of the phenomenon by the French press. Where Carnot and the judges and executioners are utterly helpless, the journalists have a great opportunity. The pen is truly mightier than the knife. Sympathy for Vaillant, appreciation of his motives and traits, cannot but induce doubt as to the need and wisdom of dynamite, and the propaganda by deed does not flourish on such a soil as doubt and reflection. But the majority of American “newspaper-men” are too corrupt, ignorant, and shallow to deal fairly and philosophically with this problem. They are vulgar prostitutes.


What is Freedom?

“Do you think liberty is good for everybody?” said a thoughtful woman to me; “take the many instances of unbridled power, the Roman emperors, for example; surely they had freedom; was it well that they should?”

So people question before the complete notion of liberty fills their minds. The burglar, is he not free? The wife-beater, is he not free?

But how about the other people? we ask in reply. When the Roman emperors ruled, they may have been free, but how about the people whom they ruled, were they free? So the burglar may be free, but those whom he robs surely are coerced. And the wife-beater, he too may be free to beat his wife, by virtue of his physical strength, but is she free?

Try to realize as soon as you can that freedom means freedom for all. Not freedom for one to club another, while the other is only free to be clubbed, but freedom for both to lead their lives in peace, without either clubbing the other.

But, you may object, it is not possible for one person, nor for everybody, for that matter, to do as he pleases without interfering with anybody. Suppose two want to do the same thing, how are they to settle it? Suppose I want to build my house on a certain corner lot and another man wants to build his on the same lot, bow can we both be free to do as we please?

The reply is simply this: If people once admit the principle that freedom for all is advisable, the cases where the exercise of opposite freedoms clash will easily be settled. The question of the corner lot common sense would settle as the question of the choice of seats at a free show is settled, by priority of occupancy, and so with most of those conundrums which those propound to whom freedom is presented as a solution of pressing problems.

People are all free to walk the streets, but that does not mean freedom to walk into each other.

The trouble is that, when we leave this principle of freedom of action for all except where the actions clash, and take up the other, — that liberty is not enough, that somebody must coerce somebody else, there is no limit to the coercion process. It extends itself immediately from cases where actions do clash to cases where the action which it is supposed to suppress not only clashes with nobody else’s action, but even to cases where the actions are agreeable to and approved by all concerned. Sunday laws, forbidding people to buy on one day of the week what they buy freely on others, are clearly tyranny. If the act of buying does not restrict anybody else’s freedom on six days of the week, it is manifestly absdrd to suppose that it can on the seventh. Sunday laws are enacted, not in protection of the liberty of those who support them, but in order that they may to that extent force their way of thinking and acting upon others at the expense of the liberty of the latter. They want, and almost all of our legislators want, to force a certain line of action upon everybody, because it is approved by religion, or conventionality, or prejudice. The principle is logically carried out by the bands of masked ruffians of whom we read every little while in the papers, who go at midnight and whip or burn a man or woman who may be exemplary in his or her dealings with others, and whose actions clash with the actions of no one else. It is not a question of clashing here, it is a question of making everybody do what we happen to think right. As a matter of fact, these White-caps are usually the most respectable men in the community, the pillars of Church and State.

There was a time when freedom was for one man, to whom all were willing slaves, deferring to his tyranny from a superstitious veneration for his position, as in the time of the Roman emperors. Of this spirit much remains in the deference still shown to the ruling powers, whether in monarchies or democracies. In such times, and toward such a spirit of crawling submission, rebellion by any means was the only remedy to urge upon men’s minds.

But a different state of affairs is coming and has partly come. The many have the power and are learning to use it. It is no longer necessary to urge the many to assert their liberty against the few. Rather it is for us to urge that liberty means letting others be free as well as exercising our own freedom.

For that is what liberty does mean to one who knows what it is. He who is free will have no desire to make others act according to his own code; he will scarcely even advise or suggest to others what they ought to do.

Upon the opposite spirit, the slave’s spirit that we inherit from the past, to force others to do our way, rests the present power of government, by which those who think they govern are themselves enslaved and plundered.

Truly, the majority has the power, but the blind use of that power will always recoil upon the users, by supporting the system of economic slavery which now grinds alike governors and governed.

The majority must learn, what we are trying to teach them, that it is safe and proper to use their power only to protect liberty. And that precludes compulsory taxation.

John Beverley Robinson.

Precedents for Anarchistic Society.

Anarchism has the disadvantage of never having been tried under civilized conditions. It appears to work well in certain savage tribes described in Spencer’s “Justice,” and in some of the Esquimau tribes. But the conservative will explain that this is because they are naturally inoffensive, and will not believe that their Anarchy can have helped cause their inoffensiveness. Therefore he will not cease to say that Anarchy cannot effectively repress invasive acts; that the protective associations will spend half their time fighting each other, and the other half chasing criminals whom they cannot catch. It is certainly fair to answer by asking how bad they would have to be to be worse than the State; but it is also worth while to look for what we can find of historical precedent.

In the most ancient social organizations of which we have knowledge, citizenship and jurisdiction depended on family. A man was born into such a tribe; therefore the tribe had a right to command him, and to enforce its commands wherever it could find him, while he had a like right to claim its protection wherever it could reach. These rights and duties were, in some cases at least, inalienable. We sometimes find this form of order carried even into city life, as in pre-Mohammedan Arabia. The history of Mohammed’s life shows us several instances in which a city is inhabited by two or more independent tribes, and the different sections of the city go to war with each other. But it does not appear that they were more disorderly, or fought more, than the tribes of the same turbulent blood in other circumstances. At least, the system was able to live, and give satisfaction to those who lived under it; till overthrown by a power which also overthrew great empires. This ought to be an answer to those who think that two police agencies cannot coexist in the same place; for there never was a people who “needed a strong government” more than these Arabs.

But this system has been changed in the direction of greater liberty. A man can now change his citizenship, and the laws to which he is subject, whenever he chooses, — provided he will leave his country. Now, imagine what some fine old Tory of the clan system would have said if this change had been proposed to him. “How Anarchistic! A man would be able to escape from all the laws that bind him by simply running away! Law and order would utterly cease!” But the world has survived it. Anarchism proposes to increase liberty further by removing the condition, that a man must leave his country. This would introduce no difficulty; it seems to me, that the world has not got along with fairly well in one or another of the systems which have existed.

But why go to ancient history? Kansas City is much handier. The State line runs right through the edge of the city, among populous streets. Men who live on the same street are subject to different laws, and look for protection to different powers. Kansas has prohibition; but where the streets run into Kansas, saloons are built up to the State line. The theoretical difficulties in the way of a Missouri policeman’s chasing a man into Kansas are much greater than those in the way of two Anarchistic associations’ exercising police power on the same ground. But Kansas City claims to be a highly prosperous place.

When New York and Jersey City are connected by tunnel or bridge, nearly the same predicament will arise. The impossibilities of Anarchism are about to be introduced in New York. Why do not the defenders of public order protest against the improvements?

Worse yet. Under Anarchy every man would be subject to his neighbor’s association to this extent, that the association could punish him for clearly invasive acts. But today, in every civilized country, there is a large body of men who are under no law whatever. Envoys and consuls are responsible to no one but the government which sends them. Cromwell once hanged an ambassador for murder, but no one ever dared follow the example. If a consul commits a crime here, all we can do is politely to request the consul’s royal master to recall him as a persona non grata, and to punish him at home in such a way as may seem adequate. This privilege extends to the foreign representative’s retinue also, including, I believe, even household servants.

It is the uniform practice of Christian countries to maintain as against non-Christian countries the ancient principle that their subjects in a foreign country are not subject to the laws of that country. This privilege is always provided for in treaties. Hence the European in such a country is bound by no law but such as his consul will enforce. In places like Cairo and Jerusalem there are considerable colonies of at least half a dozen nationalities, each of which is responsible solely to its consul; I never heard of a proposition to unite all the Europeans, not to say all the city, under a single authority.

But Anarchism — oh, oh!

Stephen T. Byington.

Always the Same.

Many Archistic ideas take root in the belief that the State in a republic is different from that in monarchical countries. It is often asserted that in America the State is the people, because it derives its power directly from them. This is negatively true of every form of State, but only negatively. For what is this mysterious, intangible power? It is not dependent upon the existence, either of any one individual in a monarchy, or of any body of legislators in a republic. When the Czar dies, or when the term of office of every legislator expires, the State still lives. We often find men living under a monarch who condemn most strongly the acts of their sovereign and yet are stout advocates of that form of State. So, in America, we find men who condemn every Congress they know anything about, and yet howl lustily about the sacredness of “our glorious institutions.” Often will a man maintain that politics is unclean, that our legislative halls are filled with men whom he heartily despises; he will assert that the protective tariff is a tyrannical imposition on the people, yet he will be willing to punish the smuggler for disobeying a bad law, enacted by a set of disreputable politicians, just because it is necessary to obey the mandates of the State. Strange that these same men, who maintain most stoutly that the people are the State, maintain just as stoutly that it is necessary to have a State to govern the people, because the people are incapable of governing themselves.

The State is the same, no matter what form it may take. It gains its power from the superstition of its subjects, and so is able to exercise tyranny over them in proportion to the depth of this superstition.

F. D. T.

Referring to a series of articles on Socialism contributed by M. Janet to the French “Correspondant,” the New York “Nation” says: “M: Janet comforts us all with the belief that the reign of ‘collectivism,’ or State Socialism, if it was ever tried, would not last long, because ‘the day the Collectivists got into power, the Anarchists would be their radicals.’ But should we then have to try Anarchism and bombs before discarding their doctrines? The Anarchists are just as sincere as the State Socialists, and their aims are said to be as high, and if we must try every social system before rejecting it, on the strength of what the prophets tell us about it, the bomb system ought to have a chance. The trouble is that by the time its failure was fully acknowledged, we should all be hiding in the woods, or among the ruins of our houses, in puris naturalibus.” Such a manner of speaking about the revolutionary Communists is surprising and gratifying in an American journal. Instead of the customary denunciation of them as fiends, enemies of the human race, etc., we have here the admission that they are as sincere as the parliamentary State Socialists, and that their aims are as high. This change over the spirit of the “Nation’s” argumentation is, I believe, directly traceable to the influence of the French press. It is very unfortunate that most of our journalists are ignorant of other languages; familiarity with French and German journalism would open their eyes to their own puerility and baseness and make them ashamed of themselves. The few American journalists who read French, gradually and unconsciously acquire the habit of discussing matters in a liberal and civilized manner.

