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THE INDIVIDUAL, SOCIETY, AND THE STATE.

fore Mr. Owen's plan, hideous as it is, is in this respect superior, is properly to be classed the existing United States government.—Liberty, May 16, 1891.

 

The original patent of the Bell Telephone Company expires in March, 1893. "From personal tests in Boston," says an expert in this matter, "I know they have practical instruments that are one hundred per cent. better than those in use now. They are keeping these instruments in reserve to meet the competition of the future. The Western Union Telegraph Company is doing the same thing." A paper called the Canal Dispatch, commenting on this, indignantly complains that "some of the glorious and useful instruments of the nineteenth century are lying under lock and key as the fruit of 'free competition.'" This indignation is righteous, but misdirected. It is not free competition that is keeping these improvements locked up, but that form of monopoly known as property in ideas. As the expert points out, as soon as the patent expires and competition arrives, the improvements will be brought to light.—Liberty, May 16, 1891.

 

In an article justifying the prohibition of the liquor traffic, the Atlantic (Iowa) Investigator says: "According to the Anarchistic theory, the government has no right to prohibit anything, but only has the right to interfere where a wrong has been done, and then only to make the wrong-doer repair damages." I know not the source whence the Investigator derived this notion of Anarchism, but it is certainly a mistaken one. As to government. Anarchism holds that it has no business to do anything whatsoever or even to exist ; but voluntary defensive associations acting on the Anarchistic principle would not only demand redress for, but would prohibit, all clearly invasive acts. They would not, however, prohibit non-invasive acts, even though these acts create additional opportunity for invasive persons to act invasively. For instance, they would not prevent the buying and selling of liquor, even though it be true that some people are invasive when under the influence of liquor. The Investigator has failed to grasp the Anarchistic view. It makes the dividing line of Anarchism run between prohibition of injury and compulsory redress, whereas Anarchism really includes both. Its dividing line runs in an entirely different direction, and separates invasion from non-invasion. Let the Investigator try again,—Liberty, May 30, 1891.