Puslapio vaizdai
PDF
„ePub“

seem desirable that there should be one delib individuals has been placed at their disposal. erative body in the Government, and if the With an arrogance that would be incredible Senate could fill the place of one satisfactorily, did it not appear before our very eyes, the there might perhaps be a sort of division of President writes to Congress that the time labor between it and the House by which has come to use the post-office for suppressing measures in the interest of the party would lotteries. Did the people realize what power be the chief concern of the latter, while meas for meddling they placed in the hands of ures in the interest of the country would be their delegated representatives when they cared for chiefly by the former. But a great gave them control over the post-office? Do improvement in its composition would be they realize now that they are about to be necessary before this would be possible. covertly and insidiously tyrannized over by

their Congress and President, – that part of

their daily lives is about to be placed under Complaints are frequent against the Con

the regulation of the Executive department of gressional Record that it does not accurately the Government? represent the course of debate, that it does

The postmaster, who happens to be a not contain what the members said, and that

dealer in habberdashery, has been constituted it contains things which they did not say,

a censor of morals also, and, having regard moreover, that the practice of having printed

for the splendid classical acquirements of the in it long extracts, and sometimes entire

past and present incumbents of that office, articles from newspapers and magazines, has he has been judiciously selected to supervise become an abuse. The principal use of the

literature. A few days ago an order issued Record is to give an accurate report of what

from the bureau of censorship of the press is done in Congress; what is said is just now that a book of Count Tolstoi should not be of comparatively little importance. If the

received for cheap transmission through the speeches which are made in the Houses are

mails. Now, there is no use quibbling about any worse than those contained in the Record,

this thing. The notion of Wanamaker as they certainly ought to be revised before

the censor of our reading and morals is a being given to the world. The debates as

conception to break the immobility of the they are printed are not very imposing, and a

dullest mind. But here we have it. Of proper desire not to appear too ridiculous in

course, it is unconstitutional. Here is an the eyes of other nations scems to be a suffi

interference with the freedom of the press. cient excuse for making some changes from

To proscribe the transmission of literature at the words actually uttered. This does not

the cheapest possible rates is to exercise a amount to falsification, as is charged by

censorship of our reading, or there is no such some, because every copy of the Record con

thing as censorship. But let that pass. Is tains a notice respecting the privilege mem

it not the most monstrous burlesque that the bers have of revising their remarks. It is

people of this country, when they go to the rather inconvenient to have speeches taken

polls to pass upon questions of pressing and out of their place in the discussion and

profound importance to their political welstrung along in the Record weeks after the

fare, should also have to consider that questions which called them forth have been

they are voting for men who are to sit in disposed of ; but this is perhaps unavoidable. judgment over the æsthetic or ethical quality As to the quotations from books, periodicals,

of their literature? The crass stupidity of and private letters, they are usually the most

this performance is beyond comprehension. valuable and interesting part of the publi The whole fault lies with the post-office: out cation.

with it!

The President of the United States and his postmaster have been up to a pretty business. The feeling in favor of nullification, of They have been constituted the supervisors rebellion, which the original-package" deof the morals of the people, and lest all ordi cision called out in Kansas, shows that those nary means should prove quite inadequate to who have the highest reverence for laws serve their capacities for meddling, a vast disagreeable to other people, and who are the post-office means of communication betweeu readiest to enact and enforce them, are by no

means readiest to submit to laws which are The catch-cry of the party which wishes to displeasing to themselves. There seems to do its own registration and its own counting, be something in the air of Kansas which all over the country, is for a free ballot and affects injuriously the political thought of an honest count. Think of such a cry comthose living in that State. The Leavenworth ing from a party which stole the Presidency Times, dealing with the Federal Election Bill, in 1876, and bought it in 1888, which has, lately indulged in the following stirring during this present session of Congress, rhetoric, which strongly reminds one of cer stolen two United States Senators, and setain fire-eating Southern journals before, the cured a working majority in the House by war:

the methods pursued. “No nation ever endured, without bloodshed and revolution, the infamous frauds and dastardly crimes concocted and committed with impunity by the

