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EARTH HUNGER AND OTHER ESSAYS

liberty. It is supposed that the Anarchists carry it to some exaggeration, but there is no apparent rule for drawing the line to discriminate the error from the truth, and there is no dispute about the truth of the conception itself.

I shall presently return to this point and try to show that no such notion of liberty is warranted by history or philosophy. For my present purpose I wish to point out that men in a primitive or original state of society never enjoyed any such condition of liberty. No conception of the primitive man could well be more false to history than that which thinks of him as free in any sense of the word. The notion does not fit him at all. It is in the highest degree incongruous, because the whole conception of liberty in any sense is a product of civilization, and what little unrestrainedness of action men now enjoy they owe to the conquests of civilization. There can be no such thing as liberty where there is not rational reflection and choice. Primitive and savage men live by instinct, custom, and tradition; there is no right of private judgment among them; a dissenter among them is crushed or exiled, when to be exiled is to be exposed to perish in isolation from human society.

If we turn our attention particularly to industrial or economic activities, do we find that, in a primitive stage of society, there was freedom in this domain? De we find, as is so often asserted, that monopoly is a product of civilization, or of "capitalism," or that it is growing all the time? We certainly do not find any such thing.

Monopoly is in the order of nature. The relaxation of monopoly, and the introduction of the free play of effort, that is, of liberty and competition, is due to the growth of civilization. It seems to be believed by a great many of the popular writers of the day that there