“For always in thine eyes, O Liberty!
Shines that high light whereby the world is saved;
And though thou slay us, we will trust in thee.”
On Picket Duty.
Of the ten Nihilists recently sentenced to death the czar pardoned five in response to the appeal of Victor Hugo. Thereupon the French poet — to his shame be it said! — drank to the health of the czar in the presence of a company of Parisian journalists. This so tickled the czar’s vanity that he straightway pardoned four more of them. What playthings are men in the hands of monarche, their lives dependent upon a passing caprice!
- Brown of Boston, aided by other workingmen, has issued an edition of & radical pamphlet, entitled: “Revolution; or, the Reorganization of Our Social System Inevitable,” written by William N. Slocum of San Francisco. Liberty will give it more extended notice hereafter. Meanwhile it may be procured by sending ten cents to H. W. Brown, 7 Kirkland Street, Boston. Special terms will be given for wholesale orders. We hope that the commendable efforts of the publishers will meet with warm encouragement.
The superintendent of the Pacific Mills at Lawrence gets eighty-three dollars a day. The operatives whom he superintends have been getting eighty-three cents a day. The stockholders of the mills have been getting an annual dividend of over twenty per cent, for nearly two decades. In consequent of serious defalcations and mismanagement on the part of the officials the mills are slightly less profitable than they were. The superintendent tells the operatives that, in order to keep the dividends up, they must work for sixty-eight cents a day. The operatives refuse. Thereupon the superintendent sneers at their “ambition to live in luxury,” and priests and parsons are found to upbraid them for being unwilling to work for the same wages paid at other mills. Do such facts as these need comment?
Another era of strikes apparently is upon us. In all trades and in all sections of the country labor is busy with its demands and its protests. Liberty rejoices in them. They give evidence of life and spirit and hope and growing intelligence. They show that the people are beginning to know their rights, and, knowing, dare maintain them. Strikes, whenever and wherever inaugurated, deserve encouragement, from all true friends of labor. Not that they can be regarded as a direct instrumentality in obtaining justice. Justice, to be obtained, must first be ascertained, and a strike does little or nothing to ascertain it. But as an indirect instrumentality, as an awakening agent, as an agitating force, the beneficent influence of a strike is immeasurable. Take, for instance, the great strike of 1877. What single event in our history ever did as much to arouse the public to the importance and the urgency of the industrial question? Not one. And this is true, to a greater or less extent, of all strikes. He does not understand the true value of a strike who judges it by its immediate causes, pronouncing this one justifiable and that one inexcusable, this just and that unjust. With our present economic system almost every strike is just. For what is justice in production and distribution ? That labor, which creates all, shall have all. It can ask no more; it can get no more. How, then, can its demands be excessive? As long as a portion of the products of labor are appropriated for the payment of fat salaries to useless officials and big dividends to idle stockholders, labor is entitled to consider itself defrauded, and all just men will sympathize with its protest.
A subscriber sends us his remonstrance against what he terms our “vagueness,” “indefiniteness,” and “looseness of thought.” We should deem his criticism worthier of heed, if the names of the two men whom he charges us to imitate as calm, clear, consistent and close thinkers were other than — heaven save the mark! — Wendell Phillips and Thomas Carlyle.
Well, Cyrus W. Field’s monument to Andre has been blown up, and the millennium is not yet! Freedom of opinion has been struck down at the hands of so-called radicals by the use of dynamite. Upon the explosive which Russians have made holy Americans have committed sacrilege. And our friend Schwab glories in the act, “We have had altogether too much theory,” he says, and so rejoices in a little practice. The real trouble is that we have not had half enough theory. If the true theory of individual Liberty had ever found lodgment in the minds of Mr. Schwab and his friends, the Andre monument would still be standing, and there would be one stain less on the radical record. We are moved by no sentimentalism in this matter, but speak from the standpoint of the severest justice. When extreme measures become necessary, we shall not whine about them; but then they must be serious to be effective, not petty and paltry and childish. If the dynamite policy is ever forced upon American laborers by utterly intolerable trespass upon their rights, it must be used to blow up the Cyrus Fields themselves and not their playthings. But till then, no dynamite at all! We are engaged in serious business, and have no time for child’s play.
