Puslapio vaizdai

properly be accounted a miracle. The members have used the powers intrusted to them by the people to further their own aggrandizement and the aggrandizement of those who have made bargains with them. It is dangerous to attempt a judgment of the events of one's own time, but there can be no reasonable doubt that the present Congress will take its place in history as the most degraded and corrupt Congress in our annals thus far. Avaritia repetundisque foedus ac maculosus.

Last year, it will be remembered the Lon ton courts were occupied in the vain endeavor to distinguish between private "clubs" and public gambling rooms. The net result of their cogitations on this, as on many previous occasions, was to decide that a place located in a "respectable" or fashionable quarter, and frequented by the rich, would have to be regarded as a private "club"; while the dingy quarters resorted to by the poor, up dark alleyways, were gambling dens. This is the kind of discrimination that inevitably accompanies all similar attempts at repressive regulation.

A worse and equally inevitable accompaniment of regulations for suppressing gambling is that unforeseen modes of gambling spring up and elude the law to take the place of those interfered with.

Repression of Vice.

In No. 15 of Waterman's Journal I gave an illustration of this which occurred in England. It was observed and recorded by Mr. G. HERBERT STUTFIELD, author of the work on The Law Relating to Betting, Time Bargains, and Gaming, and may be recalled here in his language:

The sweepstakes were declared illegal as lotteries, by a decision of the courts in 1845. (The laws against lotteries had been piled up annually during the first two Georges.) There can be no doubt that the overthrow of the sweepstakes marks an epoch in the history of betting; it gave an impetus to the science of book-making. What became known as list-offices were set up in their place, where lists of races and current odds were exhibited, where the public were freely invited to enter, and (herein only keeping up the traditions of the sweepstakes), where money had to be staked in advance by the speculator. It is obvious what class of persons would be attracted by an establishment of this kind - shopboys, impecunious servants, and struggling clerks, persons who had no ready money themselves, but had, perhaps, access to somebody else's. Moreover, these betting houses had one attraction, and

so one danger, which sweepstakes did not possess, the issue was not, of course, determined by lot: each selected his own horse. Here, then, was opening for the free play of fancied skill, fancied knowledge of horse-flesh, a conceit no doubt very predominant among those who love to dabble in these pastimes. Here, too, was an opening for the wiles of the tout and the tipster, who, of conrse, went jackal for the presiding genius of the office; so that, if it were necessary to commit a felony to enable a man to bet at all, there was always the supposed certainty of being able to repay what had been stolen.

The development of "book-making" is partly due to anti-lottery laws, and in practice, the scheme is found not only to take the place of sweepstakes, but a much wider place.

It is generally so. But the Congress of the United States will not profit by the example. At the instigation of a couple of ignoramuses, who happened to be president and postmaster, Congress has concocted a little device for suppressing the Louisiana lottery. The evil may be increased tenfold.


Just what will spring up to take the place of the lottery it may be impossible to foreIn all American cities, faro and roulette "banks," although nominally prohibited, are winked at by the police. Raid after raid has been found incompetent to suppress them. The patronage of these gambling establishments will no doubt be largely increased if the interference with the Louisiana lottery is really successful, or even partially successful. Yet no one who has ever stood over a faro lay-out or watched the spin of the roulettewheel can doubt that the moral effect of this indulgence is worse, very much worse, than buying lottery tickets. And moral effect is that aimed at. The only preventive of gambling, as of other vices, is the feelings of the individual. If these persist, — and they cannot be changed by law, some way of indulging them will be found; and the last state will often be worse than the first.

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

in the technicalities of the ring, the combats indulged in are indistinguishable from prize-fights. These brutalities have gone on unchecked. Sir Edward Bradford and his men wink at them -in the West End. But when vulgar people in the South of London venture to ape their social superiors the police are down upon them in the twinkling of an eye. When the Ormonde Club, Walworth Road, sets up as an imitator of the Pelican, the boxers engaged are promptly arrested, on a charge of having agreed to commit a breach of the peace by engaging to take part in a prize-fight."


