The present condition of our country, and of many other parts of the world, calls out and places before us, as in a panorama, whatever there is of thought; whatever there has been of progress or retrogression, and displays to us at a simple glance, as it were, the present state of civilization in so vivid a manner that we are enabled to weigh and estimate what we have and what we need with a degree of certainty that, in a state of repose, no one’s lifetime might enable him to measure; and which may reasonably inspire even the humble with a boldness suited to the time, and with a hope that discoveries indispensable to true civilization, that could scarcely gain a single ear while the adversities of life could be borne, may now receive some attention where all confidence in the tried is lost.
INTRODUCTION TO CHAPTER I.
Those who have not leisure or inclination to follow all the subtle intricacies of the following subjects will at once appreciate the relief promised by the “Tribunals” proposed in this first chapter following, to which everything of the kind can be referred with a prospect of obtaining as reliable opinions as could be expected from any quarter; at least, as reliable as opinions that are not authoritative need to be. But, I implore my fellow-men not longer to commit themselves to indiscriminate subordination to any human authority or to the fatal delusions of logic and analogies, nor even to ideas or principles (so called), but to maintain, as far as possible, at all times, the FREEDOM to act according to the apparent merits of each individual case as it may present itself to each individual understanding. There is no other safety for us--no other security for civilization.
If I should prove myself right in ninety-nine points in this work, do not, therefore, conclude that I am right in the hundredth without examination and your own sanction: that one point might be the one in which I was wrong or misunderstood.
While a small portion of mankind can see, at a glance, the prospective workings of a principle or natural law, and only want to know what to do in order to do it, and have not time to study new things, there are others who have time and who want to study the philosophy, and follow the train of thought which gave rise to whatever is proposed for their adoption, and make it, as it were, their own, before they are ready to act. The first class of persons may be content for a while with the following chapter on government; while the latter class may find immediate interest in tile chapters which follow.
CHAPTER I. GOVERNMENT AND ITS TRUE FUNCTION.
With all due deference to other judgments I venture to assert that our present deplorable condition, like that of many other parts of the world, is in consequence of the people in general never having perceived, or else having lost sight of, the legitimate object of all governments as displayed or implied in the American “Declaration of Independence.”
Every individual of mankind has an “INALIENABLE right to Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness;” “and it is solely to protect and secure the enjoyment of these rights unmolested that governments can properly be instituted among men.” In other terms, SELF-SOVEREIGNTY is an instinct of every living organism; and it being an instinct, cannot be alienated or separated from that organism. It is the instinct of Self-Preservation; the votes of ten thousand men cannot alienate it from a single individual, nor could the bayonets of twenty thousand men neutralize it in any one person any more than they could put a stop to the instinctive desire for food in a hungry man.
The action of this instinct being INVOLUNTARY, every one has the same absolute right to its exercise that he has to his complexion or the forms of his features, to any extent, not disturbing another; and it is solely to prevent or restrain such disturbances or encroachments, that governments are properly instituted. In still shorter terms, the legitimate and appropriate mission of governments is the defence and protection of the inalienable right of Sovereignty in every individual within his or her own sphere.
But what is it that constitutes encroachment?
Suppose my house to be on fire, and I seize a pail of water in the hands of a passer-by, without waiting to explain or ask leave--this would be one degree of encroachment, but perhaps the owner would excuse it on the ground of its necessity. Suppose a man walks into my house without waiting for leave--it may or may not disturb or offend me, or constitute a degree of encroachment. If I find that he has no excusable errand, and require him to retire and he refuses, this would be a degree of encroachment which I might meet with a few words, and might need no government to assist me. If he proceeds to rob the house, I may have reason to think that he is driven to desperation by having a starving family, and I may not resort to violence; or I may perceive that he is a wanton and reckless robber or fillibuster, and that this is an unnecessary encroachment, which, in defence of my own rights, as well as the same rights in others, I am justifiable in resisting; and if I have not sufficient power to do so without endangering myself or property, I will call for help: --this help, whether in the form of police or an army, is government, and its function is to use force, to prevent him from using force against me and mine; it interferes, with my consent, to prevent interference with my sovereign right to control my own:-- its mission is “intervention for the sake of non-intervention.”
If he has already got possession of my purse, I should want him to be compelled, without any unnecessary violence, to give it up; and, perhaps, to compensate the police; and, till I had learned better, I might have approved of his being confined in prison till he had done this, and compensated me for being disturbed: but there are objections to proceeding to these complicated measures. There is no principle (generally) known, by which to determine what constitutes compensation!--He could not get properly compensated for his work, which might be a greater injustice to him than he had done to me; and it would inflict on his innocent father, mother, brothers, and sisters, his wife and children, and all his friends, incalculable injustice and suffering, and this would be no compensation to me: besides, I (as a citizen of the same world) am a partner in the crime by not having prevented the temptation to it.
With all these considerations against pursuing him farther, I think it the best present expedient to put up with the restoration of my purse, as he gains nothing to tempt the continuance of the business. The word expedient may look loose and unsatisfactory: but, among all the works of mankind there is nothing higher than expedients.
The instinct of self-preservation or self-sovereignty is not the work of man; but to keep it constantly in mind as a sacred right in all human intercourse is highly expedient.
Perceiving that we can invent nothing higher than expedients, we necessarily set aside all imperative or absolute authorities, all sanguinary and unbending codes, creeds, and theories, and leave every one Free to choose among expedients: or, in other words, we place all action upon the voluntary basis. Do not be alarmed, we shall see this to be the highest expedient whenever it is possible.
It is only when the voluntary is wantonly encroached upon, that the employment of force is expedient or justifiable.
It appears, however, that no rule or law can be laid down to determine beforehand, what will constitute an offensive encroachment--what one will resist another will excuse, and the subtle diversities of different persons and cases, growing out of the inherent individualities of each, have defied all attempts at perfect formulizing excepting this of the Sovereignty of every individual over his or her own; and even this must be violated in resisting its violation!
The legitimate sphere of every individual has never been publicly determined; but until it is clearly defined, we can never tell what constitutes encroachmont-- what may be safely excused, or what may be profitably resisted.
We will attempt then to define the sphere within which every individual may legitimately, rightly exercise supreme power or absolute authority. This sphere would include his or her person, time, property, and responsibilities.
By the word right is meant simply that which necessarily tends towards the end in view-- the end in view here is permanent and universal peace, and security of person and property.
I have said (in effect) that the present confusion and wide-spread violence and destruction result from a want of appreciation of this great right of Individual Sovereignty, and its defence by government.
I now proceed to illustrate and prove this by considering what would be the natural consequences of bearing these two ideas all the time in mind as the regulators of political and moral movements, and holding them, as it were, as substitutes for all previous laws customs, precedents, and theories.
First, then, while admitting this right of Sovereignty in every one, I shall not be guilty of the ill manners of attempting to offensively enforce any of my theoretical speculations, which has been the common error of all governments! This itself would be an attempted encroachment that would justify resistance.
The whole mission of coercive government being the defence of persons and property against offensive encroachments, it must have force enough for the purpose. This force necessarily resolves itself into the military, for the advantages of drill and systematic cooperation: and this being perhaps the best form that government can assume, while a coercive force is needed, I make no issue with it but only with the misapplications of its immense power.
Adhering closely to the idea of restraining violence as the mission of government or military power, if this sole purpose was instilled into the general mind as an element of education or discipline, no force could be raised to invade any persons or property whatever, and no defence would be necessary.
If the Declaration of Independence, or this sacred right of Individual Sovereignty, had been commonly appreciated a year ago in the “United States,” they would not now be disunited. None of the destruction of persons and property which has blackened the past year would have occurred, nor would twelve hundred thousand citizens now be bent on destroying each other and their families and homes in these States!
Every individual would have been “Free” to entertain any theory of government whatever for himself or herself, and to test it by experiment within equitable limits; an issue would be raised only where this sacred right was denied, or against any who should have undertaken to enforce any theory of government whatever upon any individual against his or her “consent.” The frank and honest admission of this “inalienable” right would even now change the issue of this present war, and carry relief and protection to the invaded or oppressed, and war or resistance to the oppressor only, whether he were found on one side or the other of a geographical line. Mere theorists say that “the laws of nations decide that a state of war (between two nations) puts all the members of each, in hostility to each other:” and that “the laws of nations justify us in doing all the harm we can to our enemies.” We need no death-warrant from “authority” against these barbarian theories-- the very statement of them becomes their execution.
Every person being entitled to sovereignty within his own sphere, there can be, consistently, no limits or exceptions to the title to protection in the legitimate exercise of this sacred right, whether on this side or the other side of the Atlantic, and whether “in a state of war” or not: and, as soon as we take position for this universal right for all the world, we shall have all the world for us and with us and no enemies to contend with. Did military men ever think of this? Did governments ever think of it?
The whole proper business of government is the restraining offensive encroachments, or unnecessary violence to persons and property, or enforcing compensation therefor: but if, in the exercise of this power, we commit any unnecessary violence to any person whatever or to any property, we, ourselves, have become the aggressors, and should be resisted.
But who is to decide how much violence is necessary in any given case? We here arrive at the pivot upon which all power now turns for good or evil; this pivot, under formal, exacting, aggressive institutions or constitutions, is the person who decides as to their meaning. If one decides for all, then all but that one are, perhaps, enslaved; if each one’s title to Sovereignty is admitted, there will be different interpretations, and this freedom to differ will ensure emancipation, safety, repose, even in a political atmosphere! and all the co-operation we ought to expect will come from the coincidence of motives according to the merits of each case as estimated by different minds. Where there is evidence of aggression palpable to all minds, all might co-operate to resist it: and where the case is not clearly made out, there will be more or less hesitation: Two great nations will not then be so very ready to jump at each other’s throats when the most cunning lawyers are puzzled to decide which is wrong!
Theorize as we may about the interpretation of “the Constitution,” every individual does unavoidably measure it and all other words by his own peculiar understanding or conceits, whether he understands himself or not, and should, like General Jackson, recognize the fact, “take the responsibility of it,” and qualify himself to meet its consequences. The full appreciation of this simple but almost unknown fact will neutralize the war element in all verbal controversies, and the binding power of all indefinite words, and place conformity thereto on the voluntary basis! Did any institution-makers (except the signers of the “Declaration”) ever think of this?
It will be asked, what could be accomplished by a military organization, if every subordinate were allowed to judge of the propriety of an order before he obeyed it? I answer that nothing could be accomplished that did not commend itself to men educated to understand, and trained to respect the rights of persons and property as set forth in the “Declaration of Independence;” and that here, and here only, will be found the long-needed check to the barbarian wantonness that lays towns in ashes and desolates homes and hearts for brutal revenge, or to act office or a little vulgar newspaper notoriety.
But what shall ensure propriety of judgment or uniformity or coincidence between the subordinates and the officers? I answer, Drill, Discipline,-- of mind as well as of arms and legs,-- teaching all to realize their true mission. The true object of all their power being clearly defined and made familiar, there would at once be a coincidence unknown before, and but slight chance of dissent when there was good ground for co-operation.
No subordination can be more perfect than that of an Orchestra; but it is all voluntary.
When we are ready to protect any person or property without regard to locality or party, there can be no hostile parties or nations!-- Nothing to betray by treason!-- Nothing to rebel against!-- No party to desert to! Then, whose fault is it that there are persons called “Traitors,” “Rebels,” and “Deserters”?
If it be true that the sole proper function of coercive force is to restrain or repair all unnecessary violence, then the conclusion is inevitable that all penal laws (for punishing a crime or an act after it is committed except so far as they work to compensate the injured party Equitably) are themselves criminal! The excuse is that punishment is “a terror to evildoers;” but those who punish instead of preventing crime are themselves evildoers; and according to their own theory they should be punished and terrified; but the theory is false: consistently carried out, it would depopulate the world. Such are the fogs in which we get astray when we trust ourselves away from first premises and substitute speculative theories in their stead. Had our military been properly educated to know its true function and purpose, Ellsworth would not have been shot for taking down a flag; the shooting of him did not restrain him, nor did the shooting of Mr. Jackson compensate Ellsworth: but it caused Mrs. Jackson to become insane with grief, and has spread a hostile spirit to an incalculable extent among millions, which will descend to future generations; all of which originated in the denial to Mr. Jackson of his “inalienable right” to choose his own government, which the “Declaration” guarantees in explicit terms to every one.
To take down Mr. Jackson’s flag was one degree of encroachment, but it was not necessary to shoot Ellsworth for bad manners; failing to educate him or to prevent him, one party was as much in fault as the other. The barbarian habit of shedding blood for irreparable offences (“as a terror to evil-doers”) was acted upon in this case-- carried fully out, mutual slaughter would have continued till there would not be a man, woman, or child, living upon the earth.
Are not these statements perfectly in accordance with the Declaration of Independence as well as with the teachings of the wisest and best of our species? I invite thought on the subject. I make the assertions not because they are implied in that “Declaration,” but because they are just such as are demanded at this hour as the only possible means of salvation from barbarism.
If the solutions herein presented should appear to require more steady manliness and consistent thought than such as commonly prevail, then Instruction, Drill, Discipline, are as necessary for the minds as for the bodies of our military forces: but even in this discipline, the principal labor will consist in keeping the mind’s eye steadily upon two ideas so simple as the right of Sovereignty in every person and its judicious defence.
Experience drifts us, against all theories of combination, to refer everything to Individual decision and action: and we cannot, therefore safely dispense with an ever-watchful DISCRIMINATION and a strong Self-government in every person in proportion to the magnitude of his or her sphere of action. Practical experience in this country in less than one year has driven us, against the hopeful theory of Democratic government, under the dreaded government of military despotisms, which is merely placing the deciding power in a few persons, and the persons and property of all the people at their disposal; while the Declaration of Independence and the instinct of Self-preservation assert the absolute and “inalienable right “ of every one to control his own! Man-made powers are arrayed against NATURE’S LAW! Here we have the fatal issue! What can be done? Are we again at the eve of a long night of desolation, or is there some untried element in modern thought which can reconcile the seeming contradiction between instinct and experience?
Can it be possible that one simple thought found in our own charter of rights, if introduced into military discipline, would solve, not this great problem only, but others of even greater magnitude?
A man cannot alienate his “inalienable right” of self-preservation or Sovereignty by joining the military or any other combination-- the assumption that this is possible has produced all our political confusion and violence, and will continue to produce just such fruits to the end of time, if the childish blunder is not exposed and corrected.
Admitting this indestructible right of Sovereignty in every Individual, at all times and in all conditions, one will not attempt to govern (but only guide or lead) another; but we shall trust to principle or purpose for a general and voluntary coincidence and co-operation. Military officers will then become directors or leaders,-- not “commanders,”-- obedience will be all the more prompt because it is rendered for an object-- the greatest that can inspire human action, RESISTANCE TO ALL ATTEMPTS AT OFFENSIVE AND UNNECESSARY GOVERNING OR ENCROACHMENTS upon ANY persons or property whatsoever, as the great guarantee for the security of each and every individual. Then every Man, Woman, and Child in the world is interested in acting for and with such a government!
Our problem is theoretically solved! But its brightness dazzles us, and its sublime magnitude bewilders-- — Let us take time!
Having one man as general over thousands, arises from the natural necessity for Individuality in the directing mind when numbers wish to move together; but it does not necessarily imply any superiority of judgment or motive in the director of a movement beyond those of the subordinates, any more shall the driver of an omnibus is presumed to know the road better than the passengers; they may all know the road equally well, but if they all undertake to drive the horses, none of their purposes will be answered; and it would be equally ridiculous for the driver, under the plea of upholding subordination, to insist on carrying his passengers where they did not want to go, or refuse to let them get out when they wanted to “secede.”
The necessity for the prompt execution of the directions of the one lead, or director, where numbers are acting together to attain an object in view, is so self-evident, or can be so easily explained, that where there is a walls of this promptness, it implies that the fault is in having a bad cause, or unfit associates in a good one.
The most intelligent people always make the best subordinates in a good cause, and in our modern military it will require more true manhood to make a good subordinate than it will to be a leader; for the leader may very easily give orders, but they take the responsibility of that only, while the subordinate takes the responsibility of executing them; and it will require the greatest and highest degree of manhood, of self-government, presence of mind, and real heroism to discriminate on the instant and to stand up individually before all the corps and future criticisms, and assume, alone, the responsibility of dissent or disobedience. His only support and strength would be in his consciousness of being more true to his professed mission than the order was, and in the assurance that he would be sustained by public opinion and sympathy as far as that mission was understood.
Subordinates have many times refused to fire on their fellow-citizens in obedience to the mere wantonness of authority, or of the ferocity of a crude discipline, and have thus, like William Tell, entitled themselves to the lasting gratitude and affection of generations.
Men may lead and men must execute, but intelligence, principle, must regulate: and that principle must be THE PREVENTION OR REPAIR OF ALL UNNECESSARY VIOLENCE, OR WANTON DISTURBANCE OF PERSONS OR PROPERTY, if we are ever to have order or peace on earth.
Even Children, when drilled and trained with this idea (which is simply the true Democratic idea), would become an ever-ready police to protect each other and the gardens, fruits, and other property around them, instead of being, as they often are, the Imps of disturbance and destruction. The height of their ambition being to play “soger,” and fight somebody or destroy something.
This is our fault. The Democratic idea, theoretically at the base of American institutions, has never been introduced into our military discipline, nor into our courts, nor into our laws, and only in a caricatured and distorted shape into our political system, our commerce, our education, and public opinion.
Let this element be practically and consistently introduced, especially in the military department, and our country is saved:-- Otherwise, it is LOST.
When a high degree of intelligence, great manhood, self-government, close discrimination, real heroism, and gentle humanity are known to be necessary to membership in our military corps (or government), these qualities will come into fashion, and become the characteristics of the people; and to be thought destitute of them, and unworthy of membership in the military would cause the greatest mortification: while to be known as a member in good standing would be an object sought as the highest honor.
Is all this in exact and scientific accordance with our first premises in the “Declaration of lndependence,” or is it all a romantic dream?
If we have been correct in our reasonings, then we have found the clue to the true mission and form of Government-- To the most perfect, yet harmless subordination-- The reconciliation of obedience with FREEDOM-- To the cessation of all hostilities between parties and Nations-- To universal co-operation for universal preservation and security of persons and property. We have found a government, literally in the people, of the people, for the people-- a government that is the people: for Men, Women, and Children can take some direct or indirect part in it-- a ready police or army adapted to all demands for either-- a self-protecting “Party of the whole.”
A “Union” not only on paper, but rooted in the heart-- whose members, trained in the constant reverence for the “inalienable right” of Sovereignty in every person, would be habituated to forbearance towards even wrong opinions and different educations and tastes, to patient endurance of irremediable injuries, and a self-governing deportment and gentleness of manner, and a prompt but careful resistance to wanton aggression wherever found, which would meet with a ready and an affectionate welcome in any part of the world.
Every intelligent person would wish to be a member or to contribute, in some manlier, to the great common cause.
No coercive system of taxation could be necessary to such a government! A government so simple that children will be first to comprehend it, and which even they can see it for their interests to assist: and then would as readily play “soger” to prevent mischief, as to do mischief.
With our mind’s eye steadily fixed on this great Democratic principle and object, let us immediately commence the agitation of the idea of forming companies of home-guards on this principle.
Let any one who feels so disposed, take the first steps and invite the co-operation of persons sufficiently intelligent to comprehend the object to form a nucleus. (The known habitual regard to the “inalienable rights” of persons and property would be the best title to membership). Then, commence Drill and Discipline, keeping in mind all the time the kind of discipline required, which would be partly in the form of lectures; taking as texts, the details of the destruction of persons an I property going on all around us, and showing with how much less violence the same or better objects could have been accomplished: and in the drill, giving some orders to do some unnecessary harm, on purpose to be disobeyed in order to accustom the subordinates to “look before they leap” or strike!
Such a Military force would be within but not under discipline. In other words, its “sabbath would be made for man-- not man for its sabbath.” To be under instead of within discipline is a mistake as fatal as that of getting under water in stead of within water.
If the true mission of the military or enforcing power is kept constantly in view, and made, as it were, the guiding star, scarcely anything can go seriously amiss; and NVC need no other guide for the use of a governing force: nor will it answer to allow any theories or “precedents” to override this one supreme consideration.
Companies thus formed would do well to communicate with each other, which would be all the general organization required for a world-wide co-operation.
Here would be a government to preserve, and not to destroy-- to protect and not to invade; a government that can include the whole strength of the world-- when might would be for the right, and no enemies to contend with!
The charms of music, of mutual sympathy, the beauties of order, and of unity of dress and of movement in military displays, now so seductive to purposes of destruction and degradation, would entice to the highest and noblest objects of human ambition, which would never need a field of activity as long as wanton oppression (even of a single individual) has footing on the earth.
Thus far we have considered the true function of government, and find that it has to deal only with offensive encroachments upon persons or property: like a volunteer guard on a wrecked vessel in the confusion of disaster, the frenzy of hlunger, and the fear of starvation, to prevent unnecessary destruction of life or property,-- an expedient choice of evils where there is nothing but evils to choose from.
Society has thus far been only a “series of failures,” and is at this day a mere assemblage of wrecks thrown against each other on a tempestuous sea without pilots, charts, rudders, or compass.
The first ship has not yet been constructed that is not liable to be wrecked by the very element that moves it on a successful voyage; and the first form of general society is yet to be developed that would not be liable to destruction from the instinctive “pursuit of happiness,” without which no society would exist.
Government, strictly and scientifically speaking is a coercive force; a man, while governed with his own consent, is not governed at all.
Deliberative bodies, such as Legislatures, Congresses, Conventions, Courts, etc., are not, scientifically speaking, are not government, which is simply coercive force. But, inasmuch as that force should never be employed without a deliberate reference to its legitimate object, and upon which all available wisdom should be brought to bear, a Deliberative Council, acting before or with the government, seems highly expedient if not indispensable.
