THE CURSE OF THE WORLD
The one great curse of the human race is the use of force in the imposing of one's will, religion, habit, custom, moral code, whim, fad or fancy, upon another or upon all others. It is natural for one to desire that others should live according to the ideal or plan pleasing to him, and it would be favorable to the peace of mankind if no method other than persuasion, warning, protest, social and business ostracism or boycott, etc., were resorted to. But method goes beyond that line, and includes positive, or aggressive, force, which causes hatred and strife between and among men in private lives, finding its greatest expression in States, (based on force), with their never-ending carnival of human slaughter, slavery and oppression.
Force originally was used probably only for the purpose of enslavement; that the master or conquerer could enjoy the relationship or the material wealth produced by the labor of his slave, without caring or thinking about the religious or moral views of the slave, nor concern about the slave's health for the slave's sake—but only for the master's sake. The first man to knock down his fellow-man and enslave him, was the father of all States, and the present day rulers pursue their pioneer's policy, but not so frankly or avowedly. The just and necessary function of defense has been assumed by them, and serves as a plausible plea in justification of their existence, as men, generally, viewing defense and government as identical, cannot conceive of them as separable institutions or functions, as we "non-imperists" do. There have been some comparatively free States, communities and cities, in which positive, or aggressive, force was tabood as a policy or function of the collectivity; in which intervention or action was limited to repellance of overt or plain crime, such as murder, rape, robbery, theft, fraud, etc—things universally viewed as absolute crimes, or denials of life and liberty.
In the vast majority of States, however—true governments in the strict meaning of the word—the offensive attribute or principle not only predominates, but what should be the function of defense against violation of individual liberty is transformed iuto an instrument of oppression or denial of equal liberty—a defense, it is true, but chiefly of the wrongs of State; monopolies created by it, effecting the indirect slavery of the producing masses to the privileged, or royal, classes, and of the social ideals of puritanical extremists.
In the evolution of modern States, or governments, based primarily on aggression, involving the doctrine of absolute authority, or the right of both offense and defense, these powerful institutions were quick to be recognized as efficient and necessary instruments for the security of slavery, by the wealthy or ruling classes -the material advantage to them inspiring their demand for the imperial State; and also by the so-called moral or social fanaticists, most of whom have felt ordained to set the world aright by taking the "erring ones" by the ears, and compelling them to live as the presumptuous ones desire that they should live—sometimes wisely, but in more instances unwisely. This class of specialists in other people's private affairs is not satisfied with the defensible limit of action against indisputable crimes, but concerns itself with what it views as sins, vices, follies, etc., though these acts or habits may not be evil in themselves; may be positively beneficial, and may concern or effect only the actor at anyrate.
Democracies are particularly subject to the baleful influence of this so-called religious, moral, or puritanical element—one of the factors that invariably must lead to their relatively early decay, as shown by the experience of ancient and modern democracies. Like the United
States, originally a fairly free country, which now denie ) to its "citizens*' the personal liberties in private or noninvasive affairs generally that the subjects of civilized monarchies enjoy. All democracies—the more rapidly the greater the extension of the franchise—drift from glorious freedoms to intolerable despotisms.
That the lords and rulers of the earth—kings, princes, presidents, usurers, Slate-protected monopolists, privileged capitalists, etc., should be staunch supporters of government is obvious.
That fanaticists, who know that their intervention in non-invasive affairs would be indignantly resented if attempted on their own initiative, and impossible unless backed by a force that through ages of sophistry and lies has be rendered a sort of divinity not to be questioned, much less opposed or disobeyed, should favor the invasive, tyrannical State, is a matter of course.
The producers of the world the vast majority, on whose slavery States rest—logically should not be supporters of the State; would not be if they were as smart as their master. But they are not, and can be relied on to "lay the last full measure of their devotion on the altar of their country'*—'their country," in fact, being a gang of political sharpers, agents of all the moneyed concerns, who lay the cost of wars not only on those favoring wars, but on others—their sons and their son's sons—for years.