It will perhaps suggest itself to some that the fact that a part of society escapes regulation is not an objection to the law. At first glance, it may seem that if repression is a good thing, it is justified so far as it succeeds, and cannot be condemned for the reason that it does not succeed better. The inference may seem to be that fresh exertions should be put forth to extend the range of the regulation, to make the repression more effective, to bring down those who presently escape. No doubt, if it is once granted that repression of gambling, prize-fighting, drunkenness, obscenity, prostitution — I assume that these vices may here be classed together is in itself a good thing, the above inferences have much plausibility. But when that very question -the utility and efficacy of legal suppression and regulation is itself being held in the balance, we must proceed more circumspectly. What if such laws do not really suppress; what if it has been discovered by innumerable experiments, that incompleteness, ineffectualness, is the invariable accompaniment of preventive regulation; what if it has transpired that vice is Protean, that every vice can find and does find a myriad shapes in which to elude the law; what if inequitable discrimination between individuals and classes is unavoidable under the social conditions which actually exist? Then these considerations must be thrown into the scale in weighing the question of the utility and efficacy of preventive regulation of vice. In the first illustration, namely, the attempt to suppress gambling of the form then prevalent, we have the case where the law is eluded by a change in the form of the thing; in the second illustration, namely, the attempt to suppress prize-fighting, we have the case where the law is eluded by persons, and that not by isolated individuals, but by a whole class. Does this last fault seem trivial? Alas, I very greatly fear that Paris once


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

flowed with hated blood from just such trivial causes as these! I dislike exaggeration: an argument is never made stronger by it. But many competent observers have agreed that, although there might have been a revolution in France in 1789, an economic revolution, and more, a political revolution, yet but for the hatred engendered through generations of regulations of the poor and exemptions of the rich, that there might have been a bloodless revolution. Ripples make tides. From the Place de la Revolution to Napoleon is but a step; from Napoleon came Waterloo, from Waterloo, Sedan. It is a fact that the vices of the rich remain unregulated, while the vices of the poor are partly regulated. What will they care for the intentions of the regulators, when the time comes for revolt? It is the operation of the law that they will have felt, not the intentions of the law-givers.

Laws so ill-administered that isolated individuals escape their operation are bad enough. But when it is found that the regulation of vice has as its invariable concomitant the discrimination between whole classes, such as the poor and the rich, we are confronted not with a trivial but I do not hesitate to say with an insurmountable objection. The inequity engenders arrogance in the one class and spite in the other. And arrogance and spite will react on one another to produce hate. Stand down, thoughtless regulator! Measure not your puny strength against



That what we have called the The State as industrial problem" will press harder and harder for solution seems certain. An ever-increasing number of citizens are dissatisfied with the relations between employers and employed, and this discontent is continually becoming more intense. After it has reached a certain degree of intensity it will seriously threaten the stability of our society. "Any system which makes the mass of a society hate the constitution of that society must be in unstable equilibrium. A small touch will overthrow it, and scarcely any human power will reestablish it." History abounds in instances where such systems have collapsed at a slight external attack; and instances where the attack has come from within are still more


Nevertheless, the proposition that the State shall become the sole employer, or shall employ more laborers than it does now, will not, we are convinced, be found a true solution of the difficulty. The one thing for which governments could successfully employ men in the past was to fight. But there is an essential difference between fighting and working. Governments have been the most tyrannical of all employers, and must always be so. For what do we mean by a government? Simply a body of men who compel other men to act in this way or that. Now, it is well known that all men are fond of having their own way; a man placed in position to command will not brook disobedience, if he has power to punish it. But it is the very essence of a government that it shall have power to punish those who disobey its commands. A government unable to do this is a government unable to govern · that is, not a government at all. In war the power to exact perfect, unhesitating obedience to arbitrary commands, or at least commands which may seem arbitrary to the recipients, is necessary, however much of that which is unpleasant it may involve to those under the rule; the common platitudes upon this point are perfectly sound; but in work such power is not necessary, and it is doubtful whether Anglo-Saxons will ever submit to a great deal of needless dictation.

