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THE FAMILY AND PROPERTY

why does not force proved against marriage prove that marriage is an unjustifiable institution? If we inherit property with the taint of all the ancient fraud and violence in the form of it, and in our ideas about it, so do we also inherit our family institutions with the taint of all the old fraud and violence in the form of them which we practise, and in our ideas about them.

The women of to-day are the true descendants of their great-grandmothers who were captured and reduced to drudgery; the men of to-day owe their ideas about women, and the women of to-day owe their ideas about themselves, largely to the traditions of the times I have mentioned. Can we inherit the world any otherwise than as it comes to us? Can we study history in the hope of going back to alter it? Can we live to-day for the sake of a sentimental attempt to redress the errors, crimes, and ignorances of the past generations? If we cannot do it with one part of the social organism, how can we do it with another?

To study history in order to observe the action of social forces and win instruction for our own undertakings of to-day and to-morrow is wise and right; to study history in order to destroy anything which cannot be shown to stand free and clear of wrong in the past is revolutionism and folly. The two procedures have not the remotest relationship to each other.

When the family consisted of a woman and her child, while the father was off hunting, fighting, or playing, the woman picked up a living for herself and her child as best she could. Property was common, that is, she had none of it; the father of her child was sharing all there was with other men. When the second grade of the family which I have mentioned above came in, things were not much better; later, however, when a woman