Mr. Blodgett’s Final Question.

Mr. Blodgett’s Final Question.

To the Editor of Liberty:(15 ¶ 1)

I have one more question, and it does not occur to me now that I shall want to trouble you further in this way.(15 ¶ 2)

You say: I do not believe in any inherent right of property. Property is a social convention.(15 ¶ 3)

Now, does Anarchism recognize the propriety of compelling individuals to regard social conventionalities?(15 ¶ 4)

S. Blodgett.

Grahamville, Florida.

Readers who desire to refresh their minds regarding the series of questions which the above includes should consult Nos. 115 and 117. The answer to the first question in No. 115 is really an answer to the question now put. There I said that the only compulsion of individuals the propriety of which Anarchism recognizes is that which compels invasive individuals to refrain from overstepping the principle of equal liberty. Now, equal liberty itself being a social convention (for there are no natural rights), it is obvious that Anarchism recognizes the propriety of compelling individuals to regard one social convention. But it does not follow from this that it recognizes the propriety of compelling individuals to regard any and all social conventions. Anarchism protects equal liberty (of which property based on labor is simply an expression in a particular sphere), not because it is a social convention, but because it is equal liberty,—that is, because it is Anarchism itself. Anarchism may properly protect itself, but there its mission ends. This self-protection it must effect through voluntary association, and not through government; for to protect equal liberty through government is to invade equal liberty.(15 ¶ 5)