Moreover there are subjects now before us, and continually arising, on which, by timely forethought, violent issues may be prevented from arising, and many most important subjects may be adjusted by counsel alone, without any appeal to force.
Such Counsellors should not be tempted by unearned salaries and honors, nor by compensation measured by the necessities or weakness and defencelessness of their clients; nor should they consist of those who, like editors of news, can make more money by wars and other calamities than they can by peace and general prosperity, but let the Counsellors be those who are willing to wait, like tillers of the soil, for compensation according to the quantity and quality of their work. Let compensation or honors come in the form of voluntary contributions AFTER but not before benefits have been realized.
It is therefore suggested that any person, of either sex, who may coincide with this proposition, and who feels competent to give Counsel in any department of human affairs, publicly announce the fact, as lawyers and physicians now do, or permit their names and functions to be made accessible to the public in some manner, so that whoever may need honest counsel on any subject may know where to find it. If a meeting of such Counsellors is thought desirable by any interested party, he or she can invite such as are thought to be most competent for the occasion, according to the subject to be considered.
These Counsellors, while in session, would constitute a deliberative assembly, or advisory tribunal. It might consist of both sexes or either sex, according to the nature of the subject to be deliberated upon.
After deliberation, or whenever any interested party feels ready to make up an opinion, let him or her write it down with the reasons for it, and present it to the Counsellors and the audience, for their signatures, and let the document go forth to the public or to the interested parties. If there are several such documents, those having the signatures of counsellors or persons most known to be reliable would have the most weight; but, in order to ensure any influence or benefit from either, let compensation come to the Counsellors like that to Rowland Hill, in voluntary contributions after the benefits of the opinions have, to some extent, been realized.
After having thus brought the best experience and well-balanced counsels to bear upon any subject without satisfying all parties, every person has a Sovereign right to differ from all the opinions of the tribunal while not invading or disturbing other persons or property.
When an issue has already been raised, and no one of these decisions is acceptable to both parties, the decisions may be laid before the military (or government) to act at its discretion; selecting that course which promises the least violence or disturbance. If any member declines to act, his “inalienable right” to do so, being sacredly respected, would tend to confirm and illustrate the only principle that can regulate, at the very moment that it should regulate, the action of the others!
To ensure the best order in such a deliberative assembly, no other subject than the one for which it is called should be introduced without unanimous consent; as each and every one has a sovereign right to appropriate his own time and to choose the subjects that shall occupy his attention: and a constant regard to the same right, fully appreciated by all, will suggest the careful avoidance of all unnecessary disturbance which might prevent any one from hearing whatever he or she prefers to listen to. This sentiment becoming familiar to all as a monitor, but little disturbance would occur-- when it did occur, the principle itself would immediately prompt its appreciators to stop it with as little violence as possible.
Here, again, we need no other regulator for the most perfect order than this great Democratic principle!
With such Counsellors ready to act, we should be immediately exempted from the necessity for any disagreeable personal disputations on subjects which so often lead to violence or lasting enmity between individuals and Nations! All of the doubtful and unsettled can at once be referred to the highest tribunal, with the assurance of obtaining the best decision that present attainments within our reach can furnish.
A subject of great or universal interest may be laid before all such tribunals in the world, and their decisions brought to every city, village, and neighborhood, and to every door; and the relief from all disturbing controversies would be felt at every fireside.
The sanction of such tribunals, to any enterprise for public benefit, would place its author or inventor fairly before the public for their patronage, instead of being left to starve for want of attention; while the absence or want of such sanction would put a sudden stop to the swarms of impostures and fallacies that now wear out the attention to no purpose, and render valueless the announcements of even valuable things: while with such a sanction, the public might fool; at advertisements with some prospect of benefit therefrom.
This absolute right of Sovereignty in every individual, over his or her person, time, and property is the only rule or principle known to this writer that is not subject to exceptions and failures as a regulator of human intercourse. It is very often, however, impossible in our complicated entanglements, for one or some to exercise this right without violating the same right in others. We will ask our Counsellors to examine DISINTEGRATION as tile remedy!
We will ask them what constitutes legitimate property? We will ask them for the least violent mode of securing land to the homeless and starving. Also, what would constitute the just reward of LABOR? We shall invite them to consider what ought to be the circulating medium, or Money? How it happens that the producers and makers of everything have comparatively nothing? And we shall ask them for some mode of Adapting Supplies to Demands-- For a better Postal system-- For a more Equitable system of buying and selling-- For a programme of Education in accordance with the Democratic principle.
And we will ask them, What will be the use of Congresses, Legislatures, and Courts of Law.
These are some of the subjects that must immediately employ the best minds, if the “American Experiment” is not to prove a total failure. Not to say that the best minds have not been employed upon them, but that the required solutions were impossible without the aid of very recent, though very simple, developments.
A Conservatory and Library will naturally spring up, where the records of the tribunal decisions and other contributions to public welfare will be preserved for reference and diffusion; and the world will begin to know its benefactors.
This Modern Military, as a Government, will be necessary only in the transitionary stage of society from confusion and wanton violence to true order and mature civilization.
When the simply wise shall sit in calm deliberation, patiently tracing out the complicated and entangled CAUSES of avarice, of robberies, of murders, of wars, of poverty, of desperation, of suicides, of Slaveries and fraud, violence and suffering of all kinds, and shall have found appropriate and practical means of PREVENTING instead of punishing them, then the Military will be the fitting messengers of relief and harbingers of security and of peace, of order and unspeakable benefits wherever their footsteps are found; and, instead of being the desolators of the world, they will be hailed from far and near as the blessed benefactors of mankind.
Those who may dissent from these views are, in that act, exercising the “inalienable right” which has no exceptions; and they may perceive that they are thus assisting in the scientific inauguration of EQUITABLE FREEDOM.
In deference to the pressing exigencies of the time, I have endeavored to put forth, in the fewest possible words, thoughts which seem to promise the relief required by all classes, parties, and Nations, and have not dwelt upon existing errors and wrongs they being, sufficiently evident by contrast with tile right, any prolonged attack upon them is unnecessary.
I have endeavored to show the sublime powers and dazzling beauties of an Absolute Principle of right, as a guiding star to our path, along with expedients entirely consistent therewith. If this search after the narrow path has been more fortunate than that of our predecessors, it is owing to circumstances so peculiar that they may be excused for being less successful. If we are self-deluded, with all our best energies devoted to general benefit, we shall need all the forbearance that we exercise towards them.
It will be seen, by some at least, that each individual assuming his or her share of the deciding power or government as proposed, the great “American idea” may be practically realized; and that the ever-disturbing problem of the “balance of political power” becomes solved, and security for person and property (the great proposed object of all governments) prospectively attained.
If others see in this only the ‘inauguration of Anarchy,” let no attempt be made to urge them into conformity, but let them freely and securely await the results of demonstration.
INTRODUCTION TO CHAPTER II.
Words, though they are things themselves, are mainly the signs of things.
We see the sign of “Dry Goods.” The sign is exceedingly well executed, but it gives us no adequate idea of the goods within; no one would order any quantity of them before going within to examine the things to which the sign referred.
My words here are intended to be the signs of ideas or facts; but even the best-chosen and best-arranged words are full of ambiguity and imperfections, and it is unsafe for a reader to take it for granted that the writer on a subject of v vital interest can do everything for him. There is a part which the reader is obliged to act for himself; that is, to look beyond or within the mere words or signs for the idea intended to be conveyed With this precaution kept vividly before the reader, the mere execution of the sign is of secondary importance. Delicious foreign fruits and spices are brought to us in very rough and crude envelopes; but they are the best the conditions of their producers afford, and we are content to get our figs, our dates and cinnamon without much regard to the mats in which they are conveyed to us.
CHAPTER II. SELF-PRESERVATION.
Before we begin to probe the festering mass now called “civilization,” let us prepare ourselves with all the spirit of forbearance which the case allows, that we need not add any unnecessary pangs to the already exhausted and dying patient.
“ I know,” says B., “ that you do not admit analogies as proof, but is there not some indication of the Divine Law in the large fishes eating up the little ones, and in spiders spinning webs to entrap flies? Is not this the work of the Deity, who is all perfection, and can we hope to alter these things permanently for the better?
Ans. Are we willing to admit from the first glance at analogies that the law for fishes and insects is also the law for cultivated, civilized man!
Cultivation is as much the law for man as primitive crudity is. But suppose we admit that the same law governs men, fishes, and insects — What is that law which is inherent and indestructible in all? It is the instinct of self-preservation. Fishes and insects would not perhaps eat each other raw and alive, if, like man, they had the means of preparation and cooking; nor would they run the risk, nor take the trouble of pursuing each other in continuous warfare, if, like men, they had more safe or expeditious modes of preserving their existence. It is our particular privilege to have an abundance of superior modes, and it is only for want of the appreciation of them, or when cut off from them by casualties that we are driven to the level of fishes and spiders. Although we cannot tall: at all without resorting to analogies to illustrate our meaning, nothing is more likely to lead us astray when they are too readily accepted as parallels.
As far as I know’ every thing and person is invested with some peculiarities, which constitute its, his, or her INDIVIDUALITY: and it is not safe for us to lose sight of this for a moment in our intercourse with each other. The fishes, the insects, and perhaps all animals, man included, act according, to their external and internal CONDITIONS.
This is one Divine Law, self-preservation is another Divine or primitive law. The modes of living and eating are not laws, but customs, or habits, or expedients, and are subject to modifications as conditions change.
The carefully bred and cultivated, and well-conditioned man or woman who would take pains to extricate a fly from a spider’s web, or who would Sit up all night to keep the flies away from a sick infant, or to wet its lips occasionally, and who from pure humanitary feelings would almost sicken at the idea of eating the smallest morsel of nicely cooked veal, might, in the frenzy of starvation on a wrecked vessel, involuntarily seize and devour with frightful voracity a portion of a fellow-passenger, even a dear friend, from the sheer, uncontrollable instinct of self-preservation!
Such is the overwhelming power of CONDITIONS! The same instinct is at work in both opposite cases: in the most delicate attentions to the happiness of others, pleasure is derived in proportion to the pleasure conferred or the pain averted; which, for want of better phraseology, may be ranked as one of the modes of pursuing happiness, or of the promptings of the instinct of self-satisfaction or self-preservation — exactly the same instinct that leads to such opposite results under other conditions.
Self-preservation is the law of fish, of insects, and of Men and Women, but let us take care that we do not assume an accident to be a law, and so content ourselves to remain on a level with worms and bugs. Our immense resources are as natural, as much (the law) to us as the want of them is to insects; and it is by using them that we have thus far ameliorated our condition; and, by still greater and better uses of them, we may reach an infinitely higher plane, or modes of life, than any ever yet realized. It is the difference in our capacities for improvement, not in the fundamental or primitive laws, that lead to such different results.
I know that Krinklum Scraggs is an habitual villain, but he has been made a villain by his conditions; he does not deserve punishment but he must be restrained.
CHAPTER III. PROBING CIVILIZATION.
The primitive, uncultivated undeveloped mall finds himself abroad among Lions, Tigers, Hyenas, Orang-Outangs, Gorillas, Reptiles, and insects, all making war — (no — not making war — they have not sunk so low), but from the unregulated instinct of self-preservation, and the pressure of conditions, all preying upon each other.
The same instinct prompts them to herd together, for mutual protection against outside aggression. Having once formed a tribe or clan, Clanship becomes looked upon as the warrant for safety, and all outside of any particular clan or tribe become, by degrees, ranked as enemies, aliens, or foreigners, to be weakened, conquered, or exterminated; and he who proves most expert in the work of murder or of plundering the outsiders, is considered the one most fit to secure and administer peace, justice, and true order within his own tribe, and is at once proclaimed as the great Matiambo, Moene, Chief, King, or President of the tribe or clan.
‘There being, as yet, no constitutions, no legislatures nor Courts to regulate the internal affairs of the Clan, this great Matiambo is, they think, a necessity, and it is equally a necessity, that, having a Matiambo, every one should render unhesitating obedience to his will, or all would be “anarchy and confusion.”
Thus these poor primitive creatures reason. There is no fault in the Logic and therefore there is no fault seen in the results. The Matiambo becomes drunk with power of which he knows not the true use. He may become crazy with vanity or with embarrassing cares, and they see him in the streets with drawn sword in his hand, cutting off the heads of whomsoever he meets to test the “loyalty” of his subjects! Loyalty even to a crazy savage being the highest virtue known, and disloyalty punished with the most wanton barbarity. Thus the Matiambo proves a more destructive enemy than all the foreigners put together could prove, if each one was left; to defend himself: but horror-stricken as the poor barbarian subjects may be, and trembling in every limb (for no one knows whose turn may come next), as a kind of propitiatory offering they break out in chorus: —
Hurrah, hurrah, hurrah!
Hurrah for Hug-ga-boo-jug!
Hurrah for Hug-ga-boo-joo!
The king of the world is the great Hug-ga-boo.
Hurrah for the son of the sun!
Hurrah for the son of the moon!
If he ever dies, he will die too soon.
Buffalo of Buffaloes, Bull of Bulls,
He sits on a throne of his enemies’ skulls,
And if he wants more to play at foot-ball,
Ours are at his service — All, all, all.
Hug-ga-boo-jug — Hug-ga-boo-joo!
The king of the world is the great Hug-ga-boo.
By such explosions of patriotism these poor victims of clanship attempt to prolong their miserable existence.
But these are barbarians! Civilization has never yet unfurled her liberating and exalting banner! We have had this banner in the breeze for many centuries. We kill only those who belong to the wrong clan, or those who rally under the wrong nag! and those who won’t think and do right, and who refuse to join in our chorus. — O God! enough of this sickening parallel. We are at this moment in the midst of barbarism. Civilization has made no advance ill the political sphere beyond the most crude and savage tribes. It has made little progress except in mechanism. Take that away, and what should we exhibit as civilization? Even in mechanism the arts of destruction have gone beyond those of preservation; and the best military commander is announced, without blushing, to be he who can most adroitly mislead, deceive, entrap, and kill his fellow-men, who are at least his equals in every view of manhood and worth ! And these are the model precedents and model men held tip for imitation by the coming generations! and such they will be unless a countercurrent gets in motion.
No people can ever rise above this barbarian level as long as they unhesitatingly follow any leaders without thinking where they are going. We want a Luther in the political sphere — and another in the financial sphere, — another in the Commercial, --another in the educational sphere, to rouse the people to use their own experience. Now is the day and the hour, while there is no man, nor any idea, nor principle before the public that can command general confidence, and while the want is so pressingly felt for something to rely and repose upon.
A correct stand taken now on the firm and secure ground of universal principles, even by a few humble men and women, may result in unspeakable blessings to the future race and even to the present generation as well as to themselves immediately.
We must have a new civilization or give up the idea altogether, and honestly acknowledge that barbarism is the inevitable normal condition of man.
What is here to be proposed will work; no violence to any party, or class, or nation, no harm to any persons or properly. Every step is self-regulating and confers only benefits to all concerned. Each successive step leading to greater and greater benefits, and no proposition requiring even a violent change of habits.
The progress of civilization thus far is fitly illustrated by Charles Lamb’s account of the progress of the invention of “Roast pig,” and perhaps he intended it for that purpose. The story is somewhat modified to adapt it to the “meridian” of 1862.
Once upon a time, there lived, out of town a woman and her little son, in a log house. The boy had a little pet pig that used to share his dinner and his bed at night. One day, the mother and son were absent some hours, and when they returned, they found that their cabin had been burned down. The boy looked around for his pig, but not finding it, went sorrowfully to poking among the ashes to divert his mind from his troubles, and ran Iris fingers into something so hot that he involuntarily thrust them into his mouth to cool them; and he found himself rather pleased shall otherwise with the taste that he found there, and he ran to his mother to let her taste his fingers. Then they both went to explore among the ashes for the explanation of the agreeable taste. After clearing away a while, they found the remains of the poor pig; that explained all. They took the remains out of the ashes and secretly ate of them till they were all gone, and then the mother (being a genius) conceived the bright idea of building another cabin and putting another pig into it and setting that on fire; and she continued to do so till the neighbors, seeing a fire so often in that direction, naturally began to be curious and to inquire into the cause. By some means they found out the secret, and that it furnished something good to eat, and so began to try the experiment themselves; and the pow-wows made no objection. So the custom of building cabins and putting a pig in each, and then setting it on fire, spread, in the course of fifty years, over a space of ten miles round! At this period, some labor-saving genius suggested that there was no need of building complete finished cabins — that it would answer just as well, after hewing the logs square and straight, to pile them up without locking their ends; but this was at once rebuked as an “innovation” — it was not according to “precedent.” “One innovation would lead to another.” “Toleration of the first would only lead to boldness and continuous innovation that would never stop short of “universal Anarchy.” That, in fact, toleration of the first would be the “inauguration of universal confusion.” Thereupon, the labor-saving genius found his cabin surrounded with the zealous “preservers of order,” ready to tear him to pieces as soon as they could get into his cabin. While they were endeavoring to get in, he slipped into a hole under the matting, which hole led out into the woods, while the preservers of order were watching every outlet of the hut.
He was never heard of afterwards, but it was supposed that he made his escape to another neighborhood, and there introduced his innovation. And this mode of roasting pigs prevailed in that neighborhood or tribe for some sixty or seventy years; when another innovator appeared and proposed to kill the pig before roasting him; but this was immediately denounced as such an unfeeling and horribly cruel proposition towards the poor pig: and this innovator, also, had to escape for his life, and introduce his improvement where both innovations were unknown as such but were supposed to be the true, orthodox way of getting roast pig.
Both innovations, along with the original invention, spread over this neighborhood in seventy or a hundred years, when some other innovator proposed to clean the pig before roasting him; and also that there was no need of hewing the timbers, nor getting them all of one length, nor of putting them together in the form of a house. He said that, with all duo deference to the fathers, he did not see why the same quantity of logs piled up around the pig so as to enclose him would not answer as well as to build them into the form of a house.
Now the people just about that time had learned by tradition something of the history of roast pig, and of the persecution of those who bad risked their lives in bringing to their doors that savory blessing and they were then agitating the idea of erecting a monument to the memory of their benefactors. But the idea of the monument was suddenly dropped, and nothing was heard but “virtuous” denunciations against such “sweeping end wholesale innovations.” They would be the “inauguration of universal confusion,” and this innovator, like all the rest, was obliged to fly for his life; but where he went, or what course roast pig took after that, is unknown; but it is supposed that he, too, introduced it with his innovations into the country to which he fled, and that in the course of four thousand five hundred years, seven calendar months, and two days, which have elapsed since that time, the process of roasting pigs has progressed to what we now have, and, except mechanism, it has been the grand achievement of the civilization of this day.
Clanship is the worst feature of barbarism. As soon as different tribes are formed, each member prefers, or is compelled to profess to prefer, his own clan or tribe to all others, on pain of being murdered as a “traitor.” His motto must be, like that of Daniel Webster, My tribe, my whole tribe, and nothing but my tribe! That of Daniel Webster was, “My country, my whole country, and nothing but my country!”
This spirit arrays all tribes, clans, and countries against each other; and hostilities once commenced between them, they are increased and perpetuated for retaliation or revenge, and excused as “terrors to evildoers.” In this way it becomes equivalent to a death-warrant to belong to any clan or party; and yet, if one belongs to none, but wishes to discriminate and do justice by acknowledging the right that there may be among either party, then all parties are against him; for, say they, “whoever is not for us is against us.”
Our present internal war is of barbarian origin. It grows directly out of clanship, or tribeism. One portion of the tribe (or nation) wanted to form a tribe or nation by itself, but the other portion undertook to prevent them. They said that the “fathers had said that the tribe should remain one and inseparable now and forever.” That the fathers had spoken, and that it was the duty of all of us to obey.
Yes, replies the other party, “and the fathers have said another thing too — they said that whenever the government of a tribe was not satisfactory to the governed, they have a right to ‘alter or abolish it.’”
But, replies the first party, “you must take the mode prescribed by the constitution.” But, says the second, “we don’t choose to be ruled by your constitution — it is no longer our constitution. It does not suit us — we propose to have one of our own. “But, says the first party, “you must get a majority of the tribe to consent to that.” But, says the second, “we do not consent to ask leave of your majority; and if you insist on that, you deny all right of political freedom, which is a direct return to barbaric government, or to the right of the strongest.
To this, the first party replies that to permit disintegration without the consent of the majority is to “inaugurate universal confusion.”
Now, reader, just pause a moment. Had there been no Clan or “Union” formed at all, or had it continued no longer than the occasion for it, this war would never have arisen, — other disturbances might have come from other causes, but never from this.. But, to preserve this clanship unbroken, and retain all its members in peaceful repose, the advocates of “unbroken Union” abruptly refuse to negotiate with the receding party (who offer compensation for what they must take with them), thereby finally denying their right to become a separate parley, and pronouncing the final word that the Union recognizes no two parties who can negotiate with each other; which is equivalent to saying that the political Union (or clanship) is more sacred than persons, or property, or freedom, or any other inalienable human right. Thus completely destroying the last vestige of union between the parties, and forcing both into hostile attitudes, and both prepare to destroy each other.
Now are heard the wails of distress from all quarters. The papers are filled with accounts of brutal violence on both sides — villages burning — men hanging — ferocity let loose in every horrid shape and form. The heated passions on both sides become more and more ferocious, — a curious way to promote “Union”! A frenzy of rage sweeps over the land while I write. The last step of despotism has been taken by both governments. Freedom of action and speech are annihilated in “the land of the free and the home of the brave.” Even these written words may prove the death-warrant of the writer. Nothing but the clamor of war and the fear of prisons and violent deaths, smother, for the moment, the low moan from desolated hearths and broken hearts from the depths of the hell we are in!
In the mean time, where is the “Union”?
Reader, let us pause a moment to reflect that all this is the natural and inevitable result of clanship! If the clan or “Union” had never been formed, or bad it continued no longer than was agreeable to the parties to it, this war would never have occurred.