The London “Law Journal” has been endeavoring to show that the right of asylum is totally inapplicable to the throwers of bombs and believers in propaganda by deed. The “highest authorities,” it says, “hold that the right has no application to “anarchist outrages.” It may not unreasonably be doubted whether the highest authorities are altogether free from bias, whether their wish is entirely divorced from their thought. Still, it would be perfectly natural for constitutional governments to deny the right of asylum to any revolutionists who are out of sympathy with the parliamentary idea of political liberty; the bourgeois society can hardly be expected to show mercy or consideration to its implacable enemies, who announce their intention of making ruthless war upon it. What is significant and suggestive is that, while a professed organ of Individualism, the London “Liberty Review,” agrees with the “Law Journal” in denying the right of asylum to bomb-throwers, French journalists of all parties and opinions are willing to recognize that the Vaillants and Henrys are political offenders and not common criminals. To pretend that they are not, is absurd; but the defenders of monopoly and legal aggression do not hold themselves bound to be rational or logical in their apology for the prevailing order of things. Violence, fraud, sophistry, lying, — in short, anything to uphold the present régime. But they do not realize that the more brutal, brazen, and unprincipled they are, the more bomb-throwers they will have to reckon with.

In his talk upon bomb-throwing, Ambrose Bierce thus refers to the present State: “Our system of civilization, being the natural out-growth of our wretched moral and intellectual natures, is open to criticism and subject to revision.” Without challenging the correctness of this statement, it is pertinent to ask why Mr. Bierce does not take the same philosophical view on the bomb question. Why doesn’t he say that such methods as bomb-throwing, being the natural outgrowth of our wretched moral and intellectual natures, are open to criticism and correction? Why does he condemn the bomb-thrower to mutilation as a wild beast, while finding excuses for the corrupt politician, the exploiter, oppressor, tyrant, and monopolist? One-sided charity is not charity. If Mr. Bierce insists on judging the bomb-thrower only by his act and refuses to ascribe it to honest but erroneous belief, why may not the bomb-thrower similarly judge the politicians and monopolists only by their acts and turn a deaf ear to philosophical considerations?

Emile Henry, the “Anarchist,” who threw a bomb in the Café Terminus, Paris, has been “tried,” convicted on all counts by the bourgeois jury, and sentenced to death. Henry’s bomb killed no one, but his death-sentence will doubtless serve as a warning to other dynamiteurs: their bombs will be more fatal probably. Of course, the public prosecutor accused Henry of “robberies” and any number of petty crimes (it is strange that wife-stealing did not figure among the charges against him), but the reports in the American papers were too meagre and scrappy to justify any opinion on the truth or falsity of these accusations. Henry’s conduct in court seems to have been admirable. Liberty hopes to publish an elaborate report of his trial.

A correspondent of London “Personal Rights,” F. Evershed, having called upon Individualists to subscribe to the proposition that compulsory taxation for any purpose whatever is robbery, the editor tries to convict him of rash generalizing by saying: “Suppose a house-owner distrained the goods of a tenant who would not pay his rent. Suppose a father brutally ill-treated his child; that, in consequence of this, it was removed from his custody; that he declined to pay towards its support; and that his goods were seized to enforce this payment. Both of these cases are robbery’ according to Mr. Evershed’s definition. But would he call them by this name?” This argumentation is astonishingly pointless and fallacious. Assuming that the delinquent tenant and brutal father are aggressors (and “Personal Rights” manifestly regards them as such), then to seize their goods for the purposes specified is not a “robbery according to Mr. Evershed’s definition,” since he clearly had only the non-invasive in mind when he declared that compulsory taxation for any purpose whatever is robbery. Neither the tenant nor the father, in the cases supposed, can be said to be “taxed” in the scientific sense of the term, any more than a man who is made to pay damages for trespass or conversion is “taxed.” To argue that, because the invader is rightfully compelled to pay, it is right to make the non-invader pay, is to beg the question. The very thing in dispute is whether the non-invader owes it to his fellows to pay for anything he never agreed to receive and declines to accept.

The Populist Senator Allen deserves praise for his manly defence of the right of Coxey’s army to “march on Washington,” hold meetings in that city, and make whatever appeals to Congress it may see fit. His attack on the notorious Ordway, on the police officials, and on the brutal editors, who propose to treat the army as a band of criminals, was refreshing and will have a good effect. Senator Hawley’s reply has pleased the venomous and unprincipled defenders of monopoly, but it will not influence men of common sense and common humanity. Coxey’s scheme is silly, but he should be protected in his liberty to carry it out. As to the charge in plutocratic organs that the army is composed of professional tramps, who would not work under any circumstances, it is hardly necessary to say that it is a pure and malicious falsehood. Professional tramps do not organize political demonstrations, and lack the courage necessary to face the opposition of sheriffs, policemen, brutal editors, and other hirelings of monopoly. A despatch to the New York “Evening Post” said: “General Manager St. John, of the Chicago, Rock Island, and Pacific Railway, who passed through this city last night from Council Bluffs, talked differently from some other railway men about the Commonweal Army,’ its purposes, and the alleged menace it is to the country. ‘It is made up of sober, intelligent, determined men,’ he said. ‘They are, nine-tenths of them, American born. They are reliable, honest, and remarkably well organized. There are no bums among them. The statements that have been sent out about their being tramps and all that sort of thing are utterly untrue. Their leader is a man of brains and character and great determination, and is a religious man, too. He will not permit outrages to be done by any of his men if there should be any inclination in that direction, which there is not now. He will not permit any tramp or disreputable person to enlist in his army, and will remove the first one he can find. He has absolute control over his men, which he could never have over a body of tramps or disreputables. He said to me that his men would not go back under any circumstances. They are going to Washington in some way; of that I am sure.” This flatly contradicted the ravings of the editor, but it did not prevent him from reiterating his lying and malicious accusations. Under such provocation, what wonder is it that some are goaded into applying the bomb cure?

Aggression as a Result of Restraint.

[Felix L. Oswald in Open Court.]

The suppression of athletic sports has for thousands of our fellow citizens made city life a synonym of physical degeneration. The lack of better pastimes, rather than innate depravity, has driven millions to the rum shops, and explains such moral portents as the White Cap epidemics and the organization of burglar syndicates among the school-boys of our ennui-ridden American country towns. And there is no doubt that the same cause tends to defeat the efforts of our metropolitan home-missionaries. “Every one,” says Lecky, “who considers the world as it really exists, must have convinced himself that in great cities, where multitudes of men of all classes and all characters are massed together, and where there are innumerable strangers, separated from all domestic ties and occupations, public amusements of an exciting order are absolutely necessary, and that to suppress them is simply to plunge an immense portion of the population into the lowest depths of vice.”

In other ways, too, the attempt to prevent the manifestations of natural instincts is apt to defeat its own purpose, and only a few days ago a shrewd observer of the contest between the friends and opponents of a Southern sporting club remarked that “the manner of conducting such crusades only tends to make the cause of their leaders odious, by teaching thousands to associate the name of the Law and Order League with the ideas of hypocricy and Puritanical intolerance. Imagine the private comments of old sport-loving soldiers who are called upon to ‘fortify the State frontiers’ and ‘enforce the peace’ against two individuals, whose trial of strength, skill, and endurance implies no possible injury to third parties, and who are perfectly willing to abide the consequences of all personal risks.”

Do They See the Horse?

To the Editor of Liberty:

One reads so much nowadays of the evil effects of the “competitive system” that it is like a ray of sun-light to meet the following horse sense in the literary mist, which I clip from a news report in the Boston “Globe”:

It has been demonstrated that the best place to buy horses is at the public auction marts, for, in self-protection, the dealers, who are thoroughly acquainted with the business, make a surety that the representations of their customers are correct.

Thus the buyer not only gets the benefit of his own judgment, but that of men whose business it is to keep up a reputation for handling nothing but good, sound stock, or, where any fault is known, to state it before the transaction is completed.

In very many cases general purpose stock, which form the basis of all horse business, are given a trial, and as the dealers are all men of responsibility, their guarantee is as good as any that can be made.

Does this not substantiate all the arguments made in favor of a competitive monetary system? All the safeguards needed are supplied, and the best of the kind produced. Self-protection (for future trade) guarantees honesty, responsibility, the best judgment, and sound stock. Also have we personal interest, activity, lack of waste, experience, and the best of business methods.

Now suppose the coöperative commonwealth assumes the traffic. What have we? A host of liveried officials, known by numbers, doubtless, whose only personal interest is to get their meal tickets punched regularly at the public hash emporium, and who do not care whether school keeps or not. “What is everybody’s business is nobody’s business.” Wonder if our “scientific” State Socialistic monomaniacs and single-cat friends can see the horse?

Aug. McCraith.

The Term “State.”

To the Editor of Liberty:

Your criticism of my use of the word “State” in your issue of April 21 is just. I do not think I ran the risk of being misunderstood, but my language had a tendency to confuse usage.

My only excuse is that we need a name for the associations which will, under Anarchy, do such of the work now done by the State as may be kept in one hand. “Defensive association” is too long; besides, it seems to me that some of them will (at least at first) combine other than defensive functions. I gave reasons for this view in my article of April 21; if I did not prove my point, we must at least admit, in discussion, the possibility that it may be so. Then we want a name for the State’s successors. I have thought of the word “polity,” which would do well if we could start it in usage.

Stephen T. Byington.

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.

There are twelve members enrolled today, and hopes of more. One writes, “I join on this condition, that it will be an Anarchist corps. I would make it a condition of membership that the applicant is in line with Liberty’s teachings.” Another writes, “I by no means endorse all I find in Liberty, and am averse to wearing the tag of any tam whatsoever; but I see no objection to joining an association so broad as you propose, wholly voluntary.” Both are well known as among Liberty’s most valued supporters. Let the second answer the first.