Mr. Patrick Ford, editor of the “Irish World,” is in a dilemma. Ho appears not to be aware of it, but his readers are painfully aware of it. We venture to point it out to him. Some weeks ago he announced in large type that, the moment the Catholic church should denounce the doctrines of the “Irish World,” he would renounce them. Since that time a provincial council of the Catholic church has met in Cincinnati, composed of nine bishops and archbishops in five dioceses. That body has issued a pastoral letter to be read from the altar of every Catholic church in five important States. This letter says: ” The “Irish World” is a bad paper, breeding insolence and defiance of authority, teaching communism, assailing the rights of property, and inciting to rebellion that can end but in disaster. We therefore direct pastors to warn their people against this paper, and, as far as in them lies, discourage its circulation among them.” This language is direct and unmistakable, and, unless set aside and rebuked by the pope (as if, is not likely to be), must be considered authoritative. It is the utterance of the power which Mr. Ford acknowledges as the sole source of truth. Now, therefore, he must renounce his faith and condemn his church as a foul instrument of tyranny for the oppression of the many by the few, or he must renounce his reason, keep his pledge, and publicly confess that for the last ten years he has been a servant of the devil. Liberty calls on him to do one or the other, and that promptly, or stand convicted as a hypocrite and time-server. Mr. Ford knows the high estimate which we place upon his services in the past. It is because we value them so highly that we insist that he shall not spoil them.
David Dudley Field has completed his codification of the law of the State of New YorK, but there is considsrable opposition to the adoption of his code. During its discussion before a legislative committee an able lawyer, Mr. Carter, used this language: “What is the common law? Is it contained in any act? No. Is it in any book reports? No. You will find evidences of it there, but the law is not there. Where is it? It rests in those eternal and immutable principles of justice which were enacted before legislators ever sat.” Whereat brother Cyrus W. Field was inexpressibly shocked. To hint even at the existence of justice was horrifying to a man who has heaped up millions by injustice. So, coming to the defence of brother David, he immediately wrote in his organ, the “Mail and Express:” “The wildest Pre-Raphaelite never went so far against the laws of art as Mr. Carter did against the laws of men in this ecstatic and lawless language.” It is admitted, then, by the Fields that, to such as they, justice is an absurdity, love of principle ecstasy and lawlessness, and life a scramble involving no duty but that of trampling on one’s fellows. Is not their own confession a severer condemnation of their lives than that visited upon the class to which they belong in Lysander Spooner’s unanswerable pamphlet on “Natural Law”?
A new number of the revolutionary organ, “Narodnaia Volia,” containing nineteen pages of closely printed matter, is at present in circulation in Russia. The leading article, headed “The Present Position of the Party,” is devoted chiefly to a review of the results which followed tho assassination of a year ago. The writer premises his remarks by the statement that, if only the discontented element of Russian society was able to insist on and obtain the minimum demands put forward by the executive committee, the necessity of resorting to violent measures might be avoided. He then proceeds to review the position of the various parties in Russia, and arrives at the conclusion that there are no elements to be found in Russian society capable of playing historical parts. The national reformers, he says, have hidden their heads in fear and trepidation, lest they should suffer for the actions of the revolutionary party. Our Conservatives find no other weapons of combat than slander, falsehoods, and denunciations, and cherish the hope that something may remain out of the edifice of clay which they are raising. Our Liberals, taken by surprise, are blushing with confusion, and the whole activity of these sorry creatures consists isn plaintively begging for a constitution, and undertaking at the same time to be as obedient as before. The article concludes by referring to the programme of the party and the object it has in view,— the subversion of the present governmental and social order. This object, the writer asserts, the party will pursue, notwithstanding the reprisals of the government. As before, men ready to sacrifice their lives will be forthcoming, and our advice is “Victory or Death.”
“A free man is one who enjoys the use of his reason and his faculties; who is neither blinded by passion, not hindered or driven by oppression, not deceived by erroneous opinions.” — Proudhon.
The Red Cross Fund.
We give below another report of the progress made in collecting contributions for the aid of the Russian sufferers in Siberia. During the month to elapse before the next issue of Liberty subscriptions to the fund should pour in with redoubled velocity that the friends of Liberty in Europe may have substantial proof of American solidarity with them. Let all give who can!
Receipts to April 11, 1882.
Previously acknowledged, ... $60.25 John Murray, Hoosick Falls, N.Y, ... .50 Charles Schofield, Chelsea, Mass, ... .60 Nadejda, ... 5.00 Jules M., Chicago, ... 1.00 Benj. F. Cheney, Chicago, ... 1.60 T. Dwight Stow, Fall River, Mass, ... 3.00 Chicago Socialists, forwarded by Aug. Spies (partly the proceeds of a dramatic entertainment), ... 25.60 Ivan Panin, Cambridge, Mass., ... 2.00 J. W. Cooper, Cooper, Colorado, ... 1.00 James P. McLaughlin, Boston, ... .60 Florence Crowley, Boston, ... .80 W. W. Shaw, Boston, ... .60 Paine Memorial Lecture Society, Boston (a collection taken for the purpose). ... 24.03 Reuben Cooley, Jr., Georgia, Vermont, ... 1.00 Dr. Simeon Palmer, Boston, ... 3.00 “No Name,” Philadelphia, ... 1.00 Cash, Boston, ... 6.00 Nathan Block, Providence, R.I., ... .60 A. Strauss, Providence, R.I., ... .50 A Friend, Boston, ... .60 A Fool, Boston, ... .25
Total, ... $137.63
Remitted to Nicolas Tchaikovsky, London.
