Page:Instead of a Book, Tucker.djvu/266

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
250
INSTEAD OF A BOOK.

of self-preservation (for State law is not to be mentioned in Anarchist ears), and "the monopoly inheres in these compulsory conditions." Behold, then, the new monopoly of those who have property!

To this absurdity there are two answers. In the first place, it is not true that under a free banking system "notes can be issued only by those who have property of some sort." They can be issued and offered in the market by anybody who desires. To be sure, none will be taken except those issued by persons having either property or credit. But there is no monopoly of issue or the right to issue, no denial of liberty. If Mr. Pinney should claim that this answer amounts to nothing because issue is valueless without circulation, I shall then remind him of my previous statement that the circulation of an abundance of cheap and sound money benefits those who use it no less than those who issue it, and tends to raise the laborer's wages to a level with his product,—a point which he carefully avoids in his last article, because he knows that he cannot dispute it, having frequently maintained the same thing himself.

But, in the second place, Mr. Finney's argument that the possession of property is a necessary condition of the issue and circulation of money, and that therefore free money is as much a compulsory monopoly as that of the government which prescribes the possession of a certain kind of property as a condition of even the issue of money, is precisely on a par with—in fact, is a glaring instance of—the reasoning resorted to by those friends of despotism who deny political and social liberty on the ground of philosophical necessity. The moment any person, in the name of human freedom, claims the right to do anything which another person does not want him to do, you will hear the second person cry: "Freedom! Impossible! There's no such thing. None of us are free. Are we not all governed by circumstances, by our surroundings, by motives beyond our control? Bow, then, to the powers that be!" Boiled down, the argument of these people and of Mr. Pinney is this: "No one can do as he pleases. Therefore you must do as we please." It needs only to be stated in this bald form to be immediately rejected. Hence I shall attempt no further refutation of it. Mr. Pinney will please bear in mind hereafter that, when I use the word monopoly, I refer not to such monopolies as result from natural evolution independent of government, but to monopolies imposed by arbitrary human power. He knew it very well before, but he must dodge, and this was the only dodge left.

Let the reader note here, however, how his double undid