I opened the door wide to let in such men, who are in line, but object to saying so. But I never expected, as a matter of probability, that those who are not fairly well in line would be in a hurry to enrol themselves; and I do not think anyone need fear it. Of the first twelve, eight are already known to me from their writings as up to the standard; two of the others defined their Anarchistic position very clearly in writing to me, and I have not the least reason to doubt that the other two occupy the same position. Therefore I enrol my conditional friend as a full member, considering that it is without doubt an Anarchist corps.

It will be seen from the above statement that the great unknown do not realize their opportunity. I am glad of the prominent names, and want more; but I want about fifty more obscure ones.

Suggestion No. 2: Be full and careful in explanations. Remember, your reader doesn’t know an Anarchistic idea from an enaliosaurus; he expects people to use language loosely, an expectation which experience abundantly justifies; he never heard the language which we use among ourselves. If you mention a “mutual bank,” he will try to invent a mutual bank in his mind; if you demand “voluntary taxation,” he will think you mean to support government by passing around a contribution-box; if you complain of “the monopoly of money-issuing,” he will think you refer to the national panics, and that your remedy would be to have currency issued by the government exclusively; if you inveigh against “invasive actions,” he will wonder if it is worth while to get down his dictionary to see in what sense you use the word “invasive.” If you say anything that can be understood, by any twist of English, as compatible with governmentalism, he will so understand it. Of course, you cannot always cover all the ground; but, in what you do cover, aim to make misunderstanding impossible.

Target, section A — “The Earth,” Lynchburg, Va., recently published a string of editorial “beliefs,” among them the following: “the present jury system is a humbug,” “every political party should become responsible, and its platform should be in the nature of a contract, — and its officers should be compelled, under penalty of dismissal for failure, to carry out its contract”; “District courts should be abolished, and supreme courts as well; an advisory board should be elected for life (and good behavior) in each district; this would do away with all quibbles, and no packed or corrupt juryman could decide your fate”; “compulsory education throughout the Union.”

Section B — Joseph H. Cahoon, 218 W. 22d st., New York, had a letter in the “Morning Advertiser,” April 2, headed “Monopoly the Curse,” chiefly on money monopoly and the effects of contraction of the currency; remedy, “We need to so regulate the output of currency that the purchasing power of a dollar will remain the same forever,” and government loans to the people at 2 per cent. on good security.

S. T. B., Secretary.

“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.

Dogberry Jurispridence.

[General Trumbull in the Open Court.]

For a long time we have looked upon Dogberry and Shallow as caricatures drawn by Shakespere when he was in a reckless, rollicking mood; and yet we behold their living repetitions in our court-rooms every day. A very good imitation of Dogberry is Mr. Justice Kimball, of Washington, who lately ordered the watch to “comprehend all vagrom men,” and when the vagabonds were brought before him, talked at them in the authentic Dogberry style. The “vagrom men” were Capt. G. W. Primrose and forty invaders, who, under the name of Coxey’s “advance guard,” threatened the capital, but fortunately were taken prisoners just outside the picket lines of Washington through the valor of Kimball’s men. After the “vagrom men” had been illegally imprisoned from Saturday until Tuesday, they were brought before Judge Kimball and discharged, because they had been arrested beyond the city boundaries and outside the jurisdiction of the city magistrates. They were brought into the city by the police, and then imprisoned for being in the city, which was very much according to Dogberry law. In his decree, the judge decided that Captain Primrose and his men were tramps, that they were guilty of tramping, and he then rather inconsistently sentenced them to tramp. He released them only on condition that they should at once seek employment, and failing to find it within a reasonable time, “leave the city.” When a magistrate sentences a destitute man to “leave the city,” he sentences him to tramp, and as soon as the prisoner begins to work out his sentence by tramping he is liable to be arrested for that, and punished by imprisonment, or by the chain-gang torture, or in some other civilized and enlightened way. Wherever the wanderer halts for a moment’s rest, he finds the magisterial Dogberry and hears the ceaseless monotone, “Move on.”

From the Capitoline hill comes the “all quiet on the Potomac” message that we heard in the days of old. Coxey’s army is many miles away, and before it crosses the Maryland line Washington will be safe, especially as the invading army has no guns. Unterrified by the martial renown of General Coxey and his ragged legions, now scaling the Allegheny mountains as Hannibal scaled the Alps, the defenders of Washington are already in the field, and eager for the fray. According to the dispatches dated April 9, I find that besides Dogberry and the watch, “the District militia is making preparations to meet Coxey and his army. The militia has been undergoing special drill at intervals for the past two weeks, and several of the companies have been suddenly called out by their officers just as they might be summoned to put down a riot or repel an invasion.” I suppose this drill is the beating of a counterfeit “long roll,” a very exciting call to arms, but not quite so stimulating as the genuine article that used to make our pulses tingle thirty years ago. The nation is not afraid of England, Russia, France, or Coxey now, for the District militia at Washington is ready to “repel an invasion”; although it seems they will not be relied on altogether, for we are further told that, “if the District militia is insufficient, there are four troops of cavalry at Fort Myer, a large force of marines at the barracks near the navy yard, and a battery of artillery at the arsenal.”

Fun at Taxpayers’ Expense.

[New York Sun.]

The British volunteer soldiers, a force which numbers over 200,000 men, are engaged in the customary Easter manæuvres, which consist mainly in wasting an immense quantity of powder and executing movements which would be impossible in actual warfare. Military experts still differ considerably as to the practical value of this body of voluntary citizen soldiers, but they agree absolutely as to the uselessness of the Easter manæuvres as at present conducted. On Monday a number of sham fights will be fought under the eyes of umpires appointed by the War Department, and the subsequent reports of these officers are certain to be vastly entertaining, as they always have been, with the stories of blundering colonels and reckless regiments who expose themselves to annihilating fire with delightful calmness begotten of the knowledge that there can be no bullets in the cartridges fired at them with prodigal liberality. But the volunteers like these annual outings, and without them it is probable that the force could not be kept together.

Reverting to Middle-ages Legislation.

[New York Nation.]

Mr. Edmund Boulnois, M. P., acting in concert with the National Society, has ready the draft of a general bill, to be called the “Advertisements Regulation Act,” which will empower all “local authorities” throughout Great Britain and Ireland to regulate advertising, to charge a public fee for the privilege, with a fine (not more than $25 for each offence, and $10 a day for every day during which the offence is continued after conviction) for disregard of the law, and with absolute exclusion of any kind or sort of advertisement, or of “advertisement stations,” from any “arable land or pasture land, woodland, garden, public park, common, inland or tidal water, foreshore, or any part of the same, . . . or upon any tree, rock (or any part of the soil) . . . or at any railroad station distant more than 200 yards (!) from the nearest booking-office.” Provision is also to be made for the removal of advertisements and “sky-signs” — beyond the reasonable and necessary professional or business signs attached to buildings — from streets, commons, and other public places.

The State’s Attempt at Protection.

[New York Sun.]

Under a statute passed in 1888, the seller of a monument or gravestone which is placed in any cemetery in this State, has a lien upon such monument or grave-atone for so much of the purchase price as may remain unpaid; and he is authorized to enforce the lien by removing the monument or gravestone from the cemetery and causing it to be sold at public auction.

No such law ought ever to have been enacted. Persons engaged in the gravestone industry require no peculiar protection. There would be just as much sense in giving a lien to the dealer who sells a boat, or a carriage, or a washtub. A monument maker is under no obligation which constrains him to sell his goods on credit; and if he chooses to trust his customers, he should take the consequences without being allowed to invade cemeteries in order to cart away his work.

But the Legislature has just been asked to make the law even worse than it is now. A proposed amendment will permit large monuments to be sold for debt by public auction in the cemetery itself!

[Next to knowing what to protect, it is important to understand how to protect. The State invariably makes a fool of itself where it does not commit an aggression.]

Whistling a Crime.

[Newcastle Chronicle.]

Whether the “fair siffleuse,” as the American lady was styled who some time ago delighted London with her whistling performances, has ever given a specimen of her talents in Berlin, we are not in a position to say. It is noteworthy, however, that whistling is not encouraged in that capital. Strange to tell, the hall porter of a hotel has just been fined three marks in a police court of Berlin for having whistled for a cab. It seems that whistling in the streets is illegal in the German capital, on the ground that it disturbs the tranquillity of the public. A happy city is Berlin, where the organ grinder is unknown, where the native peripatetic bandsman is expatriated to England, and where even whistling is regarded as a nuisance.

[Despots must deem sleep a great conservative force. To sleep long is a sign of good citizenship. Whistling, on the other hand, is liable to lead to revolution.]

Bill Posting to Be a Monopoly.

[New York Sun.]

A bill entitled “An act to regulate bill posting and bill distributing” has been introduced in the Legislature by Mr. James M. E. O’Grady, member of Assembly from Monroe county. It is a vicious measure, fit only to be defeated.

Its main purpose is to make bill posting a licensed business under the supervision of the Secretary of State. The license fees payable to that officer are to be regulated according to the size of the town or city in which the bill poster carries on his occupation. In a place having a population of less than 10,000, the charge for a license will be five dollars. From that amount the charges run up in this way:

10,000 to 20,000$10
20,000 to 50.00015
50,000 to 100,00025
100,000 to 200,00050
200,000 to 300,00075
300,000 to 500,000100
500,000 to 1,000,000200
Over 1,000,000300

Each license is to expire on the first of January of each year, and is not to be capable of transfer to any other bill poster; and every applicant must furnish to the Secretary of State security for the faithful performance of his bill-posting duties, in the form of a bond of $1,000, with at least two sureties.

After a bill poster obtains his license under this ridiculous measure, he is to provide himself and each of his agents with a suitable badge, on which the words “State License Advertiser” shall be stamped or engraved; and this badge the poster must wear in a conspicuous place “while engaged in the act of posting, tacking, painting, writing, engraving, or distributing any bills, cards, signs, pamphlets, circulars, or advertisements of any kind in any town, village, or city in this State.”

