« VorigeDoorgaan »
with the obligation to submit to laws laid ereign people is to settle the articles of a down by other people who happen to be State religion, not exactly as religious dogin a majority. Unless, indeed, this " law
mas, but as
“sentiments of sociability which one has laid down for one's self” sim- without which a man can neither be a good ply inculcates obedience to the majority. citizen nor a faithful subject':But, if that be liberty, then liberty is no
Without being able to oblige any one to be. less possessed by the man who makes it a
lieve them, he may banish from the State who. law to himself to obey any master ; and ever does not believe them ; he may banish liberty is as fully possessed by the slave them, not for impiety, but for unsociability, who inakes up his mind to be a slave, as as persons incapable of sincerely loving the by the freest of free men.
laws or justice, and of sacrificing themselves With respect to the other aim of gov- having acknowledged these same dogmas,
to duty if needful,
If any one, after eroment, the maintenance of equality, conducts himself as if he did not believe them, Rousseau makes an instructive statement let him be punished with death : he has comin answering the objection that the at-· mitted the greatest of crimes, he has lied be
fore the law (liv, iv, chap. viii.). tempt is chimerical, It is precisely because the nature of things
The articles of the State creed are : the (force des choses) continually tends to the de- existence of a powerful, intelligent, benefistruction of equality, that the power of legisla- cent, foreseeing and provident Deity ; tion ought always to tend to maintain it.*
the life to come, the happiness of the just, Absolute equality of power and wealth the punishment of the wicked, the sancis not required, but neither opulence nor
tity of the social contract and of the laws. beggary is to be permitted ; and it is to These aro the positive doctrines of the depend upon the legislators'' vicw of the Rousseauite croed. Of negative dogmas circunstances whether the community shall there is only one, and the reader may be devote itself to agriculture or to manufac- surprised to learn that it enjoins the retures and commerce (liv. ii. chap. xi.). pression of intolerance. Having banished Thus the State is to control distribution no unbelievers in the State creed and put to less than production. Moreover, the sov- death lapsed believers, Rousseau thanks
God that he is not as those publicans, the * In spite of all his sentimentalism, Rous- devotees of “ les cultes que nous avons seau occasionally sees straight into the reali. exclus''-intolerant.
Does he not proties of things. A prendre le terme dans la rigueur claim that all religions which tolerate others de l'acception, il n'a jamais existé de véritable démocratie, et il n'en existera jamais. Il est contre
should themselves be tolerated ? Yet the l'ordre naturel que le grand nombre gouverne, et qualificatory provision, “ so far as their que le petit soil gouverné. S'il y avait un dogmas are in no way contrary to the peuple de dieux, il se gouvernerait démocratique- duties of the citizen,” would seem to effect ment. Un gouvernement si parfait ne convient
a considerable reduction in the State tolerpas à des hommes (liv. iii. chap. iv.). ond Daniel come to judgment !" For it would
ation of the tolerators ; since, as we have not be far from the truth to say that the only just seen, it is obligatory on the citizen to form of government which has ever perma- profess the State creed. nently existed is oligarchy. A very strong
Whether Rousseau used the works of despot, or a furious multitude, may, for a brief space, work their single or collective will; Morelly and of Mably, as he did those of but the power of an absolute monarch is, as a
Hobbes and Locke, and whether his repilrale, as much in the hands of a ring of minis. tation for political originality is not of that ters, mistresses and priests, as that of Demos cheap and easy sort which is won by sedis, in reality, wielded by a ring of orators and ulously ignoring those who have been un. wire-pullers. As Hobbes has pithily put the
a democracy, in effect, is no more than mannerly enough to anticipate us, need an aristocracy of orators, interrupted some.
not be discussed. At any rate, important times with the temporary monarchy of one works of both these authors, in which the orator”. (De Corpore Politico, chap: ii. 5). The principles to be found in the essay on the alternative of dominion does not lie between
ão Social Contract'' are made the foundaa sovereign individual and a sovereign multitude, but between an aristarchy and a dem- tion of complete schemes of regimental soarchy, that is to say between an aristocratic cialism, with community of goods, were and a democratic oligarchy. The chief busi. published' earlier than that essay. Roness of the aristarchy is to persuade the king, bespierre and St. Just went as far as Rousemperor, or czar, that he wants to go the way they wish him to go ; that of the demarchy is
seau in the direction of enforcing equality, to do the like with the mob.
but they left it to Babæuf to try to go as NEW SERIES. --TOL. LI., No. 6.
