INSTEAD OF A BOOK.
mula for the regulation of conduct is the measure of righteousness, and that they will suppress the "unrighteous" by violence. (2)
As I absorb the Egoistic sentiment, it begins to appear that the fundamental demand is not liberty, but the cessation of violence in the obtaining of gratification for desires.
By the cessation of violence we shall obtain liberty, but liberty is the end rather than the means. (3)
"We demand liberty," say the Anarchists. "Yes, but we see no reason why we should forego our desire to control you, by your own canons, if you are Egoists," replies the majority. "Truly," we answer, "but we point out to you that it is for your advantage to give us liberty." "At present we are satisfied of the contrary; we are satisfied that you wish to upset institutions that we wish to preserve," say they. "We do, indeed," we reply, "but we will not invade you, we will not prevent you from doing anything you wish, provided it does not tend to deter us from uninvasive activities." "We think," concludes the majority, "that in attempting to destroy what we wish to preserve you are invading us"; and how are we to establish the contrary except by laying down a practicable definition of invasion—one by which it can be demonstrated that using unoccupied but claimed land, for instance, is not invasive. (4)
No, it seems to me that no definition of invasion can be made; that it is a variable quantity, like liberty itself.
When you said, some time ago, that liberty was not a natural right, but a social contract, I think you covered the case. If, however, liberty is a matter of contract, is not invasion, which is the limit of liberty, also a matter of contract? (5)
What Anarchism really means is the demand for the rule of contract, rather than for the rule of violence.
"As Egoists, we Anarchists point out to you, the majority, that the pleasure of mankind in fighting for the sake of fighting is rapidly declining from disuse. We point out further that from any other point of view fighting is not to the interest of anybody; that desires can be gratified and the harmonization of clashing interests attained much more pleasurably without fighting." "That is true," the majority replies, for, though the majority really enjoys fighting for the fun of it, it has got to a point where it will not admit that it does, and to a point where it clearly perceives the costliness of the amusement.
"We propose then," the Anarchists continue, "not to settle differences by violence; but to reach the best agreement that we can without violence. We propose this with the more confidence that you will accept it, because you yourselves are beginning to admit that the condition of existence for men is not the former ascetic suppression, but the gratification of desires. We therefore propose that you shall at once cease to repress by violence conduct which is not against your interests and which you now suppress only on account of a surviving belief that you are called upon to suppress it for the interest of the doers. Following that, we shall make other demands for the cessation of violence."
But, of course, in proposing contract instead of violence, it follows that we abjure violence as a principle; we become what I think it is fair to call non-resistants. That is to say that, although we do not guarantee our actions should our fellows refuse to accept our proposal of the system of contract, we do not for a moment suppose that such possible reversions to violence are a part of the new system of contract. (6)We must hold, as Egoists, that the gratification of the desires of