Changes are being made all along the line Southern Democracy. In the fulness of time and of the Aggressive Tariff Bill from ad valorem tardily, when these frauds smell to heaven and those to specific duties. The insidious design and crimes cry trumpet-tongued for retribution, the Fed the vicious effect of this alteration is too eral Government, that power born of patriotism, obvious for exposition. Nominally the change baptized by fire, and christened an indivisible union,

is made for the purpose of preventing frauds, is about to call a halt. It is about to teach the world that in a free land there is for fraud a check, and

and under-valuation in general ; because it is for political slavery, emancipation; that for the

evidently easier to weigh goods accurately wrong there is justice, and for assassins, retribution. than to appraise their value. But the real At such a time and in a case whose merits involve object, and the real effect, is to make these the very existence of the Government and the integ

tariffs, even where the present specific equivrity of the principles upon which it was founded, let

alent substituted for the valuation duty, far that 'Halt!' be called with no wavering or faltering. Let it ring out like a bugle blast, warning

more prohibitive of importations, and therecrime and fraud everywhere that the star of the fore far more aggressive on the American rebellion has set in illuminable night, cheering the consumers of domestic products. For it is a wronged and oppressed everywhere with the bright notorious fact that does not admit of a ness soon to dawn. Let us have no modification. It

moment's blinking, that articles of manufac is not a matter of revenge. It is only justice – that

ture the world over are undergoing a steady grand, inviolable justice for which tens of thousands of brave men died. Let there be no equivocation; and, indeed, very rapid decline in value. But no 'bated breath or whispering humbleness. Too they do not decline in weight perceptibly. So long have we been spit upon and spurned. Each that duties which might to-morrow, by a month adds now crimes, each week another outrage, decline in European prices, permit foreign each day and hour shows us that the old spirit lives,

competition with domestic manufacturers, and and that it is working out its ends insolently, defi

thus force down their prices, are adapted, by antly, successfully, unhindered and unchecked."

their so-called specific character, to continue Matthew Arnold called attention to the prohibitory long after improvements in proliterary jugement saugrenu. Here is an in duction should have lowered the domestic stance of absurd political judgment. An price, and have actually lowered the cost of error of judgment in politics is likely to be production ; every cent of which aggressive attended with more important practical re profits accrues to capitalists. sults than an error in literature. Men who An illustration of Congressional wisdom is think and write in this way are not fit for to be found by placing in juxtaposition the free government, - not fit even for the sorry two tariff bills of the present session. By the pretence of free government which now pre substitution of specific for valuation duties, vails in this country. The first feeling ap the process of appraisal and assessment of tax pealed to on reading such a paragraph is the at the custom-houses is about to be very confeeling for the ludicrous; but it is not alto siderably simplified, and the work connected gether a laughing matter that there should be with that service much diminished in amount in the country a large number of men, having and importance. Yet so obtuse is this Conthe right to vote, capable of arriving seri gress, so overwhelming is the tendency toward ously at a political judgment, so impudently, officialism and bureaucracy, that at this same ignorantly, ridiculously, grotesquely absurd session a bill has been passed establishing a as this.

new and more important branch of the

more

appraising office. A general board, to consist realized. After “industrial development of nine appraisers, with salaries of $7,500 has been discovered to be an ignis fatuus, like each, has been established to look after the so many other schemes that have shone too valuation of goods the assessment of which, brightly not to flicker soon and finally sputter instead of having been complicated and ren out into utter darkness, then sound views of dered difficult and important, has politics may again prevail. actually been greatly simplified and rendered of less importance! Thus the incubus of

EAU CLAIRE, Wis., July 18, 1890. officialism grows — and the expedition of the

EDITOR, TO-DAY: businses of the federal judiciary – years

I have received some copies of your magazine, from behind with its docket — is utterly neglected. which I infer that you have heard my name and

probably know that I am an Anarchist. Your publi

cation belongs to a numerous and increasing class; What chance is there of the advantages of it talks Anarchism the way M. Jourdain talked democracy being realized so long as the notion prose. The exordium to No. 5 is Anarchism pure still prevails that legislators are elected to rule?

and simple. But though you talk very good prose This notion, so prevalent among the indi

there, you do so without knowing it, and conse

quenly, sometimes drop into poetry. In the article viduals elected to various legislative bodies

on Government and Industry, you say that “governand acquiesced in by the voters in general, is ments sprung from the physical necessity of securthe symptom of the real defect, namely, the ing the lives of citizens and their possessions against want of clear ideas on the subject of politics the encroachments of foreigners.” But in the same and of democracy. It is no exaggeration to

article you show that governments, instead of atsay that the only genuine and permanent

tending to this necessity, have been constantly occu

pied in helping some to take from others first land advantage which the practice of democracy

and then wbat else they had. These propositions do can confer is the checking of minorities more not, if I may be allowed the expression, gee. Medvigorous than scrupulous. There are various itate awhile on the latter, and you may perceive theories of democracy, but only one that will that the reason governments do not attend to the stand the test of investigation. If all legis

necessity whence you say they sprang is that they lation except that backed by the majority

sprang from no such thing, but from the desire of

most people to live at the expense of others. А by those who have the power — is prevented,

young man recently sent ten cents to a concern which so much is gained, so much credit must be promised a receipt for living without work. The allowed democracy. It is a sad but certain method proved to be “ Catch suckers, as we do." fact that even this democracy, far different

