Freedom V. 3 #25

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This issue of Freedom appears in Anarchy Archives with the permission of the International Institute for Social History
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Vol. 3 -- No. 25 OCTOBER, 1888 MONTHLY; ONE PENNY


MOST of the letters on marriage in the Daily Telegraph have been well worthy of the silly season; none of them have thrown fresh light on the most difficult of Social problems. And what else could be expected when the editor boasts that he has excluded every correspondent who might perchance "bring a blush to the cheek of the Young Person" by any ill advised attempt to go to the root of the matter, socially, economically, physiologically or psychologically? Nevertheless, in spite of all the platitudes of all the prudes, the controversy as a whole is highly significant.

    It would have been of some importance if only from the fact that the question "Is marriage a failure?" has stared at every passer by from the notice board of every news-agent in the country, day after day and week after week. The continual spectacle of that heading in big type can hardly have failed to set many vaguely discontented people thinking as they never ventured to think before; to lead them to question what before never occurred to them as seriously questionable.

    If our existing marriage system were generally suited to our present desires and needs, such questioning would be a comparatively small matter. But the enquiry claims special notice as a passing indication of a wide-spread social movement. It is but a feather on the stream, but it shows how the current runs. Twenty years ago would any editor of a respectable middle-class newspaper have dared to raise a question about marriage? Would it have been a paying speculation to admit even the faintest murmurs of discontent with the modem family system? For as one of the "Pillars of Society" says in Ibsen's play, "The family is the kernel of Society." If the kernel may even be suspected of being unsound, what of the whole nut?

    The connection of the Daily Telegraph correspondence with one of the least generally recognised and most important movements in the world of advanced thought is in itself curious and interesting.

    Since Darwin drew attention to the great part played by sexual selection in the evolution of animal life, a small number of thinkers have been impressed by the deep interest attaching to the various forms of sex relation that have existed, and are existing, amongst human beings. Writers like Morgan and Maclaren (not to mention foreign authors, whose books are not yet generally known in England) have brought together much information on this subject, and it has begun to be recognised that the history of sex relations is a study of fundamental importance; for without it no clear understanding is possible either of the growth of society in the past or of the social problem with which we are confronted to-day.

    This year Mr. Karl Pearson, Professor of Mathematics at University College, London, has published a valuable contribution to the new branch of enquiry in the three concluding essays of his book "The Ethic of Free Thought." These essays profess to be nothing but outlined suggestions of the nature of the problems to be considered and the method by which they may be solved. They sketch out in broad lines the subject matter of the coming science of sexualogy. Even as sketches their author claim for them no sort of completeness. They are intended to suggest lines of thought for others and to draw attention to the vast social significance of the questions involved, rather than to set forth any special conclusions. Mr. Pearson has not yet arranged for publication the facts from which he has drawn the few generalisations be permits himself, and be is too profoundly imbued with the scientific spirit to ask his readers to accept on faith even a working hypothesis. But his ideas are luminous with thought-provoking originality, and the pure and noble spirit in which he handles questions too long obscured and degraded by morbid sentiment is in itself an enormous contribution towards their right understanding. It is like a current of fresh air, a gleam of sunshine, in a close, dark room.

    The first essay, on "The Woman's Question," passes in rapid survey the complex problem raised by the growing movement towards female emancipation Do we at all realise the meaning of the social revolution which must ensue if women suceeed in making good their claim to equality? The second is "A Sketch of the relations of sex in Germany", showing how fundamentally changes in the form of sex relationship have modified social life; with some suggestion as to the causes from which these changes may have sprung. The third essay is on "Socialism and Sex."

    The historical school of economists in Germany, and with them Karl Marx, have dwelt very strongly upon the fundamental importance of economic development in the history of society.The way in which wealth has been produced and distributed in any nation is the great

root fact, and from that all those social institutions and movements, with which historians have too long been exclusively occupied, have sprung. Laws and governments, class struggles and foreign wars, the deeds of kings and legislators, all originate in the economic condition of the race; all take their significance from the economic relations between men and from the form in which they hold property.

