The doctrine of Malthus--Progress in wheat-growing--East Flanders--Channel Islands--Potato crops, past and present --Irrigation--Major Hallet's experiments--Planted wheat. Few books have exercised so pernicious an influence upon the general development of economic thought as Malthus's Essay on the Principle of Population exercised for three consecutive generations. It appeared at the right time, like all books which have had any influence at all, and it summed up ideas already current in the minds of the wealth-possessing minority. It was precisely when the ideas of equality and liberty, awakened by the French and American revolutions, were still permeating the minds of the poor, while the richer classes had become tired of their amateur excursions into the same domains, that Malthus came to assert, in reply to Godwin, that no equality is possible; that the poverty of the many is not due to institutions, but is a natural law. Population, he wrote,...
I.-HOW THEY WERE INTRODUCED. THE student of Ireland's history scarcely knows whether to pity her people for their sufferings, or scorn them for having so long endured such shameful wrongs. Before the fifth century there is not much authentic Irish history, but up to that time there are misty records of "happier things." The people then enjoyed, if not profound peace, an easeful liberty, dwelling in tribes under the patriarchal sway of chiefs they had themselves elected. Land was held in common, or where it was specifically held, no right of primogeniture barred its redistribution Wives equaled their husbands in dignity, and the most stringent laws were those regarding hospitality to strangers. Contests between the tribes were for the most p... (From : AnarchyArchives.)
IV.-LOST OPPORTUNITIES, There came a brief cessation in the making of laws for Ireland. Richard II. resolved to try other means than legislation, and so undertook an expedition, which his vanity assured him would cover him with glory. His proclamation on landing at Waterford was unique in its naive impudence. All the tribes in Leinster were summoned "to surrender full possession of lands, tenements, castles, woods, and forests." In return they were to have unmolested possession of any and all lands they could conquer from the King's other Irish enemies elsewhere in the island. The only reply to this was curt refusal from one chief, Art Kavanagh by name ; by descent, from the outlawed son of Dermot, of regal rights. He and "three thousand ha... (From : AnarchyArchives.)
VI. --- REFORMATION. UNDER Henry VIII there was a new departure in Irish legislation. A species of Liberalism was evolved, no doubt the progenitor of what we know to-day by that name, a liberality that gave in order that it might take with a greater impunity. Henry VII., as we have seen, went in for coercion on a cheap scale by giving unlimited power to the noble who could best keep his fellows in check, requiring in return only a nominal allegiance. The rebellious disorder in Ireland had been more than once flung tauntingly in the faces of English ambassadors, when assent-bliss of the European crowned bullies met to concert plans of "robbery with violence." It was impossible for Henry VIII., who bad set the Pope and all Christendom at defi... (From : AnarchyArchives.)
Most Irishmen, in and out of Ireland, seem unanimous in condemning the brutality of the British government toward the leaders of the unsuccessful revolt. There is no need to recite here the atrocious measures of repression practiced by England toward her subject races. The arrogant and irresponsible tyranny of the British government in this relation is a matter of history. The point of interest just now is, what did the Irish people, or at least the Sinn Feiners, expect England to do in the given circumstances? I am not interested in the weak-kneed editors of Irish-American papers who bemoan, with all due decorum, Great Britain's "lack of generosity" in dealing with the captured Sinn Feiners, or who hide their cowardice by arguments about t... (From : Spunk.org.)
DEMOCRATIC CLUB, GRAY'S INN ROAD, LONDON.--A discussion was opened on "What is Freedom?" by J. Blackwell, on Nov. 6. J. E. Barlas in the chair. Some interesting points were raised. Chambers avowed himself an Anarchist of the by-and-by type. Cores and others spoke in support. HEBREW DRAMATIC CLUB, SPITALFIELDS.--A meeting in commemoration of the death of our Chicago comrades was held here on Friday, Nov. 8. There was no chairman but each speaker called upon the following one to speak at the termination of his own speech. The resolution absurdity was also dispensed with, each speaker expressing his feelings of sympathy with our murdered friends in his own way. It was an excellent and well-attended meeting and the greatest enthusiasm prevailed... (From : AnarchyArchives.)