The libertarians, who hold that all the affairs or men should be managed by individuals or voluntary associations, and that the imperial State should be discarded, are opposed by the lords and rulers of the world, by the rich and influential, the fanaticists, the mercinaries, the idealists, the knaves, the slaves, the poor and ignorant. But from the intelligent minority that now inclines to the doctrine of authority because of the fear that liberty might open the way to greater wrongs, and from those who will find no other escape than liberty from the
growing menace of fanaticism and State Socialism or 4 intolerable despotism, the doctrine of untrammeled individual freedom will gain adherents.
The libertarian program is necessarily limited to argument against the doctrine of authority and protest against the imperial State, compulsory socialism, communism, slavery, etc., denying the right of mastery to States, as well as to individuals.
The religious evangelism of liberty is to preach abstention from the use of force, by individuals or States, in the imposition of wills or ideals on non-invasive, non-dependent individuals.
Liberty's star of hope lies in individual intellectual conviction, and in the fact that the growing incompatibility of authoritative policies and institutions must lead to situations favorable to greater individual freedom.
That "this is a dying age" is admitted by the high and mighty of the authoritarian cult; that fundamental changes must soon be made in the political and economic bases of human society is self-evident; either authority or liberty must die—and either slavery or freedom ensue in its fullness—there is no half way house; no stable ground of balance between the two principles. There will be no peace while government exists, and when the inevitable dissolution of the present order comes, because of sheer physical necessity, it is desirable that a sufficient force of men should be led to understand the doctrine of untrammeled, or equal, liberty, to see that in the new associations the criminal attributes of the State do not enter—to learn what these are, read books herein advertised, and read successive issues of this periodical.
The fancied evils that would arise in liberty, or in the absence of all government in the world, pictured as a scare-devil for the "restless" by present-day writers, will be matched many times over by a review of facts in the world today, in next issue.
READJUSTMENT, OR "THE MORNING AFTER"
After the big debauch of war, with about $30,000,000,-000 debt placed on the people, comes the realization. Many of the interests, organizations of bankers, railroads, fanners, manufacturers, miners and big business of all sorts, have their lobbies in Waphington working overtime with congress for help. And they will get what want, toot It would seem that to help all the interests, giving to each that extracted from all the others, would cancel the benefit, but the aid will come finally from the non-capitalistic classes—the renters, wage-worker and small-fry shop-keepers, who compose the vast majority.
The government can give nothing without taking it from the people, as it produces nothing. It can only tranfer wealth from one class to another; it reverses the method of "Brennon on the Moor," as it gives to the privileged rich what it robs from the slaving poor.
The goverment does not directly tax the poor; it lays taxes on wealth, incomes, goods imported, etc. This overhead, greatly increased, is added to normal prices on things people must buy. A pound of good, pure, artificial butter, for example, that would be sold at a labor-cost of 8c in freedom, now costs 34c—the 26c difference goes to aid our poor millionaires, pay for foolish wars, and supply funds with which to pay the pimps who suppress the non-invasive liberties of men.
The after-effects of the world-war will keep the nation sick for years. Prices will be abnormally high on account taxation; wages will be lowered; the open shop will be put across by legal, concerted action; strikes will he called; large strikes, like the coal strike, will hurt the public generally, resulting in anti-strike laws rendering the working man a virtual slave.
I hold that the only escape for labor is to accept the open shop plan—but only on condition that the plan be
extended to cover the "National Banker's union/' the "Non-Using Landlord's union," the "Tariff-Protected Manufacturers union," the "Patent-Rights union," etc. These unions are all affiliated-not with the American Federation of Labor, which does not use positive force-but with the American Federal government, which does rest on force. The open shop for the employers would / ' remove the need of the closed shop for the employes..,-. .
OBEDIENCE TO THE LAW
Vice-President-Elect Coolidge said "Obedience to the law is liberty." "The law!" What law? If by "the law" we mean the law of common sense, or the law of equal freedom, that slogan might pa^s, but to obey it we would have to disobey the laws of the State that infringe or deny liberty. Unless we know what is meant by "the law" the statement has no sense. From the utterances, the ancestrial history, the puritanical strain of Coolidge, it is evident that "the law" of State is meant by him. Let us test it: When negro chattel slavery was "the law," the slave had only to obey his master to'be free! The original American colonies pained liberty from England by "obedience to the law" of Kin'r; George III, for example! That people have liberty through "obedience to laws" in denial of liberty, is absurd.