I take up some of the papers nearest at hand, and I read that one man is nailed to a tree — absolutely crucified and left, gagged — starving to death for several days; not for any of his own acts, but for the acts or theories of his clan or party! Immediately the cry of “revenge” is heard — not against the particular perpetrators of the horrid deed, but against the party or clan to which he belongs! — the innocent portions of whom are more likely to suffer for the crime than the perpetrators of it. Thus clanship, annihilating all individual responsibility leaves rapacity and cruelty unrestrained.
Again I read, “Ten thousand men killed and wounded, but a much larger number on the enemy’s side. The town of S--- in ashes; N--- is threatened; the village of B--- in flames within sight, and old men, children, and women screaming frantically, and running in all directions!”
The blood boils, the brain is on fire when the corpse of a dear son, a father, or husband is found on the field, or amid the ruins of once peaceful homes. Frenzy and despair take possession of some, and a desperate spirit of revenge inspires other women who will soon be mothers; of the children born in the midst of these horrors, many will be stillborn, others wholly or partly idiots, others with an uncontrollable hereditary disposition to shed blood — to destroy whatever or whoever comes in their way. Thenl come more wars, murders, and violence beyond computation ! What then, is the prospect for the next generation and their descendants! Let it be observed that, before displaying such shocking prospects, the preventive has been already presented in the first chapter. Let us see if the preventive is really there.
When one party first proposed to disintegrate itself from the political “Union” (clan), if the other portion had said, according to the Declaration of Independence, “As the right of any people to alter or abolish any government is absolute and ‘inalienable,’ of course, you have the whole of the deciding power in your own hands. We can have no voice in the matter unless you desire it as counsel. We think it would be a dangerous and difficult expedient for both parties; but this opinion we submit only as advice. If you decide on leaving us, we have some forts, mints, and other communistic property to divide, but we anticipate no difficulty in regard to that. Each party, or both together, can call councils of the best-balanced minds to deliberate on the subject and suggest the best modes of adjustment, and we dare say that this will not be difficult.”
Would not this mode, or rather this great principle, having been applied in the right time, have prevented all these horrors and this destruction?
What is the reply to this? Is it what we see in the newspapers? — that it would “encourage disintegration and be the ‘inauguration of universal confusion’?” That the war is “to preserve the nation as a nation and the ‘Union’ unbroken?” These statements, uniformly insisted on, even by the executive himself, prove decidedly and fully that the war has been inaugurated and prosecuted merely to preserve clanship, as I have stated, for nationality is no more or less than clanship, and clanship is the worst feature of barbarism. I do not accuse any one of intentional wickedness nor of wantonness or indifference to the horrors that surround and involve us; on the contrary, I see the whole to be a lamentable mistake, the unavoidable result of a blind reverence for precedents, for legal technicalities and formal institutions, instead of for the deep underlying principles which gave rise to the institutions. Now look at the results! If we are now in civilization, what is barbarism ?
Let us, in imagination at least, have done with clanship, and converse as two individuals disintegrated from all party or partial trammels.
A--- says, “I can find no fault with the proposition you make with regard to the councils of deliberation or reference, and feel happy to think that the great idea underlying our institutions is not forgotten or ignored, but that it even instructs us what to do in the greatest and most difficult trial. But wily do you think that an immediate separation would be a bad expedient for both of us?”
B--- replies, “First on account of the geographical interlockings of our interests which may be very difficult to disentangle suddenly. Then there is your slave system. The right of self-sovereignty in every human being, which gives you the supreme right to leave us without asking our leave gives to your slaves the same right to leave you, and also gives to every man, woman, and child the same supreme right to sympathize with an 1 assist the distressed or oppressed whereever they are found as the greatest and holiest mission of life; and this might lead to new disasters for which we have no preventive or remedy provided. You have been born under the system, and your habits make you entirely dependent upon slaves. I do not blame you for the circumstances under which you were born; I hardly know which of the two classes is most enslaved, or most to be pitied, slaves or masters.
“The principle upon which you claim the right to secede from us is perfectly unassailable it is the ‘inalienable’ right of self-sovereignty but it extends farther than you may have contemplated it. It is a full and complete warrant for any one of your citizens to place himself above all your legislation, above the whole confederacy, and appeal to the world for protection: and having asserted the principle in your own favor, you cannot successfully deny it to others. Properly and fully understood, it is the great and final solution of all political, and I may say all strife among men; but it might work disastrously among an ignorant population, without preparation.
“I cannot say what others may do, and, as you know, I cannot dictate to others, without denying their right to think; and decide for themselves; but while I assert the right of freedom to all slaves, black and white, I will exert myself to foresee and prevent, as far as possible, all unnecessary violence to you from slaves or from any other source.”
A--- asks, “Is this the philosophy of your party? If it is, I belong to it, in the ‘Union’ or out of the ‘Union.’”
B---, “I cannot speak for a party, but only for myself positively, and of probabilities with regard to other individuals as far as I know them. No other person is in any way pledged to or responsible for anything I may say or promise.”
A---, “But what shall be done with the constitution ? ”
B--- , “I do not know what others may do with it — my constitution is within me. The right of self-sovereignty in every individual is my constitution.”
A---, “Really, this is rather a new view to take of politics, but it is in perfect accordance with the spirit of all constitutions. I find myself in union with you at any rate; on that principle there never can be secession et all. There can be no secession from the freedom to secede!”
B--- ,” I am exceedingly happy to come to this understanding with you, and at a future time, if you desire it, I will present to you some thoughts regarding a practical and easy mode of emerging from all slaveries of all colors.”
A--- , “ I shall be happy to listen.”
B---, “ Adieu for the present, and if you fear any sudden wanton violence from any quarter, let me know it immediately: we have ;a force already drilled and disciplined, whose sole aim it. is to prevent or restrain all wanton violence towards ANY person or property, without regard to tribe, clan, class, sect, color, or nation.”
Reader, if this course had been taken at the first intimation of a wish to withdraw from what is called the “Union,” what would probably have been our condition now compared to what it is? Yet no compromise has been made of human rights, but on the contrary the fullest vindication of them has been maintained from the beginning to the cud: but because this course was not pursued, we are committed to unlimited mutual destruction.
The two great clans are not only disintegrated, but hostile; and neighbors, families, and the dearest friends are not only disintegrated, but made enemies to each other from natural and unavoidable differences of opinion and politics, because there is no central idea, no principle known round which they can rally and agree, and in no party has FREEDOM TO DIFFER been practically established as a regulating thought. Self-sovereignty is the central idea or principle required.
Having overlooked the necessary regulator, what is there left for us, as self-respecting men, but to frankly acknowledge the blunder, and make all lint’ reparation in our power not inconsistent with tire regulator itself.
1 would gladly turn now from the sickening, fainting patient before us, but must probe a little farther.
Clanship, by destroying individual responsibility, enables the crafty criminal to escape, and expose the innocent of his tribe to retribution. Six men are hung on one tree for daring to be of the other party, and those who hung them belonged to the party professing to be contending for Freedom! Others are forced to expose their lives and die fighting against the party of their choice! They must do this or be shot by order of their rulers!
Reader, which party do you think it was that hung these men for a difference of political preferences? Which party is it that forces men, with “inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” to fight against their own wills or be shot? Which party is it that murders men for taking flown a flag, or preferring one flag to another? Which party is it that professes to be fighting for Freedom?
Oh, what questions to ask in the nineteenth century of Christian civilization! And what a position to place one in who undertakes to answer them!
He must reply, It is both parties! and that both profess to be contending for Freedom!
Both claim to be contending for self-preservation! That is nothing new, but that all the powers of both parties should be bestowed in destroying instead of preserving life, property, and Freedom can be accounted for only by the blind readiness with which the present imitates the past, without any reference to the inevitable consequences that are sure to follow. Which party is it that does not suppress the freedom of action, of speech, and of the press and punish with imprisonment or death an honest avowal of an opinion in favour of the opposite party ?
Which party is it that does not treat as treason, punishable with death, the admission of a single point wherein the opposite party may be right, as “giving aid and comfort to the enemy”? In other words, which party is it that does not threaten to punish with death that single item of justice? Who would ever think of introducing quell monstrous rules if they were new? But they are found among the “precedents,” the “usages of governments!” “the laws of war,” “the laws of nations,” and are therefore blindly followed though they lead the very leaders into the ditch or over the precipice. This blind repetition of barbarism must be criticised and stopped, or one continuous round of mutual murder and destruction will continue to the end of time.
The flanging of these men and the desolating of their families was in strict logical accordance with the barbarian “laws of war,” which are an ever-ready excuse for every wild and shocking atrocity that rapacity, revenge, or wantonness may prompt. The “laws of war,” say these barbarians, put all the members of a tribe (nation) in hostility with each other! and when at war we may properly “ do all the harm we can to our enemies.” Both parties take their texts from the same authorities. ‘The “laws of war,” “military necessity,” the laws of nations, are constantly in the mouths of both parties as excuses for all their barbarian acts, and yet, when one commits an atrocity in strict accordance with these admitted axioms, the other party forthwith talks of revenge!
If one party is more humane or more civilized than the other, it acts less in accordance with these “laws of war ;” and if one individual is more civilized or humane than the rest of his party, or both parties, he is not at home in either; on the contrary, for his beautiful humanitary feelings, for his high sense of honor, justice, and discrimination, he has two chances of being murdered, where blind, headlong party ferocity has only one!
And so it has always been under all political systems or codes, as illustrated by the case of General Patkul, who was broken on the wheel by order of Charles XII., of Sweden, under a charge of “treason,” for attempting, by pacific negotiations, to bring about a cessation of hostilities between his country and its antagonist. The humanity of Patkul did not show sufficient loyalty to Charles’s “authority”!
There are no “ laws of war,” “nor laws of nations,” nor military necessities, nor laws of men, that ought to command a moment’s respect or attention, unless they tend to diminish suffering instead of increasing it: and true civilization will discard everything, that prompts or excuses any unnecessary violence to any person or property.
The fatal tendency of an unquestioning readiness to follow precedents may possibly have led to the shocking ease of crucifixion mentioned; perhaps it was prompted by the common blunder as a “terror to evildoers,” perhaps the horrid thought was first suggested to the perpetrators by the precedent so painfully familiar to all Christendom.
A similar atrocity was perpetrated in the French Revolution A young woman only for being of the other party, a fact over which she had no control, was also crucified. Her feet were spiked to the ground, wide apart, and she was made to stand by a tree, to which she was bound, and a slow fire was placed and kept under her till she died in the most excruciating torture.
Now that the race is so far sunken, either by hereditary propensities, or by a continuous, unhesitating copying of the past, what can we do better than to step up at once above these horrid precedents and authorities, and interfere to prevent all unnecessary and wanton violence? This was probably the original design of making laws, as it is celled, and trial by jury, etc., but they have all failed; for barbarism and insane violence reign triumphant throughout the misnomer of civilization.
Did human beings ever commit any other blunder so great as that of forming themselves into clans or nations? When the passions or propensities have possession, the intellect sleeps, and responsibility being annihilated, there is nothing too horrible to expect. I venture the assertion that there is but OIIC way to emerge from this otherwise endless chaos of misery and degradation; that is, directly to bestow all practicable energies in the direction indicated in the first chapter, and to solicit the cooperation of all persons, without regard to party, sect, theories, sex, or nation, to consider in leisure and in calmness the basis of true civilization.
Clanship can exist among fishes of one kind among ants, bees, and other insects, and among the crude clans of men, who like ants, bees, or dried herrings on a stick, have no individual development, but who are all alike. When the mental eyes they had have been punched out by barbarian power in the process of stringing them on the stick of subordination or loyalty: and if no intellectual expansion were possible, clanship would continue to desolate the earth; but just in proportion to intellectual expansion, individuality makes its appearance, and begins to conflict with the dried-herring subordination, and naturally gives rise to the first steps indisintegration or the commencement of true civilization!
Fortunately for us, external force cannot limit nor suppress ideas. Take a hundred persons as completely “unitized,” and as destitute of ideas as dried herrings, and place them within a building having iron wells three feet thick, and guarded by a thousand men, ideas may find their way among them that can liberate them from that condition, or destroy them.
A savage who has for half a lifetime eaten with his fingers out of the same dish with twenty others, all obstructing each other’s movements, conceives, perhaps, the idea of a wooden paddle or a pointed stick to use in the communistic dish — but it’s not “ the fashion “! It is not “ according to precedents”! It is not what “the fathers intended”! But he may say to himself, “ I am not one of the fathers, — I am another person. I don’t see why I should not have my way as well as they, provided I do not put the fathers, nor anybody else, to any inconvenience.”
Now as soon as he begins to reason in this way, a prospective good-by to the dried-herring subordination, to Loyalty, and the Hug-ga-boo chorus, for true civilization has begun. He may be obliged to fly from his clan or country, but that itself forces upon him the individual dish — the conveniences of which will not be willingly resigned, and the example of which might prove as contaminating as roast pig.
The germ of true civilization is now fairly planted and perhaps it expands so far that he sees that a separate sleeping apartment would be more agreeable to all in a hot climate than sleeping in one nest with twenty or thirty others, like a litter of pigs; but then this would be “ disintegration,” and might not be permitted by the “majority,” for it is “isolation” and “selfishness,” and not according to the “precedents” and “best authorities;” “society has a right to the society of all its members.” “ Well,” says the savage, “I will not then be a member of any society — I will be an individual.”
Now a piece of ground is wanted to stand his house upon. This possession of a piece of land disintegrated, individualized from the communistic domain, has been considered one of the greatest and most indispensable features of civilization, and so it is. But beyond this, society has attained little or nothing by the way of adjustment.
A barbarian strolling, upon the beach, perhaps in search of tortoises, accidentally picks up a little shell that is rather new to him, and he shows it to another savage, who, for the sake of the novelty, offers to give him for it the beaver which he has just caught, and the exchange is made; and so, like the progress of roast pig, the second owner of the shell, when his curiosity its satisfied, gives it to a third person for a tortoise-shell. A ship arrives on the coast in search of tortoise-shells, and gives this savage beads, nails, and a hatchet for his shell. Immediately every savage abandons his hunting of beavers and every other pursuit for the hunting of tortoises; in the course of which they find more of the little shells, and give them the name of “cowries.” One “cowry” once having purchased a beaver, this “precedent” is accepted as “authority “ for the “market-price” of a beaver; so as many “cowries” as each finds, so many beavers he considers himself “worth,” and, by degrees, as this “roast pig” progresses, these “cowries” are given and received for ivory, fish, etc., and become a circulating medium, or money. But, in making these exchanges no reference whatever is had to the time or trouble in procuring either the “cowries” or the articles exchanged for them; it being altogether a matter of accident, no calculations can be made. There is no basis for calculation; but the “cowries” prove very convenient; for they enable each one to confine his attention and preparations to one particular pursuit, and to exchange its products for all the things he needs, instead of being obliged to do everything for himself to disadvantage. By only catching Beavers and giving them for “cowries,” he can procure fish, tortoise-shells, ivory, muskrats, moccasins, mats, spears, etc., which is an immense saving of time and trouble to him. Others, seeing this, imitate his example, and as the accumulation of “cowries” affords a prospect of everything needed, the pursuit and accumulation of “cowries” becomes the rage of all; shell every savage abandons his beaver-hunting, or his fishing, his musk-rat traps, etc., and all rush to the hunt for “cowries.” They get a large supply, but there is nothing to buy with them! There are no fish caught, no muskrats, no mats made, no ivory found, no mellons raised. The ship has carried away all the tortoise-shells, and the “cowries” are comparatively worthless!
One old cunning savage, seeing the general thoughtless rush for “cowries,” had taken advantage of it and “bought up” all the fish, musk-rats, ivory, mats, spears, nails, etc., against their return. He now has all in his own power, for “whoever feeds can govern,” and he demands the whole of their cowries for the few supplies that they are obliged to have to supply present necessities; and the population give him all the cowries they have gathered alone, the whole coast for months, in exchange for a few necessaries which they could have made for themselves in as many hours. They feel that they are wronged, but do not see where the wrong is.
The next day the cunning old savage’s house and sheds are set on fire for revenge, and no one being disposed to help him, they and all their contents are consumed — “cowries” and all, and he is reduced to beggary; but no one relieves him. The cowries have all been collected for miles along the beach and he can get none: he is not qualified to make mats, nor spears, nor nails, nor to catch beavers, and he wanders about a miserable and despised savage, having made himself miserable by overreaching his fellow-savages.
There has been no improvement upon that crude and barbarous money to this day of the Christian era, 1862, unless it is in substituting little bits of copper, or other comparatively worthless metals with the semblance of a man’s head or some animal upon them, instead of the “cowries,” as a circulating medium.
Bank-notes, promising to pay these bits of metal on demand, if they were not the means of defrauding as well as of deluding the public, would be an improvement upon metals, as being more convenient of carriage, and costing less trouble in many ways; but, being, as they are, the means of innumerable and constant frauds and delusion, they are barbarian money barbarized. All the crudity in principle remains, with intentional frauds added.
No reference whatever is had to the comparative trouble that anything costs the one who first obtains or produces it, but whoever stumbles in his rambles upon a lump of any of these metals, has, forthwith, according to the size of the lump, a demand upon every product and service under the sun!
There being no principle known for the regulation or adjustment of the quantity of these metals, which should be given in exchange for any service or commodity, the whole is left to accident, or else to some, like the cunning savage, to take advantage of the necessities of others, and a general scramble ensues to get the advantage or to escape being overreached. In this general strife, those with the longest purses, or the most cunning, or who are most unscrupulous and false, prevail. Those who have few or no cowries and the less crafty are trodden under foot, and ground to powder and what is called society has blundered on into a universal scramble for the largest possible accumulation of “ cowry “ metals, as offering the best among poor chances of security against the general rapacity.175. In this melee the instinct of self-preservation in each one is almost wholly bent On keeping uppermost, instead of being crushed below. Political power and money are the principal means of attaining ends, and these are therefore pursued with unscrupulous desperate ration.
A little money (by usury) “makes more,” but it takes from those who have less,, till those with less have none to take. Then woe to those who are found in such ranks. Nobody will be found there who can avoid it. Driven to work for whatever money-holders choose to give, they take the pittance rather shall starve, and starve when they cannot get the work or the pittance. Then who that can avoid it will belong to the ranks of starved, ragged, abused, insulted labor? Whoever can avoid it will do so, and the burdens fall upon the weak who have no means of escape.
This is the origin of all Slaveries. They all grow out of the fact that civilization has not yet proceeded far enough to discover what would be a proper, legitimate, equitable compensation or price even for a barrel of flour!
When the masses are silenced by weakness, the conflict becomes intensified between the few who have monopolized money and the governing or political power. ‘The mass become mere ciphers to be placed by the sides of these figures, only to increase their magnitude and power in their contests with each other. The right of might is the only umpire known or acknowledged, and conquest becomes the object of all.
Looking at causes, and understanding the instinct of self-preservation, who wonders at the miser? Who wonders at the borders of black or white slaves? Who wonders at burglary, highway robbery, thefts, frauds, bribery, and corruption in office? or at the general distrust of man in his kind? or at the extremes of waste and walls that are so often found face to face?
Seven thousand dollars of public money was spent by a few political wire-workers in a mock funeral of a bribed lawyer, — bribed to uphold a policy that has brought this horrid war upon us, although at the time of this hypocritical parade multitudes of boys and girls — some of them of marriageable age — in rags and tatters, not half clad, shivering with cold, were swooping away the snowy mud that the hypocrites might pass comfortably, and occasionally, with an imploring look, holding out their hands with, “Please, sir, give me a penny to get something to eat.” — I can proceed no further. Any one can extend the picture for himself to any magnitude by consulting any of the newspapers of the day.
The two great elements of power are the governing (military) force and money.
The equilibrium of the governing power has already been suggested in the first chapter; but until a principle is found and accepted which can harmoniously regulate compensation for labor (or regulate prices), and establish an equilibrium of the money power, we can hardly assert that civilization has fairly commenced.
INTRODUCTION TO CHAPTER IV.
We can bold an object so near to our eyes that we cannot see it. Analogous to this is the often-noticed fact that things with which we are most familiar attract the least attention
I feel the force of the above most painfully, in approaching a subject of greater magnitude than an other that can occupy the mind of this generation ; and yet, children are the first to comprehend it! The principal obstacle to the appreciation of it is its extreme simplicity!
When we consider the present internal war in this country, which is increasing in blind ferocity every hour, and which threatens to desolate every hearth in it, and that other countries are in continuous convulsions, -all from INJUSTICE TOWARDS LABOR; and when we reflect that the whole of what is called civilization rests upon labor, and that it is everywhere prostrate — starving — groaning, and imploringly lifting Up its hands in silent agony for help; that it has no longer the strength to give voice to its sufferings, and that as it dies civilization dies with it ; and that this frightful con. dition is the natural and inevitable result, not so much of de. liberate design as for want of the means of determining what would constitute justice towards labor, and how to apply a remedy, we catch a glimpse, and only a glimpse, of the immense magnitude of the subject before us.
CHAPTER IV. THE PRINCIPLE OF EQUIVALENTS.
STRANGE as the statement may appear, civilization to-day knows no other principle or formula for the regulation of prices than that 11 the price of a thing should be what it will bring” or that the price should be measured and limited by the demand, or the necessities of the receiver. Therefore John Al. Searing (in a case on trial by the U. S. Government against another party for extortion against itself ), when questioned about price, replied, 11 If I thought the Government wanted the property and must have it, and could not possibly do without it, if I had given only fifteen dollars for it, I would ask two hundred and fifty thousand dollars for it, or as much more as I thought I could get. I would take advantage of the necessities of the Government just as I would of the necessities of a private individual in any business transaction.”
Mr. Searing has here stated the present ethics of price so frankly and simply that it demands children, or childlike minds that have never become contaminated by 11 trade,” to understand its inherent iniquity. It is a simple, clear, frank exhibition of the germ of the Cannibalism which underlies all the world’s iniquity and confusion. It is said that Mr. Searing lost his popularity by his frankness; there is, therefore, some ground to suppose that civilization has not lost all power to blush, but that when it is generally perceived that this hideous principle is the root of all public evils, and that rectification is possible, it will, from the mere instinct of self-preservation, pursue its interests in a new direction.
