consideration, a promise has been made, to insist, even by force, upon the fulfilment of that promise, provided the promise be not one whose fulfilment would invade third parties. And if the promisee has a right to use force himself for such a purpose, he has a right to secure such co-operative force from others as they are willing to extend. These others, in turn, have a right to decide what sort of promises, if any, they will help him to enforce. When it comes to the determination of this point, the question is one of policy solely; and very likely it will be found that the best way to secure the fulfilment of promises is to have it understood in advance that the fulfilment is not to be enforced. But as a matter of justice and liberty, it must always be remembered that a promise is a two-sided affair. And in our anxiety to leave the promisor his liberty, we must not forget the superior right of the promisee. I say superior, because the man who fulfils a promise, however unjust the contract, acts voluntarily, whereas the man who has received a promise is defrauded by its non-fulfilment, invaded, deprived of a portion of his liberty against his will.
ON PICKET DUTY.
Bullion thinks that "civilization consists in teaching men to govern themselves and then letting them do it." A very slight change suffices to make this stupid statement an entirely accurate one, after which it would read: "Civilization consists in teaching men to govern themselves by letting them do it."—Liberty, August 20, 1881.
People in general, and the governmental Socialists in particular, think they see a new argument in favor of their beloved State in the assistance which it is rendering to the suffering and starving victims of the Mississippi inundation. Well, such work is better than forging new chains to keep the people in subjection, we allow; but it is not worth the price that is paid for it. The people cannot afford to be enslaved for the sake of being insured. If there were no other alternative, they would do better, on the whole, to take Nature's risks and pay her penalties as best they might. But Liberty supplies another alternative, find furnishes better insurance at cheaper rates. The philosophy of voluntary mutualism is universal in
its application, not omitting the victims of natural disaster.