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INSTEAD OF A BOOK.

proof I offer, or else demonstrate that the proof offered is no proof at all,—in other words, that he cannot reject my evidence without first refuting it. My proof, I then told him, consists precisely in that principle of freedom and organization of credit which is embodied in Proudhon's banking system and other systems of a similar nature, and I referred him to a recent essay in which I have explained the process whereby freely organized credit would abolish usury—that is, the exploitation of labor—and make production on the large scale easier than ever without interfering with the institution of private property.

Now it would naturally be assumed that, in answer to this, some examination would be made of the process referred to and the flaw in it be pointed out. But did Herr Most do anything of the kind? Not he. His only answer is that Marx disposed of Proudhon's banking system long ago, that it is fifty years behind the times, and that it is not at all clear that there is any foundation for the claim that, with the prevailing inequalities of property, all could obtain credit. No, Herr Most, nor is it clear that any such claim was ever made by any sane champion of the organization of credit. The real claim is, not that all could straightway get credit if credit were not monopolized, but that, if all or a half or a quarter of such credit as could be at once obtained under a free system should be utilized, a tremendous impetus would thereby be given to production and enterprise which would gradually increase the demand for labor and therefore the rate of wages and there- fore the number of people able to get credit, until at last every laborer would be able to say to his employer: "Here, boss, you are a good business manager, and I am willing to continue to work under your superintendence on a strictly equitable basis; but, unless you are willing to content yourself with a share of our joint product proportional to your share of the labor and give me the balance for my share of the labor, I will work for you no longer, but will set up in business for myself on the capital which I can now obtain on my credit." Herr Most's misstatement of the claim made by the friends of free banking shows that he has no knowledge of their arguments or system, which probably explains his reluctance to discuss them otherwise than by reiteration of the magic name of Marx. Proudhon's banking system may be fifty years behind the times, but it is evidently far in advance of the point which Herr Most has reached in the path of economic investigation.

Even more careful is the wary editor of Freiheit to avoid