Now, if this bill stopped with the folly of making bill posters pay a license fee to the State for the privilege of wearing a statutory badge, it would be merely absurd, but not affirmatively harmful. It goes much further, however. It contains a broad and sweeping prohibition against the posting of bills, or the circulation of advertisements among pedestrians, by any persons other than licensees under the act, or their agents or employees; and a violation of this prohibition or of any other provision of the statute is made punishable as a misdemeanor, by fine and imprisonment.

There is no good reason that can possibly be suggested for State interference with the bill-posting business in the manner proposed by Mr. O’Grady. In the case of a doctor or a lawyer or an engineer in charge of a steam boiler, the State or municipal government may properly take precautions to protect the public from dangers which might arise if an unqualified person were permitted to undertake such a pursuit, and hence may insist that he shall obtain a license as a prerequisite. In the case of a bill poster, however, there is no conceivable peril to the community which can be the outcome of incompetency on his part. And we cannot imagine what public interest demands that a private citizen who has bills to post or advertising notices to circulate should be prohibited by law under pain of fine and imprisonment from posting his bills or circulating his notices himself.

No privileged class of decorated bill posters is desired by the people of this State.

[But legislation is not for the people. It is for monopolists, and there is no reason why there should be competition in bill posting.]

The Sovereign Voter Exercising His Right.

[General Trumbull In the Open Court.]

The Chicago election is over, and it is gratifying to read in the morning papers that it “passed off quietly.” There were only about a hundred fights, all told, with a proper proportion of broken heads to each. A goodly number of shots were fired, but as the gunners were full of beer, the bullets went wild. Only two or three men were shot, and even these are “expected to recover.” In the first ward it was bullets against ballots, and the bullets won. Much patriotic feeling was exhibited in this ward among the partisans of Mr. Coughlin and Mr. Shakel, the opposing candidates for the office of alderman, and they turned the election into a Donnybrook Fair. When the polls closed it was found that Mr. Coughlin was elected, and that Mr. Shakel’s men were most of them in the hospital, or at their various places of residence under the doctor’s care. A large number of colored men live in She first ward, and they showed as much aptitude for American citizenship as the white men. Two of them, “Slicky Sam” Phillips and “Toots” Marshall, fought a duel in the crowded thoroughfare at the corner of Taylor and State streets, but, unfortunately, although they “emptied their revolvers,” only one of them was wounded, and this was explained as due more to accident than aim, because his feet were “unusually large,” and one of them stopped a bullet. One of Mr. Shakel’s band-wagons was filled with hireling musicians, playing “Marching Through Georgia,” and they had the temerity to blow their bugles in front of “Hinky Dink’s” saloon, the head-quarters of the Coughlin party. As might have been expected, they were welcomed with a volley from the revolvers of the Coughlin men. The musicians “ducked,” and the bullets, passing over them, went into McCoy’s Hotel, but merely breaking the windows and the plaster on the inside walls. This election was merely for aldermen and township officers; it did not include within its fortunes the glory and emoluments of national, State, or county candidates, and that’s the reason it “passed off quietly.”

Federal Courts Differ.

[New York Herald.]

Within a few days two conflicting decisions have come from United States courts in the West touching the power of a federal judge over the employee of a railway in the bands of a receiver.

At Milwaukee on Friday Judge Jenkins slightly modified the language of his recent order which attracted so much attention throughout the country and aroused so much indignation among workingmen. That order not only enjoined employee of the Northern Pacific from striking, but it forbade everybody “from ordering, recommending or advising others to quit the service.” These words are now stricken out, but the Judge maintains the right of the Court to enjoin the men from striking or combining to quit work with or without notice.

On the day before at Omaha Judge Caldwell declared that such injunctions were not only an unwarranted interference with the rights and freedom of working-men, but that they had “an injurious tendency.”

[When it comes to judicial legislation, everything depends on the feelings and notions of the individual judge. Law is what law does. If the judge is an ardent friend of privilege and capitalism, he will shrink from nothing. But some judges sympathize with the people to some extent.]

Waiting for the Government.

[General Trumbull in the Open Court.]

As an additional punishment for our national sins a new pest called the Russian thistle is ravaging the fields of the great Northwest. Its capacity for mischief appears to be unlimited, and Mr. Hanabrough, a member of Congress from the afflicted region, “wants to have a law passed” for the extermination of the thistle. To that end he has introduced a bill appropriating a million dollars for the purpose of weeding out the nuisance that has been imported free of duty from the Russian plains. As soon as the bill was introduced, patriots willing and strong as the thistle itself sprung up to claim a share of the money under the pretence of “weeding out” the thistle. One of these, a citizen of Iowa, has made application to Mr. Sterling Morton, the secretary of agriculture, for the office of chief exterminator of the Russian thistle for the State of. Iowa, and the secretary in reply gave the applicant a very good lesson in ethical and political economy. With sarcasm sharper than the sting of a thistle, Mr. Morton said: “I must thank you for the patriotic frankness with which you remark, referring to thistles: ‘They are spreading fast, but we do not want to kill them out before the Government is ready to pay us for the work, or to send some one to do it for us.’ Nothing could better demonstrate your peculiar fitness and adaptation for the position of Chief Russian Thistle Exterminator for the Northwest.” Such are the benefits of a motherly government. It pampers its children until they lose the spirit of self-reliance, and they never get old enough to wean. They would rather let the thistle grow than weed it out without pay from the national treasury. In fact, they are already threatening to jet the thistle spread and then throw the blame for it upon the government.

[The farmers are learning the trick of democratic government, and it is fortunate that they are. The worse, the better. As long as the few use the political machine to exploit the many, democracy is possible; but when the spoliation becomes general and everybody wants to have a share of the plunder, the whole scheme must fail.]

Business Principles Demanded.

[New York Sun.]

A rule of the comptroller’s office requires that every claim against the city be attested under oath before it can be audited. There are some creditors of the municipality who object to this very strenuously. Among them is a repairer of furniture who does odd jobs now and then for the Board of Education. He sent a claim of $6 to the comptroller recently without paying any attention to the rule which requires an affidavit. The comptroller returned the claim with the request that the deficiency be supplied, and received yesterday this reply endorsed on the papers:

“My bill is properly reseipted, and if you want notery business don to voucher, pleas remit the prise of it, and when I do eney more work for the city of New York, it will be Spot Cash.

[Evidently this creditor is under the delusion that government can do business in the ordinary way. His experience will not reconcile him to government control of large industries.]

The Wise Majority Ruler.

[New York Evening Post.]

Professor Bourne makes an interesting demonstration in the last “Quarterly Journal of Economics” of the fact, which has often before been asserted but never before so clearly proved, that Hamilton drew many of the arguments in his report on manufactures from Adam Smith. Parallel citations through fifteen pages make it indisputable. Why, then, asks Prof. Bourne, should Hamilton have concealed the source of such valuable elements in his report? He answers that the reason must have been “political expediency.” It would have been dangerous for Hamilton to cite an English writer on political economy. The dread of expert opinion in political matters has not grown less in the past hundred years. Says Prof. Bourne:

“A friend of mine, recently engaged as a member of a State tax commission, drew material for a passage in their report from one of the leading living American writers on taxation, and proposed to give the original author credit; but the chairman of the commission decided that, on grounds of expediency, it would be better not to quote the authority of a political economist.”

This is what the maxim experto crede has come to in politics. Everybody wants the most skilful physician to treat him when he is sick, and the most competent lawyers to search his titles and draw his will; but in questions of government the wiser thing is to pick up the first man you meet in the street as a guide. This is for all the world like the touching belief of a hardened gambler that, if he can only get an innocent child to turn the cards for him, or throw the dice, his fortune will be made.

[There is poetic justice in this. If the writers on political science find nothing absurd in majority rule, they are not entitled to the respect of the majority. Perhaps their eyes may be opened by this object lesson directly addressed to them.]

Law and Order Enforced.

[London Daily News.]

A Reuter’s dispatch from Johannesburg says: One morning recently in Johannesburg jail no less than one hundred Kaffirs received ten lashes each for walking on the footpaths and jostling women and children. The native labor commissioner, in an interview, deplored exceedingly the way in which the matter had been dealt with. Even if it were necessary to inflict lashes for the offence of walking on the footpath, the natives ought to have been fairly warned of the action about to be taken. The effect upon the labor market would be most deplorable. Numbers of Kaffirs were leaving, saying: “We are being murdered here for walking on pavements; so why should we stay?”

[London Truth.]

This speaks eloquently enough for itself, but a correspondent in South Africa has sent me a cutting from a Johannesburg paper which puts the matter in an even worse light. Describing the punishment, the report states that “the cat is dipped in a bucket of salt and water,” and after the ten lashes have been administered, “a pannikin of salt and water” is thrown over the victim’s back. On the occasion dealt with by the reporter one warder was “sufficiently dexterous to lay the whole of his ten blows on a strip of flesh diagonal from the shoulder to the lowest rib. Blood came at the third blow as a rule, and by the end of the tenth there seemed a three-inch band of raw meat across the back” It is added that the regulation, for the contravention of which such awful puhishment was inflicted, had only been in force a few days, and that possibly not half of the Kaffirs on the Rand were aware of it.

[Let a man throw a bomb, and he is declared even by Ambrose Bierce to be a “rattlesnake of politics”; while the State’s most atrocious crimes will only elicit mild criticism. As long as this difference is made, look out for bombs.]

Nipping Evil in the Bud.

[New York Sun.]

The town council of Boonaboro, Md., suppressed egg picking for keeps on Easter, on the ground that egg picking is one of the entrances to the path that leads down to a gambler’s grave.

[Logic would seem to demand the suppression of egg-laying altogether. This is the only effectual way to eliminate temptation. Prevention is the word.]

Winking a Crime.

[Press Dispatch.]

Atlanta, Ga., March 24 — Abraham Walker, of Welasca, Ga., Y. M. C. A. delegate to the State Convention, was arrested, handcuffed, and dragged to prison this morning, charged with winking at a well-known society woman. After the arrest it was discovered that the wrong man had been arrested. The case made a sensation among the delegates to the convention.

[Under Anarchy winking at a woman would not be punishable as an aggression, though it would be frowned upon as an ungentlemanly act.]

The Body Belongs to the State.

