Liberty Vol. IV. No. 10.
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.
Handsomely bound copies of Volume III. of Liberty are now ready for delivery, and will be sent post-paid on receipt of two dollars.
Charles T. Fowler has issued another number of his admirable “Sun.” The subject discussed is “Cooperative Homes,” involving incidental treatment of the questions of marriage, maternity, etc. A portrait of Louise Michel is inserted as a frontispiece. I supply this pamphlet, post-paid to any address, for six cents a copy; two copies, ten cents.
I have a few slightly damaged copies of “What’s To Be Done?” the prices of which I have fixed at 75, 60, 50, and 40 cents. Those at 40 cents have paper covers, the others cloth. The damage is confined entirely to the covers, and is not of a nature to render the books loss serviceable. This is a rare chance for those who cannot afford to buy the perfect book at one dollar.
The New York boycotters are free again, Governor Hill having commuted their sentences to one hundred days’ imprisonment. The document in which the governor gives his reasons for this course is curious and significant. Among the mitigating circumstances it cites the fact chat the prisoners were “neither Socialists nor Anarchists, but respectable and industrious workingmen.” This Is equivalent to saying that all Anarchists and Socialists are contemptible loafers, and, if any of them are so unfortunate as to get into prison, they will rot there I adore Governor Hill will inquire whether they are innocent or guilty.
In this number I begin the serial publication of one of the earliest and best of Anarchistic works, Stephen Pearl Andrews’s “Science of Society.” Josiah Warren pronounced it the best exposition of his ideas that had ever been made and probably the best that ever would be made. When it first appeared in 1851, its seeds fell on stony ground and only here mid there took root; but since then the soil has been cleared of many obstructions, and I expect the harvest from its reappearance to be far more abundant than the original crop. Whoever masters this work will get the key to human progress, past, present, and future.
Dyer D. Lum has gone to Chicago to try to revive the “Alarm.” I print elsewhere his appeal for support, Lum’s “Alarm” will doubtless be a vast improvement on Parsons’s “Alarm.” If it proves a vigorous and fearless champion of the principles which its editor really believes in, it will do grand work. But if it wastes time in trying to reconcile the irreconcilable, its outlook will be a dubious one. I think that we Anarchists will give your experiment a fair trial, Comrade Lum, with hearty wishes for its success. Stick to the plumb-line, and we’ll stick to you. But if you abandon your own logic to follow that of events, you’ll have to “go it alone” so far as we are concerned.
At his Faneuil Hall meeting Dr. Aveling said: “With the abolition of private property in land, with the abolition of private property in raw material, with the abolition of private property in machinery, will come the abolition of private property in human lives.” Never was truer word spoken. For with State property in land, with State property in raw material, with State property in machinery, would come State property in human lives. Such is the object of Dr. Aveling’s State Socialism,— the obliteration of the individual life. Property in human lives ought to be as “private” as possible; each individual (forgive the tautology) should own his own. But under State Socialism the ownership of each individual’s life would be virtually vested in the body politic. Those who hold the property in the means of living will inevitably hold the property in life itself.
For two or three months past Liberty has been very tardy; hereafter it will try to behave better. Such delays would never occur at all, if the paper were more liberally supported. It grows in circulation, but very slowly, and, while it is thus getting its growth, each of its supporters should do double duty. One of Liberty’s most earnest friends is a young Swede named Evald Hammar, a resident of Grahamville, Florida, and hence a neighbor of J. Wm. Lloyd. He makes the following suggestion, which I wish Liberty’s constituents, one and all, might promptly act upon: “If every subscriber of Liberty will send you twenty-five, fifty, or one hundred cents to pay for three, six, or twelve months’ subscription to Liberty to be sent to such person as each subscriber would select, I think more could be done for Anarchy than in any other way. Liberty’s circulation would be doubled. I am perhaps the poorest subscriber, but, if the others will do as suggested, I will rake up half a dollar and send you the name of a person who very probably would afterwards pay himself for his Liberty. If you think this idea is worth noticing in the paper, you may use my name for such purpose in any way you choose. I feel sorry every time Liberty comes and I see how excellent it is and I know it is known to so few people.”
I must remind Comrade Lloyd, á propos of his bright and breezy article in another column, that I make no pretension to leadership of the Anarchistic movement. If I cuff ears, mine get cuffed as freely in return; and frequently I am not the first to cuff. I happened to start Liberty, and I intend to control it; but in so doing I am only cooperating with my comrades, which of whom is working in his own way and is sovereign therein. As for the idea that I am a locomotive to which Miss Kelly is a tender, that is still farther from the truth. A tender, indeed! Why, my dear Comrade Lloyd, let me tell you a secret, and don’t you give it away. If I did pretend to leadership, I should consider Miss Kelly the most insubordinate member of my flock. Scarcely a day passes that she does not show her mutinous propensities. If we seem pretty closely in agreement, it is because we generally start from the same premises and, being endowed with something more than our fair share of the logical faculty, therefore arrive at the same conclusions. But there is no leading or following about it. When we do differ, we differ with vengeance, and I sometimes tremble in fear of the possible consequences. Miss Kelly is an honest woman of independent mind, and for her fearless exercise thereof, even in opposition to me, I honor her; likewise I honor all my comrades in the proportion that they share this admirable quality.
The men convicted at Chicago made a fine showing in their speeches before the court, Parsons’s effort suffered considerably from its extreme length and his exhaustion, but it had many merits, not the least of which was the incorporation in it (without giving the slightest credit, if the verbatim reports in the newspapers are correct) of “O’s” article in the last number of Liberty exposing Captain Schaack’s scoundrelism. The boy Lingg spoke briefly, but finely, never dropping for a moment from his lofty height of scorn and defiance. But Fielden bore off the palm. His speech will live in history. For plain, straightforward statement of facts, and simple, modest, moving eloquence, but few utterances on record will stand comparison with it. He introduced his speech with Freiligrath’s magnificent poem, “Revolution,” printed in Liberty a year or two ago, and nothing could have better fitted the occasion. To those aware of it the pathos of his eloquence was greatly enhanced by the fact that, while he was speaking, his wife was giving birth to a little girl whom he will probably never see unless he sees her from the gallows. Even the heartless State’s attorney, Grinnell, was obliged to confess that, if Fielden had made his speech before the jury, it probably would have saved his life, and two days later the Chicago “Inter-Ocean” declared that “the marvellous influence of its touching and magic eloquence had spread far and wide,” and that “no more convincing evidence of the dangerous character of the defendants could have been furnished than the change which this one speech has wrought in thousands of minds in so brief a space of time.” However this may be, neither Fielden’s speech nor any of the others had any effect upon the shameless Judge Gary, who sentenced all the prisoners except Neebe to be hanged on the third of December. Are the authorities bent on inaugurating another fratricidal war, of which Chicago is to be the Harper’s Ferry? It would seem so. The superstitious would find ground for foreboding in the very date fixed for the execution. It was on the second of December, 1859, that John Brown’s soul was sent marching on; it is on the third of December, 1886, that not one soul, but seven, are to start abreast on a far sterner journey. With results, I fear, more than seven times as serious.
To Readers of the “Alarm.”
You have not wondered at the non-appearance of the “Alarm.” With its files and books confiscated, its office supressed, its editor in a prison cell under sentence of death, and the advocacy of free speech made a crime, no apology will be expected. Law has triumphed and order has been vindicated.
Comrades: Shall the “Alarm” again be issued to defend free speech, to sound a note of warning to our social pilots now so busily engaged in “shooting Niagara”? ... Our comrades have been condemned for the crime of being “leaders”; the prosecntion believe, in their ignorance, that this vorld-wide movement can be stamped out in America through their extinction. That iniquitous verdict but calls for new effort. If we are true to our principles, when one falls another must take his place. ... In such an undertaking there is no profit. We and you alike are moved by but one impulse — devotion. We stand ready to assume the task and the responsibility. Will you respond with cordial aid and support? Against the reign of legalized terrorism into which we are drifting, our voice should be raised.
In the present condition of affairs an advanced Labor paper in Chicago has become an imperative necessity. Under the new management Labor in all its interests will be fully considered. Writers prominent in the labor cause have promised contributions. Arrangements are already being made for a list of editorial contributors whose names will guarantee confidence. To you we appeal — Shall we proceed? .... We ask your signatures for sums of hot less than One Dollar each. Those who are able to give more we confidently believe will do so.
Return answers as soon as possible to Dyer D. Lum, 14 S. Morgan Street, Chicago. Yours fraternally,
Dyer D. Lum, Editor.
Lizzie M. Swank, Associate-Editor.
Eighteen Christian Centuries:
Or, The Evolution of the Gospel of Anarchy.
An Essay on the Meaning of History. By Dyer D. Lum.
Continued from No. 87.
What is the spirit of the nineteenth century? What further Anarchy — or, in other wools, what further restriction of authority and extension of individual freedom — is there to be won? Our century inherited the achievements of its predecessors. Mental freedom existed. True, it was denied here and there, but the enemy had been outflanked and the future was secure. Universal manhood suffrage was in its hand. What more was left to he striven for? With religious and political freedom attained, was progress henceforth to be merely along these lines, without opening into yet wider and unknown fields? Were individual rights to find their guarantees in — extension of taxation? What new orbit for activity essential to human happiness can there be beyond those of religion and politics?
There is one that neither religious nor political methods have yet reached. Let us look a little closer at the line of progress followed in the past, and see if we cannot detect a path not yet emerged into the open ground of achieved result. In the rapid glance we have taken of the Christian centuries we have gained an insight into the meaning of history. We have seen that history is not a record of fortuitous events; there is a thread which may be followed through the web of events which makes progress a reality. The larger and more comprehensive our knowledge of the past, the better we are enabled to grasp the true relations of events and understand the present. Our ears are dinned with vociferous demands to do this or that, and the millennium will be achieved. Let us dismiss our pet panaceas from consideration. Let us interrogate the past; it is the womb of the present, and contains the germs of the future. We may discern the lines of progress, even if unable to distinguish the agencies by which they are to be accomplished. So far as we keep in those lines, we are on the path to victory, carried on by the momentum of the ages. So far as we depart from them, disaster and defeat will overtake us and overwhelm our projects.
We have seen from the crusades a constant extension of freedom. Let us now hastily resume the whole period of our study, and see the result. When Paul returned the fugitive slave, Onesimus, and preached absolute obedience to servants and wives, slavery everywhere prevailed. Aristotle had proclaimed it to be founded on natural law. Home’s greatness was based on it. Yet slavery brought Rome’s downfall. The multiplicity of slaves rendered free labor worthless. Let us hasten on to the barbarian conquest. We have studied the forces brought into conflict in that seething crucible, Germanic individuality, which, in attempting to use Roman forms of government, gave birth to a now society founded on proprietorship in land. Slavery died out and serfdom arose. The laborer belonged to the land, he was attached to the glebe; he was no longer an individual chattel to be driven to and sold in the market. Historically, there was an undeniable progress; individually, his material condition was not much improved. His wife and children were his own; so, too, were their economic condition, which remained the same.
