J. K. Ingalls to The Twentieth Century, June 7, 1894

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TWENTIETH CENTURY

June 7, 1894.

Editor TWENTIETH CENTURY:

I notice often the bugbear of competition invoked to aid the inclination toward co-operation, already strong in the public mind, and usually without the least distinction being made between that which results from the operation of economic law and that which is caused by the co operation of classes protected by legislation from all operation of economic law, as far as possible. Why not decry cooperation, because that works to the advantage of capital, and disadvantage of labor under privilege? It is privilege not economic forces which are at fault.

It is privileged co-operation which creates the crushing competition, which would otherwise complement voluntary co-operation. It might as well be attempted to run the universe with one of the moving forces left out, as to attempt to promote social industry by eliminating one of these prime forces.

One writer thinks he makes a final disposition of the individualist when he says: "Monopoly can only be abolished by legislation;" apparently unaware that most of the vicious legislation of the past never has been repealed. Social advancement has mainly been made through allowing unequal laws to become obsolete by inability of government to enforce them. Statute books are still lumbered with such enactments, so that utter confusion is only prevented by wholesale dropping in repeated codifications. Before a privilege can be abrogated it must first become obnoxious to the public mind. But is till then, often a difficult and tedious struggle to remove it by legislation. In the face of a clear public sentiment, it becomes impossible to enforce it, and becomes disused.

While skeptical to reform through use of bayonet and bullet, or even ballot, in hands with uninformed heads, I foresee that labor is likely to be driven to such issue by scheming politicians and belligerent workers, but this should be avoided rather than courted.

Dynamite may aid the truth; may also aid the error,

But one thought can conquer wrong, e’en through a reign of terror.

Mr. Schneider thinks: "Tigers, monkeys, donkeys" are unfit for Anarchistic society. They seem not only fit for archistic society, but to be rulers therein. For one I protest against being longer governed that way. "The most dangerous class in any society are those who aspire to make, interpret and execute its laws," [John O’Connor], whether the ferociously murdering, the mischievously thieving, or the stupid and stubbornly assenine.

J. K. INGALLS.