Berlin, March 28. — A young conscript was arrested yesterday in Erfurt immediately after the physical examination. The examining physician found that the young man’s body was tattooed with Social Democratic phrases, such as “Down with tyrants,” “Resist oppressors,” “Proletarians of the world, unite.” Some of the mottoes were regarded as insulting to the Emperor.

A Duty Performed.

Inspector, from the Department of Buildings, to the mason contractor, inquiringly: “Why have you stopped work on the building?” “Columns got to come out,” replies the contractor briefly. “Columns got to come out? How’s that?” asks the inspector. “Iron too light. Condemned by the architect,” is the answer. “Is that so?” says the inspector, astonished; “then I must do something about it. I must give you notice to remove them at once.” And he sits down and forthwith writes a formal notice that the columns are too light and will not be accepted by the Building Department.

[Yet people still think that the law is a check on the unprincipled architect, and fountain of information for the ignorant one.]


Mr. Fisher is usually clear and intelligible, but I confess I am utterly at a loss to understand his short treatise, entitled “Illegitimate Children,” or to make out the drift of his “plea for the adoption of illegitimacy.” He scents for once to have completely confounded law and custom. In the belief that he is riding a tilt against the law, he is in reality merely condemning the popular use of unbecoming language. He complains that certain persons are “stigmatized by opprobrious designations, such as bastard, illegitimate, and tile like.” So they are: similarly, other persons are stigmatized as “mashers,” “negroes,” “lunatics,” and even “females.” Whether or not it is a disgrace to be unable to point out one’s father, is a matter of opinion; but it dots not alter the fact that many persons are in that position. Then what shall we call them? Illegitimate? Or bastard? Will the word “natural” suffice? But it is not the trued to which Mr. Fisher objects. It is the unkind thought which usually accompanies its use. And yet no one is bound to think with anger or contempt of a neighbor, merely because he is compelled to call him “illegitimate” or “bastard” or “natural.” This is a question for the pulpit, and not for the political platform. When I describe a man as a “masher,” I mean that he dresses and comports himself in the latest fashion and with somewhat of exaggeration. I confess I think unkindly of such an one. Some persons hold him in esteem. It is a matter of taste. “Lunatic,” again, is an “opprobrious designation,” because it is pitiable and even contemptible to be far below the average in intelligence and self-control. Is Mr. Fisher going to bring forward “a plea for the abolition of lunacy”? I know many women who wish they had been born men: they regard “woman” as a term of reproach. Will Mr. Fisher get up a crusade for the abolition of femininity? Or will he make it a penal offence to think ill of lunatics or mashers or niggers or women or bastards? Now, Mr. Fisher is no Don Quixote, and there mast be some reasonable explanation of his attitude. And I think I have found it. He actually believes that illegitimate persons are saddled with legal and political disabilities. There are several passages in his pamphlet which confirm this conjecture. He proposes (p. 12) “to repeal all laws defining illegitimacy.” There are no such laws to repeal. A bastard has all the rights of an ordinary citizen. He exercises the franchise, he can hold land, he can inherit land from his own issue (that is to say, his only possible relations), and he is in all respects on the same political level as his legitimate fellows. All the State does is to say to him (and to everybody else), “if you wish to rank as the son of any particular man, you must show that your mother and he were already married at the time of your birth.” When Mr. Fisher says this is a foolish regulation, and too narrow a condition, I agree with hint. If it is based on morals, it is too loose, because it ought to require the claimant to show that his parents were already married when he was begotten. And if it is based on other considerations, it can be shown to be unnecessarily exacting. Here we are all agreed. But when it is proposed to abolish ad conditions, I stare in blank amazement. What is to prevent the first boy in the street from claiming Mr. Fisher as his father, in making use of his credit, and in succeeding to his property among the next of kin at his death, — supposing him to die intestate? Surely this is not the intention of the writer. Then what can it be? Is it this? That each child is to be allowed to say, “I am the acknowledged son of somebody, but I decline to say of whom.” But any child can say that now, and the State will not interfere with him. It is only when he claims to be the son or daughter of A B, that, in the interest of A B, the State says, “Prove it.” Surely this is right and necessary. It is a very serious thing, not only for A B, but for all his kith and kin, to have a new relative foisted upon them. For purposes of kinship and succession the proofs must be convincing and conclusive. We may differ as to what they should be, but surely we shall all agree that they should be of a vigorous and thorough character. The French law will accept nothing less titan the open admission of the father himself for any purpose. And the English law will accept nothing less, for purposes of succession, than the admission of the father himself before the birth of the child, end in the public form known as marriage. It is a cruel and wicked thing to disappoint reasonable expectations, and our humane laws are based upon this maxim. Marriage properly means the acknowledgment of paternity before the conception of a child, but in English law it means the acknowledgment of paternity before the birth of a child. With the rights and obligations imposed by the State upon married persons we are not now concerned. For example, the State says, “Once married, always married.” This may be wise or foolish. The State says the man called the husband, shall be liable for the debts of the woman, called the wife. Custom expects the woman to adopt the name of the man. The State will not allow the man, in case of the woman’s death, at any time to marry any of her relatives within certain prescribed decrees. Indeed, the regulations concerning married persons are numerous and detailed enough to till ninny volumes, and to occupy the time and thought of many lawyers and courts of justice. But this in no way alters the fact that marriage means, so far as children are concerned, the acknowledgment of paternity before the birth of the child, — simply that and nothing more. It is true that our State will accept no other proof of paternity for the purposes of property law. It will not even accept the public acknowledgment of the father after the birth of the child. Nor will it accept any form of prenatal acknowledgment except that known as marriage. And there Is much to be said for this. Why should any facts be concealed which concern the welfare and the career of others? A man dies intestate, leaving three children by his wife. Suddenly up springs a claimant kith an acknowledgement of paternity in his pocket. The eldest of the three children of the marriage expected to inherit his father’s land and Louses; all three expected to succeed to a share of his personalty as next of kin. The whole career of the eldest has been modified perhaps in accordance with this expectation. And now all these hopes are dashed to the ground. Surely Mr. Fisher will admit that this is unnecessary and crutch. Even the Scotch law refuses to allow a child legitimated per subsequens matrimonium to take precedence of the children born in wedlock, even though he be the eldest. Then by all means let us simplify our law of acknowledgment of paternity, but to talk of repealing it altogether seems to me so absurd that I am compelled to think that Mr. Fisher is imposing it meaning upon technical terms which they will not bear. I am forced to this conclusion by the perusal of the following passages:

“Under marriage a man’s so-called legitimate children are his heirs, subject to sonic provision for his wife.” (P. 10.)

“One of the features of marriage according to law is that in the case of either of the parties dying intestate, the survivor is heir to the whole or a part of the personal estate.” (P. 39.)

Neither of these statements is even approximately accurate; and they prepare us for this curious reflection (p. 9), which might otherwise have caused me some surprise and consternation:

“The convention connection between so-called legitimate kinship and heirship is to some minds indissoluble, and the extraordinary phenomenon is actually witnessed of certain fearless thinkers incapable of performing such a simple analysis as supposing them to exist apart.”

I am then singled out as one of these unfortunates; and I am charged with having discussed the question of inheritance and succession to the almost total exclusion of all others, in my presidential address to the Legitimation League.

I did so; but I had not then a glimmer of suspicion that any one present actually believed in a status of illegitimacy above and beyond the mere denial of a special kinship. I should as soon have thought of condoling with Mr. Fisher on his being stigmatized as the non-brother of the Czar of Russia. So he is; but does that constitute want Mr. Fisher calls “an individual status,” as distinguished from “a relative or reciprocal one”?

I fear I must admit having used language in my presidential address which almost justifies the interpretation put upon it by Mr. Fisher, unless carefully construed in the light of the context, I said. “It seems hard that innocent children should be branded with a life-long Land of bastardy, as the result of folly Or impatience, or it may be weakness, over which they had no control.” What, in order to be!nose explicit, I ought to have said, is this: “It seems hard that the State should insist on branding as bastards those whose parents are willing and ready to remove the stain.” is ‘coat I understand to be the object of the League; and had it been more than this, I for one could not have taken any part In its establishment. Nor can I accept Mr. Fisher’s amendment of the League’s own statement as to its aim. The League, says lie, has been established with this object: “To create a machinery for acknowledging off-spring born out of wedlock, and to secure for them equal rights with legitimate children.” He continues. “These objects would possibly have been better stated in the reverse order, thus: To secure for offspring born out of wedlock equal rights with legitimate children, and to create a machinery for acknowledging them.” Now this would amount, not to stating better the objects of the league, but to stating quite other objects, — objects quite foreign to the intentions of the League. The true aim is to create a machinery enabling parents to acknowledge offspring born out of wedlock, and to secure for them (that is, such acknowledged children) equal rights with children born in wedlock. This is a very different thing from that which Mr. Fisher proposes, namely, that the law shall secure for all bastards equal rights with legitimate children. But they already have equal rights in all respects save one; hence if he means anything, he must mean that the law shall thrust the bastard by force upon the family of the putative father, with or without the consent of such putative father or his kinsfolk. After this, what is the use of creating a machinery for acknowledging them? Surely, such a machinery would be a laughing-stock. What need would it supply? In other words, Mr. Fisher proposes a compulsory law, and supplements it by an enabling one. As for his quarrel with the names conferred on illegitimates, it may suffice to say that even if they were dubbed “hero” or “angel,” those names would soon degenerate into terms of reproach and insult; but when it is contended that “they need not be dubbed by any distinctive epithet,” the answer is, they are a distinct class of persons and must have a class-name.

Having now unearthed the “fixed idea” which underlies Mr. Fisher’s peculiar views on legitimacy, we shall be prepared for the remedy he proposes, viz., “to introduce a law whereby all children not adopted by anyone might become legitimate persons without bonds of kindred with anyone, by the mere repeal of the laws which establish illegitimacy.”

If “bastards” were outlawed, or disfranchised, or specialty taxed, or otherwise ill-treated by the State, there would be force in this proposal; but, seeing that they stand on the same footing in every way as those who are legitimate (except as to their claims on the property of particular persons), and that, in short, there are no laws establishing illegitimacy, I fear Mr. Fisher has been battling with bogies of his own imagination. It is seldom, indeed, that he allows himself to glide into so fanciful a position. Don Quixote’s windmills were at any rate windmills; Mr. Fisher’s are but their ghosts.