In slavery the master had to sustain life in his slave, or lose him. The minimum cost of subsistence therefore became a necessary expense to the master. In the slow process of evolution from slavery to serfdom, the principle of freedom made progress, but the rut of custom left this iron law of remuneration unchanged. The cost of subsistence remained the laborer’s share of the social product. The crusades enfranchised large numbers of serfs for their services. The tremendous impetus thus given to industry we have noted. Free labor increased. Industrial warfare was the direction now assumed by human activity. The military phase of human activity was passing away; society was seeking “structural adaptation to surrounding environments.” The peaceful pursuits of Industry were claiming the future for its own; for this end the Genius of Liberty became its guiding star. But still through all the centuries the iron law of remuneration remained unchanged. With inventions the power of labor was multiplied and the product increased. Comforts began to slowly descend through social layers down to the proletariat. In our century his standard of existence has been struggling upward, notwithstanding the adverse influence of competition, which has tended to repress it to the old limit. The principle has remained unchanged, though a change has come in what constitutes subsistence. It no longer means black bread and chestnuts. The extension of freedom has raised the standard, though the iron law remains. Amelioration is never a remedy, though often its herald. Though increased freedom has benefited the proletaire, remember that its influence has been reflex, not direct. He warms himself by another’s hearth.
But can this be changed? Is it not rooted in human nature, in natural capacities? I have not, and shall not, lay down any plans for progress, or any panaceas for social ills. I am simply endeavoring to ascertain in what direction the hand of progress points. And as our answer is to be found in the meauiug of history, let us group some of the different epochs already viewed.
When religious freedom was achieved, its advocates deemed the goal of progress attained. Men had held it impossible to separate belief and action. Freedom of thought in the State was inconceivable with the existence of the State. Yet this was realized. The spirit of the age asserted the idea, time furnished the means and answered the query. The State was modified by the curtailment of authority. What statesmen in one century declared inconceivable, men in the following one enjoyed. When authority became wounded unto death in the Vatican it shrank behind the thrones. The power of the king became logically the point of attack. Where Charles I. lost his head for his stubbornness in matters of conscience, the next age saw Louis XVI. mounting the scaffold because he was king, His crime lay in the insignia of his office. Thoughtful men trembled for the future. To question the divine authority of the monarch seemed utter social ruin. In fact, men seldom were logical in their claims; it was brought about, not by theorists, not by revolutionists and National Assemblies, not by books, but by the stern logic of events; by that social providence that ever bends men’s purposes to the lines of progress and “shapes our ends, rough hew them as we may.”
The great man of his age is he who is most thoroughly its secretary, who voices the cry of the spirit dumbly seeking expression in his generation. The wise man saw the spirit of the sixteenth century to be religious freedom, and buckled on his armor without stopping to philosophize on what had never been, or to bewail the inevitable dissolution of existing social conditions. The armies of revolutionary France cared nothing for constitutional theories. The spirit of the age animated them, and political freedom must be won, and all Europe trembled before their victorious arms.
We return now to our question: What is the spirit of the nineteenth century? Is it striving for the establishment of some principle which will give it a distinctive characteristic in future histories? We have foreseen it. Religious and political freedom attained, in what direction has the legislation of this century tended? Undeniably the regulation of commercial and industrial relations. In 1801 England began a long series of enactments regulating the hours of labor and protecting the laborer. The whole century has been filled with efforts to ameliorate the condition of the laborer, to shorten his hours of toil, to place educational facilities more within his grasp, in fact, to extend his freedom from economic subjection. Run over in mind the countries of Europe; in not one is this not the case. Labor legislation is a product of this century,— no longer to repress, but to alleviate. Public authority bows to public opinion; demand ever precedes supply. And in this inarticulate demand we will find the spirit of this century.
The spirit of an age is ever the assertion of a principle, legislation the modification of antagonistic principles through its influence. The legislative result is, therefore, ever a compromise, and not a full recognition. The demand of the age, while securing by compromise amelioration, is ever more radical. Need I say that this new spirit — the logical successor of mental and political freedom — is economic freedom! The whole century echoes with its demand; the overthrown standard of the Bundschuh flies on every breeze. It led to the English Reform movement in 1832, and the Chartist uprising. It has broken out in France; whispering in 1830, growing bolder in 1839, erecting barricades in 1848, and filling Europe with dread in 1871! Each time repressed, it has each time risen from contact with the earth in new vigor. If the spirit of this century is to be described in one word, the historian of the future will read on the nineteenth milestone of the ages the legend,— Socialism!
Let us not be blinded with prejudice. Luther and Calvin abjured toleration as of the devil; yet they were the instruments of its success. The Humanists of the seventeenth century extolled royal power while they were unconsciously severing the veins which supplied it with life. The revolutionists of the last century would have scouted the idea that suffrage left sought to be struggled for, yet scarcely had they closed their labors when progress again raised her banner and marched on to new outposts. The emancipation of conscience from control by external authority but cleared the field for new struggles. The emancipation of the individual from royal authority has but simplified the contest. In these cases the seat of authority was visible, objective: a church, a prince. So is it today,— the Politico-Economic State! History is not yet ready to close her scroll and retire on the pension list.
We may continue to imitate the wiseacres of the past, and cry: “Pooh! pooh!” The logic of events listens to no man’s sneer; human progress halts not at privilege’s shriek. Mental liberty, political liberty, economic liberty! Is it not the line of progress? The word Liberty includes all, and she will not be content with less.
Economically, man has risen; we have traced his course from slave to serf, to wage laborer. He has participated in the achievements of recent centuries. Mentally he is free; no external authority may dictate or forbid the free expression of his thought. Politically he is free; no external authority may dictate or forbid the free exercise of his choice. But economically he finds freedom denied, and often his economic condition demands the curtailment of his mental and political freedom. He lives by labor, but has no control over the means of labor. He labors, but has no right to labor. The means of subsistence are extended or withheld as individual will or caprice may determine. Like the monster Frankenstein, the creation of his own hands holds him at its mercy. If his labor be needed, the means of labor will be extended to him. If it be not needed, he is told that “at the banquet of nature there is no cover laid for him.”
Will it be always thus? Have we not read the answer in the meaning of history? Progress has only resulted where authority has decayed and freedom extended. The earliest governments were ecclesiastic; Divine authority ruled men,— Thearchy, government by God through a priestly hierarchy. With increased social interrelations man’s activities widened, and the warrior king arose. Divine authority was delegated to the hand of power; it stepped forth from the veil of the temple and became embodied. The priest blessed the sword, and monarchy, government by one man, followed. Till 1789 priest and noble constituted the ruling classes. The insurrection against authority culminated in the Revolution to hurl them from their seat. Commerce and Industry, trader and producer, fought shoulder to shoulder against their ancient enemies in storming the Bastile, and together celebrated their triumph. But the day after the victory saw a new division of forces; the tiers-etat had divided. Monarchy fell, but where once the amulet and the sword stood as symbols of authority was now seen the purse. The old aristocracy was replaced by a new timocracy. The monarch had followed the hierarch into the land of shadows; their day had passed. But the power of the purse created in their place an oligarchy,— government by the few who possessed its strings. The new Redeemer of the new world, Capital was held in legal bondage. Economic subjection to the means of labor, dependence for life upon arbitrary conditions, remained supreme; the third arm of Caesarism still retained its vigor. The glorious cry for liberty became degraded into commercial freedom,— involving free trade in labor!
As a consequence concentration of wealth has resulted by legal means. The political State is the concrete expression of existing social conditions; it is based upon them, and is clothed with authority to maintain them,— an exercise of force that every day is calling more and more into activity. For underlying all political questions are the unquestioned economic formulas of the present regime. While all this is in the line of progress, who will assert it to be its end? If the spirit of the age demands economic freedom, the political State cannot bar its course.
In the past force has been the midwife at the birth of every extension of freedom; privilege never concedes till endangered. Authority has ever sought to arrest progress, to dam the stream of time to turn privileged grist mills, and has but increased its destructive momentum when the inevitable break has come. Thearchy, monarchy, oligarchy! The church is of the past, the king is without divine right; will the political State remain? Already the standard of Anarchy is unfurled and groups thoughtful followers.
But the absence of government, the negation of authority of man over man, it is shrieked in our ears, is social dissolution, death! Authority must remain to control — others. So said its ecclesiastical defenders, so vociferated the assertors of intolerance, so shrieked the royalists,— yet Humanity lives! Authority will remain wherever freedom is denied, but with economic freedom attained the‘State, like the Church, will find its occupation gone. Individual liberty and external authority, of Church, or State, or Mob, cannot coexist. They are mutually antagonistic. The whole course of historical progress we have seen to be the extension of personal liberty, and the consequent restriction of the sphere of authority. And when a State is seen slowly developing force as its main reliance, it is not only a reactionary policy, but a revolutionary symptom! No man has yet been able to set a satisfactory limit to the extension of freedom. Liberty, not partial, but complete, is the goal of progress.
Let us not be alarmed. The dissipation of authority will continue, the extension of freedom cannot now cease; Caesarism is dying of its wounds; its convulsive wrenchings betoken its last agony. Where priest and king, clothed with divine consecration, have failed, the militia of the people will not prevail over the inspiration of the age. In the social commonwealth of the future, people will smile at the political methods of this age, as we smile at the judicial combats of the mediaeval age to settle questions of moral right, and the prayers of the Fifth Monarchy men to secure political freedom.
External authority — imperial or delegated — grows more and more restricted in scope as the ages roll on. Each revolving year brings out in clearer relief the fact that social administration and political government are not identical. When mental freedom gained recognition, the church passed away as an objective power, and human thought became of more value. When political freedom broke the blade of the consecrated sword, human actions increased in worth as they were more untrammeled. With the birth of our pseudo Commercial Freedom, the modern State arose. Deprived of a basis in the control of human thought and activity, it necessarily tell hack on what remained,— economic privilege. When this is swept away and equality of opportunities prevails, the State ceases. Though government falls, administration will remain; but to administer is neither to regulate or control. The twin delusions — protection and prohibition — will be exploded fallacies in the light of freedom.
