Monday, June 27, 2016
A Plea for Liberty, article in The London Quarterly Review 1891
A PLEA FOR LIBERTY, article in The London Quarterly Review 1891
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THAT “we are all Socialists now” is not more true than sweeping statements usually are; but that we are on the incline towards Socialism, and that the pace is quickening, cannot be denied. As is not unnatural, the masses of the people are bent on using their political power to improve their material condition. So long as the government was in the hands of the upper and middle classes, workmen, and especially British workmen, had a wholesome jealousy of State control. But successive extensions of the franchise have “changed all that.” L’etat c’est moi: I am the State; why should I fear myself? exclaims the workman, as, after centuries of servitude, he begins to feel his freedom and to exercise his power. Government is now self-government; it is government by the people as well as for the people; and, therefore, the masses in every civilised community, with a self-reliance which, however rash or excessive, we cannot but admire, are pressing their Parliaments in all directions for measures to improve their lot. Emancipated politically, they will be strongly tempted to employ the powers of the State, both local and central, to effect what they imagine will be their social emancipation. Already in this country large bodies of the workers have yielded to the temptation. The Trades Unionists carried no less than forty-six demands for legislation in a Socialist direction at their last Congress. During the last ten years upwards of three hundred Acts of this character have passed the House of Commons, and the cry is still for more. The Government is called upon to supply work, to fix the hours of labour, to build houses for artisans, to nationalise the land and the railways, to municipalise all local monopolies in water, light, and locomotion, and to do we know not what besides. With not a few these measures are calculated steps and stages in the transformation of society into one vast Industrial Democracy on a Socialistic basis, in which private capital shall be abolished, and all the means of production placed under collective control.
It is, therefore, time to look the danger in the face. Rival politicians of both parties, while competing with each other in furthering many of these intermediate measures, admit that “the end thereof is Socialism.” “But,” say they, “we do not mean to go to the end; we shall know where to stop.” Will they be able to stop? They admit that complete Socialism is the logical outcome of these tendencies; “but,” say they, "Englishmen are not governed by logic.” And this, as all our history shows, is true. But there is a “logic of events” as well as of ideas; and, though there is no fatality in the matter, there is a momentum in affairs which often carries men and nations farther than they mean to go. If we are not governed by logic we are governed by precedent; and thraldom, as well as freedom, broadens slowly down from precedent to precedent. Not only so—
“There are many concurrent causes which threaten continually to accelerate the transformation now going on. There is that increasing need for administrative compulsions and restraints which results from the unforeseen evils and shortcomings of preceding compulsions and restraints. Moreover, every additional State interference strengthens the tacit assumption that it is the duty of the State to deal with all evils, and secure all benefits. Increasing power of a growing administrative organisation is accompanied by decreasing power of the rest of society to resist its further growth and control. The multiplication of careers opened by a developing bureaucracy tempts numbers of the classes regulated by it to favour its extension, as adding to the chances of safe and respectable places for their relatives. The people at large, led to look on benefits received through public agencies as gratis benefits, have their hopes continually excited by the prospect of more. . . . . Worse still, such hopes are ministered to by candidates for public choice to augment their chances of success; and leading statesmen, in pursuit of party ends, bid for popular favour by countenancing them. Getting repeated justifications from new laws harmonising with their doctrines, political enthusiasts and unwise philanthropists push their agitations with growing confidence and success. Journalism, ever responsive to popular opinion, daily strengthens it by giving it voice; while counter-opinion, more and more discouraged, finds little utterance. Thus influences of various kinds conspire to increase corporate action and decrease individual action. . . . The numerous socialistic changes made by Act of Parliament, joined with the numerous others presently to be made, will by-and-by be all merged in State Socialism—swallowed in the vast wave which they have little by little raised.”
Mr. Herbert Spencer, from whom we have just quoted, and whose introductory essay gives its chief weight and value to the volume before us, is sometimes accused of lack of sympathy with the labouring classes. Because he is so strongly opposed to the governmental regulation of their industries, and to the various Socialistic schemes for the improvement of their condition, he is supposed to be indifferent to their welfare and callous to their woes. But this a mistake. Profoundly as he is convinced of the mischievousness of Socialistic legislation and of the fatuity of Socialism full-blown, he is not blind to the evils of the present competitive system, or unmoved by the miseries arising out of it. “Albeit unused to the melting mood,” his voice trembles as, in gently answering his opponents in this latest essay, he exclaims: “Not that the evils to be remedied are small. Let no one suppose that I wish to make light of the sufferings which most men have to hear. The fates of the majority have ever been, and doubtless still are, so sad that it is painful to think of them. . . . . The present social state is transitional. There will, I hope and believe, come a future social state differing as much from the present as the present differs from the past."
