(1863) Boston, Mass.
The present condition of our country, and of many other parts of the world, calls out and places before us, as in a panorama, whatever there is of thought; whatever there has been of progress or retrogression, and displays to us at a simple glance, as it were, the present state of civilization in so vivid a manner that we are enabled to weigh and estimate what we have and what we need with a degree of certainty that, in a state of repose, no one’s lifetime might enable him to measure; and which may reasonably inspire even the humble with a boldness suited to the time, and with a hope that discoveries indispensable to true civilization, that could scarcely gain a single ear while the adversities of life could be borne, may now receive some attention where all confidence in the tried is lost.
INTRODUCTION TO CHAPTER I.
Those who have not leisure or inclination to follow all the subtle intricacies of the following subjects will at once appreciate the relief promised by the “Tribunals” proposed in this first chapter following, to which everything of the kind can be referred with a prospect of obtaining as reliable opinions as could be expected from any quarter; at least, as reliable as opinions that are not authoritative need to be. But, I implore my fellow-men not longer to commit themselves to indiscriminatesubordination to any human authority or to the fatal delusions of logicand analogies, nor even to ideas or principles (so called), but to maintain, as far as possible, at all times, the FREEDOM to act according to the apparent merits of each individual case as it may present itself to each individual understanding. There is no other safety for us–no other security for civilization.
If I should prove myself right in ninety-nine points in this work, do not, therefore, conclude that I am right in the hundredth without examination and your own sanction: that one point might be the one in which I was wrong or misunderstood.
While a small portion of mankind can see, at a glance, the prospective workings of a principle or natural law, and only want to know what to doin order to do it, and have not time to study new things, there are others who have time and who want to study the philosophy, and follow the train of thought which gave rise to whatever is proposed for their adoption, and make it, as it were, their own, before they are ready to act. The first class of persons may be content for a while with the following chapter on government; while the latter class may find immediate interest in tile chapters which follow.
GOVERNMENT AND ITS TRUE FUNCTION.
1. With all due deference to other judgments I venture to assert that our present deplorable condition, like that of many other parts of the world, is in consequence of the people in general never having perceived, or else having lost sight of, the legitimate object of all governments as displayed or implied in the American “Declaration of Independence.”
2. Every individual of mankind has an “INALIENABLE right to Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness;” “and it is solely to protect andsecure the enjoyment of these rights unmolested that governments can properly be instituted among men.” In other terms, SELF-SOVEREIGNTY is an instinct of every living organism; and it being aninstinct, cannot be alienated or separated from that organism. It is the instinct of Self-Preservation; the votes of ten thousand men cannot alienate it from a single individual, nor could the bayonets of twenty thousand men neutralize it in any one person any more than they could put a stop to the instinctive desire for food in a hungry man.
3. The action of this instinct being INVOLUNTARY, every one has the same absolute right to its exercise that he has to his complexion or the forms of his features, to any extent, not disturbing another; and it is solely to prevent or restrain such disturbances or encroachments, that governments are properly instituted. In still shorter terms, the legitimate and appropriate mission of governments is the defence and protection of the inalienable right of Sovereignty in every individual within his or her own sphere.
But what is it that constitutes encroachment?
4. Suppose my house to be on fire, and I seize a pail of water in the hands of a passer-by, without waiting to explain or ask leave–this would be one degree of encroachment, but perhaps the owner would excuse it on the ground of its necessity. Suppose a man walks into my house without waiting for leave–it may or may not disturb or offend me, or constitute a degree of encroachment. If I find that he has no excusable errand, and require him to retire and he refuses, this would be a degree of encroachment which I might meet with a few words, and might need no government to assist me. If he proceeds to rob the house, I may have reason to think that he is driven to desperation by having a starving family, and I may not resort to violence; or I may perceive that he is a wanton and reckless robber or fillibuster, and that this is an unnecessaryencroachment, which, in defence of my own rights, as well as the same rights in others, I am justifiable in resisting; and if I have not sufficient power to do so without endangering myself or property, I will call for help: –this help, whether in the form of police or an army, is government, and its function is to use force, to prevent him from using force against me and mine; it interferes, with my consent, to prevent interference with my sovereign right to control my own:– its mission is “intervention for the sake of non-intervention.”