Is this inconceivable? Every one will today admit that political methods cannot settle a moral question, cannot decide on the truth of a dogma. We would as soon speak of a black sound, or a round fragrance, as to attempt to identify the now separate spheres of morals and politics. Yet but a few generations ago what is now a commonplace that “even laborer” can understand was to statesmen inconceivable. Intelligent men today admit that political methods cannot reach economic laws; they underlie our whole social system, and are the foundation of the State. Yet men talk glibly of the power of the ballot in the State to settle economic questions, the spirit of which is a protest against the State. But in the fact that other thousands are aware of the futility of such efforts, that reforms in the political State will not remove economic privilege or subjection, lies my belief that the law of progress still prevails,— that the meaning of history as expounded in the logic of events is mental liberty, political liberty, economic liberty,— that the path of industry through slavery, serfdom, wagedom, will not end short of final emancipation,— that the rise of commerce, overleaping baronial custom dues, State regulation, and prohibitory fines, indicates a goal of unprivileged competition in freedom from legal thraldom,— in short, that the political State, seen to be needed but where privilege obtains, will follow priest and king and be hurled from the seat of authority and the throne overturned.
The reign of the archies is drawing to a close; the Coming of Man is at hand! The night of eighteen Christian centuries has passed; we live in the dawn of a new era, and here and there we can already discern the ruddy tints of the rising Sun of Liberty!
The Martyrdom of Man to Authority must cease!
Slowly comes a hungry people, as a lion creeping nigher,
Glares at one that nods and winks beside a slowly dying fire!
The Political Theology of Mazzini And The International.
By Michael Bakounine, Member of the International Association of Working-People.
Translated from the French by Sarah E. Holmes.
Continued from No. 87.
So the materialists, always conforming their social theories to the real developments of history, consider bestiality, cannibalism, slavery as the first points of departure in the progressive movement of society; but what are they seeking, what do they wish? The emancipation and complete humanization of society; while the idealists, who take for the foundations of their speculations the immortal soul and free will, end inevitably in the worship of public order, like Thiers, and- in that of authority, like Mazzini,— that is to say, in the consecration and organization of an eternal slavery. Whence it fellows, evidently, that theoretical materialism has for a necessary consequence practical idealism, and that, on the contrary, ideal theories find their realization possible only in the grossest practical materialism.
But yesterday, under our eyes, where were the materialists, the atheists, found? In the Paris Commune. And the idealists, the believers in God? In the National Assembly of Versailles. What did the men of Paris wish? Through the emancipation of labor, the definitive emancipation of humanity. And what does the triumphant Assembly of Versailles wish? Its final degradation under the double yoke of spiritual and temporal power. The materialists, full of faith and despising suffering, dangers, and death, wish to march forward, because they see gleaming before them the triumph of humanity; and the idealists, out of breath, seeing no longer anything but red spectres before them, wish to push it back with all their might into the mire from which it has escaped with so much trouble. Compare and judge.
Mazzini pretends and asserts, with that doctrinal and imperious tone which is peculiar to all founders of new religions, that materialists are incapable of loving and of devoting their life to great things. In saying that, he only proves that, a consistent idealist and scorner of humanity, in the name of his God, whose prophet he very seriously believes himself to be, he has never comprehended human nature nor the historical developments of society, and that, if he is not ignorant of history, he misunderstands it in a singular manner.
His reasoning is that of all the theologians. If there were no creative God, he says, the world with its admirable laws could not exist, or else would present nothing less than a horrible chaos, where all things would be governed, not by a providential and divine thought, but by frightful chance and the anarchical competition ot blind forces. There would be no aim in life; everything would be only material, brutal, and fortuitous. For without God, no coordination in the physical world, and no moral law in human society; and without moral law, no duty, no right, no sacrifice, no love, no humanity, no country, no Rome, and no Italy; far, if Italy exists as a nation, it is only because she has a providential and worldly mission to fulfill, and she could have been charged with this mission only by God, whose paternal solicitude for this queen of nations has gone so far as to trace, with his own divine finger, her frontiers, predicted and described by the prophetic genius of Dante.
In the course of this work, I will try to prove against Mazzini:
1. That, if there were a God, the world could never have existed.
2. That, if God had been the legislator of the natural world, which in our idea includes all the world, properly speaking, as much the physical as the human or social world, what we call natural laws, physical and social, likewise could never have existed. Like all political States subordinated and ruled from above by arbitrary legislators, the world would then present the spectacle of the most revolting anarchy. It could not exist.
3. That the moral law, whose existence we materialists and atheists recognize more really than idealists of any school whatever, Mazzinians or non-Mazzinians, can, is a truly moral law, a law at once logical and real, a powerful law, a law which must triumph over the conspiracies of all the idealists in the world, because it emanates from the very nature of human society, nature of which we must seek the real foundations, not in God, but in animality.
4. That the idea of a God, far from being necessary to the establishment of this law, has been only its disturbance and depravation.
5. That all the Gods, past and present, have owed their first existence to human fantasy, hardly free from the swaddling-clothes of its primitive bestiality; that faith in a supernatural or divine world constitutes an aberration historically inevitable in the past developments of our mind; and that, to use an expression of Proudhon, men, deceived by a sort of optical illusion, have always adored in their Gods only their own image, reversed and monstrously exaggerated.
6. That divinity, once established on its celestial throne, has become the scourge of humanity, the ally of all the tyrants, of all the charlatans, of all the tormentors and exploiters of the popular masses.
7. That, finally, the disappearance of the divine phantoms, necessary condition of the triumph of humanity, will he one of the inevitable consequences of the emancipation of the proletariat.
As long as Mazzini was content to insult the youth of the schools, the only ones who, in the profoundly corrupted and degraded circles of the existing bourgeoisie, still evinced a little enthusiasm for great tilings, for truth and justice; as long as he limited his attacks to the German professors, to the Moleschotts, the Schiffs, and the others, who commit the horrible offence of teaching true science in Italian universities; and as long as he amused himself with denouncing them to the Italian government as propagators of subversive ideas in the country of Galileo and Giordano Bruno,— the silence enjoined by affection and pity was possible to us. The young people are energetic enough and the professors learned enough to defend themselves.
But today Mazzini has exceeded the limit. Still in good faith and still inspired by an idealism as fanatical as sincere, he has committed two crimes which, in our eyes, in the eyes of the entire socialistic democracy of Europe, are unpardonable.
At the very moment when the heroic population of Paris, more sublime than ever, was getting itself massacred by tens of thousands, including women and children, in defending the most humane, the most just, the most grand cause which was ever produced in history, the cause of the emancipation of the working-people of the whole world; at the moment when the frightful coalition of all the unclean reactions which are now celebrating their triumphal orgies at Versailles, not content with massacring and imprisoning en masse our brothers and sisters of the Commune of Paris, launches at them all the calumnies which a baseness without limits can alone concoct,— Mazzini, the great, the pure democrat Mazzini, turning his back upon the cause of the proletariat and remembering only his mission of prophet and priest, likewise hurls his insults at them! He dares deny not only the justice of their cause, but even their heroic and sublime devotion, representing them, they who have sacrificed themselves for the deliverance of the whole world, as a lot of coarse creatures ignorant of all moral law and obeying only egoistic and savage impulses.
This is not the first time that Mazzini has insulted and calumniated the people of Paris. In 1848, after the memorable days of June which had inaugurated the era of demands of the proletariat and of the really socialistic movement in Europe, Mazzini had launched a manifesto full of wrath, cursing the workingmen of Paris and socialism at the same time. Against the workingmen of 1848, devoted, heron, sublime, like their children ot 1871, and, like them, massacred, imprisoned, and banished en masse by the bourgeois Republic, Mazzini had repeated all the slanders of which Ledru-Rollin and his other friends, self-styled red republicans of France, made use to palliate in the eyes of the world, and perhaps in their own eyes, their ridiculous and shameful incapacity.
Mazzini cursed socialism: as priest or as Messianic deputy of the master on high, he must curse it, since socialism, considered from the moral point of view, is the advent of human respect replacing the voluntary degradations of divine worship, and, considered from the scientifically practical point of view, is the proclamation of that grand principle which, from this time a part of the conscience of the people, has become the single point of departure, as well of the researches and developments of positive science, as of the revolutionary movements of the proletariat.
This principle, summed up in all its simplicity, is as follows:
“As in the world specifically called material, inorganic matter (mechanical, physical, chemical) is the determinative base of organic matter (vegetable, animal, intelligent or cerebral), so in the social world, which can be considered only as the highest known degree of the material world, the development of economic questions has always been and still continues to be the determinative base of all religious, philosophical, political, and social developments.”
We see that this principle brings with it nothing less than the most audacious overturning of all the theories, scientific as well as moral, of all the religious, metaphysical, political, and judicial ideas, which together constitute the belief of all idealists, past and present. This is a revolution a thousand times more formidable than that which, starting from the Renaissance and especially from the seventeenth century, overthrew the scholastic doctrines, se ramparts of the Church, of absolute monarchy, and of feudal nobility, to replace them by the metaphysical dogmatism of so-called pure reason, so favorable to the domination of the latest privileged class and especially of the bourgeoisie.
If the overthrow of scholastic barbarity caused such a terrible emotion in its time, we can understand what convulsions must be caused, in our day, by the overthrow of doctrinal idealism, of this last refuge of all the oppressors and privileged exploiters of humanity.
The exploiters of ideal beliefs feel themselves menaced in their most precious interests, and the disinterested, fanatical, and sincere partisans of dying idealism, like Mazzini, see all the religion, all the illusion of their life, destroyed at a single blow.
Since he began to act, Mazzini has not ceased to repeat to the proletariat of Italy and of Europe these words, which sum up his religious and political catechism: “Be moral, adore God, accept the moral law which I bring you in his name, aid me in establishing a republic founded on the (impossible) marriage of reason and faith, of divine authority and human liberty, and you shall have glory and power, and moreover, you shall have prosperity, liberty, and equality.”
Socialism says to them, on the contrary, through the mouth of the International:
“That the economic subjection of the laborer to the monopolist of raw material and the instruments of labor is the source of servitude in all its forms,— social misery, mental degradation, political submission,— and
“That, for this reason, the economic emancipation of the laboring classes is the great end to which all political movements should be subordinated as a simple means.”
Such is, in its simplicity, the fundamental thought of the International Association of Working-People,
One can understand that Mazzini has been obliged to curse it; and this is the second crime with which we reproach him, while recognizing, however, that, in cursing it, he has obeyed his conscience as prophet and priest.
But, while rendering justice to his incontestable sincerity, we must affirm that, in adding his invectives to those of all the reactionists of Europe against our unfortunate brothers, the heroic defenders and martyrs of the Commune of Paris, and his excommunications to those of the National Assembly and of the Pope against the legitimate claims and the international organization of the workingmen of the entire world, Mazzini has definitively broken with the revolution, and has taken his place in the international reaction.
