Instead Of A Book, By A Man Too Busy To Write One : Part 01, Chapter 30 : Still in the Procrustean Bed

Revolt Library >> Anarchism >> Instead Of A Book, By A Man Too Busy To Write One >> Part 00001, Chapter 00030

Not Logged In: Login?



(1854 - 1939) ~ American Father of Individualist Anarchism : An individualist Anarchist, Tucker (1854Ð1939) was a person of intellect rather than of action, focusing on the development of his ideas and on the publication of books and journals, especially the journal Liberty: Not the Daughter but the Mother of Order... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
• "The evil to which this [tariff] monopoly gives rise might more properly be called misusury than usury, because it compels labor to pay, not exactly for the use of capital, but rather for the misuse of capital." (From : "State Socialism and Anarchism," by Benjamin R. Tu....)
• "Even in so delicate a matter as that of the relations of the sexes the Anarchists do not shrink from the application of their principle. They acknowledge and defend the right of any man and woman, or any men and women, to love each other for as long or as short a time as they can, will, or may. To them legal marriage and legal divorce are equal absurdities." (From : "State Socialism and Anarchism," by Benjamin R. Tu....)
• "But although, viewing the divine hierarchy as a contradiction of Anarchy, they do not believe in it, the Anarchists none the less firmly believe in the liberty to believe in it. Any denial of religious freedom they squarely oppose." (From : "State Socialism and Anarchism," by Benjamin R. Tu....)


On : of 0 Words (Requires Chrome)

Part 01, Chapter 30

Still in the Procrustean Bed.

[Liberty, February 12, 1887.]

Continuing his controversy with me regarding the logic of the principle of liberty, Mr. Pinney of the Winsted Press says:(31 ¶ 1)

There is no analogy between prohibition and the tariff; the tariff prohibits no man from indulging his desire to trade where he pleases. It is simply a tax. It is slightly analogous to a license tax for the privilege of selling liquor in a given territory, but prohibition, in theory if not in practice, is an entirely different matter.(31 ¶ 2)

This is a distinction without a difference. The so-called prohibitory liquor law prohibits no man, even theoretically, from indulging his desire to sell liquor; it simply subjects the man so indulging to fine and imprisonment. The tax imposed by the tariff law and the fine imposed by the prohibitory law share alike the nature of a penalty, and are equally invasive of liberty. Mr. Pinney’s argument, though of no real validity in any case, would present at least a show of reason in the mouth of a revenue reformer; but, coming from one who scorns the idea of raising revenue by the tariff and who has just declared explicitly that he desires the tariff to be so effectively prohibitory that it shall yield no revenue at all, it lacks even the appearance of logic.(31 ¶ 3)

Equally lame is Mr. Pinney’s apology for a compulsory money system:(31 ¶ 4)

As for the exclusive government currency which we advocate, and which Mr. Tucker tortures into prohibition of individual property scrip, there is just as much analogy as their is between prohibition and the exclusive law-making, treaty-making, war-declaring, or any other powers delegated to government because government better than the individual can be trusted with and make use of these powers.(31 ¶ 5)

Just as much, I agree; and in this I can see a good reason why Mr. Pinney, who started out with the proposition that there is nothing any better than liberty and nothing any worse than despotism, should oppose law-making, treaty-making, war-declaring, etc., but none whatever why he should favor an exclusive government currency. How much torture it requires to extract the idea of prohibition of individual currency our readers will need no help in deciding, unless the word exclusive has acquired some new meaning as unknown to them as it is to me.(31 ¶ 6)

But Mr. Pinney’s brilliant ideas are not exhausted yet. He continues:(31 ¶ 7)

Government prohibits the taking of private property for public uses without just compensation. Therefore, if we fit Mr. Tucker’s Procrustean bed, we cannot sustain this form of prohibition and consistently oppose prohibition of liquor drinking! This is consistency run mad, analogy reduced to absurdity. We are astonished that Mr. Tucker can be guilty of it.(31 ¶ 8)

So am I. Or rather, I should be astonished if I had been guilty of it. But I haven’t. To say nothing of the fact that the governmental prohibition here spoken of is a prohibition laid by government upon itself, and that such prohibitions can never be displeasing to an Anarchist, it is clear that the taking of private property from persons who have violated the rights of nobody is invasion, and to the prohibition of invasion no friend of liberty has any objection. Mr. Pinney has already resorted to the plea of invasion as an excuse for his advocacy of a tariff, and it would be a good defence if he could establish it. But I have pointed out to him that the pretence that the foreign merchant who sells goods to American citizens or the individual who offers his I O U are invaders is as flimsy as the prohibitionist’s pretence that the rumseller and the drunkard are invaders. Neither invasion nor evasion will relieve Mr. Pinney of his dilemma. If he has no more effective weapons, what he dubs Boston analogy is in no danger from his assaults.(31 ¶ 9)

From :


November 30, 1896 :
Part 01, Chapter 30 -- Publication.

February 19, 2017 19:40:59 :
Part 01, Chapter 30 -- Added to

March 19, 2019 16:11:14 :
Part 01, Chapter 30 -- Last Updated on


Permalink for Sharing :
Share :


Login to Comment

0 Dislikes

No comments so far. You can be the first!


<< Last Work in Instead Of A Book, By A Man Too Busy To Write One
Current Work in Instead Of A Book, By A Man Too Busy To Write One
Part 01, Chapter 30
Next Work in Instead Of A Book, By A Man Too Busy To Write One >>
All Nearby Works in Instead Of A Book, By A Man Too Busy To Write One
Home|About|Contact|Search|Privacy Policy