INSTEAD OF A BOOK.
When I wrote my last, I thought I was done, whether you published it or not, and I should have stopped there, if you had not published it, or, if you had published it, and simply made comments thereon, no matter what those comments might have been; but the challenge and threat bring me out once more. I will say on that, that I never thought of finding fault or being displeased with your " Tu-Whit! Tu-Whoo!" and that I do "relish the admixture of satire with argument" on fitting occasions. I am as much at home in a sea of controversy and irony as a fish is in water, so there is no occasion for your holding up out of sympathy for me. Just give me the intellectual thumps when you feel like it and can, and you need take no pains to have them sugar-coated.
And now for a few words on your last remarks. You accept my statement that it is as proper to enforce one social convention as another, provided there is any satisfaction in doing so. I find the difference between an Anarchist and a Governmentalist is nothing here. If there is any difference in the action of the two, it is not a difference in the principles which control it. There might be a difference in method, and a difference in the kind of social conventions which they wish to enforce. On both of these points I suppose I should have some sympathy with Anarchists like you. But when we prevent another from doing as he otherwise would, we govern him in that particular, and I see no advantage in deny- ing it, or in trying to find another term to express the fact. In my judgment it is better to not attempt to beat around the bush, but to state plainly the social conventions and rights (for such as me who believe in rights) we wish to enforce, and such restrictions as we wish to free the world from, and fight it out above board and on that line.
You say "opportunity for all to take freely from the same cabbage patch is not equal liberty." If all have opportunity to take freely, I do not know how any one can have any greater liberty, and if all have all there is, it looks to me "equal." And further; I maintain that "equal slavery" is equal liberty. It is impossible to make one's slavery complete; and no matter how small an amount of liberty is left, if the same amount is left for all, it is "equal liberty." Equal does not mean much or little, but to be on a par with others. "Equal liberty" is not the phrase to express what you are after, and you will have to try again, or let it go that your ideas are either muddled or inexpressible.
It is also puzzling to know what you mean by "invasion." It cannot be you mean invasion of rights, because you claim there are no rights to invade. But perhaps you are having in view some "social convention" to be invaded. In any case, "equal invasion" Is "equal liberty." Suppose you do not "respect another's sphere of action," that want of respect does not limit his liberty; it is not necessary for him to respect yours, and that leaves "equal liberty" in that direction. I am glad I opened this question as I did, for I think I get from what you have written a clue to your bottom feelings on it; and if I do, we are not so far apart in aim as would appear, and I recognize that you may be of value in the reform world. I certainly hope that you may assist in loosening the grip of Government prerogatives relating to matters purely personal. Here we can work together. S. Blodgett.
I am not conscious that I have shown any special courage or honesty in my discussion with Mr. Blodgett; perhaps this is because I am unconscious of having been confronted with any dilemma. If I have been as badly worsted as he seems