“ A sec
far as Mably. In their methods of en- The Law of Nature* is, in fact, the law deavoring (by the help of the guillotine) dictated by reason, which “ teaches all to “ force men to be free,” they supplied mankind who will but consult it, that, bethe works naturally brought forth by the ing all equal and independent, no one Rousseauite faith. And still more were ought to harm another in his life, liberty, they obedient to the master in insisting on or possessions." Elsewhere (84), the a State religion, and in certifying the ex- state of nature is defined as a state of istence of God by a governmental decree. "perfect freedom," in which men “disThe regimental Socialists of our own pose of their possessions and persons as
to believe that, in their hands, they think fit ;” and further as a state of political regimentation has taken a new equality, departure, and substantially differs from wherein all the power and jurisdiction is rethat of the older apostles of their creed. ciprocal, no one having more than another ; Certainly they diverge from the views of there being nothing more evident than that Owen or of Fourier ; but I can find noth- creatures of the same species and rank, pro
miscuously born to all the same advantages of ing of importance in the serious writings naturet and the use of the same faculties, of t e modern school, nor even in their should also be equal one among another withromances, which may not be discovered in out subordination or subjection. the works of Morelly and of Mably, whose Again (8 7), since the law of nature advocacy of the doctrines that several “ willeth the peace and preservation of all ownersbip is the root of all the evils of so
mankind,” every man has a
“ right to ciety ; that the golden age would return if punish the transgressors of that law ;' that only the State directed production and reg
* This view of the law of nature comes from ulated consumption ; and that the love of
the jurists. Hobbes defines it in the same approbation affords a stimulus to industry, way, but he says that, in the state of nature, sufficient to replace all those furnished by the Law of Nature is silent. In speaking of the love of power, of wealth and of sen- Locke as the founder and father of Individualsual gratification, in our present imperfect Locke often refers) and still earlier writers
to state, is as powerful as that of any later
have expressed individualistic opinions. Nev. writers.
ertheless, I believe that modern individualism
is essentially Locke's work. We
e may now turn to the other line of + Yet Locke, of course, knows well enough development of political philosophy based
that children are not born equal and that
adults are extremely unequal. All that he upon a priori arguments, which is repre- really means is that men have an equal right sented by individualism in various shades to natural freedom,” and that is a mere a of intensity. I have already said that the priori dictum ($ 54-87). The sceptics as to founder and father of political individual.
the reality of the state of nature are treated ism, as it is held by its more moderate ad
with some contempt (8 14). “It is often asked
as a weighty objection, Where are or ever were herents at the present day, is John Locke ; there any such men in a state of nature ? To and that his primary assumptions--the which it may suffice as an answer at present, state of nature and the contractual basis of that since all princes and rulers of indepen. society—are the same as those of his pred- dent governments, all through the world, are in
a state of nature, it is plain that the world ecessor Hobbes, and of his successors
never was, nor ever will be, without numbers Rousseau and Mably. But I have also re. of men in that state. I have named all gov. marked that the condition of men in the ernors of independent communities, whether state of nature, imagined by Locke, is they are or are not in league with others, for different from that assumed by either Hob.
