Liberty Vol. V. No. 2.
Not the Daughter but the Mother of Order
“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.
The fourth volume of Liberty ended with No. 104. Those desiring bound copies uniform with the preceding volumes can procure them of me at two dollars each, and should send in their orders at once.
It is but a few weeks since Dyer D. Lum expressed his indignation in this paper because I accused him of sometimes arraying himself in favor of authority. Since then he has given my charge fresh justification. In an article in the “Catholic World” for August he declares that to avoid Communism and State Socialism “but two methods remain,— either to return to the moralization of capital by just laws, associating duties with rights, or proceed Niagaraward by an indefinite extension of liberty, proclaim the gospel of selfish individualism and social anarchy.” By these words Mr. Lum plainly asserts that perfect liberty is a plunge over Niagara. If the editor of the “Catholic World” has put words in Mr. Lum’s mouth that he never uttered, Mr. Lum should promptly expose him. But if the words are really Mr. Lum’s, he merits much severer criticism than that of which he so recently complained.
In a speech before the New York Anti-Poverty Society on July 24 Dr. McGlynn quoted the advice of Jesus to the young man, “Sell all that thou hast and give to the poor,” and added: “Now, those who accept Jesus of Nazareth as their Lord and Master. . . can not dispute His word that tells us it is more perfect not to possess individual wealth, but to sell all that we have and give to the poor.” If this is the case, what becomes of the free competition and the wage-system in which George pretends to believe? What becomes of McGlynn’s talk only two weeks later, to the effect that he wanted no foreign Socialism, no Communism, but simply American individualism? Or, on the other hand, if the economic teaching of George and McGlynn is to be accepted, what becomes of Jesus’s advice, and what of George’s claim that the land-tax movement is a restoration of the Christian religion? Of two things one: either these men are possessed of no logical faculty, and so lend their rhetorical faculty to the presentation of the first thought that comes to their minds; or else they are sailing under false colors in order to win support from all classes. In either case it is unsafe to place any confidence in them as public teachers.
In the death of Katkoff, the Russian journalist who for years has been so zealous a champion of the Czar’s absolutist policy, finding it even too mild, the revolution of the nineteenth century loses one of its most notoriously bitter enemies. Every one who appreciates the importance of perfect social conditions must regard such men as Katkoff as obstacles to progress, and consequently cannot put on mourning when they die. Though I have never placed a high estimate on the character of Henri Rochefort’s Socialism (admiring only the brilliancy and vigor with which he has attacked its enemies), I scarcely expected that he would ever openly place his patriotism above it. But he has done so. When Katkoff died, Rochefort’s journal joined with the rest of the press of France in a most exaggerated tribute of praise, simply because Katkoff hated Germany and had warmly advocated a Russo-French alliance against that country. And when Kropotkine wrote him a letter of protest, reminding him that “for twenty-four years there had not been a single honest movement in Russia, not a single man or journal of the slightest liberality, of which Katkoff had not been a deadly enemy,” Rochefort printed but one or two short extracts, and in a leader declared that Frenchmen, even revolutionary Frenchmen, must see in Katkoff, not the pitiless foe of the revolution, but the enemy of Bismarck. The famous pamphleteer’s attitude in this matter suffers by contrast with that of one of his editorial staff, Benoit Malon, who blames Katkoff for the persecution of Tchernychewsky, and says, after summing up his evil career: “M. Katkoff was an inexorable reactionary; he was not one of us. Let the dead bury their dead.”
Land Occupancy and Its Conditions.
To the Editor of Liberty:
Your reply of July 16,1887, to my letter is not at all satisfactory to me. I cannot with my best endeavor harmonize your statement: “I am convinced, however, that the abolition of the money monopoly and the refusal of protection to all land titles except those of occupiers would. . . . reduce this evil to a very small fraction of its present proportions” (the italics are mine), with your opposition to all government. The natural inference of your statement is that men are in favor of protecting the occupier of land. Who give this protection? who is to wield this authority? As regards the application of authority, I can see a distinction in degree only, none in principle, between the tacit, unwritten agreement of an uncultured tribe to ostracise the thief and wrong-doer and the despotic government of a tyrannical autocrat. Without authority of some kind rights cannot exist. The right of undisturbed possession, called ownership, is invariably the result of an agreement, by which all others not only abstain from taking possession, but even give assistance, socially or physically, should anyone trespass this agreement. But just therein consists the authority which the strong exercise over the weak, or the many over the few. In my opinion there can be no objection to such agreements, or laws, when they are strictly based upon equity,— nay, they are the necessary basis of order and civilization; they are, in fact, my ideal of a government. Only when they favor one class at the expense of another, when they are inequitable, can they become the instrument of oppression, and some men will find it to their supposed advantage to support such laws by fair or unfair means, most frequently by making use of the ignorance and superstition of the masses, who are known to fly to arms and shed their blood even for the most tyrannical dictator.
I understand you to favor the ownership of land based upon occupancy. You believe that under absolute individual freedom all men will abstain from disturbing the occupier of land in his possession. To this view I take exception. The choice spots will be coveted by others, and it is not human nature to relinquish any advantage without a sufficient cause. If you say, the occupiers of these choice spots should be left undisturbed possessors without paying an equivalent for the special advantage they enjoy, you will find many of contrary, opinion who must be coerced to this agreement. Egoism, when coupled with the knowledge that iniquity must inevitably lead to revolution, will accept as a most equitable condition that in which the recipient of the necessary protection pays to the protector the value of the right of undisturbed possession; in which he returns to those who agree to abandon to him a special natural or local advantage its full value — i. e., the unearned increment — as a compensation for the giant of the right of ownership.
The defence or occupying ownership of land seems to me at a par with the frequent retort to money reformers that everybody has an equal right to become a banker or a capitalist. An equitable relation will be prevented by the natural limitation of land in one, by the artificial limitation of the medium of exchange in the other case. You may perhaps have reason to object to applying the rent, after it has been collected, in the manner suggested by Henry George, but I fail to see how you can reasonably oppose the collection of rent for the purpose of an equitable distribution.
[Egoist’s acquaintance with Liberty is of comparatively recent date, but it is hard to understand how he could have failed to find out from it that in opposing all government it so defines the word as to exclude the very thing which Egoist considers ideal government. It has been stated in these columns I know not how many times that government, Archism, invasion, are used here as equivalent terms; that whoever invades, individual or State, governs and is an Archist; and that whoever defends against invasion, individual or voluntary association, opposes government and is an Anarchist. Now, a voluntary association doing equity would not be an invader, but a defender against invasion, and might include in its defensive operations the protection of the occupiers of land. With this explanation, does Egoist perceive any lack of harmony in my statements? Assuming, then, protection by such a method, occupiers would be secure, no matter how covetous others might be. But now the question recurs: What is equity in the matter of land occupancy? I admit at once that the enjoyment by individuals of increment which they do not earn is not equity. On the other hand, I insist then the confiscation of such increment by the State (not a voluntary association) and its expenditure for public purposes, while it might be a little nearer equity practically in that the benefits would be enjoyed (after a fashion) by a larger number of persons, would be exactly as far from it theoretically, inasmuch as the increment no more belongs equally to the public at large than to the individual land-holder, and would still be a long way from it even practically, for the minority, not being allowed to spend its share of the increment in its own way, would be just as truly robbed as if not allowed co spend it at all. A voluntary association in which the land-holders should consent to contribute the increment to the association’s treasury, and in which all the members should agree to settle the method of its disposition by ballot, would be equitable enough, but would be a short-sighted, wasteful, and useless complication. A system of occupying ownership, however, accompanied by no legal power to collect rent, but coupled with the abolition of the State-guaranteed monopoly of money, thus making capital readily available, would distribute the increment naturally and quietly among its rightful owners. If it should not work perfect equity, it would at least effect a sufficiently close approximation to it, and without trespassing at all upon the individualities of any. Spots are “choice” now very largely because of monopoly, and those which, under a system of free land and free money, should still remain choice for other reasons would shed their benefits upon all, just in the same way that choice countries, under free trade, will, as Henry George shows, make other countries more prosperous. When people see that such would be the result of this system, it is hardly likely that many of them will have to be coerced into agreeing to it. I see no point to Egoist’s analogy in the first sentence of his last paragraph, unless he means to deny the right of the individual to become a banker. A more pertinent analogy would be a comparison of the George scheme for the confiscation of rent with a system of individual banking of which the State should confiscate the profits. — Editor Liberty.]
The Science of Society. By Stephen Pearl Andrews.
Cost the Limit of Price: A Scientific Measure of Honesty in Trade As One of the Fundamental Principles in the Solution of the Social Problem.
Continued from No. 105.
160. It is now calamitous for any person to be thrown out of his particular occupation for several reasons, all of which either relate directly to the operations of the Value Principle, or indirectly to it, through the general want of the Adaptation of Supply to Demand, which is occasioned by it.