In the course of this work, examining one by one his grievances against our admirable Association, I shall endeavor to lay bare the emptiness of the religious and political doctrines of the prophet.
[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.
Not Compromise, but Surrender.
No more painful task have I, as editor of Liberty, ever found it necessary to perform than that which now lies next my hand. For years I have worked side by side with E. C. Walker for the cause of Anarchy, never for a moment doubting that his reliability and his intelligence were equal to the best and equal to each other. But it is rapidly becoming plain that I have over-estimated him in one of these respects. So that now, in his hour of trial, when the long cooperation of less critical days should grow closer than ever,
I am compelled to interrupt it in consequence of his failure to understand the true significance of the work which we have been harmoniously engaged in, or else his unwillingness to comply with its demands upon him in the course which he has lately chosen for himself in entering upon sexual relations with Lillian Harman.
The faces in the case may be briefly stated as follows. On September 19 Mr. Walker and Miss Harman, at the house of Miss Harman’s father, the senior editor of “Lucifer,” went through what they term an autonomistic marriage ceremony. This consisted of the reading by the father of a statement of principles in regard to marriage; declarations by Mr. Walker and Miss Harman that they then and there formed a love and labor union, at the same time repudiating legal marriage and the powers legally conferred upon husbands and wives; and an avowal by the father of his consent to this union. On the following day the contracting parties were arrested for “living together as man and wife without being or having been married,” since which time Mr. Walker has been in the jail at Oskaloosa, Kansas, and Miss Harman has been under guard, neither having been able to get bail in consequence of the intimidation of the Liberals of the vicinity by the religious element.
In spite of the fact that I consider all marriage ceremonies as indelicate, obtrusive, needless, and unwise; in spite of the fact that they recognize, at least by implication, the right of third parties to know and to interfere; and in spite of the fact that this ceremony in particular revealed not a few inconsistencies in the declarations of the parties to it,— I nevertheless felt at first that here was a brave defiance of the State, the institution through which third parties effect their interference, and that Mr. Walker and Miss Harman were in so far acting as Anarchists. Therefore, when I heard of their arrest, I thought them deserving of the sanction and support of Anarchists, and I hastened to express my readiness to render them any assistance in my power. I was the more ardent in my desire to be of service from the fact that Mr. Walker had accompanied his announcement of their arrest with the most positive assertions that the issue would be met squarely and that there would be no compromise. Judge, then, of my surprise at receiving a second letter from Mr. Walker containing the following statement:
Our line of defence is simply this. The agreement between a man and a woman to live together as husband and wife is the essential element in marriage, all things else being unnecessary adjuncts. This, of course, was our own position, and subsequent to our arrest we received from three able attorneys, two of whom we had consulted and the other of whom volunteered his counsel, a line of defence precisely similar, but backed in each case by a mass of common law precedents and court decisions that very much surprised me. The courts of no less than eighteen States have rendered decisions substantially supporting this position, and now we hope to add Kansas to the number.
Of course, a decision in our favor will not decide all questions of liberty; the right of parties to mutually divorce themselves will remain untouched. But that is not the issue in our case. We claim the right to marry ourselves without any license, without any official, without the intervention of any third party. In brief, we totally ignore the statute and fall back upon our natural rights,— in legal parlance, our common law rights. This position is the one taken by our counsel, and it is the one he will defend before tile Supreme Court. No denial is made of the facts; there is no quibbling on technicalities. I think that the issue is a square one, and that all radicais can consistently help us.
In giving publicity to the foregoing and to the correspondence which succeeded it, I hope I am not violating confidence. I presume that Mr. Walker was not writing for publication, but I desire to give him the benefit of his own statements. To his astonishing letter I straightway made the following reply:
Box 3366, Boston, October 4, 1886.
Dear Mr. Walker:
I write to you hastily and in no little alarm, but not, I trust, inconsiderately. Your letter of September 30 is just at hand. In what I am about to say in answer thereto, I do not in the least impagn your honesty, your courage, or your motives. But I wist, to make my protest promptly against your proposed line of defence, and let you know how radically it must change my attitude in regard to your case, if you carry it out. Nor must my words he regarded as ill any sense a threat or attempt to bulldoze. I want you to follow strictly your own judgment. But as you may expect me to lift ray voice in your behalf, I ought to explain to you without delay under what circumstances such a course on my part would be i in possible.
I understood that you proposed to make an issue with marriage. Now it appears, on the contrary, that you propose to prove your marriage. I thought you meant to vindicate the right to live together outside of marriage. But it seems you intend to vindicate only your right to get inside of marriage through a door of your own and then live together. You say there will be no compromise. I should say as much! It will be worse than compromise; it will be absolute, wholesale, unconditional surrender. I would not ask a friend of Liberty to aid you in the smallest in such a course; I shall be obliged, instead, to distinctly urge them all to discountenance you in it. If you establish in the courts that a man and woman who agree to live together thereby put themselves legally in the same position as those who are married by a minister or magistrate, you not only do not serve the cause of free love, but you distinctly damage it. As it has been hitherto, a man and woman could live together in Kansas without running any greater risk than that of being prosecuted for fornication; if you succeed in your design, any who do so hereafter will be bound together for life and made subject to all the evils that we complain of in the marriage system. Can any Anarchist help you to such an end? Certainly no one will, if my voice can prevent it. I appeal to you not to demean our cause by so feeble and ridiculous a course. Do not let it be said of us that the mountain labored and brought forth a mouse. Two manly courses are open to you. One is to appease the authorities by getting regularly married, declaring at the same time to the world that you do it finder protest and because you are not in a position to fight for your rights. The other is to maintain your right to associate sexually with Lillian Hannan without marrying her in any way, and to suffer whatever consequences tyrannical power may impose upon you. Adopting the former, I can excuse you. Adopting the latter, I can champion you. Adopting any other, I must combat you as I would any ordinary friend of marriage.
I write earnestly, but not in anger. In this crisis, to have to take my stand against you instead of by your side would add another to the grievous disappointments of my life. Hoping there may be no such necessity put upon me, I am is sincerely as ever your friend and comrade,
Benj. R. Tucker.
This elicited another and more elaborate, but even less satisfactory, explanation.
Cell 2, The Jail, Oskaloosa, Kansas, Oct. 11, 1886.
Dear Mr. Tucker:
Yours of the 4th instant just to hand. Some days ago I received a letter of similar tenor from A. Warren. It was intended for publication, and to it I prepared an answer. Then came a second from him, saying that he withdrew the first for the present, as be feared it might embarrass us. I think that we shall print it this week, however.
I understand your motives, and am not offended, but I shall be very sorry if, after you have read this letter, you cannot champion us in the fight we are waging, for there is no man in America whose confidence I more desire. But I think that you fall into several serious errors, both as regards the law and what we mean and are trying to establish.
Yes, we “propose to prove our marriage,” just that and nothing less. But do not, I beg you, commit the mistake that the enemies of Anarchism do and try to compel us to accept our enemies’ definition of words. We do not intend to let either the Church or you do that. We insist upon our right to put our own construction upon this word “marriage.” To be sure, we do not have the etymological authority for its use in the sense that we employ it that Anarchists have for their definition of the word Anarchy, but we do have a much better authority than that. Marriage is the union of a man and woman in a sexual association. As a practical fact, it assumes various forms in different portions of the world. We hold that its essential feature is the concent of the parties themselves and of no others. This is our first affirmation. Our second is that the common law and the higher courts agree with us in this. Now, we have not appealed to the law to say that we have complied with its provisions, we have not asked the State for leave to live together. On the contrary, we ignored all the statutes, and proceeded to exercise our natural right to associate, without asking the permission of any person or aggregation of persons. And this was the logical practicalization of our primary postulate. But now comes the State and says that we have committed a misdemeanor, and it, through its minor officials, puts us under arrest. What are we to do? Defend ourselves, of course. But how? First, by denying that we have been guilty of any wrong, by affirming that what we did we had a perfect right to do. And in defending ourselves we point to every principle of the common law and to every decision of the courts that makes for natural Liberty and Justice. Just as I should do, if prosecuted under the Sunday law of this or any other State; I should raise between me and my persecutors the shield of the State Bill of Rights and the National Constitution, taking that position on the legal aspects of the Sunday question and at the same time asserting clearly and strongly my natural right to make such two of the twenty-four hours of Sunday as I saw fit. W. aid you say that I was making “absolute, wholesale, unconditional surrender”? I think not, and I am sure that I should not think that I had either surrendered or compromised. And this is precisely our position today. Dragged into court, without our consent, of course, and threatened with the penalties of the statute law, we declare that we have done no wrong, that we are clearly within our natural right, and, furthermore, that there is no principle of fundamental law that will allow us to he subjected to the pains and penalties of the statute law.
Another mistake of yours is in supposing that hitherto those who have so lived together in this State have not been regarded as married, to all intents and purposes, and that, should we succeed in establishing our right to live together without compliance with the statutory provisions regulating marriage, we shall have driven another nail in the coffin-lid of Liberty by making it a principle of Kansas law that parties so living together are bound for life, and that from that marriage there is no escape save through the legal door. This is already the fact. In several suits regarding the inheritance of property, and under the bastardy laws, it has been held by the lower courts that such marriages are valid. In other words, these unions are already held to he valid so far as duties are concerned, and, if we succeed in our fight, it will be established that in the matter of rights they are also valid, a guarantee of protection, and against such parties the fornication laws would be inoperative. A decision in our favor will not impose a single additional restraint, and, on the other hand, it will remove some disabilities and in every way help the cause of progress. As matters now are, although we are being prosecuted for “living together as man and wife without being married,” we are nevertheless amenable to the laws against bigamy and adultery. In short, my dear sir, whoever live together in the sexual relation are regarded by the law as married so far an property rights, the legitimacy of children, bigamy, adultery, and divorce are concerned. By the “law” I mean the whole body of it, not the particular statutes of any State. In our case we are prosecuted by those who are ignorant of natural right am I of the common law and the almost innumerable court decisions sustaining our position. They know only the meddlesome, barbaric, statute law, and they have a hazy idea that compliance with those statutes alone constitutes marriage. They do not understand our position that the consent of the parties themselves is all that is requisite. And were this fact known to all, and also the further fact that it is the one essential condition in the eyes of the Higher courts, we should behold a great change almost immediately; for, when it once comes to be recognized that the mutual consent of a man and a woman to live in the social relation is all that is essential in marriage, the whole marrying machinery of the State will rapidly fall into disuse. And then we can consider the succeeding steps in reform, among which is the settlement of all marital difficulties by mutual agreement or arbitration. Then will the divorcing machinery of the State rust in inaction.