5. If he has already got possession of my purse, I should want him to be compelled, without any unnecessary violence, to give it up; and, perhaps, to compensate the police; and, till I had learned better, I might have approved of his being confined in prison till he had done this, and compensated me for being disturbed: but there are objections to proceeding to these complicated measures. There is no principle(generally) known, by which to determine what constitutes compensation!–He could not get properly compensated for his work, which might be a greater injustice to him than he had done to me; and it would inflict on his innocent father, mother, brothers, and sisters, his wife and children, and all his friends, incalculable injustice and suffering, and this would be no compensation to me: besides, I (as a citizen of the same world) am a partner in the crime by not having prevented the temptation to it.
6. With all these considerations against pursuing him farther, I think it the best present expedient to put up with the restoration of my purse, as he gains nothing to tempt the continuance of the business. The wordexpedient may look loose and unsatisfactory: but, among all the works of mankind there is nothing higher than expedients.
7. The instinct of self-preservation or self-sovereignty is not the work of man; but to keep it constantly in mind as a sacred right in all human intercourse is highly expedient.
8. Perceiving that we can invent nothing higher than expedients, we necessarily set aside all imperative or absolute authorities, all sanguinary and unbending codes, creeds, and theories, and leave every one Free to choose among expedients: or, in other words, we place all action upon thevoluntary basis. Do not be alarmed, we shall see this to be the highest expedient whenever it is possible.
9. It is only when the voluntary is wantonly encroached upon, that the employment of force is expedient or justifiable.
10. It appears, however, that no rule or law can be laid down to determine beforehand, what will constitute an offensive encroachment–what one will resist another will excuse, and the subtle diversities of different persons and cases, growing out of the inherent individualities of each, have defied all attempts at perfect formulizing excepting this of theSovereignty of every individual over his or her own; and even this must be violated in resisting its violation!
11. The legitimate sphere of every individual has never been publicly determined; but until it is clearly defined, we can never tell what constitutes encroachmont– what may be safely excused, or what may be profitably resisted.
12. We will attempt then to define the sphere within which every individual may legitimately, rightly exercise supreme power or absolute authority. This sphere would include his or her person, time, property, and responsibilities.
13. By the word right is meant simply that which necessarily tends towards the end in view– the end in view here is permanent and universal peace, and security of person and property.
14. I have said (in effect) that the present confusion and wide-spread violence and destruction result from a want of appreciation of this great right of Individual Sovereignty, and its defence by government.
15. I now proceed to illustrate and prove this by considering what would be the natural consequences of bearing these two ideas all the time in mind as the regulators of political and moral movements, and holding them, as it were, as substitutes for all previous laws customs, precedents, and theories.
16. First, then, while admitting this right of Sovereignty in every one, I shall not be guilty of the ill manners of attempting to offensively enforce any of my theoretical speculations, which has been the common error of all governments! This itself would be an attempted encroachment that would justify resistance.
17. The whole mission of coercive government being the defence of persons and property against offensive encroachments, it must have force enough for the purpose. This force necessarily resolves itself into the military, for the advantages of drill and systematic cooperation: and this being perhaps the best form that government can assume, while a coercive force is needed, I make no issue with it but only with the misapplications of its immense power.
18. Adhering closely to the idea of restraining violence as the mission of government or military power, if this sole purpose was instilled into the general mind as an element of education or discipline, no force could be raised to invade any persons or property whatever, and no defence would be necessary.
19. If the Declaration of Independence, or this sacred right of Individual Sovereignty, had been commonly appreciated a year ago in the “United States,” they would not now be disunited. None of the destruction of persons and property which has blackened the past year would have occurred, nor would twelve hundred thousand citizens now be bent on destroying each other and their families and homes in these States!
20. Every individual would have been “Free” to entertain any theory of government whatever for himself or herself, and to test it by experiment within equitable limits; an issue would be raised only where this sacred right was denied, or against any who should have undertaken to enforceany theory of government whatever upon any individual against his or her “consent.” The frank and honest admission of this “inalienable” right would even now change the issue of this present war, and carry relief and protection to the invaded or oppressed, and war or resistance to the oppressor only, whether he were found on one side or the other of a geographical line. Mere theorists say that “the laws of nations decide that a state of war (between two nations) puts all the members of each, in hostility to each other:” and that “the laws of nations justify us in doing all the harm we can to our enemies.” We need no death-warrant from “authority” against these barbarian theories– the very statement of them becomes their execution.