    Mr. Pearson contends that sex relations have played as fundamental a part as economic relations in social evolution. To each form of the ownership of wealth has corresponded a particular form of sex relation, and the latter has by no means always been the result of the former. Sometimes a change in sex relation has been the cause which would appear to have revolutionised economic conditions. Each has acted and reacted upon the other. The two together lie at the foundation of social life. On their variation depends the growth of society. And they have continually varied. It is sheer blindness to fail eo perceive that the great economic changes, which all intelligent men are beginning to recognise as inevitable to-day, will be accompanied by equally wide changes in sex relationship.

    We Communist-Anarchists disagree with Mr. Pearson's State Socialism; we disagree with the moral basis on which he builds it; but his rough outline of the probable future of sex relationship is radiant with the belief in Man which is the key-note of Anarchism,

    He holds that the entire absence of the organised interfereuce of the community in the personal relation of men and women will be the natural accompaniment of Socialism, and that complete freedom of intercourse, common education, and economic equality between the sexes will do what marriage laws and social restraints have failed to accomplish in destroying the mental depravity and heartless licence which disgrace modem social life.*

    In the July number of the Westminster Review Mrs. Mona Caird, a young novelist, has summarized a portion of Mr. Pearson's essays, in an article entitled "Marriage," though without acknowledging by more than a passing allusion the source from which her material has been obtained. Without the reservation and qualification with which Mr. Pearson has put forth his views, and without Socialism, Mrs. Caird's article appears somewhat strained and vague, but it is written in popular language, it is the utterance of a woman's cry of revolt, and it has done what Mr. Pearson's essays have not done, arrested public attention. The outcry in the daily papers has been the result.

    After all, the thinkers aee only engaged in consciously seeking, investigating and formulating what Society as a whole is dimly and unconsciously yearning and striving after. Where darkness is pain, these are they who go forth to search for light.

    Just now the pain is very real. From year to year it grows more acute, as the new life bruises itself in the darkness against the outworn forms that crush it back.

    For many ages an individualising process has been going on among us. A tendency has developed in the single human being to separate himself in his own consciousness, and consequently in his attitude and conduct, from his fellows; to look on himself not merely as a part of a group of kinsmen, or a patriarchical family, or a tribe, but as a distinct unit in the society to which he belonged, to count himself as one, and not merely a fraction. Gradually men have begun to recognise that each is, for himself, the centre of all things; and as the conscious recognition of this fact has grown, the claims of the individual have grown with it. After a fight of many ages he has won freedom of opinion; now he is claiming freedom of action, the acknowledged responsibility of self-guidance. But, it may be objected, is such a self-centred individual still a social being, does not his claim to independence imply antagonism to his fellows? He is still so essentially social that life except in association is a misery, a mutilation to his nature. Unless his social instinct is fully gratified, his whole being is distorted and his existence a weariness, as we see in the case of the unsocial monopolists of power and property to-day. But the terms of the association must be enlarged for the free individual. They must acknowledge his full individuality. They must be rational, not arbitrary, or they become an insufferable bondage to be cast off at all costs.

    At the present time this process of individualisation has advanced to such a point that every mau of ordinary capacity thinks it right that he

* 'Socialism and Sex,' was published last, year as a pamphlet (W. Reeves. 185 Fleet Street, E.C., price 2d.) and reviewed at length in Freedom for April 1887. In that review we pointed out our one difference with the author. We do not believe that the over-population difficulty will exist in a free communistic community, nor that the interference of even public opinion will be called for in the matter.

OCTOBER, 1888.

should manage his own personal affairs and be responsible for his own thoughts and conduct. He would consider it shameful that his family, or his relations, or the circle of families amongst whom he lives, should openly guide him and be responsible for him.

    Every man, who is worthy to be called a man, thinks this; but not by any means every woman. Until the present generation, the family, in its narrowest modern sense (i.e., the father, mother and children under age), has been the real unit of society. True, the man counted as one individual amongst other men; but he was always supposed to represent and control his wife and children.

    Moreover within the narrowed family circle the ancient patriarchical communism still legally lingered down to the present decade, and the father possessed the right to administer the wealth of the whole group, no matter by whose labour it was gained.

    The passing of the Married Woman's Property Act in 1883 was the first signal that the process of individualisation had reached women, that the last composite or artificial social unit was being broken up by the development of humanity. Reactionary as our legislators are, they were driven at last to recognise that even a married woman is an individual human being who has a claim to independent existence, and not economically a mere appendage to some man, or fraction of a family group.

