INSTEAD OF A BOOK. THE INDIVIDUAL, SOCIETY, AND THE STATE.
nothing; public opinion goes for nothing; social ostracism goes for nothing; freedom goes for nothing; competition goes for nothing; increase of material welfare goes for nothing; decrease of temptation goes for nothing; health goes for nothing; approximate equality of conditions goes for nothing: all these are utterly powerless as preventives or curatives of immorality. The only forces on earth that tend to develop the undeveloped and to make the vicious virtuous are our judges, our jails, and our gibbets. Mr. Blodgett, I believe, repudiates the Christian doctrine that hell is the only safeguard of religious morality, but he re-creates it by affirming that a hell upon earth is the only safeguard of natural morality.
Why do Mr. Blodgett and all those who agree with him so persistently disregard the constructive side of Anarchism? The chief claim of Anarchism for its principles is that the abolition of legal monopoly will so transform social conditions that ignorance, vice, and crime will gradually disappear. However often this may be stated and however definitely it may be elaborated, the Blodgetts will approach you, apparently gravely unconscious that any remark has been made, and say: "If there are no policemen, the criminal classes will run riot." Tell them that, when the system of commercial cannibalism which rests on legal privilege disappears, cutthroats will disappear with it, and they will not deny it or attempt to disprove it, but they will first blink at you a moment with their owl-like eyes, and then from out their mouths will come the old, familiar hoot: "Tu-whit! tu-whoo! If a ruffian tries to cut your throat, what are you going to do about it? Tu-whit! tu-whoo!"
RIGHTS AND DUTIES UNDER ANARCHY.
[Liberty, December 31, 1887.]
Old readers of this paper will remember the appearance in its columns, about two years ago, of a series of questions propounded by the writer of the following letter and accompanied by editorial answers. To-day my interrogator questions me further; this time, however, no longer as a confident combatant, but as an earnest inquirer. As I replied to him then according to his pugnacity, so I reply to him now according to his friendliness.