Freedom: Vol 1, No. 7  
This issue of Freedom appears in Anarchy Archives with the permission of the International Institute for Social History
Freedom Flagstaff

Vol. 1.--- No. 7                                APRIL, 1887.                                MONTHLY; ONE PENNY.


LAST month's attempt to celebrate the anniversary of the execution of Alexander II. by that of his son and successor has revealed to all Europe the depth of the surging discontent now stirring amongst the people of Russia; the burning shame and indignation with which they see themselves crushed beneath a system of government which would have disgraced the Dark Ages.
    As Leroy-Beaulieu has pointed out, Russia has been the scape-goat of Western Europe. Her people have borne the brunt of the successive tides of invasion by the savage and cruel hordes of Asia; by her brave resistance she has glutted their fury, by her industry she has satiated their greed. Thus Teuton and Kelt have been left the freer to develop their social life at the cost of the blood and the freedom of the Slav. It was this terrible task --- this fate which has made her loss our gain ---
which checked the natural and promising development of Russia centuries ago. It is this service which she has rendered to Europe which has saddled her even down to to-day with the incubus of Eastern despotism: a despotism which in the nineteenth century calls it a crime for the men of one of the most intelligent and social races in the world to speak or write what they think, to live as they please, or to perform the simplest action on their own initiative.
     It is only within the last thirty or forty years that the Russian nation has begun to recover from the agony of its long martyrdom:
only for little more than twenty years that the educated classes have begun to feel their oneness with the masses of the people, and to join hands with them in a serious effort for deliverance.
     This struggle, brief as it has been, has shown the revival of the old Slavonic spirit of daring and self-devotion, and won the admiring respect of every generous spirit in the civilised world. For the odds are desperate, and the people are roused to consciousness of their wrongs and of their hopes only by a succession of deeds of the most splendid heroism, and the sacrifice of thousands of the noblest lives in Russia.
     The Tzar is the figure-head of an utterly corrupt bureaucracy, which chokes every possibility ot natural social development; and therefore against him and his lackeys is arrayed, openly or secretly, every partisan of free thought or free action throughout the country, whether he be Socialist or social reformer, or merely a political Liberal desiring  parliamentary institutions. At the present moment Alexander III. would appear to be assailed by an outbreak of discontent in every shape and form.
     The Central Executive Committee of the Terrorist party, who killed Alexander II., seem to have taken no active part in the attempt this year. It was made by three Petersburg students, Andreyovsky, Petroff, and Generaloff, who belonged to a distinct terrorist group. In fact, such separate groups, either for the purpose of carrying on direct warfare with the Government, or for propagandist work amongst the people, have sprung up all over Russia. The last number of the Messenger of the Will of the People mentions about a dozen lithographed or printed newspapers, pamphlets, manifestos, etc., issued by as many different organisations. It was found that time was lost and energy wasted in waiting for orders from a common centre; and the revolutionary movement, in Russia as elsewhere, as it grows and increases in strength and size, gives larger and larger scope to individual initiative and local freedom of action.
     The attempt to assassinate the Tzar was accompanied by a number of outbreaks amongst peasants and workmen in various parts of the country, which would seem to have been immediately put down, but all news about them has been suppressed. The considerable number of arrests amongst workmen, however, shows how rapidly the Socialistic side of the movement is spreading in the towns, in spite of Tolstoi's Bismarkian social "reforms."
     The more political aspect of Russian discontent is represented by the conspiracy just discovered amongst the Liberals. The conspirators, whose motto is "The People, with the Tzar or against the Tzar," issue a lithographed paper, The Constitutional, setting forth the political and economic views of Western Europe as exemplified in the leading authors. They aim at forcing the Tzar to abdicate or grant a constitution. This is the party of landowners, country nobility, and the middle-class.