it is not every compact that puts an end to the
state of nature between men, but only this one bes or Rousseau. For these last philoso- of agreeing together mutually to enter into one phers, primitive man was a savage ; law- community and make one body politic; other less and ferocious according to the older, promises and compacts men may make with good and stupid, according to the younger, ture. The promises and bargains for track,
one another, and yet still be in the state of natbeorist. Locke's fancy picture of primi- etc., between the two men in the desert island tive men, on the other hand, represents mentioned by Garcilasso de la Vega, in his them under the guise of highly intelligent History of Peru, or between a Swiss and an and respectable persons,“ living together Indian, in the woods of America, are binding
to them thougb they are perfectly in a state of according to reason, without a common
nature, in reference to one another : for truth superior on earth, with authority to judge and keeping of faith belongs to men as men, between them” (Civil Government, $19). and not as members of society.”
is to say, those who invade the rights of executive power they had in the state of naothers. Moreover, truth and the keeping ture, into the hands of the society to be so far of faith are cominands of the Law of Na disposed of by the legislative, as the good of
society shall require ; yet it being only with an ture, and belong to men as men, and
intention in every one the better to preserve not as members of society (8 14). Locke himself, his liberty and property (for no rauses the term Law of Nature, therefore, tional creature can be supposed to change his in the sense in which it was often (perhaps condition with an intention to be worse), the generally) employed by the jurists, to de- by them, can never be supposed to extend note a system of equity based on purely farther than the common good ; but is obliged rational considerations. There is no con- to secure every one's property by providing nection between this law of nature and against those three defects above mentioned,
that made the state of nature so unsafe and “ natural rights” properly so called. The state of nature imagined by Locke is, in fact, the individualistic golden age of
To listen to Locke, one would imagine philosophical anarchy, in which all men that a general meeting of men living in the voluntarily rendering suum cuique, there state of nature having been called to conis no need of any agency for the enforce- sider the “defects” of their condition, ment of justice. While Hobbes supposes and somebody being voted to the tree (in that, in the state of nature, the Law of the presumable absence of chairs), this Nature was silent, Locke seems to imagine earliest example of a constituent assembly that it spoke loudly enough, but that men
resolved to form a governmental company, grew deaf to it. It was only in conse
with strictly limited liability, for the purquence
of the failure of some of them to pose of defending liberty and property ; maintain the original standard of ethical and that they elected a director or body elevation that those inconveniences arose
of directors, to be known as the Sovereign, which drove the rest to combine into com
for the purpose of carrying on that busimonwealths ; to choose rulers ; and to en
ness and no other whatsoever. dow them, as delegates of all, with the sum
are a long way from the absolute Soverof the right to punish transgressors inher- eign of Hobbes. Here is the point, in ent in each.
fact, at which Locke diverged from the In taking this important step, however, older philosopber; and at which Rousour forefathers exhibited that caution and seau and Mably, after profiting as niuch prudence which might be expected from as they could by Locke's Essay, left him
and laid the theoretical foundations of persons who dwelt
the ethical heights
upon which they had reached in the state of regimental socialism. nature. Instead of making a complete sur
The physiocrats of the eighteenth cenrender of all the rights and powers, which tury, struggling against the effects of that they possessed in that state, to the Sover- “fureur de gouverner,” which one of eign, and thus creating State onnipotence their leaders, the elder Mirabeau, called by the social contract, as Hobbes wrong
the worst malady of modern states, and fully declared them to have done, they which had nearly succeeded in strangling gave up only just so much of them as was every branch of French industry and starvabsolutely necessary for the purposes of an ing the French people, necessarily welexecutive with strictly limited powers.
comed and adopted Locke's individualistic With the Stuarts recognized by France, formula. Their favorite maxim of “ Laisand hosts of Jacobite pamphleteers on the look-out for every coign of vantage, it
* The following passages complete the ex.