161. The principal of these are: I. Because when one avenue to industry is closed another is not opened; as would be the case if supply and demand were accurately adjusted; and hence apparently there is not enough labor for all. In the existing order, or rather disorder of commerce, there is what is called over-production. More of a given article seems to be produced than is wanted, which is shown by the fact that it cannot be disposed of in the market at any price. With all the irregularities of existing commerce this seldom happens. The evil does not generally go beyond the reduction of price. When it does, it is because there is now no provisory means of adjusting supply and demand. The producer cannot know beforehand, for example, precisely how many persons are engaged in rearing the particular kind of fruit which he cultivates, what number of trees they have, the amount of fruit annually consumed in the city where they find their market, etc. But although the workings of the law of supply and demand are not pointed out to him beforehand, the law is sure to work nevertheless. It is inflexible as the law of the Medes and Persians. It will punish the error, although it did not prevent it. The over-supply may happen one year, but it will not happen the second and the third years. The persons employed in that kind of production will find their way into other pursuits. In a country which should prohibit all change of pursuits, that remedy would not exist. The evil would have to go on, or be remedied by the starvation of the producer of the given article. In America, where the avenues to every pursuit are more open than elsewhere, the remedy is more speedy than elsewhere. Under the reign of Equity, the evil would not exist, because there would be a provisory adjustment of the supply to the demand, and, if it did occur, the remedy would be immediate, because All avenues to All pursuits would be open to ALL by means of that adjustment, and the general preparedness of all to change rapidly their pursuits, together with the general prevalence of cooperation. (163.)
Still there is, in the nature of things, and apart from the workings of any particular system, a limit to the demand for every article. When that demand is supplied, must not the demand for labor cease? Certainly, for the production of more of that particular article. We have seen, however, that that labor will go into different avenues,— that is, into the production of other articles. If the question is, whether all the wants of all mankind will not be so completely supplied that there will be no occasion for further labor, the answer is three-fold. First, so soon as the labor ceased, consumption would reproduce the wants and the demand. Secondly, if this were partially so, it would only give additional leisure for mental improvement and other means of enjoyment to all mankind by emancipating them so far from the necessity of labor. Thirdly, the wants of human beings are infinite. As the lower wants are supplied higher wants are developed. As soon as men and women have ordinary food, clothing, and shelter, they demand luxuries, and these of a higher and still higher class. The gratification of every taste creates a new demand. It is impossible, therefore, that the demand for human labor, and for all the labor which can be given, should ever cease. Hence there is no such thing possible as a real overstocking of the world with labor, or the products of labor. There is no such thing possible as a real dearth of labor to be performed. With all the avenues continually open, there will then always be a demand for all the labor that any body is ready to perform, even down to the inferior and lowest grades of skill. It will be still more clearly shown, in treating of the remaining results of the Cost Principle, how, under the true system, the avenues to every pursuit will be open to every individual at all times without artificial obstacles, and how there will be at all times labor enough for all. (213.)
162. 2. Because, when avenues are open to new pursuits, men and women are not now prepared to avail themselves of them. This unpreparedness results from their wretchedly cramped and insufficient industrial education. This results again from speculation. Men now strive, on all hands, to monopolize those occupations which are most profitable, and hence to exclude others from acquiring the necessary knowledge to enable them to enter them. Hence there results from the value or profit-making principle a general embargo on knowledge, and the reduction of all classes to narrowness of information and general ignorance. Information in any trade or pursuit is made a means of speculation. Hence the barbarous system of 7 years’ apprenticeship, and other similar absurdities. Hence, when men and women are thrown out of any particular occupation to which they have been bred and molded, they are fitted for nothing but pauperism. Under the operation of the Cost Principle all this will be reversed. Every member of the community will be a MAN or a WOMAN, competent to do various things,— not a mere appendage to a trade, carrying from the cradle to the grave the badge of servitude in the degrading appellation of tailor, weaver, shoemaker, joiner, and the like. Now, shops are fenced in, locked and bolted, to keep out intruders and shut up the information contained in them. Trades are hedged in by the absurd and barbarous system based on Value. Men who have knowledge of any kind hoard it. They look, unnaturally, upon those who would learn of them as if they were enemies. As the result, the avenues to different occupations are everywhere obstructed by artificial obstacles. Then information of all sorts will be freely given to all. Suggestions will be made on all hands, aiding every one to enter that career in which he can most benefit, not himself only, but the whole public. In a word, all the avenues to every occupation will be thrown completely open to all, and all knowledge be freely furnished to all at the mere cost of the labor of communicating it, measured, like any labor, by its repugnance only.
163. VII. — The Value Principle renders the invention of new machinery a widespread calamity, instead of a universal blessing. The hostility so generally felt by laboring men to new inventions is not without reason. It is certainly true that machinery is a great benefit to mankind at large, and that in the aggregate and in the long run it improves the condition even of laboring men as a class. But it is equally true, on the other hand, that every invention of a labor-saving process is, under the present arrangements of society, an immediate individual misfortune, and frequently nothing less than ruin and starvation to a large number of individuals of that class. This result comes from the causes stated above, stated above, which render it impossible for the laborer to pass rapidly and harmoniously from one occupation to another, and from the monopoly of the immediate benefits of the saving secured by the machine, by capital, and all these again from profit-making or the operation of the Value Principle. It is the same with competition and machinery. Competition, even in the present order of things, is productive of far more good than evil, looking to the aggregate and the long run, while it is ruinous and destructive immediately and individually. Under the new order both will become purely harmonic and beneficent. (208, 243.)
164. This catalog of the deleterious results of the false principle of trade might and should be extended, and the details expanded beyond what the limits of this work will allow. The reader will add, for himself, the monopolizing of natural wealth, the perversion of skill to the shamming or adulteration of every species of commodity, the waste of time and exertion in detecting and defeating frauds and cheats, the general want of economy in the production of wealth, the cost of convicting and punishing criminals, constructing poor-houses and prisons, etc., etc., ad infinitum.
It must suffice here to affirm that out of these several consequences of the operation of the Value Principle results that complicated systems of injustice, discord, distrust, and repulsion which harmony, and which characterizes, in the most eminent degree, in the midst of their success, the most commercial and prosperous nations. The comparison of the present is not to be instituted, however, mainly, with any condition of society prior to the commercial age, since different manifestations of the want of equity have characterized them also. The exhibition of relations of truth in human intercourse could not precede the discovery of the principles according to which such relations must be adjusted.
165. The operation of the Cost Principle reverses every one of the consequences which I have pointed out or intimated as the legitimate fruits of the principle which now governs the property relations of mankind. In the next chapter we shall return to the consideration of the results of the true principle.
Chapter V. Mental Labor Raises in Price.
166. The next result of the Cost Principle is one which is not less diverse from the operation of existing commerce or society, although its essential justice may to many minds be more obvious,— namely, that according to it the more ordinary and menial kinds of labor will be usually paid best. This result follows from the fact that all pursuits are paid according to their repugnance, and there is less in the inferior grades of labor to commend them to the taste and render them attractive. This result is qualified by the statement that such labor is usually paid best, because it is not always so. Severe mental labor may be more toilsome, painful, and repugnant than any corporeal labor whatever, and consequently cost more. This point will be more fully stated hereafter, in referring to the tax of different occupations upon different faculties. Besides, very little judgment can be formed from the present ideas upon the subject as to what kinds of labor will be regarded, under the operation of true principles. As inferior to, or more menial than others.
167. It is certain that every species of industry will be relatively very much elevated by the mere fact of being appropriately rewarded, and still more so by the consequent prevalence of more rational notions in relation to the dignity of labor. The principle here asserted merely amounts to this,— that whatever kinds of labor actually have in them the greatest amount of drudgery, from any cause, even from the whims and prejudices of society against them, and which are therefore more repugnant, will be best paid. The contrary is true now. Such labors are the most scantily paid. Consequently the more work or burden there is in any occupation, the less pay. There is such an obvious want of equity in this that the mere statement of the fact condemns it. Yet the common associations and habits of thought are so completely overturned by the idea of boot-blacking, street-cleaning, washing, scrubbing, etc., being paid higher prices than painting, sculpture, forensic oratory, and the largest commercial transactions, as they might, and probably would be, under the application of repugnance or cost as the measure of price, that the mind hesitates to admit the conclusion that such is the dictate of simple Equity. The principle of Equity is, nevertheless, clear and self-evident; and while the principle is admitted, the conclusion is inevitable.
168. The first resort of an illogical and determined opposition to this conclusion is to fly off from the principle to the consequences of the conclusion upon the condition and interests of society. These, as they address themselves to the mind of a superficial observer are repugnant, and even disastrous to the general good. A closer inspection, however, and especially a more comprehensive conception of all the changed conditions of society which will grow out of the operation of the Cost Principle, will reverse that opinion, and furnish an illustration of the fact that a true principle may always be trusted to work out true and harmonious results. The objections deduced from these supposed consequences require, however, to be noticed.
169. These objections are chiefly the following: It is objected, in the first place, that the effect of this system of remuneration would be to banish refinement, by placing those persons having less elevated tastes in the possession of the greater wealth, and those having more elevated tastes in the possession of less.
This is substantially the same objection which is urged by aristocracies generally against educating and improving the condition of the common people. It makes the assumption that the whole people are not susceptible of refinement, which is assuming too much. The objection draws its force chiefly from the existing state of society, the prevailing great inequalities in the distribution of wealth, and the general degrading of the masses consequent thereon. The result of the operation of the Cost Principle, or of the reign of Equity, will be an immense augmentation of the aggregate of wealth, and a far greater approach to equality in its distribution. It will be, in fact, the abolition of poverty, and the installation of general abundance and security of conditions. The particular modes in which these results will be attained will be referred to under other heads.