March 31, Draft for £10, costing ... $49.60 April 5, Draft for £10, costing ... 49.60 April 11, On hand, ... 38.63
The following are the names of the Providence people who gave the seven dollars acknowledged in our last issue:
Wm. Foster, Jr, ... $2.00 L. K. Joslin, ... 1.00 Louis Kranz, ... 1.00 C. Heimberger, ... 1.00 Dr. Wm. Barker, ... 1.00 Henry Appleton, ... 1.00
Appended are a few of the letters that have accompanied contributions:
From Cooper, Colorado.
Benj. R. Tucker:
Dear Sir,— I enclose one dollar for the Siberian exiles. I very much wish it were ten or a hundred times as much, but it is all that I feel myself able to spare at this time. I am on the shady side of fifty, and have always been in the frost ranks of the reformers. Consequently I have not been engaged to money making. Twenty-eight years ago I saw that traffic in land was equivalent to traffic in man. Sixteen years ago I saw that all external government was an invasion of individual rights; that government by the State, or collectivity, is based on the assumption that the individual is not capable of self government. At that time, and until I commenced reading Liberty, I was not aware of the fact that I had any sympathizers in these views. I had the misfortune (or was it the good fortune?) to be brought up on the frontier, and without any of the advantages of what goes by the name of education. There, most of the time since I came to man’s estate, I have been on the wing, in the Western wilds between the Missouri River and the Pacific Ocean. Consequently my reading and study have been more or less desultory. As a ” kid” of six or seven years I was a sceptic as to the religious notions taught me in “the little log schoolhouse,” and ever since then I have been a rebel to authority.
John W. Cooper.
Cooper, Summit Co., Colorado, March 28, 1882.
From Fall River, Mass.
Benj. R. Tucker:
Dear Friend,— I will try to do something for the very worchy cause. My great regret is that I cannot give hundreds of thousands. Poor Siberian exiles! poor Irish helots! how my heart goes out to them! may human hearts and human purses be opened unto them! I am glad you are delivering sledge-hammer blows at the infernal systems and governments of the day. I think the signs of a not very remote revolution are rapidly multiplying. The awakening of the people, the weight, the expense, and the menace to life and liberty of the standing armies, and their contingent in Europe, are in themselves forces sufficient to destroy the powers that be, ere long, by sapping the vitality of the producers. But thought travels unseen and swiftly, and when the soldiers, and the men who support them, think, bayonets, cannon, and missiles may be turned against thrones and oppressors! God speed the day! Of late my attention has been more than ever turned toward the absurdities of the State. A clergyman in this city has been delivering a series of sermons to young people. This evening he lectured on marriege. I wished to ask him how he reconciled his views of marriage, and his advice to young ladies to make marriage their objective, with his endorsement and support of the State, which confronts the to be, or the already married with laws and customs that menace their success and mar their happiness at every turn. It is no wonder that this State has sixty-five or seventy thousand more marriageable females than males, or that, east of a line drawn perpendicuiarly through the State of New York, from Lake Ontario to the State of Maryland, there are not far from five hundred thousand more females than males. What wonder that, with legislation for the rich and against the poor, men drown care in the flowing bowl, and become degraded and commit crime; or that sickly children are born, or that women prostitute themselves! And the religion of the day,— what is it but a conglomeration of hypocrisy, fraud, and grievous exaction, the sanctimonious pretence of arrant scoundrels? Pardon the expression, but I say, damn the State, damn the religion of the hour! Success to Liberty!
- Dwight Srow.
Fall River, Mass., March 26, 1882.
From Hoosick Falls, N. Y.
Benj. R. Tucker:
Comrade,— Enclosed find fifty cents to help the noble and brave defenders of true Liberty, who have sacrificed their all that the cringing, cowardly helots of to-day may enjoy Liberty to-morrow.
Hoosick Falls, N.Y., March 27, 1882.
The Priests Playing Trumps.
The no-rent resolve in Ireland, if measured by the increasing uneasiness of Gladstone, Forster, and the landlords, is a glorious card in the nineteenth century.
But Gladstone, Forster, and the landlords are not the only uneasy victims. A nest of designing priests must needs sit in Cincinnati, and, as a result of their dark counsels, issue a pastoral by which to offset the righteous light-spreading of the “Irish World,” as well as fasten their schemes of ecclesiastical plunder and fraud upon the necks of their dupes under the guise of morality.
Priests are the natural enemies of all protests against usury, fraud, and plunder. In fact, these cunning conspirators are nothing but landlords themselves in spirit and vocation, since they return even less for their usurious fees than do the landlords. In league with these rosy-faced spiritual rogues the Irish lawyers and other Irish tribute-takers are generally found. The whole craw are fellow-usurers in one boat.