    Driven, we say, but what drove them? There are two powerful forces at work in society, between which as between am upper and nether mill-stone the modern family system is being ground to powder. One is the mad race for wealth of our competitive industrialism. The other the spread of knowledge and education. The first is dissolving the family, as an economic group, and at the same time placing the possibility of economic independence within the grasp of women; the second is inspiring them with the desire to claim that independence and the capacity to use it.

    Women's labour is cheaper than men's, not so much because they have less muscular strength or technical skill, as because they have married or unmarried prostitution as an alternative profession to productive labour; a providential circumstance of which the capitalist is delighted to avail himself. Hence modern mechanical invention tends more and more to create increasing facilities for women to beceme independent wage-earners, with smaller wages for men in consequence of female competition and the destruction of the family amongst the working class as a result. With the loss of his exclusive control of the common purse strings, the authority of the man is at an end so soon as the woman chooses to dispute it; and the education of a personal struggle with the world, and even such odds and ends of intellectual training as girls get now, all dispose our young women to rebellion.

    An educated, thoughtful woman, whose mind has been trained to regard truth rather than custom as the measure of right, refuses as an educated thoughtful man refuses, to throw the responsibility of her life upon other people. She insists on guiding her own conduct and living according to her own nature and not some one else's idea of what that nature ought to be. She insists that the people with whom she is associated shall recognise her claim to a free expression of her individuality as equal to their own. She will not be deluded into an irrational self-mutilation by high-sounding commonplaces about duty and self-sacrifice. She will insist on knowing, weighing, deciding for herself according to her own instincts of self-development.

    There are not many such women amongst us to-day; but there are ever-increasing numbers of women tending in this direction, as the spread of education puts the opportunity of mental growth within their reach.

    The tendency to revolt is spreading, but the prospect before the rebels is dismal in the extreme. Those who have the courage of their opinions can as things are dispense with the insulting interference of church and state in their personal relations with their lovers; but what then? From chattel-slaves they have become wage-slaves. It requires a high courage to relish the sweets of economic independence when ones energy is largely absorbed by the cares of motherhood, and the merciless rush of competition perpetually reduces one's wages below starvation level. Yet this is the only prospect before the majority ef emancipated women as long as our present economic condition lasts. The dread of it causes many a victim of marriage to smother her conscience and her suffering and hug her chains-many a girl who has had dreams of better things to sell her beauty and her soul because she is terrified by the difficulty of finding a market for her labour force. Women who are awake to a consciousness of their human dignity have everything to gain because they have nothing to lose, by a Social Revolution. It is possible to conceive a tolerably intelligent man advocating palliative measures and gradual reform; but a woman who is not a Revolutionist is a fool.


    If there were no police, how would the community protect itself 'from the violence of homicidal maniacs? We have replied to such questions theoretically by the score; just now Whitechapel experience is replying in letters of blood to be seen and read of all men.

* * *

    The police do not and cannot protect us from homicidal maniacs. This horrible disease attacks human beings very rarely even under our presens unhealthy social conditions. When it does, helpless people are at the maniac's mercy in spite of our "admirable police." The Star enumerated the other day sixteen recent murders in London, not in-

cluding the Westmintter and Whitechapel affairs, whose perpetrators are still unknown. Facts to shake the most robust faith in the preventive efficacy of a police force.

* * *

    Englishmen may talk at meetings if they like about the superiority of state over voluntary organisation for the discovery of crime, but immediately there is real and wide-spread danger, their common sense leads them to form vigilance committees and set about protecting themselves. If there had been no police in Whitechapel at all, the murderer would probably have been put beyond the possibility of doing further damage by this time.

* * *

    There is nothing which so hinders men from acting effectively as the feeling that they can shift their responsibilities on to the shoulders of some one else who is paid to carry them.

* * *

    What about the social conditions that force women who are anxious to work honestly, to stand about trying to sell themselves in the streets at night, with the danger of being brutally murdered, added to the miseries of hunger and shame? Are we Revolutionists the enemies of mankind? or the respectable people who preach that such things must be and a change of social conditions is an unnecessary and dangerous absurdity?