     Besides these Terrorists, Socialists, and Liberals, the autocracy is beset by a considerable military conspiracy, in which the very guards who watch the palace doors are implicated.
     No wonder that the Anitchkoff Palace is undermined with secret passages containing sand-covered drums to reveal the faintest vibration, like a besieged fortress. No wonder that the gloomy and brutal despot, who chooses to make himself responsible for the ruin and destruction of thousands of better lives than his own every year, sneaks in Gatchina in terror for his life. No wonder that his underlings are arresting by hundreds nobles, officials, soldiers, traders, students, peasants, workmen, men and women alike ; closing institutes and colleges ; prohibiting afresh all voluntary associations and meetings ; hanging officers in their barracks and prisoners in the fortress, and beating young girls until they are insensible. Such deeds and such precautions are the last orgy of power, the last exhibition of the cowardly terror of men who feel their authority slipping through their fingers.
     Vladimir, the Tzar's brother, "as great a scoundrel as any man in Russia," is to head the Committee of Investigation into the revolutionary movement. He will be troubled with no scruples as to the means of extorting avowals from his prisoners, and it will be well if the official exhibition of sentiment about the supposed torture inflicted by Bulgarian Regents be extended to a practical check upon such barbarities at home.
     Meanwhile, the amiable Alexander has dissolved the Commission which was enquiring into abuses and drawing up a plan of reforms (there is always a Commission or so enquiring and drawing up plans in Russia, but nothing ever comes of it), and is said to meditate making the chief of police his Prime Minister. Effects in the shape of insurrection and conspiracy are produced without a cause worth investigating or removing, he thinks, and since whips have not sufficed he proposes to chastise his unhappy people with scorpions.
     May he all the sooner lash them into universal and successful revolt ; revolt which will fling him and his bureaucracy into the Limbo where the memory of departed tyrannies withers in the contempt of mankind.

(A Speech delivered by P. Kropotkine at the Commemoration at South Place on the 17th of March, 1887.)

SIXTEEN years have elapsed since the last serious attempt of the best representatives of the European prolitaires --- the workmen of Paris --- to shake off the yoke under which they are labouring --- and suffering.
     Sixteen years! and already we are again on the eve of one of those great uprisings which periodically visit Europe --- of the great social revolution which is looked at with so much hope by the workmen of all civilised nations, with so much fear by all those who know their wrongs.
     Much has been written since the outbreak of the Paris Commune about the uselessness of like "unsuccessful, unprepared revolutions." The theory-makers who fancy that revolutions are prescribed by a General Staff have condemned it. "What is the use of like unsuccessful attempts?" they say, with a great display of would-be science. And yet, the workmen all over Europe and the United States have taken up the anniversary of the Paris Commune as their --- the workmen's --- anniversary. To-night and to-morrow there will not be a city all over West Europe and America which you may perceive on a medium- sized map where the workmen will not unite together to commemorate the uprising of the people of Paris. Even in Greece and in South America, at Cape Colony and in A ustralia, they will meet together under the red banner of the oppressed. And while the workmen of different nationalities are incited by the middle-class writers to seize one another by the throat for the greater glory and enrichment of their employers; while our middle-class rulers are scheming manslaughter for the spring on a scale unparalleled as yet in history, Frenchmen and Germans, Italians and Englishmen, Spaniards and Swedes will meet together, and their hearts will beat as one great heart --- that of Humanity. Their wishes will be wishes for the wellbeing of all humanity, --- not of those only who grasp for themselves the fruits of the common human labour.
     Whence comes this attraction exercised by the Paris Commune on the minds of all those who suffer and long for Equality and Freedom? If we go through the acts of the Paris Commune, we find but little, nearly nothing, which might answer to any extent to the desires and longings of Socialists. The measures initiated by the Government of

FREEDOM.                                                                     April, 1887

