latter's existence without the exploitation of labor has been demonstrated? To declare one's willingness to do so is plainly to affirm that, exploitation aside, private property is superior to Communism, and that, exploitation admitted. Communism is chosen only as the lesser evil. I take note of this admission, and pass on.
Right here, however, Herr Most qualifies his promise by placing another condition upon its fulfilment. I must not only demonstrate the proposition stipulated, but I must do so otherwise than by pointing to Proudhon's banking system. This complicates the problem. Show me that A is equal to B, says Herr Most, and I will uphold A ; only you must not show it by establishing that both A and B are equal to C. But perhaps the equality of both A and B to C is the only proof I have of the equality of A to B. Am I to be debarred, then, from making the demonstration simply because this form of logic is not agreeable to Herr Most? Not at all; he is bound to show the flaw in the logic, or else accept its conclusion. His stipulation, then, that I must not point to Proudhon's banking system is ridiculous, inasmuch as this banking system, or at least its central principle, is essential to the demonstration of my position. I offer him this principle as conclusive proof; he must show its error, or admit the claim. It cannot be brushed aside with a contemptuous wave of the hand.
Now, what is this principle? Simply the freedom of credit and the resultant organization thereof in such a way as to eliminate the element of the reward of capital from the production and distribution of wealth. Herr Most will not dispute, I think, that freedom of credit leaves private property intact and even increases the practicability of production on the large scale. The only question, then, is whether it will abolish usury; for, if it will abolish usury, my position is established, usury being but another name for the exploitation of labor. The argument that it will effect such abolition, and the argument therefore which Herr Most is bound to destroy, he will find set forth in the latter half of my paper on "State Socialism and Anarchism," printed in the first issue of Libertas. If he makes no answer, the private property plank in the platform of Libertas remains unimpaired by his criticism; if, on the other hand, he attempts an answer, then we shall see what there is further to be said.
But Herr Most's criticism is not aimed at the platform alone; he is especially severe upon the tactics of Libertas. It is here that he crosses the line of courteous criticism, and becomes
abusive by characterizing as "hypocritical" the declaration of