170. Consequently, in the state of society growing legitimately out of the operation of Equity, refinement, so far as that depends on the possession of wealth, will be, so to speak, the inheritance of all, and any objection, to be valid, should be taken within the circle of the new principles — not drawn from a system of society quite alien to them.
171. Various calculations, and some actual experiments, go to establish the position that, if the laborer enjoyed the full results of his own labor in immediate products or equivalents of cost, two hours of labor a day would be ample to supply the ordinary wants of the individual,— that is, to bring his condition up to the average standard of comfort,— even without the benefits of labor-saving machinery or the economies of the large scale. With those extraordinary benefits the time necessary for such a result will be very much reduced; if it would not seem extravagant, I should say to one half hour’s labor a day,— such being the nearest result at which calculation can arrive from such data as can now be obtained. The remaining time of the Individual would then be at his disposition for providing a higher grade of luxury, for mental improvement and amusement, and for laying up accumulations of wealth as a provision for sickness, old age, the indulgence of benevolence, taste, etc. Of course all calculations of this sort must be merely approximate. The terms used are too indefinite to render them more than that, even if the degree of saving, by a true arrangement of the production and distribution of wealth, could be rendered definite, comfort, luxury, etc., being always, in a great measure, relative to the individual. The estimate here stated, however, is the result of extensive investigations, made by different individuals, and in different countries, and of considerable actual experiment, the particulars of which will be stated elsewhere, and, as an approximation, it is believed that it is not very far from correct. The reason why this two hours of labor is now augmented to ten, twelve, fourteen, and even sixteen hours for those who labor, and even then without resulting in ordinary comfort, is of the same kind as those which have already been stated why others cannot procure labor at all and such as have been shown to be the legitimate results of the Value Principle. It is, in one word, because the state of society begotten of that principle is, as has been affirmed, a state of latent but universal war, and because all war is an exhausting drain upon peaceful industry. The men and women who work have now to support, ordinarily, now one individual each, but many, including the wealthy and speculating classes, the paupers, those who are thrown temporarily out of labor, the armies and navies, the officials, and, worse than all, those whose labor is now misapplied and wasted through the general antagonism and conflict of interests. Let any thinking person take passage, for example, upon a steamboat, and find himself plied by a dozen or twenty newsboys, each urging him to the purchase of the same newspapers; let him reflect that all the passengers present might have been as well served by one boy, and that this waste of human exertion is merely one sample out of thousands of a general or pervading system of the bestowal of labor to no useful purpose.
Ireland! By Georges Sauton.
Translated from the French for Liberty by Sarah E. Holmes.
Continued from No. 105.
Languishing melodies, just whispered, took wing in the darkness; they were interrupted by interludes at the end of a phrase; and if some sentinel, some spy, had fixed his ear to the door of the dungeon, the sadness of a sigh, the despair of a sob, would have been heard in the interval of silence.
Treor, in truth, who had been among the first to fall, fainting, on the battlefield, among the dead and dying, under the avalanche of blows from the blind soldiery, not seriously wounded, but suffering from a considerable loss of blood, was ignorant of Marian’s fate.
Vainly had he questioned on the subject the soldiers who daily brought him his piece of bread and refilled his pitcher of water: none took sufficient pity on his misery to deign to open their teeth; and thinking that, if the dear child had escaped the hecatomb, she would be roaming in the vicinity of Cumslen Park to endeavor to communicate with him, for several nights, at the hour when all noise was hushed, when the steps of the benumbed sentinels resounded no more on the ground hardened by the cold, he had been calling the name of his granddaughter, but without evoking any other response than that of the echo.
So, when one of his guards, appearing at last to become more human, believed he might assure him, without more details, that Marian lived, it occurred to him at once that with his violin a call could doubtless be made to reach her, who evidently was not wandering about in the darkness. He would play in full daylight, and not only would she learn in that way of his existence, of which she perhaps despaired, but he could talk with her, so much like speech were the phrases on the magic instrument modulated.
But what a mad dream for a prisoner to aspire to the possession of this violin to charm his captivity, from which they would probably take him, some morning not far off, to lead him through the mist to the foot of a scaffold, where they would hoist him without other form of trial.
But suddenly one of the soldiers, a rough fellow, who watched over him after the fashion of a hairy bear, was replaced by a recruit, a conscript, very delicate and well-bred, who showed a filial attention to the old man, and declared himself chosen by Lady Ellen to alleviate the confinement of the Irishman.
The Duchess, according to him, was not so black as Treor believed her. She shared the hatred of her race for the conquered, but only so far as they revolted, lifted their heads again, and showed themselves dangerous. She considered it cowardice, monstrosity, to strike them to the earth; she was violently angry with Sir Bradwell on account of his rage for cruelty on the battle-field, and this was the motive which now made her compassionate.
She certainly would not open the doors of the jail, but she thought it odious to accumulate torments there, to make the old man suffer from hunger, from the ennui radiating from the walls, from the spleen oozing from these tombs.
Hunger mattered little to the old man; his piece of bread sufficed to sustain him; he refused every addition, however modest, to his repast; he had braved the ennui: the spleen did not come to him from the walls, from the darkness, from the rising dampness, but from the lack of news of his brothers in arms, of his granddaughter. Was she dead, a prisoner? Were the others conquered? Was the revolution subdued? Ah! it was nearly all up with the insurrection, alas! but after the defeat and the dispersion of the French fleet, he foresaw it. There remained the question of Marian; as to that, the soldier possessed no information.
He professed to make inquiries, but could get no information anywhere, even among the few peasants who had escaped the carnage; and when the bolts were drawn, the old man wept all the bitter tears of his heart. It was certain that only his violin could procure for him any information about his granddaughter, and he did not deem it beneath his dignity as a conquered man to solicit of his jailers the favor of obtaining the instrument.
At first the Duchess made an ostensible opposition to this request so contrary to the rules, and for which every one would censure her; then she changed her mind and gave the required authorization, planning her course if the Duke, then absent, should be angry on his return. But how could the violin, now that they thought of it, be recovered from the ashes of Treor’s house, in ashes itself, an impalpable powder which the wind must have scattered to all points of the compass?
By a miracle, which often occurs in the most frightful fires, William Bloch, the soldier who so pitied the sorrows of the old man, found it, however, under the rubbish in its scorched box, touched only in places by the flames. An intelligent and providential fall of joists and plaster-work, forming a sufficient excavation, had preserved it from ruin and disaster. And as soon as it was given to him, without an instant’s delay, the distracted grandfather, with a bow on which was stretched his soul, made the vessel of wood which he humanized give forth his wail, his mortal anxiety, and his prayer to Marian to inform the prisoner if she, his adored darling, still lived.
Then, suddenly, he stopped, full of dread, wishing to break the violin, even grasping the bow in his knotty fingers, as if to break it in pieces as his accomplice in a fatal imprudence to which Marian, thus summoned, betraying her presence in the vicinity, might fall a victim.
Evidently, if she still lived and was concealing herself, it was from Sir Bradwell, from her dreadful lover who was capable of the most revolting brutalities But William again reassured him: he confided to him what was generally whispered about,— that Sir Richard, recaptured by the Duchess, did not trouble himself any more about the young girl, and that Lady Ellen would not let him be preoccupied.
So Treor kept up his diurnal and nocturnal appeals; but with no response save the north wind, the dogs who howled lugubriously at this music which enervated them, some fox in the far-away woods, the birds frightened away from the towers, the sad cooing of the turtle-doves, or the sullen and cross command of a sentinel to be silent, brought to him with an oath by some swearing soldier. For a time he would be silent; then he would begin again, deadening the tones of the violin; but in this way Marian, if she were at some distance, would not hear, just as he would not hear her if she addressed to him only encouraging words made faint by space.
Then the idea came to him of the hasheesh which developed the senses, and, to sharpen his hearing, he contemplated procuring some, but immediately renounced this unpleasant project, dreading, if he succumbed to the temptation, the consequences, the allurements, the abuse, the annihilation of his energy, the destruction of his courage to endure captivity, the substitution of cowardice therefor, and the lasting stain of compromises with the conquerors.
He positively would not pursue this thought which in its results might become so detestable; but, on the other hand, his desire to communicate with Marian alone was so intense, and this would furnish him a means so efficacious, that a struggle ensued within him, and he at last yielded.
The soldier procured him the hasheesh, which he smoked at first with moderation, without any pleasure, with the sole aim of attaining the desired acuteness of perception; then he used it more largely, lavishly, to the point of mental ecstasies and disturbances, to the point of fits of frenzy in which he raved in his cell like a madman, hurling himself against the walls, which he pretended to overthrow, and falling back again, bruised and bleeding, on the straw, with an empty head and flaccid limbs: awaking at the end of twenty-four hours in a gloomy torpor, he relighted his pipe in a stupefied way and smoked himself into a new intoxication, incapable now of resisting the abominable inclination.
Aware of these crises, expected and provoked by her, the Duchess rejoiced over them, counting, for her designs, on the inert and unconscious cooperation of Treor; and this morning, when, a temptress in her spring toilet, she presented herself to the astonished vision of Sir Newington, ashamed of his night’s orgies, she heard with delight the sound of the violin, wishing that the Duke would listen with her to the odd inflections, the strange chant, such as angels or demons by turns, according to its languishing expression, might have uttered in their supernatural spheres.