the Commune had no Socialist character. The Paris Commune did not even issue to the world one of those great appeals which might have moved men's hearts, awakened their energies, shown the way towards a better future.
     Why, then, this irresistible force of attraction which it exercises on the minds of men?
     It is because popular movements are not judged by what they have achieved under given circumstances, but by the aspirations expressed in the movement. And the aspirations which moved the Paris workmen to proclaim their Commune were those which still inspire the workmen all over the world. They were: The abolition of the oppression, economical and political, exercised by our present rulers.
     For several months they had sustained a war, a siege, in Paris; and they had seen that even during so great a calamity as war, the bourgeois had remained what they are in time of peace: the same greedy people, having only one worship --- that of profits --- even when the workmen were starving. Even in a beleaguered city, where hundreds of thousands of people without work and earnings, often without a roof over their heads, were plunged in unheard-of misei-y, the middle-classes knew only one object: wealth and its enjoyment. There is a document --- one of the most awful I ever saw- --- a testimonial of thanks to a fashionable restaurant-keeper in Paris, signed by the fine people of the upper ten thousand, among whom several members of the Academy of Sciences, to testify that during both sieges these worshippers of the stomach had never perceived that they were in a beleaguered city.
     And that --- in a city where the wives and children of the real defenders of the bastions were literally dying from want of food!
     To overthrow the detestable state of things which permitted like abominations was the aim of the Paris workmen when, on this very night of the 17th of March, the bourgeois, s-ho had lost their sleep since they knew that the Paris workmen were in possession of cannons --- in a civilised country cannons are good only when they are ready to fire against the people, --- on this very night of the 17th of March the bourgeois government sent its artillery-men to seize the cannons of the workmen of the Montmartre hills. The working women perceived that; they raised the alarm; and in a few minutes it spread throughout the suburbs. Without waiting for any orders, the working women mixed with the artillery soldiers, retook possession of the cannons, and while the rich, the bourgeois Paris, was yet sleeping, the workmen were gathering around the Mansion House of Paris --- the Hotel do Ville.
     One cry broke from a hundred thousand breasts --- " La Conunstne."'
     The Government fled away before this unanimous, spontaneous uprising. It abandoned Paris; and the darkness had not yet come over the 18th March before the city learned that it was free.
     It was master of its own destinies.
     Agreat principle was proclaimed.
     In 1848, when the middle-class king, Louis Philippe, had been overthrown and left Paris in a hired cab, beneath the contempt of the great city, the first thing that the revolted workmen did was to nominate a Provisional Government for all France.
     Now, a new principle was proclaimed. Paris said to the world that it did not pretend to govern France. The Paris workmen loudly announced that they should not wait until all France was ready for a social revolution, that they were willing to begin it within the walls of their own city. That each city, each village, was free to join the movement and to reconstitute those great federations of revolted communes which have played so immense a part in the history of civilisation in the twelfth century, as well as in starting the great Revolution of the last century.
     But Paris did not pretend to give a government to France. Let each commune free itself first; then the freed communes will be brought to unite their efforts.
     A great principle which has not died, notwithstanding the defeat of the Paris workmen. Nobody in France doubts that the next revolution which we shall see in a few years, will be made to the cry: La Cornmtene, the independent commune, as the starting-point for the Social Revolution. Nobody doubts that at the next movement in France Paris will proclaim its commune, Lyons will proclaim its commune, so also Marseilles, Bordeaux, the miners of Creusot, and so on.
     There is no doubt now that what induced the Paris people to make their rush on the 18th March, 1871, was the desire of remodelling completely the existing economical conditions. "What is to be done ?" they asked. And all this immense city was inspired with the desire of putting an end to the present execrable condition of the working- classes.
     Eh bien, marchons de l'avant !    "Let us go forward," they said ; not only these great sufferers of humanity who produce all riches and starve, but even they, the wealth-grabbers..many of them at least- were ready to make a new start, and to abandon their monopolies to save their lives.
     But, following the old traditions, the workmen of Paris accepted, elected a Government.
     Never were elections as free as these. Never were they more truly representative of the real mind of the people. All the best men in whom the oppressed had been accustomed to place their hopes, were elected. All the prominent democratic writers and popular public speakers were elected; and with the deepest conviction, I may say, that never, never in history, was a Parliament composed of so remarkable a set of thoroughly honest and just men, ready to sacrifice their lives for the cause of the people.
     And yet these eighty men, even these men, were unable to do anything to realise the aspirations of those who had elected them.
     Why? Because a deep revolution --- an economical revolution --- was necessary; and an economical revolution can be made only by the people itself, not by orders from above. Because, like all governments, this government was a compromise with the past.
     They were short of food in the suburbs. No work, no employment, no wages, and no food! The house rents were unpaid and the proprietors of the houses exacted the rent, notwithstanding the general stagnation of trade. The People hoped that the Commune would reorganise labour, and give the possibility of an honest living to those who were willing to work. But the Government of the Commune could not do this. The workmen themselves ought to take possession I of the houses, of the abandoned workshops. But they did not; and seeing that their Government did not so for them, they abandoned the Commune. No more than 15,000 men cared to defend the walls. of Paris in April.
     It is obvious that if the Commune could have held out against the I besiegers for a longer time, the people would have perceived that its new rulers, however sincere and revolutionary, could not perform the great task of making an economical revolution for the workmen. 
     The old spirit of popular initiative would have been aroused in the end. And so it was, in fact, by the second half of May.
     But then it was too late. The troops of Versailles were already closing their iron circle around the city. They approached the walls. \Vhen they entered them, and Paris learned of the terrible massacres
which accompanied their advance, the men of the suburbs again left their houses, and seizing their arms, defended each barricade, each street of the suburbs, with the courage of despair.
     Shall I relate the terrific, the base revenge by which the Bourgeoisie crowned its victory? - . . The carnage, the burning of heaps of corpses mingled with yet living wounded men? - -
     Conrades, the time we are living in is most serious. For the last five hundred years Europe has witnessed at the end of each century a great revolution. And all we see around us leads us to infer that the end of this century will not be an exception to the rule.
     In centuries past, the revolution which broke out in one country could remain limited to that country, and not spread its influence into neighbouring countries. But '48 has shown that it will be so no more. Now all countries are too closely connected with one another.
    Let the Revolution break out in Germany or in France, in Italy or in Austria, it will find an echo in other countries. If France or Germany, overturning their Governments, undertake a violent and rapid rebuilding of their social institutions, all other countries of Europe and the United States will feel their influence. Railways, telegraphs, trade, commerce, and intellectual intercourse, so closely connect the whole civilised world, that no disturbance can affect any one country without affecting the others at the same time. The workmen of all countries are united too closely by their common aspirations for it tobe otherwise.
It will depend upon yourselves whether the coming movements be a mere disturbance, or a real transformation of the existing state of affairs.
Be sure there will be plenty of people who will endeavour to bring the movement to a standstill, who will undertake themselves to reform everything --- and will be able to reform nothing.
     But it will depend upon yourselves either to trust to these would-be saviours or to act for yourselves. Trust to nobody. Believe in yourselves, and realise immediately yourselves what you think best.
     If you will be successful never forget that within 24 hours after the beginning of the movement, the workmen and workwomen and their children must see that it is the Revolution of the People. Within 24 hours they must know that there will be nobody who will experience a want of food; nobody compelled to sleep on London Bridge while there are plenty of palaces to lodge in.
     But to realise that you must trust to nobody. Nobody will do a well for you, as yourselves!
     Rely upon your own initiative!