It may be said that men are at present very eager to work in the employ of the Government. But this only brings us to another objection to the Government as an employer. The object of employing men is to get things done. But what does this eagerness to work for the Government mean? Evidently that there is a belief abroad that in such employment a man gets a great deal of pay for a little work. And this belief seems to be well founded if we consider the work accomplished by the Government and the amount of money expended. The corollary of the popular belief that a Government position is a desirable thing, even though the tenure is uncertain, is that it costs more for the Government to get any work performed than for a private individual. This results partly from the fact that the men in its employ do not work as energetically as other workmen, and still more because their labor is not directed as intelligently as that in private business. There is not enough stimulus to find out the

best and cheapest method of doing things, but there grows up a dull, inefficient routine

officialism. But probably the chief reason why positions under the Government are so eagerly sought is that the men in its employ look upon themselves as a part of the Government, of the coercive force, and thus their feeling of self-importance is gratified. This feeling is strongest in policemen, as might be expected from the nature of their employment. A policeman, if we can trust to several recent cases, seems to be a man licensed to commit any crime he pleases against an individual citizen. If, however, all things were done under Government management, the body of workers would be sharply divided from the body of rulers, as now the mass of citizens is divided from the body of officials.

The present industrial relations with their inequities and disadvantages will give way as soon as something better shall be discovered to take their place. But because many imperfections can be discovered in them, and much misery results from them, is no reason for replacing them by something worse; and mankind has had enough experience to show that Government control of industry is much worse than private control.

We have received some copies of the True Commonwealth, a monthly paper recently started in Washington to advocate a certain solution of what may be termed the industrial problem. Its two chief prophets seem to be Edward Bellamy and Richard T. Ely. It seems to us that it might have made a more judicious selection of prophets, and that its solution of the problem is not better than those proposed by Henry George, and by the Socialists generally.

Briefly, its solution is public ownership and control of all natural monopolies.

As roads, streets, canals, bridges, ferries, harbors, parks, railways, telegraphs, telephones, street railways, water-works, gas-works, post-offices, etc., are necessary to the welfare of the general public, and are of such character as to require that they be under some sort of public control or limitation to prevent their becoming oppressive monopolies, that, therefore, they are properly classed as "natural monopolies," and ought to be owned and run by the nation, State, county, or city, as the case may be, for the benefit of the whole people.

But is not land" necessary to the welfare of the general public?" and does not Henry

[ocr errors]

George show that it is conceivable that the private ownership of land may become the most oppressive of all monopolies? And ought not land to be owned and managed for the benefit of the whole people? Again, is not capitalthe agencies of production - necessary to the general welfare, and are not the Socialists right in maintaining that it should be managed for the benefit of the whole people? Lastly, is not the essence of private property, which, the lawyers tell us, means absolute, entire, and exclusive ownership, and includes jus possidendi, jus utendi, jus fruendi, jus abutendi, and jus vindicandi — is not this essentially monopoly? The proposition that all monopoly is baneful carries with it the implication that private property is a bad thing; and if this is true the Socialists come nearest the solution of the difficulty.


The distinction of roads, canals, harbors, railways, telegraphs, gas-works, etc., as "nat ural" monopolies does not seem very happy. Land may be regarded as natural, much more natural than a railroad or a telegraph, in fact, land would seem to be one of the most "natural" things in existence; and there would be no violence to language in calling a monopoly of land a "natural" monoply; but it does seem at first rather a perversion of terms to call monopolies of artificial things natural monopolies. It would not be worth while to cavil over the terms used if it were not for the fact that the most taking argument for the puplic ownership of railways and telegraphs consists in calling them "natural monopolies," and, that being the case, the appropriateness of the name ought to be vindicated. After this has been done, it ought to be shown, far more clearly than any one has yet succeeded in showing, why a monopoly of railroads is any more injurious than a monopoly of land or of any kind of property; and then it would be in order to demonstrate that the public would be better off if the Government owned and managed the railroads, in face of the experience of European nations, in some of which the roads are managed by the governments, and the freights are two or three times as high as here, though the wages of employees are only half as much. Perhaps the True Commonwealth will succeed in showing all this, but until it does it really has no righ to advocate public ownership of "natural monopolies."