In the logical order of progressive reforms comes, first, the recognition of the right of men and women to marry themselves; next, the recognition of their right to manage their own home affairs (a right denied by the Comstock postal statutes and similar legislation); and, next, their right to unmarry themselves when they discover that their happiness is no longer subserved by their union.
Lillian Harman and I are making a defensive fight for the first of these rights, as Heywood and others have for the second. We have no occasion, and we hope that we may never have, to enter the lists in behalf of the third. But the need and the hour will bring the man and the woman, I doubt not.
In conclusion, my comrade, I shall be most sorry to forfeit your friendship and your confidence, and shall miss, if you withhold it, your public commendation, but each must be true to his or her own conviction and follow the light that he or she sees, let the consequences be what they may.
But it seems to me that you must, after reading this, look at this matter in a somewhat different light from that in which you were viewing it when you wrote your letter. The facts that I see are very different from those that you thought you saw. At least, so it appears to me.
Very cordially yours,
E. C. Walker.
Instead of modifying my views, this letter on the contrary betrays more clearly than before the retrogressive nature of Mr. Walker’s defence. He may define the word “marriage” to suit himself; I have not the slightest objection. But when he attempts to prove himself legally married, he does not define the word himself, but accepts the definition which the State imposes and all its consequences; that is, he accepts the thing with which he has been doing battle and in defiance of which be formed his union with Lillian Harman. That when this union was formed Mr. Walker did not regard it as that “agreement between a man and a woman to live together as husband and wife” which he now calls “the essential element in marriage,” and that he did regard it as the opposite of a legal marriage, is clear from his words during the ceremony:
She [Lillian] remains sovereign of herself, as I of myself, and we severally and together repudiate all powers legally conferred upon husbands and wives. In legal marriage woman surrenders herself to the law and to her husband, and becomes a vassal. Here it is different; Lillian is now made free.
That the present position is a retreat from the one thus announced at the ceremony is too plain for argument. That it is a surrender of the principle of Anarchism is equally plain. It is true that Mr. Walker did not ask the State for leave to live with Lillian Harman, but now that the State arrests him for living with her on other than its own terms, he declares that he accepts its terms, whereas his previous battle has been for a rejection of these terms,— terms that are in a high degree tyrannical and Archistic. His analogy in regard to the Sunday law is no analogy at all. In establishing his right under the constitution to do as he may choose on Sunday, he would establish to that extent his freedom, but in establishing under the constitution that, if he lives with a woman, he is married to her, he would establish his slavery (and hers also). A rather vital distinction, I fancy!
If parties who live together in Kansas are married already as far as duties are concerned, Kansas law is very different from that of Massachusetts and many other States. But for aught I know it may be the case. If so, then Mr. Walker’s design of bringing Kansas into line with the eighteen States to which he refers amounts only to an acceptance of the duties of legal marriage provided the privileges thereof are granted also, which is a still further recognition of State marriage as the only allowable marriage. Such a change, instead of causing the marrying machinery to fall into disuse, would render it stronger than ever by making it more consistent.
Mr. Walker’s idea that it is the logical order of reform to first establish the liberty of legal marriage and then the liberty of legal divorce is a little more absurd than that of Anarchists like Putnam, who propose to first tax churches and then abolish taxation altogether, or of some other alleged Anarchists, who propose to give the ballot to woman and then abolish I suffrage altogether. Mr. Walker has heretofore made himself conspicuous by opposition to such methods of reform; his acceptance of them now is another proof that he has turned his face towards the past. I cannot turn my face to keep him company or give him countenance; my course is straight on. He may surrender, if he will; I propose to continue the war. We Anarchists are too poor to spare money for the vindication of the right of men and women to enslave themselves. All who contribute to the Lucifer Defence Fund will be doing just that and nothing less. It is painful to be obliged to give such warning, but I caution all Anarchists against it.
What Could We Do Without Police?
The first question proposed by almost every one, when told that the Anarchists advocate the abolition of all government, is what would you do without policemen, what would you have to protect us from thieves and desperadoes. The Anarchists usually answer that under just conditions thieves and desperadoes will for the most part disappear; that from the few that remain voluntary association of citizens will be sufficient to protect society; that the worst class of criminals is not the small, disreputable ones, but the large, honorable, respectable thieves, for whose benefit the government exists. But now evidence is accumulating to show that the State not only causes and favors the growth of the wealthy class of criminals, but that it directly encourages the depredations of the poorer class, and that the main mass of the people, patient and long-suffering, is continually being crucified between the two classes of thieves.
Must the “Sun” make war once again on the gangs of this city? On Tuesday the Young Men’s Cathedral Association of St. Rose of Lima went upon an excursion to an island in the Hudson. Year after year this association has spent one day in each twelvemonth in this manner, and always peaceably and happily; but this time its trip was marred by disorder. Some members of a notorious gang of desperadoes, calling themselves the “Short Tails,” smuggled themselves on the boat, got drunk, and began to fight. It was an imposition on the members of the association.
The “Sun” is entirely ready and willing to take up the cudgels again against these gangs, but, it it does so, it will not put them down again until either the gangs are broken up or the police officials who fail to quell this form of lawlessness are brought to task for negligence.
It is a notorious fact that scarcely an excursion of working-people leaves New York or vicinity for a day’s pleasure without some of these gangs getting aboard and causing such trouble as in the affair of Tuesday, and that in every case, as in that case, they are countenanced in their disturbance by the police, who are supposed to protect the interests of the citizens. The people have not only the gangs, but the police, to contend against,— but what could we do without the police?
The members of these gangs usually represent part of the constituency of some “honorable” gentlemen for whom they do valiant service at election times after the distribution of “free beer,” and the police are appointees of the same honorable gentlemen; consequently their interests are identical, and opposed to those of the ordinary citizens, whose function in the social economy consists in being fleeced. In the excursion to Oscawanna Island the Hon. Tim Campbell’s police set free the Hon. Tim Campbell’s “heelers” as fast as the injured citizens locked them up,— and yet what could w« do without the police?
Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty, but why should we voluntarily increase the number of those against whom vigilance is necessary, endow them with extraordinary powers over our lives and property? If it is necessary, as the “Sun” admits, that we must protect ourselves against the gangs, is it also necessary that we maintain a costly police force to aid the gangs? Is it good war tactics to aid in increasing, at such great expense to ourselves, the strength of the enemy? But these Anarchistic theories are only impracticable dreams; the practical person, who has been sleeping all the while, now wakes up, raises his head, and, looking at us with owl-like solemnity, confounds us with the terrible question: “What could we do without the police?
Gertrude B. Kelly.
“Scientific Socialism”: A Farce in Three Acts.
Having seen the announcement in a New Haven paper that Dr. E. B. Aveling and his wife, Eleanor Marx Aveling, were to appear in their well-known roles of “scientific socialists” in that city, and anticipating much extraordinary fun, I made up my mind to go there and enjoy it. “Come,” said I to a friend, “come and see with how little wisdom the world of State Socialism is governed.” “All! you are wicked,” responded my friend, “this thing is anything but amusing to me. I cannot laugh when I hear such silly and childish nonsense as the notions of the political theologists labelled ‘scientific socialism’ and preached in the most serious and solemn manner to a truth-seeking and earnest, but easily mystified, people.” I left him to his grief.
On reaching New Haven, I hurried to the hall. I was pleasantly surprised to meet there Dr. Gertrude B. Kelly and all the Anarchists of that place. They had come to see and be seen, hear and be heard. Dr. Aveling having distinctly told the reporters that he invites discussion and criticism, our friends accepted the challenge and were ready to give him every opportunity to preach his gospel. That the Anarchists are not afraid of competition in ideas the people of New Haven well know, for the Anarchist meetings were chiefly noted for the lively discussions and hot debates which were encouraged in every possible way. What the policy and methods of the State Socialists are — they were soon to learn.
A word from the chairman, and the crusade against common sense began. Dr. Aveling is an eloquent speaker, but he is nothing more. He made a vigorous attack upon the “capitalistic system,” which he very properly held responsible for all the evils and wrongs that afflict society, and the remedy he found — in the abolition of all private property! “This was a pretty how-do-you-do.” Dr. Aveling certainly failed to show that private property is in any way responsible for the crimes and atrocities of the “capitalistic system,” which, to any one who knows what he is talking about, means monopoly and legal privilege, and nothing else. But the logic of “Scientific State Socialists” is peculiar.
Speaking of the philosophy of Karl Marx, which he characterized as the philosophy of the nineteenth century, and of his discovery of surplus value (others before Marx have discussed and written about it), he took occasion to denounce as a relic of barbarism the so often raised objection that socialism is a foreign growth, an imported commodity, un-American, or “not English, you know.” Germany being preeminently the land of science and philosophy, it is but natural that the grandest and greatest discovery in economic science should be made by a German philosopher. But Dr. Aveling neglected to add that there is another kind of Socialism, Anarchistic Socialism, which is both American and English. The philosophy of State Socialism is the embodiment of the military spirit, of the love of artificialism, discipline, equality, which is certainly a characteristic of German civilization. The English philosophers and the American revolutionists are the fathers of Anarchistic Socialism, which is really the philosophy of the nineteenth century, and which is the embodiment of the spirit of industrialism, or voluntary cooperation.
Dr. Aveling emphatically denied any solidarity with the Anarchists. He is as bitterly opposed to Anarchy as he is to the present system, “which practically is Anarchy.” Education, agitation, organization, and political action are the methods of the State Socialists. He endorsed the Knights of Labor, the eight-hour agitation, the Henry George boom, in short, every popular movement. This is hardly in accordance with scientific strictness, but prudential considerations demanded such a course.
The “daughter of her father” then appeared. She said her piece in a way that charmed everybody. One profound remark was that nobody shall have a right, under Socialism, to call human beings his “hands,” but everybody will have the right to call his own hands “my hands,” because he will produce something useful or beautiful with them. We were also informed that society will control the thoughts as well as the actions of its members.
While Mrs. Aveling spoke, the arrangements for the finale completed. The actions of the managers aroused our suspicions. Something was being planned. I went up to one of them and told him of our intention to reply to Dr. Aveling. “What!” exclaimed the frightened Socialist, “do you want to preach Anarchy at our meetings?” “Dr. Aveling invited discussion,” I quietly reminded him, but was angrily told that we should only be permitted to ask questions. This did not satisfy us. We announced to the meeting that Dr. G. B. Kelly wished to make a few remarks on the lecture. The chairman regretted that he was compelled to deny Miss Kelly this privilege, but criticism was not included in the programme. We then moved that the house take action upon the matter, but the authoritative statement from the chair that the house does not control, but is controlled, settled the matter. Dr. Aveling, with a forced smile, explained to the meeting that they have “organized” and must follow the original programme. “We, unlike the Anarchists, believe in organization, and we do not propose to disorganize now just to please Miss Kelly.”