SHEFFIELD is one of the most beautifully situated and one of the most hideously built towns in England. Grimy rows of squalid houses, broken by dirty yards and courts and noisy factories, the whole over-hung with a perpetual cloud of brown-black smoke, raining a shower of soot; that is one's first impression of Sheffield.
     On a nearer view, the life of the inmates of these houses, the workers in these factories, appears a, dark and ugly as their surroundings. In the hardware trade the struggle of the big and little industries still continues. One sees the small manufacturer, who rents a workshop or a place in a grinder's "hull," with its machine-tools and its steam-power, and there works with his own hands, assisted perhaps by journeymen, competing with the large capitalist manufacturer, whose share of the labour of production is that of the overseer of a slave gang.
     The worker who still to a certain extent directs his own labour, has a hard struggle to live. He cannot afford to buy in large quantities when material is cheap, or manage to sell off large quantities when goods are dear. He must lose good working hours in running about for orders, and he cannot undertake large ones, on which even a small margin of profit amounts to a considerable sum. His rent is heavy, and his remuneration, reduced by the starvation wages accepted by the factory hands, is wretchedly small. Still he retains somewhat of the dignity of a man who is his own master. He is generally a fine, large-hearted, intelligent fellow, courteous and kindly, quick to feel, quick to see, and still in the midst of shoddy and scamping something of an artist. 

FREEDOM.                                                                      April; 1887

