Lewis Masquerier’s reputation is perhaps always going to be hard to separate from acts like the dedication of his own cemetery marker, covered with illustrations of his social system, while he was still alive—an event widely reported in the newspapers of the time. His career spanned the period from the early 1830s until his death in 1887 and crossed a wide variety of radical social movements, but managed to remain focused, to a great extent, on his proposal for inalienable homesteads—one the clearest implementations of occupancy-and-use property as a system that has been passed down to us. Still, as the title of his Sociology suggests, Masquerier was yet another of the libertarian radicals pursuing a science of society, as part of a larger science of natural relations. In the back pages of Sociology we find this brief description of the more general work that was to follow:
BY LEWIS MASQUERIER.
The Classified and Analogical Elements of the Distinct Departments of Nature in Numberology, Matterology, Plasticology, Chromatology, Phonology, Saporology, Odorology, Botanology, Zoology, Sociology, etc., showing the analogues of the senses and the progressive development through inorganized and organized matter. In large 12mo.
It would have been interesting to see how Masquerier’s account of all these topics would have compared to the efforts of Stephen Pearl Andrews and others. But these works remained unfinished—and even the works on politics and economics remained largely in the form of scattered articles and pamphlets. So we are left to piece together the various attempts that Masquerier made to describe even the system of township organization at the heart of his project and this demands, among other things, that we account for various revisions of his thought over the years. What is assembled here is two different sets of texts related to “a forthcoming work, entitled “Politicology;” a new development of Rights and Wrongs, &c., &c.,” announced in the land reform paper Young America in 1845 and then published as a 24-page separately numbered section in Sociology in 1877.
- Lewis Masquerier [main page]
- Sociology [Reconstructed]
For Young America
ERAS OF CIVILIZATION
The physical and moral world being a gradual creation commencing with the most simple forms and laws, and advancing to the more complex and perfect, the great leading law must be that of progress. Nature seems to proceed by stages or eras; wherein she creates a certain system of things, which she allows to reach their acme, and wear themselves out. A new arrangement then takes place and a new set of laws sets about the creation of another stage still higher in the scale of being. Whether there will be an acme reached in these eras to which nature will go no further we cannot know. But to a great extent we know what she has done in the past, is doing in the present, and from that we can infer something of the future.
To verify these statements, we will refer to the progress of both the physical and moral world. We find they both have advanced by stages, and that they really illustrate, correspond, and prove each other. The earth has been formed by a series of strata called formations, and the moral world as surely has advanced by a series of eras of civilization. The narrow intellect, capacitated only to contemplate the particulars of knowledge, with a sneering ignorance will indispose itself to profit by these expansive views of nature’s operations. But the philosophic will appreciate them, and aid in establishing the new law that gives rise to a new era of civilization,
We will treat of the formations of the earth and eras of the moral world along with each other; and if the sceptical cannot see that they are counterparts, they will see that they at least very strikingly illustrate each others.
The moral world is not half full of men in the barbarous or primitive state of society which corresponds to the primitive formation of the earth. Barbaric society has as few elements and is as simple in its structure as granite rock itself. The three leading sentiments of war, of the chase and the council, give shape to all the institutions of the primitive era. The childlike buoyancy, fiery passions and keen revenge of the savage may aptly be compared to the fused state of the rocks and the bubbling cauldron like the condition of the sea during the primitive formation.
But in time the savage grows tired of the depredations which he provokes, game gets scarce, and he begins to form alliances with neighboring tribes, and then a set of new laws come into existence which changes the old institutions by beginning to herd animals: and cultivate plants. The change is like that of the transition rocks—the change from the primitive to the secondary formation.
With the beginning of herding and cultivation, the division of land commenced, and new sentiments of action became added to those of the primitive era, among which that of the idea of wealth, which soon introduced that of rank. With increased wealth that of governmental power soon became superadded. Now let it be observed that at this age, it was really necessary that this should take place, so that by stimulating the most enterprising and intelligent an exaltation of character would be produced, and means given to a few to promote the progress of science. Owing to the half civilized state of man in this era, if there had been a monotonous equality of property, or if no one had taken to himself more land than he could cultivate, none would have hid extra time, means or power to build temples or palaces or machinery, so as to improve the arts, and mankind would have advanced more slowly. But nature, by suffering an era of monopoly like the one we are now in, has facilitated civilization more rapidly and at the same time ran out and prepared the way for a more perfect and just system. The very fact of a few usurping the land, of the great body submitting to became villains and dependents to lords, is a proof that no better system could have turned up at the time. As, therefore, nature had to lay a granite floor for the world first, then other strata before she could spread the beautiful superficial or skin covering of the earth, is a proof that she had no better mode of acting. Each formation or era of civilization, then, is right in itself, until its institutions become oppressive upon some forms of being, and when the time is come for a change, then is it criminal to oppose the change. As this second era of civilization has progressed, its series of stages of agriculture, manufactures and commerce, it has much resembled the series of strata composing the secondary formation. The agricultural series of the.era of monopoly is more like the carboniferous in producing the materials of vegetable wealth, the new red sandstone series is like the mechanical, and the oolite like the manufacturing. And the present commercial era in distributing wealth, in the hands of monopolists, is much like the cretaceous or chalk series of strata, in which matter the great riches of the earth depend. But the laws which have produced the present monopolizing era, will now become changed and take a new form. They have accomplished their object in creating materials and knowledge for a new era. But in creating these materials, they have not created equality—have not invested mankind with their rights. The law will now take a new form. New conditions and circumstances are brought into existence, and nothing can arrest the progress of thought, which, when it changes, matter must change also.
It is singular how efficiency an author may write, and think he has disclosed all the democratic doctrine that there can be to disclose; yet a quarter century will that he only took a step. Mr. Paine wrote powerfully against hereditary and monarchical government and in favor of representative republics—thinking he had nearly proposed the ultimatum. But time has disclosed already, that as his doctrine, was founded on the principles that have given form to the monopolizing era of civilization, that, though they have led to the discovery of the true principles of reform, yet they have not reached the whole cause of oar evils, which are rooted in the very structure of society. All reforms, that left the sovereign power to be exercised by delegation, no matter if it was delegated by universal suffrage, fell equally short of the true remedy. So that, it is to be seen, that all legislation or reform, that only went to making the working of the monopolizing system more tolerable, fell far short of the true remedy. The secondary series of rocks could never have been laid until the laws which formed the primitive formation ceased and gave way to new laws. The great law of heat which kept the materials of the granite rocks in motion ceased and let the vapors condense before an ocean could be formed and there was a sufficiently calm floor to the earth for the stratified rocks to be deposited. So it was the same with the carboniferous and cretaceous formations, which, by solidifying the carbonic acid of the atmosphere, left it of a more proper combination for the higher species of the vegetable and animal kingdoms, and prepared the way for tertiary formations. So you see here, the change in the composition of the elements, causes a new law to take place and a new formation. So it is exactly the case in the moral world. ‘The change from wandering savages, living in the air, to the practice of fixed habitations and-divisions of the earth, was a new law of action, but owing to the ignorance of the men who did not see that occupation and cultivation was the true title for the earth, and the principle too that would have limited the quantity to each, it has had a more stimulating power than an equal division; for as the ownership of land did not and could not start upon the principle of its inalienableness, let it go as often in the hands of the less provident and enterprising as it might, it would never stay in their hands—they would be constantly getting in debt, and the more crafty and grasping would obtain possession. It is sufficiently clear that no patching up of the present system in any way whatever, can introduce equality among mankind. Nothing short of the equal and inalienable right to land, universal tabor and equal exchange of their products, can introduce justice among men. It is utterly impossible while the inalienable rights are monopolized.