21. Every person being entitled to sovereignty within his own sphere, there can be, consistently, no limits or exceptions to the title to protection in the legitimate exercise of this sacred right, whether on this side or the other side of the Atlantic, and whether “in a state of war” or not: and, as soon as we take position for this universal right for all the world, we shall have all the world for us and with us and no enemies to contend with. Did military men ever think of this? Did governments ever think of it?
22. The whole proper business of government is the restraining offensive encroachments, or unnecessary violence to persons and property, or enforcing compensation therefor: but if, in the exercise of this power, we commit any unnecessary violence to any person whatever or to any property, we, ourselves, have become the aggressors, and should be resisted.
23. But who is to decide how much violence is necessary in any given case? We here arrive at the pivot upon which all power now turns for good or evil; this pivot, under formal, exacting, aggressive institutions orconstitutions, is the person who decides as to their meaning. If one decides for all, then all but that one are, perhaps, enslaved; if each one’s title to Sovereignty is admitted, there will be different interpretations, and this freedom to differ will ensure emancipation, safety, repose, even in a political atmosphere! and all the co-operation we ought to expect will come from the coincidence of motives according to the merits of each case as estimated by different minds. Where there is evidence of aggression palpable to all minds, all might co-operate to resist it: and where the case is not clearly made out, there will be more or less hesitation: Two great nations will not then be so very ready to jump at each other’s throats when the most cunning lawyers are puzzled to decide which is wrong!
24. Theorize as we may about the interpretation of “the Constitution,” every individual does unavoidably measure it and all other words by his own peculiar understanding or conceits, whether he understands himself or not, and should, like General Jackson, recognize the fact, “take the responsibility of it,” and qualify himself to meet its consequences. The full appreciation of this simple but almost unknown fact will neutralize the war element in all verbal controversies, and the binding power of all indefinite words, and place conformity thereto on the voluntary basis! Did any institution-makers (except the signers of the “Declaration”) ever think of this?
25. It will be asked, what could be accomplished by a military organization, if every subordinate were allowed to judge of the propriety of an order before he obeyed it? I answer that nothing could be accomplished that did not commend itself to men educated to understand, and trained to respect the rights of persons and property as set forth in the “Declaration of Independence;” and that here, and here only, will be found the long-needed check to the barbarian wantonness that lays towns in ashes and desolates homes and hearts for brutal revenge, or to act office or a little vulgar newspaper notoriety.
26. But what shall ensure propriety of judgment or uniformity or coincidence between the subordinates and the officers? I answer, Drill, Discipline,– of mind as well as of arms and legs,– teaching all to realize their true mission. The true object of all their power being clearly defined and made familiar, there would at once be a coincidence unknown before, and but slight chance of dissent when there was good ground for co-operation.
27. No subordination can be more perfect than that of an Orchestra; but it is all voluntary.
28. When we are ready to protect any person or property without regard to locality or party, there can be no hostile parties or nations!– Nothing to betray by treason!– Nothing to rebel against!– No party to desert to! Then, whose fault is it that there are persons called “Traitors,” “Rebels,” and “Deserters”?
29. If it be true that the sole proper function of coercive force is to restrain or repair all unnecessary violence, then the conclusion is inevitable that all penal laws (for punishing a crime or an act after it is committed except so far as they work to compensate the injured partyEquitably) are themselves criminal! The excuse is that punishment is “a terror to evildoers;” but those who punish instead of preventing crime are themselves evildoers; and according to their own theory they should be punished and terrified; but the theory is false: consistently carried out, it would depopulate the world. Such are the fogs in which we get astray when we trust ourselves away from first premises and substitute speculative theories in their stead. Had our military been properly educated to know its true function and purpose, Ellsworth would not have been shot for taking down a flag; the shooting of him did not restrain him, nor did the shooting of Mr. Jackson compensate Ellsworth: but it caused Mrs. Jackson to become insane with grief, and has spread a hostile spirit to an incalculable extent among millions, which will descend to future generations; all of which originated in the denial to Mr. Jackson of his “inalienable right” to choose his own government, which the “Declaration” guarantees in explicit terms to every one.