There is a germ of true civilization also existing among us, but in humble life, and all unconsciously because so naturally.
190.If a traveller, in a hot day, stop at a farmhouse for a drink of water, he generally gets it without any thought of price. Why ? Because it costs nothing, or the cost is immaterial. If the water was brought from a great distance, over difficult passes, there might be a price set upon it which every One would sanction, if that price was governed by its Cost, or the labor of procuring and delivering it.
191.If the traveller asked for wine, he would expect to pay for it, because it. costs more than water; and if this cost was made the limit of its price, all would seem just and harmonious. But if the farmer, when asked for water, were to endeavor to find out how thirsty the traveller was, and how much money he could induce him to pay for the water rather than not get a drink, and then charge him accordingly, this price would be 11 what it would bring; “ and if the farmer were to monopolize all the water in the neighborhood, or fill up or conceal some of the springs, and cut off all access to water except through him, and then charge a fainting traveller a thousand dollars for a drink to save his life, he would be carrying out the rule that 11 the price of a thing is what it will bring,” which is the motto and spirit of all the principal business of the world! It is limiting price by the worth or value to the receiver instead of the COST to the giver.
The water or the wine must possess a value to the receiver in order to give rise to any transaction in the case: but to make this value or worth the measure of its price, constitutes the glaring iniquity of the case, and would class the farmer among the wreckers on the coast of Norway, who first sink rocks in order to wreck. vessels, and then demand of the crews all their cargoes and vessels for saving their lives! And it would class him with flour-dealers and every other huckster of provisions or clothing, with bankers and all other moneymongers and systematic speculators, from John M. Searing to the huckster of candies and apples on the sidewalks; they all act on the same principle. The only difference between them is that the wrecker must know that he ought to be shot, while the others may suppose that they are following a very 11 legitimate business “!
The most common exhibition of this iniquitous principle is seen in the newspapers in the 11 prices current.” The following is a sample:--
11 No new arrivals of FLOUR — demand increasing; prices rose accordingly, since yesterday at twelve o’clock, 25 cts. per barrel. No change in COFFEE since our last. SUGAR raised on Thursday 1–2 cent in consequence of news received of short crops; but later arrivals contradicted the report, and prices fell again. MOLASSES in demand, and holders not anxious to sell. PORK — little in market, and prices rising. BACON — Plenty and dull ; fell since our last from 15 to 13 cts. COTTON — All in few hands, bought up on speculation.” Again, from a newspaper nearest at hand: —
“The stock market advanced this morning, and for a time was quite buoyant. The agents of British houses here assert that instead of selling their stocks, the English will take, advantage of our panic to buy more. This stimulates speculators to buy New York Central, Erie, Illinois Central, and other stocks which are held abroad, and at one time to-day all these stocks were considerably higher.......The advance in Cotton was based on the probability of a reduction in the supply,” etc.
These are only average specimens, but they exhibit the principle under consideration : they show that worth or value to the receiver, rather than COSTS to the producer and vender, is made the basis and measure of exchangeable price. They show a systematic watchfulness of the fluctuations of this value, and that the price is set, accordingly, up to the last point the receiver can bear ; and we see the degrees of their wants or necessities as closely calculated as the pulsations of the victims of torture, where the physician stands to examine and report how much the victim can bear and live ; and the part which the physician acts in the one case, the newspapers act in the other.
“Buying up on speculation” means creatingwant in order to profit by its supply; and he is the most successful speculator who can create the most distress and extort the most from it. This is CIVILIZED CANNIBALISM.
As prices are raised, the rich have the best chances of life. The chance of the poor is to suffer, and hence the general scramble to avoid unpaid labor, and to become rich at any cost; and what is called 41 society 11 resembles a large basket of slimy worms, each one wriggling and struggling to get at the top rather than to be crushed at the bottom.
Making COSTS the basis and limit of all price. Would upset the basket, and each struggler would find the natural level and his appropriate sphere of life.
The word cost is used in its most philosophical and most comprehensive and exact sense — Signifying the endurance of whatever is distkgreeable.
201. Fatigue of mind or body is Cost. Responsibility which causes anxiety is Cost. To have our time or attention taken up against our preferences — to make a sacrifice of any kind — a feeling of mortification — painful suspense — fear — suffering or enduring anything against our inclination, is here considered COST.
202. If a barrel of flour cost its producers, carriers, and venders thirty hours’ labor, then thirty hours of any other labor, whether with the hands or the mind, which was equally painful, disagreeable, or repugnant (if Wanted by the other parties), would constitute an equitable and legitimate price for the flour.
203. The value of a loaf of bread to a starving man is equal to the value of his life : and if the price of a thing should be what it will bring, then a vender might demand of the passengers of a wrecked vessel, the whole of their future lives in servitude, as the proper price of the bread that saved their lives! But any one who should make such a demand would be looked upon as insane — a Cannibal; and one simultaneous voice would denounce the outrageous injustice, and Would cry aloud for retribution. Why ? What is it that constitutes the cannibalism in this case ? Is it not measuring the price of the bread according to its value instead of its cost, or setting a price upon the “thing” according to 11 what it would bring “ ?
204. If the producers, carriers, and venders of the bread had bestowed one hour’s labor upon that given. to each passenger, then one hour’s labor from each, Which was equally repugnant, would constitute the just compensation for the bread.
205. A WATCH has a cost and a value. The cost consists of the cost of the labor bestowed on the minerals in converting them into metals, the costs (either physical or mental) endured by the workmen in constructing the watch, the costs in the wear of tools, rent, firewood, insurance, taxes, clerkship, superintendence, and various other contingent expenses of its manufacture, together with the labor and other costs of its transmission to the one who uses it. In some of these departments, the labor is more disagreeable or more deleterious to health than in others, and therefore should be higher paid; but all these items, or more, constitute the Cost of the watch.
206. The value of a well-made watch depends upon the natural qualities of the metals or minerals employed; upon the natural principles of its mechanism; upon the uses to which it is applied, and upon the fancy and wants of the purchaser, and would be different with every different purchaser, and would change every day in the hands of the owner, and with every different use to which he applied it. Now who will undertake to set a price upon the Value of the watch ? The Cost we can measure and estimate satisfactorily, but who can determine the value of copper and zinc ore? or who has any right to set any price upon them, or any other natural wealth, before he has bestowed any labor upon it? Who has any right to charge for the principles of mechanism, except for his labor in applying them? Who has the capacity to measure, and who has any right to set a price according to this value of the watch? The attempt is as ridiculous as the principle is iniquitous.
207. Cost, then, is the true basis and limit of price, even in the most complicated transactions. The value of a thing is no more fit to measure its price than a floating log is fit for a boundary of a piece of land.
208. An article must have a value to the receiver equal to its cost to induce any purchase at all; but Cost, not value, should set the limit of the price.
209. A man may inform his neighbor that his house is on fire. The information may be of great value to the occupants, but to make this a ground of proportional price, or of an indefinite obligation, would be setting a price according to the “worth of a thing.”
210.The performance of a piece of music in which the performer feels pleasure but no pain, and which is attended with no contingent cost, has no legitimate ground of price, although it may be of great value to all within hearing.
211. A word of sympathy to the distressed may be of great value to them; but to make this value a ground of price, or of an indefinite obligation, is getting what the “thing will bring,” and contaminating one of the most holy departments of human intercourse.
212. A man has a lawsuit pending, upon which hangs his property, his security, his personal liberty, or his life. The lawyer who undertakes his case may demand ten, twenty, fifty, five hundred, or five thousand dollars, for a few hours’ attendance on the case. This price would be based chiefly on the value of his services to his client. Now there is nothing in this statement that sounds wrong, because our cars are familiarized with wrong. But let us analyze it. The Costs to the lawyer might be twenty hours’ labor in attendance at court, which, if repugnant, would entitle him to compensation; and allowing a portion for his apprenticeship, say twenty-two hours in all, with all contingent expenses, would constitute a legitimate, a just ground of price; but the very next step beyond this rests on value, and is the first stop in Cannibalism.
213. The laborer, when he comes to dig the lawyer’s cellar, never thinks of setting a price upon its future value to the owner; lie only considers how long it will take him, how hard the ground is, what will be the weather to which he will be exposed, what will be the wear of the teams, tools, clothes, etc.; but in all these items he considers nothing but the different items of cost to himself.
214. RENTS Of land and buildings, especially in the cities, are generally “what they will bring; ‘I and these rents are based chiefly on the value of the use of the property, according to the necessities of the occupants, instead of the costs to the owners, which consist of natural decay, insurance, taxes, and the labor of letting the property, collecting rents, etc.
215. The doctor demands of the woodcutter the proceeds of five, ten, or twenty days’ labor for the attendance of an hour, and asks, in excuse, if the sick man would not prefer to pay this price rather than submit to continuous disease or death. This, again, is basing a price upon an assumed value of his attendance instead of its Cost. It is common to plead the 11 skill” required to prescribe for the sick.. Without waiting to determine how much skill might be employed in the case, it may be sufficient to show that skill or talents which result from labor of body or mind, whether employed in cutting wood or cutting off a leg or an arm, all contingencies considered, so far as they cost the pos. sessor, are a legitimate ground of estimate and of price; but Skill or talents which cost nothing are natural wealth, and should be accessible (if at all), like water in our neighbor’s brook, without price.
216. All patents and copyrights give to the inventor, discoverer, or the author whatever he “can get,” and only what he can get, for his production: and he may get a thousand times paid, or not a thousandth part paid. His proper compensation would be an equivalent for the costs of his physical or mental labor added to that of his materials, the expenses of experiments, investigations, and other contingencies.
217. A speculator buys a piece of land for a trifle, and holds it till surrounding improvements, made by others, increase its value, and it is then sold “accordingly,” for five, ten, or a hundred times its original price; yet this is only “what it will bring;” but, from this operation of civilized cannibalism whole families live from generation to generation, in idleness and luxury, upon the labor of the surrounding people, who must have the land at any price. This is one form of slavery. Instead of this, the prime cost of land, the taxes, and other contingent expenses of surveying, etc., together with the labor of making contracts, would constitute the true basis for the price of land purchased for sale. If I purchase a lot for my own use, and you want it, I may properly consider what would compensate me for the sacrifice I should make, or the cost of parting with it; but this is a very different thing from purchasing it on purpose to part with it, and when no such sacrifice is made.
218. The products of machinery are now sold for what they will bring,” and its advantages go chiefly to its owners. If these products were priced by the wear of the machinery, its attendance, and other contingent items of cost, the owners would not be interested in grinding down the wages of its attendants; and in proportion as it threw the working classes out of employment, it would work for them. Here is the long-sought solution of the antagonism between machinery and manual labor!
219. An importer writes a letter to a foreign country for goods to the amount of forty thousand dollars. On their arrival he sells them for 11 what they will bring.” Perhaps they “bring” forty-five thousand, perhaps seventy thousand. If sixty thousand, then, allowing say two thousand for costs of importation and sale, he obtains eightteen thousand dollars for perhaps eight or ten hours’ labor or thought in merchandising!
220. With this sum he could obtain thirty-six thousand times as much labor of the hardest working men, or seventy-two thousand times an equivalent from women who work for twenty-five cents a day, or a hundred and forty-four thousand times an equivalent from children at twelve cents a day!
221. A. lends to B. ten thousand dollars, at six per cent., for one year. At the end of the year he receives back the ten thousand lent, and six hundred dollars more! For what? Because it was of that or more value to the borrower. For the same reason, why not charge a thousand dollars for a box of pills, because they save the life of the patient ?
222. With this six hundred dollars, which the laws declare not to be usury, the capitalist can keep three of the hardest working men constantly drudging for him a whole year or he could command the constant watchful and slavish attendance and dependence and labor of eight destitute women for a whole year, or he could enslave sixteen destitute children for a whole year, for five or six hours of his labor in lending money. Or for this five or six hours’ (of not the hardest) labor, he would obtain at the rate of about a hundred dollars per hour, or about one thousand six hundred times an equivalent from the hardest working men, or about four thousand five hundred times an equivalent from the hardest working women, or nine thousand five hundred times an equivalent from suffering and defenceless children!
223. If you sacrifice twenty dollars (to which you are equitably entitled) in lending me a hundred, then not six per cent., but twenty dollars, or twenty per cent., together with pay for your labor, would be your proper compensation.
224. One, in getting all his labor 11 will bring,” gets a thousand times an equivalent, while another, following the same principle, does not get a thousandth part paid, while all are involved in a degrading scramble to avoid the unpaid and more repugnant pursuits, and to crowd into the more profitable and less repugnant ; and the main business of life is to conduct this warfare to the best advantage, although the most successful are never secure from being victimized, upon the same principle by which they succeeded! Laws and governments are professedly invented to remedy the insecurity thus produced, but they confirm the very principle that produces it, and add all their own elements of confusion and violence to the general anarchy.
225. Costs being made the basis and limit of price, there would be no disturbing preference for one pursuit rather than another; the Strife would be at an end — the supply in all departments would be in proportion to the demand -no disturbing fluctuations in prices would ever occur — wars for the profits of trade would be at an end -the poorest would be abundantly richtemptations to frauds and encroachments of all kinds would cease, and laws and governments for the 11 protection of person and property” would be unnecessary, and their desolating career might be brought to a close! This simple justice (cost — the limit of price) would make it necessary for every one to earn as much as he consumed, and -would irresistibly abolish every form of slavery under the sun, even the most degrading of all -the slavery of holding and depending on slaves!
226. AVARICE (supposed by some to be the root of all human evils), being one of the effects of insecurity of condition, would naturally die away when the future should repose on a publicly approved principle which should ensure an abundance to every one at less cost than that of taking care of large accumulations. In other words, the primary object of large accumulations of property is for future security. If the future is secured without it, no such accumulations would be thought worthy of pursuit.
227. Costs being made the limit of price, every one becomes interested to reduce cost, — to lighten each other’s burdens ! Then, every man’s hand acts with instead of “against every man,” and HUMAN INTERESTS ARE HARMONIZED!
228. Legislators! Framers of institutions ! Leaders of the public mind! behold your most fatal error! You have suffered Value instead of Cost to become the measure of price in all the business of the world! Hence the ruinous rage of competition, and the destructive fluctuations in business, and the remote origin and principal cause of the wars of nations and of individual antagonisms! Hence, also, the insecurity in all conditions of life, and the universal scramble for unlimited accumulations of property, as the highest attainable good! ‘Hence, too, the teaching and perpetuation of ignorance for the sake of profit, and all the degradation and crime and the horrors of punishments arising from these causes! Behold, also, the ORIGIN OF RICH AND POOR! — The deep- seated germ of speculation, at once the curse of individuals and of nations!The diabolical charm that works -unseen even by those who use it!- The fatal pit-fall of the working classes!The people’s mistake! — The legislative fraud! -The political blunder!--The hereditary taint of Barbarism — The subtle and all-pervading poison of civilization!
229. These statements may be too brief, and the conclusions too suddenly drawn for many minds, but they will be more elaborately considered in the following pages.
230. Let us now proceed to consider what a circulating medium or money, should be.
231. The experiments were begun in Cincinnati, in 1827, upon the simple basis of hour for hour in all pursuits, without any element of measurement but that of time, according to a suggestion believed to have originated in England. It soon appeared, however, that the more pleasant pursuits would be overcrowded by competitors who would ruin each other, while the equally necessary professions were shunned, and a large portion of wants would be left unsupplied. For instance, a steam saw- mill was to be kept running night and day in the winter time. The night tour was a great deal more disagreeable or uncomfortable than the day tour. All hands preferred the day tour at the same price. It was arranged so that the compensation for ten hours at night would equal that for fourteen hours of the daytime. Here was one recognition of the element of repugnance or cost as the necessary adjusting power.
232. To apply this idea as a regulator of all interchanges of labor is a matter of invention and the most ingenious inventor would probably succeed best; but thus far, it has been effected thus : —
233. Some staple article of the particular locality, such as corn or wheat, is selected as a Unit by which to compare and measure all other labors, as we now measure them by dollars and cents. For instance, after ascertaining how many pounds of corn is the average product of an hour’s labor, say it is ten pounds, then any labor, which the performer of it considers as costly as corn-raising, would be rated at ten pounds per hour. If only half as costly, only five pounds, etc.
234. Of course it is necessary that both parties coincide in the prices set, which they are likely to do after investigation, for it is not exactness so much as it is permanence that we want; because, this fixedness once attained, security begins.
235. We cannot carry wheat, shoes, carpenter work, etc., about us so as to complete all our exchanges on the spot, and therefore, we need something that represents these products, which we can carry about us, and give and receive, and which will procure all these things when we need them.
236. 1 get a pair of shoes, the labor in which is estimated as equivalent to the labor costs in a hundred pounds of corn, and I give the shoemaker my note for carpenter work equivalent also to a hundred pounds.
237. The Costs of eight hours of my carpenter work may equal the Costs of ten hours of the shoemaker. This would give him ten pounds and me twelve and a half pounds per hour.
238. In this manner any profession whatever can be compared, measured, and exchanged with every other, each issuing notes representing his or her labor, and these notes, passing from hand to hand before they are redeemed, would constitute a circulating medium based on REALITIES--on the bone and muscle, on the manual and mental capacities, the property and property-producing powers of the whole of the people (the soundest of all foundations) ! -a money of the only kind that ever ought to have been issued!
239. The natural results to which such a money would lead are so extraordinary that they make us doubt our own reason, and, if stated, might subject us to the imputation of insanity. We ask, therefore, the judgment of others.
240. Would not every Man, Woman, and Child (to the extent of his or her usefulness) become a BANKER, and thus equalize money ?
241. Could Hot the poorest be abundantly rich ?
242. Would not the burden of necessary labor be reduced to one or two hours a day, and could there be any inducement to spend the whole day in contriving uncertain means to swindle or rob the products of labor from their proper owners ? If not, then would not this principle and this money peaceably abolish every system of fraud and slavery under the sun?
243. Could there ever be such a thing as a money panic or a money pressure?
244. Would not this natural and just distribution of money necessarily complete the true and only practical “balance of power,” and solve the great problem that convulses and desolates the world ?
245. That out of this principle of Equivalents arises naturally that co- operation between the individual and the public interests, so much desired and striven for, -seems so self-evident, that to attempt illustrations may seem to some minds like the attempts to illustrate the shining of the sun; but at the risk of obscuring the subject, I Will furnish a few historical facts.
246. In the experimental stores, conducted on this principle, it was seen that, in order to put the labor of the merchant fairly against the labor of his customers, his compensation must be separated, disintegrated from the price of the goods. This Was done; and his labor in -waiting on each customer was measured by the time employed which was Shown by a clock before the eyes of both parties.
247. The goods Were sold for their first cost added to a certain fixed and publicly known percentage, sufficient to pay all contingent expenses, and every possible evidence was furnished to the customers to prove that they paid only an equivalent in. their own labor for the labor of the keeper of the store.
248. White this secured their confidence and respect, it created in some of them an interest in the principle itself, and another kind of interest which all could feel; namely, to take up as little of the keeper’s time as possible, and to volunteer to roll barrels, move boxes, fold cloth, etc., to abridge the labor to be paid for. In common business, the price not being limited by costs, there are no such coinciding or co-operating interests.
249. It was amusing, and more than amusing, to see how careful some were Dot to take up the time of the keeper in 11 shopping.” The customers were not at all troublesome in this respect. The goods were so arranged that they could see the prices and qualities, and the prices being positively fixed by a principle which they approved, the buyer and seller were no longer at war!
250. A man came into the store saying, as fast as he could speak, 11 1 want a barrel of your mackerel I know they are eight dollars there is the money and a cent for your time of putting it into the drawer I can get it into the wagon you needn’t come out good-by.” The profit or compensation for selling that barrel of mackerel was one cent! Is it wonderful that such a principle should find co-operators?
251. Another man came in and said, 11 There is a lot of most excellent sugar — nine hogsheads — for sale at H----‘s auction store, cheap!”
252. What was his motive for giving this information to the keeper of this store in particular ? He felt deeply interested in its principle for the general good, and he was slightly interested as one of the consumers of the sugar, which lie knew lie would get at cost, whatever the “market-price” might be. He was interested morally and pecuniarily to co-operate for the result, which benefited all the other customers to the sugar as well as himself.
253. Observe that I am now illustrating the manner in which the principle of Equivalents neutralizes the antagonism of interests, and produces that harmony or co-operation of interests that has always been the greatest consideration for society, and without which we must look in vain for true civilization; but with which, it can reach a higher plane than many minds are now prepared to understand.
254. These co-operating interests induced two gentlemen (though unknown to the keeper before the store commenced) to offer to become security for him in the United States Bank. Here was Co-operation without a word of pledge or promise; or, Co-operation and freedom harmonized! No organization (as that word is commonly understood) of any kind was necessary; but on the contrary any proposition of the kind would only have hindered, and perhaps prevented, co-operation, for both of these gentlemen belonged to churches which they could not well disregard in forming new connections, If universal principles move us to our satisfaction, we need no other connections than such as naturally grow out of those principles.
255. A young man came in and said, 11 Here are fifty dollars that I may not have a use for at present. Perhaps you would like to use it in ‘purchasing to the best advantage.” What was his motive?
256. A large wholesale merchant said to the keeper of the store in New Harmony, 1842, 111 had resolved that I never would credit another man with a dollar’sworth of goods; but as you seem to be doing the safest business of any man in the world, if you want more goods than you can pay for at once, take them, and pay for them when they are sold.” The keeper did take seven hundred dollars’ worth, and continued to do SO. What was this merchant’s motive? You may suppose that it was solely to get a quick market for his goods. It is very well if this motive also co-operates with a great beneficent revolution; but he had said, with much feeling and emphasis, in a conversation on the subject, 11 If such principles as those could be generally introduced, I would give ninety-nine dollars in every hundred I possess! “ and he was reputed to be very rich.