Thus, a change from one era to another, as it consists of the operation of new laws and sentiments, it must render every thing except history, poetry and excellent specimens of the fine arts obsolete. All statesmen, politicians and philosophers who predicated their doctrines upon the principle of the alienation of natural rights must become more or less oblivious. The pride of knowledge and fame, will therefore rouse every advocate for the present era of monopoly against the introduction of the new era. But the producers of property being the great majority, they have only to will it and it will be. But oh their ignorance keeps them like asses under the saddle of the aristocracy. They have been broke to the saddle through so many ages—they are so habituated to drudge for them, that it is hard to quicken their sensibilities short of the starvation point; and when they are, then they will raise tail and mane, and set off with the snort of the wild horse upon the new plateau of Liberty.
- L. Masquerier, “Eras of Civilization,” Young America 2 no. 24, New Series (September 6, 1845): 1.
ERAS OF CIVILIZATION.
The production of intelligent beings, improved to as high a degree of perfection and happiness as the nature of matter will admit, seems to be the great and final result of creation. Matter consisting of but one or a few elements and properties, could not suddenly arrange itself into a highly organized universe, but through the slow process of a series of improvements upon itself. Creation then, is a gradual developement; and hence the great paramount law of all laws is that of progress. All other laws become changed or modified by this great sovereign law of the universe; which dissolves only to regenerate, and creates thro’ the process of transformation. We behold a physical world first perhaps in a cometary or gaseous form, then in a liquid, next in a solid form; and we know ours has been gradually floored with the primitive, secondary and tertiary formations, while its laws have changed with each new state in which its matter existed.
The moral world also progresses as surely by successive eras of civilization as the physical has by a series of formations. The principle of equality, will form a new and last era of society, the same as the salt of the sea now held in solution may be destined to form the last series of the stratums of the tertiary formation.
To trace nature in the progress of creation, it is necessary to glance at her operations in the past, at what she is doing in the present, so as to anticipate her revolutions with more certainty for the future. Every formation of the physical or era of the moral world is founded by a few dominant elements and principles, which continue accumulating their effects until they wear themselves out; then new causes and laws grow out of them, and in turn form a new stratum and civilization. Every change in nature is attended with new circumstances; so that she does not monotonously repeat the same series of causes and effects. Were this the case, there could be no progress : neither could error accumulate so as to produce eventually its own destruction.
The evil principle of the alienation of rights and property, into the hands of non-producers has formed the era of monopoly and left the producing masses in new circumstances so as to develope the era of equality, in a similar manner by which the precipitation of certain elements in the deposition of new stratums, leaves the remaining ingredients to assume new properties for the formation of a subsequent and very different stratum.
The principles of each preceding era become greater evils in the subsequent one. Thus war, leaguing tribes into nations in the era of barbarism, becomes a greater evil in that of monopoly, where wealth that stimulates art and science, will become in turn a greater evil in the era of equality. The less perfect principles then of each preceding era shape all its institutions and mould the conscience of mankind ; so that many of the actions esteemed virtuous in the preceding, become vicious and criminal in the subsequent era. Just as sand, clay and lime, that predominate respectively in the older formations of the earth and form useful rocks, become great evils when spread out unmixed on its surface in the form of deserts.
In the following analysis the eras of civilization, their series of stages, the predominating sentiments of glory, the commencement of the monopoly of each right, its restoration and the evil principle violating each, are classed in the order of their progress.
Man’s first form of existence is that of barbarism, and roused only by the leading sentiments of the chase, of war and of fealty, he progresses only through the hunting, herding and feudal stages, while his inalienable right of sovereignty is usurped by office, fiefs and knight-service. His next form of civilization, is that of monopoly and class, and stimulated by an additional set of sentiments of glory, that of power, rank and wealth, he advances more rapidly through the stages of agriculture, manufacture and commerce, but loses his rights of domain, labor and products by tenure, hire and profit. His next form of society now commencing is that of equality, where being ennobled by the governing sentiments of the equal use of the soil and the exercise of lib rand democracy by each man in his own proper person, lie will advance almost simultaneously to the organization in townships and peopledoms, to the equal use of land, equitable exchange of labor, to community, and to the restoration of all his rights. The division then of the moral as well as the physical world into three great eras with subdivisions, dates from the change of the principle that creates each of them. The evil principle of alienation of rights more by force in the barbarous and by fraud in the monopolizing, marks the bounds of these eras. But the era of equality will be produced by the equal distribution of the materials of the preceding eras, by an entire change of principle, like the change of the motion of the earth in forming the tertiary out of the materials of the older formations, by leveling their inequalities by diluvium, boulders, drifts, &c.
Barbarism.—Man, in the infancy of his being, prompted by appetite and the delight of the chase, procures both food and clothing, while he shelters under bowers, projecting rocks and tents. Tribes bound their hunting grounds by rivers and mountains, while their idea of property in the soil is that of so many acres of game. Their inequality consists mostly in sex and all menial employments are performed by the women. They remain in the hunting stage for many ages, until by degrees, game and wild fruits becoming scarce with increase of population, necessity prompts the new sentiment of the cultivation of fruits and the domestication of the most useful and docile animals. Thus they become more permanently fixed to the soil, form some idea of property in it and form the second stage of barbarism. The cultivable soil is naturally claimed by the first occupant and the heath, morass and mountain land is appropriated for common hunting and pasturage. Hence at this stage man has the freehold of the soil, a non-producing aristocracy not being yet sufficiently developed to usurp it through any fraudulent device.
But owing to the difficulty of keeping the roving herds of different persons and tribes in possession, and their frequent depredations upon those of each other, wars were continually engendered, which, causing the league of tribes in self-defence, formed larger nations and a new stage of barbarism, that of feudality.
The frequent alliance of families and tribes with each other, caused the faithfulness of adherence to be considered a great duty, and its breach a base treachery. The strength of these sentiments became the instrument of the great power of the chiefs, who, dazzling by their eloquence in council and prowess in battle, very easily acquired the government of society. Thus the inalienable right of sovereignty from the ignorance and neglect of the people to prescribe their rule of action in proper person, is usurped by the patriarchs, prophets and chiefs, who soon grow into lords, priests, conquerors and kings, and make civil, religious and military office a species of property. Claiming the sovereignty of the people as their entire prerogative and property, they soon found means to extort tribute from them for the use of it. The vassal was required to take an oath of fealty to adhere strictly to the cause of his lord and to perform knight-service by attending him in court and camp whenever called on, subject to have his lands escheated by non-attendance or flight in battle. Though the people were thus reduced to a state of tenure in sovereignty, yet the reciprocal duty of protection of the vassal was required from the lord, who also became the guardian of his orphans, and thus the vassal was not that degraded being that the tenant is of the modern landlord.
In this era of society, before there could be much inequality of property, it classed into hunters, shepherds, braves and councilors; but none were rendered destitute of the means of subsistence as under the monopoly of the soil at the present period.
