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ever bring it. But this advantage is always purchased at immense cost, and its attainment is always attended by frightful risk. The attempt should be made only when the risk of any other course is greater. When a physician sees that his pa- tient's strength is being exhausted so rapidly by the intensity of his agony that he will die of exhaustion before the medical processes inaugurated have a chance to do their curative work, he administers an opiate. But a good physician is always loth to do so, knowing that one of the influences of the opiate is to interfere with and defeat the medical processes themselves. He never does it except as a choice of evils. It is the same with the use of force, whether of the mob or of the State, upon diseased society ; and not only those who prescribe its indiscriminate use as a sovereign remedy and a permanent tonic, but all who ever propose it as a cure, and even all who would lightly and unnecessarily resort to it, not as a cure, but as an expedient, are social quacks.

 

 

THE MORALITY OF TERRORISM.

[Liberty, May 7, 1887.]

E. Belfort Bax has an article on "Legality" in the London Commonweal, which for the most part is by no means bad. He denies the obligation to respect legality as such, and in the light of this denial discusses the policy of terrorism and assassination. Respecting this policy, he declares, as Liberty has frequently declared before him, that it should be used against the oppressors of mankind only when they have succeeded in hopelessly repressing all peaceful methods of agitation. If he had stopped there, all would have been well. But not satisfied with characterizing the policy as inexpedient save under the conditions referred to, he must needs go further and brand it as immoral. Then he becomes ridiculously, weak. He is led to the conclusion that in Russia terrorism is both morally justifiable and expedient; that in Germany, though morally justifiable, it is for various reasons inexpedient; and that in England it is neither morally justifiable nor expedient. Liberty agrees that terrorism is expedient in Russia and inexpedient in Germany and England, but it will be many years older than now before it assumes to set any limit on the right of an invaded individual to choose his own methods of defence.