As usual, it is the Irish workingmen who are doing the glorious work of “no-rent.” But, as success seems more and more distinctly promised, the priests redouble their effort to coax, bribe, and threaten them away from their noble task. They are consistent, and understand their game. But being forced to show their hands and play their trumps, certain it is that hundreds of their dupes are gradually opening their eyes, and quietly parting company with these infamous spiritual rack-renters.
What we mean
Our purpose is the abolition, not only of all existing States, but of the State itself. Is not this a straight-forward and well-defined purpose? There can be no mistaking it, and it admits of no equivocation. The least that our enemies can say of us is that we stand in the market-place of thought and action with a square protest and a square assertion.
And what is the State? It is not a thing that can be especially defined by Russia, Germany, Great Britain, or Massachusetts. The State is a principle, a philosophical error in social existence. The State is chaos, rioting under the guise of law, order, and morality. The State is a mob, posited on unscientific premises. We propose to supplant the mob by that true social order which is pivoted on the sovereignty of individualities associated for mutual well-being under the law of natural attraction and selection,— Liberty.
Under this formula we do not, in the best sense of the Word, discard government. On the contrary, it is government that we are after. The State is not government, since it denies Liberty. The State becomes impossible the moment you remove from it the element of compulsion. But it is exactly at this point that government begins. Where the State ceases government begins, and, conversely, where the State begins government ceases.
We often hear of a wise parent governing his children by love. Did anyone over hear of a monarch conducting a State by love? Did not the State originate in a distrust of love and natural selection as the true motors of government? Was not the very motive of the first rulers of peoples the abolition of government? Were they not designing conspirators, who saw that, under a system of natural association, there would be universal well-being and a just distribution of natural wealth and the rewards of labor? In order to enrich themselves and gratify their vanity and love of power at the expense of others, they took advantage of the superstitious element in man, and arected their thrones under cover of the divinity. Their purpose was to supplant government by force, and their machine they called the State.
Now, wherever force takes the place of natural selection and associative mutualism founded on consent, there a State is inaugurated. It may be in the church; it may be in the political State; it may be in the league, the club, the lyceum, the labor union, or the household. It is a State, in that it posits authority and supplements it by force, thus denying government and substituting despotism.
We assert that delegated authority assumed to be vested in any titled or elected person, not excepting God himself, is, in the very nature of the case, a lie, a fraud, and, moreover, a scientific impossibility, since the individual is the only source of authority, and, even if he would, could not alienate from his personality the control of himself by contract. Hence we regard all popes, kings, emperors, presidents, and persons in authority everywhere as impostors and usurpers, and the constitutions, “vested rights,” and other lying parchments under which they claim the right to rule as binding only on such as freely give their consent.
When we state as our purpose, then, the abolition of the State, the reader must not have in view a forcible raid upon the palace of some king, or a military expedition against some state house, parliament or arsenal, even though at some later day circumstances should give rise to such incidents in our warfare. What we mean by the abolition of the State is the abolition of a false philosophy, or, rather the overthrow of a gigantic fraud under which people consent to be coerced and restrained from minding their own business. The philosophy of Liberty can be applied everywhere, and he who successfully applies it in his family in the place of avenging Gods, arbitrary codes, threats, commands, and whips may easily have the satisfaction of abolishing at least one State. When we have substituted our philosophy in place of the old, then the palaces, cathedrals, and arsenals will naturally fall to pieces through neglect and the rust that is sure to corrupt tenantless and obsolete structures.
We should like to be able to better elucidate our philosophy in a larger and more frequently issued sheet. We do the best that we can in the little space at our command. Meanwhile, all the signs of times promise well, and we go on with our humble work rejoicing,— conquering and to conquer.
The Guiteau Experts.
In your No. 12 there was an article attempting to discredit expert testimony as a means of determining the sanity of a homicide claiming to have been insane, on general principles, and with reference to the Guiteau case in particular. Having been assured that the writer was serious, and not merely showing off (1), I have read and pondered the article not less than six times, and the more I study it, the more clearly I see the assumptions to be as groundless as the reasoning is fallacious.
Since the publication, the verdict has been rendered by a jury more intelligent apparently than juries average, and what has transpired irom them tends to show that they would have come to precisely the same conclusion without the expert testimony (2). The first misleading assumption is that all depends upon “the government experts,” when the truth is that the defence were as free to summon expert as the “people” were, and they did so call them, but failed to put some of them on the stand when it was found that they could not testify that they believed Guiteau insane at the time of the murder (3). The question is frantically asked: “Are we to hang a man on mere opinion’s simply because a certain number of superintendents of lunatic asylums believi him sane?” This is sheer assumption. We are to hang a man who deliberately kills his fellow man, if he is found guilty by a jury of his peers, after a fair trial, both the prisoner and the people having brought to the aid of the jury the judgments of those men who know what is known, much or little, of the manifestations which prove the mind to be so affected as to be unable to distinguish right from wrong or know the consequents of actions.