This feudal system from the mutual duties of protection and fealty, created strong military hords, who continually depredated upon neighboring nations, and reduced them to the same system, as the Saxons did in their conquest of England, or as the northern hords of Europe and Asia overran their southern nations.
Monopoly.—The era of monopoly commences with agriculture. As the attention of mankind became more directed to the cultivation of the soil, they withdrew themselves the more from depredating wars, and advanced more rapidly in civilization; but owing to the usurpation of sovereignty in the preceding era the monopoly of other rights commenced. As cultivation progressed it increased the value of the soil, and the idea of property in it. This wheted the avarice of the lords, who wielding the sovereign power, cunningly insinuated the doctrine that the supreme power was inseparably connected with the allodium or highest title in the soil—that the vassal held of the lord, who again held of the king. The admitted power of the lord to escheat the lands of the vassal favored the doctrine, of the highest title being in him, who, finding that the military service would be contributed by the vassal without being bound, at least in case of invasion, cheated him into the belief that the knight-service was contributed for the use of the soil, instead of for the protection of government. The simple minded vassals, being frequently harrassed by attending their ambitious lords in their wars, and not seeing the consequences of it, were easily induced to contribute a small yearly service in labor, products or money in lieu of the knight-service, and thereby admitted it to be paid for the use of the soil.
Thus the mass of mankind lost the freehold of the domain as well as sovereignty, through the fraud of their rulers and their ignorance that they were inalienable rights, and it must brand them with eternal disgrace, that they have lived through so many stages of civilization, and endured so much misery without discovering the whole of their natural and imprescriptible rights. Imagine a lord usurping the fee of the soil in consequence of inheriting the sovereign power from his ancestors, compelling several hundred tenants to perform the base-service of so many days labor upon his manor, of contributing a certain number of fowls or a money rent every year. And then on the part of the lord, see him by degrees neglecting to perform the duties enjoined by the feudal laws, of the reciprocal protection of the vassal.
But, behold how soon under the leasehold title the cultivator has been driven from the soil. As the value of land increased, it furnished a pretext for raising rents and shortening leases from an unlimited to a limited time; and beginning with granting them for several, and then for one life, with a reversionary interest, they were gradually shortened down to one year, and would to one month if a crop could be produced in that time.
But, one step in monopoly as well as in reform leads on to an other. Landlords, whenever small tenements qualify voters are sure to lease in larger farms. This reducing more to the condition of hirelings, agricultural labor becomes abundant and cheap, and farmers preferring to hire by the day instead of yearly and furnishing a hut for shelter, their employment is very uncertain, and are sometimes forced to the road sides and even from thence by the police as nuisances. As a last resort, they flee to the manufacturing towns, where, met by labor-saving machinery, soon produce a glut of labor, and not having employment to procure even food, are reduced to the most landless, houseless, naked and starving condition.
But, to finish the usurpation of the earth, the commons appropriated in the early ages for common pasturage and hunting, for all the inhabitants of the neighborhood, are now nearly all usurped by the lords throughout Europe by means of enclosure acts, while the people by ‘Anti-enclosure Societies’ are struggling in vain to prevent the usurpation of the remainder by class legislation. In England alone, several thousand of these acts enclosing about fifteen millions of acres have been enacted since the reign of queen Anne.
Thus the lordlings of the earth, while they gradually destroyed the freehold title of the balance of mankind to the soil, have perpetuated in their families the sovereignty and domain of the nation by laws of primogeniture and entailment.
But, notwithstanding the practice in the western hemisphere of holding land in allodium and dividing it equally among heirs, yet, through the more powerful instruments of modern monopoly, such as incorporated capital, it is equally monopolized, only by a greater number. American governments, instead of requiring a mere military service in an occasional war as by the feudal lords, they drive out the aborigines, sometimes paying a trifle, and then sell the depredated lands at prices far above the means of the great mass of the landless producing poor, instead of providing for their inalienable occupation by both aborigines and emigrants. They sell also to non-cultivating speculators, who soon receive the original price several times doubled by the improvement of the adjoining lands of the settler; and then with capital furnished by banking, they ultimately fall into the hands of landlords, and thus the system of tenure is perpetuated also on the western continent.
Some mechanism, no doubt arose contemporary with chivalry and agriculture, but it could not attain to much until tillage had produced materials for manufacture, so that the full manufacturing stage commenced at a later period. But as the inalienableness of the right of sovereignty and domain was violated by the introduction of the feudal and tenure system, it prepared the way for the further violation of another of the inalienable rights, that of production—whereby mechanical labor and skill was hired by capital holding master manufacturers, and thus developed another class of non-producers in addition to landlords.
If the mechanic had never been deprived of his inalienable home upon the soil, he would never have been forced to hire his labor. But those holding the soil or other capital, acquire the principal power of employing machinery and of reducing the mechanical producers to the degradation of hirelings or journeymen. The surplus agricultural population from the monopoly of the land is now driven into the villages which soon swell into cities, which again add to the wealth of the holders of the adjoining lands. Thus cities arc but great concentrations of master manufacturers and shoppers, where they acquire increased facilities to monopolize mechanical labor; and it must ever be so until producers learn to disperse on inalienable farms and village lots in the proper proportions to produce an equitable exchange of the necessaries of life.
At first the capitalist, mechanic and shopper was more concentrated in the same person, who retailed as well as manufactured his products; but as large manufacturers with machinery increase, they find it tedious to retail and wholesale to a class of retailing, profit-mongering, non-producing shoppers; and thus the commercial stage arises. And now behold the era of monopoly, advanced from a lord in his villa with his serfs around him to one of our modern million populated cities of brick, marble and granite palaces, occupied by fat, sleek and insolent landlords, manufacturers, merchants and professional characters, and decrepid, ragged and industrious tenants and hirelings, living in garrets and cellars. While the earth is ornamented by the producers with farms, parks and palaces, villages and cities, where every luxury abounds, they are met by a glut of labor and high-priced forestalled provisions. A tenth of the population of Europe and Asia are now reduced to pauperism or to the verge of it, and the same is fast approaching in this Western Continent.
The governments throughout the world are now self-incorporated companies, legislating themselves exclusive class privileges, consider themselves the people, and all the landless chat cannot get employed in production or war as nuisances. For the monopoly of the soil and other rights have made so many paupers, that they are begrudging the support of even the poor-house prisons, when they cannot find a market for their fabrics. They would by the disuse of horseflesh as in China, put the carrying trade upon the unemployed, but steam is now applied which crushes out both horse and man; and if emigration did not east; the surplus the distress would be terrible. But such is the stupid ignorance of both rich and poor in Europe that if human rights are not better understood, the working class will reach the degradation of the homeless Sudra of India and China, where they are forced to wander around and force contributions from villagers also on the verge of starvation, to appease hunger.
And yet how little the few who have a glimpse of this state of things, have the means and the power to reform them. Rousseau attacked the errors of the Church, and asserted that rights were inalienable. Paine attacked the erroneous institutions of hereditary kings and peers and asserted that a delegated representative republic was a government of the people. But ho did not see that all the institutions of society, through all ages were thoroughly founded upon alienated rights, and that he had only aided in changing one phase of the same evil principle for another. They have only been changing from the feudal to the tenure systems, and from the monarchical to the republican form of government, which still leaves the rights, of man in a universal state of alienation and monopoly.
