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Individualists, including sober-minded Mr. Herbert, propose to get rid of theft by force. "Even if it suits certain persons to sell me" Mr. Herbert's overcoat, "and it suits me to buy it, and it suits other people to rent it from me—as I understand," Mr. Herbert "would not sanction the proceeding. We are all of us, in fact, to be treated as children, who don't know our own interests, and for whom somebody else is to judge." The Anarchists justify the use of machinery (local juries, etc.) to adjust the property question involved in rent just as the Individualists justify similar machinery to adjust the property question involved in theft. And when the Individualists so adjust the property question involved in theft, this "means to say that a certain body of men have settled for others a form in which they may hold property and a form in which they may not," regardless of "the desires and conveniences of the persons themselves."

Yes, this is Anarchy, and this is Individualism. The trouble with Mr. Herbert is that he begs the question of property altogether, and insists on treating the land problem as if it were simply a question of buying and selling and lending and borrowing, to be settled simply by the open market. Here I meet him with the words of his more conservative brother in Individualism, Mr. J. H. Levy, editor of the Personal Rights Journal, who is trying to show Mr. Herbert that he ought to call himself an Anarchist instead of an Individualist. Mr. Levy says, and I say after him: "When we come to the question of the ethical basis of property, Mr. Herbert refers us to 'the open market.' But this is an evasion. The question is not whether we should be able to sell or acquire in 'the open market' anything which we rightfully possess, but how we come into rightful possession. And, if men differ on this, as they do most emphatically, how is this to be settled?"




[Liberty, August 18, 1888.]

To the Editor of Liberty:

During the past six months I have read your paper searchingly, and greatly admire it in many respects, but as yet do not grasp your theory of interest. Can you give space for a few words to show from your standpoint the fallacy in the following ideas?

Interest I understand to be a payment, not for money, but for capital

which the money represents; that is, for the use of the accumulated