To reject expert testimony on the ground that experts do not or “cannot so communicate the grounds of their opinions as to enable other men to judge of their truth or error” would be absurd in regard to any question involving special training and long experience for its solution, but in a case confessedly the most difficult of all to decide the absurdity becomes gigantic (4). Would a jury of “ordinary men,” unsided by expert testimony, be likely to come to a just decision, if an insane man of little character had killed with great deliberation a popular and beloved public servant? Are we to hang a man in this country on the mere opinion of twelve ordinary men, who “never saw, handled, or examined a human mind, and can only guess at the causes of its mysterious and erratic operations?” (5) So long as murder is punished by hanging after conviction by a jury, assassins must be hanged either with or without expert testimony.
If I had had the misfortune to kill a man in a fit or insanity, I should much prefer to have my condition determined by experts rather than by men utterly ignorant of the insane manifestations of the human mind. If I were only playing insane, I should prefer, with Choate for my lawyer, to dispense with expert testimony, and I think most sane men looking coolly at it will agree with me (6).
I will not occupy your precious space with following up all the assumptions, because they are all of one family. Ex uno disce omnes. But I must examine the utterly unfounded assumption that Guiteau’s act has no explanation, and that “he had no rational prospect of gaining anything by Garfield’s death.” Murderers seldom have any reasonable prospect of gaining anything by the death of their victim, and if no one were to be punished for crime if it could be shown that his expectations of gain were not rational, very few criminals would ever be punished (7).
Guiteau is a man of inordinate vanity and ambition. When he was at Oneida, a traveling phrenologist examined his head and pronounced all his organs large and some very large. (This fact I have from one who was present.) This declaration seemed to aggravate his intolerable egotism and to stimulate his already unbalanced ambition. He considered himself a great lawyer, a theologian second to rone, a religions teacher to supplement Christ, and a politician deserving the presidency. He sought a very modest place for such a man, a foreign mission. It was refused, perhaps with scant courtesy, His vanity was wounded, and his is not the first case of wounded self-love leading to crime. He believed there was danger of the disruption of the Republican party, even of civil war. The “removal” of Garfield would save the country and party, would bring his friend Arthur into the chair, and himself prominently before the country. The service rendered would be so great that the party brought into power would protect him from the consequences of his act and reward him handsomely. His own words show this to have been his belief. His vanity and ambition both were to be gratified (8). These motives and expectations, though not reasonable, were reasoned (9), and show no more insanity than always exists when a man deliberately violates the rights of others in hopes to benefit himself.
So long as such men as Guiteau exist, it will not do to allow a man to kill with impunity because he is an eminently pious person and sincerely believes himself to have a mission from God to set things straight at whatever cost to others (10). My own belief is that the fairest way to decide the question of insanity in criminal cases would be by a court of experts with a presiding judge to be selected for their experience, ability, and character, and to be impartial,— not called by one side and the other. The prisoner might be allowed a certain number of peremptory challenges; the question of sanity to be determined before trial by Jury (11).
To sum up the Guiteau case, leaving out the expert testimony, Guiteau’s own evidence, amply corroborated shows that he knew what he was doing,— namely, violating the law; why he was doing it,— namely, to save his party and the country by “removing” Garfield and making Arthur president; and the consequences,— namely, that he would be arrested and tried for murder (12).
[(1) The article referred to appeared in our editorial columns. All of Liberty’s editorials are serious,— that is, except where sarcasm is evident, we mean what we say. “Basis,” as a subscriber, should know this. In insinuating that he needed, assurance to convince him of it, he did not realize that he was offering us an insult which he would afterwards regret.
(2) On the contrary, newspaper interviews reported some of the jurors as asserting that they were finally convinced of the prisoner’s sanity by the expert testimony put in by the prosecution.
(3) It is equally true that the prosecution failed to put upon the stand some of the experts which it had called when it was found that they could not testify that they believed Guiteau sane at the time of the murder.
(4) Absurd or not, it is loss dangerous than to make a human life dependent upon such ex cathedra utterances as are always purchasable in the expert market. Offer all the expert testimony you will, if it way be judged on its merits, but not a word that is not subject to question in the juror’s mind. No juror is justified in taking any man’s say-so in matters of opinion; he must require satisfactory explanation and demonstration of the same, or else disregard it entirely.
(5) Yes, if we are to hang him at all; provided always that it be understood with these twelve men that they are to give the prisoner the benefit of every reasonable doubt, not alone on the question of guilt, but on the question of sanity as well. For of these men it may at least be said that they are as exempt from the influence of corruption as precaution can make them.
(6) The editor of Liberty, on the other hand, would prefer, in any case, to entrust his destiny to the unanimous voice of twelve average mortals chosen by lot. But the matter is not one that can be settled by individual preferences.
(7) Of the violations of law that occur probably nine-tenths never come to public knowledge at all; of the remaining tenth only a certain proportion of the parties guilty of them are ever arrested; and of the latter fraction not all are convicted. If, then, the expectations of criminals are so often realized, how can “Basis” say that they are very seldom rational?