257. An English gentleman of fortune was introduced to the keeper, and frankly offered to assist with his capital, but the keeper did not Wish to undertake the management of any larger business than he already bad. What was this gentleman’s motive? He had retired from business, and did not want to accumulate more money. While all these gentlemen were co- operating from their own private motives, they put it in the power of the keeper to supply hundreds who co-operated from various motives, the whole being moved and regulated by a principle, and not by any formal organization or Clanship whatever.
258. No one denies that when we see it for our interest to Co-operate, we shall do so, if conditions allow of it. To see it for our interest and to install the conditions, then, is what we need, but to make an effort to obtain co- operation by any other stimulus is vain, wasted labor. But what do we mean by our interests? Do we mean the money we can make or get at the present moment, disregarding the sacrifice of all future opportunities? or do we mean the most money we can make now and in the future taken together? or do we mean that it is for our interest to have conditions fit for ourselves and human nature generally to live in ? Different people will act from all these different motives, and all these motives, and various others, brought multitudes to Co-operate in those stores, showing that there was no need of any conformity of motive to ensure cooperation. But any such demand would have driven the customers away; while freedom to differ made them feel free to come! But what was of still greater importance, this diversity of motive and character prevented clanship from taking root and growing up.
259. 1 should not expect, nor wish to see, great pecuniary sacrifices made where there is not compensation in some form, — either in similar sacrifices being made on occasion by the benefited party, or compensation in ‘the pleasure derived from promoting good and great objects. Uncompensated sacrifices would contradict the instinct of self- preservation, and would not long continue.
260. The percentage contingent fund had accumulated in the store beyond the expenses, and the keeper had given out word that this might be used (if wellSecured) for general purposes without interest. A cooperator introduced a stranger (a friend of his), saying, 11 You tell us that you have on hand a surplus fund. accumulated beyond expenses, which you propose to use or have used in various ways, for the benefit of the dealers here who have thus overpaid the Equitable demand upon them ; and that all you require is that it should be kept safe. and available when you may be obliged to call on it to sustain losses. Therefore, if You will lend to my friend here thirteen dollars, I will guarantee that it shall be returned in two weeks.”
261. The money was lent — the note and security taken. In two weeks the stranger returned, and laying down the money said, that, as it had saved him and his family from so much loss and distress, he wished to compensate the keeper in proportion to the benefits they had received. 11 And now,” added he, 11 1 am ready to pay you any premium you may choose to ask.”
262. “You are a stranger, Sir, to the principles upon which business is done here,” said the keeper.
263. “Yes, Sir; but I shall not question any price you may set. I can never feel myself absolved from obligations to you at any price. Take whatever you please, I shall not question it.”
264. “I see, Sir, that your friend has not informed you of the peculiar operations of the new principles as applied to lending money. The compensation or interest has no reference to the benefit conferred upon the borrower, but it is based on, and limited by, the costs to the lender. I employed about five minutes in lending you the money; I shall employ about five more in receiving it back again. It was secured and there was no risk or loss. I have not been obliged to borrow money in its place; you have Only to compensate me for my labor ! If you could give me an equivalent in your own labor, this would make all right; but as you cannot, I will receive ten cents instead.”
265. “I do not understand you, Sir. I am really in earnest in what I say. The money has saved me and my family from the mortification of being turned into the street, and having our furniture sold for rent. I am a stranger here, disappointed in my expectations of business, which brought me from Philadelphia. Pay what I may to you, I can never feel absolved from the greatest obligations.”
266. “I perfectly understand you, Sir, and shall be Equitably paid with the ten cents. Don’t you think I might be satisfied with sixty cents per hour for my labor in lending money, when the hardest working men get only fifty cents for working a whole day at the most disagreeable labor, and get abused and insulted besides for being obliged to do it?”
267. “Well, this is a most extraordinary thing! And you are content to lend money by being paid only for the labor of it, without taking any advantage of the necessities of the borrower?
268. “Is it as strange, Sir, that I should be content with sixty cents per hour for my labor, as that theworld should have gone on for so many centuries in Setting the prices of things according to the neccessities of the receivers? This principle followed out in your case would have sustained me in asking you as much for the use of the thirteen dollars (which it cost me no sacrifice to lend) as you could be induced to give, rather than have your family turned out into the street, and your furniture sacrificed by the constable; which might have been as much as you could have earned in years of anxiety and labor! This would have left you little to choose between absolute ruin and borrowing thirteen dollars, -little to choose between the prison, starvation, and the usurer. No wonder that men have looked on each other as natural enemies, seeing that, whether they turn to one or another, the result is nearly the same. The landlord gets all he can from your necessities. If you turn to the usurer for relief, lie devours you on the same principle.
269. “ If you turn to the lawyers they devour what is left of you. Some of them will even tell you that the great law is for the big fish to eat up the little ones, never suspecting anything wrong in their ethics till they happen to be the little ones ! The fact is that they know nothing, the world knows nothing worth knowing, on these subjects; principally for the reason that their starting--points have been wrong, consequently, all their conclusions are wrong. They have started with saying that the price of a thing should be what it will bring. It is equivalent to saying that it is right and just to demand a price for a thing proportioned to the distress of the receiver of it. This is the root of all the cannibalism of civilization, and men fall to eating each other; but, as no one lilies to be eaten, they agree to protect each other against the operation of their own principles and daily practices, and form a combination called a State, for the purpose; -the multitude cannot conduct the business of a State, but they set apart a few to see to the protection of all, and they protect all as we protect chickens, that we may eat them without the trouble of catching them.
270. “This is only another form of cannibalism. There has never been any correct thought on the subject, and never will be till we begin right. The beginning of correct thought for justice, peace, security, and successful society is, that the price of what you receive from me should be limited, not by its value to you, but by the trouble or sacrifice it has cost me. When we begin to think from this starting- point, we see that the all-pervading viciousness of trade, and dire confusion and distress that everywhere prevails, have originated, not in our primary nature, as has been so extensively thought and taught, but in this subtle and undetected error in one of the starting-points of our intercourse with each other. That this being corrected, the cannibalism ceases;-the demand for ‘protection ceases along with it, and we begin to emerge from darkness and confusion into light, order, and repose.’ ”
271. “These thoughts, Sir, are — are — very — really, Sir, I do not know what — what to say.” Here the gentleman became too much affected to speak distinctly, but in a low and very tremulous tone he very respectfully took his leave.
272. Is it not probable that gentleman has, through life, -co-operated wherever he may have been, though not belonging to any formal organization or clan, in the spread and strengthening of the principle of Equivalents, so far as he understood and felt its practical bearings?
273. It will probably be admitted that if the principle itself will prompt and secure all the desired cooperation without clanship, and neutralize all antagonism of interests, and give to all exertion its just reward, the greatest of all human problems is solved by it.
274. INTRODUCTION OF EQUITABLE MONEY. The keeper of the store was to receive the labor of his customers in exchange for his own. They could not pay iron work, mason work, doctor’s work, washing, sewing, etc., on the spot in the store, and, therefore, for these kinds of labor they gave their notes, payable on demand, which the keeper issued out again to shoe. makers, tailors, woodsawyers, etc., and he had at one time, the notes of five different physicians, promising a certain number of hours of their services to the holders of the notes, and these notes passed out to washerwomen, seamstresses, draymen, woodsawyers, carpenters, masons, etc., any of whom could go to the physicians and get their services for these notes, which had cost them only equivalents in their own labor; and though the washerwoman paid, perhaps, not more than a hundredth part as much labor as the doctor’s services had generally cost her, yet the physicians were content and pleased with the operation. Some customers could bring articles to the store which were in demand, the labor in which had been previously ascertained and settled, before the articles were brought. The keeper took these, and gave either some other articles which 11 cost “ the same amount of labor (deducting the time of delivery), or he gave notes of other professions, or his own notes, payable in merchandising; and these notes for merchandising would circalate among all the customers of the store; and as nearly everybody within reach wished to be a customer, they were ready to take the notes for anything they had or could do, and the keeper could have issued any amount of them; and here is a danger to be guarded against. All is made safe by each one using such notes as he cannot make himself, and the printer or maker of them keeping an account of all the blanks issued to each person; and this amount is stated on the note itself, so that the receiver of it may know what amount the signer of it has issued,-the notes all having the printer’s address upon them. If any doubt arises, the public can resort to the printer, who can tell at once what quantity of blank notes have been issued to any person.
275. Swartwouting and all similar frauds would at once be impossible, if money was simply what is required of it, namely, a circulating medium. As soon as it becomes capital to lay up, — it being in a close, compact, portable form, — it is easily stolen and carried beyond recovery! It is useless to expect improvement in the morals of public functionaries while they possess power and can be tempted to defraud the public Swartwout only established a fashion which has raged more and more ever since his treachery down to this present writing. To make such frauds impossible, as well as to secure many other great ends, when capital is to be laid by, it should consist of something as nearly imperishable as possible; something intrinsically valuable, which value can never become neutralized, nor superseded. It should be something the source of which cannot be monopolized, and which, therefore, can never be raised in price beyond compensation for the labor bestowed upon it; and if made the basis of a circulating medium, it should at all times be within reach of the public eye, subject at all times to public inspection and estimate, without danger of its being stolen. Iron is a commodity answering all these demands.
276. That the mercantile world — the men of enterprise, the financiers and legislators of continuous ages — should so long have admitted the cannibal principle as the basis of their operations, is a striking proof of the astonishing docility with which the human race receive traditions unquestioned, and follow precedents and self-erected authorities unexamined; and it exposes a weakness that lowers our respect for existing customs, and gives to the careful student of human affairs a courage and strength equal to the demands for them: but what a field it furnishes for the reckless and unscrupulous! What confusion this ready credulity and conformity bring upon all!
277. One newspaper says that such or such an authority says 11 that martial law supersedes all other laws.” If this is true at all, it is true in a sense not understood by readers in general. It is true only in the sense that military force is the last and final appeal, or the absolute government: but the mere opinions, or rules, or statutes of men are not laws at all. All that were ever constructed in the world, and all the military power in the world concentrated against one individual, could not for a moment overcome or 11 supersede 11 the law of self- preservation in that individual while he retained life. It is this primitive or Divine law which rises above and 11 supersedes all other laws.”
278. Again, a newspaper says the “laws Of nations” in time of war make all the members of each nation enemies to each other. This is not only inhuman but false. There are persons belonging to different nations, thanks to simple common sense, that can never be made enemies to each other; but, to remain friends, say the newspapers, is 11 treason.” Thus the newspapers destroy all respect for themselves from any whose respect is worth having.
279. Another newspaper delivers itself of this sage apothegm, 11 The only freedom of speech we want now is the speech for freedom.” I ask whose speech for freedom is it that is wanted just now; is it yours or mine ? One paper having spoken, others of the same party or Clan copy; the clan repeat and join in the chorus, and confusion follows; and where confusion abounds the ignorant are noisy, the prudent are silent, and impostors triumph.
280. Competition is so important an element in human affairs it deserves particular consideration. While some assert that it is the regulator of trade, others may ask where or when trade was ever regulated! Competition in trade, manufactures, and in every other pecuniary department, grinds the weaker parties to powder, while those who can move at all are in constant warfare and struggle with each other, in which the longest purses are sure to prevail; all others must yield, and what is called society, promises, even by pecuniary competition alone, to become divided into only two classes — capitalists and criminals; and the capitalist with the longest purse of 11 cowries 11 will be master of all at last, only to be ruined at last.
281. Let us see how the principle of Equivalents affects competition.
282. In one of the experimental stores, in 1842, a shoemaker, being pressed for money, offered a lot of shoes for six cents less per pair than they had usually been sold for. But as the keeper’s compensation was entirely separated from the prices of the goods, and the goods sold at 11 costs,” he could not put this extra six cents into his own pocket without violating the very principle upon which he preferred to act, and, therefore, had no interest in getting the shoes cheaper than usual, as long as his customers were satisfied with the prices. He therefore re paid the full usual price to the shoemaker, who, in this case, got three dollars more than he expected, at the very time that he needed money most. There was no contest or competition between buyer and seller here to reduce the price below what the customers were willing to pay. And again, had the shoes been of poor quality, such as to cheat and disappoint the customers, there was no temptation to purchase them at any price, for let the price be whatever it might, they were to be sold at cost. Competition could not act to reduce the price of the shoes, and grind down this shoemaker or his competitors, nor tempt the keeper by large profits to cheat the customers with a worthless article.
283. A man came into the store in great distress, saying that he I-lad a hogshead of excellent sugar which was in danger of being sacrificed to pay the expenses of its storage, and if the keeper would take it, he should have it at a cent less per pound than the lowest price that had been known that season. The keeper having a full supply of sugar on hand declined taking it; but the owner urged it so earnestly, he consented to look at it, and found it to be of unusually good quality and concluded to take it; but he told the owner that as he had no interest, except as one of the consumers, in taking advantage of his necessities, he should give him the full price for the sugar; and he paid him eleven dollars more than he expected to get for his hogshead of sugar; and yet the price was so low when sold at costs, that the customers were perfectly willing to pay it.
284. The little interest the keeper had as consumer of the sugar was just enough to prevent him from being entirely indifferent to the price, but it was not enough to induce him to take advantage of the necessities of the embarrassed owner. At the same time, if he had given much more than the usual price for the sugar, he could not have sold it in competition with the other sugar that he had on hand. Competition here took the sugar away from the one who was laying his plan to have it sacrificed to him at auction, and gave to its owner the usual price.
285. A piece of land was laid out, in 1847, into house lots for a village, under contract with the owner of the land that he would hold the lots at a fixed price (named in the bond) for three years. He fulfilled his contract, but at the expiration of the time, he began to raise the prices of the lots according to their increased value. One man stepped in and purchased a half of all the unsold lots, and gave a bond to the inhabitants that the lots should be held at the price he had paid for them (it being mentioned in the bond) without interest, and with no addition to the price named, except taxes and other contringent costs of deeds, etc. This immediately checked the rise in the prices of the other lots, for it was impossible for the owner to sell them at any higher rates than those sold for costs. Now competition began to 11 regulate trade,” some of these lots have remained for sale ten years at costs; and though a railroad has been surveyed directly through them, this has made no difference in their prices.
286. Thus “equitable” competition becomes a check to land speculation, which no statutes or devices of legislators have ever been able to reach, where check is most needed (in house lots), and thus, too, this competition may and would necessarily become a regulator in every department of business, while it would oppress no one.
287. As long as the vender of goods, or land, or anything else, has his compensation mixed up and combined with their prices, without any fixed limit to his income, he is interested in getting the goods or articles at the lowest rates, and selling them at the highest rates, because all that is gain over costs goes into his own pocket. The manufacturer or producer must then underwork his competitor in order to get the custom of the vender: then comes his own dangers, anxieties, and risks, and the grinding down of wages to the lowest living point.
288. Let the products of machinery and of the land be sold for equivalents, and all this becomes changed. Competition is divested of its destructive power, yet there is still interest enough felt among all (and that interest co-operates) to get modes of production sufficiently labor-saving to afford all the leisure or exemption from drudgery that can be desired.
289. Is it asked what can induce capitalists to invest their capital in machinery, without any prospect of gain over and above pay for their oversight or cares, which might not amount to more than each of the humblest workmen received?
290. This question takes for granted that the capitalist has no capacity to see any value in all that has been said in this work, which is a poor compliment to him or to the author. However, this is a question that every person has a sovereign right to decide for himself ; but it is very questionable whether many capitalists, engaged in any useful business, are in the steady receipt of more than from four to eight dollars per day; and on the principle of equivalents, the compensation to workmen would probably be equivalent in value to a sum between these two, depending on the repugnance of the labor performed; and what he got would be secure from theft, fraud, and destruction by wars and ruinous taxation. It is well, too, to consider, in the mean time, what motive any man can have to keep up the present barbarism when the means of civilization come to be understood. Equitable competition has power to regulate all unmistakably, and the mere capitalist will be the weakest and most dependent of men as soon as true, scientific, equitable money gets into vogue. Then the hardest worker will become the greatest real capitalist, and any quantity of “cowries” or mere bits of comparatively useless metal, will give no assurance for bread for any length of time.
291. Besides all capitalists have not lost all their manhood in getting their 11 cowries.” One of the richest men in Cincinnati, in a conversation relative to the experimental store then in operation on the corner of Fifth and Elm Streets, said, 11 If such a state of society could be produced, I should want to be one of the first in it.”
292. The store had not been in operation a month when a wholesale merchant, who was quite familiar with it, said to a friend, 61 You and 1, Mr. C---, may not live to see it; but the time will come when all the business in the world will be conducted on that principle.”
293. Another wholesale merchant of the same place said, 11 They are the true and the only true principles for the regulation of business. The sooner they prevail the better. I despise myself for the manner in which I am obliged to get my living out of my customers.”
294. Another merchant of the same city said to the keeper, 111 can find no fault with the principle. I was telling Mr. C----. the other day, that it was not to be successfully disputed.”
295. Another merchant said, in the presence of four customers, “There is no disputing that that is the true principle for the basis of all business. I cannot work on it as I am situated. I wish I could.”
296. As I have before stated, a gentleman in a large retail and wholesale business in Indiana, said, in 1842, with great earnestness and manly feeling, 11 If such principles as those could be introduced, I would give ninetynine dollars out of every hundred I possess.” Yet, at the very time of making this remark, the equitable store in New Harmony, twenty-five miles distant, had just broken up his retail trade, and he acknowledged that he could do nothing in that line! His particular pecuniary interests did not blind him to greater general interests.
297. It is often asked why these stores were discontinued.
298. They were started only with the view of bringing principles to test, trial, and criticism, and to set them. before the public in a practical, demonstrated attitude, previously to forming model villages; and to get cooperators for that purpose, with the idea that one successful model village would do the work- required more expeditiously than any other step that could at that time be taken; whereas mere storekeeping was but a small item, a Single wheel in the vast machinery of society; and, moreover, these stores very soon bring all surrounding prices down to their own level, when there is nothing left for them to work upon!
299. The one started in New Harmony in March, 1842, with only two hundred dollars cash capital, in the course of the first year, by its irresistible competilion broke up five out of the ten stores that were in operation in that town at its commencement, and brought down the prices at the remaining stores to its own level, although some of them could command unlimited capital. But, having done this, and brought the other stores in the neighboring country to the level of equivalents, the equitable store, like the 11 governor 11 of a steam-engine (not of 16 state “), ceased to operate where there was nothing to rectify; and the next purpose was to form a model village, taking it for granted that principles so very simple, so unassailable, so capable of scientific demonstration, and so indispensably necessary to order, peace, abundance, and 11 security,” only needed to be seen in their beautiful and consistent symmetry to be at once approved and adopted. But that model village has never been permitted. The most subtle and (to general observation,) the most incomprehensible obstacles have been placed directly and indirectly across its path. It is probably seen, by those who can see nothing- else, that such a model village would
“Like a whirlwind, scatter in its breeze
The whole dark pile of human mockeriers”
and they think this would not bring them 11 cowries nor offices. Misapprehension, misrepresentation, direct falsehoods, insinuations, slanders, and cunningly contrived devices to set the public against the developmentof such a model, have resulted in a change of mode, and the adoption of one which, though demanding greater resources, is more in accordance with the universality of the objects in view and the principles to be introduced.
300. This mode is suggested in the first chapter (on government), namely, in every city, town, village, and neighborhood, to invite those supposed to be most competent to unbiassed and correct investigation to assemble as councils, or courts of inquiry, or deliberative tribunals, to investigate these subjects in the presence of all the inhabitants who choose to attend as listeners, and to continue these investigations till a general, clear understanding is had of the most important interests of life. An intelligent and correct public opinion will then become, as it were, a great balance-wheel, to regulate progress, and to nurse and protect true civilization in its infantile struggles for existence.
301. Our frightful war is now extensively thought to have been first stimulated and set going by traders who were afraid of a free port being opened at the South while Northern ports would be hampered with tariffs, and by office-seekers and by speculators looking forward to the advantages to be taken of the necessities that would arise from war.
302. From the history of the progress of 11 roast pig,” may we not hope that, in the course of a thousand years or more, the example of Louis Napoleon of France will have so far progressed as to induce the “pioneer governments “of civilization to employ agents, at a fixed and limited salary, to do their large purchasing and forwarding, instead of employing men whose gains increase in proportion to the necessities of the governments, and the extravagance of the prices which they, as agents, pay for ships, etc.
303. And the newspapers! One newspaper will make “ two hundred dollars extra in one day by the announcement of “TWENTY THOUSAND MEN KILLED AND WOUNDED!” While the editorship of newspapers is the direct road to office, and while the “cowry “ and office are the all-absorbing objects of pursuit, who will expect common newspapers to advocate any principle tending to put an end to wars? Who will expect them to cease inflaming party against party and nation against nation ; or to pay any attention to the responsibility of public counsellors?
304. One single newspaper, whose conductor should take a position before the public, giving evidence that his income was limited to a certain sum per week, even if this limit was not quite down to the level of Equivalents, -that paper (at least its advertisements) would command the confidence of the public, and could, therefore, have all the advertising patronage so far as it could supply the demand, and, as all the unprincipled papers are sustained chiefly by their advertisements, the host of these corrupt disturbers of the public peace would sink as rapidly into oblivion as did the swine of old into the sea, and its editor would find himself installed in an office of moral power and grandeur from which no vulgar temptations could seduce him. Such is the irresistible regulating power of Equitable competition. As a first step towards Equivalents, this simple one of setting a public limit to compensation will be an immense regulating power; and it is, perhaps, as great a step as can be immediately taken in the confusion of cities. Provision dealers, coal dealers, clothing stores, furniture stores, dry goods and fancy stores, lawyers, manufacturers, patentees, bankers, and speculators of all kinds, set no known limit to their demands upon the public, and hence the blind warfare everywhere carried on between them. Let every profession have some known limit set to its demands upon the public, so that competition can act understandingly, and all would soon come to the peaceful level of Equivalents, even though the principle of Equivalents might not be understood.