It is in the interests of the workers themselves that Mr. Spencer is fighting so strenuously against Socialism, which he thinks would stop the progress to this better social state. He does not under-estimate the vices incident to competition. For more than thirty years he has been describing and denouncing them. But, as he observes, “it is a question of relative evils; whether the evils at present suffered are or are not less than the evils which would he suffered under another system; whether efforts for mitigation along the lines thus far followed are not more likely to succeed than efforts along utterly different lines.”
The evils arising out of the present system are patent and distressing; but it does not follow that the present is the worst of all possible systems. Even if its defects could not be supplied, and its evils remedied by voluntary effort, it might still be wiser “to bear the ills we have than fly to others that we know not of.” The present system has one great recommendation—it works. Under it a tolerable amount of freedom is enjoyed—freedom of domicile and residence, freedom of occupation, of sale and purchase, of consumption, of investment and bequest—freedom of a hundred kinds, of which, conceivably and of necessity, we might, under another system, be deprived. Then again, the present system is admitted on all hands to have permitted if it has not favoured an enormous increase of wealth; and, whilst there is much to be desired in this direction, it cannot be disproved that the tendency is for that wealth to be more and more widely diffused.
[One of the cardinal mistakes of Karl Marx—a mistake on which much of the Socialislic critique is based—was to suppose that the tendency in his time towards the accumulation of capital in ever fewer hands would continue until the proletariate would find themselves face to face with a few mammoth millionaires, and that then the workers would arise and “expropriate the expropriators.” Owing to exceptional and temporary causes, such as the monopoly of foreign markets, this tendency did no doubt exist in England in Marx’s time; but through other causes, such as increased competition, increased wages, decreased prices, the multiplication of companies, &c., the tendency had become much weaker before Marx died, and it has now almost ceased. At present the tendency is to “the massing together of separate portions of capital, owned by many capitalists, small, great, and of moderate dimensions; to the concentration of capital certainly, but not in single hands.”— See Graham’s Socialism Old and New (p. 406). Kegan Paul. 1890.]
And, lastly, amid the free play of individual energies and interests, there is room for voluntary association and co-operation. Combination in a thousand forms and for a thousand purposes can complement the present system, and can greatly lessen, if it cannot neutralise, the evils caused by it. Of the opposite system, no one can say with certainty that it would work at all: for Socialism, in the collective as distinguished from the Communistic form, has never yet been tried, and cogent reasons can be given for the opinion that, if by either violent or peaceful means Collectivism should ever be established, it could not be made to work without destroying both the freedom of the individual and the progress of the community.
Confining himself to one aspect of the question, and reasoning from the observed tendencies of human nature and the laws of all organic structures, Mr. Spencer seeks to prove, not that Socialism is impracticable, or that it would intensify the misery of the world, but that it would inevitably lead to the most complete and crushing tyranny the world has ever seen. By way of introduction to his argument, he sets forth with fresh and copious illustrations the distinction familiar to students of the political portions of his philosophy between the “militant” and the “industrial” form of society—activities in the former being carried on under a system of compulsory, and, in the latter, under a system of voluntary cooperation. In order to live in society at all, men must co-operate with one another. When they work together under the impersonal coercion of Nature only, they may be said to be socially free. When they work together under the coercion of their fellow-men, they may be said to be socially enslaved. In the latter case, of course, there are degrees of bondage; and the history of civilisation, in the economic sphere, has been a history of progress from slavery and serfdom to the comparative freedom of the present day. We say comparative freedom; for it is obvious that until the worker is the owner of the land he tills, and of the other instruments of production, he cannot be entirely free. But, even under existing conditions, his state is one of freedom compared with either the servitude from which by centuries of effort he has been emancipated, or the bondage into which he would be brought by the contemplated Socialist regime.