* * *

    A grandiloquent manifesto "To the workers, employed and unemployed," has fallen under our notice. It professes to be published by the "Central Revolutionary Committee." We have no idea who these gentlemen may be; but "the abolition of all government" reads strangely on the programme of such a body. A Central Revolutionary Committee smacks of the French Jaoobinism of a hundred years ago rather than the Communist-Anarchism of to-day. The whole document appears to us of questionable value.

* * *

    The Cork band that declined to play "God Save the Queen" at the Irish Exhibition, has been greeted on its return home with rapturous welcome. Foes revile their action and friends (?) think it was foolish; but we attach some importance to the courage shown by a party of obscure Irishmen in refusing to play a tune which has never been played in Ireland without the intention of a hidden insult to the majority of the population. "What English band at English exhibition has played "God Save Ireland"?


THE word work, like "the word honesty, has obtained a quite peculiar meaning under the capitalist system of production. It is used indiscriminately for every sort of human labour. Yet how can any labour differ more widely than the slavery of a tram conductor from the free and useful work of the village blacksmith in Longfellow's poem-

Onward through life he goes;
Each morning sees some task begun,
Each evening sees its close;
Something attempted, something done,
Has earned a night's repose."

    Work in the true sense means neither enforced and slavish toil nor the purposeless efforts of the man who plays with some occupation for mere amusement.

    At present much well-meaning and honest labour is pure waste, for it produces only such idle follies as quack medicines, shoddy clothing, etc.; things created by the workman only for the wages he gets, and ordered by the capitalist only that he may sell them at a profit. Much labour also is wasted in producing needless luxuries for a few, when it is actually required to produce the necessaries of the many.

    The ideal of true work is that it should supply real needs.

    Now ought special intellectual or artistic gifts to excuse the man or woman who possesses them from taking a share in work of the first necessity, in the work required to supply those bodily needs which lie at the foundation of life?

    The old idea was that special gifts isolate their possessor from his fellow. That he ought to live in a rarified atmosphere apart from the common interests of life. But, as a matter of fact, has not some of the best art been inspired by the very fact of being in touch with actual human needs and activities. Think of Burns composing his most lovely lyrics at the plough tail or in the barn yard; or of Gluck whose finest music was inspired by the roar of the crowd during the Revolution of 1789.

    When every one feels that he ought to take a share in the necessary work of the world, the burden of it will no longer fall with such crushing weight on some men and women, and a very few hours out of the twenty-four will be consumed by it. It is the quantity of idlers and the amount of wasted labour that make the necessary work so heavy now. When all take their share, plenty of time and energy will remain to each for the cultivation of the arts and sciences. Even now, as we have seen, the beat artistic work is not always done by persons enjoying the privilege of exemption from necessary work; although now, not to be exempt generally means to be heavily burdened by the weight of toil. Whereas the literary and artistic class, privileged with exemption, do their special business very inefficiently, as the world sees when

OCTOBER, 1888.

some particular scandal reveals the rottenness of artistic and literary society, the muddling, injustice, and unfair discouragement of merit of Royal Academies, and publishers, with their "jackals" and "sweaters," log-rolling critics, etc.

    The people whose business it is to furnish the world with art and literature, consider themselves a superior class and their work far more important than that of the mechanic or agriculturist. But what is the relative social utility of a three volume novel? It has never yet been defined. And as a matter of fact if these superior persons were engaged in some necessary work, we should get as good, if not better, artistic work from them. What tales of the sea sailors could write for us if they had the education and leisure to do it; and what poor stuff the sentimental fancies of the professional romance writers, who stay at home and dream, would appear after the living description of the men who have seen and felt the marvels of the deep!

    But, it may be. objected, that many workmen now study art and science in their leisure moments and that no great results follow.* Is it likely that creative intellectual work can result from the scanty leisure of underfed, over-taxed men, who in their youth have had nothing but the barest elements of knowledge within their grasp? Yet even as things are, much sound scientific work is done at such institutions as the Great Ormond Street Working Men's College. If this is possible under our present wretched conditions, what may we not expect when knowledge and leisure are universally attainable by all hand workers? The teaching at these Workmen's Colleges is even now mostly voluntary, and this fact in itself is suggestive of the ease with which it will be possible to arrange universal instruction under free Communism.