Thus the era of monopoly has progressed through its stages of agriculture, manufactures and commerce. The application of steam power to these, aided by banking government securities, are now producing millionaires to an alarming extent. Steam-shipping and railroading are driving the population into overcrowded cities, to be rent-taxed, starved, and rum-poisoned and reproduced with so much infirmity and disease as to be sure to produce a deteriorated race, engendering plague, crime and misery.
Equality. The era of equality then has not begun. Its doctrines are only leaking out in fragmentary parts.
But, the great change from the dogma of the unequal and alienated, to the true principles of the equal and inalienable or perpetuated rights, was started by William Spence, an English machinist. He was seconded by Thomas Skidmore of New York city, also a machinist. He left a work urging man’s right to property and the whole product of his labor. William Cobbett denounced the monopoly of the soil by the aristocracy of England, and contended that all should have the use of it. Bronterre O’ Brian urged the nationalizing of the lands by securing to every family a home upon it by paying a small rent to government for its support. But this is but a huge landlord and tenant system, which would be sure to run to abuse, and like all crude ideas are embraced by the workers of England. Robert Owen blundered into the dogma of Communism, in opposition to individualism, and did no more than to strengthen the sentiment that a change of institutions around man would reform his character.
But it was George H. Evans who asserted that as man’s natural wants were equal and perpetual through life, that they gave to every human being an equal and inalienable home on the soil. Contemporary with him, Thomas Ainge Devyr boldly advanced the same doctrines and escaping from the fangs of the English government, reached New York city and joined with Evans in agitating the land reform. Evans proposed the sliding measures of donating the homesteads, exempting the homesteads and land limitation, to equalize ownerships. Several States enacted homestead exemptions, and Congress at length donated homes to actual settlers. The Statesmen, G. W. Julian, G. A. Grow and B. F. Wade and a few others pioneered the homestead law through Congress. And these are the most prominent efforts in land reform toward the era of equality.
Evans urged the measures of land reform in his ‘Radical,’ People’s Rights,’ ‘Working Man’s Advocate ‘and ‘Young America,’ while Devyr urged them in the ‘Northern Star’ in England, and ‘Democrat’ and ‘Freeholder’ in New York city. The writer of this work took a part also in agitating these measures, and in the following chapter has endeavored to give a more scientific and classified form to the doctrine of man’s rights, with the constitutional principles that must co-operate in the completion of a perfect right. No department of Nature can be said to be reduced to a science until all its elements are properly arranged into classes, orders, genera and species. For Nature is not a jumple of individualities, but she has distinctly labled them in her museum with characteristic marks. Natural wants, and their counter parts, the natural rights of man, are the result of the highest properties that their organs have produced, which are those of vitality, mobility and mentality, all of which have marked distinctions for classifications. Thus the exercise of the properties of the vascular, muscular and nervous organs of the body are the foundation of the right to life, labor, and mind, which may be classed under the general head of the rights to Personalty, while the external objects around us may be classed into the immovable land and appurtenant elements of water, air, and light, as the productions of nature; into those of improvements or mansionery, sub dividing into buildings, done by man, and into movable products of both, may be classed under the general head of Homestead or Property.
And then, it must be observed, that all these rights are dependent for their existence and completeness, in common with everything in the universe upon the three great elementary laws or principles of equality, perpetuity, and individuality, which cooperate and back up each other, to prevent rights from becoming destroyed by the opposing wrongs of inequality, monopoly and partyism.
Owing to the heedless ignorance and usurpation of mankind through all ages, they have blindly followed their grasping propensities, and caused all the institutions of society to become founded upon the thorough alienation and monopoly of all their rights, which it has taken even dozens of revolutions to do no more than to change the same evil principle from one phase or form to another.
But when the true principles of rights become established, they will not have to undergo varying phases like the evil ones, or the stages of a disease. But when the true principles of Liberty we established in Landed democracies, revolutions, will be employed not so much in advancing toward more perfection, but in preventing the degeneration back into error.
But to advance to the era of equality, there must be an entire change of sentiment by means of the press, public discussion, and I general literature in books. The writings of Evans, Devyr, the speeches of Julian and others, and this little treatise is only a small commencement of what is needed. A bronze, bust of Evans is proposed to be erected in the Central Park of New York or the Prospect Park of Brooklyn, with Land and Government reform inscriptions for the instruction of millions of visitors.
For the reform of society in introducing the era of equality, it is proposed to operate by towns, townships, parishes, communes, etc. Let the smallholders of the soil in all of them, be instructed that nothing can save themselves or posterity from the overwhelming progress of monopoly and pauperism, but the application and establishment of the thorough principles or laws of equality, perpetuity and individuality or separate ownership of a share of the soil, giving the power and independence of self-employment on their own homesteads, and also the power of self-government by organized townships of land owning democracies. These divisions of territory already exits in all nations, and mankind may yet become so scientific and civilized in the future as to divide all the sections of the earth lying between the whole numbered degrees of latitude and longitude from some meridian into six miles square townships, subdivided down to sections, quarter sections and quarter quarter sections, and then down to ten acres as a smallest minimum for a family support, one half in the complete right of the husband or brother, and the other in that of the wife or sister. These divisions are also treated under the head of the scientific division of the earth at the end of this essay, to which the reader is referred.
These townships are to have no jammed up houses, but only mart, hall, college, museums, etc. For with garden, field, meadow, and forest, dwelling, barn and shop on every homestead, the whole township will become a rural city of combined houses, farms and forests, which would convert it into a park-like landscape. Thus all can cultivate their own vegetables, fruits, fuel, fowls, and some fish—letting the costly pig and fences be dismiss:d, while sheep, cows and horses may be raised in regions unsuited to farming. Thus some combine agricultural with mechanical labor, or limit themselves to one of them. They can equitably exchange their surplus products at the town mart or by express wagons going round. Thus producing and manufacturing so much upon every homestead, there will he less costly freightage upon productions of the same climate, and thus limit the railroading and trading power which robs by so much profitmongery. Let all who can sell out in these hell-engendering, overgrown cities, and purchase homes on the soil, although they have a natural right to them as the gift of Nature. This would leave the cities to fall into ruins, except warehouses, foundries, shipyards, etc., at the great sea and river ports for the accommodation of international commerce.
Every homestead should be divided from its neighbor by a graveled walk on the line between, with rows of fruit trees on each side, the lower shrubs inside, and the grains, vegetables, etc , should occupy the hollows, with the forest trees on the less fertile soil. These graveled walks dividing the homesteads should be ridged up high enough to turn all the rain into the lowest grounds of each, and excavated for a fish pond and for irrigation purposes. Iron pipes may also be driven into the low ground, and with a wind-wheel pump up water in dry seasons to irrigate the vegetation, and thus be independent of the rainless skies and often failing Providence. Every road in each town should also be ridged up and graveled, kept in repair, and connected with those surrounding the homesteads, so that there would be no ordure washed out of any township where the land will admit of it.
The dwellings or mansions, barns or shops should be placed one hundred and fifty feet from each other and on the dividing line with the same range of rooms on each side of the male and female half the homestead. Thus any of the buildings may burn up without firing the others, and save the expense of insurance.