Newington absolutely detested this caterwauling; but since the incoherent noise pleased Lady Ellen, he tolerated it, especially as this daily absorption of the poison would certainly stupefy the old man, and lead him in the future, if he survived, to preach to the conquered definitive submission to the conquerors.
“Ah! truly, the Duke does not like this music; but it is delightful,” said the Duchess, calmly, without fear of displeasing her lord and master, and without laughing; “and I could have begged”. . .
“With the thousand noises of the going and coming of horses stamping on the pavement and the orders to the soldiers in the neighborhood, at such a distance this music, at times so abominable, but which occasionally takes on softer modulations, escapes me, and I could have begged you to summon the player hither.”
And as Newington looked at her, astonished at this whim, and did not at once assent, reflecting that this intruder would arrive inopportunely in the midst of their tete-a-tete, Lady Ellen declared that she gave up her wish, but with a pout of her red lips which poorly concealed her vexation.
“Pardon me,” said the Duke, gallantly, explaining his egoistic and amorous hesitation, and he rang for a domestic to lead the prisoner in.
Clapping her soft and charming hands, the Duchess rewarded him by extending her wrist for him to kiss, praising his gallantry, thanking him profusely, like a child whose whim has been granted.
“Let them treat the person gently,” ordered Newington, “and not irritate him, if he rebels at my orders!”
“Oh!” said Ellen, “he cannot have much will.”
“But the susceptibilities of intoxication thus disturbed!”
“It is possible.”
Simulating a sudden terror, she asked: “In that case there is, perhaps, some danger in his coming?”
“Fear nothing on my account.”
“But it is on your account no less than on my own that I am uneasy.”
Her alarm appeared really sincere and for the affectionate reason which she pleaded, assuming admirably sentiments far from her own and giving Sir Newington looks filled with conjugal solicitude, and almost with love, which transported him.
“No! no!” she repeated, “countermand the order; I refuse to have the old man taken from his casemate today or ever.”
Newington did not consent to this countermand.
“A septuagenarian, debilitated and disarmed!” said he; “you do me little honor if you think that I fear him.”
“Disarmed! You forget,” she continued, “that a weapon is easily concealed in the clothes,” and, as the Duke shook his head doubtingly, she added: “Look here! even I have a dagger in my sleeve; why should not the “old man have one too?”
She pulled out the weapon, and, unsheathing it, brandished it before her husband’s chest, feigning an exaggerated attitude of threat.
“Admirable!” exclaimed the Duke, in admiration of her beauty. She ceased her simulation of murder, being on the watch for Trevor’s arrival; and Newington, to reassure her completely and not prevail against her judgment by a boldness which he did not exhibit in this case, told her that, with these devils of Irishmen, distrust was the mother of safety, and that as a precaution against traps and treacherous blows, he wore a coat of mail.
“Ah!” she exclaimed, almost as if disappointed, irritated, and inclined to think that the Duke was guilty in this precaution of a cowardice and the treason against which he had forewarned himself.
To be continued.
“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.
Education at the Land and Labor Club.
The manifest determination of Henry George to avoid discussion with all who make other than absurd objections to his land theory descends from master to disciples, of which fact striking evidence has lately been seen in this city. For several months Boston has had a Land and Labor Club, consisting of the followers of Henry George and those who fancy them selves such. It has been so energetic in its propagandism as to receive the stamp of warm approval from the “Standard.” Every Friday night it holds a meeting, to which the public are invited. A placard is displayed at the door, asking the passer-by to come in. Early in the Club’s career it was given out in the columns of the newspapers that the purpose of the weekly meeting was educational and that discussion of the George theory would be in order.
As time went on, however, increasing complaints were heard that any disposition to advance arguments against the taxation of land values was met in no spirit of hospitality, and so it happened that on the night of Friday, August 12, Comrade Yarros, Comrade A. H. Simpson (who has lately changed his residence; from Chicago to Boston), and myself paid our first visit to the Club to see if the complaints were well-founded. Our first impression was that they were not, for, after the despatch of the usual preliminary business, a member moved, in answer to the president’s call for an address, that Mr. Yarros be asked to speak to the Club for fifteen minutes, and the motion was carried.
But Mr. Yarros had scarcely faced the audience when the first symptom of caution was manifested. A member rose and nervously remarked that he supposed Mr. Yarros understood that the George land theory was the only subject for discussion, and that all speeches must be affirmative or negative thereof. There was every indication of an immediate hubbub over this point, but Mr. Yarros headed it off, and relieved the anxious member, by announcing that he intended to speak solely upon the George theory and in opposition to it. Then, in a perfectly cool and dispassionate manner, he proceeded to develop some of the unanswerable objections to the land tax which he and others have repeatedly urged in Liberty. When his time expired, he had made a very effective speech.
The first response came from an apparently fair-minded gentleman, who failed, nevertheless, to further the discussion, inasmuch as he contented himself with simply reasserting the George doctrine, in blissful ignorance of the breach that had just been made in it. His remarks, however, breathed a spirit of toleration. He was followed by Mr. Simpson, who triad to keep the debate from becoming desultory by pointing out the spots where Mr. Yarros’s arguments had taken effect and the necessity of repairing the damage. He then fired a shot or two himself, and sat down.
It was at this point, I think, that a young Russian took the floor and was immediately pounced upon with an inquiry as to which side he intended to espouse. As it was not a debate in which the sides were heard alternately, and as he was not fully convinced of the truth of either side, he objected to declaring himself in advance. Then the fun began. Up jumped an excited member in the body of the hall to declare his sense of outrage that outsiders should thus come in to disturb and break up the meeting, and his desire to hear Georgism and nothing but Georgism. Others echoed his sentiments, several talking at once, and finally the president ruled that a vote must be taken to decide whether the speaker should declare himself. The majority voted that he must. After a moment’s hesitation the young man persisted in his refusal and took his seat. Thus it appeared that at an educational meeting of the Land and Labor Club a man still in doubt, who wishes to give voice to the difficulties that he sees in both directions in order that he may get them satisfactorily explained, must keep his mouth shut,— a method of education which savors unpleasantly of the Catholic Church. This feature of the meeting became the more amusing when it transpired after adjournment that he intended to throw the weight of his remarks in favor of the George theory.
A gentleman of more decided views then mounted the rostrum, but, being a foreigner with a very imperfect knowledge of English, he could not make himself understood. If I mistake not, he attacked the George position from the standpoint of State Socialism. I think I recognize in him a man of considerable mental power, and as a friend I counsel him to acquire a more perfect mastery of the English tongue before attempting to make speeches in it.
No such difficulty as this was encountered by his successor, a Mr. Spillane. He suffered from quite the opposite trouble. In his case there was a lamentable deficiency of mentality, accompanied by an astonishing overplus of animality. He succeeded in convincing his hearers of but one thing,— that physically and vocally he is a very active and powerful man. His speech, though not in the least argumentative, was vociferous and gesticulatory to an impressive degree. In tones that made the rafters ring and with a defiant attitude well calculated to carry terror to the heart of every craven Anarchistic Saracen who witnessed it, he proclaimed his readiness to “defend the new crusade against all comers.” Mr. Spillane needs only to cultivate his mind. When he has done that, he will be the most proficient pedagogue (and demagogue) in the whole Land and Labor educational outfit.
Mr. White, the lawyer of the Club, then addressed the audience. I do not remember his speech well enough to characterize or criticise it, but feel perfectly safe in saying that it was a vast improvement in everything but voice and gesture over Mr. Spillane’s effort. Still Mr. White did not satisfy the president, Mr. Garbutt, that he had permanently rescued the George theory from danger. So Mr. Garbutt transferred the presiding function to Mr. Biggs and took the floor himself.
At this point Mr. Yarros rose to ask if he should be allowed to close the discussion,— a right granted by custom and courtesy in nearly all such cases. Mr. Biggs replied that he was only temporarily in the chair and could not answer definitely, but that Mr. Garbutt would inform him on resuming the chair.
Decidedly the ablest defence of land taxation made that evening was then presented by Mr. Garbutt. It was a fair, manly, and courteous statement, offering tangible arguments with which opponents could grapple. One of them seemed so direct an answer to a paragraph which lately appeared in Liberty that I supposed it to be addressed to me, especially as it was put in the form of a question. I rose to ask the speaker if he desired me to answer the question. He replied that the question was not intended for me, but that he would like to hear my answer. I said that, such being the case, I would not interrupt him, and took my seat, intending to claim the floor when he had finished. But he was scarcely in the chair again when both Mr. Yarros and myself were cut off by a motion to adjourn, which was promptly carried. After the meeting, however, the president privately assured Mr. Yarros that, if he would come to the next meeting, he should have a chance to answer his critics.
At the next meeting, therefore, Mr. Yarros and I were on hand. The meeting began at eight o’clock. Fifteen minutes were consumed in routine business. Then the active Mr. Spillane stood up, thrust his neck forward and his hands into his pockets, and, with all the other accompaniments of a Bowery Boy attitude, moved that, “when this meeting adjourns, it do so at half past nine o’clock.” Somebody else moved to amend by making the hour nine o’clock, and the motion was thus amended and adopted.
