Instead Of A Book, By A Man Too Busy To Write One : Part 06, Chapter 11 : The Morality of Terrorism

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1897

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(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.)
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Part 06, Chapter 11

The Morality of Terrorism.

[Liberty, May 7, 1887.]


E. Belfort Bax has an article on Legality in the London Commonweal, which for the most part is by no means bad. He denies the obligation to respect legality as such, and in the light of this denial discusses the policy of terrorism and assassination. Respecting this policy, he declares, as Liberty has frequently declared before him, that it should be used against the oppressors of mankind only when they have succeeded in hopelessly repressing all peaceful methods of agitation. If he had stopped there, all would have been well. But not satisfied with characterizing the policy as inexpedient save under the conditions referred to, he must needs go further and brand it as immoral. Then he becomes ridiculously weak. He is led to the conclusion that in Russia terrorism is both morally justifiable and expedient; that in Germany, though morally justifiable, it is for various reasons inexpedient; and that in England it is neither morally justifiable nor expedient. Liberty agrees that terrorism is expedient in Russia and inexpedient in Germany and England, but it will be many years older than now before it assumes to set any limit on the right of an invaded individual to choose his own methods of defense.(145 ¶ 1)

The invader, whether an individual or a government, forfeits all claim to consideration from the invaded. This truth is independent of the character of the invasion. It makes no difference in what direction the individual finds his freedom arbitrarily limited; he has a right to vindicate it in any case, and he will be justified in vindicating it by whatever means are available. The right to take unoccupied land and cultivate it is as unquestionable as the right to speak one’s thoughts, and resistance offered to any violation of the former is no less self-defense than resistance offered to the violation of the latter. In point of morality one is as good as the other. But with freedom of speech it is possible to obtain freedom of the land and all the other freedoms, while without it there is no hope save in terrorism. Hence the expediency—yes, the necessity—of terrorism to obtain the one; hence the uselessness and folly of employing it to obtain the other. So, when Mr. Bax says that the Russian who shall kill the Czar will act wisely, but that the Englishman who should kill Salisbury would act foolishly, he wins Liberty’s approval; but when he makes this Russian a saint and this Englishman a knave, this approval must be accompanied by protest.(145 ¶ 2)

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Chronology

November 30, 1896 :
Part 06, Chapter 11 -- Publication.

February 21, 2017 19:07:53 :
Part 06, Chapter 11 -- Added to http://www.RevoltLib.com.

March 20, 2019 08:13:49 :
Part 06, Chapter 11 -- Last Updated on http://www.RevoltLib.com.

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