The scene was decidedly dramatic. Being a dramatic, critic, Dr. Aveling must have felt it very keenly. When asked if he would consent to meet the New Haven Anarchists in a fair and public debate at any time that might suit his convenience, he replied that it would be useless and unprofitable.
“I came to preach Socialism, not to debate with any of the schools that call themselves Socialistic.”
Well, Dr. Aveling, as you please. We are more than satisfied The New Haven people had an object lesson. They know the methods of the Anarchists. They have now had the opportunity of watching the workings of State Socialism. Let them choose.
[The New Haven experience had its counterpart in Boston. The Avelings spoke in Faneuil Hall Saturday evening, October 16. When Dr. Aveling had finished his speech, I asked from the floor if questions were allowed. The chairman consulted Dr. Aveling, and then answered that questions were allowed, but only at the end of the meeting, after the speakers had finished. It was easy to see the motive of this. There are no seats on the floor of Faneuil Hall, and the audience continually dwindles. At the end of the meeting, of the thousand people who heard the speech only a hundred would be present to hear the question. However, being an Anarchist and therefore an orderly person, I temporarily subsided. Mrs. Aveling then proceeded to supply the emotional part of the entertainment, after which the chairman announced that the remaining advertised speaker, Liebknecht, had failed to make his appearance. Obviously this was the proper time to listen to questions. But no. Before I could catch the chairman’s eye or ear, he had called on John Orvis as a substitute speaker, who in turn was followed by the president of the Central Labor Union. As the latter sat down, I asked the chairman if my question would be in order. He turned again to consult Dr. Aveling, and, while he was thus engaged, a few stray voices shouted for Cherrington, a local labor agitator who, fired by the example of Henry George, hopes to be the labor mayor of Boston. This furnished the desired excuse, and the chairman promptly said that, while Dr. Aveling would be glad to answer my question, the voice of the many was for Cherrington, and the voice of the many must be heeded before the voice of the one. Again I subsided, but only to “bob up serenely” as soon as Mr. Cherrington had concluded his brief but indispensable oration. It was evident by this time that I “meant business,” and so, after another consultation, it was decided to face the postering Anarchist. Being recognized at last, I Said:
“I understood the speaker, in the earlier portion of his remarks, to point out this as an essential difference between State Socialism and Anarchism,— that State Socialism favors peace and legality as a method, while Anarchism favors force and violence as a method. I wish to ask him whether he knows of anything in the doctrine of State Socialism per se which necessarily excludes violence as a method, and whether he knows of anything in the doctrine of Anarchism per se which necessarily includes violence as a method.”
Dr. Aveling advanced nervously to the front of the platform and replied.
“The answer to that question is short and simple. I am not an advocate of State Socialism, and so cannot answer for it. As for Anarchism, I did not know that it had any doctrines at all.”
And with this ad captandum and scientifically socialistic retort, Dr. Aveling retreated to his seat amid some applause and yells. As soon as quiet was restored, I rejoined:
“Such an answer as that is characteristic of a man who believes in force rather than reason as a method of settling the social question. Dr. Aveling makes no other answer because he does not dare to.”
Although the doctor’s reply served his purpose of catching the crowd, it made every judicious State Socialist grieve. A number of those who sat on the platform have since confessed to me that they were ashamed of their champion’s conduct, that his answer was a distinct evasion, and that I was not treated fairly. Tt was certainly absurd for him to say that he was not an advocate of State Socialism, since he had expressly stated in his speech that he was in favor of the abolition by legal force of private property in the means of production. And it was equally absurd for him to say that he did not know that Anarchism had any doctrines, since he had also stated in his speech that he disagreed, not only with the methods ot Anarchic” but with the ends of Anarchism. If he had answered my first question seriously, I should have followed it up with several others; but as the first sufficed to compel the charlatan to reveal his true character, I saw that there was no further good to be secured by prolonging the discussion. Thus, then, this incident terminated.
But the most revolting part of my experience with the Avelings was yet to come.
On the following Tuesday morning appeared conspicuously in the Boston “Herald” a communication, over a column in length, signed by Edward Aveling and Eleanor Marx Aveling. The first paragraph was as follows:
To the Editor of the Herald:
When on Saturday night last we had finished speaking in Faneuil Hall, your “Cradle of Liberty,” a paper was handed to us containing thirteen questions. It was headed: “Questions Americans are asking. Will you please make public answer?” The paper was anonymous. We make it a rule to take no notice of the hundreds of anonymous documents received in the course of a year. Even had it been signed, to answer thirteen questions at the end of a long evening would have been impossible. But since Saturday these questions have been sent to the Boston “Herald,” and the name of their propounder has been given. He is Mr. Benjamin Tucker, editor of the Anarchist paper Liberty. We understand fully that these questions are not put with any desire to get at the meaning of Socialism, but we recognize the necessity of making it clear to Americans that Socialism and Anarchism are antagonistic, and we therefore take the opportunity courteously offered by the editor of the “Herald” and “make public answer.”
Then followed a series of thirteen questions, which (excepting one or two) were only exceeded in silliness by the answers accompanying them. They were questions which I could not have asked under any circumstances, and many of my friends who read the communication were only believed of their fears regarding my sanity by reading the following in the “Herald” of Tuesday afternoon:
To the Editor of the Herald:
The extraordinary communication in this morning’s “Herald,” signed by Edward Aveling and Eleanor Marx Aveling, answering thirteen questions which they charge me with propounding, is one of the most remarkable outrages on an individual’s private opinions that has ever come under my notice. I not only never asked the questions therein printed, either verbally or in writing, but I never caused them to be asked. In fact, until I read the “Herald” at eleven o’clock this morning, I had never seen or heard these questions. The only question that I have put to Dr. Aveling since his arrival in America was one that was asked in Faneuil Hall last Saturday night, which his own friends say that he distinctly evaded. Further, the questions now answered by the Avelings do not represent my opinions at all or the doctrines of the Anarchists. No intelligent Anarchist would have asked them. I do not know their origin, but they read to me very much like questions that State Socialists like the Avelings would put themselves in order to avoid answering questions really asked by their opponents. A discussion in which the Avelings can control what is said on both sides is the only sort of discussion upon which they are willing to enter.
Benjamin R. Tucker.
Boston, October 19,1886.
[Mr. Tucker’s denial is enough, but it should be added that the “Herald” had already learned that he was in no way responsible for the questions propounded Saturday, and elsewhere printed with the answers of the Socialistic advocates. The use of his name in connection with them was a blunder. — Editor Herald.]
Not only a blunder, Mr. Editor; in the eyes of the law, it was also a crime. It is very fortunate for Dr. Edward Aveling, Eleanor Marx Aveling, and the proprietors of the “Herald” that I am an Anarchist; for if I were not, but, instead, a believer in the “legal force” which they advocate they would now be defendants in a libel suit, and would soon be mulcted in heavy damages to compensate me for this wanton outrage. A lawyer of high standing urged me to prosecute, and assured me that I would succeed; but of course such procedure was out of the question. Legal force and bomb force are all one to me; I would use neither except as a last resort. I am bound to add that the sub-editor of the “Herald” who made the correction treated me courteously and seemed disposed to make amends. As for the Avelings,— well, the facts speak for themselves.
In conclusion, I have a question for William Morris. He is the most conspicuous figure in the management of the London “Commonweal,” a paper for which Dr. Aveling is a prominent writer. He is also, to the best of my belief, a thoroughly sincere and honorable min. To be sure, Dr. Aveling does not officially represent Mr. Morris, but he is intimately connected with him in the minds of the people who read his paper; and I therefore ask Mr. Morris what he thinks of Dr. Aveling’s conduct in America, judging it by the facts above cited. I hope and believe that he will not follow Dr. Aveling’s example by evading my question.
Since the foregoing was put in type, a letter from Dr. Aveling has reached me, in which he does not have the grace even to apologize for his misconduct, but attempts to explain it by saying that he suppos ed the thirteen questions to have emanated from me because friends on the platform at Faneuil Hall and a “Herald” reporter had so informed him, and because I was the only person in the audience who manifested a desire to ask questions. This does not lessen the awkwardness of Dr. Aveling’s predicament. In the first place, either he is too ignorant regarding Anarchism to warrant him in publicly discussing it, or else the nature of the thirteen questions must have made him so sure that no Anarchist asked them that he could not have honestly attributed them to me on the strength of the unproven assertions of others. In the second place, these questions, however absurd, bore ho evidence of malice, and therefore Dr. Aveling, if he saw fit to depart from his rule not to notice anonymous communications, should have respected the writer’s anonymity. And, in the third place, it was just as unwarrantable in him to make a libellous statement about me which he did not know to be true as it you have been had he known it to be false. Yet, after unscrupulously making this false statement without first sufficiently investigating it, he now, with an impudence seldom paralleled, writes to rebuke my lack of “common fairness” in sending my denial to the “Herald” and other papers before consulting him. Dr. Aveling may wriggle as he will; he has enabled me to drive him into a corner, and I propose to hold him there. — Editor Liberty.]
The Science of Society.
by Stephen Pearl Andrews.
The True Constitution of Government In The Sovereignty of the Individual as the Final Development of Protestantism, Democracy, and Socialism.
This little treatise on the True Constitution of Government was delivered as one of the regular course of lectures before the New York Mechanics’ Institute for the present winter. It is now published as the introductory number of a contemplated series of publications, presenting certain new principles of society, which it is the belief of the author are eminently adapted to supply the felt want of the present day for an adequate solution of the existing social disturbances. For the principles in question, either as original discoveries, or else as presented in a new light, as solvents of the knotty questions which are now puzzling the most capacious minds and afflicting the most benevolent hearts of Christendom, the author confesses his very great indebtedness, and he believes the world will yet gladly confess its indebtedness, to the genius of Josiah Warren, of Indiana, who has been engaged for more than twenty years in testing, almost in solitude, the practical operation, in the education of children, in the sphere of commerce, and otherwise, of the principles which we are now for the first time presenting prominently to the public.