Worse to him than anxiety and poverty is the disgust and indignation he feels as the grinding competition of our system of production for profit forces him to throw away skill and energy upon articles made to sell not to supply any one's needs. "I've been driven to waste a week over a lot of scissors," said one bright young fellow, "not one pair of which would cut." And another man exhibited with a contemptuous sneer the "tea-tasters," pieces of lead put in the spouts of metal teapots to bring them up to weight and enable them to be sold as good block-tin; "It is the middle- men force us into all this dishonesty," he said. In fact, though there has been a great outcry about spurious German hardware marked with the Sheffield stamp, no German goods can be worse than the articles now turned out by Sheffield herself; and the amount of adulteration and the hurry in workmanship increases year by year.
     This hurry is the curse of the Sheffield workers. Their work is all done by the piece, and it is quantity not quality that pays. The strain and weariness of a perpetual rush to complete the greatest possible number of a-orthless articles made only to sell, is sickening for the men who are their own employers; for the factory hands it means destruction, mind and body. The factory owners vie with one another as to the intensity with which they can force their wretched slaves to toil. The average wage for all is adjusted by the pace at which the quickest hands can scramble through their job, and the masters try all sorts of tricks to discover the top of their victims' speed, and to keep them at it.
     A firm, for instance, will announce that they are offered a valuable order, only it must be done by such and such a day; will the men see if they cannot manage it, just for this once? And some extra pay or "a treat" is promised as an inducement. The poor fools fall into the trap, strain every nerve and muscle to get through the job in less than the usual time; and then in a week or two, the price of piece-work has gone down, they are told; so if they would live, they must get through as much every week as they managed to do under the special pressure.
So it goes on, until the existence of these men is simply one ceaselesss round of scurrying routine work, for which they receive barely enough to keep body and soul tegether.
     A Sheffield factory is a heartrending spectacle. The noisy, dirty, stifling workshops, crowded with pale, worn, hollow-eyed, hopeless faces, which are scarcely raised for a moment as the visitor passes; the hurrying hands, which seem part of the machine they tend or supplement; the bowed, weary figures hastily shuffling to and fro; and then the grinders' sheds, where men sit bent almost double over the ceaselessly revolting stones, their faces covered and their throats choked with the flying dust, their feet soaking in muddy slush; the whole is horrible to see. What must it be to feel it day after day, seek after week, year after year, until mind and body sink exhausted beneath the strain? No wonder that grinders rarely live to be forty; and that many of them drink, loaf, and sleep all the time they are not working. Their lives have been made a bell to them by the selfish greed of a handful of cruel and unscrupulous individuals. "They are a troublesome lot," said the capitalist. "Take a deal of looking after. They're after striking now; but I'm working 'em half-time, and that'll take 'em down a peg or two, so that they won't have much chance" And his hard, mean face took an expression of yet sharper cunning and greed.
     Wonderful to relate, they have still some spirit left, these poor fellows. On one of the "hull" doors they have pasted up a notice, "No cadgers for the Queen need apply" It would be a good thing if all the workers had as much common sense.
     The bright spot in Sheffield life is the "Socialist Society." Our comrade Edward Carpenter, who was well known in the town as one of the most popular lecturers of the Cambridge University Extension Scheme, has succeeded during the last year in drawing together a knot of workers, both men and women, animated by a like love of man and hatred of oppression with himself. The Society is rapidly increasing in size, and is engaged in energetic propaganda. Its headquarters are the old debtor's jail! There is a smart and tempting coffee tavern, and over it a capital hall for lectures, which is filled week by week with an audience manifesting a deep and growing interest in Socialism. The Society itself tends to become more and more revolutionary, more Anarchist in tone, as its members think out the economic problem for themselves and learn to appreciate the practical uselessness of attempts at "Parliamentary action."
     Anarchist lecturers meet with a cordial and sympathetic reception, and at the close of last month the Society organised a meeting for our comrade P. Kropotkine in the biggest hall in Sheffield, which ws a filled with an enthusiastic audience.

(Tune: "Andreas Refer.")
0 high rocks looking heavenward,
Ovalleys green and fair, 
Sea-cliffs that seem to gird and guard
Our Island --- once so dear!
In vain your beauty now ye spread,
For we are numbered with the dead:
A robber band has seized the land, 
And we are exiles here.
The moonlight glides along the shore
And silvers all the sands,
It gleams on halls and castles hoar
Built by our father's hands. 
But from the scene its beauty fades, 
The light dies out along the glades:
A robber band has seized the land,
And we are exiles here.
The plowman plows, the sower sow;
The reaper reaps the ear,
The woodman to the forest goes
Before the day grows clear; 
But of our toil no fruit we see, 
The harvest's not for you and me:
A robber band has seized the land 
And we are exiles here.
The cattle in the sun may lie,
The fox by night may roam,
The lark may sing all day on high
Between its heaven and home; 
But we have no place here, to die
Is the one right we need not buy:
Then high to heaven our vows be given, 
We'll have our land or die.



