effect to which men have before been subjected. He who will may see the proofs of it on every side, and on all classes; where are the dull boors, the stupid peasantry, the rollicking journeymen (in the original sense of the word) of former times? There never was a time when a man had so much reason to be a man, or so much to make him a man as he has now.
Those then who ascribe liberty to the wise resolutions of political conventions, and set it in opposition to the industrial conditions of modern life, make a woeful mistake. If we have any liberty, it is power over nature which has put it within our reach, and our power over nature is due to science and art. It is they which have emancipated us, but they have not done it without exacting a price, nor without opening to us new vistas of effort and desire; and liberty is still at the end of the vista, where it always has been and always will be.
The Disappointment of Liberty
As we probe the idea of liberty on one side and another, distinctions are brought to light. First we have revolutionary or anarchistic liberty, the notion of which is that a free man is emancipated from the struggle for existence, and assured everything he needs (wants), by virtue of his liberty, on terms which he shall not regard as onerous. Secondly, we have personal liberty, which is the chance to fight the struggle for existence for one's self, to the best of one's will and ability, within the bounds of one's personal circumstances, for which other men are not responsible, without any risk of being compelled to fight the struggle for anybody else, and without any claim to the assistance of anybody else in one's own. Third, we have civil liberty, which is a status