Then Mr. Garrity, the gentleman who first replied to Mr. Yarros at the previous meeting, moved that Mr. Yarros be allowed ten minutes in which to answer the replies that had been made to him. Some one moved an amendment that the time be five minutes instead of ten. President Garbutt ruled that there was no motion before the Club, as Mr. Garrity’s motion had not been seconded. “Second the motion,” shouted a voice. “Did that come from a member of the Club?” asked the president. A gentleman rose with an affirmative nod. The president began to put the motion, when there was an interruption. The objection was raised that the seconder of the motion was not yet a member, the Club having neglected to vote him in, though he had complied with the other conditions of membership three weeks before.
Again there was no motion before the Club. Mr. Garrity renewed his motion. This time it was seconded by a fully qualified member in good standing, but in a feeble, tearful sort of way, and with a long explanation which I could not understand. A discussion ensued. One gentleman desired to know whether it was a private or a public meeting. The president informed him that it was a meeting of the Land and Labor Club, to which the public were invited. The gentleman could not see the propriety of inviting the public and then insisting that they should hold their tongues. This brought to his feet a suave member of comfortable appearance, who said that halls cost money and meetings cost money, and that, if these gentlemen were coming there night after night (it was the second meeting we had attended out of a possible twenty or thereabouts) to discuss this question, he thought it no more than fair that they should become members of the Club and pay their membership fees regularly. I was told afterwards that this gentleman was a Catholic. The information was not surprising. It is a way they have in the church to which he belongs,— to sign the creed first and discuss it afterwards.
After all this filibustering it lacked but a few minutes of nine o’clock, and it was deemed safe to take the vote. The five-minute amendment was lost, the ten-minute motion also, and Mr. Yarros was squelched. We left the hall, satisfied that we had gone as far as we cared to in the course of education offered to the public by the Land and Labor Club.
Liberty the Mother of Order.
“If God did not exist, it would be necessary to create him,” said Voltaire; and Bakounine, than whom, perhaps, the curse of religion never had stronger assailant, vehemently declared in answer that, if God existed, it would be necessary to destroy him. Our friends, the moralists, not satisfied with existing realities, not trusting in the living forces o human nature, are determined to create, out of thing, a variety of things which they deem indispensable to the maintenance of society. “Reason an spontaneous inclination are treacherous guides: let us proceed to create a ‘conscience,’ a ‘sentiment of justice,’ a spirit, of devotion to truth and a love of duty. Though the humorous side of this vain undertake predominates over the tragic to a marked degree, it may be well to check them by the emphatic declaration that, if those things existed, it would be necessary to destroy them,— provided, of course, that harmonious social relations and progressive development of the individual were desired. The slaves of duty are simply worshipping the eternal phantom in a new garb an under a new name; in placing abstractions above individuals and preaching the sacrifice of personal happiness to the “cause of right,” they are repeating the same old refrain of man being created for the service and glory of God. And as the love of God means the hatred of men, and as the service of any “cause” whatever for any other reason than personal satisfaction derived from such service means the re-introduction of mysticism, religions lunacy, and mental paralysis, no one championing liberty and individual sovereignty can for a moment hesitate in the matter of rejecting with unqualified, contempt and abhorrence any sentiment or principle contradicting utilitarianism in its broad and rational sense, or Egoism. Society exists for the individual and in the interest of the individual. “Man only knows”; the better for him! He certainly would “take his pastime like the flies,” if his pleasure were only to “breed another’s pain.” But his pleasure being possible only on condition of suffering the others to pursue their pleasure, and as he gradually learns to appreciate the invaluable aid that cooperation with others can render him in increasing and multiplying and intensifying his own pleasures, he enters society and surrenders, as Stirner would say, part of his freedom for the sake of possessions.
Does this view inevitably lead to despotism and government of man by man? John F. Kelly “asserted and sought to prove” that the ethical views of Hobbes and Spinoza practically sanction coercion and arbitrary regulation; but he conspicuously failed to furnish any support for his assertion. It is true that both Hobbes and Spinoza were governmentalists, and it is also true that, excepting religious fanatics and Salvationists who recognize exclusively the authority of Jesus, all students of social problems, if they are unfamiliar with the Anarchistic philosophy, are bound to adopt some form or other of government in order to maintain social life. Monarchy, Republicanism, Democracy, State Socialism, Communism,— all these forms of control over the individual have been either tried or advocated as the least objectionable, the best known methods of creating order and harmony in the human family. But they are all entirely inadequate and impotent. They have not produced and cannot produce permanent security, peace, and harmony. Anarchism appears largely (though not wholly, for it is also the logical outgrowth of industrialism) as a result of these successive ill-adjustments. It shows their inherent weakness to reside in the clement of compulsion, which invariably stimulates the rebellious propensities of men. It shows the only way to order to consist in the recognition and realization of perfect individual liberty, in voluntary union of intelligent and self-conscious Egoists, and in the determination to give each member of society his due. Anarchy, then, creates order without either blinding men by passion and prejudice or driving them by oppression. It reconciles the contradiction between the “course of poor nature — whereby she grows in beauty — that her flies must massacre each other” and the universal desirability of social life by making Self-Interest the foundation of Justice.
Whether, therefore, an Egoist will favor government or liberty simply depends upon his knowing or not knowing the doctrines and methods of Anarchy.
“Every tax,” says the Providence “People,” “is in the nature of a tax to discourage industry, for labor has it to pay.” Is it in order lo discourage industry, then, that the “People” advocates the taxation of land values?
Noms de Plume.
To the Editor of Liberty:
Miss Kelly’s letter in No. 105, avowing antipathy to noms de plume, puts me in mind that there are others beside myself writing in this way. The esprit de corps, a congenial disposition, arrays me with them. Having deliberately chosen to use a nom de plume, I do not perceive the necessity for practically abandoning it at the suggestion of an opponent of noms de plume; this both for my own more immediate reasons and in solidarity with others in like case: a solidarity which I count among my instincts or characteristics. My articles are argumentative. The signature can make no difference.
Mr. Kelly Transfers His Subscription.
To the Editor of Liberty:
It will probably make no difference to you, and it will oblige me, if you will consider my monthly subscription as transferred from Liberty to the “Proudhon Library.” A single copy of Liberty will be sufficient for me in future, as I can not endorse the views now put forward editorially by it, and a distributor is in effect a second publisher.
I am sorry to have to contradict your statement of the Clifford incident. When Tak Kak’s note on sexual relations appeared, I sent you the extract from Clifford, stating that it expressed my views better than I could myself. You wrote asking me did I mean the letter to be personal or for publication, and virtually offering to publish it if I so wished. My reply was that, while I meant it more especially for your personal information, I should be glad to have it published if you could find space.
I have to complain, also, of misrepresentation in regard to the extracts from Spinoza in the present number of Liberty. In my discussion with Tak Kak I asserted and sought to prove that such ethical views as those of Hobbes led inevitably to despotism. Now, the ethics of Hobbes and Spinoza are practically the same, and your citations from the latter are published in such a way as to imply that he was one of the stoutest defenders of liberty, and that in consequence my argument was defective. Yet you must know that Spinoza based on his denial of natural right an argument for the necessity of the State. Of course, however, according to your present philosophy, there is no reason you should not misrepresent when you find it to your “advantage” to do so.
John F. Kelly.
61 East Seventh Street. New York, August 13, 1887.
[Of course I deeply regret that there should be any disturbance of the cordial relations hitherto existing between Liberty and so able an ally as Mr. Kelly. This regret Liberty’s readers will fully share. But Liberty has always represented its editor and must continue to do so. If such representation is found by Mr. Kelly to be incompatible with his cooperation, then certainly that cooperation must cease. Whether his conclusion is based upon a rational estimate of the necessities of the situation the future will determine. For the present he alone has the practical deciding power. I bow to his decision in sorrow, bearing him no ill-will, but deeply grateful for the immense service he has rendered in the past and for any that he intends to render in the future. It would be idle to dispute whether Mr. Kelly’s memory or mine is the more accurate regarding the Clifford extract. It is quite possible that his version is the true one, though I doubt it. One thing I know beyond doubt,— that I never got the idea that he cared particularly whether I published the extract or not. If his language plainly carried that idea, then at the worst I am guilty of a stupid blunder, and the main fact still remains,— that it was ridiculous for Miss Kelly to charge me with desiring to suppress anything when I have given the moralists unlimited space in which to defend their position in any way consistent with the usual rules of discussion. Nor is there any better foundation for accusing me of “misrepresentation in regard to the extracts from Spinoza.” Mr. Kelly seems to think that I printed them in answer to something he had said. Not at all. I printed them in answer to Miss Kelly. She had said that Wordsworth Donisthorpe was a wretch because he recognized no right but might. I gave the extracts from Spinoza to show that he also recognized no right but might, and to indicate the absurdity, consequent upon this fact coupled with the acknowledged high character of Spinoza, of branding a man as a wretch simply because he holds this doctrine. My caption, “Opinions of That ‘Wretch,’ Spinoza,” indicated clearly enough my purpose in giving the extracts. To this purpose it made not the slightest difference whether Spinoza’s ethics led him to Archism or Anarchism. But, expressly to leave no particle of ground for such a complaint as Mr. Kelly nevertheless now makes, I called special attention to one sentence in which Spinoza showed his governmentalism, by appending a foot-note in which I contrasted the Archistic egoist with the Anarchistic Egoist. Utterly ignoring this, Mr. Kelly now says that the citations from Spinoza were “published in such a way as to imply that he was one of the stoutest defenders of liberty.” I ask the reader to carefully examine the last issue of Liberty and decide, whether Mr. Kelly is right. I shall certainly misrepresent when I find it to my advantage to do so. If I were to meet Mr. Kelly in the spirit in which he assails me, I should suggest to him that, his words,— “published in such a way,” etc.,— when considered in connection with the facts and with his ethics, indicate that he misrepresents when he finds it “moral” to do so. But I make no such imputation. It will take a great deal to convince me that Mr. Kelly is ever deliberately unfair. Perhaps this is the most appropriate place to state that, since the appearance of Miss Kelly’s article in the last number, she has sent me another, which she formally announces as her final contribution to Liberty’s columns. In this article are one or two references which would throw some light on Tak Kak’s identity and are therefore inadmissible and improper. I have offered to print the article without these references. Miss Kelly has declined to omit them. Accordingly I have rejected the article. Barring an essay on “State Aid to Science” which she sent me some months ago and which I still have her permission to print, she will furnish no more articles for Liberty,— unless, as I hope, she may eventually exercise that privilege which some regard as peculiarly a woman’s, of changing one’s mind. — Editor Liberty.]