It has been the belief of the author that there are in the ranks of those who are denominated Conservatives many who sympathize deeply with the objects of radical reform, but who have never identified themselves with the movements in that direction, either because they have not seen that the practical measures proposed by the advocates of reform contained the elements of success, or else because they have distinctly perceived or intuitively felt that they did not. They may have been repelled, too, by the want of completeness in the programme, the want of scientific exactness in the principles announced, or, finally, by the want of a lucid conception of the real nature of the remedy which is needed for the manifold social evils of which all confess the existence in the actual condition of society. If there are minds in this position, minds more rigid than others in their demands for precise and philosophical principles preliminary to action, it is from such that the author anticipates the most cordial reception of the elements propounded by Mr. Warren, so soon as they are seen in their connections and interrelations with each other.
Believing that these principles will justify the assumption, I have ventured to place at the head of this series of publications, as a general title, “The Science of Society.”
The propriety of the use of the term “Science” in such a connection may be questioned by some whom habit has accustomed to apply that term to a much lower range of investigations. If researches into the habits of beetles and tadpoles, and their localities and conditions of existence, are entitled to the dignified appellation of Science, certainly similar researches into the nature, the wants, the adaptations, and, so to speak, into the true or requisite moral and social habitat of the spiritual animal called Man must be, if conducted according to the rigid methods of scientific induction from observed facts, equally entitled to that distinction.
The series of works, of which this is the first in order, will deal in no vague aspirations after “the good time coming.” They will propound definite principles which demand to be regarded as having all the validity of scientific truths, and which, taken in their co-relations with each other, are adequate to the solution of the social problem. If this pretension be made good, the importance of the subject will not be denied. If not well founded, the definiteness of the propositions will be favorable to a speedy and successful refutation.
S. P. A.
New York, January, 1851.
The True Constitution of Government.
Ladies and Gentlemen:
The subject which I propose to consider this evening is the true constitution of human government.
Every age is a remarkable one, no doubt, for those who live in it. When immobility reigns most in human affairs, there is still enough of movement to fix the attention, and even to excite the wonder of those who are immediately in proximity with it. This natural bias in favor of the period with which we have most to do is by no means sufficient, however, to account for the growing conviction, on all minds, that the present epoch is a marked transition from an old to a new order of things. The scattered rays of the gray dawn of the new era date back, indeed, beyond the lifetime of the present generation. The first streak of light that streamed through the dense darkness of the old regime was the declaration by Martin Luther of the right of private judgment in matters of conscience. The next, which shed terror upon the old world, as a new portent of impending revolutions, was the denial by Hampden, Sidney, Cromwell, and others of the divine right of kings, and the assertion of inherent political rights in the people themselves. This was followed by the American Declaration of Independence, the establishment of a powerful Democratic Republic in the western world upon the basis of that principle, followed by the French Revolution, the Reign of Terror, the Reaction, and the apparent death in Europe of the Democratic idea. Finally, in our day, comes the red glare of French Socialism, at which the world is still gazing with uncertainty whether it be some lurid and meteoric omen of fearful events, or whether it be not the actual rising of the Sun of Righteousness, with healing in His wings; for there are those who profoundly and religiously believe that the solution of the social problem will be the virtual descent of the New Jerusalem,— the installation of the kingdom of heaven upon earth.
First in the religious, then in the political, and finally in the social relations of men new doctrines have thus been broached, which are full of promise to the hopeful, and full of alarm and dismay to the timid and conservative. This distinction marks the broadest division in the ranks of mankind. In Church and State and social life the real parties are the Progressionists and the Retrogressionists,— those whose most brilliant imaginings are linked with the future, and those whose sweetest remembrances bind them in tender associations to the past. Catholic and Protestant, Whig and Democrat, Anti-Socialist and Socialist, are terms which, in their origin, correspond to this generic division; but no sooner does a new classification take place than the parties thus formed are again subdivided, on either hand, by the ever-permeating tendency, on the one side toward freedom, emancipation, and progress, and toward law and order and immobility on the other.
Hitherto the struggle between conservatism and progress has seemed doubtful, Victory has kissed the banner, alternately, of either host. At length the serried ranks of conservatism falter. Reform, so called, is becoming confessedly more potent than its antagonist. The admission is reluctantly forced from pallid lips that revolutions — political, social, and religious — constitute the programme of the coming age. Reform, so called, for weal or woe, but yet Reform, must rule the hour. The older constitutions of society have outlived their day. No truth commends itself more universally to the minds of men now than that thus set forth by Carlyle: “There must be a new world, if there is to be any world at all. That human things in our Europe can ever return to the old sorry routine, and proceed with any steadiness or continuance there,— this small hope is not now a tenable one. These days of universal death must be days of universal new birth, if the ruin is not to be total and final! It is a time to make the dullest man consider, and ask himself, Whence he came? Whither he is bound? A veritable ‘New Era,’ to the foolish as well as to the wise.” Nor is this state of things confined to Europe. The agitations in America may be more peaceful, but they are not less profound. The foundations of old beliefs and habits of thought are breaking up. The old guarantees of order are fast falling away. A veritable “new era” with us, too, is alike impending and inevitable.
To be continued.
By Georges Sauton.
Translated from the French for Liberty by Sarah E. Holmes.
Continued from No. 87.
She broke down now with joy.
Entirely artificial, her rapidity, her energy., of the moment before, was the result of a passing excitement of the nervous system, and, under the shock of the news that her son lived, she fell again into her usual feebleness. So much sorrow in such tragic circumstances had preyed upon her; her sleepless nights, haunted with funereal visions, and her continued fasting had exhausted her.
The Duke, who lacked patience, detested these fainting-spells, which he could scarcely tolerate in the ladies of his own society, and he coarsely invited her to stop this affectation.
Yes, her son existed; he would even recover. She had better luck than an honest woman.
“Thanks, thanks!” said she, with effusion.
“No, do not thank me. He will recover. He is up and in good condition. A hard head; but bullets will penetrate it, nevertheless; powder has more expansive force than the arms of an old woman, although animated by a mod desire for vengeance.”
“You say that bullets?” ....
She suspended her question, not daring to ask, and the blood hummed in her head, blinding her with a veil through which lights bewilderingly danced. “Certainly, bullets,” repeated the Duke; “twelve.”
“That is the number for a soldier who deserts, and a thirteenth if the dozen are not sufficient.”
Edith forced back her tears, which then flowed into her mouth, causing a spasm which choked her.
“My lord,” said she, endeavoring to find words, ano feeling the hopelessness of her cause, “Michael did not desert. I assure you, he came to embrace me. Yes, to embrace his mother.”
“His mother Ireland!”
“No, no, .... you are mistaken, .... that is all. Torture me, kill me for having attempted the life of a soldier of the king, but let him live! let him live!” Newington laughed, showing his ferocious teeth, and, shrugging his shoulders, continued:
“Ah! for what kind of a simpleton do you take me? Pay attention!”
“I swear to you” ....
“Come, don’t perjure yourself, especially as it is useless. He has submitted to an examination, and has confessed.”
“Under the hideous pressure of the tortures which you inflicted upon him.”
“By no means, of his fret will. He even boasts of it.”
“My God! My God!” exclaimed Edith, sobbing.
But she would have lost her time in weeping. Falling on her knees, with clasped hands, she dragged herself at Newington’s feet.
“Pardon for him!” she exclaimed; “pardon!”
“I am willing!” said the Duke. . . .
“Ah! I bless you!”
“Wait a moment. It depends on you whether I accord it.”
“Ah! You are cruelly jesting. Truly, you would not ... . An unfortunate woman so tried.”
“I speak seriously. Your son will not die if it is your desire that he live.”
“If it is my desire! But do you doubt it? Is that the way to talk to a mother? Only do not make the imprisonment too hard.”
“It is not a matter of imprisonment, or of transportation, or of exile, but of I complete, untrammeled liberty, of the run of the fields, with the bridle thrown on his neck.”
“You are not deluding me?”
“No, but all on one condition, understand.”
“I accept it beforehand,— on the condition, is it not, that he will not think of avenging his father, that he will not bear arms against you? I will guarantee that he will not leave my house.”
She remained a second confused, as she reflected on this promise. She had no house left. But she resumed directly:
“We will leave the country. With courage we will work, we will hire ourselves out on the farms.”
“There is to he an important meeting on Christmas at Treor’s house,” interrupted the Duke; “I want to be present clandestinely, and I count on your help for this purpose.”
“Treason!” cried the miserable woman, the blood mounting in her cheeks up to ifter forehead, causing her tanned skin to flame as deeply as if the rays of a blazing hearth had fallen upon it.
“You admit already that there is a conspiracy!” said Newington, inflating his voice and with his steely look withering Edith, who, thinking of her child, tried to brook the offence of the proposition which he addressed to her, and answered with gravity and dignity:
“To introduce anywhere one who wishes to conceal himself for the purpose of bearing what would not be said in his presence, and of capturing some secret or other, is to betray!”
“You find fault with it,” said the Duke; “so much the worse for vour son!”
“So be it!”
And the lord turned towards a door.
“Where are you going? What are you going to do?” asked Edith, running after him and seizing him by the elbow.
But Newington did not answer. At the entrance to the park a sentinel was watching. Pointing to a long wall in front, made white at night by the reflection of the castle lights, the Duke said:
“Let them take the prisoner from his dungeon and lead him down to the wall yonder, with a lantern on his chest!”
“No! no! I do not wish it!” cried the poor, unfortunate mother, turning towards the soldier and commanding him with a gesture not to obey.
“Twelve balls,” pursued Newington, “will extinguish the candle!”
“No! no! I do not wish it, I do not wish it!” repeated she, and, clinging to the Soldier, she prevented him from executing the order of the general, trying to move him to pity that he might refuse this murderous commission, this executioner’s task.
But the Duke, elbowing her aside, quickly disengaged the soldier, to whom he gave again his pitiless command.
To be continued.
The Melbourne Anarchists’ Club.
A brief sketch of the origin and progress of the Melbourne Anarchists’ Club will doubtless be of interest to our friends who reside in the land of “the stars and the stripes”; and for that reason I acquaint you with the following facts.
