Instead Of A Book, By A Man Too Busy To Write One : Part 07, Chapter 03 : Is Frick a Soldier of Liberty?

Revolt Library >> Anarchism >> Instead Of A Book, By A Man Too Busy To Write One >> Part 00007, Chapter 00003

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.)
• "It has ever been the tendency of power to add to itself, to enlarge its sphere, to encroach beyond the limits set for it..." (From : "State Socialism and Anarchism," by Benjamin R. Tu....)
• "...Anarchism, which may be described as the doctrine that all the affairs of men should be managed by individuals or voluntary associations, and that the State should be abolished." (From : "State Socialism and Anarchism," by Benjamin R. Tu....)
• "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....)

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Part 07, Chapter 03

Is Frick a Soldier of Liberty?

[Liberty, August 20, 1892.]


To the Editor of Liberty:(158 ¶ 1)

In vain have I waited to hear from you a word in approval of the efforts of a man who lately has even risked his life in a fierce struggle for liberty. For even though Frick is one of the Brotherhood of Thieves, he is now on the side of Liberty. Nor can I see that he is any more responsible for the existence of that Brotherhood than those that lead the contention against him. His only crime is that he is successful under present conditions. Of course, being an employer myself, my opinion may possibly be warped; but if Frick, in this particular case at least, has instituted a war against the oppressive monopoly of labor unions, defending liberty and independence, I do not see why Anarchists should condemn him therefor. Let the other side do the same,—i.e., combat the iniquities of the present system by removing obstructions instead of increasing their number. I am sure, if the workmen should insist upon the proper remedy, the inequitable power of capital would be soon be gone. If, however, these men do not understand the source of this power, is it fair to assume that the Fricks do? Is it true that all the workmen are fools, while all the Fricks are knaves? And, on that assumption, how is it possible to help those who resist the only measure that can help them,—i.e., Liberty?(158 ¶ 2)

Hugo Bilgram.

Philadelphia, August 12, 1892.

When the most brilliant of Catholic journalists, Louis Veuillot, was once taunted by the Freethinkers in power because he, a Catholic and an unbeliever in liberty, had complained that the liberties of Catholics were denied, he thus made answer to his critics: When I am not in power, I demand of you who are in power all possible liberties, because you believe in liberty; when I get into power, you shall have no liberties at all, because I do not believe in liberty. Veuillot was in religion what Frick is in political economy,—a believer in liberty for himself and his immediate allies, and in slavery for everybody else. Neither the Veuillots nor the Fricks have any use whatever for a society based throughout on equal liberty. Now when a man goes into a struggle in this Napoleonic style and in the course of it gets a knock-down blow, it is going too far to ask an Anarchist, a believer in equal liberty, to sympathize with or approve this would-be despot simply because at a particular moment in his struggle for unequal liberty he happens to defend a liberty which equal liberty recognizes.(158 ¶ 3)

But, Mr. Bilgram tells me, these union laborers are also struggling for unequal liberty; why then sympathize with them? True enough; and their claim to sympathy is greatly lessened by their abominable authoritarianism. If it will comfort Mr. Bilgram, I take pleasure in assuring him that, if the time ever comes when these trade-union employes are thoroughly on top with their hands fastened upon their employers’ throats, and when in consequence the employes begin to wax fat and the employers to grow wan and thin, much of my sympathy will be transferred from the employes to the employers. When both parties to a fight are wrong, whatever sympathy is felt goes naturally to the one that suffers most. Apart from this friendly feeling for the under dog, however, there is another consideration which mitigates the offense of the labor authoritarians as compared with that of the capitalist authoritarians. The latter, for the most part in knavery, set up authority as a weapon of aggression; the former, for the most part in ignorance and following the latter’s example, resort to authority originally as a weapon of defense. The difference is considerable.(158 ¶ 4)

Mr. Bilgram and I agree almost to a dot as to what constitutes the true solution of the difficulties at Homestead and of nearly all other labor difficulties whatsoever. I agree with him too that, if the workmen knew the remedy, they could apply it very quickly and effectively. But I do not think that the ignorance of the workmen implies a similar and equal ignorance on the part of the employers. For one thing, the employers, as a rule, are men of superior education and intellect. And for another thing, the creators of a scheme of aggression are much less likely to be innocent of evil intent than the victims. To be sure, there are many exceptions, and I have said nothing to the contrary. I am just as certain, for instance, that the employer, Hugo Bilgram, is not a knave as I am that Dana and Frick are knaves. If there were no such exceptions then, as Mr. Bilgram says, the situation would be hopeless. It is on these exceptions that my hope rests. All the employers are not knaves, and all the workmen are not such fools that they cannot acquire wisdom; and because of these two facts I see Light and Liberty ahead.(158 ¶ 5)

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Chronology

November 30, 1896 :
Part 07, Chapter 03 -- Publication.

February 22, 2017 16:47:35 :
Part 07, Chapter 03 -- Added to http://www.RevoltLib.com.

March 19, 2019 16:41:50 :
Part 07, Chapter 03 -- Last Updated on http://www.RevoltLib.com.

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