With the college, as well as the other public buildings in the center of each township, the children can all walk to it, and be taught in the phonetic spelling and reading, with the accented syllabic marked. But there should be a school room in every house, with block letters, maps, pictorial book, gymnastics, toys etc., so that children could combine play with schooling. There should be a library, reading-room, bulletin, museum, etc., for adults and youth in the town hall, with offices for records, public meetings for discussing and enacting laws in proper person without any office-holding government. For the majority of people in every township would determine the law, while judicature could all be determined by referees without fees, and while public works could be accomplished by working committees, paid out of a poll-tax on all alike, as all will own nearly the same means. Thus every operation of society can be accomplished without even wooden figure-heads for officers or gods.
The exact moment of the birth of every child should be recorded so that it could be decided who should heir the homestead where no heirs were left. When the earth has as many people as can be supported on a minimum of ten acres, parents must become prudent enough to leave only enough heirs to fill their places on their homesteads. When married persons become unhappy together they may separate, and occupy the opposite side of the dwelling, barn and shop.
The perfect rights of man must be founded, exercised and en joyed on the thorough principle of the equality, perpetuity and individuality of their natural wants for Life, Labor, Self-government and property. Yet all the institutions of mankind are still founded upon the wrong of land monopoly, and tenure, chattel and hireling slavery, profitmongery and office-holding governments; and have only changed from one phase to another of the same evil principles. But by organizing all nations into town ships of land-owning democracies, all can be self employed as farmers and mechanics on their inalienable homesteads, be self governed by voting direct for the laws, and thus attain true liberty and happiness.
A United States Measure.—To prevent all further sale of Public Lands, and to allow actual settlers the use of a Lot or a Farm, with a restriction against transferring the possession to any one already a landholder, as proposed by the National Reform Association.
A State Measure.—To restrain any individual, hereafter, from getting possession, by gift, inheritance, or in any other manner, of more of the land considered private property than is sufficient for a farm. (Say 160 acres.)
For Young America.
Extract from a forthcoming work, entitled “Politicology;” a new development of Rights and Wrongs, &c., &c..
By L. MASQUERIER.
The sixth genus of the order of inalienable rights, is that of domain; which is man’s equal title to as much of the earth in its natural state as he can use in his business—to as much land as he can cultivate, mineral as he can mine, water-privilege for manufacture, or land and water highway as he may need in transportation. Earthsurpation, its opposing wrong, is the violation of any of these species, either by buying or selling them, or acquiring more than an equal share of them.
But by improving the soil of the earth in its wild state, into farms, its minerals into mines, and rocks, trees, and other materials into houses, additional states of improvements are created, and may be alienated by sale or exchange, so as not to violate the right of locomotion or emigration.
The products accruing from improvements of a moveable nature, and all manufactures, constitute what is here classed as commodities, and are also of an alienable nature, and may be exchanged for each other according to the time of production. Thus, under the institutions of the era of equality, the right to external things will be carved into the three generic estates of domain, improvements, and commodity; every man possessing a sufficiently equal portion of each, varying only in the quality of the domain he may select, or in superior skill and industry.
While, therefore, every man upon the very principle of existence, inherits an estate of domain, which can never be alienated or lost, those of improvements and commodity, can only be created by his labor and lost by his idleness and improvidence.
The right of domain being inalienable, it should never have been priced, bought, or sold, any more than life, body, or freedom. But, by sufferance of this evil principle of alienation, it has been wrested from the great mass of mankind during the whole of the past and present eras of civilization. Then, shall the damnific principle still be suffered to forge its chains around the earth? Shall the remaining half of the earth’s land still continue to be wrested from the aboriginal inhabitants, and the homeless producers of wealth in miscalled civilized countries by the avaricious land-speculating cormorant? No! Justice forbid it. See what is now the usurping of governments. As soon as a new island or continent is discovered, they make it a new instrument to rob the laborer. They compel the settler, who endangers his life, to pay two or three hundred dollars for a domain already deeded to him by nature’s God; or they grant it to incorporated land companies, who speculate with a still greater oppression upon the necessities of the suffering settler. Instead, therefore, of governments furnishing homes for the destitute, they look only for new objects of taxation to pay the enormous salaries of officers. Even in the boasted republic of the United States, forty-five quarter sections are sold for an embassador’s outfit, thus depriving an equal number of homeless producers of their domain.
The first genus of the second order of right termed alienable or exchangeable, is that.of improvements, and its great opposing wrong, is that of landlordry. This man-created estate, consisting of the improvements upon the domain, such as farms, manufactories and dwellings, though of an immoveable nature; yet, as it is the creation of man’s labor, it decidedly classes as the first among the alienable rights.
This estate, then, can only be created by improving the domain. Its first species is that of farms, the second that of manufactory, embracing mines, and the third that of dwelling, including lot and and shop.
In a sale or exchange, the whole valuation should be upon the improvements, the domain passing with it as they cannot be separated. If exchanged, both parties get others; but if sold, the seller is immediately entitled to another domain wherever he can find one unoccupied; and then, with the price of his former improvement, he can reinstate himself in another. But, as he must improve with his own labor under some deprivations, exchanges of improvements will be preferred.
This doctrine will require new forms of conveyance. The following are for a deed of domain and improvements:
THIS DEED OF DOMAIN, certifies that James K. Polk, in consideration of his inalienable right of Domain, and in presence of the people in Township Assembly, has chosen the unoccupied North East Quarter of Section one, in Northeast township, of Wuwushe County, and Nebrashavil State, for the purpose of occupation and cultivation.
TO HAVE AND TO HOLD the above described domain for his own use by occupation and cultivation; but with no right to lease it or give it to another, so as to draw him from the enjoyment of a similar right or to live upon his labor.
And the people of said Township hereby FOREVER WARRANT and DEFEND his right to the said domain against the claims of all other persons.
In testimony of which, the said Township Assembly has, this 4th day of July, 1846, and int he first year of the beginning of the era of equality, ordered the chairman and secretary to sign their names, affix the seal of the said Township, and to record it in the archives of the Township Hall.
George H. Evans, Chairman.
John Windt, Secretary.
Where an estate of improvements is conveyed the form will vary thus:
THIS DEED OF IMPROVEMENTS certifies that J. K. P., in consideration of the sum of $3000 has sold and conveyed unto T. H. Benton, his estate of improvements in the N. E. Q., &c., or exchanged improvements as the case may be, &c., &c.
This term is intended to designate every thing relating to political and social science, either in its progressive or highest state of improvement. It is classed into two orders, nine genuses and twenty four species of rights with their corresponding wrongs.
The rights of man, are his title to the constituents of his nature and constitution, and his wrongs, the violation of these.
Laws, in regard to man, are his ever-improving principles of action.
Liberty, is the practise of all man’s rights, and slavery, the practical destruction of them.
Right, then, is the title, law, the mode, liberty, the practice, and happiness, man’s enjoyment of the constituents of his existence. Man’s wants, and powers of production, being so nearly equal, he is invested by nature with equal rights. His desires and wants being felt by himself, he can always judge what is better for his own interests than others. All must therefore participate in prescribing their rule of action. Law, therefore, should be prescribed and obeyed by the same superior power. All assumed superiority except what is given by nature, is usurpation of sovereignty and brute force. Thus Blackstone errs in supposing that it is the superior that enacts and the inferior that obeys. Neither is he correct in his theory, that there are different kinds of liberty, or a time when there is no society or government, so as to make civil the residue of natural liberty, given as the price of protection, when in truth if man could ever be out of society he would not acquire thereby more liberty. Although, right and liberty, have been but gradually developed and known, yet in the abstract, they are the same in all circumstances and in all ages.
