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LIBERTY AND RESPONSIBILITY

ety" is also the purpose of labor, because the individual earns his living, in modern civilized society, by holding a place and bearing a share in the collective enterprise of the whole.

It is in vain now that we attempt anywhere in this domain to reduce the notion of liberty to something positive or hard and fast; it presents itself to us as a set of dissolving views, which are forever changing with the changing aspects of social relations as they go on their course of evolution. The state by its power frees men from anarchy, fist-law, slavery, etc., but it imposes a new set of restraints of its own, which take away liberty on another side. The state is necessary for the first function; it must be tolerated in the second. There would be no rest, no finality, except when each one had everything at no cost, or with no offsets and attendant ills. This, therefore, is the true Utopia, the true social ideal, and a great many have recognized it and begun to proclaim it, who have not yet formulated or understood it.

It is an instructive fact that modern methods of poor relief and modern poor laws grew up as slavery, serfdom, and villainage passed away. A slave could never be a vagabond or a pauper; he could not starve to death unless there was a general collapse of the entire social order, so that his master could neither feed him nor find a purchaser for him. The most ingenious apologies for slavery ever made in this country consisted in developing this fact into an argument that slavery was the only cure for socialism, the only sound organization of society in which there could be no poverty, and that free society was destined to destruction by the war of competition and unchecked struggle for existence within itself. A great deal of the socialistic declamation which