For, what is the regimen proposed? Government of some kind there must be under any system of associated life. What is to be the form of government under Socialism? So far, the Socialists have been too reticent upon this vital point. Either because they have been too busy criticising the existing order and creating discontent, or because they have not thoroughly thought out their schemes, or, possibly, because their modesty forbids them to presume to dictate laws to the “impending Revolution,” the constructive part of their philosophy is vague and meagre in the extreme. It is not impossible, however, from their principles and writings, to infer and gather the main outlines of a Socialistic state. Marx, whose book on Capital is the fons et origo of Collectivism, is very chary of suggestions. The Social Democratic Federation, the Socialist League, and the still more recent Fabian Society, composed of “cultured young enthusiasts,” to whom the effort must amount almost to miracle, contrive, for the present, to repress their altruistic impulses, and to hide their light beneath the bushel of destructive criticism. Occasional gleams escape, however, and for these we must be thankful till the time arrives when they shall deem it possible to allow the day to dawn upon us with impunity.”
From all we are able to gather, it would appear that the State of the future is to be ruled by a sort of elective aristocracy of talent. By some means—we had almost written “by any means,” for Socialist writers somehow give you the idea. that they are only too ready to endorse the Jesuitical maxim that the end justifies the means—by some means the community is to get possession of the land and the capital of the country, and then it is to produce and distribute all the commodities needed for home consumption, and for foreign trade, by means of one vast central and innumerable local organisations, under the direction of officers chosen for the purpose. All kinds of workers are to be State functionaries, and are to be paid by the State in kind. Private property in such commodities as the State may think fit to produce is to be permitted: but no one will be allowed to engage in any undertaking on his own account. According to the scheme proposed by Mr. Gronlund the workers in each industry will choose their foreman; the foremen will appoint their superintendents; the superintendents district superintendents; they in turn will appoint a Bureau-Chief, and all the bureau-chiefs will electachief of department. In this way, the ablest administrators will be sifted from the mass. A similar process is to “riddle ” the wise and virtuous and capable to the top in the domains of education, law, finance, medicine, transport, defence, art, literature, &c. &c. “There is not a social function that will not converge in some way in such chief of department.” These chiefs are to form a “national board of administrators, whose function it will be to supervise the whole social activity of the country. Each chief will supervise the internal affairs of his own department, and the whole board will control those matters in which the general public is interested.” All promotion is to come from beneath; but, “in the interests of obedience and discipline,” the various officials are “not to be removable save by their superiors.” Who are the superiors of the chiefs is not quite clear. Possibly these “omniarchs,” as Fourier picturesquely called them, will be required to set to the community a supreme example of altruism by appointing an irresponsible protector of the commonwealth with power to dismiss them all. This, however, is a detail. We merely mention it to complete the outline of the scheme of government proposed. “That the scheme will work well in practice,” says Mr. Gronlund, “the Catholic Church may teach us: cardinals elect the Pope; priests nominate their bishops, and monks their abbots. That Church, by the way—the most ingenious of human contrivances—can teach us many a lesson, and we are fools if we do not profit by them.”
We are now in a position to admire the accuracy with which Mr. Spencer, reasoning on general principles, describes the régime necessary to a Socialist State:
“Some kind of organisation labour must have; and if it is not that which arises by agreement under free competition it must be that which is imposed by authority. Unlike in appearance and names as it may be to the old order of slaves and serfs, working under masters, who were coerced by barons who were themselves vessels of dukes or kings, the new order wished for, constituted by workers under foremen of small groups, overlooked by superintendents, who are subject to higher local managers, who are controlled by superiors of districts, themselves under a central government, must be essentially the same in principle. In the one case, as in the other, there must be established grades, and enforced subordination of each grade to the grades above."
Not less prescient is his forecast of the manner in which the machinery would work:
“Before a man can be provided for, he must put himself under orders, and obey those who say what he shall do, and at what hours, and where; and who give him his share of food, clothing, and shelter. If competition is excluded, and with it buying and selling, there can be no voluntary exchange of so much labour for so much produce; but there must be apportionment of the one to the other by appointed officers. This apportionment must be enforced. Without alternative the work must be done, and the benefit, whatever it may be, must be accepted. For the worker may not leave his place at will, and offer himself elsewhere. Under such a system he cannot be accepted elsewhere, save by order of the authorities. And it is manifest that a standing order would forbid employment in one place of an insubordinate member from another place: the system could not be worked if the workers were severally allowed to come and go as they pleased. . . . . Obedience must be required throughout the industrial army as throughout a fighting army. ‘Do your prescribed duties and take your appointed rations’ must be the rule of the one as of the other.”