The only just division in the commentaries, is that of rights and wrongs. The imperfect distinction of rights of persons and rights of things has been sufficiently criticised by his commentators. By reference to the classification of rights and wrongs in this work, it will be seen how deficient his analysis is, into the rights of personal security, personal liberty and private property, with no recognition of the right of every man to his sovereignty, his labor and his domain.
In Jefferson’s enumeration of rights, the term ‘life’ is sufficiently specific; but ‘liberty and the pursuit of happiness’ are too indefinite, as well as the terms ‘equality, liberty, safety, and property,’ used in the French Constitution of 1793, to designate the generic equal, individual and inalienable rights, and to give a clear, distinct and definite conception of them.
Rights naturally divide into two orders, Person and Property.
Mind, being the inseparable property of the nervous system, is the foundation of the inalienable right of sovereignty ; the in separable union of vitality with the vascular system is the origin of the indissoluble right of life; motion, the inseparable quality of the muscular system, is the basis of the inalienable right of labor or production; and the inseparable connection of man’s organs of alimentation, respiration and sensation, with the food, air and light of the great womb-like external world, establishes the foundation of his imprescriptible right to land, improvements, and commodity.
But these rights are subdivisible again into species with their opposing wrongs, and are shown in opposition in the following
ANALYSIS OF RIGHTS AND WRONGS.
INALIENABLE RIGHTS—WRONGS OF ALIENATION.
The principle of inalienableness, upon which this order of rights is founded, is the most important improvement that has been made to modern political science. The subversion of this principle by its opposing wrong of alienation, is now seen to be the most deeply seated cause of political evil; and nothing short of of its entire extinguishment, can enable man to obtain the whole of his rights.
It is from the inseparable connection of the vital principle and the body upon which is founded the inalienableness of the right of life; it is from the intimate union of motion with the limbs from which flows the inalienableness of the right of freedom and labor; it is from the close alliance of reason with self-love which requires the inalienable exercise of the right of sovereignty by each man in his own proper person; and it is the necessitated dependence of man upon his pedestal the earth and its appurtenances, for his subsistence, upon which is founded his inalienable right to domain. No man, has therefore, a right to destroy his life, to sell his freedom, defame his honor, to delegate his sovereignty, to alienate his domain or to suffer others to violate any of these inalienable rights.
The declaration of independence intimates, that there are more inalienable rights than it enumerates, by asserting that “man is endowed with certain inalienable rights—that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” Those other rights are here clashed will the above, and are found to be that of sovereignty, honor, labor and domain. The author of the declaration, may be credited as among the first who asserted the inalienableness of rights, upon which the era of equality is destined to be founded.
The doctrines of Paine, substituted the elective for hereditary government; which, though some advance, is only another form of the delegation and usurpation of the inalienable right of sovereignty. He will not now be deemed too radical, by our demoristocrats, with whom universal suffrage is considered the ultimatum. The real democrats will now become those who will advocate the doctrine of the inalienableness of rights, of universal self-legislation by every man in his own proper person in townships. For the present representative system of government with its offices, salaries and taxes, is but a species of monopoly of power and property, and never has and never will have much sympathy for the producers of wealth, the laboring millions.
The first genus of the inalienable rights, is that of sovereignty. It is the supreme power, wisdom and goodness of the entire body of society in establishing and administering government; while officery, is any violation of sovereignty, either by delegation, usurpation or force.
This power according to Blackstone, is vested in the king, parliament and constitution, and we now see its despotic effects in the monopoly of all property. Representative governments have already in theory placed this power in the hands of the people; but they have yet to advance to the knowledge of its inalienableness, that it should not be exercised by delegation.
Mankind, have through all time been petitioning the monopolizers of their sovereignty for a redress of grievances, instead of simply taking their right to legislate in their own hands. With the example of the Grecian democracies before them, they are still charmed with the apparent equality of the modern representative system of government between ins and outs. They have been so stultified in reason by the simple assertion of Blackstone and others, that democracies are impracticable, be cause the mass of the people cannot meet at one place, that they have not yet, recovered from this potent stroke of aristocratic logic. But, they will yet learn, that the country can be divided into legislative townships, as easily as into elective districts.
Revolution, is the exercise of the highest species of sovereignty. It consists in improving the principles of government by the assemblage of the people in convention; while, treason will consist in the attempt to exercise sovereignty by force of arms, instead of in the assembly of the people in township hall.
Revolution is deeply founded in the principle of progress, in the ever-improving constitution of nature. It gives facility to the operations of nature, and to the progress of civilization. It exhibits nature sublimely laboring through her creation, until she wears out a certain set of elements and principles; and then of creating more perfect instruments to work out a higher order of existence. Every change, through the action of even the same principle, is often attended with improved circumstances, until each era becomes decked in an entirely new livery of creation.
The sacred deference for existing institutions lays an embargo upon future enquiry and improvement. The first principle that should be taught, is, that the institutions of each period, are only progressive stages of existence, that become modified and amended as the mind outgrows them. Jefferson asserts the true principle of progress, by declaring the right of any people to amend or abolish the government when it becomes repugnant to their wisdom and subversive of their right’s, liberty and happiness Revolution then, consists in changing the fundamental principles of government. Being the highest exercise of sovereignty, it should result from the most profound discussion by the entire body of society assembled in convention.
Under the improved organization of government in the era of equality, into towns and peopledoms, every facility will be given to the discussion of new doctrines in the order in which the respective sciences to which they belong, are enumerated in the constitution; and if voted down, as the majority may err, the minority still have the right of discussion and remonstrance.
Thus, were every man to claim his inalienable right of sovereignty to legislate in his own proper person, there would be no motive to swerve him from an adherence to principle, we would then have more disinterested patriotism, honest legislation and protection of inalienable rights. This will obviate the evil of the elective system, where, the candidates, to secure their election, adhere to one or other of the two great parties, contrary to their better private opinion and instruction of the true reformers.
Legislation, is also a species of the genus sovereignty, and consists in the enactment of laws in accordance with the paramount law of the constitution. It is the next highest exercise of sovereignty to that of revolution, and should also be performed in proper person, and not by representation. Legislation can be practiced in the most simple and convenient manner conceivable. The whole country must be divided into townships of six miles square with a central village, and town hall. This size is thought, will embrace the proper proportion of each employment, for production, distribution, consumption and assemblage in one place. Now, with such an organization, instead of the people wasting their time in electing officers (who have seldom been known to attend to any interest, only so far as it is connected with their own,) they can always meet, each in his own person at all or any time in the year, being always in session, and by direct speech and vote prescribe their rule of action; thus consolidating the governors and governed in the same persons. These assemblies will discuss not only political, but every other science, according to parliamentary rides in a certain order; and thus all society of both sexes will become intelligent according to ability, and consolidate legislature, court and lyceum in one establishment. Every opinion and grievance can thus receive a proper hearing; and not be smothered under the sanctuary of a throne or a party. Then the real producers of knowledge will become the professors of science, instead of those learned venders of common place, who have persecuted a Socrates, a Galileo, a Columbus and a Paine. Genius will not as now pine in garrets, while mere learning fattens in colleges.
