ADDRESS OF ALBERT R. PARSONS.
hirelings to enforce their man-made laws and maintain their "power" over
their fellowmen. Oh, consistency, indeed thou art a jewel! These hypocrites,
always did, and do today, employ brute force to compel their fellowmen
to obey and serve them, while they whine and snivel behind their sanctimonious masks about their "love of man and the power of God." I hope
some of them will preach in their pulpits next Sunday morning on this topic.
In the opinion of an Anarchist, the sum total of human life is expressed
in one word—authority. The economic regulates and controls the social status of man ; the mode and manner of procuring our livelihood affects our whole
life; the all-pervading cause is economic, not political, moral, or religious,
and social institutions of every kind and degree result from, grow out of, and
are created by the economic or industrial regulations of society. Every human
being, consciously or unconsciously, is affected and controlled by it in what
they think, or say or do. There is no escape; no evasion from its consequences. It is logic. It is cause and effect: Evil exists on every hand; the
well disposed, philanthropic, and generous, and the good seek relief from these
evil influences by moral suasion, by self-denial, by religion, by politics, etc.
etc., but in vain, in vain! The evils .remain, and not only remain, but grow
worse and worse. Why, if the fountain is corrupt, can the stream be pure?
If the cause remains, must not the effects follow? Jails, judges, and executioners, police, armies and navies, pestilence, misery and ignorance and
debauchery, and evils of all kinds of high and low degree, all flow from one
fountain; t' at flowing fountain of human wee is the economic or industrial
subjection and enslavement of man to man. Every human ill is produced by
the denial or the violation of man's natural rights or by the neglect or refusal
of man to conform his life to the requirements of nature. Wickedness,
wretchedness, ignorance, vice, crime, poverty are the penalties which nature
inflicts upon her disobedient children. The natural man is a happy man. He
is virtuous and right; truly so. Whoever violates the right of another, Booner
or later punishes himself. Nature is inexorable. From her penalty there is no
escape. But in a court of law—of so-called "justice"—if you are a member
of the Citizens' Association, or if you have a big bank account, in other words,
if you are a member of the propertied class, you crawl out of anything you
want to, for law is for sale; that is to say, whoever can purchase the lawyers,
stock the jury and bribe the court, can win. There is only one law for the
poor, to wit: Obey the rich.
The existing economic system has placed on tlu^ market for sale man's
natural rights. What are these rights? Well, among the many I will enumerate one or two. The right to live, for instance, is an inalienable right.
So, too, is the right to liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Now, how can I
possess these rights and enjoy them, when the very condition and the means
for their procurement are owned by and belong to another?
Shakespeare makes Shylock say at the bar of the Venetian court, " You
do take my life when you take the means wheieby I live." Now, the means
of life are monopolized ; the necessary means for the existence of all have been
appropriated and monopolized by a few. The land, the implements of production and communication, the resources of life are now held as private
property, and its owners exact tribute from the propertyless. In this way