    If brain-workers are to form a separate class from hand-workers and to consider their work more important, then no elaborate arrangements for securing economic equality can prevent them from becoming a ruling class, with separate and antagonistic interests from the rest of the community. No one can doubt the reality of this danger who notices how the worship of artists and scientists to-day is detaching the best amongst them from their sympathy with the people. Swinburne and Tennyson, Huxley and Tyndal,-what are the needs and wrongs of the workers to them now? And yet the two former at least were once ardent worshippers of liberty. But they have been relegated to a superior rank of society and reign there as a sort of little gods, afar from the toils and griefs of meaner mortals.

    No; we can none of us who are strong and healthy, isolate ourselves from the common and necessary work of the world and the common needs of human life without degradation to ourselves and injury to our fellows. We cannot afford to neglect the consideration of social utility in our labour.

    Social utility in work means that it is calculated to supply the real needs of the community at any particular time and place; first the most pressing and universal needs of food, clothes and shelter, and then those good things that minister to development of mind and body and the joy of living. It is impossible to value work of this sort, or to estimate the exact contribution of each real worker towards social utility. Artistic work is either valueless or invaluable; No two persons will precisely agree as to the value of what is produced, and it is impossible to measure the utility of art. If a man has artistic cravings, and is free, he will create works of art to satisfy himself, whether he feels it right to do some other sort of work as well or not, and whether he is paid for it or not. Even now artists who possess what is sometimes misnamed "an independence," work for no reward but their own pleasure and the benefit of humanity (it is quite easy to get together an amateur orchestra, for example), and this shows that it is man's own nature which leads him to cultivate art, and not the desire for remuneration.

    It comes to this. We all entail the expenditure of a certain amount of absolutely necessary work by the fact of our existence in the world, and we. ought in common fairness to contribute towards that expenditure not only by painting or fiddling or writing books, but by digging and sewing and building. Whether we have special gifts or not, we ought to feel ashamed to refuse to share with our fellows the material as well as the intellectual and artistic burden of life.

(Front an Italian Correspondent).

THE commercial crisis by which Italy is at the present time afflicted, is no doubt, referable in particular cases to particular causes, but it has been chiefly brought about by a revolution in economical ways and means.

    Only a few years ago the foreign and even the inter-provincial trade of Italy was comparatively, insignificant. Products of the soil were consumed on the spot; and the surplus merely was sold to provide for necessaries. Agriculture and manufactures alike took the mark of the locality, every part of the country showing its own particular taste. Flax. cotton, wool, silk and other manufactures, were established in the villages, and provided the peasants with good and durable commodities,

*Students of the "Woman Question" will note that this is precisely the argument brought by the advocates of female chattel slavery, against the higher education and economic independence of women-Under present circumstances what have women achieved? The question is, What have they had a chance to achieve ?-ED.

and the country population with additional employment. Hunger and destitution were as yet unknown, for poor people were permitted to gather fruits after the harvest, and provide themselves with food in many other such ways. Girls rotting in maize fields and children crippled in mines, and pellegra-stricken labourers did not yet exist.

    Even after the political amalgamation of Italy into one uniform state of servitude, lack of communications, scarcity of capital and of its substitutes, together with foreign competition and the heavy burden of taxation, acted as restraints upon commercial expansion. But the change, which was delayed, could not be averted.

    By and by landed property became concentrated in fewer and fewer hands, owing to the large sale of Church estates, to the division of communal domains, and to the expropriation of small owners by the State in default of payment of the land tax.

    Where a capitalist class began to appear, as in Lombardy, the land soon fell in their hands; and agriculture was treated according to industrial methods. Everywhere, as Italians say, "the flail drove the labourer before it." At the mine time domestic trades declined, as they are still doing and removed to great towns. The labourer was thereby thrown into compulsory idleness for a large part of the year; and the tide of emigration to France, to Germany, to America, set in.

    A proletarian class sprung from these circumstances, and the newborn capitalist was enabled to push forward his views and plans for self-enrichment. Factories were started, great public works accomplished. Public entries were appropriated to bankers who had lent to the Government, to Provinces, and to Communes; whilst a large part of the private ones were in a like manner taken hold of by Gas, Water, Electric Light, Building, Railway and Navigation Companies. "Capital," in its more strict significance, was created-i.e., a large credit for some enterprising idlers on the future products of labour; and the foundation was laid of that admirable system of credit and speculation, which is not the least ornament of bourgeois civilisation.