“ Political would never do to adinit the Hobbesian pression of Locke's meaning
power, then, I take to be a right of making doctrine of complete surrender. So Locke
So Locke jaws with penalties of death, and consequently is careful to assert that when men entered of all less penalties, for the regulating and into commonwealths they must have stipu- preserving of property, and of employing the lated (and, therefore, on approved a priori such laws and in the defence of the commonprinciples, did stipulate) that the power wealth from foreign injury ; and all this only of the Sovereign was strictly limited to the for the public good” (8°3). “Government has performance of acts needful
no other end than the preservation of propevery one's property.”
erty” (§ 94). “ The great and chief end, there.
fore, of men's uniting into commonwealtbs § 131. But though men, when they enter and putting themselves under government is into society, give up the equality, liberty, and the preservation of their property'' (8 124).
sez faire” was a corollary of the applica- ni gouvernement ni société profitables ; il n'y tion of that formula in the sphere of econ
a que domination et anarchie sous les appar
ences d'un gouvernement ; les lois positives omy ; and it was a great thing for them
et la domination y protègent et assurent les to be able to add to the arguments based usurpations des forts, et anéantissent la proon practical expediency, which could be priété et la liberté desfaibles.* properly appreciated only by those who
That is to say, the absolute political took pains to learn something about the
ethics of the individualist leave as little facts of the case, the authority of a deduction from one of those a priori truths, and the right to deal freely with it are es
doubt in his mind that private property the just appreciation of which is supposed sential to the protection of the weak to come by nature to all men. of absolute ethics in question has been against the strong, as the absolute politistated in many ways.
cal ethics of the regimental socialist assure
It is laid down that every man has a right to do as he him that private property and freedom of
contract involve the tyranny of the strong pleases, so long as he does no harm to others; or that be is free to do anything
over the weak. he pleases, so long as he does not inter
Through the widespread influence of the
Wealth of Nations, individualism became fere with the same freedom in others. Daire, in the introduction to his Physio
a potent factor in practical politics. Wher
ever the principles of free-trade prevailed crates (p. 16), goes so far as to call the
and were followed by industrial prosperity, rule thus enunciated a law of nature.”
individualism acquired a solid fulcrum from La loi naturelle qui permet à chacun de faire which to move the political world. Lib. tout ce qui lui est avantageux sous la seule eralism tended to the adoption of Locke's condition de ne pas nuire à autrui.*
definition of the limits of state action, and The physiocrats accepted the dogma of to consider persistence in letting alone as human equality, and they further agreed a definition of the whole duty of the stateswith Locke in considering that the restric
But in the hands of even the most tion of the functions of the Government to liberal governments, these limits proved the protection of liberty and property was pretty elastic ; and, however objectionable in no wise inconsistent with furtherance of State interference might be, it was found education by the State. On the contrary, hard to set bounds to it, if indirect as well they considered education to be an essen
as direct interference were permissible. So tial condition of the only equality which long ago as the end of the eighteenth cenis consistent with liberty. Moreover, they tury, the distinguished scholar and statesJaid great stress on the proposition that
man Wilhelm von Humboldtf attempted justice is inseparably connected with prop- to meet this difficulty. He wrote a special erty and liberty. Nothing can be stronger treatise, which remained unpublished till than the words of Quesnay on this point : sixty years later, for the purpose of show
ing that the legitimate functions of the Là où les lois et la puissance tutelaire n'as
State are negative ; and that governments surent point la propriété et la liberté, il n'y a
have no right to take any positive steps * The oldest recorded form of the rule, and governed.
for the promotion of the welfare of the That reason cannot desire for any man any cism, in the seventh chapter of the ninth other condition than that in which each indi- book of Dunoyer's work. vidual not only enjoys the most absolute freedom of developing himself by his own en
Von Humboldt does not en. that which has the most positive character, is
cumber himself with Locke's limited contained in the command of the Jewish law, “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself” contract,” but starts an a priori axiom of (Leviticus xix. 18), (neighbor including bis own, namely :
stranger that dwelleth with you,' v. 34), which stands in the same relation to the indi- * Droit naturel, chap. v. vidualistic maxim as Fraternity to Equity. + Von Humboldt's essay was written in The strength of Judaism as a social organiza. 1791 ; but views so little likely to be relished by tion has resided in its unflinching advocacy the German governments of that day needed of freedom, within the law ; equality, before cautious enunciation, and only fragments apthe law; and fraternity, outside the law. I peared (under the auspices of Schiller) until am not sure that, from the purely philosoph. 1852, when the treatise formed part of the ical point of view, the form in which that posthumous edition of Von Humboldt's works. great Jew, Spinoza, has stated the rule is not À translation, under the title of The Sphere and the best : “Desire nothing for yourself which Duties of Government, was published in 1854, you do not desire for others” (nihil sibi appe- by Dr. Chapman (then, as now, the editor of iere quod reliquis hominibus non cupiant). (Ethices the Westminster Review), and became very IV., xviii.)
well known in this country.