305. It is often asked, 11 What will induce the lawyer, the physician, the artist, the inventor, the skilful mechanic to exchange equally with the woodsawyer, the needlewoman, the poor boy or girl, the washerwoman?” etc. The question implies that these professions can be moved by nothing but mercenary considerations, and that they would necessarily have less incomes than they now have. It is probable that the principle of Equivalents would result in greater incomes to these professions than they now receive. They may not come down in their prices; it is the depressed that would come up to perhaps what would be equivalent to from three or four to eight or ten dollars a day, depending on the repugnance of their labors. These prices are probably more than these professions steadily receive. If they see no temptation to exchange Equitably, neither from their direct pecuniary interests nor from the beautiful and sublime tendencies of such justice, then EQUITABLE COMPETITION will do all that is needed.
306. If only one lawyer is willing to exchange Equitably (and several have already done it), he puts it out of the power of others to get more than equivalents, provided that he can supply all the demands for that kind of labor ; but if not, he can commence to instruct others who are suffering for employment. Physicians, artists, mechanics, one of each, acting on the same principle, doing the same, those who had ‘ never dreamed of anything but a life of drudgery and abuse will find themselves becoming lawyers, physicians, merchants, bankers, shoemakers, tailors, engineers, owners of homes, and responsible and comfortable citizens -each village or neighborhood where the ideas are acted on, growingby almost imperceptible degrees into a POLYTECHNIC UNIVERSITY for the education, or re-education, of all who desire to prepare themselves for life, or to change their pursuits.
307. One single individual may have a building -a polytechnic college — with different rooms, and tools in each for different arts, trades, or studies, where any one, young or old, can come and learn any branch of busiHess, paying for rent, use of tools, and instruction, by the hour, on the principle of Equivalents, which the poorest can often easily pay in their own labor. Does this look remote and improbable? It is, as already being done.
308. COMPETITION, then, instead of being the fierce and terrible ogre- the Juggernaut of Civilization, crushing its victims of all ages and professions and of both sexes at every turn of its bloody wheels, it comes to a halt on the ground of Equivalents, and becomes converted into a very comfortable carriage for the conveyance of passengers to the Holy Land! i.e., the land not cursed with unscrupulous speculation.
CHAPTER V. ORGANIZATION AND CO-OPERATION WITHOUT SECTISM OR CLANSHIP, AND WITHOUT CONFLICT WITH FREEDOM.
309. ORGANIZATION and Clanship are both prompted, in some respects, by similar motives — the universal desire for sympathy, the need of mutual assistance, and other expected benefits. But while clanship, with its usual concomitants, is more destructive to the very ends proposed than any external enemy could prove, organization without these concomitants, and in accordance with the great primitive laws, may enable us to realize more than Utopians ever dreamed of.
310. OF SYMPATHY. Such is the instinctive yearning for sympathy with our kind, there is no cost too great to pay for it.
311. It is so pleasant to coincide with those around us, and we are so wretched when in continuous collision with the feelings, tastes, or opinions of others, it is not surprising that we often fall in with customs and fashions without examination, and go with whatever current is running rather than array ourselves hopelessly against them.
312. A poor young woman stole a fashionable bonnet, for the sake of appearing at church in the mode. She was arrested and sent to prison, and her self-respect destroyed for life, because her desire for the sympathy of her kind was stronger or more directly present to her than the fear of the prison! Does not this instinctive propensity also explain that which otherwise remains without explanation? The word “Glory,” what does it mean but the public sympathy or notice that one gets by a public act ? The incendiary who set on fire the Temple of Ephesus, in order, as he said,,” to immortalize himself,” was contented to get even that degree of “Glory “ which followed from giving the public an “ event” to talk about. His name was necessarily in many mouths, and that was enough to tempt him to the crime, as he could get “glory” in no other way.
313. The devotees of India, who will hold one hand straight up above their heads, and never change its position during life, or fold both across their breasts, and keep them so for years; or Simon Stylites who remained on the top of a high naked column for thirty years, day and night, exposed to all weathers; and the devotees who voluntarily suspend themselves on hooks stuck through the flesh of their sides, and allow them. selves to be suspended high in the air and swung around for hours, exposed to public gaze, all, probably, are or were actuated by similar motives to the one under contemplation.
314. Perhaps this explains the subtle fascination there is in the news of calamities — the destruction of life and property. They make everybody talk with each other; they find themselves, for the moment, on the same plane — the starved sympathies are fed.
315. The uncultivated girl, in Bulwer’s “ Last Days of Pompeii,” is made to say, “ Oh, pray the gods send us a criminal for the lions to tear, or the holidays will be good for nothing.”
316. Even hostility and persecution for unavoidable differences of opinion probably arise from this same desire for “Unity,” “Harmony’” or Sympathy. This may explain the involuntary repugnance to even needed innovations or improvements; -the tardiness in adopting them, and even the persecution of them; the spirit is, perhaps, the same — the desire for general sympathy, commonly called “ Unity “ or “ Union.” Probably this is the explanation of the pertinacity with which it is insisted on that “ the Union must and shall be preserved,” though compulsion is directly against the great principle that gave rise to it, and stabs all union to the heart! The same impulse prompts thousands to join any movement, or noise of any kind, without much conscious design, or to do anything which feeds this natural yearning for sympathy or companionship. The misfortune is that this beautiful tendency to general sympathy is unregulated — wild — erratic -blind. It has no durability, and can have none till it is reconciled to universal diversity or INDIVIDUALITY. After such reconciliation, difference cannot disturb it.
317. What else can explain the omnipotence of public opinion where there is no opinion? Yet it holds, -as it were, all the governments in the world between its thumb and finger, and in its hand the destinies of the race.
318. When we find ourselves on the immovable plane for the preservation of life, property, and happiness, this sympathetic element, a thousand- fold stronger, will work for instead of against true civilization.
319. It is not till after long and painful experience and study that we discover that the precedents, traditions, authorities, and fictions upon which society has been allowed to grow up, do not coincide with each other, nor with the great unconquerable primitive or divine laws.
320. Far be it from me to attempt to conquer this greatest of all sources of human happiness, or to place one unnecessary obstacle in its way. The great problem is, How can this great, universal Divine desire for sympathy be harmlessly exercised to its full satisfaction, and continue undisturbed?
321. The solution of this problem would be the greatest boon on earth to man.
322. Pigs, Bees, Fishes, Ants, etc., being probably nearly alike, intellectually, can live in comparative peace and sympathy, having but few subjects to dispute about; but just in proportion to culture or expansion of the feelings, tastes, and intellects is the necessity and the tendency to take more room; so that each person, like a planet,* can move in his own orbit without disturbing others. This is DISINTEGRATION.
323. In closely entangled interests, as in all “ communism,” there is a necessity of agreement and conformity, and some must be more or less pained by the collisions of opinions, tastes, wishes, etc., between them. Not, perhaps, any more at the sacrifices required of one’s self than from perceiving that others make sacrifices for us. One or the other is inevitable, just in proportion to the number or magnitude of the interests held in common.
324. Let us illustrate: In a certain town in Indiana there was, in 1841, a schoolhouse built by neighborhood subscription. The subscribers, however, as might have been expected, soon began to differ about the choice of a teacher; but there was no room to differ within the combined interest. Only one party could possibly have its way. The very best of reasons and arguments were furnished on both sides, and “irresistible logic “ showed how right and how wrong both parties were; but none of the arguments had any other effect than to make the breach between them wider and wider; for, whereas they differed about only one thing at first, they differed about twenty things in as many minutes of disputation. Difference took them by surprise! They, like “ communities,” had calculated on “unity” of opinion, and difference became a disturbing and unmanageable element in the “Union.”
325. Meeting after meeting was had, and dispute after dispute roused, by degrees, a hostile feeling on both sides, so that, although both parties were “ professors of religion,” one man rushed at his antagonist with a huge club, but was in his turn subdued by an overpowering force,” and the meeting broke up in anarchy.” That night some one, seeing no better means of “ putting an end to the war,” set the valuable house on fire, and it was burned to ashes. The root of the whole of the trouble was “ communism,” or Union” of property in the schoolhouse.
326. An habitual watchfulness to preserve the conditions necessary for Freedom to differ would have admonished them not to have had the schoolhouse in partnership, at least until they had first ascertained that there could not, in the nature of things, be a difference of opinion between them on an important point where it would be necessary to agree. Nothing short of absolute, unchangeable truth or primitive laws furDish such security for permanent agreement or coincidence.
327. Had there been no “Union” of property in the schoolhouse, and had the teacher acted on his individual responsibility with his patrons, the difficulty and destruction would not have occurred, whatever diversity there might have been between the parties. But having taken the first erroneous step in communism of property, if it had been fashionable in the neighborhood to have referred the case to judicious tribunals (as proposed in the first chapter) who understood the philosophy of the difficulty, these tribunals might, perhaps, have given such advice as would have averted all the trouble.
328. ANOTHER CASE. In the house of a friend, where I was staying, I heard, in a room next to my own, two girls disputing and crying for a long time. Passing by their door I learned that they had some playthings in common! Mary said that Annie wouldn’t let her handle the cups and saucers, though their “ governess told them that they must be accommodating to each other.”
329. “Yes,” replied Annie, sobbing, “ but she meant that you must be accommodating as well as me, and when I want to put up the things you ought to let me.” Here was another “ Union “! Both were really distressed to find themselves quarrelling, and I said to them, “ Don’t blame yourselves nor each other, girls; the fault is not in either of you ; it is in having your playthings in common. There should be only one owner to one thin,-. Whatever was given to you should have been given to one or the other, or divided between you. I advise you at once to divide your things between yourselves, and that each should sacredly respect the absolute right of the other to control her own in any manner whatever, and not to set up any demand on each other to be any more “ “accommodation” than she is at the time. Such a demand is a partial denial of her right of control over her own,which not only makes you disagreeable companions to each other, but raises disputes that never can be settled by words.”
330. There is a fatal error lying at the bottom of Communism or “ Unions,” but it is unseen, overlooked in the irresistible yearning for the harmony and repose, or sympathy, which is supposed (but never realized) to result from them.
331. At a place called Brush Creek, in Michigan, there was a meeting- house built by subscription among the neighbors, who happened to agree in that one particular idea, that a house of worship was necessary. It was built of logs, in the loghouse fashion, and locked together at the corners. It was no sooner built than their coincidence was at an end, for there was immediately a difference among them with regard to the doctrine that should be advocated there. Here, as usual, diversity took them by surprise, and it being a disturbing element under the circumstances, it was looked upon as an “ enemy, and each strove to conquer it in himself and in his opponents. They did not know that diversity was any part of Divinity, but they looked upon it as a proof of perversity, or the workings of the old virus of original depravity, and supposed that in warring against each other they were vindicating 66 unity; “for to admit of schism and diversity unrebuked was to encourage disintegration, which would “ inaugurate universal confusion.” So the parties contended with each other till they had exhausted all their resources, and destroyed all their “ Union,” and one man was so exasperated at the crude attempts to put him down, that he went home and got a yoke of oxen, hitched a chain to one of the logs in the side of the house, tore it out, and dragged it home for firewood, as his share of the communistic property!
332. Is it necessary to add that-but for communism, or 16 Union,” the case never would have occurred? But having committed the blunder of getting into communism, or “ Union,” had the case been referred to an intelligent and disinterested neighborhood-council before building the house, it probably never would have been built on the communistic principle; but having committed this first mistake, it had become too late to exercise the right of individual ownership over one log, because this could not be done without doing greater violence to the same right of the other owners, whose property was seriously injured thereby. Had there been a clear idea among them of what the absolute right is, they would all have seen that they were equally partners in a blunder in forming the “ Union,” and not a violent word would probably have been spoken, and they would have talked only of individualizing or disintegrating their claims to the property. Different expedients might have been suggested, such as one party buying the other out, or some individual buying the whole out. A disinterested neighborhoodtribunal might, no doubt, have suggested some mode less destructive than the one adopted, and if not accepted the “ government “ might, with propriety, have “ intervened,” and prevented the unnecessary violence done to the building, and restrained the man from taking the log out, but at the same time require him to be paid for his trouble in putting it in.
333. In this case the “ government,” seeing that the exercise of right had been rendered impossible by the ‘,.Union “ of the property, would restrain the persisting in its exercise in the particular form adopted by the desperate man, and might have required him to take an equivalent for his log, over which lie could exercise his right of ownership without damaging the other parties.
334. This makes the government, as a last resort, a final umpire to decide between expedients when the right has been rendered impossible, but it does not rise above absolute human rights, and it is rendered safe by being dependent on the voluntary action or sovereign will of those who are required to execute any decision.
335. ANOTHER CASE. Two men were left joint heirs of one house; one wanted to sell it, and the other was opposed to selling it. They argued and disputed till they grew hot, and then one carried the case to the courts, and kept it there till more than the price of the house had been consumed in litigation, but all without decision, for the “ precedents “ and statutes were silent on the subject, and nothing could be done outside of “precedents” and “statutes.” Finally, desperation took the case in hand; -one party sawed the house in two from top to bottom, and moved his part away! Not a dollar would have been spent in litigation, and no feeling of desperation or enmity would have arisen, if both parties had known at first that disintegration was the remedy required; or had they referred the case to a neighborhood council called for the purpose (not elected to judge the case before it occurred), who were not trammelled by unbending precedents, statutes, and wordy forms, and who were not biassed by the prospect of votes for office, or a large fee for making trouble, they might have given advice founded on a knowledge of the root of such difficulties, and most likely the parties would have been saved their quarrels, their expenses, and the desperate remedy resorted to. The whole originated in Communism of property — Disintegration was the end of it, as far as an end could be put to it; but the enmity arising out of it may have continued for years, or until each party may have learned the philosophy of the trouble.
336. In 1848 a friend presented himself suddenly before me, five hundred Miles from his home, and said, “You are surprised, no doubt, to see me here, but you cannot be more surprised than I am to find myself here. I have left home probably forever, with nothing but what you see upon me. I have left everything — money, clothes horses, farm, and now throw myself upon the world to begin it anew. I am ashamed to tell you the cause, but I must. I will, if it is only in justice to you who have labored so much to show us the cause of such serious disturbances, and which is so strikingly illustrated in my own case.”
337. I desired him to rest himself and take his leisure, and in more composed moments to explain; and he afterwards gave me the following statement: —
338. “My wife and I were setting out a row of onions in the garden, when she remarked that I had set them crooked. I replied, I No matter, they are well enough; I but she said that, as we were foreigners, the neighbors were all the time criticising our farming and gardening, and she wanted everything to look so as to defy their criticisms. I replied that I would not trouble myself to silence them; for the spirit of faultfinding, when it. existed, as it did in that neighborhood, would always find some excuse for venting itself, and if we did not rise above it, we should enslave ourselves to it. But she was not inspired with my philosophy, and insisted. I became a little irritated, and made some reply that brought from her an allusion to an old sore between us, that I felt to the quick, and replied with severity: to which she retorted — with such biting provocation, that, before I knew what I was doing, I had thrown a billet of wood at her, which fortunately did not hit her; but, alarmed and disgusted at my own conduct, as well as at her, I rushed out of the house, and here I am.”
339. Now this was all in consequence of a communism or a “ Union “ of responsibility in a row of onions!
340. A common remark in such cases is, “ They ought to be on their guard against offending each other.”
341. Perhaps they were on their guard, and the guard was not strong enough; at any rate, they had both heard that injunction from their childhood, and it had had all the effect that it could have in the case. Present civilization has nothing else to say that is any more to the purpose.
342. Had the husband or the wife had the responsibility of the garden Individually, the case never would have occurred. At the request of both, I gave such counsel as induced him to return home, where he remained till the death of the wife.
343. The fundamental error of communism has been sufficiently illustrated, one would think, in this generation to render a few hints sufficient for our present purposes. But all the failures and ruin that have been so prominently before the public in the last forty years seem not to have taught the radical defect in its principle.
344. Communists, like moths flitting round a lamp, seem to learn nothing from their burnt, disabled, and prostrate companions, and never know that the flame can kill till it is too late to profit by the knowledge; and the opposers, while they can reason like philosophers against the principle of communism, will advocate exactly the communistic principle in their political “ Unions, organizations, confederacies and other combined interests.
345. What is called conservatism has all the time been entirely right in its objections to communism, and in insisting on individual ownership and individual responsibilities both of which communism annihilates; conservatism has also shown wisdom in its aversion to sudden and great changes, for none have been devised that contained the elements of success.
346. The antagonism of interests, supposed by communists to be inherent in Individuality, is not inherent in, but only incidental to, it; which antagonism is completely neutralized, and all. the co-operation and economies aimed at by communism grow naturally out of the principle of Equivalents, or simple justice! And the same principle, by compensating only for COST, opens all primary land, waters, minerals, spontaneous fruits, and all other natural wealth, free from all price, thus meeting the common-property idea half-way, but in the sense in which water in a river is now common: that is, while every one may take what he can use without price, when he has once got it into his possession, no other person must have any claim upon it without the owner’s consent, or confusion would follow So, though the property or wealth is common to all, there is no communism or joint ownership between any.
347. I have labored to exhibit the hidden, subtle, fundamental cause of so many painful disappointments in communistic combinations, both social and political, which have ended so disastrously for many of the best of men and women, who were willing to sacrifice everything for the 46 Unity “ or “ harmony “ of the race, and also to suggest to careful readers the unexposed root of our present political anarchy, and many of the most painful conflicts and disappointments of life. Let us be disappointed no more; let us be sure that we have got the right germ before we plant our seed.
348. Let us proceed to examine our germs of true or harmonic organization.
349. A man wants to raise a house; he cannot do it alone, and invites his neighbors to help him. They are willing to do so, either from sympathy, for the enjoyment of the companionship of the occasion, or for pecuniary compensation, or without any particular conscious motive. Whether they are moved by one motive or another, their movement is voluntary, and the raising of the house is the point of coincidence between them -the object which brings them together, and which gives rise to the co-operation between them.
350. Twenty men assemble on the ground, but they can do nothing, if the whole twenty undertake to give directions.
351. Even two cannot do so, without leading directly to confusion and counteraction. Primitive or Divine law does not tolerate anything more or less than INDIVIDUALITY in any lead. Who should be the lead on this occasion but he who takes the risks and bears all costs ? He may prefer to delegate his function, but may with propriety resume it at any moment.
352. Ten men are requested to lift a timber; they all get ready to do so, but they cannot lift together till some word or sign is given. Select three of the wisest or most experienced of the company to give that word or sign, and confusion would result, but let only one (Individual), though a mere child, give the word, and the timber moves.
353. This I understand to be the philosophy of leadership, and also of Monarchy and despotism. But why have they proved so destructive of the ends proposed by them ? It is because of the unconscious attempt to unite or combine the lead and the deciding power or sovereignty in one person ! Let us see.
354. The twenty men had each a mind and a motive of his own to help at the raising, and though the motives were different, this difference did not prevent their coinciding or co-operating action in that one individual thing to be done. The owner of the house did not undertake to decide that these men should help him! Each decided for himself supremely (sovereignly) that he would help, and these coinciding, individual sovereign decisions only wanted a lead, and all was well.
355. I repeat that the great error has been in the attempt to combine the lead and the deciding or sovereign power IN ONE PERSON! instead of recognizing the deciding power where divine law has irrevocably fixed it, in every individual of the race ! DISINTEGRATION of these two elements must rectify this fatal error before there can be any security for persons or property, and before any government can perform its legitimate function as illustrated in the first chapter.
356. Coincidence must be had before anything requiring the co-operation of numbers can be properly done. It is on this account that diversity of views or motives has been looked upon and treated as an evil, because it tends to neutralize the desired “Unity” of action. Therefore, as intellectual culture and expansion give rise to this dreaded diversity, culture is looked upon as dangerous, and the expression of opinions adverse to the governments are forbidden and punished with heavy penalties or cruel deaths. Thus order becomes converted into chaos by trampling the end under foot in pursuit of the means! The professed end is security and protection of person and property, and the means adopted destroy both!
357. These penalties inflicted for diversity are practical acknowledgments that the deciding power is inevitably fixed in, and inseparable from, each individual, who is therefore presented with an assortment of evils to choose from and decide upon! If he desires to disobey orders, he may calculate the value of his life to himself or others, his repugnance to pain and death, his chances of escape, and on these calculations he decides for himself (sovereignly) at last. Where, then, does the sovereign power rest ?
358. The sovereign power (or the instinct of selfpreservation) can never be wrested from the multitude, nor from a single Individual -it is “INALIENABLE; “ and to make the attempt to alienate it is one of the most fatal political fallacies ever attempted. And a fallacy equally fatal is that of supposing that this deciding power can successfully be vested in a majority over a minority, or over a single person.
359. Common soldiers suppose, when they enlist in the regular service, that they put themselves thenceforth, for a specified time, under the commands of their officers, with whom rest all deciding power as to their movements ; and this power is supposed by officers and-men to be absolute, unqualifies and final, and either would stare at calling the idea in question.
360. A company of regulars in Scotland were on the march towards the river Clyde. At the edge of the stream, the soldiers, rather than walk in and be drowned, halted without waiting for the order to halt, which was entirely contrary to the contract and the discipline. Officers and men were both taken by surprise with the fact that the deciding power was not with the officers — that it had suddenly made its appearance in an unexpected quarter; the instinct of self-preservation (or self- sovereignty) had suddenly assumed its sway, like an irresistible third party, and annulled the contract of “unqualified obedience to orders,” contrary to discipline and to the previous understanding and intentions of both parties!
361. Thereupon a little storm cloud (no bigger than a man’s hand) arose between men and master; but when they begin to debate, good-by to the dried-herring subordination. The instinct of self-preservation does not always wait to consult “precedents nor interpretations of constitutions, the I right of rebellion ‘ “ nor authorities of any kind. It is its own authority, from which all others are derived.
