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INSTEAD OF A BOOK. THE INDIVIDUAL, SOCIETY, AND THE STATE.

to suppose, it is fortunate for my pride and mental peace that I do not know it. The "difference in the kind of social conventions which they wish to enforce" is the only difference I claim between Anarchists and Governmentalists; it is quite difference enough,—in fact, exactly equal to the difference between liberty and authority. To use the word government as meaning the enforcement of such social conventions as are unnecessary to the preservation of equal liberty seems to me, not beating around the bush, but a clear definition of terms. Others may use the word differently, and I have no quarrel with them for doing so as long as they refrain from interpreting my statements by their definitions. "Opportunity for all to take freely from the same cabbage patch is not equal liberty," because it is incompatible with another liberty, the liberty to keep. Equal liberty, in the property sphere, is such a balance between the liberty to take and the liberty to keep that the two liberties may coexist without conflict or invasion. In a certain verbal sense it may be claimed that equal slavery is equal liberty; but nearly every one except Mr. Blodgett realizes that he who favors equal slavery favors the greatest amount of slavery compatible with equality, while he who favors equal liberty favors the greatest amount of liberty compatible with equality. This is a case in which emphasis is everything. By "invasion" I mean the invasion of the individual sphere, which is bounded by the line inside of which liberty of action does not conflict with others' liberty of action. The upshot of this discussion seems to be, by his own confession, that heretofore Mr. Blodgett has misconceived the position of the Anarchists, whereas now he understands it. In that view of the matter I concede his victory; for in all intellectual controversy he is the real victor who gains the most light.

 

 

A PLEA FOR NON-RESISTANCE.

[Liberty, February 11, 1888.]

To the Editor of Liberty:

I must take exception to the teaching that the infliction of injury upon aggressors is compatible with the principle of equal liberty to all. First, with an argument which is no argument, yet which has its force to those who have observed the growth of new ideas in their own minds; how there comes first a revulsion against what is, then strong sentiment

in favor of the opposite, and last only, and often not then until long