The year 1845 is further marked in the ergies in his perfect individuality, but in annals of Individualism by the appearance which external nature even is left unfashioned of Stirner's The Individual and his Propby any human agency, but only receives the erty,* in which the author, going back to impress given to it by each individual by him. first principles, after a ruthless criticism of self and his own free will, according to the measure of his wants and instincts, and re
both limited Individualism and regimental stricted only by the limits of his powers and Socialism, declares himself for unlimited rights (p. 18).
Individualism ; that is to say, Anarchy. From this very considerable assumption right” is nothing but natural might.
Stirner justly points out that "natural (which I must say does not appear to me Man, in the state of nature, could know of to possess the quality of intuitive certain
no reason why he should not freely use ty) the conclusion is deduced that
his powers to satisfy his desires. When the State is to abstain from all solicitude for men entered into society they were impelthe positive welfare of the citizens and not to led by self-interest. Each thought he proceed a step farther than is necessary for could procure some good for himself by their mutual security and protection against that proceeding; and his natural right to foreign enemies ; for with no other object make the most out of the situation remainshould it impose restrictions on freedom.
ed intact. The theory of an express conThis conclusion differs but little from tract, with either complete or incomplete that of Locke, verbally. Nevertheless, in surrender of natural rights, is an empty its practical application, Von Humboldt figment, nor was there any understanding, excludes not only all and every matter of except perhaps that each would grasp as religion, of morals, and of education, but much as he could reasonably expect to the relations of the sexes, and all private keep. According to this development of actions not injurious to other citizens, from Individualism, therefore, the state of nathe interference of the State. However, ture is not really put an end to by the forhe permits governmental regulation of the mation of a polity; the struggle for existpower of testamentary devolution ; and ence is as severe as ever, though its condi(though somewhat unwillingly) interfer- tions are somewhat different. It is a state ence with acts which are not immediately of war; but instead of the methods of the hurtful to one's neighbors, yet the obvi- savage who sticks at no treachery, and vus tendencies of which are to damage revels in wanton destruction, we have those them or to restrict their liberties.
of modern warfare, with its Red Cross amBy far the best and fullest exposition bulances, flags of truce strictly respected, known to me of the individualism which, and extermination conducted with all the in principle, goes no further than Locke's delicate courtesies of chivalry. The rules formula, is Dunoyer's Liberté du Travail, of this refined militancy are called laws, of which the first volume was published in and prudence dictates respect for them be1825, and the whole work in 1845. One cause, as it is to the advantage of the magreat merit of the author is the resolute jority that they should be observed, the casting aside all the a priori figments many have agreed to fall upon any one of his predecessors ; and another lies in who breaks them; and the many are his careful and elaborate discussion of the stronger than the one. Thus the sole historical growth of Individualism, which sanction of law being the will of the magoes a long way toward the establishment jority, which is a mere name for a draft of the conclusion, that advance in civiliza- upon physical force, certain to be hontion and restriction of the sphere of Gov. ored in case of necessity ; and “ absolute ernment interference have gone hand in political ethics” teaching us that force can hand. J. S. Mill has referred to Dun- confer no rights ; it is plain that stateoyer's work ; but later expositors of Indi- compulsion involves the citizen in slavery, vidualism ignore him completely, although they have produced nothing comparable * Der Einzige und sein Eigenthum, by Max to the weighty case for the restriction of Stirner. I follow the account of the contents
of the book given by Meyer, Der Emancipathe sphere of government, presented with tionskampf des vierten Standes (ed. 2, 1882, pp. a force which is not weakened by fanati- 36-44).