Administration is here classed as the third species of sovereignty, and should embrace all the powers now divided into executive and judiciary. Thus revolution, establishes constitutional law, legislation statutory, and administration applies all law to the protection of rights, and the redress of wrongs.
This being also an inalienable right, all cases of felony should be adjudicated upon by the whole assemblage of the people; but civil injuries to small amount, may be investigated by arbitrators, with an appeal to the people. Under this organization of society, so little wrong could occur, that trials would occupy less of the time of the people than they now do.
The word Officery is proposed as the most specific and expressive of the wrong that violates sovereignty. This term shows that it is not only usurped, hereditary but even delegated power that destroys this right. It is not in the power of nature to secure the honest and disinterested exercise of rights by deputy or representation. Hence office is merely a species of property used by the officer for the emolument of himself and the class of non-producers to whom he belongs. How will the masses he disappointed when they attain universal suffrage to see how little they have gained of their inalienable rights. But more advanced, behold the main wrong beyond wrongs arise like the highest range among mountains.
The deeply seated cause then of the criminal practises of present governments against the producing millions, is the creation of the system of offices and salaried officers, whereby the inalienable right of sovereignty is alienated, and society divided into governors and governed, in the same manner that the alienation of land and labor by rentage and hire divides it into landlords and tenants, masters and hirelings. Sovereignty is alienated as much by the elective franchise as the domain is by tenure, the body by slavery, labor by hire, or life by warfare. Constituents or electors pay fees and salaries to officers for the imaginary use of their own sovereignty, as tenants pay rents fur their share of domain, or as producers pay profits upon their own productions.
The common doctrine that sovereignty never departs from the people, though wielded by an exclusively elected few, supposed to have only a delegated power, defrauds the understanding by its speciousness. The farce of the elective franchise does not practically give the electors the sovereign power, but only a partial power of selection, just as the choice of a landlord does not give the tenant the freehold title of the tenement. Though the sovereign power rightfully belongs to the whole body of the people, it is not yet wielded by them in any nation on earth. Representative government is only an elective aristocracy. There can be no pure democracy or government of the people until they organize and meet in township assembly. Neither universal suffrage nor the election of all officers, will secure the masses the freehold of sovereignty any more than universal tenure will that of domain. They are as much cheated by the doctrine of constituent and representative in this era as they were by that of vassal and protector under the feudal system. Nothing but inalienable sovereignty, labor and domain, can redeem mankind from the damnation of monopoly and class. Nothing short of an organization into townships, where every man upon his own in alienable farm or village lot, can with his own hands only, produce and equitably exchange his surplus products for those of his neighbor; and, assembling in township hall, participate by direct speech and vote in prescribing his rule of action.
Are other reasons necessary to prove the despotism of both the hereditary and representative system of government? Then, behold in history but a continued catalogue of the crimes of kings and officers against each other and the people. Remember the horrid murders of a Richard and a Henry. Call to mind the shocking cruelties of the Bourbon race—the Bartholomew persecution, the iron mask and the slaughter of five hundred citizens within the wall of the Bastille from a trifling private pique! See the despot of Russia exterminating whole nations. Behold the emperor of China, the great usurper of both sovereignty and divinity, claiming relationship to the sun though it so far outshines him, and whose subjects are hewn down who do not prostrate themselves as he passes!
See the danger of even delegated sovereignty, when the French people’s representatives turned traitors and destroyed the democratic constitution of 1793, that provided for the final pas- sage of laws by the primary assemblies of the people. And see the effects of even delegated sovereignty in the boasted republic of the United States, where not a single national or state legislature has ever been sufficiently intelligent and honest to enact a law that directly benefits the producer of property.
See the pernicious effects of the elective system upon every candidate for president. Principle, honesty and every philanthropic sentiment are merged in self in the strife to embrace popular, instead of reform measures to stand out in relief on the presidential canvass. The extensive patronage of president and governor in the appointment of such an army of officers, whose connection with the balance of society keeps a majority in the ranks of party, makes it a herculean task to undeceive the people, or to hurl from office the corrupt minions of perverted power.
Office-holders, like other non-producers, can never have real sympathy for laborers. Their corrupt nature must be regenerated by honest and productive employment to fit them for duty.
Reputation is also a species of the inalienable right of sovereignty. It belongs to each of mankind according to merit and is alienated by the degenerating institution of rank, caste and titles of nobility, by which respectability is monopolized by the most worthless portion of society, to the degradation of the really useful and respectable class. This right with its opposing wrong of rank and the specific one of slander will be fully treated in a subsequent part of this work.
Conscience, the highest property of the thinking principle, is also a species of sovereignty and the most vitally important inalienable right. It is in the freedom of discussion that the advance in knowledge and civilization mainly depends. But, Nature’s God to make sure of progress, has so constituted this right, that, while other rights are temporarily impeded by their respective wrongs, persecution only facilitates its advancement.
As original views are entertained by but an isolated few, or by a single person of genius at first, the persecution of doctrinal opinion by the common place thinker, proves either its depth or shallowness. All describe themselves as well as the object they criticise, and which must receive the coloring of their minds. All history, experience, proofs of progress in the vestiges of creation in the physical or moral world or even improvements within the observation of men, seldom make them philosophic and generous enough to appreciate an advance of knowledge upon them selves where it disturbs their interest.
This shows that the deeply-seated wrong that violates the liberty of conscience, is the institution of creeds with salaried professorships, a species of officery and property, by which when ever they are disturbed by the progress of knowledge and discussion, are sure to persecute it, and further proves the inalienable nature of the rights accruing from the personal qualities of men as well as from external objects. None of these rights will bear the sacrilege of being reduced to property except that which is the creation of labor, such as improvements and commodities. The exclusive teaching of opinion as a means of living, will ever tend to persecute that which declares its absurdity. The power of reason is not sufficiently strong in any man to ratiocinate against the stronger sentiment of property. The most universal practice of the ignorant rascality of those who subsist by the sacrilege of the rights of their fellow creatures, is to slander the reformer and martyr the patriot of their own age, while deifying those of some preceding. So corrupted, omnipotent and heaven daring do they become, who live by the alienation of human rights in the form of salaried office, that the Incarnated Almighty Himself was crucified in redeeming mankind and in reforming the abuses of the priesthood, rulers and profit-mongers.
But, that variety of conscience constituting the religious sentiment, is equally corrupted by its alienation in the form of ecclesiastical office as legislation is by delegation. If religion had been in all ages left to the exercise of each one in its own proper person without the intervention of a priest, what a salutary effect would the heart-felt sentiments of the Divinity have had upon human virtue and happiness. But, a mammon serving priesthood seized upon this sublime sentiment and blasphemously represented the Deity in images and personifications, of performing the most ridiculous actions, of uttering the most absurd dogmas, thereby ignoring and vulgarizing mankind.
Religion as well as politics should be discussed and exercised by every man in proper person without salary or tythe; but, when reduced to chattels in the form of office with livings attached, all sincerity and purity of profession is destroyed. The transmutation of any thing into property, but that which is the pure product of labor is fraught with damnation.
Kings and popes, nobility and priests have ever usurped the sovereignty and religion vested in universal man, and impiously pretended to govern by divine right. But, modern representatives and clergy still wield those rights for their own emolument by ignorantly believing their deeds conduce to the good of the people and the church.