What, then, was the object in forming the Legitimation League? Was it for the purpose of inculcating the principles of charity in all things? Was it intended to teach the duty of treating the illegitimate with the courtesy and respect which is accorded to those born in wedlock? One might as well form an association for the purpose of inducing Bostonian ladies to invite negresses to their salons; or for the purpose of mitigating the disdain with which schoolboys look down on their sisters and girls generally; or for the purpose of filing down the asperities which embitter the intercourse of Jews and Aryans. No, the league was formed to bring about a change in the law, Only time and culture can effects change in the feelings with which bastards are usually regarded. But if there is no status of illegitimacy, and if bastards suffer no legal or political disabilities, what is there to reform? I will answer. To begin with, why should the community concern itself at all with the relation-ship of individuals? What business; is it of ours whether A B and C D stand to each other in the relation of father and son, or in any other relation? The answer is three-fold. Parents being by law held responsible for the care, maintenance, and education of their children, it is necessary to know who the parents of a child are before the law can be enforced. Furthermore, the law provides that where a man dies intestate, that is to say, when his will cannot be found, his property shall be distributed as he would himself (judging by the average) have distributed it. Now, most men leave their property, or the bulk of it, to their children. It therefore becomes necessary for this purpose also to know who the children arc. Thirdly, the law requires children to support their parents in old age within reason, rather than allow them to come upon the rates. This is a sort of compulsory gratitude, and it also requires it knowledge of the state of the true relationship of the individuals concerned.

There is one other reason why the State should possess this knowledge, but I will pass it over for the present, seeing that it is based upon principles of English law which are in a state of decay, and which, it is to be hoped, will not long survive.

So far as the above three reasons are concerned, it would seem that a system of legitimation might be devised in every way simpler and more convenient than that of marriage alone. For instance, the acceptance of responsibility for the maintenance of the child would, if publicly made by anybody of sufficient substance (say, by registration), satisfy all the requirements of the State, so far as regards the care, maintenance, and education of the child. It matters nothing to the community whether Tom Jones or John Smith undertakes these duties, provided they are undertaken by somebody.

Again, the mere registration of the child as the son of A B is sufficient in these days of freedom of bequest to justify the State, in case of A B’s intestacy, in ranking the child so registered as his son. To those who say, “But he may not be his sou,” the answer is simple: he proposed to treat him as such, and the State has only to consider the probable wishes of the deceased.

Finally, as to the liability of the child for the maintenance of its parents in old age and infirmity, it is enough to say that the present position would remain unchanged. Let A B register a certain child as his own; let him bring him up, maintain and educate him, and then suppose proof to be forthcoming that the child is not his sou; in such case, it may be urged, the child would be in a position to repudiate all liability, and the father would conic upon the rates. True, such a case might arise; but so it might now. The birth of a child in wedlock is only a prima facie presumption of its legitimacy. The law permits the point to be brought into controversy.

Without going further into details, it is clear that the three requirements above-mentioned would be fulfilled by the simple process of public acknowledgment, the simplest form of which is registration in a public office. Such registration of parentage would be sufficient evidence of the alleged parentage, just as the marriage of the alleged parents now is, until the contrary should be conclusively proved. It would make the registering parsons responsible for the maintenance of the child, and it would make the child responsible for the support of the registering persons in old age. And it would further indicate the wishes of such persons in case they should happen to die intestate.

Mr. Fisher’s fear lest a couple of tramps should call at the register office and register themselves the parents of the Duke of Bayswater’s first-born, is not a well-grounded fear: for, as I have pointed out, registration constitutes a presumption only, which would he very easily disproved.

Says Mr. Fisher: “A claimant father not only appoints the claimed son his heir, but appoints himself the son’s heir.” And this brings me to the State’s fourth reason for busying itself with the kinship of citizens. I postponed the discussion of this fourth reason, because it belongs to another class of legal questions. It is an outgrowth of the old law of status, and is quite out of harmony with our extended system of free contract. Time was when a man could devise no part of his property as he thought fit. Certain definite persons had claims upon it which he could not resist. Such persons were related to him by blood, and their rights formed a most intricate and complex web. How carefully these tables of consanguinity were chronicled and preserved among the titled and propertied classes, is evidenced by the fact that Henry IV of France succeeded to the throne through the sixth son of a predecessor who died about three centuries earlier, during the whole of which time his blood-rights had, so to speak, smouldered in the form of parchment. Now this system, though scotched, is not yet killed. Mr. Fisher is right, therefore, when he points out that a man, by registering himself the father of a child, by that very act “appoints brothers, uncles and their female counterparts, as well as cousins and other remote relatives.” In short, a man could by this simple process create and manufacture an heir out of a stranger in blood to the detriment of the lawful heir. But here again this is frequently done under cover of marriage, and in both cases it merely creates a presumption, which can be rebutted by the production of sufficient evidence.

It is an old maxim of English law that God, not man, makes the heir. In other words, the tenant for life cannot supplant the heir apparent, except by the dangerous process of killing bins. He cannot adopt an older child, and so put a stranger over his head. But he can and does supplant the heir presumptive by the simple process of marrying his washerwoman, whereby the plans of the Deity may be somewhat modified, and the purity of the family blood considerably tarnished. Seeing, then, that persons with great expectations may be as easily disappointed by the process of matrimony as by any other, it does not seem that any great harm would be done them by allowing the tenant for life, when there was no heir apparent, to nominate one by acknowledgment of paternity, without necessarily going through the form of marriage with the mother. It seems to me, therefore, that any person should be permitted to legitimate a child by either of two methods; that is to say, by publicly registering his willingness to admit the paternity of the unborn child of a certain woman, — and this is marriage, — or by publicly registering the fact that he is the father of a child already born and living; and this is adoption. With respect to this second method of legitimating children, since we ought to proceed cautiously, it might be provided that the adopting person should be required to make a solemn declaration that, to the best of his knowledge and belief, he was actually the parent of the child in question. And the most complete form of adoption would be when both parents registered their parentage jointly, bringing the child with them.

To impose any limit of age on the child would be to defeat the object of this reform. But as a transitional step, pending the assimilation of real and personal property, it might be enacted that, for all purposes of inheritance, the adopted child’s claim should date not from his birth, but from his registration. This would safeguard the reasonable expectations of existing persons, as the Scotch law does now. In the absence of any living (born) person being heir apparent at the time of his registration, the adopted should be treated in all respects as though he had been born in wedlock.

To sum up, the State is not really concerned with the kinship of citizens except for what may be called work-house purposes. That is to say, if a child is found, the State endeavors to find the mother, and having done so, helps her, if necessary to indicate the father. The decision of the court on this point is based on probability, and very often in face of the denial of the person accused. It is an absurdly unjust and antiquated proceeding, and should be utterly abolished. In the meantime the State does not pretend that such a decision establishes any kinship whatever. It does not even make the child the son of the putative father. The child still remains nullius filius in the eye of the law, although the law has just asserted its knowledge of the father. The total effect of the decision is to render the most probable father of the child liable for its maintenance for the first thirteen years of its life, at a cost not exceeding a sum of about £150, and this only in case of the mother’s inability to contribute to the child’s support. Otherwise the State makes the mother wholly responsible for the child’s support for the first sixteen years of its life. Whether the State is wise or foolish, right or wrong, in imputing paternity to a man against his will, and in spite of his denial, is a question into which we need not enter here. It is based, firstly, on the anti-Socialistic principle that the Community should not be sad died with the support of newborn citizens; and secondly, on the principle that no child should be left to perish. There is a good deal to be said for each of these contentions; though both together may not be a sufficient justification for affiliation orders. I mention this subject merely because some persons (including Mr. Fisher among the number) seem to think that affiliation and legitimation have something in common, which they have not. It would indeed be a strange “reform” to rest the title to thirty thousand acres and an ancient name upon the bare opinion of a couple of justices in petty session, with no better safeguard against their stupidity or bias than an appeal to quarter sessions. And yet this is what Mr. Fisher must mean by making all children legitimate: though even this does not make clear what he would do in the case of children, alas! no inconsiderable number, of whose paternity not even the mother can hazard a guess. No, these unfortunates, together with those “chance children” whose existence Mr. Oswald Dawson recognizes and deplores, must be content to retrain father-less, while others, foundlings and the like, must remain not only fatherless, but motherless. Neither law nor liberty can wring happiness out of vice.

Wordsworth Donisthorpe.

* Illegitimate Children: An Inquiry into their Personal Rights, and Plea for the Abolition of Illegitimacy. By J. Greevz Fisher, a vice-president of the Legitimate League. 1893. W. Reeves, London.

Extracts from Nietzsche’s Works.*

[Translated by George Schumm.]

When There Is Need of Asses. — One cannot bring the masses to shout hosanna until one rides into the city on an ass.

Worms. — It is nothing against the maturity of a mind that it has some worms.

Infidelity the Condition of Mastership. — It is inevitable: every master has but one disciple — he proves unfaithful, — for he too is destined to become a master.

Sovereignty. — To respect also the bad, and to own it if it pleases one, and to have no conception of how one can feel ashamed of one’s pleasure, is the mark of sovereignty, in great things and small.

Practical People. — We thinkers must first determine and, if necessary, decree the good taste of all things. The practical people will finally accept it from us; their dependence on us is incredibly great and the most laughable spectacle in the world, little as they know about it and haughtily as they love to talk about us impractical people: yes, they would regard slightly their practical life if we were to regard it slightly: — into which a little love of revenge might now and then tempt us.