This is the exact attitude of government towards its from that offered for sale to American citi

subjects. “You all want to rob each other. We use zens, more efficacious in proportion as it is

that desire to rob all of you.” In the article on

Strikes and the Workingmen, you quote with apless pretentious, is not realized at present.

parent approbation a passage to the effect that inThe actual working of the House of Com creased wages would do harm by diminishing capital mons in England tends to realize the good unless the workingmen should save what the capthere is in democracy more than the constitu italist formerly saved. Here again you drop into tional and fixed-tenure representative system

poetry. Saving does not increase capital, but diminof the United States. To many persons the

ishes it. If a shoemaker saves by denying himself

tobacco, the producers of tobacco have a penny less contrast suggests the desirability of change

for every penny he saves. But the less the tobacco in our political machinery; to us the compari men have the less boots and shoes they will buy. son suggests the reflection that no machinery Thus saving produces poverty all around. The very can accomplish political reform. The fault individuals who grow rich by it are not so rich as lies with the intelligence and character of the

they would be if no one did it. Accordingly those

countries where saying is most rigorously practised, people, and the remedy will never be applied

China, for example, are the poorest of all civilized elsewhere than where the fault lies. Under

countries. On the other band, where everybody our system the benefits of democracy or the thinks himself entitled to the best, as in the better curse of partisan intrigue may alike prevail. days of America, invention is stimulated and capital Under any system the character of a people

increases. It is not saving but invention which will come out. Now the question is whether

creates capital. The first capital may probably

have been a sling which some savage made out of a we can outlast a period already fifty years

rabbit skin. There was no saving here, only invenlong during which all the evils and few, if

tion. True, he might have thrown the skin away, any, of the benefits of democracy have been or he might have made a mitten of it. But it was

not the saving instinct which prevented. He did At any rate, the need of protection, princinot throw the skin away, because he saw that he pally against foreigners, is a fact now, and could apply it so as to satisfy some desire. He

has been a fact throughout that time of which did not make a mitten of it, because he saw that he could get more good of it in another way.

records exist, and it is, therefore, a pardonSimilarly bows superseded slings, and guns, bows,

able hyperbole, if, indeed, at all figurative, to not because men were stingy, but because they were speak of this as the necessity from which ingenious. The whole notion of saving is a relic of government has sprung. the mercantile fallacy; exchange enriches the seller at the expense of the buyer. It is refuted by the same

It is a little amusing to be called to task for argument. The buyer is a seller. Exchange en talking Anarchy without knowing it; at first riches both. You are right in saying that inflation blush it would appear to the uninitiated a grateof the currency will not abolish interest, but I can

ful discovery to a professed Anarchist that his tell you what will: withdrawing the protection of

sound views are prevailing in quarters where Government from monopolies. The cause of interest

they are expressly repelled. But the peculiar ig speculation with a view to getting a monopoly. If a tailor and farmer exchange their products, both

agitation of Mr. James is not so surprising gain, but there is no interest, only wages. If they

when taken in connection with his absurd find it convenient to deposit their products with a contention that Communism would result middle-man, still his commission is only wages. But from Anarchy. Anarchy may be a very bad if the middle-man preceives that the production of

thing, but it is not so bad as that. clothes is running ahead of the production of food, he can gain (at the cost of the tailor), by buying

The possession of private property, personlarge quantities of food and paying interest to the farmer, or to a lender who furnishes him money. In

ally held, and selfishly and exclusively enthe warfare of speculation which ensues ninety-five joyed, is, perhaps, the most fundamental of per cent of the speculators are ruined - eaten by the social necessities. It is, indeed, pre social ; remaining five per cont, — who finally do secure a it is, simply, organic. Neither has it anymonopoly. As wealth increases the battle grows

thing under the sun to do with the question fiercer; till now we have on all hands complaints

of Politics. So Mr. James's annoyance was, of over-production and combination to create the poverty necessary to profits. The contemporaries of

perhaps, due not so much to finding us talkSwift or Crolsglass would have roared with laughter ing Anarchy without knowing it, as to observat the suggestion that men could be idle and hungry ing that although we talked very fair Anarchy because there was too much wealth. The nineteenth

for poor, muttony bourgeois, we did not, century is not so much stupider than the eighteenth

wittingly, or unwittingly, talk communistic or the fifteenth that it will go on swallowing such

nonsense, that is, neither prose nor poetry. humbug by the name of science. They will soon find out that redundant wealth should result in communism, and must do so the moment govern

Mr. James's reasoning to show that capital ments cease to protect thieves. C. L. JAMES.

