island for ourselves; for in staying in it and refusing to obey its authority, we are denying the right of others to combine on any system which they may deem right, and in trying to compel them to give up their contract, we are as far from right as tbey in trying to compel us to pay the taxes in which we do not believe.
I think that you neglect the grand race experience which has given us our present governments when you wage war upon them all, and that a compromise with existing circumstances is as much a part of the right as following our own reason, for the existent is the induction of the race, and so long as our individual reasons are not all concordant it is entitled to its share of consideration, and those who leave it out do, in so far, wrong. Even granting strict individualism to be the ultimate goal of the race development, still you seem to me positively on a false path when you attempt—as your emphatic denial of all authority of existing government implies—to violently substitute the end of development for its beginning. I think that these are my main points of objection, and hope that you will pardon my impertinence in addressing you, which did not come from any idle argumentative curiosity, but a genuine search for the truth, if it exists; and so I ventured to address you, as you by your action seem to me to accept the burden of proof in your contest with the existent.
Yours truly, Frederic A. C. Perrine.
7 Atlantic St., Newark, N. J., November 11, 1886.
Mr. Perrine's criticism is an entirely pertinent one, and of the sort that I like to answer, though in this instance circumstances have delayed the appearance of his letter. The gist of his position—in fact, the whole of his argument—is contained in his second paragraph, and is based on the assumption that the State is precisely the thing which the Anarchists say it is not,—namely, a voluntary association of contracting individuals. Were it really such, I should have no quarrel with it, and I should admit the truth of Mr. Perrine's remarks. For certainly such voluntary association would be entitled to enforce whatever regulations the contracting parties might agree upon within the limits of whatever territory, or divisions of territory, had been brought into the association by these parties as individual occupiers thereof, and no non-contracting party would have a right to enter or remain in this domain except upon such terms as the association might impose. But if, somewhere between these divisions of territory, had lived, prior to the formation of the association, some individual on his homestead, who for any reason, wise or foolish, had declined to join in forming the association, the contracting parties would have had no right to evict him, compel him to join, make him pay for any incidental benefits that he might derive from proximity to their association, or restrict him in the exercise of any previously-enjoyed right to prevent him from reaping these benefits. Now, voluntary association
necessarily involving the right of secession, any seceding mem-