In Doing, We Suffer to Be Done. — Fundamentally all those moralities are repugnant to me which say: “Do this not! Renounce! Conquer thyself!” On the other hand, I favor those moralities which impel me to do a thing, and to do it again early and late, and to dream of it o’ nights, and to think of nothing but to do it well, as well as it is possible for me alone to do it! Whoever lives so will one by one lose qualities that do not belong to such a life: without hatred or ill-feeling he will see departing from him, now this, now that, like the yellow leaves which every little stir of air takes from the tree: or he will not see anything departing from him at all, so steadily his eye gazes upon his aim and befog him, not sideways, backwards, downwards. Our doing shall determine what we suffer to be done; in doing we suffer to be done — such is my pleasure, thus reads my placitum. But I will not with open eyes aspire after my impoverishment; I dislike all negative virtues — virtues whose essence is denial and self-renunciation itself.

Self-control. — Those moral teachers who first and last exhort man to get himself into his power, afflict him with a peculiar disease thereby: namely, a constant irritability in all natural promptings and inclinations, and, as it were, a sort of itching. Whatever may henceforth, push, draw, attract, impel him, from within or without, — it will always appear to this irritable person as if now his self-control were in danger: he may no longer entrust himself to any instinct, to any free flight of his fancy, but constantly assumes an attitude of defence, armed against himself, his eye keen and suspicious, an eternal sentinel of his castle into which he has made himself. Yes, he may thus be great! But how insufferable he has now become to others, how difficult to himself, how impoverished and cut off from the finest accidents of the soul! Yes, also from all further information! For one must be able to lose one’s self at times if one wishes to learn anything of the things which we are not ourselves.

* “Die fruhliche Wissenschaft,” “Morgenrothe,” “Menschliches Allzumenschliches.”

A Russian View of the American Press.

[I. I. Yanjoul, in St. Petersburg Viestnik-Evropy. Condensed for the Literary Digest.]

While looking over the American daily newspapers, the characterization of “Society” by an English humorist would constantly recur to my mind. Imagine a miscellaneous gathering of men and women, he says, in a parlor; all sit quietly and exchange ordinary phrases. The weather is praised or condemned; some discuss a recent speech of Gladstone’s or a new picture, but you feel that everybody is bored. Suddenly some one incidentally mentions the divorce case of a certain lord. All.get interested at once. This leads to a new version of another scandal, in which a certain duchess figures. Significant glances, smiles, and ejaculations are to be observed or heard on all sides, and the conversation is full of animation. A lie or a scandal has effected this transformation.

What strikes the eye in American papers? Loud, suggestive headlines, extravagant or doubtful news, stilted phrases, self-praise, editorials written for advertising purposes and advertisements written in the form of literary or even political essays, an incomprehensible (to the European) superficiality of thought, a sharp criticism of government acts, and merciless partisan polemics. All this perplexes the reader, and he does not know what to take seriously and what to regard as a mere commercial exploit At the same time the paper is lively and interesting, and, in spite of one’s indignation, he is apt to read it through, one heading after another proving alluring and attractive.

The bad moral reputation of the American press dates far back, although only of late have the reproaches become frequent and emphatic. In 1818, a gentleman, in leaving a large sum to a Philadelphia library, stipulated in his will that no daily paper should be found in the library. Thirty years ago, Charles Dickens suggested “The Daily Sewer” as a fit name for the the average American paper. And even Americans admit that the papers have deteriorated since Dickens’s visit. Compare the American with the English papers, and there is at once perceived to be an immense difference between them. The American papers are larger and have more variety of reading matter, but the importance of the utterance, the serious and dignified tone, and the scholarly character of the English paper, are vainly sought in the American. In the United States, the paper is published for the sake of the news solely. The principal aim of the editor is to afford daily as much fresh news in readable shape as possible. In consequence of this, the moment you take a paper in your hands, a large number of “display heads,” meant to be fetching, strike your eye. These heads are strange, puerile, offensive to the eye as well as to the mind, yet they are deemed of such high importance that on every paper there are men specially charged with the function of producing them and indicating the type in which they are to be set.

Long articles without a striking head, so frequently found in the European papers, are inconceivable in America; the editor would be horrified by them. News not of a practical character is not valued. They have a proverb that “good news is no news,” and hence the eager hunt for news necessarily resolves itself into preference for sensation, scandal, filthy gossip, and libel, which often entail criminal suits. To some extent, this is due to the isolated position of America, and her unconcern with nearly every event or aspect of European politics. Public opinion in America never occupies itself much with international questions, so important to the English journalist.

Being thus one-sided purveyors of sensational news, and ignoring the larger questions, the papers have very little influence and do not shape the course of events. A paper may have a million readers without being a power in national life.

The great demand for newspapers in America has resulted in attracting into the business a lot of shrewd men who look upon a paper as a business enterprise merely, and whose skill consists in knowing what and how to buy and to sell and to advertise. They are uneducated and have no literary talent; but they hire men to write and conduct the paper precisely as they would hire people for other lines of business. There are so many good writers and reporters in America that the publisher could make changes in his personnel every day. There is no question of a tendency or guiding general principle, but simply of selling papers. While there are a few organs representing special classes of readers and of interests, the overwhelming majority of papers have no convictions. Usually the paper adheres to some party platform, which it defends against the other parties, but its adhesion is uncertain and not to be counted upon. It will change its politics at the slightest provocation, or even without any, simply for the sake of profit. It is an ordinary thing for a paper to go over to another party, and its contemporaries see nothing reprehensible in it, and wish it all possible success in the new field.

Although journalism is well paid in America, the profession is on a lower level than the other liberal professions. Young men throw themselves into it for a time, but after a little experience everybody who can leave it does so. There is no future for the average journalist. He finds himself reduced to pauperism in old age, and depends on charity. The journalists are not organized into a union, and are not in a position to resist the rule of capital. For the sake of bread they have to do most dishonorable acts and suffer indignities. Some become spies or detectives, and others cultivate the friendship of servants whom they bribe to disclose the secrets of their employers. In many homes the reporters are despised and looked upon as vulgar and treacherous scamps.

Recent Object Lessons.

[George B. Macdonald in the Truth Seeker.]

Recent events have given a setback to the State Socialistic proposition that the general government should own and control railroads and telegraph lines. The ministry now in power in Newfoundland are all in court for bribing voters by hiring them with public funds to do useless work on inferior railway construction, which may be regarded as a fair sample of what would occur when the spoils system now prevalent in this country is extended to include all the larger industries. Governor Tillman, of South Carolina, by seizing a telegraph line and dictating press dispatches, has further exhibited the beauties of complete government control of the means of communication, of which the Comstock censorship of the mails had given us a foretaste.

Religious surveillance of scientific investigation, as exemplified in the expurgated reports of the Smithsonian Institute; governmental railroad building, as exemplified in Newfoundland; governmental control of liquor selling, as illustrated in South Carolina, and government seizure of telegraph lines, as exemplified by Tillman; governmental espionage over the moral qualities of mail matter, as exemplified by the Comstock laws, how do the State Socialists like it as far as they have got?

Ice Treatment Required.

[Auberon Herbert in Free Life.]

The “Hospital” makes a proposal to seize Anarchists and treat them as lunatics. The “Hospital” itself evidently much requires some common-sense treatment. It uses the term Anarchist apparently in perfect ignorance that the term covers almost as many differences as the terms Liberal or Conservative, and without the slightest inkling that the dynamiting Anarchist is a violent reaction from the stupidities of government, which probably the “Hospital” — never having thought upon the subject — favors and upholds. A good many people will be of opinion that rash talkers — if they could translate talk into action — like the “Hospital” are as great a danger and nuisance as the dynamiters.

How We Are Governed.

[New York Evening Post.]

The persons who introduced universal suffrage into the democratic world some fifty years ago had apparently not the smallest anticipation of the trouble it would take to manage it, — that is, to make it vote. The idea at that time was that there would be a universal eagerness to vote and at least considerable preparation for the work of voting rightly. Nor did they realize the enormous size of the mass which universal suffrage would create, and which would have to be moved in modern countries with a rapidly growing population like the United States, England, France, and Germany. In other words, they never even dreamed of the machinery which we find necessary for “bringing out the vote,” as it is called. The creation of that machinery here has been the most remarkable political phenomenon of the present century. It includes a boss, a large army of “workers” in small districts, a system of rewards and punishments to keep them to their duties, an immense campaign fund to draw on for expenses, several nominating conventions for different stages of the process, and, on election day, frantic exertions by skilled men to bring the voters to the polls. It is work, too, which never ends, and which absorbs nearly all the time of every one engaged in it, so that the regular employes or experts have always an immense advantage over those who venture to oppose them as volunteers or amateurs. In fact, skill in this business has come to be far more highly considered than the supply of ideas for the party platform. The man who is able to “bring out the vote” stands far higher today than the man who supplies the plans or policies which are to be voted for. The result is that today every party which makes a figure in politics may be said to be buried under its workers.

All this is what the lawyers call “familiar knowledge.” What is not so familiar is a growing terror among reflecting men about the size of the vote, the fear that it will everywhere before long be so large as to escape completely from all the best moral and Intellectual influences of our time. The mama has got to be so tremendous that it seems folly to try to influence it by any species of persuasion. A man almost makes himself ridiculous today by trying to address the people of the State, much more the people of the United States. To provide speakers and pamphlets to work on its opinions seems almost like trying to annoy an elephant with fleas. What it thinks or is going to do at any election now, is something on which hardly anybody’s opinion is worth listening to. You can safely bet on the influence or fraud and corruption, but you cannot bet on the influence of argument.

Our principal reason for calling attention to this matter is that, as far as our observation has gone, no mention has been made of it in the various discussions of woman suffrage which have been going on in this city during the past few weeks. Whatever else it may be, the proposal to give women the franchise is, above all other things, a proposal to double the vote; that is, to double the number of persons to be canvassed, and organized, and “kept in line,” and persuaded and brought to the polls. This may cause an increase in the number of Silas Wrights, and Sewards, and George-William Curtises, and Horace Greeleys, and the like. But it is quite certain that it will enormously increase the number of Platte, Crokers, and Hills, and the like. And the new workers must be like the old ones. They must be armed with the same means of rewarding their workers, and, to get these means — that is, offices — they must perforce dicker a good deal with the other side, and do a great many things not considered respectable in churches and synagogues. This is something to consider, not to pooh-pooh. We know what the getting-out of the vote has led to, and how it is done, and our experience cannot, therefore, be disposed of by simple prophecy. We must have some better reason than prediction for believing that the workers whom the addition of women to our constituencies will bring into the field will be of a finer quality and more amenable to reason than the Platte, and for believing that women will be more manageable and more get stable by persuaders than men have thus far proved to be.