In the latter end of April last, two or three of the Melbourne Anarchists met to consider the advisability of forming an organization of some sort for the purpose of meeting to exchange our thoughts and to make them known to others. With that object in view, Mr. F. P. Upham, Mr. W. C. Andrade, and myself called a meeting of friends “by word of mouth” to take the necessary steps for carrying out our intentions. The time was partienarly opportune; for a brisk debate on the subject between Mr. James Donovan and myself had just been running in the “Liberator” for three or four months; the local government tad just failed in gagging our freethought lecturer; the legislators had aroused the intemperate fanaticism of the temperance party with a new Licensing Act, and a few riots by means of a tyrannical Factories Act; and the people were beginning to “take stock” of the lot of thieves they had just elected to “represent” them, and were already feeling dissatisfied. At such a season did these dissatisfied rebels meet to discuss ways and means. As we had no funds to hire a hall, and as we were too widely scattered over the suburbs to meet at. the private dwelling of any one of us, we quietly gathered in a far-off corner of the Secullar Hall on the evening of May 1, when the members and visitors of the Australasian Secular Association were holding their weekly “club” meeting. Besides a few Archists, who were watching our proceedings with a sort of awe and wonderment, the following Anarchists were present: Mr. W. C. Andrade, Mr. D. A. Andrade, Mr. T. O. Roper, Mr. F. P. Upham, Mr. J. McMillan, and Miss Wigraf. We decided, after a little discussion, to form ourselves into a body to be known as the Melbourne Anarchists’ Club; and we all agreed, before proceeding further, to adopt as a form of proceeding for our future deliberations that, “in accordance with strict Anarchist principle, only resolutions accepted unanimously be recognized and entered on the minutes; all others to be left to individual judgment.” After this preliminary, I was chosen secretary, no further officers being appointed; and the “Prospectus” which I had drawn up was accepted, subject to a few slight alterations, and subsequently printed for gratuitous distribution. A free circulating library, consisting of pamphlets by Bakounine, Fowler, Spencer, Burke, and others, was instituted among the members, and proved of great utility in many ways. Voluntary donations were taken up to provide “sinews of war,” and the Secular Hall was engaged for Sunday evening, May 16, at it moderate weekly rental, the proceedings on that evening consisting of several readings by the members, followed by discussion in which anyone was invited to take part. A voluntary collection was taken up to defray expenses. A brief report was sent to the “Liberator,” and t he editor of that paper inserted it. A reporter of our leading daily paper, the “Age,” was present, and he published a brief and remarkably fair account of the proceedings in the next day’s paper. The editor of the “Herald” (the “penny-dreadful” of this city), having seen the report in the morning contemporary, sent a messenger for a copy of the “Prospectus,” and from these materials concocted a most sensational leading article, headed “An Anarchy Club,” in which it stated that our object is to “hoist a species of social ‘black flag’ order in a supply of red caps, and go on the rampage generally, each man doing that which scemeth right in his own eyes, without the slightest regard to the optics of his neighbor.” After half a column more to the same effect, the writer went on to say that “we are a happy and contented people,” and that Anarchy would only “benefit the members of criminal classes,” concluding by calling upon the inspector of police to “take a quiet look around and see if there are any amateur Anarchists about with an eye to the division of private property.” This little effusion of the scribe only succeeded in bringing out an able reply from Mr. F. P. Upham and in drawing public attention to our meetings, and thereby popularizing them; for few of our visitors have left us with a had impression upon their minds. Other newspapers took up the cry of the “Herald,” one of them lamentingly stating that the formation of our Club was “an indication that Socialism, which has wrought so much evil in older countries, has gained a footing in Australia. The thin end of the wedge, has been inserted, and, if a Bismarckian policy of repression be not adopted, we may anticipate a further development of Socialistic ideas, and of the insane proposals fathered by Mr; Joseph Symes and his ‘Anarchist Club.’” This appeared to tread on the sensitive corns of certain individuals in the Secular Association, and one of them moved a solution at the following meeting, repudiating any connection with the Anarchists’ Club (although the members of the Club neatly all belonged to the Association), and calling upon Mr. Symes to second the resolution, which he did, although he practically neutralized it with qualifications, which, however, did not appear in print. This brought out a letter from myself in reply, to which other members of the Club also appended their signatures, and a little controversy ensued. The comic paper, “Punch,” entered into the matter with zeal, and on two occasions devoted lengthy rhymes for our consideration. We have even provided themes for a great number of the pulpits.
The members of the Club have met each week, and public debates have been held, when there have been discussed: “Individualism or Communism,— Which will best further the World’s progress?” “The Voting Swindle,” “What is Government?” “Taxation, and Who Pays It?” “Cooperative Government” (by an opponent), “Theological Anarchy,” “The Evils of Monopoly, and How to Remove Them,” “The Political Lie,” “Natural Selection vs. Political Selection.” There has been also a set debate, to which an opponent challenged me, upon the question; “Is Government a Necessity?” In addition to these may be mentioned a paper which I read before the Australasian Secular Association at one of its usuri weekly debates, and which has proved my most successful effort.
Mr. James Donovan, with whom I carried on the recent controversy in the “Liberator,” when he defended Spencerianism, is now an out-and-out Anarchist, and with his exceptional abilities is doing some powerful fighting on our side.
Our readers-roll has steadily increased from the first, and numbers are coming forward to help us. Many of the State Socialists have been diverted from political methods by the force of our arguments; and the maxim, DON’T VOTE, is becoming a familiarism. In Sydney (New South Wales) Anarchy is being discussed, and there is a prospect of a club being founded there shortly, similar to the one in Melbourne. In New Zealand, the brave and out-spoken Joseph Evison is doing tough work in the exposure of political jobbery, and the “Rationalist” is making a name for itself under his able editorship. Liberty (a copy or which I posted to him) meets with his warmest approbation. Freethinkers have just been taught a valuable lesson in politics. Robert Stout, formerly one of the most admired and respected of Australasian Freethinkers, has just been sucked into the political maelstrom, his parliamentary position having corrupted him as it does every other good man; and he is now a Knight,— a Sir Robert Stout,— and there is sore lamentation in the camp of heterodoxy that this able and learned individual has strayed from the fold like a lost sheep.
Anarchistic sentiments are spreading everywhere; and I am constantly being informed of persons in the country districts who have recently embraced our ideas. Unfortunately the “Liberator,” which at the outset allowed us the use of its columns to report our discussions in, has now almost excluded them entirely, admitting only the briefest chronicles possible. In other ways, besides this, the Anarchist principle of the “boycott” is being applied to us; but somehow or other we manage to thrive under it, and have seriously considered the advisability of issuing a paper of our own. In the meantime, the excellent little work of Michael Bakounine, “God and the State,” is doing good work among us; Fowler’s and the other excellent pamphlets in “Liberty’s Library” are lending their might, and those who have read your paper come seeking for more Liberty.
The Sydney “Freethinker” is opening its columns to us, and is ably championing our cause; and, if the friends of freedom continue to show the zeal which they have done already, it may not be long before these colonies are dotted over with Anarchist Clubs, fraternally cooperating with each other as The Australasian Association of Anarchists.
Wishing success to our American fellow-workers,
David A. Andrade.
South Yarra, Melbourne, August 11, 1886.
Trouble in the Goat Herd.
There’s a rumpus among the goats. How the curious little beasts butt and bleat and caper. Horns pop like castanets, and hair flies like prairie grass in a whirlwind. Goatherd Tucker and goatherdess Kelly (excuse me, Miss Kelly; I suppose I should have said shepherdess, but there’s nothing sheepish in this crowd; and, besides, it’s far more poetical to herd goats than sheep, if you only think so) run hither and you, administering the condign with a right good will, but it doesn’t seem to mend matters.
Take it not to heart, O our leaders! We are naught but goats; what can you expect? We will quiet down and ruminate like lambs directly; and, when next you blow your pipe of Pan, we will skip after you to the green hills as gaily as ever.
Let us analyze the row. It seems to me the epidemic started with Edgeworth, who wouldn’t bleat right on rent, or cost, or something of that sort. Comrade James gets a sneaking fancy (very unbecoming in a goat) for old Shepherd Malthus who was so hard on the lambs. Comrade Walker is down on the kids; doesn’t want so many around; they eat up everything, and feed promises to be short anyhow; besides, they bother the old goats so that they don’t know anything. Comrade Lum wants to stick his horns slap dab, regardless of consequences, into those hateful fellows who build the pens and do the shearing. Comrade Warren wouldn’t hurt anybody; wouldn’t say “Bah!” but rather hates to be called a goat; would a good deal sooner be called a hircine quadruped, or else a beast sui generis. Comrade Yarros was peaceable at the start, but, after ruminating a while, gets his bristles up, concludes we are too peaceable a herd altogether, wants to fight, and is disposed to wag his horns at the herder as being too “pacific.” He doesn’t care a tail-twist for the kid question, but considers goat pens the source of all our woes. And as for me,— the youngest and meanest little billy in all the flock,— I am so “unco guid” and happy that grave suspicions are aroused that I may be part sheep after all. At any rate, I’m not social enough,— that’s flat! Don’t bother about me, my good herder. I’m full-blooded goat. It’s all heredity and habit. I was born marked like a sheep, and, when I was a little kid, they let me run with the lambs, and that’s what’s the matter. And now, “unkindest cut of all,” Colly “X” has slipped his dogskin and collar and is kicking up his heels with the rest of the flock, with whom he must bide hereafter. Alas, my comrades, we’re a bad lot!
But, after all, why should I say so? We are good fellows, every nanny’s son of us, and we all know it, and trust each other. Let a dog but show his muzzle, and our defensive mutuality will be readily seen.
Seriously, my comrades, no bad blood should arise because of these little differences, which, as we are all individualists and fallible, must be expected. We are all agreed, I think, on these essentials, to wit: that individual or self-happiness is the true object of existence; that this is possible only under conditions of liberty; that the State, being the greatest of organized tyrannies, must go. Right here we split and differ, and between the dynamite of Lum and the self-freedom that I advocate extends room for a great variety of methods,— space that promises to be well occupied. In Mr. Tucker we all know that we have (even if he does cuff our ears pretty freely) a grand leader; What matters it if he does confine himself to fighting the State? Is it not better so? If he runs on a narrow-gauge track, we must all admit that he is a splendid locomotive, and, with Miss Kelly attached as a charming tender, will “get there” in a hurry. Those who ride with him will go direct. Those who get on the track must get off, or they will be suddenly assisted. He will meet the State some day, and there will be a hang-up collision. Let him stay on his track and go ahead, while the rest of us, horse and foot, jog along the by-roads, and tend to the needs of the surrounding country.
J. Wm. Lloyd.
Grahamville, Florida, August 20, I886.
The Winsted “Press,” commenting on the Walker Harman case, says: “The fact that, at common law, contract and consummation constitute valid marriage, and the further fact that the canon law of the Roman Catholic church gives ecclesiastical sanction to such marriage, would seem to open an easy way of escape from the unpleasant predicament in which these two young people find themselves; but, being stubbornly conscientious in the matter, they may not chcose to avail themselves of a means which might require some sacrifice of their principles, since to them the special merit of their conduct consists in the point that they are not legally married and never intend to be.” Alas! friend Pinney, you thought you knew your man. Well, I made the same mistake. E. C. Walker at large did scorn legal marriage, but E. C. Walker in Oskaloosa jail asks nothing better. In a six-by-nine room the most “stubborn consciences” are apt to become pliable.