30. To take down Mr. Jackson’s flag was one degree of encroachment, but it was not necessary to shoot Ellsworth for bad manners; failing to educate him or to prevent him, one party was as much in fault as the other. The barbarian habit of shedding blood for irreparable offences (“as a terror to evil-doers”) was acted upon in this case– carried fully out, mutual slaughter would have continued till there would not be a man, woman, or child, living upon the earth.
31. Are not these statements perfectly in accordance with the Declaration of Independence as well as with the teachings of the wisest and best of our species? I invite thought on the subject. I make the assertions not because they are implied in that “Declaration,” but because they are just such as are demanded at this hour as the only possible means of salvation from barbarism.
32. If the solutions herein presented should appear to require more steady manliness and consistent thought than such as commonly prevail, then Instruction, Drill, Discipline, are as necessary for the minds as for the bodies of our military forces: but even in this discipline, the principal labor will consist in keeping the mind’s eye steadily upon two ideas so simple as the right of Sovereignty in every person and its judicious defence.
33. Experience drifts us, against all theories of combination, to refer everything to Individual decision and action: and we cannot, therefore safely dispense with an ever-watchful DISCRIMINATION and a strongSelf-government in every person in proportion to the magnitude of his or her sphere of action. Practical experience in this country in less than one year has driven us, against the hopeful theory of Democratic government, under the dreaded government of military despotisms, which is merely placing the deciding power in a few persons, and the persons and property of all the people at their disposal; while the Declaration of Independence and the instinct of Self-preservation assert the absolute and “inalienable right ” of every one to control his own! Man-made powers are arrayed against NATURE’S LAW! Here we have the fatal issue! What can be done? Are we again at the eve of a long night of desolation, or is there some untried element in modern thought which can reconcile the seeming contradiction between instinct and experience?
34. Can it be possible that one simple thought found in our own charter of rights, if introduced into military discipline, would solve, not this great problem only, but others of even greater magnitude?
35. A man cannot alienate his “inalienable right” of self-preservation or Sovereignty by joining the military or any other combination– the assumption that this is possible has produced all our political confusion and violence, and will continue to produce just such fruits to the end of time, if the childish blunder is not exposed and corrected.
36. Admitting this indestructible right of Sovereignty in every Individual, at all times and in all conditions, one will not attempt togovern (but only guide or lead) another; but we shall trust to principle orpurpose for a general and voluntary coincidence and co-operation. Military officers will then become directors or leaders,– not “commanders,”– obedience will be all the more prompt because it is rendered for an object– the greatest that can inspire human action, RESISTANCE TO ALL ATTEMPTS AT OFFENSIVE AND UNNECESSARY GOVERNING OR ENCROACHMENTS upon ANY persons or property whatsoever, as the great guarantee for the security of each and every individual. Then every Man, Woman, and Child in the world is interested in acting for and with such a government!
37. Our problem is theoretically solved! But its brightness dazzles us, and its sublime magnitude bewilders– — Let us take time!
38. Having one man as general over thousands, arises from the natural necessity for Individuality in the directing mind when numbers wish to move together; but it does not necessarily imply any superiority of judgment or motive in the director of a movement beyond those of the subordinates, any more shall the driver of an omnibus is presumed to know the road better than the passengers; they may all know the road equally well, but if they all undertake to drive the horses, none of their purposes will be answered; and it would be equally ridiculous for the driver, under the plea of upholding subordination, to insist on carrying his passengers where they did not want to go, or refuse to let them get out when they wanted to “secede.”
39. The necessity for the prompt execution of the directions of the one lead, or director, where numbers are acting together to attain an object in view, is so self-evident, or can be so easily explained, that where there is a walls of this promptness, it implies that the fault is in having a bad cause, or unfit associates in a good one.
40. The most intelligent people always make the best subordinates in a good cause, and in our modern military it will require more true manhood to make a good subordinate than it will to be a leader; for the leader may very easily give orders, but they take the responsibility of that only, while the subordinate takes the responsibility of executing them; and it will require the greatest and highest degree of manhood, of self-government, presence of mind, and real heroism to discriminate on the instant and to stand up individually before all the corps and future criticisms, and assume, alone, the responsibility of dissent or disobedience. His only support and strength would be in his consciousness of being more true to his professed mission than the order was, and in the assurance that he would be sustained by public opinion and sympathy as far as that mission was understood.
