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than, an equal body of felons; and our definition requires that government shall resist transgression in the one case as much as in the other. Protection, this is what men seek by political combination; and whether it be against internal or external enemies matters not. Unquestionably war is immoral. But so likewise is the violence used in the execution of justice; so is all coercion. Ethical law is as certainly broken by the deeds of judicial authorities as by those of a defensive army. There is, in principle, no difference whatever between the blow of a policeman's baton and the thrust of a soldier's bayonet. Both are infractions of the law of equal freedom in the persons of those injured. In either case we have force sufficient to produce submission; and it matters not whether that force be employed by a man in red or by one in blue. Policemen are soldiers who act alone; soldiers are policemen who act in concert. Government employs the first to attack in detail ten thousand criminals who separately make war on society; and it calls in the last when threatened by a like number of criminals in the shape of drilled troops. Resistance to foreign foes and resistance to native ones having consequently the same object-the maintenance of men's rights, and being effected by the same means—force, are in their nature identical; and no greater condemnation can be passed on the one than on the other. The doings of the battle-field merely exhibit in a concentrated form that immorality which is inherent in government, and attaches to all its functions. What is so manifest in its military acts is true of its civil acts,-it uses wrong to put down wrong.

Defensive warfare (and of course it is solely to this that the foregoing agreement applies) must therefore be tolerated as the least of two evils. There are indeed some who unconditionally condemn it, and would meet invasion by non-resist

To such there are several replies. First, consistency requires them to behave in like fashion to their fellow-citizens. They must not only allow themselves to be cheated, assaulted, robbed, wounded, without offering active opposition, but must refuse help from the civil power; seeing that they who employ force by proxy, are as much responsible for it as though they employed it themselves.


Again, such a theory makes pacific relationships between men and nations look needlessly Utopian. If all agree not to aggress, they must as certainly be at peace with each other as though they had all agreed not to resist. So that, while it sets up so difficult a standard of behaviour, the rule of nonresistance is not one whit more efficient as a preventive of war, than the rule of non-aggression.

Moreover, this principle of non-resistance is not deducible from the moral law. The moral law says-Do not aggress. It cannot say-Do not resist ; for to say this would be to presuppose its own precepts broken. As explained at the outset, Morality describes the conduct of perfect men; and cannot include in its premises circumstances that arise from imperfection. That rule which attains to universal sway when all men are what they ought to be, must be the right rule, must it not? And that rule which then becomes impossible of fulfilment must be the wrong one? Well, in an ideal state the law of non-aggression is obeyed by all—is the vital principle of every one's conduct—is fully carried out, reigns, lives; whereas in such a State the law of non-resistance necessarily becomes a dead letter.

Lastly, it can be shown that non-resistance is absolutely wrong. We may not carelessly abandon our dues. We may not give away our birthright for the sake of peace. If it be a duty to respect other men's claims, so also is it a duty to maintain our own.

That which is sacred in their persons is sacred in ours also. Have we not a faculty which makes us feel and assert our title to freedom of action, at the same time that, by a reflex process, it enables us to appreciate the like title in our fellows? Did we not find that this faculty can act strongly on behalf of others, only when it acts strongly on our own behalf? And must we assume that, while its sympathetic promptings are to be diligently listened to, its direct ones are to be disregarded ? No: we may not be passive under aggression. In the due maintenance of our claims is involved the practicability of our duties.


Of international arbitration we must say, as of a free constitution, or a good system of jurisprudence, that its possibility is a question of time. The same causes which once rendered all government impossible have hitherto forbidden this widest extension of it. A federation of peoples—a universal society, can exist only when man's adaptation to the social state has become tolerably complete. We have already seen that in the earliest stage of civilization, when the repulsive force is strong, and the aggregative force weak, only small communities are possible. A modification of character causes these

. gentes, and tribes, and feudal lordships, and clans, to coalesce into nations; and a still further modification will allow of a still further union.

Meanwhile, in looking forward to some all-embracing federal arrangement, we must keep in mind that the stability of so complicated a political organization depends, not upon

the fitness of one nation but upon the fitnesses of many.




A FUNCTION to each organ and each organ to its own function, is the law of all organization. To do its work well, an apparatus must possess special fitness for that work; and this implies unfitness for any other work. The lungs cannot digest, the heart cannot respire, the stomach cannot propel blood. Each muscle and each gland must have its own particular nerve. There is not a fibre in the body but what has a channel to bring it food, a channel to take the surplus away, an agency for stimulating it to perform its peculiar duty, and a mechanism to take away effete matter. Between creatures of the lowest type and creatures of the highest, we similarly find the essential difference to be, that in the one the vital actions are carried on by a few simple agents, while in the other the vital actions are severally decomposed into their component parts, and each of these parts has an agent to itself. In organizations of another order the same principle is apparent. When the manufacturer discovered that by confining each of his workmen wholly to one process, he could greatly increase the productive powers of his establishment, he did but act on this same rule of one function to one

If we compare the mercantile arrangements of a village with those of a city, we shall find that the hucksters of the one carry on many trades each, while most shopkeepers of the other confine themselves to single trades; showir.g us how a highly-developed apparatus for the distribution of commodities is similarly distinguished by the subdivision of duties. Language, too, exemplifies the same truth. Between its primitive state, in which it consisted of nothing but nouns, used vaguely to indicate all ideas indiscriminately, and its present state, in which it consists of numerous “parts of speech," the process of growth has been that of gradually separating words into classes serving different purposes; and just as fast as this process has advanced, has language become capable of adequately fulfilling its end.*

May we not, then, suspect that the assigning of one function to one organ, is the condition of efficiency in all instrumentalities? If, as far as we can see, such is the law not only of natural organizations, but of what, in a superficial sense, we call artificial ones, does it not seem probable that it is the universal law? Will it not be the law of institutions? Will it not be the law of the State? Must we not expect that with a government also, special adaptation to one end implies non-adaptation to other ends? And is it not likely that by devolving on a government additional function, the due discharge of its peculiar function will be sacrificed? And would not this imply that a government ought not to undertake such additional functions?

But laying aside analogy, let us inquire whether it is not the fact that in assuming any office besides its essential one, the State begins to lose the power of fulfilling its essential

So long as our joint-stock protection-society confines itself to guaranteeing the rights of its members, it is pretty certain to be co-extensive with the nation ; for while such an organization is needed at all, most men will sacrifice something to secure its guardianship. But let an additional duty


* Until now (1890) that I am re-reading Social Statics for the purpose of making this abridgment, the above paragraph had remained for these 40 years unremembered. It must have been written in 1849; and it shows that at that date I had entered on the line of thought which, pursued in after years, led to the general law of evolution.

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