(8) It makes no difference whether his vanity and ambition were to be incidentally gratified or not. The weight of the evidence goes to show that Guiteau was actuated chiefly by patriotic motives and by a love of what seemed to him true and right. That he could frame and act upon so utterly irrational a theory as “Basis” outlines is the strongest proof of his insanity. “Basis” sustains our position better than we can ourselves.
(9) So are those of thousands of inmates of lunatic asylums. It is not claimed that Guiteau is an idiot.
(10) Certainly it will not. Prevent him, then, by all necessary means. But pray don’t cherish the groundless theory that hanging him will prevent other cranks from following Guiteau’s example. There are innumerable respects in which men with “missions” differ, but in one they all agree: they cannot be deterred from attempting to fulfil them by tear of personal injury or even of death.
(11) This is foreign to our argument. We were attacking the present system, not suggesting a new one. “Basis’s” proposition may be wise or unwise; we do not undertake to say.
(12) The question is not whether Guiteau knew all these things, but whether, viewed in connection with his past life, his estimate of the consequences of his act, as outlined by “Basis” in a previous paragraph, was not so altogether out of all reason as to establish the fact of his insanity and render him an unfit subject for the action of the criminal law. The affirmative answer to this question grows louder every day. The New York Graphic begins a recent leader with these words: “The majority of the people of the United States believe that Guiteau is a crazy man;” and at a late meeting of the New York Medico-Legal Society, held on the evening of March 1, all the physicians who spoke, including Doctors W. A. Hammond, George M. Beard, Ralph L. Parsons, E. C. Spitzka, Landon Gray, and others, agreed hat Guiteau is insane, and all but two agreed that he ought no to be hanged. “Basis” should read what these men have to say. Here are some samples:
Dr. Hammond. — On such a statement of facts [the statement embodied in the district attorney’s hypothetical question] and with a knowledge of the manner in which the prisoner conducted himself while being tried for his life, his abuse of his friends who were endeavoring to save him, his praise of judge and jury and opposing counsel at one time, and his fierce denunciation of them at another, his speech in his defence, his entire lack of appreciation of the circumstances surrounding him, his evident misapprehension of prominent persons in his behalf and of his eventual triumph, and the many other indications with which you are all familiar, especially his conduct after sentence was pronounced — I have no hesitation in asserting that Guiteau is the subject of reasoning mania, and hence a lunatic. There is not an asylum under the charge of any one of the medical experts for the prosecution that does not contain patients less insane than he.
Dr. Parsons. — It is said that these cases should be punished for the sake of example, but the sane are not influenced by such exapmles, and the few insane who might be cognizant of it would not be affected unless the punishment were brought directly to their knowledge. The motive leading to the evil act is incomprehensible to the patient himself. He cannot compare himself with others. But society should be protected. An adequate remedy is proposed - that a special verdict should be given in criminal trials of persons of unsound mind, stating the fact of insanity, and that such a person shall then be permanently confined in a proper house of detention for the insane. But it is not in accordance with my views of justice or public policy to punish the insane like sane criminals.
Dr. Spitzka. — I learned several thing in the Guiteau trial. I learned that a doctor who declines a summons can be forced by an attachment to leave his practice and travel 300 miles for and insufficient fee. I was also under the impression that an expert was a man of profound learning, but I have learned a simple recipe for making experts: Take a doctor whose practice has nothing to do with mental diseases; put him into the limited express for Washington with a lawyer who will coach him all the way; let him meet another lawyer there who will rehearse with him a series of questions and answers; and the expect can go upon the stand and swear there is no such thing as moral insanity. . . . . . I examined Guiteau carefully and found him full of delusions. He wanted a German mission, knowing nothing of the country or language, a French mission, with equal ignorance, and he was sure of success. His egoism and assurance are wonderful. When he mounts the scaffold, it will be in the firm belief and expectation that God Almighty will descend from heaven and cut the rope. . . . . . The most correct term for this case is the German one meaning original insanity. Guiteau was born as much o a lunatic as he is now, and there are the profound defects in his mental make-up of the group of lunatics to which he belongs. His family history is tainted. . . . . . This is a question not of retribution upon a disgusting and revolting wretch, but whether the example will frighten other lunatics. I say no. There have never been so many attempted assassinations of prominent men as in the few months immediately following the fatal 2nd of July. Three days after, McNamara tried to kill Mr. Blaine; three months afterward, a lunatic with a shot-gun attempted to shoot Governor Cornell; and not long ago a man armed with a “divine commission” and a revolver went to Washington to kill President Arthur. He was recognized as insane because he didn’t succeed. Guiteau did, and is therefore sane. This is a question also of national polity. We should have justice, and I ask if a republic cannot do what a monarchy did when Lord Erskine defended Hatfield.