is not the result of saving has the merit of

ingenuity and originality. If one asks why In reply to the first criticism that the ad water accumulates in a reservoir, and is told mission that governments are great robbers is that it is caused by the dam, he may, of inconsistent with the assertion that they have course, retort that the dam is not the cause, sprung from the necessity of protecting the but rather gravity, which makes water seek lives and property of citizens — it is sufficient a lower level; but he would hardly contend to remark that there is no inconsistency that the dam acts to prevent the water from whatever in the statements. As to whether accumulating. Now, in the case of wealth, or not there is any incompatibility between of which capital is a part, that part which the two tasks — robbery and protection - it is applied to reproduction, - it is perfectly is sufficient to observe that they are both evident that there can be no accumulation performed by present complex governments. unless there has first been production; but it In saying that the need of protection is really is equally evident that there can be no accuthe necessity from which governments have mulation if the wealth is consumed as fast sprung, my statement may have been a little as it is produced. rash. Perfectly conclusive evidence on that In the case instanced by Mr. James it does head is not to be expected, and men may not necessarily follow that there would be have combined, or may have been coerced less demand for shoes if all shoemakers gave into co-operation, for the purpose of aggres up the use of tobacco. Some of those now sion, before they had combined for protection. engaged in producing tobacco would produce

as

other things to exchange for shoes. It is not implies preferring a future to a present gratilikely that the world would be richer if

fication, and this is the feeling which prompts falconry had continued to the present time,

saving. The refutation of the mercantile

theory is complete. The buyer is also a seller though that would have afforded lucrative

And so an inventor is an accumulator. A employment for many persons who would producer is also a consumer. In order to have needed shoes, food, and other things.

become rich a nation must produce more. We do, to be sure, find those nations and

than it comsumes, that is, must save a part

of what it produces. Where is the fallacy? individuals most sparing in consumption whose production is least; but the saving may not be the cause of the small amount of pro

POLITICS VERSUS ECONOMICS. duction. It may be just the other way. Probably few individuals and no nations pro It would be a sufficient reply to Liberty's duce as much wealth as they could produce if criticism of the trivial article on Interest at their desires were greater. It is conceivable page 201 of To-Day, that the article was neithat a nation may be content to consume ther written by the editor nor intended by the little, and that in consequence it produces writer as a commentary on the anarchist comparatively little. But this is beside the view of interest. It might be encouraging question. Nations find it of the utmost im to Liberty that its theory should be described portance that not all of what is produced each “the most popular fallacy upon the subyear shall be consumed within the year, but ject”; but I am surprised, on the whole, that that part be saved to aid further production. In this characterization of the fallacy did not this country, according to Mr. Edward Atkin warn the editor against taking that shaft to son, about ten per cent of the annual produc his own bosom. Although I do not agree tion is saved. Now suppose that the annual

with him, that, under freedom, capital would production were one half greater, but that cease to be lent at interest, I am perfectly only five per cent were saved : the country prepared to try that means for this and for would be growing in wealth only three every other end — as he well knows. If he fourths as fast as at present. The difference will reflect upon the so-called debate — save would be even greater, owing to the part the mark ! – upon the silver question in the which the wealth that is saved plays in assist United States Senate then in progress of coning further production.

suming the people's bard-earned money at It is perfectly true that invention and in the rate of $10,600 a day (I believe), the edidustry create capital. It does not at first tor will read the article on interest in a new seem probable that the instinct of saving light. would induce a savage to make a sling rather For what is the substantial proposition of than a mitten out of a rabbit skin. But those who believe that interest can be lowered suppose him to be in need of the mitten, and by the issue of Treasury notes while the moto have thought, “ If I make a sling I shall nopoly of banking continues? Surely it needs be able to kill two other rabbits and make no great reflection to see that the amount of two mittens." Here is the feeling which currency, as of other things, required by a leads men to save, to defer a present gratifi- given people, with given habits, and in a cation for a greater future gratification. The given industrial state, is a limited quanity, process of thought is not so very different although absolutely indeterminate under the from that gone through by a savage who has existing restrictions of banking. killed an animal and, after having eaten half of shall be figuratively called a medium of exit, says, to himself, “ I should enjoy eating the change, the industrial state may be filly sym. other half, but very likely I shall need it more bolized as a receptacle containing this floating, to-morrow or next day than I need it now, but now, perhaps, artificially immobilized, metherefore, I will save it." The importance dium. And the substantial proposition of the of the inspiration, the perception, that by the inflationists may then be described as the aid of a sling a stone can be thrown with belief that a vessel of a given capacity can be more force than by hand, is not to be under made to contain a greater quantity of fluid, rated; but invention usually implies labor, say, by simply turning on the faucet and letmental and physical, labor not directly ap ting the unfathomable waste of Congressional plied to satisfying immediate wants, and so ignorance escape into it. Now, under free

If money

« AnkstesnisTęsti »