Compare the nonsensical words of Coolidtre with the utterances of other men on the subject:
"There are som* laws that ought to broken."—Dr. Levi M. Powers, (a Washington, D. C., clergyman).
Every actual Stat& is corrupt. Coo»l men must not obey'the laws too well. - Ralph Waldo Emerson.
AH our liberties are due to men who, when their conscience has compelled them, hve broken the laws of the land. •• (Dr. Clifford.)
I tell you there is something splendid in the man that will not always mind. Why, if vre had done as the kinj;s told us 500 years
ago, we should have all been slave3. If we had done as the priest told us we should all have been idiots. If we had done as the doctors told us, we would all have been dead. We have been saved by disobedience. (IngersoU.)
The House of Commons (England) was born of sedition. The Magna Cha.ta was illegally freed from thesuj/ reme authority. If .brave men had not resisted authority even to the blazing faggots, the black pall of superstition would still lie on this land as it lies on the facc of Spain.-(Woodswortn Denisthorpe).
No laws are binding on the human subject which assault the body or violate the conscience. Blackstone.
IN A FEW WORDS
The loyal subject is a willing slave.
Slavery is the penalty of ignorance and weakness.
The just powers of government, are derived from the free and voluntary consent of the INDIVIDUAL governed.
No MAN will accept an office that involves the enforcement of a law against other than clearly criminal acts.
Might will have its way, but that is no reason that the mighty should be worshipped as an almighty, good God.
As a State becomes more corrupt and offensive, it strengthens its laws against the freedom of speech, press and '-radicalism."
In what State is the grow th toward greater individual liberty and economic justice, where men are won to loyalty? The very reverse is the rule.
THERE IS PLENTY IN THE WORLD FOR ALL-would be if men did not destroy so much in wars. Rus-kin has shown that wars are caused by usurers, who now hold the world in bondage of $200,000,000,000.00. Millions of men are slaughtered in wars provoked that the "well-won thrift" of Shylocks may be exchanged for interest-bearing government bonds. For free literature showing how to end wars and usury, address "Humanity First," Xenia, Clay Co., Illinois.
By the Editor
About a year ago I was a renter; was evicted; press set out in the snow; rest of goods stored in a barn; lived until recently in furnished rooms; had good luck; bought.* this place—713 Park Place- mod. res. and print shop, if blocks west Mississippi river; intend to live here "forever." Have resumed publishing paper. While I was idle, someone started paper here named "100% American;" 1 therefore dropped "177G American" and took on new name. EGO is FREE, but contribute, or send stamps for postage, if you wish -or, "buy a book."
"EGO" (the Latin for I, an individual), is edited by a disciple of Benjamin H. Tucker, and will be an "instead of" Liberty, a paper, published by Mr. Tucker in New York City, several years ago, before his removal to France. The doctrine is the same, but recent laws make some changes in policy and terminolgy necessary.
H. asks if B. is a Jew, because B. wrote him that "interest is minor issue." I do not know if B. is a Jew. There are many Jews who "live by taking of excess," but all usurers are not Jews. The foremost advocate of the abolition of interest in the world is a Jew - speaking of race, not religion. The usurer is within his rights, anyway, whatever his rates. The borrower who has no security can pay the price or go without. The just kick is that a man who has security is obliged to pay interest (above cost). But that is not the usurer's fault—the wrong lies in the State, which gives the usurer a monopoly on the credit or currency issuing business. And who supports the State? The gross of the people! Lay the blame on the dullards themselves-not on the wiser "Jews," or money-lenders. Interest is perhaps the greatest economic evil, but is a lesser evil than that on which it, in common with rent and profit, rests- the monopoly-maint aining State-a political wrong-that robs man of the glory of the world: individual liberty!