Dr. Beard. — But what ought to be done with this man? His execution would be the greatest disgrace that ever befell this country, speaking from a scientific point of view. Even during his trial there were insane murderers who were not even tried, and others acquitted, with less evidence in their favor. Stickney in Colorado has just been acquitted on this ground, although there was no talk of insanity before, because he had friends and influence. But, as a principle, the hanging of Guiteau would be a return to the barbarism of the Middle Ages. At the time of the trial politicians got together in caucuses and swore he was sane. They knew, if they acknowledged he wasn’t sane, he would have to be acquitted. I was at one of these caucuses, and I know how the things were managed there, but I left it as soon as possible. We can only hang a crazy man by saying he is sane; so they swore his sanity straight through. All the evidence of hit insanity was beautifully marshalled in line, and then adduced to show that he was sane. The whole thing was analogous to the Salem witchcraft trials. There, also, the old dogma about knowing right from wrong prevailed. Insane murderers usually do know right from wrong, and it is because a murder is a terrible act that the insane man commits it. If we carry out the doctrine of condemning every man who knows right from wrong, there is no safety under the law. It will be like the hogcleaning machine in Chicago. The hog can’t stop after he once gets in until he emerges, scalded and cleaned, on the other side. So, if we start with the dogma of knowing right from wrong which Judge Cox announces, there is no stopping; trial must lead to conviction, and trial under such a dogma is conviction.
These man stand at the head of the medical profession. They are real experts in mental diseases, and express their views in language intelligible to the ordinary mind. But the prosecution excluded Dr. Beard from the stand by a technicality, and sought to make light of Dr. Spitzka’s testimony by sneering at him as a “horse-doctor.” We repeat, let “Basis” read these men. After he has done so, he may begin to realize that his is the singular view of this matter, and that Liberty, for once, is with the majority, unless, indeed, he should suspect that these men, too, are not “serious,” but “merely showing off.” — Editor Liberty.]
The Arbitrary Limitation of Money.
“If money were as plenty as the leaves of the forest, would anybody give anything for it?”
This question implies a false notion of the nature of money. Money is a representative of wealth; it is an agent. Therefore, there can be no good money that has not back of it some existing, tangible wealth. If two dollars’ worth of property is good security for one dollar of money, one-half of the property of the country can be represented by money, if necessary. But no such amount of money would ever be wanted.
The arbitrary limitation of money by Congress, or any other power, implies and necessitates a monopoly. So that A, B, and C, the business men of the country, will be compelled to borrow of X, Y, and Z, the money-lenders.
The amount of money in the country does not determine the rate per cent, which will be paid.
From 1865 to 1870 there was more money in circulation than now (1882), yet the rate per cent, was higher.
There are two things, under our present system, that determine the rate of interest,— namely, the ability of the producing clauses to pay, and the necessities of business men. Whereas, by right, it should be determined by the cost of isse, which would give no use-money,— that is, usury.
So long as money is limited, its purchasing power will be determined by its volume; and, while these conditions continue, money can never correctly measure values.
Money is, or should be, tickets for goods.
Why should these tickets be limited any more than railroad tickets?
Referred to the “Irish World.”
Rent is an immoral tax upon Labor. — Michael Daviti.
Rent constantly increases with the growth of society, and is most beautiful evedence of creative desing. — Henry George, “Irish World,” March 26, page 10, column 4, between extracts from Bishops Nulty’s letter.
Which is the true teacher?
The portraits of Laura Kendrick are now ready, as announced in our advertising columns. It was deiced to produce a fluer work than was at first contemplated, which accounts for the increase in price.
The Poets’ Land.
Zu dem Dichterlande. — Schiller.
There clustered in immortal groups are seen The sacred singers of each age and clime With temples laurelled with perennial green, The meed of nations for their lays sublime. And all are brothers, whatsoe’er the tongue Each may to poesy stern have wrought,— Whether their lyres in far.off foretimes rung Or voiced of eras just elspsed the thought.
From sightless Homer e’en to Shelley, all The impulse of a chainless spirit own, Save here and there some sensuous, recreant thrall Of low desire, who hymned a despot’s throne. Though sand he ‘neath Olympian heaven low In years which yield not a historic ray, The blind old Scian minstrel yet could know That slavery taketh half man’s worth away.
A paragraph appeared in our last issue reciting some of the facts connected with the recent outrageous sentence of the Italian Anarchist, Amilcare Cipriani, to twenty-five years’ impisonment. That paragraph proving to be erroenous in some important details, we give below a fuller and more accurate account, translated from a letter written from Rome to “L’Intransigeant” and signed “Egerius”:
You know the sad news. Our dear Cipriani is condemned to twenty-five years in the galleys. This is the way in which the Italian monarchy gets rid of its political enemies. These are the weapons it employs! Having failed to convict Cipriani of conspiracy against the internal safety of the State, they instituted this infamous prosecution, considering the matter six months before issuing the warrant. They undertook it without conclusive proofs, without honorable witnesses, without a single veracious deposition, so blinded were they by their hatred. It may be well for me to give you some details about the deed for which our friend has been condemned.