In one respect, Mr. Yarros's objection to my casual remarks apropos of his criticism of Miss Gardener's letter in the Twentieth Century seems warranted. He says: "Aware as I am of the uselessness of any attempt to emulate the editor of To-DAY in gentleness, I can do no better than say at once, in my own blunt way, that I consider the criticism both silly and unfair."

No, my remarks were not very "gentle." But it will no doubt furnish material for hilarity to any one cognizant of the antecedents, that I should be taken to task for a want of gentleness by the Anarchist critic of Miss Gardener. In one of the English comedies - The Rivals, I think-the irate father stands and storms away, brandishing fists and cane, stamping feet, and commanding the silent son, all the while "tobecool." "Be calm, sir! be calm!" shouts the old gentleman; "Keep cool, you rascal!” And so, if we transpose Mr. Yarros's style of addressing Miss Gardener to the article in which he rebukes my manner, his language would take on a tone something like this: Be gentle, you numskull! Gentle, silly-pate! you-you. logarithm! you -editor! you. . . . I confess that the rebuke is deserved; but, nevertheless, it is provocative of mirth.


Easy Knowl. edge.

Besides, I am said to have misquoted him. I deny it. But if I am to accept the amended meaning, the implication seems still less favorable to Mr. Yarros. It appears that he does not believe that knowledge on sex" is easily acquired, but that knowledge in general is. Well, well, as I said before, I realize my misfortunes all the more keenly from seeing how easily knowledge comes to Socialists and Anarchists. There is nothing more to be said on this head, fancy.

If Mr. Yarros does not believe that the knowledge of the facts necessary to the solution of the Woman Question" is easily acquired, I am glad of it. Very well, that is enough to nullify any criticism I may have made on the assumption that he meant what he said. My asperity is quite mollified.

By the way, what "problem" is it that the Anarchists have solved? Is it pretended that the conclusion that women and men should be free from regulation and constraint in their industrial, sexual, and social relations is an Anarchist solution? Is this the conclusion that Grant Allen accepts? If so, I am glad of it. As far as Grant Allen is concerned, that goes for nothing. I have expressed my opinion of his crude conceptions (Waterman's Journal, No. 1); and if Mr. Yarros wishes to dispute the correctness of those observations, I am all attention. If the above conclusion is one of the provisional solutions of the "Woman Question," I can only say, that, in my opinion, humble or other, the conclusion must stand as final; but then it is no solution of the "Woman Question," it is a solution of the political question. One side of the "Woman Question" is political, and, in common with all other political questions, it is so far solved - primordially, intermediately, finally solved-by the conclusion summarily described as laissez faire. If the Anarchists wish to claim this not only as their conclusion but as their solution, I am content. Ques

tions of priority do not, as a general thing, interest me; anyhow, not for long at a time. But the "Woman Question" is not to be narrowed down to politics, any more than politics is to be narrowed down to it.

I have several times been admonished in Liberty that I was not of much account anyway, because I was unable to deal with the great and pressing industrial questions, -economic questions, I believe, is the approved appellation. Of course, I shall not be surprised to find that Anarchists regard the solution of the "Woman Question" as also involved in their political conclusion. I am prepared now for the worst.

"But would the editor of TO-DAY discourage any and all efforts to provisionally solve the 'Woman Question' in the light of what is socially, industrially, politically, and historically known of sex? If so, he has no conception of the development of scientific and philosophical knowledge, and he does not deserve to be consulted. It behooves him to sing small when the Socialists and Anarchists have the authority of such biologists as Wallace and Grant Allen for continuing to offer solutions of the "Woman Question" and doing the best they can with the material at hand."- Liberty, No. 169.