41. Subordinates have many times refused to fire on their fellow-citizens in obedience to the mere wantonness of authority, or of the ferocity of a crude discipline, and have thus, like William Tell, entitled themselves to the lasting gratitude and affection of generations.
42. Men may lead and men must execute, but intelligence, principle, must regulate: and that principle must be THE PREVENTION OR REPAIR OF ALL UNNECESSARY VIOLENCE, OR WANTON DISTURBANCE OF PERSONS OR PROPERTY, if we are ever to have order or peace on earth.
43. Even Children, when drilled and trained with this idea (which is simply the true Democratic idea), would become an ever-ready police to protect each other and the gardens, fruits, and other property around them, instead of being, as they often are, the Imps of disturbance and destruction. The height of their ambition being to play “soger,” and fight somebody or destroy something.
44. This is our fault. The Democratic idea, theoretically at the base of American institutions, has never been introduced into our military discipline, nor into our courts, nor into our laws, and only in a caricatured and distorted shape into our political system, our commerce, our education, and public opinion.
45. Let this element be practically and consistently introduced, especially in the military department, and our country is saved:– Otherwise, it is LOST.
46. When a high degree of intelligence, great manhood, self-government, close discrimination, real heroism, and gentle humanity are known to be necessary to membership in our military corps (or government), these qualities will come into fashion, and become the characteristics of the people; and to be thought destitute of them, and unworthy of membership in the military would cause the greatest mortification: while to be known as a member in good standing would be an object sought as the highest honor.
47. Is all this in exact and scientific accordance with our first premises in the “Declaration of lndependence,” or is it all a romantic dream?
48. If we have been correct in our reasonings, then we have found the clue to the true mission and form of Government– To the most perfect, yet harmless subordination– The reconciliation of obedience with FREEDOM– To the cessation of all hostilities between parties and Nations– To universal co-operation for universal preservation and security of persons and property. We have found a government, literallyin the people, of the people, for the people– a government that is the people: for Men, Women, and Children can take some direct or indirect part in it– a ready police or army adapted to all demands for either– a self-protecting “Party of the whole.”
49. A “Union” not only on paper, but rooted in the heart– whose members, trained in the constant reverence for the “inalienable right” of Sovereignty in every person, would be habituated to forbearance towards even wrong opinions and different educations and tastes, to patient endurance of irremediable injuries, and a self-governing deportment and gentleness of manner, and a prompt but careful resistance to wanton aggression wherever found, which would meet with a ready and an affectionate welcome in any part of the world.
50. Every intelligent person would wish to be a member or to contribute, in some manlier, to the great common cause.
51. No coercive system of taxation could be necessary to such a government! A government so simple that children will be first to comprehend it, and which even they can see it for their interests to assist: and then would as readily play “soger” to prevent mischief, as to domischief.
52. With our mind’s eye steadily fixed on this great Democratic principle and object, let us immediately commence the agitation of the idea of forming companies of home-guards on this principle.
53. Let any one who feels so disposed, take the first steps and invite the co-operation of persons sufficiently intelligent to comprehend the object to form a nucleus. (The known habitual regard to the “inalienable rights” of persons and property would be the best title to membership). Then, commence Drill and Discipline, keeping in mind all the time thekind of discipline required, which would be partly in the form of lectures; taking as texts, the details of the destruction of persons an I property going on all around us, and showing with how much less violence the same or better objects could have been accomplished: and in the drill, giving some orders to do some unnecessary harm, on purpose to be disobeyed in order to accustom the subordinates to “look before they leap” or strike!
54. Such a Military force would be within but not under discipline. In other words, its “sabbath would be made for man– not man for its sabbath.” To be under instead of within discipline is a mistake as fatal as that of getting under water in stead of within water.
55. If the true mission of the military or enforcing power is kept constantly in view, and made, as it were, the guiding star, scarcely anything can go seriously amiss; and NVC need no other guide for the use of a governing force: nor will it answer to allow any theories or“precedents” to override this one supreme consideration.
56. Companies thus formed would do well to communicate with each other, which would be all the general organization required for a world-wide co-operation.
57. Here would be a government to preserve, and not to destroy– to protect and not to invade; a government that can include the whole strength of the world– when might would be for the right, and no enemies to contend with!
