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WHO IS FREE?

ishes into the realm of illusions. All our ferocious demands that our birthright shall be given back to us, and all our savage threats about those who have robbed us, go with it.

It was an easy way to attain the objects of our desire to put them into the list of the "rights of man," or to resolve that "we are and of right ought to be" as we should like to be. That method has had great popularity for the last hundred years and is now extremely popular; but if we have any liberty, it is because our ancestors have won it by toil and blood. It is not a boon, it is a conquest, and if we ever get any more, it will be because we make it or win it. The struggle for it, moreover, must be aimed, not against each other, but against nature. When men quarrel with each other, as every war shows, they fall back under the dominion of nature. It is only when they unite in co-operative effort against nature that they win triumphs over her and ameliorate their condition on earth.

It may be said, then, that liberty is to be found at the summit of civilization, and that those who have the resources of civilization at their command are the only ones who are free. But the resources of civilization are capital; and so it follows that the capitalists are free, or, to avoid ambiguities in the word capitalist, that the rich are free. Popular language, which speaks of the rich as independent, has long carried an affirmation upon this point. In reality the thirst for wealth is a thirst for this independence of the ills of life, and the interdependence of wealth on civilization and civilization on wealth is the reason why the science of wealth is concerned with the prime conditions of human welfare, and why all denunciations of desire to increase or to win wealth are worse than childish.