    The way was thus prepared for a thorough economic revolution. Production was, accordingly, taken out of the hands of the peasants, and was no longer determined by their actual wants or the exigencies of immediate exchange. It was directed, instead, to the one end of a mercantile class-exportation for profit, or speculation. Thus it happened that in southern Italy old plantations were cut down to make room for vineyards, which benefited the exporter. Wines, oils, etc., were adulterated to conform to a "unique type" for foreign markets; and such agricultural products as proved unfit for large exportation were, if not relinquished altogether, greatly neglected. Industry and trade followed suit. Both were conducted, no longer for use, but on speculative principles. Large wholesale stores were established in the great towns. Small trades were either crushed out or enslaved under a kind of sweating system. The capitalistic plagues-uncertainty of employment, workers deprived of all control of the means of production, and the trade in child labour, made their appearance. A sad uniformity established itself in the lot of the workman throughout the whole country. The result has been for him a rude but well-timed awakening in shape of strikes and labour combinations.

    It is the beneficent nature of capitalism that it grows out of universal misfortune.

    The rupture of commercial relations with France has ruined the small proprietors in southern Italy and caused indescribable misery, to numberless people; but the big monied men are preparing to buy up the soil at half its price or less ; but companies for exportation of wines, oils, etc,, are being founded by bankers, in the capital and elsewhere, and we shall soon hear of rings and syndicates in those markets, as we heard of an Italian syndicate in the silk trade last year.

    The financial operations connected with the resumption of specie payment after a long period of paper currency, have fed many capitalists' purses; but they have caused, amongst other evil effects, a crisis in the building trade at Rome, with the result that thousands of poor people have been thrown out of employment.

    The expenses occasioned by the Massowah settlement and the consequent war with Abyssinia, and the cost and corruption of parliamentary government, have increased the burden of taxation, and the increased duties have crippled the liquor and other trades. But landowners have got a protective duty; and by a new big Railway Bill contractors have been presented with half a milliard of francs over and above the very remunerative price paid for railway construction in the past.

    Everywhere in the country the cry of distress is heard: even the capitalist press avows that the land no more provides for both the proprietor and the labourer; but the Italian bourgeoisie is deeply engaged in great political and commercial enterprises, and goes straight to ruin.


THE meeting on September 14 was opened by Comrade Marsh with a paper on "Work and Social Utility," the substance of which will be found in another column. There was no direct opposition to the opener's contention that a share in work of social utility, such as providing food, clothing, shelter, etc, ought to be taken by every able-bodied person, and that such work, if fairly shared by all members of the community, would not fall so heavily on any individual as to prevent him or her from exercising special artistic or intellectual capacities at least as fully and as beneficially as they are exercised to-day, when brain and hand labour are almost entirely divided and brain workers are considered as a superior class.

OCTOBER, 1888.

Comrade Kropotkine said that whilst several collectivist schools consider it necessary to make a distinction between different kinds of work, according to the skill required, length of apprenticeship, agreeableness or disagreeableness, and so on, Communist Anarchists are all agreed that no such distinction must be made. We deny the necessity for a special class of brain workers and refuse to recoginise an aristocracy in this or any other direction.

    We have heard something from Comrade Marsh, he continued, as to the disadvantage to art of class islation. The same is true with regard to science. Take Medicine. The functions of the doctor and the nurse are now separated. The doctor only comes and looks at the patient once or twice a day and then goes away again; whereas the nurse is continually with the sick person, watching his symptoms, attending to his food and all his needs. It is evident that if each nurse had received a high medical education and each doctor had to perform the functions of the nurse, progress in Medicine would not have been so slow as it has been. In fact, we are now learning more and more that the science of medicine is the science of hygiene, and the art of healing is the art of sanitation. And as nurses have become better educated, it is in their province that the greatest improvements have been initiated.