[All that the “Post” says with regard to the voting machinery and the factors determining elections is perfectly true, but it is liable to be perverted by the self-styled “scholars in politics” into an argument for restricted suffrage, for minority rule instead of majority rule. With such an inference the true individualist has no sympathy. Absurd and despotic as majority rule is, it is less absurd and despotic than the rule of the “cultured” would be. The only remedy is in the abandonment of all attempts at coercing or governing, and the recognition of equal freedom. — Editor Liberty.]

Free Currency Propaganda.

[Henry Seymour in London Brotherhood.]

In the last issue of “Brotherhood” I remarked that something definite might be stated in this, regarding the formation of a society having for its object an assault upon the monopoly of money-issue.

We have organized ourselves into shape, and our prospectus, or declaration of principles, is in the hands of the printer. This will be issued shortly, and will bear the signatures of some well-known names. I shall be happy to forward the same to any person interested in our scheme, which promises, in the near future, the abolition of interest through the organization of free exchange. It is now generally conceded by all economic authorities that the great problem of our time is no longer one of production, but rather one Of distribution. Products are only too plentiful; the difficulty to be obviated is to bring the producer and consumer face to face, without the necessity of being blackmailed by the money-lords, who not only extort unjust tribute, but systematically paralyze industry in order to keep a firm hold on their monopoly to rob.

The minimum subscription of membership to the Free Currency Propaganda is half a crown a year. The headquarters will be at South Place Institute, where we propose to hold discussions at least twice a month. “Our programme,” as our prospectus declares, “is primarily the diffusion of the principle of economic equity and the mechanism of free exchange, by means of lectures and literature, and the formation of a library of books bearing on these subjects. When, however, a sufficient number of persons following diverse occupations, as farmers, merchants, manufacturers, tradesmen, are sufficiently imbued with our object to desire to carry it into effect, we propose the organization of a Bank (or banks) of Exchange, which will issue to its members, at cost, certificates of value, based on deposited products or registered collateral, and negotiable among each and every member of the said bank.”

The Prospectus.


The demonopolization of specie value as the sole basis of credit, and the generalization of real credit by the monetization of all suitable marketable values.

General Statement of Principles.

We affirm that the equitable payment of labor (of whatever character) is its entire product; hence, in the division of labor, that the reward of each individual worker is the equivalent value of his particular contribution to production (usually determined by competition in a free market), and that the prevailing monstrous departure from this self-evident principle of justice, the sole and sufficient cause of social discontent and oppression, is due to the monopolies of land and capital.

But we affirm that the monopoly of land is chiefly supported by the monopoly of capital; that, when isolated by the abolition of the latter monopoly, and standing in bare simplicity, its solution will be much easier than is usually supposed, whereas a prior settlement (supposing such to be possible) would offer but temporary relief from the tyrannous pressure of capitalism.

We furthermore affirm that the monopoly of capital is solely due to the monopoly of monetary credit, which necessarily and essentially results from the arbitrary and exclusive adoption of gold or specie value as the basis of the circulating medium.

This exclusive use of specie, resting mainly on over-powering tradition, but aided by legislation, class interests, and general ignorance, is now becoming intolerable under the enormous development of commercial exchanges and the necessary concomitant of banking-credit. Its power as king — or despot — monopoly is manifold. While other forms of property are expensive to maintain and quick to decay, gold never wanes in power; its owners, the financial aristocracy, never spend it, never let it go, but retain a perpetual lien on it, always lending it at interest, in whatever channels they favor, to the community, which falsely fancies it a vital need; demanding, through the machinery of credit, the tribute of interest not once, but many times over; which tribute, again, is often heightened to an incredible extent by investment in commercial enterprises organized on a scale too gigantic for the competition of the smaller capitalists.

The tyranny of the money monopoly thus operates not only positively by exacting the tribute of interest and monopoly profits, but also negatively, by barring the working classes from self-help and association, and making them dependent for employment on the moneyed classes. Without capital, and therefore unable to employ themselves, the workmen are obliged to underbid each other for the privilege of working for the capitalist, thereby lowering the wage-rate to the mere subsistence-level; only able through their trade-unions to stem, often ineffectually, and in any case at tremendous sacrifice, this inevitable downward pressure.

The result is that the laborer is never able to buy back his product (or the equivalent thereof), through the enhanced prices put upon them in the market to cover interest, rent, and profits; consumption, therefore, cannot keep pace with production, merchants and manufacturers have periods of idleness, laborers are starving while being only too anxious to produce and exchange those things which would enrich them, credit is deranged, banks fail, and even the original monopolists themselves suffer inquietude.

But we affirm that with the adoption of a currency based on all suitable marketable values, without artificial distinction or preference, by free association of manufacturers, distributors, and workmen, the tribute of interest and monopoly-profits, gluts of commodities and labor, would be impossible. Production would proportionately beget production; in other words, the more commodities of one kind were produced, the more of other kinds would be in demand to exchange therefor, the effect being to increase consumption, and raise the standard of comfort all round. The workman being in increasing demand, and also in a position, by monetizing his credit, to compete, if necessary, with his employer, and to readily contribute capital to coöperative enterprises, would force up wages until they reached the just equivalent of his productive efforts, i. e., until he was in equal association with his employer.

Therefore, we appeal most earnestly for popular inquiry and support, feeling assured that our position is economically sound. We appeal to workmen and employers alike, knowing that when the financier’s usurious grip is released from credit, the interests of labor and capital will be identical. Above all, we claim that our movement is eminently practicable and capable of immediate inception, unlike the thousand and one utopias in the air.


Any person, by subscribing agreement with the object and principles of the Propaganda, may become a member, subject to the approval of the committee. Minimum subscription, half a crown a year.

Committee: John Armsden, John Badcock, Jr., J. Augustus Barnardo, F. Matthews, Alfred E. Porter, J. H. Robertson, Jr., Henry Seymour, J. Stevens, Harry Thorne, G. O. Warren.

Treasurer, John Badcock, Jr., St. Brelades, Vicarage Road, Leyton, E.; Corresponding Secretary, Henry Seymour, 51 Arundel Square, London, N.; Recording Secretary, Harry Thorne.

To All Whom It May Concern.

The following Introduction, Preamble, and Resolutions are respectfully submitted to the workingmen of the United States for their thoughtful consideration.

William Hanson.

7 Decatur Street, Brooklyn, N. Y.


There is a prevalent misapprehension on the part, of Socialists and others who profess to understand Individualism and philosophical Anarchy, that their economic principles are inimical to social coöperation in production and exchange. This is a grave mistake. On the contrary, the Individualists and philosophical Anarchists affirm that the highest order of Socialism can be gained only by Equal freedom and no special privileges for any.

They are therefore opposed to any governmental interference with the equal freedom of the citizen. They maintain that government is not necessary, and is, in fact, an economic hindrance to the highest results of social coöperation.

They maintain that building railroads, canals, factories, ships, bridges, telephones, telegraphs, establishing banks, planting gas-works and water-works, running post-offices, establishing schools and means of transportation, insurance, and all other social functions, can be done under free competition more economically and satisfactorily than under any system of government now known to mankind.

We therefore publish the following Preamble and Resolutions as our economic doctrine.


Every nation has a specific annual labor-product, which is absorbed by five economic quantities, namely, rents, profits, interest, taxes, and wages.

The higher the rents, profits, interest, and taxes, the less will be the remainder of the annual product for wages, and the less the purchasing power of those wages.

Conversely, the lower the rents, profits, interest, and taxes, the greater will be the remainder of the annual product for wages, and the greater the purchasing power of those wages.

Again, if rents were reduced to the wear and tear of the property occupied by the tenant, which equity requires; if profits were reduced to the cost of goods and the service rendered in their distribution, which pure economics require; if interest on loans was reduced to the cost of banking, and taxes were reduced to the simple cost of government in the protection of life, liberty, and property, then wages would be all that the individual w6rker produced, less the equitable tax for the support of defensive government and the prime cost of rents and merchandise consumed. Such a division, or distribution, of the annual labor product nowhere obtains in the commercial world. Hence the inevitable warfare between labor and capital, or rather between monopoly and anti-monopoly.

As land monopoly is the cause of rent, patent monopolies and special privileges the cause of profits, monopoly of gold and silver and government bonds the cause of interest on loans, and since invasive government is the cause of taxes, which rob the many for the benefit of the few, since official salaries are monopoly salaries, from the President of the United States down to the humblest doorkeeper in a county court-house, while competition reigns supreme in determining wages, it becomes obvious that so long as these economic conditions prevail, and competition has a one-sided and partial application, there can be no peace or settlement of the labor question. Therefore, be it resolved:


(1.) As all generations of men have an inalienable right of free and gratuitous access to land to the extent of their individual needs, economically used, it is obvious that land monopoly is a great crime against the equal freedom of man. This universal wrong can be righted only in two ways, viz., either by a voluntary relinquishment of monopolized vacant land, or by a general refusal to pay rent when it exceeds the wear and tear of property used by the tenant. We therefore demand the repeal of all laws for the collection of rents created under duress.

(2.) As patents and special privileges are the basis of all manufacturing and commercial monopolies, and necessarily thwart legitimate competition, which is the only economic force that can reduce products and services to cost and produce justice in commerce, we therefore demand that in the future there shall be no patents or special privileges granted by law.

(3.) As gold and silver and government bonds are a stupendous monopoly and the basis of the currency in the United States, and as such a currency is productive of stringency, high rates of interest, loss to borrowers, bankruptcy, revulsion and panic, we therefore demand the monetization of all wealth.

(4.) We demand equal freedom and no special privileges for any.

(5.) It is out opinion that by the practical application of the economic principles set forth in these resolutions, there will be no need for Communism, State Socialism, Nationalism, or Single Tax, — no need for violent methods, by which revolutionists seek unwisely to produce riot, robbery, and bloodshed, in order to redress wrongs and obtain rights which can be gained only by reason and sympathy, education and persuasion.

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.