Page:Instead of a Book, Tucker.djvu/170

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
154
INSTEAD OF A BOOK.

to that which we have put forward hitherto. At the same time, we are not so absolutely convinced of its soundness as to close our eyes to the fact that there may be a good deal said on the other side. The doctrine of conspiracy enters in. That which may not be illegal or even wrong in one person becomes both illegal and morally wrong in a crowd of persons.—Jus.

Liberty would be unfair to Jus if it should not present the evidence of that journal's fairness by printing its handsome acknowledgment of error regarding boycotting. Jus still thinks, however, that something may be said on the other side, and declares that there are some things that one person may rightfully do which become illegal and immoral when done by a crowd. I should like to have Jus give an instance. There are some invasive acts or threats which cannot be executed by individuals, but require crowds—or conspiracies, if you will—for their accomplishment. But the guilt still arises from the invasive character of the act, and not from the fact of conspiracy. No individual has a right to do any act which is invasive, but any number of individuals may rightfully "conspire" to commit any act which is non-invasive. Jus acknowledges the force of Liberty's argument that A may as properly boycott C as B. Further consideration, I think, will compel it to acknowledge that A and B combined may as properly boycott C as may A alone or B alone.

 

 

A SPIRIT MORE EVIL THAN ALCOHOL.

[Liberty, August 13, 1887.]

The authority of learning, the tyranny of science, which Bakounine foresaw, deprecated, and denounced, never found blunter expression than in an article by T. B. Wakeman in the August number of the Freethinkers' Magazine in which the writer endeavors to prove, on scientific grounds alone, that alcohol is an unmitigated evil, a poison that ought never to be taken into the human system. My knowledge of chemistry and physiology is too limited to enable me to judge of the scientific soundness of the attempted demonstration; but I do know that it is admirably well written, wonderfully attractive, powerfully plausible, important if true, and therefore worthy of answer by those who alone are competent to answer it if it can be answered. Such an answer I hope to

see; and, if it arrives, I shall weigh it against Mr. Wakeman's