Page:Instead of a Book, Tucker.djvu/62

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

all the evils with which mankind was ever afflicted were products of this "grand race experience," and I am not aware that any were ever abolished by showing it any unnecessary reverence. We will bow to it when we must; we will "compromise with existing circumstances" when we have to; but at all other times we will follow our reason and the plumb-line.




[Liberty, April 9, 1887.]

To the Editor of Liberty:

Please accept my thanks for your candid answer to my letter of November 11, 1886. It contains, however, some points which do not seem to me conclusive. The first position to which I object is your statement that voluntary association necessarily involves the right of secession; hereby you deny the right of any people to combine on a constitution which denies that right of secession, and in doing so attempt to force upon them your own idea of right. You assume the case of a new State attempting to impose its laws upon a former settler in the country, and say that they have no right to do so; I agree with you, but have I not as much reason for assuming a State including no previous settler's homestead and voluntarily agreeing to waive all right of secession from the vote of the majority? In any such State I claim, then, that any member becoming an Anarchist, or holding any views differing from those of the general body, is only right in applying them within the laws of the majority.

Such seems to me to represent the condition of these United States; there is very little, if any, record of any man denying the right of the majority at their foundation, and, in the absence of any such denial, we are forced to the conclusion that the association and the passage of the majority rules were voluntary, and, as I said before, resistance to their government beyond the legal means by an inhabitant is practically denying the right of the others to waive the right of secession on entering into a contract. The denial of any such right seems to me to be irrational.

Of course, none of this applies to the Indians, who never did and never will come into the government. I do not, however, think that their case invalidates the argument.

In the second place, I object to your quotation of my phrase, "grand race experience," as grandiloquent. If we have anything grand, it is this "race experience"; denying its grandeur, you either deny the grandeur and dignity of Man, or else, as you seem to do, you look back fondly to some past happy state in some "Happy Valley" of Eden from which man has been falling till now he can say, "All the evils with which mankind was ever afflicted were products of this 'grand race experience.'" It does indeed seem to me to be to you a "spook" and more: an ogre. The Devil going about devouring all good, rather than, as it

seems to me, the manifestation of Divinity,—the divinity of Man, which