“Ah, but,” say sanguine social system makers, “you forget that Socialism is based on Democracy. The workers will choose their officers, and they will see to it that only those shall be appointed who can safely be entrusted with authority. Moreover, in the constitution contemplated, there are full provisions against the abuse of power.”
To which it might be sufficient to answer that this cheerful confidence is strangely inconsistent with the complaints these very people make continually against the present system-— complaints based on the belief that men have neither the wisdom nor the rectitude that would be absolutely necessary to the successful working of the new régime. Unless we are to suppose that a mere rearrangement of the units of which society is composed would result in the regeneration of those units, it is vain to expect that the new social system will be productive of less injustice and oppression than the old. The same causes, in both systems, would of course produce the same effects.
To bring the matter home, however, abstract reasoning needs to be supplemented by the rude rhetoric of fact. What, then, is the teaching of facts as to the probable outcome of the scheme of government proposed? Briefly, it is this: the outcome would be widely different from, and probably the very opposite of, the end desired. Freedom, as regarded from our present standpoint, is the end desired. Social democracy, as above described, is the means proposed. Would the means be likely to be effectual? The answer based on observation must be “No.” For, first, as Mr. Spencer, by a wide induction, shows, not only is the development of the regulative apparatus a cardinal trait in all advancing organisation, but the regulative structure always tends to increase in power; and, secondly, in the action of the workers and their leaders now we have, to say the best of it, an insufficient guarantee of freedom in the time to come.
Change is the all but universal law. It is especially the law of living things. In plants, in animals, in human individuals and communities, we trace its workings. Societies as wholes or in their separate institutions are always in a state of flux and change. They never end as they begin. Would a Social Democracy be an exception to the rule? The Roman Catholic Church, from which, as Mr. Gronlund says, we shall be foolish if we fail to learn, in spite of her proud boast semper eadem, has not been able to evade the law. To take a single illustration out of Mr. Spencer’s teeming quiver: “When the early Christian missionaries, having humble externals, and passing self-denying lives, spread over pagan Europe, preaching forgiveness of injuries and the returning of good for evil, no one dreamt that in course of time their representatives would form a vast hierarchy, possessing everywhere a large part of the land, distinguished by the haughtiness of its members grade above grade, ruled by military bishops who led their retainers to battle, and headed by a pope exercising supreme power over kings.” The present system of society is the outcome of numerous forces, physical, intellectual, moral, social, working along the line of the same law of change, of metamorphosis; and if our English ancestors with their simple needs and institutions could see themselves in their successors with their highly organised and complex social life they would indeed “have much ado to know themselves.” These forces are still operative, still effecting changes, which, according to Lassalle and Marx and all their followers, are bringing us, rapidly and inevitably, to the Revolution which will usher in the Socialist regime. And then? Why, then, of course, the law of change will be suspended. Nature will have then achieved her masterpiece. The mighty multifarious forces which have made for evolution will thenceforward work together to preserve stability and peace. The kindly race shall slumber lapt in socialistic law.
There is something so pathetic in such dreams that it is almost cruel to disturb them. So suggestive are they of the greatness and the misery of man, and so prophetic of his destiny, that we restrain the ridicule for which at first sight they might seem to call. The pattern of a perfect society is, as Plato said, laid up in heaven, and, so far as that is possible, a copy of it some day will appear on earth; but that day is not yet, nor will it dawn as the result of any change outside the heart of man. To dream that any rearrangements in society will of themselves bring in the millennium is mere midsummer madness. Such rearrangements, if they be wisely and gradually made, will help to hasten on the Golden Age predicted and ordained; but sudden and fantastic changes such as those sometimes proposed would throw the race back through the Age of Iron to the Age of Stone. Eventually, if not at the outset, and by the very exigencies of the system, Socialism would crush out all personal freedom, weigh down the springs of activity and enterprise, and reduce society to one dead level of dulness, poverty, and commonplace.
