Page:Instead of a Book, Tucker.djvu/133

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
117
THE INDIVIDUAL, SOCIETY, AND THE STATE.

the idea of raising revenue by the tariff and who has declared explicitly that he desires the tariff to be so effectively prohibitory that it shall yield no revenue at all, it lacks even the appearance of logic.

Equally lame is Mr. Pinney's apology for a compulsory money system.

As for the exclusive government currency which we advocate, and which Mr. Tucker tortures into prohibition of individual property scrip, there is just as much analogy as there is between prohibition and the exclusive law-making, treaty-making, war-declaring, or any other powers delegated to government because government better than the individual can be intrusted with and make use of these powers.

Just as much, I agreeĀ ; and in this I can see a good reason why Mr. Pinney, who started out with the proposition that "there is nothing any better than liberty and nothing any worse than despotism," should oppose law-making, treaty-making, war-declaring, etc., but none whatever why he should favor an exclusive government currency. How much "torture" it requires to extract the idea of "prohibition of individual property scrip" from the idea of an "exclusive government currency" our readers will need no help in deciding, unless the word "exclusive" has acquired some new meaning as unknown to them as it is to me.

But Mr. Pinney's brilliant ideas are not exhausted yet. He continues:

Government prohibits the taking of private property for public uses without just compensation. Therefore, if we fit Mr. Tucker's Procrustean bed, we cannot sustain this form of prohibition and consistently oppose prohibition of liquor drinking! This is consistency run mad, "analogy" reduced to an absurdity. We are astonished that Mr. Tucker can be guilty of it.

So am I. Or rather, I should be astonished if I had been guilty of it. But I haven't. To say nothing of the fact that the governmental prohibition here spoken of is a prohibibion laid by government upon itself, and that such prohibitions can never be displeasing to an Anarchist, it is clear that the taking of private property from persons who have violated the rights of nobody is invasion, and to the prohibition of invasion no friend of liberty has any objection. Mr. Pinney has already resorted to the plea of invasion as an excuse for his advocacy of a tariff, and it would be a good defence if he could establish it. But I have pointed out to him that the pretence that the foreign merchant who sells goods to American citizens or

the. individual who offers his I O U are invaders is as flimsy