Page:Instead of a Book, Tucker.djvu/418

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402
INSTEAD OF A BOOK.

scarcely worth attention. Summarized, his positions are that! the controversy is unequal, because he quotes and then criticises, while I criticise without quotation; that I am the dodger, not he, because the essential question is the private property question, while I insist on discussing Proudhon's banking system; that he has read Liberty for six years, and has found no plausible defence of that system in its pages, and that the statement in my last reply probably covers that system; that the system has been put into operation in Germany and elsewhere with no farther effect than to enable the smaller bourgeois to hold out a little longer against the larger; that I only half understand Proudhon's works; that, if I would read the whole of Freiheit instead of only such portions as relate directly to me, I might know something about the economics of Socialism; that Proudhon's banking system has no longer a single champion in Europe; and that "if we are once through with the political tyrants, then the economic ones will no longer be dangerous to us, for the latter will surely have had their necks broken with the former, especially since both kinds are essentially one and the same persons."

I answer, with like brevity and succinctness, that I have accurately represented Herr Most by restatements, while he has misrepresented me by garbled quotations; that the essential question is not the private property question, since Herr Most promised to abandon Communism for private property on being shown that the latter is compatible with production on the large scale without the exploitation of labor, which immediately made the arguments on which the claim of such compatibility rests the essential question; that the principle of Proudhon's banking system has been expounded repeatedly in Liberty, and far more fully and adequately than in the present controversy; that neither his system nor any similar system was ever put into unmolested operation, so far as I know, and that, if my knowledge on this point is deficient, it is Herr Host's business to supply the deficiency by distinct specification of facts; that, other things being equal, those countries and those periods have been the most prosperous in which financial institutions have most nearly approached Proudhon's idea; that to understand half of Proudhon's works is better than to understand none of them; that a number of intelligent persons whom I know, and who read Freiheit thoroughly, tell me that they have failed to derive any such benefit from it as Herr Most promises me ; that within a very few years a book of several hundred pages has been published in

Paris, ably stating and defending Proudhon's banking theories,