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Capitalism is at least tolerable, which cannot be said of Socialism or Communism.
– Benjamin Tucker
Defence was an afterthought, prompted by necessity; and its introduction as a State function, though effected doubtless with a view to the strengthening of the State, was really and in principle the initiation of the State’s destruction.
One thing, however, is sure, – that in all cases the effort should be to impose all the cost of repairing the wrong upon the doer of the wrong. This alone is real justice, and of course such justice is necessarily free.
And capital punishment, however ineffective it may be and through whatever ignorance it may be resorted to, is a strictly defensive act, – at least in theory.
Laissez Faire was very good sauce for the goose, labor, but was very poor sauce for the gander, capital.
And this is the Anarchistic definition of the State: the embodiment of the principle of invasion in an individual, or a band of individuals, assuming to act as representatives or masters of the entire people within a given area.
For, just as it has been said that there is no half-way house between Rome and Reason, so it may be said that there is no half-way house between State Socialism and Anarchism.
The claim of the State Socialists, however, that this right would not be exercised in matters pertaining to the individual in the more intimate and private relations of his life is not borne out by the history of governments.
But which is the State’s essential function, aggression or defence, few seem to know or care.
The moment that justice must be paid for by the victim of injustice it becomes itself injustice.
Marx, as we have seen, solved it by declaring capital to be a different thing from product, and maintaining that it belonged to society and should be seized by society and employed for the benefit of all alike.
I have also seen it stated that Capital punishment is murder in its worst form. I should like to know upon what principle of human society these assertions are based and justified.
Commanded love of all men indiscriminately is an obliteration of distinction between love and hate, and therefore is not love at all.
The cost of justice can be justly paid only by the invader.
Murder is an offensive act. The term cannot be applied legitimately to any defensive act.
I insist that there is nothing sacred in the life of an invader, and there is no valid principle of human society that forbids the invaded to protect themselves in whatever way they can.
Such security is equal liberty. But it is not necessarily equality in the use of the earth.
But this is not to say that the society which inflicts capital punishment commits murder.
First, then, State Socialism, which may be described as the doctrine that all the affairs of men should be managed by the government, regardless of individual choice.
Aggression is simply another name for government.
The Anarchists answer that the abolition of the State will leave in existence a defensive association, resting no longer on a compulsory but on a voluntary basis, which will restrain invaders by any means that may prove necessary.
To force a man to pay for the violation of his own liberty is indeed an addition of insult to injury.
Socialism, on the contrary, extends its function to the description of society as it should be, and the discovery of the means of making it what it should be.
Almost the only persons who may be said to comprehend even approximately the significance, principles, and purposes of Socialism are the chief leaders of the extreme wings of the Socialistic forces, and perhaps a few of the money kings themselves.
In the matter of the maintenance and rearing of children the Anarchists would neither institute the communistic nursery which the State Socialists favor nor keep the communistic school system which now prevails.
The essence of government is control, or the attempt to control.