    The President of the British Association spoke of industry helping science, and science industry ; but the help cannot be really effectual as long as brain and hand work are isolated from one another. Formerly scientists were themselves handicraftsmen and themselves inventors. The great astronomer Galileo made his own telescopes, and now we see that the great inventions of to-day, telegraphs, sewing machines telephones, electric lighting, and so on, spring not from the professional scientists, but from practical men like Morse or Eddison. and the many unknown handicraftsmen who work with them. In fact the numberless inventions of uneducated working people show that work with one's own hand is the great stimulus to inventive genius. For instance, one of the most marvellous machines in existence, that used at Nottingham in lace-making, was originally invented by a drunkard to get money for more gin after he had broken the bottle over his wife's head ; and it has been perfected by the ingenuity of three generations of workmen.

    In the interest of science itself it is desirable that scientist and hand worker be one and the same person ; and this is no unattainable state of things even in our present society. At Moscow there is a great college where the students learn pure mathematics and practical mechanics side by side, and the experience there shows that at twenty years of age the young man who can construct a steam-engine with his own hands is able to pass a stiff examination in the higher branches of mathematics as successfully as the youth who has done nothing but brain work all his life.

    But granted that this is true for average men and women, -hall we under such a system of mixed brain and band work have great geniuses like Darwin? Darwin's whole life was spent in laborious experiment arid research. Yes; but why was this necessary? Thirty years before Darwin's great book on the "Origin of Species" was published, when he as a young man returned from his voyage in the Beagle, be had already framed the hypothesis which has cast such a flood of light on modern thought. What was needed, was to collect facts to prove or disprove it. To verify his hypothesis he had to spend thirty years in collecting materials, because he was forced to work almost single-handed. But suppose we had all received a good scientific education and Darwin had been able to make appeal to a wide circle of intelligent and accurately trained minds to help him, then all that information could have been collected in five years.

    You see how much to the advantage of scientific progress it would be that the immediately necessary work of the world should be shared by all, so that all should use both hands and brains, and all enjoy a certain amount of leisure.

    Is it practical, to spend our time in discussing the best lines for the organisation of labour after the Social Revolution?

    We are nearly all agreed that the time is approaching when there will be again wide-spread popular movements, such as those which have occurred in the past. In the past these movements have usually ended in a change of rulers, and in the people expressing their desires to the new government with more or less earnestness and intelligence, proportionate to those desires having been thought out with more or less clearness beforehand. The people have never yet been so thoroughly convinced of what they needed as to venture to act directly for themselves for any length of time. Now we are, trying to prepare for the next great popular movement by leading as many men and women as possible to think out clearly what they want and make their minds ready to do it for themselves as soon as the chance occurs. Past revolutions have done so little because the workers were prepared to change so little. In the Commune of Paris there was nothing to prevent the workmen from taking possession of the houses and factories, if they had wished it; but before the outbreak occurred their leaders had always told them that it was not practical to think about expropriation and Socialism. The practical thing was to discuss the separation of church and state, the reduction of rents, the evils of night work in bakeries, and such like comparatively trivial matters; so when the chance to act came, it was these small palliatives and no radical changes that the working people of Paris sought and obtained.

    The practical people are those who try intelligently to understand what is likely to happen and who prepare for it.

    The next meeting will take place at 13 Farringdon Road, on Friday October 12, at 8.30 p.m. The discussion will be opened by Dr. Merlino in a paper on "The Organisation of Work."



    The battering-ram has been idle on the Vandeleur estates because the police and military have been on duty for the Marquis Clanricarde at Woodford during September. The Woodford men and women have shown good fight and in more than one instance the defence fully equalled in determination and gallantry that made by the Somers household at Coolroe. At Tully's house emergency-men, battering-ram, police with naked swords and gleaming bayonets, were hours before effecting an entrance. The garrison, fifteen in number, two of them women, were all more or less seriously wounded. Tully himself had to be carried out, having received severe internal injuries from the butt ends of muskets. He states that but for the intervention of the inspector, the police would have finished him as he lay on the ground. His sister had her teeth smashed in by a gallant "peeler" because she objected to his maltreating a calf.

    Another of the Woodford homes was defended by a Mrs. Page, her three daughters and a boy of fourteen. It was declared by an officer present, experienced in such matters, to be the pluckiest defence he had ever witnessed. Here, also, the police distinguished themselves. One (we recommend him to Balfour for promotion) who received a dash of cold water when forcing his way in after a breach had been made, knocked down Mrs. Page, half strangled her and bit her arm severely.

