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expect that Power will remain a passive spectator of your attempts to sap it. It does so, in silent contempt of those who would overthrow a selfish tyranny by a newer adaptation of selfishness; knowing well too that could you succeed there would be nothing changed, except the form.
Yet continue your experiments. Every wretchedness that you remove shall be carried to the account of your good works. We too dare not hesitate to help your endeavours in that direction. But we will neither preach to men that the material redemption is the one thing needful, nor remit our efforts to inspire that higher spirit of patriotism, of religion, and of devout sacrifice, through which alone a People can be regenerated, and rendered worthy of enjoyment. Work on, preaching to slaves in the language which slaves only can understand! Who shall forbid your sympathy? But for us we will rather follow in the track of the Apostles and Martyrs of Humanity, summoning the spirit of manhood that lives even in the lowest, rekindling the sacred fire even in the slave's heart, till forgetting all except that deepest wrong of slavery itself, he shall rise ! ay crippled as he is, and overthrow Injustice, and build upon the morrow of his victory, with unshackled hands, not a palace for his own appetites, but a temple in which he may be healed, wherein he may serve God, the True, the Beautiful, the Eternal.
A GREAT deal of nonsense has been talked about physical force: some for it, it may be; but certainly very much against it. Without any clear apprehension of the meaning of the term, many men declaim against physical force as a crime, as an immorality, the opposite of moral force.
It is not necessarily the opposite of moral force. It may be the servant of the moral, and by such service become moral and justifiable. But how many hands will be held up in horror against such a sentiment! how many voices will exclaim -Never! physical force can never be moral !' Gently, good people!
If you see a man struggling against drowning, and you leap into the water and save him, do you not employ physical force ?
If you see two foolish men fighting, and, unable to convince them of their folly, you, never so quietly, step in between them and receive the blows from both, is not that very stepping between them an act of physical force ?
But that is beside your meaning. You do not employ the term in such a sense.' Whose fault is it that you attach an arbitrary sense to common words ? But, to come within your limits.
My little girl is asleep beside me. A wolf rushes toward her. As he is about to seize her, I snatch up the first weapon in my way (not nicely considering), and dash out his brains. This is physical force. Is my act immoral ? "No! but there is a difference between men and beasts.'
My two children are playing together. I see approaching them an armed madman of whose ungovernable ferocity I am well aware. He is deaf; but I hasten forward to restrain him. Before I can overtake him, he has struck down one child; his axe is raised over the head of the secoud. My rifle is in my hand. Shall I not fire ?
“But all men are not madmen.' True! some are Cossacks; some Croats; some Frenchmen; some 'intelligent'statesmen and bombarders. The Tyranny of Wrong bas many sorts of tools. How shall I proceed against them ?
First, what is my justification for the use of physical force against the wild beast or the madnian ? Clearly that, only by such means I could prevent a mischief which it was my duty to prevent. There lies the whole question between the never-to-be-abandoned duty of warring against Wrong, and the choice of the best weapon.
If I could have tamed the wolf, his death would have been a wanton or at least unnecessary cruelty; if I could have tamed the madman, was be not a man even as myself, made in the same likeness? But it was my duty to protect the innocent; and no other means could be made available. I was guiltless of choosing ill. The duty was clear before me.
Nay! have I not the right to defend myself against either wild beast or madman?
May I not fire into the ravenous wolves that beset me in the forest ; or draw my sword against a band of assassins, of whatever country or calling ? Is the instinct of self-preservation altogether false, then, and suicide a virtue ? Shall the mother doubt her heart, and lay down her babe at the murderer's feet, and refuse to defend it? Or is the generous impulse at fault that makes the blood to boil, and the cheek to glow, at the very mention of wrong done to another?
Shall I defend my own life; shall I defend my child; and shall I stand by unheeding, or content myself with a cowardly, cold blooded, egotistical sympathy' when my neighbour is injured ? Have I no duty toward him ?