At Alexandria in Egypt, on Semptember 13, 1867, after midnight, Cipriani was forcibly attacked by a dozen rascals, who, I believe, wished to avenge themselves upon him for having caused their exclusion from a secret society which he had founded.
Cipriani received several wounds before he resolved to sell his life dearly.He ended by putting to flight his more or less damaged assailants, less one who lay dead on the spot. The next day he learned that the dead man was an Italian, and that several hundred yards away the bodies of two Arabian guards had been found.
By whom where these last killed? That is the mystery which the police endeavored tu surround with darkness. They could not have been killed by Cipriani, but more likely by his fleeing assailants whom these two Arabain policemen probably tried to arrest.
Cipriani did not trouble himself further about the affair, and continued to live, as before, in Alexandria. Suddenly, on September 29, 1867, he learned that the Arabian police were on his track to arrest him. He had been denounced as the murderer of the two guards.
He than made application to his consul, who would do nothing him because he was a deserter from the Italian army. Cipriani, in fact, after the affair of Aspromonte, abandoned the regular army to enter Garibaldi’s ranks.
Abandoned his consul, he was at the mercy of the Egyptian government, and consequently amenable to the terrible laws of Koran. Being a Christian into the bargain, he was sure of the gallows.
He started without further delay and went to London. Scarcely had left Egypt when he learned that his assassins, completing their infamous work, had accused him before the Italian consul of having voluntarily killed the Italian, Santini.
Upon this false and contradictory evidence Cipriani has been condemned. From these depositions, made fifteen years ago, it clearly appears, nevertheless, that, so far as the Italian was concerned, Cipriani but defended himself, and that he is absolutely innocent of the death of the Arabs.
Where are these accusers? The court declares that they have disappeared. Was it for Cipriani to find them? But as late as the twenty-second of February he learned through his counsel, not thourgh the court, that his case would be heard on the twenty-seventh of the same month. Five days to investigate a deed done in 1867 and in Egypt: not very long!
The trail lasted two days, during which Cipriani and his lawyers did not cause to denounce the infamous proceedings.
When the verdict was rendered, a general cry of indignation burst forth throughout the city. The jail where our courageous friend was confined was surrounded by a dense crowd of professors, students, and lawyers, each disputing with the others the privilege of being the first to shake his hand. In the street the democracy organized a demonstration in which I took part, and which burst forth like a hurricane when Cipriani appeared surrounded by policemen. The cries: Long live the innocent Cipriani! Long live Flourens’s aidde-camp! The Commune forever! Hail the Republic! went up on every hand.
Upon this inoffensive throng made indignant by so crying an injustice, the military charged. The whole Italian press protested. All the journals agreed in saying that it was the conspirator, the communist, the friend of Rochefort, at whod the blow was aimed.
Cipriani has appealed. I hope, for the honor of my country, that the iniquitous judgment will be reversed. If not, it will become the duty of the rest of us, Italian democrats, to take justice into our hands.
Already at Rimini, at Forli, they have established the candidacy of the glorious couvict of Ancona. If the odious sentence against which we protest with all our energy is sustained, the electors will take Cipriani from the galleys and send him to the Capitol!
Don’t keep Liberty to yourself, share it with others!
Leonard E. Read: Accent On The Right: To Frederic Bastiat (1801–1850), who sought for truth rather than outcome and never witnessed the fruits his labor bore. Obedience to conscience was his first rule; we witness the results.
Leonard E. Read: Anything That’s Peaceful: Many favor peace but not many favor the things that make for peace. — Thomas à Kempis
Leonard E. Read: Awake for Freedom’s Sake: Finally, share with others. Forget about “reforming” them! The more we share, the more we learn. This is in the interest of self and freedom!
Leonard E. Read: Castles in the Air: If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; there is where they should be. Now put foundations under them. — Henry David Thoreau
Libertarian Anarchy: Against the State: Political philosophy is dominated by a myth, the myth of the necessity of the state. The state is considered necessary for the provision of many things, but primarily for peace and security. In this provocative book, Gerard Casey argues that social order can be spontaneously generated, that such spontaneous order is the norm in human society and that deviations from the ordered norms can be dealt with without recourse to the coercive power of the state.
Major Conservative and Libertarian Thinkers: Murray Rothbard: Murray Rothbard (1926–1995) was an economist, historian, philosopher, and legal theoretician. His work was unified by a passionate and resolute commitment to a libertarianism that may be characterized as ‘anarcho-capitalism’ and which implied a belief that even the legal system may be provided privately without the need for a coercive collective authority. Hence, anarcho-capitalists envisage a society where the traditional role of government is wholly subsumed by private, profit-making enterprises and all social relationships are ultimately founded upon consent.