    To Balfour's death-list has been added the name of John Fahy, a young man in delicate health. whose parents had vainly prayed the Clanricarde agent for a delay in their eviction on account of his precarious condition. The shock of being carried from his sick-bed to be propped up against an outside wall while the work of devastation was carried out proved the finishing-stroke. A coroner's inquiry was refused by the authorities, but the verdict "Dead by the visitation of the landlord" is recorded all the same.

    Lansdowne has cleared another hundred acres of land; Leader of Curras has turned out five families, while Sir Richard Wallace has only had courage to evict an old man of 70 and his daughter.

    The island of Achill is preyed upon by a land-thief named "Pike" and a Protestant body calling itself the "Achill Mission." Between the two the islanders are reduced to actual starvation and have been for the past two months existing on scanty subscriptions raised by their priest.

    Col. O'Callaghan, who learned a lesson at Bodyke, has come to terms with his other tenants on the Miltown and Fortane estate. One year's rent and £7,632 have been wiped out thanks to the Plan of Campaign, that "unmitigated curse" to the peasants of Ireland.

    The first anniversary of the Mitchelstown massacre did not pass unobserved, Sept. 19. The police at an early hour took possession of the fatal square and tore away the black flags which had been placed over the spots where Shinnick, Casey and Lonergan fell, but the people assembled in crowds around the groves of Casey and John Mandeville, who lie buried not far from Mitchelstown, to listen to stirring speeches and renew their vows of allegiance to the cause of liberty. The disappointed police attacked them in the prescribed brutal fashion as they retired quietly to their homes.

    More revelations as to the heavy bribes given to the black-coated gentry who rule the roost in Ireland appeared in the "little bill" sent in to the Cork Corporation by Inspector Hayes. The items included increased pay to various policemen who had given evidence in the prosecution of Alderman Hooper. The Mayor declined to pay and begged to inform Mr. Balfour that he considered the demand insolent, and the imprisonment of Alderman Hooper a gross infringement of public liberty.

    Balfour's police-nets made a haul of 67 during September. But of these 6 have been discharged. the Removables finding "No Rule," i.e., Balfour had forgotten to provide for their offences in his Crimes Bill; 36 have been remanded, and 2 fined. The remaining 23 have gone to jail: for intimidation, 4; taking repossession, 2; knocking down an emergency-man, 1 (3 months); boycotting police, 1; for declaring he "would shout as long as God gave him lungs," 1; defending Somers' home at Coolroe, 11 (1 to 10 months' bard labour; 7 to 6 months'; 2, 4 months'; 1, 3 months); for crying out "Bravo boys!" to the aforesaid, W. K. Redmond, M.P., 3 months (refused to appeal); conspiring against a landlord, J. Redmond, M.P. (admitted to bail); publishing reports of suppressed League, Edward Walsh. of Wexford People, 3 months (granted time to undergo serious operation to his eyes); attending meeting of suppressed League. Father Kennedy (2 months; rearrested after failure of his appeal in Exchequer Court).

    John Dillon. Alex. Blane and Mr. Halpin have been released before completion of their sentences, The reports of their health have been very unsatisfactory and Balfour no doubt thought it best to avoid more cases of "Mandevilling " for the present.

    The three Miltown-Malbay shopmen having done four of their six months in Limerick Jail, have been offered immediate release if they would sign a pledge to abstain from future boycotting of land-thieves, but have declined the tempting bait.

    Constable Cooper in the Cork police court produced a prisoner just turned fire, one of "a disorderly crowd " who had called his constableship "Balfour's bloodhound." Case refused a hearing.

    IRISH PLUCK-A Wexford boy who has just done his six months in jail, and is very likely going to do another term, on being interviewed by Canon Doyle as to how he got on in jail replied, "Begor, your riverence, it's right fun to be smiling across at a fellow you know when you were going round the ring." "And what did you when you were locked up in solitary confinement? Begor, Canon, I was laughing to myself and passing resolutions."

    Freedom Discussion Meeting, 13 Farringdon Road E.C. on Friday, October 12 at 8.30 p.m. The discussion will be opened by Dr. Merlino in a paper on "The Organisation of Work."

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