So unconsciously does an erroneous principle corrupt the sentiments and actions of frail humanity, that the clergy of all nations see no impropriety of trafficing in every thing relating to religion. While class legislators only enact laws enabling property still more to accumulate property, the clergy for a money consideration have actually absolved from sin and excused eve ry crime in the penal code of nations. They have through all time perverted religion into hierarchies, and by means of a system of officers, secret associations, inquisitions, tythes, contributions, by hovering like vultures around the death beds of their devotees to secure their estates, they have monopolized more of the product of labor in some countries than all the other institutions of society. They have, even after thus trafficing in human nature sacrilegiously Speculated by the sale of grace and the relics of Jesus Christ. And such, will ever be the practice of an impious and worthless priesthood, engendered by the alienation of the exercise of religion, and its desecration to goods and chattels in the form of tythes and church livings.
How great then must be the native goodness of human nature and the strength of the religious sentiment to have improved to so great an extent, in spite of their universal pervertion: but which, will more effectually scourge mankind into the knowledge of the truth and necessity of the inalienableness of all their rights.
The right of life, a genus of the order person, is one of the inalienable rights of man. All wrongs more or less directly affect life; but its most immediate opposing wrong is that of violence, subdivisible into species and these again into varieties; all of which will be fully discussed in a subsequent part.
Life is so inseparably connected with the existence of the per son and all its rights which rise and fall with it, that its accidental destruction is the greatest calamity and murder the most heinous of all crimes. There may be a restoration of the other inalienable rights, but none of life. Hence no man, no judicial or legislative tribunal can be justifiable in inflicting capital punishment. Life can only be destroyed in self-defence and in defensive war, where the death of the criminal assailant must be preferred to that of the party assailed.
Nations have no more right than individuals to begin war with each other. It proves the highest degree of savage is in and while ever society is governed by non-producing, vain-glorious, unpatriotic and misanthropic demagogues, with an ignorant, servile and landless class of vassals, who delight in pouring out their blood for a country whose institutions rob them of their home and their labor and yet call it patriotism, the world will abound with depredating wars. But when the whole people can govern and defend themselves in person, be equally required to produce what they consume, when none can shield themselves from the common duties of society by ill-gotten wealth, then will these hell-engendered wars be provoked no more.
As the very essence of all the inalienable rights, consists in their being exercised and enjoyed by every man in proper person, as sovereignty should not be delegated, labor hired, or tenements rented, so neither should life be hired. A hired soldiery should be equally criminal as hired labor. But while a non-fighting class can kindle a war with impunity and have its expense paid by a lax upon labor, they will ever he as lavish of the blood of the soldier, as the non-producing capitalist, manufacturer and landlord are of the sweat of the laborer.
Under the township organization of society, all could be equally armed, trained and required to partake in defensive war, as well as in production. The whole people could be made a perpetual standing army, at every point and always prepared to de fend themselves and country upon their own domain, while rein forced every hour; and would thus soon repel invaders with but little expense. Thus each people instead of being the tools of tyrants to forge each other’s chains would fight only for their rights.
The inalienable right of labor or production, is also a genus of the order of rights accruing from the properties of the person of men. Labor is the great instrument by which man procures the means of enjoyment and continues the work of creation. But a portion of mankind have usurped the power of forcing the balance to produce all their wealth, through the simple device of substituting their ill-gotten capital for their labor, by means of hire and wages, tenancy, mancipation, &c.
As property is the product of labor only, whoever servilely hires himself, increases his toil, produces more than he consumes and an idle non-producer besides. All property acquired by any mode than labor, is taken from that of other’s, and a mass ed in the form of capital, renders labor tributary, and the creature sways the creator. Capital levies a tribute of from six to ten per cent per annum in the form of rent upon the laborer; thus extorting the full value of tenements every ten or sixteen years; and defrauds him on commodities two or three times their cost in passing through a series of profit-mongers.
Each man’s labor to allow of proper recreation is only adequate to supply his own wants when assisted by his equal share of the capital stock of the earth. But supposing one eighth of the human race to be in possession of their proper share of the domain, and another eighth usurping the other seven eighths, it follows that three fourths are shorn of their share of capital and reduced to the degrading servitude of hiring their labor to work the materials of others; which creates a great class of non-producing landlords, officers, profit-mongers and masters, and another of producing tenants, electors, hirelings and slaves.
The laborer’s want of materials to set himself at work, forces him to hire his labor, which alienates it, and it becomes the property of the master-capitalist, who receives a tribute in the form of profit upon his wages. The freehold of labor then is in him who has the power of employing it, the hireling having only a choice between reduced wages and starvation. It is stupid to expect that men can exercise the rights of each other for each other; that the legislator will exercise sovereignty for the benefit of the producing constituent, that the landlord will monopolize tenements for the use of tenants, or that the capitalist will employ labor for the advantage of the laborer. It is a law of nature that the character of things is changed when their attributes are transferred to each other. It is impossible for the hireling to reap the full product of his labor and to retain the sublime characteristics of man, until he ceases the servile and criminal.
Labor, a species of the genus freedom, is the sacred and honorable employment of the hands of a human being upon his own domain, freehold and materials.
The proximate cause of the wrongs of labor, is the principle of hire and wages, caused by the more remote one, the usurpation of the land, and the tribute extorted for the use of it. Thus property, that cannot multiply itself, must therefore accumulate that of others by means of rent, profit and interest, and be taken from the product of labor; but mostly from hired labor, as it is the immediate means of subsistence. Labor then, should never be performed under another. All should work only for them selves and under themselves. The relations of employer and employed, master and servant, boss and journeyman, capitalist and laborer, non-producer and producer, should be eternally extinguished. No modification of the principles and institutions constituting the present era of monopoly—no universal suffrage can give to man the full rights of labor. Nothing short of the exercise of rights upon the principle of their inalienableness can create and perpetuate equality and happiness among mankind.
Though, property now, accumulates most all property, yet, labor creates it all. It is the accursed principle of the acquisition of more land by many than they can cultivate, that they can extort the labor of others by a rentage for the use of it, and thus without laboring accumulate all the product of the laborer over the meanest subsistence. Thus, when property is made to accumulate other property, it must be taken from the product of labor, as it alone can only create it.
As labor creates from the raw elements of nature, all property, it, of course pays every private and public expense. Thus, lie purchase money for the sale of lands and tenements, in whatever way appropriated, is mostly paid by hired labor. Thus, rent, for the use of farms and tenements, is always swelled by the taxes and insurance; and the farmer, by adding the whole mount to the price of his produce, can shift it upon the grocer; who can again add it to his profits and collect it from the consumer, who, if he be some other trader, can still parry it off, by the profit he also receives, until it ultimately comes out of the reduced wages of the laborer, who produces all products.
Thus, profit on commodities is also increased by the tariff and bank, and if the consumer be a landlord, a farmer, a manufacturer or a shopper, the increased price is charged along with the rent too, and extorted from the wages of hired labor.
Thus, the whole bill of costs including the purchase money, direct and indirect taxes, tythes, insurance, dividends, interest, rent and profit, received by the various classes of non-producers, having recourse upon each other, is ultimately paid out of the wages of the hired laborer who has no recourse, but in revolution.