     "THAT will reconcile me to life," writes Emerson, "and renovate nature, to see trifles animated by a tendency, and to know what I am doing." And which of us, tortured and reduced well nigh to despair by the horrible degradation of human dignity in the existing hyprocritical and unnatural sexual relations, does not feel the need for such a vision of the end and meaning of our present pain, if still we are to fight on. This essay by K. P.1 is one of those jets of thought which pierce the misty confusion of times when the air is full of the dust of out-worn forms and faded beliefs with a ray of positive and reasoned conviction, pointing the road to a new order in human life more in correspondence with our consciousness of reality.
     Following the method which is the recognised basis of rational generalisation concerning the future development of society amongst all schools of scientific Socialists, the author of 'Socialism and Sex' traces in rough outline the growth of certain broad tendencies in the past, the form they have assumed in the present, and the indications they afford as to their probable direction in the future. But he differs from most scientific Socialists in taking the two fundamental functions of animal life, nutrition and reproduction, as together and equally the determining factors of social development amongst mankind. Economic relations alone are not the main root from which all other relations amongst men have sprung; sexual selection, he holds, has played an equal part with the struggle for subsistence, in forming each variety of social life. A particular method of sex relationship. and a particular method of wealth distribution would seem always to have corresponded to one another and existed simultaneously in every community, both expressing the same fundamental idea of appropriation by horde, tribe, group, family, or individual. Common possession, the supremacy of women, the supremacy of men, have succeeded one another, both in the relation of the sexes and in the relation of human beings tos-ards wealth; and now we find ourselves in a period of transition in which new relations of both sorts are in process of formation; the relations of fundamental human equality.
     "The leading principle of modern socialism "(ie. the coming form of economic relations) is that "a human being, man or woman, unless physically or mentally disabled --- has no moral right to be a member of the community --- unless he or she is labouring in some form for the community." The main object of Socialism is to secure to each individual a free field for his labour, and the supply of his needs in return for his work. This is the economic independence which is essential to the moral dignity of each man and woman in a free society. But our present form of sexual relationship is an effectual bar to the attainment of this economic independence by women.
     At present the work of the majority of women, i,e., those who are married, and are not actively engaged in productive labour, may be divided into two classes.
     Firstly, the difficult and onerous task of rearing children. A task often fulfilled with a reckless or despairing ignorance, which is fatal to the mother's health and happiness, and is actively injurious to the community.
     Secondly, home duties, i.e., cleaning and moving from one place to another a variety of objects, mostly superfluous for human well-being, and which might be thrown out of the window with more advantage to the real dignity of life than the famous stone that Thoreau decided unworthy of the expenditure of energy required to dust it. Very often a large slice of such a woman's time is wasted over some muddling cooking, which with a little organisation might be accomplished (what is necessary of it) with infinitely less labour. A handful of intelligent persons, with adequate appliances, might easily perform the labour of food preparation for a whole community; whereas, we have now, at least one woman in every household spending half her day on it, generally with lamentably inadequate results.
     Amongst the rich, the activity of women is mostly expended in mis- directing the labour of others.
     Agreat deal of the second class of work is essentially degrading. It is unnecessary, and it is inartistic. It creates nothing, it produces nothing of real beauty and utility, and therefore it fails to satisfy the strongest and most human instincts of the worker.
     The method of remuneration is equally destructive to self-respect. In both classes of employment, payment is doled out to the worker at, the good pleasure of her lover. The more pressure she can put upon him the more payment she can exact; and to an ungenerous and unscrupulous woman there are no limits to this pressure but the generosity and wealth-gaining powers of the man she exploits in virtue of her position of economic dependence; whilst to a selfish man the woman appears merely as the hired instrument of his pleasure and comfort, in fact, his chattel-slave.
     We live in days of the individual ownership of social wealth and the individual ownership of women by men. it is no new observation that the position of woman and wage-worker are very similar under these conditions of universal exploitation. Both must labour, not at their own pleasure, but at the pleasure of a master. The wage-worker can refuse his employer's terms, but only at the risk of starvation, the woman is bound to her lover by the same tie, and in both cases the current morality of the masters preaches the submissive acquiescence of the slave, and stigmatises revolt as anti-social and foolish.

1Socialism and Sex,' by K. P. W. Reeves, 185 Fl..t Street, E.G. Price 2d.