A Criticism on “Taxation or Free Trade.”
To the Editor of Liberty:
Free trade does not mean the abolition of taxation. The word Trade used in this connection may be best defined as “the exchange of commodities.” Free trade means the removal of all arbitrary restrictions from this exchange, and the abolition of those forms of legislation which are intended to encourage as well as those which result in impeding it. That Free Trade means the removal of politics from the field of industry is scarcely a definition. The inauguration of free trade in connection with other reforms in the governing function will undoubtedly result in this removal and elevate politics from a trade into a science. Putting Mr. Kelly’s two statements together, viz., that “free trade means the abolition of taxation” and “the removal of politics from the field of industry,” we easily arrive at the conclusion that he regards politics as a trade (or occupation), and that the particular branch of trade in which he considers politicians to be engaged is the levying of taxes.
Considering his next sentence, “In a word, free trade is but another name for Anarchy,” the word “Anarchy” meaning “no ruler” or “the abolition of government,” we are forced to the conclusion that Mr. Kelly considers the sole function of the governing or political trade to be to tax, and that to tax is to govern.
Mr. Kelly is either really ignorant as to the merits of this important question, or only pretending to be so. He is either a searcher after or a perverter of the truth. He is either a knave or a child. He is either a child who honestly but mistakenly considers a free trader to be a free booter, or he is a knave who is arguing in the interest of a class under the name of Protectionists, well knowing them to be in reality free booters. In short, I strongly suspect Mr. Kelly to be a lawyer, who is no way particular as to whether he prosecutes an honest man, or who defends a thief provided he receives his fees.
Mr. George proposes to attain free trade, not “through politics,” as stated by Mr. Kelly, but through government and statesmanship, relying upon manhood suffrage, not universal suffrage, unless manhood suffrage is found to be unequal to the task.
Mr. Kelly quotes Mr. George as saying that “workingmen are right in supporting any measure that will raise wages.” From the context the inference is evident to the dullest capacity that he means legislative measures; yet so anxious is Mr. Kelly to make a case against him that he says (page 6) that “as an individual murder may result in an increase of wages, Mr. George, to be consistent, should approve of such murder.” No wonder Mr. George considers such puerile arguments beneath his notice. He used the word “measure,” not that of “crime.”
[It is encouraging to find at least one follower of George who is not afraid of discussion. Mr. Toller’s singularity in this respect is almost enough to entitle him to attention, even if his arguments are not very acute. Consequently I hope that Mr. Kelly will reply. — Editor Liberty.]
Nothing If Not Eclectic.
We understand that at a meeting of “giant intellects” at the room of the Liberal League, New York, Mr. T. B. Wakeman said that he was an evolutional republican positivist, with Socialistic tendencies, still believing in the fundamental principles of Anarchy, or individualism.
About Abolishing the State.
Our missionary, who had set himself to the task of casting out all the devils he imagined the brain of his companion might entertain, was beginning to fool that in some way the “Lunatic” was putting him to his trumps as a Christian man and submissive follower of the Lord Jesus. What was the trouble,— with himself? He was feeling a bit strange, as if he was himself at sea. Certainly this fellow beside him had the aim of a believer. Was it that he himself was the one who didn’t believe? No; of course not. Was he not a zealous Christian preacher? Did not hundreds of souls look up to him as teacher and guide? He must himself take the offensive and bring his man to terms. He must keep him to the subject in hand,— the abolition of the State. No matter what Christ taught. If Christ had anything to say on that topic, it was clearly in favor of the State. What else did he mean when he said: “Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s”? And when his words were uncertain, they should of course he interpreted in accord with reason and good sense! Shifting his position a little so as to confront “Lunatic” with a more determined air, he was about to say as pinch, and to ask for a clean-cut defence of the monstrous doctrine of No-Stateism. But “Lunatic” was before him.
L. — “You said the idea of Christ was to build up the kingdom of God within man.”
M. — “Yes, certainly.”
L. — “Then, as correlative statement, you would say that the kingdom of God was not outside of man.”
M. — “Precisely. The true man is he who has arrived at that development where he is a law unto himself.”
L. — “And so has abolished the State?”
M. — “For himself, certainly, in one sense. That is, he needs no coercion to persuade him to act. right. He does so freely. But, as there are so many others who have not reached this voluntary government, who continually put our lives and property in peril, why, this man who needs not the outer law for himself is hound to support it and enforce it upon others. Hence the State!”
L. — “Then this outward kingdom you speak of, the same under Republican forms as under monarchical, is, after all, a temporary affair.”
M. — “Yes, I grant you; and it will cease when all men of their own accord do what is right,— that is, when it is no longer needed. But — that is millennial; so far off that practically it is an abstraction, and it is folly to waste time over its consideration.”
L. — “Then, as I understand it, you ride two horses,— outer and inner. Which do you ride most?”
M. — “To keep your figure up, I ride the outer only when it is necessary. But, all the same, this outer horse must be kept alive for emergencies. He can not, as you seem to think, be abolished.”
L. — “Let me quote some familiar sentences: ‘If thine eye be single, thy body shall he full of light.’ ‘Ye cannot serve two masters.’ That is enough to remind you where Jesus was to he found. Do you know that man was a most uncompromising radical?”
M. — “I understand, of course, that he went to the root of things in his crusade against evil his one aim being to purify the heart of man.”
L. — “It is a charming story, if not a true one, about the angels singing, when he was horn, ‘peace on earth, good will to man,’ or, as Kossuth translated it, ‘to good-willing men.’ At any rate, ‘peace on earth.’ Now, you are Christian. How much peace on earth do you Christians hunger and thirst for? What, is the history of your Christian Church? One of ‘peace on earth’? Look at your Christian nations today, all armed to the teeth. Ah me! what a lonely man and stranger would this same Jesus he walking the earth in these expiring days of the nineteenth century! What would he say to you, do you suppose, you a citizen of the great modern Republic? Here, between Atlantic and Pacific oceans, could you show him ‘peace on earth’?”
M. — “We come nearer to it than any nation or people ever did before. We have no standing army to speak of.”
L. — “You have all you need. You believe in armies. If you had a powerful neighbor just, over the border, you would raise it without compunction to any size you deemed advisable.”
M. — “We believe in self-defence.”
L. — “So I do. But I noticed, when a boy, that the youth who wouldn’t fight on principle was never molested. The boys who were the bullies and pitched into every chap right and left, respected him, saying: ‘He’s not our kind.’ Of course, he gave them no cause or excuse. But he was gay and as full of sport as any.”
M. — “That is, of course, the ideal State; but, when a people is not up to it, there is no use affecting it. Hamlet’s advice, ‘affect a virtue if you have it not,’ was not good for general use, I don’t believe in hypocrisy.”
L. — “No?”
M. — “Certainly not. You any ‘No?’ as though you thought I did.”
L. — “I don’t think you do consciously; and yet, if you examine yourself thoroughly, do you not discover that your song of ‘peace on earth’ has very little weight with you when you think you see fighting that needs to be done? Why not change the phrase a little aid sing: ‘No peace on earth until we are up to it’?”
M. — “Oh, well, you know what I mean. I take the world as it is, and try in a practical way to make a choice of evils, at the same time holding up the ideal as the end to be accomplished.”
L. — “Well, then, you believe with me in the abolition of the State?”
M. — “As an Ideal? Why, yes; as I said, when the State, or the government of force, is no longer a necessary evil, there being nobody who does not govern himself rightly and so molests none of his neighbors, then it falls of its own weight. Nobody wants it, nobody supports it: as you say, it is abolished.”
L. — “You agree also that it is proper to do all in your power to bring that ideal down out of the clouds and make it a practical, every-day reality?”
