Page:Instead of a Book, Tucker.djvu/75

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
59
THE INDIVIDUAL, SOCIETY, AND THE STATE.

To the Editor of Liberty:

Will you please insert the following questions in your paper with your answers thereto, and oblige an ethical, political, and humanitarian student?

1. Do you, as an Anarchist, believe any one human being ever has the right to judge for another what he ought or ought not to do?

The terms of this question need definition. Assuming, however, the word "right" to be used in the sense of the limit which the principle of equal liberty logically places upon might, and the phrase "judge for another" to include not only the formation of judgment but the enforcement thereof, and the word "ought" to be equivalent to must or shall, I answer: Yes. But the only cases in which a human being ever has such right over another are those in which the other's doing or failure to do involves an overstepping of the limit upon might just referred to. That is what was meant when it was said in an early number of Liberty that "man's only duty is to respect others' rights." It might well have been added that man's only right over others is to enforce that duty.

2. Do you believe any number combined ever have such a right?

Yes. The right of any number combined is whatever right the individuals combining possess and voluntarily delegate to it. It follows from this, and from the previous answer, that, as individuals sometimes have the right in question, so a number combined may have it.

3. Do you believe one, or any number, ever have the right to prevent another from doing as he pleases?

Yes. This question is answered by the two previous answers taken together.

4. Do you believe it admissible, as an Anarchist, to use what influence can be exerted without the aid of brute force to induce one to live as seems to you best?

Please explain what influence, if any, you think might be employed in harmony with Anarchistic principles.

Yes. The influence of reason; the influence of persuasion; the influence of attraction; the influence of education; the influence of example; the influence of public opinion; the influence of social ostracism; the influence of unhampered economic forces; the influence of better prospects; and doubtless other influences which do not now occur to me.

5. Do you believe there is such a thing as private ownership of property, viewed from an Anarchistic standpoint? If so, please give a way or rule to determine whether one owns a thing or not.

Yes. Anarchism being neither more nor less than the principle of equal liberty, property, in an Anarchistic society, must