362. In these states, the institutions are supposed to place all deciding power in the hands of certain men appointed to wield it; yet this same instinct is now at work in every breast in the nation, and every one is involuntarily debating or deciding in his own mind and feelings, according to his conditions, and there is no coincidence among any large portion of us. The deciding power is not in the men appointed to wield it, nor even have they got the exclusive Individual lead.
363. It is worse than useless, it is calamitous, to legislate as if it were possible to divest ourselves of this involuntary instinct of self- preservation or self-sovereignty, and those who accept or act on such pledge commit as great an error as those who give it, and all contracts to this effect being impossible of fulfilment are null and void. We may delegate the leading function often with advantage, but it is folly, blindness, self-deception, and may be ruin, to commit ourselves unqualifiedly to implicit and unhesitating obedience to any personal lead for a single hour.
364. For true order and civilization, then, let us realize that, though any successful lead must be an Individuality, this lead should be only a lead, like the child at the raising — one individual function by itself, and no attempt should be made to combine it with the deciding or sovereign power.
365. The most perfect lead would be that which was best adapted to the particular occasion for it; and as every occasion may be peculiar in itself, no one personal lead may be equally adapted to various occasions. A child might lead the lifting of the timbers of the house, but could not lead in the framing of it. The president of a railroad company may lead its affairs very satisfactorily, but. might not be equally adapted to lead a child in the study of music.
366. A very common mistake is made in taking it for granted that, because a man has shown great capacity to lead in one direction or department, he is, therefore, most likely to prove a good lead in other directions! The contrary is most likely to be the fact, inasmuch as that the more time he has spent in qualifying himself for one function, the less he would have to bestow in others; as illustrated by the very profound Conchologist who thought that the beans in his garden had come up “ the wrong end first.”
367. The most effectual lead is not necessarily always a person. It may be a thing, an idea, or a principle. A clock or a watch leads or “ governs “ the movements of many of us more than men do. But two clocks which should differ widely from each other would neutralize the lead, and make only confusion. If they harmonized with each other, one would be superfluous. But a plurality of men to lead any one move ment, having more elements of diversity within them than unintellectual clocks, are more likelt than they to differ, and lead to confusion.
368. Primitive nature insists on an Individuality in a personal lead, and it is in vain for us to contend against it.
369. A single man may lead the whole race, as is already demonstrated by the inventor of railroads, of steam power, etc.; but if he undertakes to decide that the public shall patronize or follow him, he will find himself at once in conflict with the third party — a divine law, from which, sooner or later, he will be obliged to retire.
370. The sphere of lead may harmlessly extend over the whole earth; but the sphere of sovereignty cannot harmlessly be extended beyond the person, time, property, and responsibilities of the one person who exercises that sovereignty.
371. What, then, is invasion?
372. If you come into my house, against my will, this is an invasion of my property certainly; but if you have heard screams within, and calls for help, and you have come in to restrain me from invading the life of an inmate, though it be my own child, you have made a justifiable and legitimate choice of evils in violating my right of property to prevent me from violating greater rights. If I would have my absolute rights of property and person held inviolate, I must observe and hold sacred all the rights of others.
373. Commodore Ingraham did not invade anybody when he protected Costza from oppression. If he invaded a political jurisdiction in protecting Costza, it was a justifiable choice of evils.
374. Though John Brown went into Virginia to relieve slaves from oppression, if he had compelled any slave, by fear or force, to join him against his will, this would have been oppression or invasion of the slave. This personal sovereignty should be above all other considerations.
375. A nation consists of all the individuals in it. An Army which has entered a Nation to protect even one individual from oppression, and has committed no unnecessary violence in doing so, has made a justifiable choice of evils. This idea is already sanctioned in the protection by a whole Nation rendered to any one of its members in any part of the world.
376. When Clanship or political systems are outgrown, and every individual is recognized as a sovereign member of the party of the whole, the same idea becomes only extended when the whole of the race should protect one member of the race from invasion.
377. The kings of Dahomey may not always enjoy undisturbed repose “ upon a throne of their enemies’ skulls “ while those enemies are only the weak and cruelly oppressed rebellious subjects.
378. We have seen that the lead and the decidingor sovereign power are two very distinct elements; that for true order, they must be disintegrated from each other, the one having unlimited scope, and the other confined to the person, time, property, and responsibilities of one Individual.
379. Beyond this individual sphere no one, no number of men have a right of absolute sovereignty. We all have a right to sympathize with the distressed in any part of the world with but not against their consent or will.
380. I speak with decision, because, after forty years’ study and experiments on these subjects, I have arrived at decisions for myself, and because I think the reader will prefer it as the most convenient language for him as well as for me, and because I think be will prefer the assurance which is afforded by placing myself under the responsibility of definite and positive assertions, rather than that I should give out vague hints and throw the responsibility of conclusions upon him. And after and in the midst of continuous reiteration of the sovereign right of every individual to decide for himself, he will not suspect me of attempting to decide for him against his consent.
381. While the deciding or sovereign power is understandingly left undisturbed where it really is (in the heart or head of every Individual for himself), it matters but little who undertakes to lead. He who most addresses himself to the largest coincidence or most pressing wants of the time will have the most followers.
382. Coincidence between the lead and the sovereign powers is like the locking of the cars together the whole move.
383. How to get this coincidence is the great problem of organization and movement.
384. In the raising of the house, the twenty men coincided for that one specific, Individual performance; but if the owner had asked the men to help him in future, without specifiying what help he wanted, no thoughtful man would have consented. The proposition would have been too general, too indefinite; this has been the radical fault of all organizations! The remedy is to Individualize the occasions for cooperation, leaving every one free to render or withhold his assistance, according to his individual views of the individual case now present in hand.
385. The establishing a lead for the particular occasion of raising the house, and the men placing themselves in position ready for lifting, was the organization, and the giving the word and lifting were the co- operation.
386. Suppose, now, that one man at the timber is informed that his house is on fire; he suddenly abandons the organization and the co-operation to rescue his family and preserve his property! Who censures him? Yet he has risen, so to speak, above the organization, above the institution, — broken his contract.
387. The organization was well adapted for the occasion for it — for the object it had in view, but beyond that it had no applicability, and to insist on the man fulfilling his contract under the new circumstances would be simply absurd and useless. But we will consider this farther by and by.
388. We see that Primitive or Divine law demands Individuality in a lead. This lead is sometimes a man, sometimes a woman, a child, or a thing; it is also sometimes an idea. This latter has always been practically admitted by those who have attempted to generalize the experience of mankind into axioms, rules, written statutes, or (so called) laws, Constitutions, etc. They intended these ideas as points of coincidence to lead or force the people into certain modes of action.
389. But in all these there has been the same fatal error-DEFECTIVE GENERALIZATION.
390. A rule (or “law”) which may be good for the case in which it originated may not apply to any other case as well. New cases give rise to other rules which conflict with the first; which conffict, like that of the two different clocks, destroys the power of either to lead.
391. Then, again, arises (from the inevitable Individuality of different minds) the different interpretations of the same rules or generalisms. Witness the different interpretations of the Constitution of the United States and all other constitutions.
392. They are liable to so many different constructions, that this diversity not only neutralizes their power to lead, but they become positive elements of antagonism and violent dissensions and mutual destruction, because their latent faults are too subtle for ready detection. They would be harmless and might be beneficial if there was no attempt to combine in them the sovereign power. To remedy this fatal defect, the word “ shall” should be expunged, and the word may substituted.
393. Conscious of this defect to some extent, the makers of some of these verbal institutions have provided that the ultimate or final interpretation of them shall rest in the supreme Courts; the practical working Of which is to concentrate a coercive power in one person over the destinies of millions, which is a return to Despotism, and in the worst form, because it is disguised and hedged round with bewildering fictions and formulas!
394. The Constitution of the United States (socalled) contains a great many formulas and generalizations, the whole being intended to lead to prosperity, security, and freedom. The unavoidable difference in the interpretations of the instrument, being provided for only in a form which gave the monopoly of the interpreting and enforcing power into a few hands, has led to the sudden check of all prosperity — has rendered all persons and property in the States as inse. cure as possible, and instead of Freedom, they are at this moment under the most unqualified despotism that exists on the earth !
395. The Declaration of American Independence embraces a great universal fact, or Primitive or Divine law, intended to act as a point of coincidence for the co-operation and harmony of all mankind; but the same instrument also displays other features more prominent and more striking to common observation, while the germinal, central idea of the whole instrument lies bidden within its well-chosen phraseology, like the life-giving germ of the seed, beyond the external eye, and cognizable only by the penetrating mental vision.
395. The Declaration of American Independence embraces a great universal fact, or Primitive or Divine law, intended to act as a point of coincidence for the co-operation and harmony of all mankind; but the same instrument also displays other features more prominent and more striking to common observation, while the germinal, central idea of the whole instrument lies bidden within its well-chosen phraseology, like the life-giving germ of the seed, beyond the external eye, and cognizable only by the penetrating mental vision.
396. Even there, in that sublime effort of virtue and genius, there is that plurality of elements, which, like the plurality of men, neutralize each other as a lead according to its noble design.
397. Struggling through centuries with such subtle difficulties and obstructions, the best minds have been bent on simplifying Hence arose the formula, “Do unto others as ye would that they should do unto you;” and Christendom rejoiced in the apparent supply of their greatest ethical want. The men or women of mature culture and experience and of delicate sympathies, who take pleasure in the pleasure they confer, and share the pain they are obliged to inflict, will interpret and apply this formula in a harmless and even a beneficent manner. They are careful not to inflict unnecessary pain on others nor to require sacrifices of them without pecuniary or moral compensation.
398. While those who are indifferent to the painthey inflict, or under the influence of an ill-digested theory (though well intended), and who are satisfied with mere Logical consistency, might excuse themselves, by this formula, for insisting on sharing or distributing the property of others, on the ground that the owners would be glad to have the same done for them, if the cases were reversed !
399. The same rule which at first sight appears to promise the point of coincidence required, and which in some cases leads to very desirable results, furnishes, by a different application, the excuse or warrant for the denial of all rights of property, would stop all stimulus to industry, foresight, and economy, and, which followed out, would lead to universal confusion, poverty, starvation, and violence.
400. The ancients, centuries ago, saw this inherent defect in all verbal laws and formulas, and came to the conclusion that none could be constructed by man that could regulate human intercourse; and they abandoned the attempt to construct them, and vested all power in one person within each certain district of country called a nation, which was a return to primitive des, potism.
401. A person was thought to be the “ Unit” of coincidence as well as the Individual lead required; which, being a living organism, could adapt itself to the peculiarities (or individualities) of persons and events as each case arose: but it was soon seen that this “ unit “ was one day one thing, and another thing another day--that the very possession of the delegated power so intoxicated or bewildered the despot (though before a very good person), as to procure for him the titles of “ The monster,” “ The cruel,” “ The mad,” The scourge,” etc.
402. To remedy these long-suffered evils, the originators of the Catholic Church, also seeing the hopelessness of constructing any successful formulas, laws, or constitutions, adopted the human “unit” not only as a lead, but as a final, deciding, sovereign power or “ umpire of peace,” over all persons within their organization, and beyond which umpire there was to be no appeal, no dispute; -viewing him as a father, papa, or pope, and investing him with the power to rescue the smitten and abused subjects of the intoxicated despots from obedience and from the oath of loyalty, and to protect them from insane violence; and, to secure themselves from similar violence and oppression, they selected a man for the Papa whom they considered more than man — one who was inspired by Divine influx, and they seem to have supposed that this divine influx came from a personal existence which was all perfection, and who would always inspire the papa to do exactly right.
403. Here was the point of failure. There is no coincidence between men as to what constitutes perfection, and though it now appears that the idea of an influx or inspiration from intelligent beings, above or beyond or outside of the human organism, was a true one, it seems not to have been clearly understood.
404. It appears that the influx came from beings once human, but in a second stage of existence, analogous to that of the butterfly from the grub (now called spiritual existence). That in this state there is no sudden leap to perfection, and that many spiritual inspirations or communications to us are no nearer to coincidence than our own opinions and theories are. And, moreover, that the most humble, even children, are more likely to become recipients of this inspiration than a man or men set apart for the purpose, because, being less embarrassed by cares and anxieties, they are more in that state of repose required as a condition necessary for the influx or communications.
405. This was probably soon known to the intelligent portions of the priesthood and laity; but such were the exceeding difficulties of their undertaking, and the crudity of the people they desired to benefit, and the immense and incalculable good promised to the race by the abolition of wars and a universal point of “ unity “ or coincidence, their whole aim seems to have been to attain this end, even by means that shock us to think of, on the ground that such means were the least of evils presented to them from which to choose.
406. Humanity is to-day without an umpire — without a principle — without an idea — without a policy — without a lead that can command the assent of any considerable number of intelligent men or women, or even the general assent of the uncultivated and careless; but all society (so- called) is exposed, unprepared, unassisted, and Undefended, to the mere spirit of reckless adventure, corruption, quackery, and desperation.
407. A point of universal coincidence and co-operation which would naturally lead the race out of its chaos, is DOW, more than ever before, the great consideration.
408. If it is the work of man, it can be overthrown by man, and would, therefore, be liable to disappoint or ruin all who might build upon it. It must be indestructible, or it would be destroyed. It must be an Individuality, or it cannot lead, except into confusion. It must be an individual idea (not a plurality) that, notwithstanding the infinite diversity of minds, motives, and conditions, it will be sure to coincide with the instinctive action as well as with the natural understanding of all people. Is not the great fact of SELFSOVEREIGNTY such a unit?
409. Even the denial of it illustrates and confirms it.
410. Opposition to it is as harmless as would be the pelting a beggar with gold! Dissent itself not being antagonistic, but coinciding with it, who can avoid being in harmony with it practically, whatever he may be theoretically ?
411. Here, then, we have a harmonic warrant for FREEDOM TO DIFFER — a point never otherwise attained in human. affairs!
412. Here we have the “ umpire of peace,” the “ last appeal,” the “ end of disturbing disputes “!
413. I may have a neighbor who is an old line Presbyterian, and who goes every Sunday to hear what I consider destructive theories; but, holding his sovereignty as sacred, I offer no obstacle other than acceptable counsel. If I have anything in his way, I will hasten to take it out of the way. My public duty towards the Catholic and every other persuasion is the same. I have no issue with either till an attempt is made to enforce assent or conformity from me or others. And my duty towards all political creeds and theories is precisely the same. They are all entitled to forbearance till some attempt is made to enforce them on the unwilling. This attempt is an encroachment upon the great sacred right of self-sovereignty — an attack upon the Divine law of Individuality, and will always beget resistance and war.
414. I do Dot expect very extensive, immediate coincidence in these conclusions but while the absolute sovereignty of every one (within his own sphere) is sacredly respected, there will be no serious collision on this point.
415. FREEDOM TO DIFFER. Freedom for you to do (at your own cost or within your own sphere) what I may consider wrong, foolish, or inexpedient, is the vital principle of peace and all progress; for your experiments may prove that you are right!
416. The “Reformation was based upon this great idea, but the Reformation will not be complete till it is clearly understood that each and every person is necessarily invested with an Individuality of his or her own, that, like the countenance of its possessor, is “ in. alienable ; “ and therefore that we cannot build theories requiring and depending on conformity or uniformity of reasoning, without constant liability to conflict, confusion, and disappointment.
417. For true order and progress we must preserve at all times and in all things FREEDOM TO DIFFER in word and in act, and thus approach co- operation by degrees instead of by any violent or sudden leap.
418. No matter how perverse any one may be, he never can get outside of the propensity to have his own way.
419. This point of coincidence once universally understood, there can be no outsiders, no foreigners, no hostile tribes or Clans, no political party, except “ the party of the whole” !
420. The foundation for universal co-operation is now theoretically laid. In order to preserve harmony in progress, there must be freedom to differ in all things where difference is possible.
421. Therefore let us avoid all commitments to anything like what are commonly called organizations leading to Clanship. Our organization will not consist of subordinating rules or any other external formulas but will exist in the understanding, internally, in fact and in spirit, while the external will consist of simply Correspondence or COMMUNICATION with each other, and that which naturally and spontaneously flows from it.
422. Having submitted our point of coincidence to the last and severest tests, and found it only confirmed as a sublime truth, we will begin to cluster around it other truths to aid that and each other in the complete solution of the problem of true civilization.
423. We bring, then, the principle of Equivalents with its beautifully beneficent power to harmonize our pecuniary interests- to neutralize the destructive power of unregulated competition — to make the interests of the individual harmonize with the interests of the public.
424. We will bring our Equitable money into competion with common money, which will equalize power in the pecuniary sphere. Self-sovereignty in all departments, especially in the military, will equalize and restore back to each individual his legitimate share of the governing power, and (to the mind’s eye) Equilib. rium begins to emerge from chaos.
424. We will bring our Equitable money into competion with common money, which will equalize power in the pecuniary sphere. Self-sovereignty in all departments, especially in the military, will equalize and restore back to each individual his legitimate share of the governing power, and (to the mind’s eye) Equilib. rium begins to emerge from chaos.
425. The great elements of discord and repulsion being withdrawn or neutralized, and every new clustering truth becoming a new harmonizer, the long-stifled yearnings for sympathy with our kind will begin to expand, and the danger is that we may rush together into disastrous entanglements, unless preserved by constant, watchful regard to the fatal errors of Clanship and Communism.
426. As all unmixed or pure truths harmonize with each other, all minds filled with these only will necessarily harmonize; and expectations founded on them will not be likely to end in disappointment.
427. The coincidence or harmony of Nations will necessarily arise from that of 1ndividuals.
428. The sovereignty of every Individual in his or her own sphere, places all mankind upon the only possible plane of political Equality. All being sovereigns, none can be less, none more. This is beautifully illustrated at every assembly of kings and emperors. Each one is admitted by all the others to be supreme within his own sphere of jurisdiction. The supremacy of each constitutes the equality of all, while anything less than the supremacy of either would constitute so much political inequality between them, and any attempt of either, or of the majority, to subordinate any one of them, would at once become an element of war.
429. -No nation or tribe can, without direct violation of this great regulating principle, dictate laws or policies to any other, nor attempt to invade or subdue or plunder a single individual of the race.
430. Counsels, advice, deliberation, communication, Equitable commercial exchanges may at once commence, and forever continue to increase, mutually enriching and blessing each other, — without doing violence to any class, party, or person.
431. Here are the means of harmonizing the nations! Instead of mutual destruction from the wild promptings of unregulated instinct, we shall have mutual protection, prompted by an enlightened and regulated self- interest, harmonizing with universal interest, and giving rise to universal sympathy. The theme expands under our gaze, but with such dazzling splendor that the unaccustomed eye cannot dwell upon it.
432. HAVING given the substance of our programme of true civilization, we leave it for the present to be digested with the assistance of a few desultory remarks.
433. The insisting on Disintegration, as a first step in true order, may require more illustration than such as has been furnished, and the point is too vital to leave unsettled. Other important points may also require confirmation.
434. When a multitude of papers, letters, etc., lay upon our table in confusion, what principle do we involuntarily resort to to put them in order? Do we not separate them — putting the unanswered letters in one place, and those that have been answered in various, different, separate, disintegrated classification? Do we not disintegrate all the newspapers, putting all of the same kind in one pile, and others in other piles, separate from each other?
435. At a public meeting many people want to speak, but all admit that they must not all speak at once, but in a disintegrated or separate order, one at a time.
436. If you and I own a house together, and you want to sell it, and I do not, what can we do better than disintegrate our interests in it by one buying the other out satisfactorily? On the sidewalks in populous cities, when many people are going in opposite directions, there is seen one current going one way and another going in the opposite way, both on the same sidewalk, quite distinct and separate from each other, and consequently without confusion.
437. A man unavoidably forms a disagreeable acquaintance, altogether uncongenial and unprofitable to either, or to anybody; to drop the acquaintance, to disintegrate, is the common practice, and perhaps the best expedient.
438. Sublime and holy as the right of self-sovereignty is in all its practical bearings, as a regulator of human intercourse, it cannot be exercised, except so far as each one’s property, responsibilities, and person are so far separate from others that he can exercise his legitimate control over his own without disturbing them. Many of the most humane and best citizens of the American States have struggled for years against being responsible for the communistic legislation in favor of enslaving responsibilities from the general conglomeration.
439. It has passed into an axiom the Corporations have no souls, that is, no responsibility, for there is no responsibility till it becomes Individual, disintegrated from communism.
440. After people have overlooked or disregarded the great law of order and harmony, and entangled themselves and their interests together, and cannot agree, and when they have exhausted all their arguments and expedients without arriving at coincidence, what do they naturally and habitually resort to to avoid further disturbances or violence?
441. Disintegration is necessary only after the great Divine law of order has been violated by obliterating the lines of legitimate Individual jurisdiction, by a conglomeration of interests or “entangling alliances.”
442. Apparently impossible solutions are often found by means so simple and self-evident as to mortify us at our obtuseness.
443. A man once asked me if I knew how to “measure the wood in a bundle of brush?” I admitted that I thought it was impossible. “Well,” said he, “partly fill a barrel with water, measure its depth, put in the brush, measure the depth again, and calculate the difference.”
444. A multitude of questions will arise in minds to which these subjects are comparatively new; some of them may be anticipated. A simple riddle may prepare many to answer their own questions better than any one can do it for them. The riddle is, —
“I’m made at Canterbury and sold at York, I stop a bottle and am called a ‘cork’.”
445. The whole is so plainly told, and is so self-evident, it puzzles. I once gave this riddle to a lady in presence of her child. She could not solve it, and gave it up, when the child exclaimed, “Why la, mother, it is a cork! Don’t he say it is a cork?”
446. “What,” says one, “is every Individual to raise himself up in his sovereignty above all law and order — obey what pleases him, and reject or rebel against what does not please him?”
447. Is all to be left to the spontaneous whim of the moment or our present impulses, without any reference to the future? Is everything to be sacrificed to a wild chase after a distorted freedom, the value of which when overtaken may not equal the cost of pursuit? Are we to have no contracts, no order, no system, nothing as a basis for expectations, nothing to depend upon?