FREEDOM.                                                                     April, 1887

     Nevertheless, K. P., and we are heartily at one with him, preaches immediate revolt in the matter of sex relationship amongst those individuals who are mentally prepared for the change. A sudden and universal alteration in this matter is likely to cause more suffering than a mode of change "whereby society would grow accustomed to the new type by its appearance as a more and more frequent variation."
     But what is this new type of sex-relationship corresponding to the "economic independence" of all the members of the new economic organisation of society?
     Women are divided by nature, says K. P., into two classes: those who are fulfilling the task of child-bearing and child-rearing, and those who are not; many women passing from one class to the other in the course of their lives.
The first class are engaged in social work, which, if it is efficiently performed, unfits them during the time so occupied to take an active part in other productive labour; and equally with other workers they are entitled to the supply of their needs from the common stock.
     The second class are on the same economic footing as men, and K. P. believes that they will mentally and physically be able to maintain that footing. He adduces examples which have come under his own observation as to the work efficiently done by healthy peasant women in southern Germany, Switzerland, and Northern Italy, and adds, "the student of civilization will find that there was a time when the woman physically was on a par with the man, while mentally she was his superior."
     We look forward with deep interest to the publication of the evidence which K. P. informs us he has collected on these points.
     The sex relationship of these economically independent men and women would be "a relation solely of mutual sympathy and affection; its power and duration would vary according to the feelings and wants of individuals." "When marriage is no longer regarded as a profession for women, and nigh the only way in which they can gain the comrade-ship of men and a wider life --- when the relations of men and women are perfectly free, and they can meet on an equal footing --- then so far from this free sexual-relationship leading to sensuality and loose living, we hold it would be the best safe-guard against it. Men and women having many friends of the opposite sex with whom they were on terms of close friendship, would be in less danger of mistaking fancy or friend-ship for love, and the relation of lovers would be far less readily entered upon than at present, when in some social circles man and woman must be lovers or exhibit no sign of affection. Every man and woman would probably ultimately choose a lover from their friends, but the men or women who being absolutely free would choose more than one, would certainly be the exceptions ; --- exceptions, we believe, infinitely more rare than under our present legalised monogamy, accompanied as it is by socially unrecognized polygamy and polyandry --- by the mistress and the prostitute."
     "The sex-relationship of the future will not be regarded~' (necessarily and essentially) "as a union for the birth of children." Lovers "will not have children without the mature consideration and desire of the woman, if not of both."
So far, we have rather noted the contents of 'Socialism and Sex,' than commented upon them, for the greater part of this pamphlet is both in manner and spirit the finest declaration which has appeared in English of Anarchist belief with regard to the difficult and delicate question of which it treats. We summarise for our readers only that that they may be thereby incited to read the whole for themselves.
     Nevertheless, we have one thing against the author. Doubtless, motherhood is a social function claiming adequate remuneration from the community, doubtless, under certain conditions the population question invites serious attention; but is it conceivable that in a free Socialist society there is likely to be even the shadow of an excuse for entertaining such a repulsive idea as that of the positive and active interference of the public --- " the state " --- in a matter so personal and delicate?
     Anyone who has studied the feelings of women on this subject will admit that it is, to say the least, extremely improbable that a large number of them in a condition of economic and social freedom would insist upon producing a dozen, or even half-a-dozen children. The majority would be content with two or three; and the small number whose maternal impulses craved larger fulfilment would be counter-balanced by that other minority who would prefer to have no children at all. Most women at the present time marry in absolute ignorance of physiology; this ignorance being fostered by our corrupt morality as a safegard of "virtue," i.e., unreasoning submission and self-repression. Consequently, they accept an unlimited number of children as "God's will," without permitting their own reason, or even their own feeling, any part in the matter. A condition of things already breaking down and hardly likely to outlive the slavery of women.
     We fail, therefore, Anarchist theory apart, to see the practical force of K. P's position with regard to "state sanctioned births." For the rest, his essay is the utterance of one who, with clean hands and a pure heart, dares to scale the heights of truth, and to approach every side of life with the reverence of sincerity.

Whenever I find my dominion over myself not enough for toe, and undertake the direction of toy neighbour also, I overstep the truth, and come into false relations to him. I may have so much more skill or strength than he, that he cannot ex-press adequately his sense of wrong, bitt it is a lie and hurts like a lie both him and me. Love and nature cannot maintain the assumption; it must be executed by a practical lie, namely, by force. --- Emerson.