M. — “Well — yes.”
L. — “In what ways are you now doing this?”
M. — “In the general way of trying to better the outward condition of men and of turning their hearts toward righteousness and the worship of God. As I keep saying, we can only abolish the State by outgrowing it. When we don’t need it, that ends the matter. But let me say here that I am using the term in the limited sense you have given to it,— namely, the organization of force. But I conceive the State can mean as well the organized administration of all common or public affairs. And government does not necessarily exclude the idea of freedom for all.”
L. — “Now, let me tell you what I think. I do not think the idea millennial or impossible as you seem to do. I think the age of force is to pass away. I do not say immediately, in the twinkling of an eye. You and I will not see the dawn even of self-regulated liberty. The creation of the human race, its evolution into a free society where all acts are voluntary, or, to be more precise, where conduct is induced by right reason and full regard for the right of each and all to be free and prosperous, will be the result of how many thousand years of upward climbing who will say? The times and seasons no man may predict. But this much we all may and should aim at doing; we may strive to be true to our ideal; to make our conduct square with it as nearly as possible. In the light of this ideal we judge the world, the country in which we live, the people we every day meet, and ourselves continually. How much or how little we individually shall accomplish it is not necessary fort us to pry into. There is where faith comes in,— a sort of swift, unconscious reasoning that] assures us that no least word or deed is ever in vain. It all tells, though we can not put. finger on the particular gain to the cause that has been secured. This we shall do not as a sacrifice; the yoke of Liberty compared with that of bondage is easy, the burden is light. No matter how happy the world with its kingdom without may appear, the devotee with the kingdom within shall he happier still, for he alone has found Peace.”
M. — “Well, I am more interested than I supposed I could become in your side of the question,— if it is yours any more than mine. I foresee so many obstacles,— and as a practical matter — well, time will tell.”
L. — “Time does nothing. It is what we do in time that will tell.”
The train was coining, and the two friends went their way, to renew the subject off and on for the rest of their mortal lives. I may he able to contribute other reports.
The Land and Labor Party of California.
Your readers may be instructed, if not amused, by an item from the metropolis of the Pacific States, the land of salubrious climates, the land of “booms” and big grape-vines, the land where all the “isms” thrive and flourish in the open air without irrigation or subsoil ploughing. This land is the birth place of the new party that you hear so much about, and I it is from this land that one would expect to hear principles of no uncertain sound in relaxation to the rights of man, Land and Labor, Anti-Poverty, etc. I say “new party,” — that is, new to your latitude; but it has flourished here for twenty years. Its members, with few exceptions, are the same old crowd who gave Kearney and O’Donnell such hearty support. Many of the planks of its platform have been stolen from the “sand lot” and inserted without even trimming their ragged edges. The “Principles of the Land and Labor Party of California” well illustrate how we of the “glorious climate” reconcile apparently antagonistic principles.
They start out boldly with Jefferson’s doctrine “that all men are created equal,” etc.; they allege that they “endorse every word of the above declaration”; and then they contradict all they have said, and pander to O’Donnell’s “thugs” by the following “principle”: “that the importation or immigration of Chinese should he prohibited, and it should be the policy of the State and the people to discourage employment of Chinese in any kind of industry.” This is one of their ten cardinal principles the application of which, they declare, “is absolutely demanded by the public necessities.” Another attempt to fit a round stick in a square hole, leaving no vacant corners.
I would ask the folk were of McGlynn and George in your jurisdiction to reconcile the “principles” of the Land and Labor party with the doctrines of the “Fatherhood of God and the Brotherhood of Man” which they are preaching in the cultured communities of your favored land. It would be useless to ask their followers here to discuss the question; they sing cue song in this climate.
In the “Standard” of July 18 Judge Magniro of this city gives the award of the court in the matter. The learned legal defender of the Land and Labor, Anti-Chinese, “protection of public morals” party, after reciting a number of legal principles found in legal hornbooks; gives his followers who may happen to own land in “fee simple” the comforting assurance that taxation does not take their property absolutely, but allows them to retain their lands;” “even when it (the tax) exceeds the market value of the property taxed; for, by paying, the owner is always privileged to retain the property.” This is consoling. Under the new dispensation you can pay annually to the government the whole value of your landed property, if that government in its wisdom should consider its purposes needed such an amount. The judge fortifies his opinion by the authorities,— the tools of the trade. The decision of the Pennsylvania Court asserts that the right of taxation “does not spring from laws or constitutions, but is an inherent incident of governmental sovereignty,” or, in other words, that a community is utterly powerless to live without taxation, even though the people of said: community should unanimously agree to meet the expenses of their association in some other; manner. The law, organic and municipal, seems to exist merely as an incident to the great; fact of taxation. The judge quotes 8 Wall, 548, to show that “the power to tax may he exercised oppressively upon persons, but the responsibility of the legislature is not to the; courts, but to the people by whom its members are elected.” Judge Cooley is quoted to buttress the doctrines already stated. He says: “The power of taxation is an incident of sovereignty, and is coextensive with that of which it is an incident.” Now we have the law of the case. The judge’s article is useful in this,— that it shows the instability of property under an irresponsible government, and the judge produces the authorities to show the only way in which government is responsible. He proves that they who are running the taxing machine are independent of laws or constitutions, and are not responsible “to the courts.” According to the law quoted, the power of taxation resides in and is an inseparable quality of government. It “involves the power to destroy” (Marshall) the property taxed, if it be the will of the government. And government, speaking from this standpoint, is the power which a majority of the voters in any community may see fit to exercise in the execution off their will, or, as it is frequently put, the “will of the majority is the law of the land,” and this majority may consist of a single vote. Thus in a community of twenty thousand voters ten thousand and one voters may at any and all times determine how much nine thousand nine hundred ninety and nine voters must pay for the privilege of living on the soil upon which they may have been born. I say privilege for the reason that natural rights cannot exist subject to this irresponsible power of taxation inherent in government as defined by the learned judge. There are no inherent rights pertaining to persons or property that the government is hound to respect,— as far as taxation is concerned.
When the doctrines set forth in the above paragraphs are understood by the voter who has nothing to lose no matter how much is wrong from the people by the taxing machine, what a nice time the party in power will have in spending the accumulated savings of the industrious and frugal minority, which may be taken from them annually in the form of taxes to the extent of the market value of their property! When the voter is convinced that this doctrine can be carried out in practice, that the right to tax “acknowledges no limits,” and that it is not “necessary that the object of the tax should benefit the party who is required to pay” his savings into the public treasury, then the great political industry of America will receive a “boom” that has not been equalled since the days of George Law. The doctrines quoted by the learned judge are not new, but I think it is the first time they have ever been cited to bolster up the framework of a party claiming that its mission is to carry out the doctrines of the Declaration of Independence. It is a noticeable fact that Judge Magnire does not quote the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution of the United States, or any of its amendments to support his “award of the court.” His authorities are taken exclusively from that great kitchen-midden of medieval doctrine,— the decisions of the judges of the United States courts and their congeners. The honor of discovering this “new bonanza” belongs to Mr. George, and it is a great discovery, if carried to its logical conclusion, for it may possibly be the means of compelling the American people to consider the manner in which their natural rights have been gradually taken from them by the insidious process of “judge-made law.”
Patrick J. Healy.
San Francisco, July, 1887.
In his journal, “Le Peuple,” Proudhon summed up as follows that which was the ideal of the pure Communists of his time, and that which is the ideal of the pure Communist of ours:
Organization of labor by the State;
Organization of banks by the State;
Administration of railways by the State;
Administration of canals by the State;
Administration of mines by the State;
Administration of Insurance by the State;
Colonization by the State;
Apprenticeship by the State;
Etc., etc., etc., by the State;
Nothing by the citizen, everything by the State.
A summary which might itself be summarized in a line: Despotism of the State, slavery of the citizen.
“In vain,” continues Proudhon, does Socialism [for even then there were Socialists who were not Communists] cry out to them that what they want is pure monarchy; they do not hear. The State, by itself, is unproductive; it does not labor. No matter; it shall be made organizer. The State is involved in debt; it shall give credit. Labors entrusted to the State cost fifty per cent. more than they are worth; the State shall be charged with the most difficult tasks.
This life-like and sagacious portraiture of the incapacities of the State, thus contrasted with the inconceivable confidence placed in the State by the Communists, was brought to my mind the other day during the unveiling of a statue to Louis Blanc.
And I remembered that that honest man, that gentle dreamer, that harmonious artist who, having suffered a thousand privations, had uttered the most eloquent cries of anguish in the name of all the suffering,— I remembered that Louis Blanc had believed more than all others in the providence of the State, perhaps because he believed in the other Providences; I remembered that, of all the Communistic chiefs, he had been the most popular, the most cheered, the most powerful; that at certain times he had had the support of a whole people, and that he had held in his hand the helm of the State; that he had been able to command a government, he who professed that government can make a people’s happiness and accomplish the social revolution, and that he had failed; that, having reformed nothing, transformed nothing, improved nothing, there was nothing left for him but to go sadly into exile to reflect upon the powerlessness of statesmen who experiment upon millions of individuals with the most seductive systems constructed by the most generous imaginations.
And — a thing to be noted, though not at all strange — it was not the Socialistic people who had given him such loud acclaim, who reared a statue to him. The Communists, on the contrary, hissed, not at bottom because of his hours of weakness in the days of June and the Week of May, but because those who still believe in the governmental panacea could not forgive the failure of the Communist who had been the government.