This of course is not the opinion of its advocates. They believe that theirs is the only system under which the masses of the people can enjoy true freedom and the benefits which flow therefrom. Is this belief well founded? What is true freedom? It is, broadly speaking, the maximum of opportunity for all the members of human society alike to make the most and best of themselves. This is a definition of freedom which would be accepted, we venture to think, by Socialists and Individualists alike. Moreover, Socialists would not refuse to adopt the words of Spinoza so far as they go: “The end of the State is not to transform men from reasonable beings into animals or automata; its end is so to act that the citizens may develop in security, body and soul, and make free use of their reason; the end of the State, in truth, is liberty.” Would Socialism fulfil this end for which the State exists? Would it cherish or destroy true liberty in thought and life and work? A question well worth asking, but too wide for us to enter on just now. The inquiry must be limited to the bearing of Socialism on freedom in the economic sphere.
It is possible that, working under an oflicial hierarchy such as we have described, the members of a Socialist community might for a time enjoy a fair amount of liberty. But only for a time. The tendency observable in all organisms of the regulative apparatus to increase in power and stringency would be accelerated and intensified by the necessities of the situation. Think of the vastness of the area to be covered by the official eye; of the responsibilities of the central government; of the minuteness, the multitudinousness, the bewildering complexity of the affairs it would have to direct and control. Imagine the administration needed for the distribution of commodities of every kind in every town and village in the land; for doing all that farmers, merchants, manufacturers now do; for the management of all the mines and roads and railways, of all the postal telegraphic and carrying businesses; for the conduct of the export and the import trade; to say nothing of the army, navy, and police.
“Imagine all this, and then ask what will be the position of the actual workers? Already on the Continent, where governmental organisations are more elaborate and coercive than here, there are chronic complaints of the tyranny of bureaucracies—the hauteur and brutality of their members. What will these become when not only the more public actions of citizens are controlled, but there is added this far more extensive control of their respective daily duties? . . . . How will the individual worker fare if he is dissatisfied with his treatment—thinks that he has not an adequate share of the products, or has more to do than can rightly he demanded, or wishes to undertake a function for which he feels himself fitted, but which is not thought proper for him by his superiors, or desires to make an independent career for himself? This dissatisfied unit in the immense machine will be told that he must submit or go.”
But whither shall he go? Ex hypothesi he is shut up to the system under which he groans. Private trade and industry do not exist. Outside the public works he could not find employment, and outside the public stores he could not buy a pair of stockings or a loaf of bread. Submission or starvation would soon come to be the alternative in a Socialistic State. Bemonstrance would be treated as rebellion and rebellion as a crime. And, as Burke once said, “A Government against which a claim of liberty is tantamount to treason, is a Government submission to which is equivalent to slavery.”
But Britons never would submit to this. They “never shall be slaves.” So it is said, and we admit the prospect is unbearable.
“It is not to be thought of that the flood
Of British freedom, which, to the open sea
Of the world’s praise, from dark antiquity
Hath flowed, ‘with pomp of waters unwithstood,’
That this most famous stream in bogs and sands
Those Continental peoples which for generations have submitted to conscription, and whose lives in almost every detail are now subjected to Government inspection and control, may possibly be brought to labour in the Socialistic yoke. But Englishmen, who have been nursed in freedom; in whose very vein the blood of freedom runs; who “augur misgovernment at a distance, and snuff the approach of tyranny in every tainted
“ Patient of constitutional control,
He hears it with meek manliness of soul;
But if authority grow wanton, woe
To him that treads upon his free-born toe!”
So Cowper sang; and so it would be easy to believe if countervailing evidence did not so rudely stare us in the face.
We do not need to cross the Channel to discover proof that Socialism might be synonymous with slavery. Mr. Gronlund writes as if we were on the brink of the Social Revolution; and, whilst the more sober and considerate Socialists are kind enough to put off the catastrophe a century or so, they nearly all agree in holding out the possibility of its speedy advent. It is only fair, therefore, to assume that the kind of men who would be chosen to command us would be similar to those who now supply the light and leading to the labourers of the land; that they would act as these now act; and that then, as now, the masses would elect and follow and submit. What kind of leaders, then, do the industrial masses choose and follow now?