58. The charms of music, of mutual sympathy, the beauties of order, and of unity of dress and of movement in military displays, now so seductive to purposes of destruction and degradation, would entice to the highest and noblest objects of human ambition, which would never need a field of activity as long as wanton oppression (even of a single individual) has footing on the earth.
59. Thus far we have considered the true function of government, and find that it has to deal only with offensive encroachments upon persons or property: like a volunteer guard on a wrecked vessel in the confusion of disaster, the frenzy of hlunger, and the fear of starvation, to prevent unnecessary destruction of life or property,– an expedient choice of evils where there is nothing but evils to choose from.
60. Society has thus far been only a “series of failures,” and is at this day a mere assemblage of wrecks thrown against each other on a tempestuous sea without pilots, charts, rudders, or compass.
61. The first ship has not yet been constructed that is not liable to be wrecked by the very element that moves it on a successful voyage; and the first form of general society is yet to be developed that would not be liable to destruction from the instinctive “pursuit of happiness,” without which no society would exist.
62. Government, strictly and scientifically speaking is a coercive force;a man, while governed with his own consent, is not governed at all.
63. Deliberative bodies, such as Legislatures, Congresses, Conventions, Courts, etc., are not, scientifically speaking, are not government, which is simply coercive force. But, inasmuch as that force should never be employed without a deliberate reference to its legitimate object, and upon which all available wisdom should be brought to bear, a Deliberative Council, acting before or with the government, seems highly expedient if not indispensable.
64. Moreover there are subjects now before us, and continually arising, on which, by timely forethought, violent issues may be prevented from arising, and many most important subjects may be adjusted by counsel alone, without any appeal to force.
65. Such Counsellors should not be tempted by unearned salaries and honors, nor by compensation measured by the necessities or weakness and defencelessness of their clients; nor should they consist of those who, like editors of news, can make more money by wars and other calamities than they can by peace and general prosperity, but let the Counsellors be those who are willing to wait, like tillers of the soil, for compensation according to the quantity and quality of their work. Let compensation or honors come in the form of voluntary contributions AFTER but not before benefits have been realized.
66. It is therefore suggested that any person, of either sex, who may coincide with this proposition, and who feels competent to give Counsel in any department of human affairs, publicly announce the fact, as lawyers and physicians now do, or permit their names and functions to be made accessible to the public in some manner, so that whoever may need honest counsel on any subject may know where to find it. If a meeting of such Counsellors is thought desirable by any interested party, he or she can invite such as are thought to be most competent for the occasion, according to the subject to be considered.
67. These Counsellors, while in session, would constitute a deliberative assembly, or advisory tribunal. It might consist of both sexes or either sex, according to the nature of the subject to be deliberated upon.
68. After deliberation, or whenever any interested party feels ready to make up an opinion, let him or her write it down with the reasons for it, and present it to the Counsellors and the audience, for their signatures, and let the document go forth to the public or to the interested parties. If there are several such documents, those having the signatures of counsellors or persons most known to be reliable would have the most weight; but, in order to ensure any influence or benefit from either, let compensation come to the Counsellors like that to Rowland Hill, in voluntary contributions after the benefits of the opinions have, to some extent, been realized.
69. After having thus brought the best experience and well-balanced counsels to bear upon any subject without satisfying all parties, every person has a Sovereign right to differ from all the opinions of the tribunal while not invading or disturbing other persons or property.
70. When an issue has already been raised, and no one of these decisions is acceptable to both parties, the decisions may be laid before the military (or government) to act at its discretion; selecting that course which promises the least violence or disturbance. If any member declines to act, his “inalienable right” to do so, being sacredly respected, would tend to confirm and illustrate the only principle that can regulate, at the very moment that it should regulate, the action of the others!
71. To ensure the best order in such a deliberative assembly, no other subject than the one for which it is called should be introduced without unanimous consent; as each and every one has a sovereign right to appropriate his own time and to choose the subjects that shall occupy his attention: and a constant regard to the same right, fully appreciated by all, will suggest the careful avoidance of all unnecessary disturbance which might prevent any one from hearing whatever he or she prefers to listen to. This sentiment becoming familiar to all as a monitor, but little disturbance would occur– when it did occur, the principle itself would immediately prompt its appreciators to stop it with as little violence as possible.
