Page:Instead of a Book, Tucker.djvu/168

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
152
INSTEAD OF A BOOK.

The italics are mine. Bearing them in mind, let us return to the analogy between Parliament and private persons. Do private persons, then, consider themselves entitled to buy back that which they have given to others, on terms fixed by themselves, and whether the others desire to sell or not? That the private person who gives a thing to another and afterwards compels the latter to sell it back to him is less a thief than he would have been if he had taken it back without compensation is a principle unrecognized, so far as I know, either in law or in political economy. No more can be said of such a robber than that he shows some consideration for his victim. Then, if Parliament and private persons stand on the same footing, whence does Jus derive the right of Parliament to forcibly buy back what it has given away?

Jus is a fine paper. It maintains certain phases of Individualism with splendid force and vigor. But it continually puts itself into awkward situations simply by failing to be thorough in its Individualism. Here, for instance, it denies the right of the State to take from the individual without compensation what it has given him, but affirms the right of the State to compel the individual to sell to it what it has given him. In a word, Jus is not Anarchistic. It does not favor individual liberty in all things. It would confine interference with it within much narrower limits than those generally set by governmentalists, but, after all, like all other governmentalists, it fixes the limits in accordance with arbitrary standards prescribing that interference must be carried on only by methods and for purposes which it approves on grounds foreign to the belief in liberty as the necessary condition of social harmony.

 

 

THE BOYCOTT AND ITS LIMIT.

[Liberty, December 3, 1887.]

London Jus does not see clearly in the matter of boycotting. "Every man," it says, "has a perfect right to refuse to hold intercourse with any other man or class from whom he chooses to keep aloof. But where does liberty come in when several persons conspire together to put pressure upon another to induce or coerce him (by threats expressed or implied) to refrain also from intercourse with the boycotted man? It is not that the boycotted man has grounds of legal complaint against

those who voluntarily put him in Coventry. His complaint is