We cannot do more than call attention to the startling chapter in this volume on “Socialism in the Antipodes,” in which the writer—Mr. Charles Fairfield—with what sounds to us much like exaggeration, speaks of the Federated Trade Unions of Australia as “perhaps the most efficient, rapacious, and unscrupulous organisation in the world.” The Trades Unions at our doors—especially the newer ones—Will furnish all the facts we need. These are composed of the classes which would constitute the great body of the Socialist State, and their character would determine its nature. What are the prevailing characteristics of these classes as manifested in their present organisations? How far are the unselfishness, the consideration for each other’s feelings and interests, the mutual help and sympathy which—so we are assured—will render possible and permanent the new regime displayed by British workmen towards each other now? Alas for the prospects of any system of society that is to depend for its existence on such qualities as these. One has only to take up the first daily newspaper to perceive that Mr. Spencer’s picture is quite underdrawn: “‘Be one of us or we will cut off your means of living,’ is the usual threat to those of their own trade outside the unions. Individuals who maintain their rights to make their own contracts are vilified as ‘blacklegs’ and ‘traitors,’ and meet with violence which would be merciless were there no legal penalties and no police.”
With this there goes peremptory dictation to employers as to whom they shall employ; in some cases strikes occur if the employer dares to trade with other firms who have presumed to give employment to non-union men. On the other hand, the men submit to their leaders in a most astounding way. They give up their individual liberties and sacrifice their personal convictions, and submit to rules and regulations and exactions just as they would be obliged to do in the most rigorous Socialist State. Only, from a State like that, as we have seen, there would be no escape, and these depotic and submissive qualities would be relieved from all restraint. At present these bodies are surrounded by a public, partly passive, partly antagonistic, and are subjected to the criticism of a fairly independent press. And “if in these circumstances these bodies habitually take courses which override individual freedom, what will happen,” asks Mr. Spencer, “when, instead of being only scattered parts of the community, governed by their separate sets of regulators, they constitute the whole community, governed by a consolidated system of such regulators; when functionaries of all orders, including those who officer the press, form parts of the regulative organisation; and when the law is both enacted and administered by this regulative organisation?” The answer could not be more accurately and powerfully put: “The vast, ramified, and consolidated body of those who direct its activities, using without check whatever coercion seems to be needful in the interests of the system (which will practically become their own interests) will have no hesitation in imposing their rigorous rule over the entire lives of the actual workers; until eventually there is developed an official oligarchy, with its various grades, exercising a tyranny more gigantic and more terrible than any which the world has seen.”
The Socialist rejoinder is that in a purely democratic State, and with the Referendum in full play, oppression such as this would be impossible. Impossible it might be at the outset, but we think that Mr. Spencer proves that without a large amount of tyranny a Socialist regime could not be long maintained, and that the needful pressure from above would not long be wanting, nor the necessary acquiescence and submission from below.
The great political problem, according to Rousseau, is “to find a form of association which defends and protects with all the public force the person and the property of each partner, and by which each, while uniting himself to all, still obeys only himself.” The latter part of the problem, as here stated, is a paradox, and cannot be solved. No form of association for political purposes, or for any other purpose, is possible if each member is to be a law unto himself. But the first part of the problem has been solved, so far as England is concerned. It is for us to see that public force is not perverted so as to deprive us of the liberty outside the sphere of politics, the liberty in our industrial and social life of which we make our boast. At the same time it is possible to use our freedom to much better purpose. We may combine in countless ways to remedy the evils incident to the free play of individual and competing wills. What might not be achieved throughout our social life if all the sections of our vast community would unite in common effort for the amelioration and improvement of the common lot? What might not be accomplished through a not impossible growth of temperance, prudence, sympathy? To use the glowing and yet sober closing sentences of Mr. Leonard Courtney’s recent splendid lecture at University College on “The Difficulties of Socialism” (Feb. 11, 1891):
“Poverty, as we understand it, would disappear. Strong men and free men, with personal independence unabated, yet imbued with mutual respect, would associate and dissociate and reassociate themselves as occasion offered and reason suggested, working out an elevation of the common life through individual advancement. The individualist has his ideal, and there is an inheritance of the future which he, too, can regard with hope. Life remains rich, nay, is richer than ever in variety and beauty; for while the toil which is necessary to support existence is abated, and the condition of all has been raised, character and independence, vivacity, self-reliance, courage-— all the elements that constitute the personal genius of each citizen, have been strengthened, to the ever-increasing enhancement of the charm and grace and well-being of humanity.”
But the paramount condition and pre-requisite of all this is, that each man shall be free to follow his own aims and interests so long as in doing this he does not trespass on the like and equal liberty of every other man.
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