448. Yes, we will have order, system, and contracts that will not disappoint us.
449. With regard to self-sovereignty raising us above law, it it is itself the great Divine law of order which no one can raise himself above. Your own questions show you to be exercising this sovereignty in criticising what is proposed! the act of judging a law or statute raises the critic above that law or statute. To be under law is to have no opinion, but only the duty of obedience to it. Criticism, thought, judgment, raises us above the thing criticised or judged. All the people in these States are at this moment above all the enactments of the Government at Washington. But we never can get above primitive or Divine law. It prompts us to judge, and we obey it in judging everything! — even in judging itself!
450. With regards to system, it naturally and harmoniously leads to the most perfect system of social life that it is possible to conceive.
451. The assertion here is, that the true law of order has been “rejected by the builders,” and the law of confusion mistakingly preferred! “Union” of interests is this root of confusion, and disintegration is a necessary step back towards individuality which is the great Divine law of order everywhere. Where or what would the objector be if he was not free to criticise these statements? Simply a slave. Objecting to them, he is exercising the very sovereignty to which he objects! Remember the riddle.
452. We will have systems adapted to the demands for them. The mechanic in his shop, or the chemist in his laboratory, who has no partner to consult, can arrange his tools or his materials in any manner whatever that he pleases, and can change his system any time he pleases. He is thus above or sovereign of his system, but if he has a partner, he must consult that partner’s wishes, and if they happen not to coincide, neither of them can exercise this individuality without violating the individuality of the other. If he has three partners he must consult the wishes of all, and the chances of agreement are diminished by every additional partner to the communistic interest or “Union,” and by the magnitude and importance of the interests held in common; and there may be so many partners that there cannot be found points of coincidence enough to found any system upon. True order and system are found only within the individual sphere, or in proportion to the coincidences between different parties.
453. We will have contracts, arrangements, and appointments, but we will have them only where they are wanted, and understandingly consented to by the persons involved in them.
454. We will not make such as may prove impossible of fulfilment, without providing for such contingency.
455. Our contracts will not be Shylock contracts, to be fulfilled to the letter (instead of the spirit), though they take the pound of flesh from the heart.
456. We will not make man for contracts, but contracts for the benefit of those who make them. A contract which can be forseen to be contrary to divine law, and may prove impossible of fulfilment, is null and void. A contract by a child to grow twenty feet high is null and void.
457. A contract which is not understood alike by the parties to it (such as all written constitutions), is null and void, because they have not consented to the same thing.
458. A contract which, at the time of making it, all the parties intend to fulfil, may be broken by unforeseen events, over which neither of the parties could have any control. The man that abandoned the lifting of the timber to save this family, broke his contract, which, but for that accident, he would have fulfilled. The sudden abandonment of the timber might have been of serious consequence to the other parties who were lifting it. Would it not have been well for the leader to have a man or two in reserve to meet such contingencies? But they were not thought of. What is to be done with the case as a violation of contract? Does it not force us to admit that they are, often unavoidably, imperfect devices, like our own structure, and that their defects have to be borne, like the toothache, as misfortunes, and that to insist on the absolute perfection and sacredness of all contracts is an error?
459. Is every one, then, to be perfectly free to enter into any contract, and extract from it whatever suits him, and then abandon it, and disappoint the other parties to it, on the plea of unforeseen contingencies?
460. No. I may promise to pay you twenty dollars tomorrow night, at six o’clock; you have no means of judging of my resources; there is but little within our experience to forbid the expectation of the money, when it is known that it is for my own interest to fulfil the contract. As I alone know my own resources, I take the whole responsibility of the promise. To-morrow afternoon I lose all my money by being tempted into a bad speculation. I fail to pay you, and you are obliged to go to a usurer to borrow the money. You call on me and state your grievance. I say that unforeseen contingencies prevented me from fulfilling my contract; but the explanation does not satisfy you, and I refuse to give further satisfaction. What next? Present civilization fails to give a satisfactory answer. We must go farther than it has gone.
461. Suppose you select two or three well-balanced minds in your neighborhood to deliberate on the case, giving me the opportunity to represent myself, and with an invitation for all the public to attend as listeners. You state your case. What can I do? Perhaps I refuse in the face of all self-evident rectitude to abide the decision of the tribunal, — on the ground of my right of self-sovereignty. But the tribunal decide that I have indirectly invaded your sovereignty, and that I ought to repair damages; that I have put you to trouble and cost for my convenience, and wantonly refuse to make Equitable reparation, which is in my power. I still refuse. The opinions of more or less of the tribunal are handed over to the military (or “the Government”), and if there is sufficient coincidence there to take enough of my property to compensate you, it will be done. What would be compensation in the case? 1st, Whatever it cost you to borrow the money; 2d, compensation for disappointment; 3d, compensation for your time consumed in getting judgment from the tribunal; 4th, contingent expenses of room where they met, and the costs, if any, of the aid of the Government or police.
462. Would it not have been more profitable, pecuniarily and morally, for me to have fulfilled my promise to you, or to have endeavored to have given satisfactory or excusable reasons for not doing so?
463. “But,” asks another, “suppose you had come across an old creditor that afternoon, that was just on the point of ruin, and you could save him from it by letting him have the twenty dollars. How then?”
464. In this case I have a choice of evils, and decide, on my own responsibility, to pay the former debt and run the risk of satisfying you.
465. Knowing that I ought to pay you all the costs of disappointment, I come as early as possible to you, state the circumstances, and offer at once to pay all the costs that you have incurred by my non-fulfilment of contract. No tribunal and no resort to the government would then be thought of. But there is a better way than any of these, when that way is possible, and that is to “owe no man anything,” but settle every transaction in the time of it. But this not being always practicable, the expedient here recommended is to settle, at the time of the transaction, what is due, and give a note with conditions that will not seriously disappoint any one. (See “Equitable Money.”) Careful as we may be, contracts are but human devices, and, unavoidably, more or less imperfect.
466. Being understandingly amenable to the injured party for all costs of non-fulfilment of legitimate contracts, we shall be careful how we enter into them, and equally careful to fulfil them. Contracts will not then be the tyrants of men, but the servants of men.
467. The smaller the number of the parties to a contract, the more points of agreement there may be expected between them; the larger the number, the less points of coincidence will be found.
468. A universal organization, to include every person of the race, could have no assurance of universal coincidence, expect where DISSENT ITSELF CONFIRMS THE COMPACT. Such is our point of coincidence!
469. A man in a model village gave out notice that he would give a course of lectures to show the fallacy of the “self-sovereignty” idea.
470. The advocates of that idea provided him with a room; opened and closed it for him; invited the people to hear him, and, but for disturbing the audience, would have laughed aloud to see him so vehemently exercising his “Individual sovereignty” in attempting to expose the idea as a fallacy!
471. But there is another aspect of this case that excited other feelings. The idea of self-sovereignty had become, as it were, an institution; and this institution itself protected opposition itself, and the things called “SCHISM,” and “TREASON,” and “REBELLION,” were IMPOSSIBLE.
472. The word Rebellion is only a barbarian name for the exercise of Freedom, and “crushing out rebellion” is CRUSHING OUT LIBERTY!.
473. I need not multiply words to show that the words Treason, Traitors, Loyalty, Disloyalty, Rebellion, etc., stab to the heart the very germ of liberty, and the spirit of American institutions. It is the spirit only, and not the institutions, that can survive the wounds!
474. In the case above mentioned, one was asked, Are you not going to reply to L----? No, certainly not. He has an absolute right in his sovereignty to oppose self-sovereignty or anything else proposed for his or any one’s adoption. There is no ground for opposition till he attempts to enforce his views upon other sovereigns.
475. With regard to a “wild pursuit after a distorted Freedom,” nothing has ever so effectually restrained and regulated the instinctive and impulsive pursuit of our own ends, and invested Freedom with such beautiful and enchanting symmetry as the sacred and constant regard to this absolute right of unqualified sovereignty in others over their own; and so inspires a ready spirit of forbearance and accommodation where the mutual exercise of this divine absolute right is impossible; and the most polite, benevolent, Equitable, charming deportment in the highest cultivated circles, is characterized in every step, word, and deed, as if this idea was the divine regulator of all.
476. The great difficulty has been in determining what constitutes one’s own, over which he may harmlessly exercise this unqualified jurisdiction, or sovereignty, especially with regard to property.
477. If no error has been committed in the principle of Equivalents, this great obstacle to harmonic adjustment is overcome.
478. It is possible that the sphere of individual absolute jurisdiction has not been fully and exactly stated, but if each one becomes so conditioned that he can exercise this jurisdiction over his or her own person, responsibilities, time, and property, without disturbing others, true order will have commenced, and future wisdom may supply deficiencies.
479. “Individuality” has been misapprehended and misrepresented as “isolation,” “selfishness,” “unsociableness,” etc.
480. I say misapprehended, because I cannot believe that any one who perceives the sublime importance of it, as a regulator of human intercourse, could find a motive to misrepresent it. Education, drill, on this great theme, seem to be indispensable.
481. A volume wholly devoted to its illustration as the great Divine law of order and as a preventive of confusion and violence, could scarcely begin to do it justice, and all that can be done here is to excite thought towards it as a study, by a few hints, in addition to those already given, and leave it to the after experience of the reader for continuous illustration and confirmation.
482. Suppose every person possessed the same countenance, the same name, the same voice, the same stature, so that one could not be distinguished from another, what could equal the confusion to which it would immediately lead? What prevents this confusion but the individualities of countenance, voice, gait, stature, name, etc.?
483. Why not name every woman Eve, and every man Adam? Because of the confusion it would make.
484. Why do we mark different drawers or packages with different numbers or letters? To prevent confusion.
485. Why not have the letters of the alphabet alike? Because we could spell nothing; we should destroy all written language and deprive ourselves of all it benefits.
486. What makes the confusion in all our controversies? It is because so many of the words we are obliged to use, are alike in sound and in their orthography, while the words themselves mean different things. The remedy, if it were possible, would be in having each word to represent only one Individual thing. Hence the necessity of controversialists defining and defining and defining the terms they use, till both parties understand the particular definite Individual idea which the word is to represent in their controversy. The simple perception of this would almost annihilate controversies and disputes and often end in most disastrous results, or, perhaps, which never ends! Our every day and every hour’s conversation — almost every remark, is invested with more or less confusion, because one word may mean more than one thing, and common education has not trained us to the habitual consciousness or perception of it.
487. The Reformation was one step towards this Individuality. It was a step in disintegration from concentrated power and dominion; but it has led to other steps in the same direction — to more divisions and subdivisions of sects, till theological sectism is nearly harmless; but the Reformation will not be complete till it is clearly and universally understood that each mind is an indestructible individuality which may or may not coincide with other minds in more or less particulars; but that to attempt to enforce conformity when this coincidence is wanting is a fatal undertaking, which will proceed in violence and confusion, and end in disappointment. And the same is true throughout the political sphere. We shall see divisions and subdivisions of political parties till partyism destroys itself by the insignificance of each; the ultimate step of division landing us, as in the theological sphere, in INDIVIDUALITY: the same process in the different spheres resulting in every one being his own sect and party, or “Priest and King,” or his own sovereign.
488. But this is directly opposite in principles and in process to all political “Unions,” “Confederacies,” Combination and Organizations of States, Nations, sects, tribes, clans, or parties, and directly away from all the confusions, violence, crime, destruction, and desolation which necessarily attend them.
489. From this new point
“Starting fresh, as from a second birth, Man in the sunshine of the world’s new spring, Shall walk transparent, like some holy thing.”
490. Individual, instead of mixed or communistic Responsibilities appears to be the only possible remedy against a whole city or a whole nation being destroyed for the words or acts of two or three of its members! One, and perhaps more, of the ferocious partisan newspapers openly advocated the destruction of the whole city of Baltimore, on account of the acts of five or six of its inhabitants! Education on this subject would hold those five or six alone responsible for their acts, unless others voluntarily assumed responsibility for them, and no greater element of confusion and violence exists in our midst than holding every one responsible for all the opinions or acts of those with whom they may be occasionally associate. No one would be willing to be responsible for all the acts of the best friend he may have, and the axiom, “Tell me what company you keep, and I will tell you what you are,” is true only with those who have no Individuality — no self-hood, no private judgment, and it has done, and is continually doing, more harm than can ever be estimated.
491. To force all the citizens of Baltimore into a compact Clanship-responsibility for each other’s words or acts, is to force them, for self-preservation, to attempt to enforce an outward conformity of speech and act to the pattern struck out by the crude editor of a paper, or to some other one pattern, which, being impossible, leads directly to confusion and violence, intensified to the last degree.
492. A Southern paper said, “Slavery is the natural and normal condition of the laboring man, whether white or black!” We cannot measure the evils that may have grown to a great extent out of this remark having been taken as the sentiments and designs of all the South. To have held the writer of it alone Individually responsible for it would have been only Equitable, and to have treated all similar cases in the same way might have averted the present desolating internal war.
493. A reckless editor of a New York paper impudently announces himself as the representative of the American people in the “Trent” and Mason and Slidel case, to which a large portion of Englishmen, supposing that he told the truth, very justly took great umbrage, and were ready to make war on the whole of the Americans, all from the single mistake of assuming that the Americans were responsible for that one reckless man’s words! The practice of holding every one alone Individually responsible for his ASCERTAINED acts and words would avert such dangers.
494. This would break up the system of a majority voting other into responsibilities which they do not choose to assume! Very well; then we have at last found a remedy for an evil as great as any other. What, then, becomes of National debts, forced on future generations without consulting them?
495. I leave this for the present, to be answered by those who incur them and appropriate the Loans, and who alone should be held responsible.
496. Constitutions, statutes, rules, axioms, and all verbal formulas are subject to various and conflicting interpretations, all growing out of the inherent and indestructible Individuality of different minds. A compact between parties who do not understand it alike is null and void, because they have not consented to the same thing, even if they have signed it! What is to be done with this fact? We can do nothing with it but accept it as an irrefutable truth, and provide means of dispensing with whatever conflicts with it.
497. Individuality as the great divine law of order and harmony, while it exposes and rebukes these poor devices, itself dispenses with them, and practically accomplishes the objects vainly attempted by them!
498. Individual ownership is another phase of individuality, and is the base of all security against incessant confusion, conflict, repression, and violence. Communism is its exact antipode, and on this account was reasonably objected to by the French Government, in the time of St. Simonism, on the ground that it worked against security of condition.
499. An accidental quarrel occurs between two or three individuals in a street of Greytown, in Central America, — one man throws a bottle at Mr. Borland’s nose (it seems that bottles were nearest at hand), and forthwith the whole town is reduced to fragments and ashes by a North American ship-of-war lying in the harbor! Had the men who worked the guns been educated to know the value of Individual responsibilities, instead of being reduced to mere machines by the dried-herring subordination, they would not have had any hand in that wanton outrage, but would have waited till they understood something of the quarrel, and then would have said, we will do nothing to unnecessarily add to the violence already done. Let the disturbance be confined to the individuals who voluntarily too part in, and who alone are responsible for it.
500. In justice to a very large portion of the North Americans, it should be stated that there was, at the time, an involuntary and extensive outburst of indignant protest against the ruffian outrage, and that the Government itself has since (I believe) entered into negotiation for reparation of damages.
501. Voltaire says that one of the kings of Prussia (I have forgotten which) candidly acknowledged to him that his most prominent reasons for going to war with the Queen of Bohemia, were, that he had an army that was tired of inactivity; and ambition, interest, and the desire to make the world to talk of him!
502. One cannot be said to act on his own responsibility, except so far as he takes on himself the risks, costs, and natural penalties of his own acts and decisions. If this should become one of the regulating thoughts among men, what would become of such wars, or any wars?
503. The confusion and discord which have uniformly attend the attempts at Co-operative reconstruction have arisen chiefly from the parties having pledged themselves to co-operation, without understanding the word alike. One, perhaps, had thought only of the economies that would result to him; another of the general harmony that he saw would result from it; another saw in it only the opportunity of making speeches and getting into office. As soon as they commence operations, they find that there is no coincidence, and consequently no co-operation between them. The attempts appear to have been partially successful, just in proportion as they have confined themselves, like most common partnerships, to the co-operation in one particular, individual thing. For instance, store-keeping, and saving and accumulating money or property; but success itself in this particular alone, as illustrated by Rapp’s Society at Economy, and by the Rochdale co-operators, by furnishing a communistic fund to differ about, tends to discord, dissolution, disappointment, and insecurity of condition, which latter is the greatest evil to be remedied.
504. When our interests (as we understand them) co-operate or harmonize, we shall co-operate so far as our conditions admit of it. Nothing further need be expected. The understanding, as well as the hands, should co-operate. If we attempt to generalize co-operation, we shall fail to get the required co-operation of understanding.
505. It is only by INDIVIDUALIZING each case — DISINTEGRATING it from all others, and leaving every one FREE to co-operate in THAT PARTICULAR CASE IN HAND OR NOT, that we avoid the discordant collisions, and secure co-operation so far as each one expects to be benefited by it, or so far as his interests prompt him.
506. I am not willing to use the word “interests” here without explaining that I recognize MORAL interests as taking precedence of pecuniary interests; and yet I would have it clearly understood and settled that I will not make pecuniary sacrifices unless I feel myself compensated in the moral interest I feel, or the pleasure I derive, from the contemplation of the good promised by it.
507. The natural, inevitable necessity of Individuality in any lead of co-operative action has already been illustrated.
508. Individuality of the sovereign power is equally necessary to true order, and herein Monarchists are right; but this individuality of the sovereignty is not INDIVIDUAL as long as it can be divided! and is not attained until it rests in each person over his or her own only.
509. One of the greatest sources of confusion in controversies or disputes is, that the disputants do not confine themselves to the one individual thing in which the dispute originated, till that is settled and disposed of, but they draw in new points just as disputable, one after another, till the whole becomes conglomerated confusion. The remedy can be found only in discussing one individual thing or point at a time.
510. One says that John Villars is a rogue, and another says that the same John Villars is an excellent man. Both may be equally correct. Under some conditions John might have acted the part of a rogue, and under other conditions the same John Villars might have performed the part of an angel. The individuality or diversity of conditions explains all this. And there is probably no greater effort of self-government required, no greater moral victory to attain, than that of individualizing each case, — judging and treating each according to its own apparent merits; condemning one act of our neighbor at one moment, and the next minute being ready to approve another act of the same neighbor! Yet this is only Individualizing or exercising discrimination!
511. Had the American public mind been educated to understand that Individuality is the vital principle of order, it would have generally seen and admitted that Government has, properly, but one (Individual) function, which is to resist or restrain encroachments upon the rights of Individuals. That it is not the true function of governments to prescribe opinions, either moral, religious, or political; to meddle with manufactures or importations; to prescribe the cut of the citizen’s hair, the employment of his time, or the disposal of his life or his property, but simply and solely to protect him against such impertinences.
512. They would have seen that the employment of force for any other purpose than to resist or restrain violence, is, itself, an encroachment which should be resisted. This would give the absolute right of secession, per se, to any extent whatever, leaving nothing to talk about but the entangled or communistic property between the parties, and the present ruin of all parties would not have occurred. A war for the protection or relief of the oppressed might or might not have arisen in time, but not the present war.
513. Again: In the discussion of the issue of the war, if the parties had considered one thing at a time till that thing was settled, the war would not have arisen; but we are now discussing the right or wrong of secession, the rights and wrongs of slaves, the expediency of Tariffs, the right to collect revenue, the right to compel citizens to fight against their wills, the navigation of the Mississippi River, possible foreign relations, and several other subjects all at once, and never settle one of them. The issue of the war arose on the absolute right of secession. If that had been dwelt on Individually till it was settled (as “nothing is ever settled till it is settled right”), the war would not have arisen, because the absolute and inalienable right of self-preservation or self-sovereignty, according to the Declaration of Independence, having been arrived at and admitted, would have ended all controversy. And I therefore assert that, if the public mind had been properly educated to discuss one thing at a time till it was settled, instead of a conglomeration of things, and never settling one of them, we should have averted the ruin that has followed.
514. For want of proper training, we jump from one subject to another, understanding none thoroughly, and ludicrously commit ourselves on both sides of the same issue, and then exclaim, “Whoever is not for us is against us!”
515. One party denies the right of secession or self-sovereignty, to the whites of the South and to their white subordinates at home, and in the same breath assert that right in favor of the blacks of the South!
516. The other party leaders claim that right for themselves, but deny it to their white subordinates, and to the black people of the South! This is the difference between the parties! That is, no difference at all. Both fatally contradict themselves, and become entangled in a web of confusion, from which nothing but the simple admission of that great inalienable right of sovereignty in every person (within his or her own sphere, as explained) can possibly extricate them.
517. The right of secession being included in, and settled by, the admission of this great universal right, political slavery of all colors is logically at an end; but the enslavement of Labor is another subject which concerns whites and blacks alike, but which can find no solution till the Equitable compensation for labor is understood. If I get an hour’s labor of you more than I am justly entitled to, I have enslaved you pecuniarily to that extent; but how can we tell what I am Equitably entitled to for an hour of my services?
 The Divine, as I understand and use the word, means, simply, the not human. The sun, the winds, the tides, electricity, and whatever else exists without the aid of man are of Divine origin — that is, not of human origin.
I prefer however, in order to avoid ambiguity and misunderstanding, to distinguish all these as belonging to primitive nature, and the works of man as of the secondary nature. Hence may arise the phrases primitive sphere, and secondary sphere.
 Rev. Mr. Briar’s “Africans at Home.”
 The glorious Kossuth said, “The future of mankind can repose only on principles.”
 Witness the Dred Scott Decision.
 Those rules, laws, or institutions, which demand obedience against the inclination of the subject, subordinate or enslave man; while those rules, laws, or institutions to which conformity is understandingly and cheerfully rendered, may be said to be subordinate to man, and with them, man is free. In present civilization institutions are above men; in true civilization man will be not under but within institutions or above institutions.