72. Here, again, we need no other regulator for the most perfect order than this great Democratic principle!
73. With such Counsellors ready to act, we should be immediately exempted from the necessity for any disagreeable personal disputations on subjects which so often lead to violence or lasting enmity between individuals and Nations! All of the doubtful and unsettled can at once be referred to the highest tribunal, with the assurance of obtaining the best decision that present attainments within our reach can furnish.
74. A subject of great or universal interest may be laid before all such tribunals in the world, and their decisions brought to every city, village, and neighborhood, and to every door; and the relief from all disturbing controversies would be felt at every fireside.
75. The sanction of such tribunals, to any enterprise for public benefit, would place its author or inventor fairly before the public for their patronage, instead of being left to starve for want of attention; while the absence or want of such sanction would put a sudden stop to the swarms of impostures and fallacies that now wear out the attention to no purpose, and render valueless the announcements of even valuable things: while with such a sanction, the public might fool; at advertisements with some prospect of benefit therefrom.
76. This absolute right of Sovereignty in every individual, over his or her person, time, and property is the only rule or principle known to this writer that is not subject to exceptions and failures as a regulator of human intercourse. It is very often, however, impossible in our complicated entanglements, for one or some to exercise this right without violating the same right in others. We will ask our Counsellors to examine DISINTEGRATION as tile remedy!
77. We will ask them what constitutes legitimate property? We will ask them for the least violent mode of securing land to the homeless and starving. Also, what would constitute the just reward of LABOR? We shall invite them to consider what ought to be the circulating medium, or Money? How it happens that the producers and makers of everything have comparatively nothing? And we shall ask them for some mode of Adapting Supplies to Demands– For a better Postal system– For a more Equitable system of buying and selling– For a programme of Education in accordance with the Democratic principle.
78. And we will ask them, What will be the use of Congresses, Legislatures, and Courts of Law.
79. These are some of the subjects that must immediately employ the best minds, if the “American Experiment” is not to prove a total failure. Not to say that the best minds have not been employed upon them, but that the required solutions were impossible without the aid of very recent, though very simple, developments.
80. A Conservatory and Library will naturally spring up, where the records of the tribunal decisions and other contributions to public welfare will be preserved for reference and diffusion; and the world will begin to know its benefactors.
81. This Modern Military, as a Government, will be necessary only in the transitionary stage of society from confusion and wanton violence to true order and mature civilization.
82. When the simply wise shall sit in calm deliberation, patiently tracing out the complicated and entangled CAUSES of avarice, of robberies, of murders, of wars, of poverty, of desperation, of suicides, of Slaveries and fraud, violence and suffering of all kinds, and shall have found appropriate and practical means of PREVENTING instead of punishing them, then the Military will be the fitting messengers of relief and harbingers of security and of peace, of order and unspeakable benefits wherever their footsteps are found; and, instead of being the desolators of the world, they will be hailed from far and near as the blessed benefactors of mankind.
83. Those who may dissent from these views are, in that act,exercising the “inalienable right” which has no exceptions; and they may perceive that they are thus assisting in the scientific inauguration of EQUITABLE FREEDOM.
84. In deference to the pressing exigencies of the time, I have endeavored to put forth, in the fewest possible words, thoughts which seem to promise the relief required by all classes, parties, and Nations, and have not dwelt upon existing errors and wrongs they being, sufficiently evident by contrast with tile right, any prolonged attack upon them is unnecessary.
85. I have endeavored to show the sublime powers and dazzling beauties of an Absolute Principle of right, as a guiding star to our path, along with expedients entirely consistent therewith. If this search after the narrow path has been more fortunate than that of our predecessors, it is owing to circumstances so peculiar that they may be excused for being less successful. If we are self-deluded, with all our best energies devoted to general benefit, we shall need all the forbearance that we exercise towards them.
86. It will be seen, by some at least, that each individual assuming his or her share of the deciding power or government as proposed, the great “American idea” may be practically realized; and that the ever-disturbing problem of the “balance of political power” becomes solved, and security for person and property (the great proposed object of all governments) prospectively attained.
87. If others see in this only the ‘inauguration of Anarchy,” let no attempt be made to urge them into conformity, but let them freely and securely await the results of demonstration.