Shall I save one neighbour from drowning, from the wild-beast, or the assassin ; and shall I hold back, and advise my countrymen to hold back, when many are in danger ?
If one has the right of self-defence, have not many ? If one may defend the injured, though it be only by dint of physical force, may not the many ? If I was right in saving my child from the assassin, will not my countrymen be right in saving the children of Rome, or Hungary, or Poland, from assassins; even though at the cost of as violent means, even though the assassins be not what is called mad, though they be less excusable ?
Was the French invasion of Rome less villainous than the act of the madman ? Are the enemies of Hungary—the violators of women, the murderers of children, the bombarders and massacrers-less cruel than wolves ?
Shall I save my child, and then be told that war for a nation's existence is impious and unjustifiable ?
War would be unjustifiable if there were other means. But if there are not ? When two people would discuss a question, would you tell one to argue in a language which the other could not understand? And if kings and Cossacks will not, or can not, understand reason - the intellectual weapon of intelligent men,’ is it our fault that it only remains for us to argue with the 'stupid guns '?
If so, give up liberty! renounce the hope of freedom! for once proclaim that you will not defend yourselves, nor–O cowards ! your brethren, from the brutality of tyrants, and the wild beasts of every royal jungle will be let loose upon you. Your 'intellectual weapons' shall nought avail you; for the tyrants, who will not reason, know how by brute force to put down reason.
Opinions are not all-powerful; not the most reasonable opinions. But force with reason, that is, with truth upon its side, is stronger than the force of brutes and madmen.
The denial of force on the side of the just is not only an error; but it is an error no one could follow to its end. You would disband your armies while the world is full of armed savages. It is possible you may escape slavery, unnoticed in the general ravage.
But be consistent! If force may not be used against the foreigner, neither may it be used against the citizen. Disband your
armies; disband also your police. If it is a crime to use force, it is a crime to employ another to use force. If force may not win liberty, neither may it maintain order. Proclaim the thieves' millennium. ‘Yes!' say the honestest among you, those consistent in the repudiation of physical force; 'we shall trust to education. So educate that force shall not be needed.' Let it be so, and be who would advocate force would be a monster ; but, till the world is educated ?
While there are wolves and Cossacks; and while the wolves not only abound, but hold rule, and forbid and prevent education, it is our duty to defend the wronged and the innocent against them,—though it be with sword and fire, though it be to the death, whenever and wherever we arc debarred from better weapons.
-Give us breath,
Shall be peace-provident :
We cannot choose but fight
There are some will exclaim against the prudence of this argument, as tending to encourage rebellions, war, and violence. I answer, it is not imprudent to take this question out of the domain of prejudice, from off the ground of an ignorant assumption, whereupon men who should be acting together are led to quarrel, and to denounce each other, the one side as 'sanguinary' and 'atrocious,' and the other with the no less offensive epithets of “base' and 'cowardly' and 'hypocritical.' For the rest I will but answer in the words of Martin Luther:-'I am for tearing off every mask, for managing nothing, for extenuating nothing, for shutting the eyes to nothing, that truth may be transparent, and unadulterated, and have a free course.'
PEACE OR WAR!
Is it peace or war?
Not peace with those who rob men of their rights, who would enslave their brethren : who prevent the accomplishment of human duties, who strive to hinder the destined growth of Man.
Is it peace or var?
Not silent assent to Injustice, to Crime; not peace with Vice, with Suffering, or with Ignorance.
Is it peace or war?
War: life-long war for Right, or till Victorious Right shall become manifest as Peace.
Is it peace or war, O ye nations and peoples of the earth?
War: war against Usurpation, whatsoever it may call itself; war even to the knife rather than compromise with any incarnation of Wrong.
THE ADVENT OF PEACE.
Over the red field strode an armed knight:
Men knew him not; but when the fray did cease,
And bade the hero's name thenceforth be PEACE.