The misconstruction of the issue is quite adroit. What evidence is there that I object to speculation, -even by Anarchists and Socialists, though, heaven knows, there is reason! What is it that I object to? So much, at any rate, might be rescued from confusion.

"Neither the Socialists nor the Anarchists have neglected the 'Woman Question,' neither have remained silent upon the vital questions and problems comprehended in the subject of sexual and family relations. Socialists and Anarchists have abundantly discussed the 'Woman Question' in all its phases, economic, social, and sexual; and if Miss Gardener is not aware of it, it is only because she has not sought to inform herself, because she has a convenient habit of dispensing with study and reflection."

"Miss Gardener has nothing positive to announce. She is ignorant of the results of scientific research, and she is not equipped for fighting established wrongs, inasmuch as she lacks the criterion by which right may be distinguished from wrong, truth from imposture, freedom from aggression.

"But the sources of information are open, and knowledge is easily acquired.” — Liberty, No. 167.

That is what I object to. Mr. Yarros now says that he does not wish these two paragraphs read together. Still, the matter is not much improved when they are taken separately. He says that the question has been abundantly discussed, that knowledge is easily acquired, that the information necessary for the solution of social questions in general of which the "Woman Question" is one — - is collected, and to be found in Anarchist and Socialist literature. I suppose they call it literature. Finding these statements in print, I said they were stuff; and I say again they are stuff. If they were made by Wallace, or by Herbert Spencer himself, I would

say they are stuff, because I know they are stuff. Armed with such audacity, it is not likely that I shall hesitate to ride a tilt at Mr. Yarros. If any man knows the nature and origin of sex, from which knowledge may be inferred the most essential outlines of the part sex is to play in the future of the human race, or of some section of it, let him speak qut. And if he does not know this, but has only some vague notion of the opinions of students of the subject, and still vaguer notions of the facts themselves, again I say let him speak out, for I believe in freedom of speech even to that extent. Only I must in this case conclude as I began,verily, this is stuff. On the other hand, if, realizing the utter inadequacy of his knowledge, a man wishes to amuse himself with constructing fanciful representations of what sex might, could, would, or should have been if the world were, had been, or might have been thus or so, why, if a man merely wishes to amuse himself in this way, I can see no cogent objection to his doing so, and whether he amuses me or not will depend on circumstances. But then I do not purpose to be berated in the end for not agreeing with him. I know nothing of an issue with Miss Gardener. I made an issue for myself; and that issue has nothing to do with the question of the value of speculation.

It is doubtful whether speculation by persons who do not keep in constant touch with the facts is of any value. Wallace in not a physiologist; and the question of the nature and origin of sex is a physiological question. The issue I made was that neither Anarchists nor Socialists had made any valuable contribution to the "Woman Question." If Wallace or Grant Allen has made a valuable contribution to the subject, I am not aware.* I stated my impression, founded on a knowledge not of the facts but of biological literature, that biologists know very little more about sex than Anarchists and Socialists know about biology. If any of the latter are acquainted with the same literature, I count that nothing: the thing to be learned is the fact. He has not profited as he should by the Origin of Species and the Principles of Biology who has not learned that social phenomena have their roots in organic phenomena, and that the rationalization of the former depends upon a knowledge of the latter. I do deny scientific value to those "provisional" solutions of the "Woman Question" which are founded merely on social, industrial, political, and historical information,- except in the sense that all notions have value; as, if they are wrong, one of the wrong ways gets discovered. It is not merely that one element, one group of facts, is omitted from such generalizations, it is that the group of facts is omitted, and the deficiency can in no manner whatever be atoned.

[ocr errors]

DEMOCRACY IN GERMANY. According to the Louisville Courier-Journal, and the statements are probably correct, the anti-socialist law passed in Ger*Indirectly, of course, Wallace's contributions may prove invaluable.

« AnkstesnisTęsti »