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 defiance, to content himself with a nominal allegiance and the shadowy title of "Dominus Hibernite." Cardinal Wolsey had long dreamed of making his master as absolute in Ireland as he was in England and had initiated a policy of distinguishing between the Anglo-Irish barons and the Irish chiefs to the favour of the latter. The power of the barons was to be circumscribed, while the chiefs were to be won over by "dulse ways and politic drifts," a policy that was adopted and pursued until the later years of Elizabeth's reign. Wolsey fell from his greatness before his scheme was accomplished; but the task fell into abler hands, those of Thomas Cromwell, the ruthless. A commission sent over in 1533 to inquire into the causes of disaffection and disorder, reported that hitherto the head of the government had been chosen for party purposes, and had exercised his power corruptly, that the officials were wholly unfit to fulfil their duties ; that justice was not administered, order not preserved, and that the king's revenues had been embezzled; that the people were plundered by and with the connivance of the Viceroy and rackrented by their landlords. Assuredly, a strange confession to find in a State paper, and probably one that would not have been published but for its being a warrant for the carrying out of the "Plan of Reformation," which was to render Ireland a bright gem in the English diadem, and a lucrative investment at the same time.
     The chiefs were easily won by the "dulse ways." Hugh O'Donnell after four months' entertainment at Windsor and Greenwich returned home a fervent and steadfast partisan of English authority. Large sums were distributed to purchase the birthright of the tribes. The chiefs in return for English gold yielded to the government the lands they never owned, but which belonged to the people, receiving them back on feudal tenure with the paltry title of earl or baron.
     The barons tasted the quality of the new policy with a difference. The Kildares were the first dealt with. Gerald, the reigning earl, was imprisoned in the Tower of London and died there broken-hearted by the news of his son's abortive rebel-lion. The son, known best in history as "silken Thomas," was hanged at Tybunt in company with five of his uncles. The sole male representative who escaped from the ruin of the once powerful house of the Kildare Geraldines was a lad of twelve. Lord Deputy Skeffington speedily brought the lesser nobles under the yoke by battering their castles about their ears with great guns the like of which had not been seen in Ireland before. Seven years of vigorous cannonading "reduced the island to an unexampled condition of tranquility." "Irishmen," wrote one of the Lord Justices to Cromwell," were never in such fear as now." The castles demolished, those "nests of rebellion," the nobles were compelled to plough their lands, and their petty tyrants being thus in a measure subdued, an amelioration in the condition of the masses began at once to be felt. Throughout Henry's State papers concerning Ireland a "respect for the Celtic population and a sympathy for the poor," are expressed. St. Leger, who took up the work of reform in 1539, after Skeffington and Lord Leonard Grey, gave in one of his reports a harrowing account of the people's condition. Their lords quartered on them at pleasure horses, servants, and guests. They were charged with horse-meat and man's-meat when their lords travelled. They were mulcted of a sheep from every flock and a cow from every village when a le Poer or a Butler married a daughter. When a poor peasant died his widow had to give the best of his chattels to the lord of the manor. When a nobleman's son went to England for his education, the tenants on the estate defrayed the expenses of his outfit and journey. When my lord hunted, his dogs had to be provided with milk, bread, and butter; when he made merry the unfortunate peasants prepared his feasts. These feasts were called "cosherings," and sometimes my lord and his wife would ride with a frolicsome party of guests to a neighbouring farm, demanding a midnight supper, which the unlucky fanner dared not refuse. "Every aggravation of feudal wrong was inflicted on this harrassed people."
     Now for the first time there was an executive that standing between the people and their immediate oppressors, might have used its authority to bring about complete political union between the countries, but for the attempt to introduce religious as well as social reforms; an attempt that showed the people they had but exchanged one form of tyranny for another. The act of supremacy had been introduced by Grey and passed in Parliament without attracting popular notice, as well as a statute prohibiting appeals to Rome and the giving of the first fruits of the clergy to the Pope. Even the suppression of thirteen abbeys in 1537 scarcely made a stir, although the religious houses in Ireland were perfectly free from the disorders, which justified in a measure the suppression of them in England. But when the populace saw the time-.honoured relics of the saints torn from their shrines and burned in the market places, their anger broke forth against the reformers, whose iconoclastic zeal we might admire if we were not conscious that it was stimulated by the rich plunder of the abbeys. Subsequently the property of all religious houses was vested in the Crown. The houses confiscated numbered upwards of 400, of which the personalty was valued at £100,000, and the lands at an annual revenue of £32,000. Pensions were granted to priests and friars in consideration of "an orderly self-effacement." The bulk of the land was granted either for a real or nominal price to the Eng-lishmen composing the King's Council at Dublin. Large sums of the money were used in further bribes to the chiefs, who were also assigned houses in Dublin for occupation during the sitting of Parliament, "that they might suck in civility with the Court air."
     A seal was set on all these reforms (?) by Henry's assumption of the title of King of Ireland in 1541.


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