Page:Instead of a Book, Tucker.djvu/497

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.



nor do I know how much our friend, Henry Appleton, knows about the Knights of Labor. But this much I am impelled to say after reading your reproving strictures,—that it is neither safe, prudent, or wise to condemn or censure any body of liberty-loving and earnestly truth-seeking people who are associated together to enlighten themselves as to what real Liberty is as well as to what are their most important and highest natural rights, duties, or privileges without a full knowledge of their objects, aims, and their methods to promote and achieve them. I can further confidently say that I have for more than forty years been an earnest seeker for these all-important natural scientific principles as taught or set forth by the most advanced individual thinkers or defenders of Liberty,—real Anarchists, if you please,—and I have found more persons holding said views and seeking the knowledge of these natural, inalienable laws or principles of scientific government among the members of this condemned association or school than I ever found outside of it. And I am confident that I can find more friends and earnest defenders of Liberty in its ranks than I can find outside of it. In fact, this school was founded to place Labor on a scientific basis and teach individual self-government at the expense of the individual without invading or infringing on the rights of others. Therefore, notwithstanding the opinions you have formed or the conclusions you may have arrived at in regard to this association or school, I fully indorse Friend Appleton's advice to the newsmen as well as all other useful workers who are in pursuit of Liberty, truth, justice, and a knowledge of their natural rights and highest duties. And although this association or school may be composed of a large majority of members who are laboring under the disadvantages of previous superstition, education, or training by the bossism of Church and State, nevertheless 1 esteem it the best opportunity, opening, or school in which to free them from said superstitions that I have ever met with, and for which the best minds in said school are constantly and earnestly laboring. And pardon me. Friend Tucker, for the suggestion that perhaps, if you knew more about their objects, aims, and methods, you might think better of them than you now do.

Fair Play.

Criticism from a man like "Fair Play," whom I know to be a real knight of labor, whether nominally one or not, is always welcome in these columns, and will always deserve and secure my attention. In attending to it in this special case my first business is to repeat what I have said already,—that I misquoted Henry Appleton, that he has never advised newsdealers to join the Knights of Labor, and that he is as much opposed to the principles and purposes of that order as I am.

I don't pretend to know very much about the Knights of Labor, but I know enough to make it needless to know more. I know, for instance, their "Declaration of Principles," and my fatal objections to these principles, or most of them, no additional knowledge of the order could possibly obviate or in any way invalidate or weaken. Of them the preamble itself says: "Most of the objects herein set forth can only be obtained through legislation, and it is the duty of all to assist in