Thus the ancient believers broke their idol when it had not given them victory; thus certain populations of the South throw their saint into the river when they are weary of parading it through the fields to get rain, and it has not succeeded in making it rain.
What is left of the system of Louis Blanc, who nevertheless filled a whole generation with enthusiasm by the words Organization of Labor?
Not even an illusion to lose, not even the possibility of preserving the hopes which men like Benoit Malon have not quite abandoned.
For, if the system of Louis Blanc has not been tried by its author and the secular state, it has been by that competitor of the State, that model, that mould of the State, that other State, the Church.
Louis Blanc asked the State to make itself a manufacturer,— to establish in the principal branches of industry a certain number of workshops which it should control and in which it should employ workmen offering guarantees of morality.
The State should draw up regulations having the force of laws, and should fix the hierarchy in the workshop. By reason of the life which was to end in Communism, products would be created more cheaply; private industry would thus be led very gently to surrender, and the State would gradually become master of industry; or at least it would oblige other manufacturers and laborers to imitate its regulations, its hierarchy, its Communism in short, which would be, in its view, great good fortune for the laborers in the State workshops and the laborers in the other workshops thus led to surrender.
Now, the ecclesiastical State has established shops,— work-rooms, monasteries.
The Church has drawn up regulations for these shops, and selected from the laboring people those which suited it best.
The Church, by reason of the life which it has regulated in common, has found a way of producing at prices before unheard-of; and, if things continued long in this way, it would gradually make itself mistress of every industry.
But the Church has by no means led the other workshops to surrender, nor has it caused them to taste the advantages of labor in common and life in common.
It has simply ruined some of the less shrewd manufacturers.
The others have reasoned as follows:
The Church produces more cheaply than we do; this is because it gets its labor more cheaply. By this competition it leaves us no alternative but to diminish our profits, which is out of the question, or to reduce the wages of our workmen, which we will proceed to do at once.
Consequence: The unfortunates who do work for the Church are, perforce of regulations, statutes, and the hierarchy, in the position of weary and ill-fed slaves, and, through the fact of this competition on the part of the ecclesiastical State, the poor workers in private industries see their meagre pittance and that of their children curtailed every day.
Was this what Louis Blanc wanted?
No, for he was good, kind, and really desirous of more comfort for all.
He was deceived, as all the Stateists are deceived and mistaken. The best thing that the State can do is to do no harm, and I have not yet noted that it has ever succeeded in this, so harmful and oppressive is it in its essence.
To ask it to operate the social transformation, or even to coöperate in it, is to ask a régime of honesty of a Louis Philippe, clear sight of the Provisional Government of ’48, honor of Napoléon, fairness of the Government of National Defence, humanity of Thiers, intelligence of Mac-Mahon, sincerity of Jules Ferry, liberty of Bismarck.
And in the lifetime of Louis Blanc the State was all these by turns, and Louis Blanc saw them at their sickening work as statesmen.
That is why we must conclude with Proudhon:
Let our young recruits fix it in their minds that Socialism is the opposite of governmentalism.
The Reasons Why.
I am an Egoist.
I recognize no authority save that of my own reason.
I regulate my life and my relations with the outside world in accordance with my understanding and natural instincts.
My sole object in life is to be happy,– I seek to avoid all pain and to gratify all my normal desires.
I cannot be happy unless I feel myself perfectly safe and secure in my possessions.
I can never be safe and free from fear of disturbance or injury until those around me are able to gratify all their normal desires, and they can never be completely happy without security.
Security can only be the result of perfect justice.
Justice consists in the recognition of equality and the rendering of equity.
Justice, thus defined, necessarily involves a condition of absolute liberty within its sphere.
Therefore, justice is the condition of my happiness as well as the happiness of all that are like me. That is to say, justice is the law of human society.
Thus I, an Egoist, recognizing no rights and no duties, become, solely and simply through prudence and a desire for security, a lover of equity, equality, and universal liberty.
But there is no credit due me for my policy. If I were strong, shrewd, and skilful enough to defy all danger; if my happiness could be achieved without the aid, cooperation, and respect of others,— I might have chosen to be a tyrant, and might have led a pleasant life, surrounded by two-legged beasts of burden. Not being superior to all creation, I involuntarily have to draw a line at men, and make terms with them.
Having wisely decided to be a modest member of society, I have by no means irrevocably surrendered my freedom. I stay in it because, all things considered, it is best for me to submit rather than rebel, but I can, at any time, reconsider my course and, risking the consequences, make war upon society. Who can say that I am under any obligation to be just? Obligation? To whom? To What? The individual, once having entered the social compact, finds himself in the presence and under the influence of new impulses, new aspirations, new yearnings. He is changed, transformed, revolutionized. Social life becomes a necessity to him, not as a condition, but as an element of happiness; not as a means, but as an appreciable and weighty constituent of the desired end. He learns to know new joys and pleasures; his wants multiply; his tastes change; and he comes to feel and realize that he would never, even if he could, isolate himself from his fellow-men or try to reduce them to slavery.
This process of adaptation, or socialization, of the individual, though largely unconscious, can, nevertheless, be theoretically and objectively conceived and analyzed. In thought man can separate his Ego from the mass of humanity and discuss the wants, interest, and advantages of his person apart from it. He may not be able to effect such a separation in reality, but the illusion is so thorough that it must be discussed as if it were real.
I imagine I can leave society; I think I am free; therefore I am free. I feel no obligation and no duties. I act for the sake of immediate or prospective personal benefits, and obey the voice of prudence.
Am I unreliable? Quite the contrary. There would have been no confusion in our modern social relations if all men possessed these ideas, just as an isolated community of desperados would present an example of peaceful and harmonious relations. The whole mischief arises from the fact that so many build their castles in the air. Once plant yourself on solid ground, grasp and admit these fundamental realities, and you will logically and intelligently develop a principle of conduct which will make it possible for you to pronounce judgment on all things without tracing them back to first and bottom truths.
As Danton loved peace, but not the peace of slavery, so I love justice, but not the justice of moralism and idealism.
One Hundred and Eighth Olympiad.
The following editorial from “Le Radical,” written by Henry Maret, is translated for Liberty because it applies, not only to the Boulauger-Ferry incident, which lately absorbed the attention of France and attracted that of the world at large, but as well to many other inanities over which this silly world, blind to its own welfare, is continually going mad:
“What is there new in Athens?”
“What? You do not know? But where did you come from? There has been no talk of anything, since the last games, but the great quarrel between the ex-archon Menon and the noble Arsamés. From one end of Greece to the other that alone fills the public mind. Some stand up for Menon, others for Arsamés. Every morning, on the Agora, they question each other about the incidents of the dispute. What has Menon answered? What has Arsamés answered? The Achaeans are attentive, and vessels even turn aside from their route to stop at Piraeus in order to find out how matters stand.”
“But who are these people?”
“Menon is an old rhetorician, one of those lawyers with whom the people are disgusted and whom the comedians counterfeit on the stage. Arsames is a warrior.”
“And whence arises their discussion?”
“Discussion there is none, to tell the truth. Menon has accused Arsames of dreaming of tyranny; Arsames has shrugged his shoulders. Arsames has on his side the great majority of citizens who would prefer his tyranny to liberty with Menon. No one yet knows how it will all end.”
“And is Philip of Macedon still under arms?”
“No attention is paid to him. Why pay attention to him? Philip trembles before Arsamés.”
“That is good. But tell me, does the conclusion of the debate between Menon and Arsames interest the Athenian people?”
“Evidently, since I have just told you that they do not think of anything else.”
“I do not express myself clearly. I meant to ask: will the result make the people more prosperous or more wretched?”
“These considerations do not enter into the question.” “Will the people be relieved? Will the taxes be lighter? Will you have better laws? Will the rich be less oppressive of the poor? Will you be able to get yourself a new robe?” “Not that I know of, but we will wear our rags with pride if Arsamés triumphs over Menon. Might you be a philosopher?”
“I was one; but, after living and observing the human race, I finally came to understand that the philosopher was as useless as the rest.”
“You are right; we do not like philosophers. They are people who reason about everything and ápropos of everything. They go about the city, criticising whatever happens and adding something to object to in everything that pleases others. For our part, we like orators and soldiers, fine words and fine feathers. What is finer than two lawyers pitted against each other, pleading in turns over and against and crushing with the weight of arguments in which neither of them believes? What is more splendid than a general with a plume threatening the skies, marching at the head of a well-regulated body of troops to the sound of musical instruments?”
“All that is superb, I admit. Nevertheless read is still dear; and among these philosophers I know some who study the ways of permitting everybody to get wheat cheap.” “That is very praiseworthy; but they are so tiresome! You will permit me to leave you. I see a very merry citizen. Doubtless he has good news. Menon must have fled before Arsamés. Long live Arsamés!
Beyond the Power of Government.
There is not knowledge and wisdom in all the governments in the world, had they all its benevolence, to regulate the supply of the fruit and vegetable markets of our city, so well as it is regulated by free wagon-roads and the observations of farmers, gardeners, and buyers, the producers increasing supplies to meet the demand and the buyers taking any overplus when it comes down to the price they can afford.