The New Freewoman: No. 4, Vol. 1, August 1st 1913.
by Dora Marsden
IT is difficult for us in a culture made powerless because it has accepted intellectual concepts as real-denying as we do that the grounds exist upon which these have been given their verbal creation-to handle seriously the arguments of the rhetoricians whose phraseology continues to make thinking farcical and irrelevant to life. If one army uses bullets which upon the opposing army burst as soap-bubbles, there will certainly be a victory but scarcely war. So we feel with the controversialists whose ammunition is words, the meanings of which cut no deeper than the thickness of their written form on paper. We have already looked for the substance of liberty, equality, justice, fraternity: the newest advent is "dignity." Mr. G. K. Chesterton, the mainstay of democracy, has defined democracy: "The natural dignity of man-as-such."
The empty wind of man-as-such tempts us to recall the remarks of Mr. Samuel Pepys anent his wife's six-months-old head-dress to the effect that there is a limit beyond which such things will not very well go: literary reputations are of a like decaying order. What man-as-such apparently is meant to imply is "all men," and can be left at that, while we consider "dignity." The dictionary defines it as "Nobleness or elevation of mind based on moral rectitude." As of the words comprising this definition, the verb, the conjunction and the two prepositions are the only ones which to us have meaning, it is useless to us, and we fall back upon common understanding to learn why "dignity" stands in better repute in the real world than many other of the same highflown tribe, and we find the far from uncommon explanation-because of its relations.
"Dignity" loosely understood, is an attitude of mind following upon the possession of worth. To have it, means that for the occasion one possesses enough to render one "self sufficient." To retire from a situation with "dignity" is to withdraw oneself from the network of claims and arguments wound about a case and take one's stand upon the measure of what one has the power to effect: upon one's actual worth in short: great or small as this may be. In this sense, it is the revelation of personal significance; of what, stripped of all wrappings, all donned-on labels, the individual is able to encompass by dint of his actual holding of power. It is from this aspect that the word "worth" shows itself so much more illuminating of real value than is "dignity." Probably it is its ancestry, localised and hence familiar, that has preserved worth from the artificial uses to which its abstract relative "dignity" has been put. "Weorthan," the Anglo-Saxon, "to become," is highly significant. We can be easy in applying the label as to what things are; but our judgment of their essential nature is demanded when we are called upon to say what things will become. We at once get back our scent for reality. We are lavish in ascribing "dignity" because it costs nothing. We are more careful when we begin to reckon worth.
It is time to return to the definition of democracy, "the natural dignity of man as such." We have stated that to possess "dignity" is to reveal oneself as self-sufficient, asking nothing, taking one's stand upon what one is worth. We ourselves, at some length, and irrefutably as we think have shewn democracy to be the "mechanical contrivance for the regulating of a people mutually dependent." Hence Mr. Chesterton's definition is reduced to a contradiction-a veritable reductio ad absurdum. Substituting the popularly understood psychological significance of "dignity" for the rhetorical use, we get the definition as "democracy is the natural power to be self-sufficient of men as such." Even democracy one imagines cannot contrive to mean at one and the same time "Is" and "Is not," "dependent" and "self-sufficient."
If, on the other hand, the word dignity is discarded as suspect and the equivalent phrase compounded with the word "worth" be used, the result is equally absurd: "Democracy is the natural measure of worth of man as such." Obviously the natural worth of men is nil. Men have, as the Americans would say, to make good. In worth, it is the becoming which counts, and not all asserted potentiality. A man as worthless as a mud-puddle is as worthless as a mud-puddle. He has no inherent "as-such" quality which stands to his account to be ascribed to him as worth. He is worth just what he is worth, i.e., what he owns of power no matter in what form. Common speech has it "a man is worth so and so" the meaning ordinarily being that the man owns material goods and properties. This totalising of worth however fails in comprehensiveness: the worth of a man or woman comprises more than material property: it includes ability, skill, beauty, in women sex, everything in short which represents power to achieve one's own ends and satisfactions. It includes everything one owns, and nothing of that to which one has a titular claim only. The "as such" claims for instance are invalid: they have no potency off paper. One's claims as Woman, as Man, as Wife, claims to "Justice," "Right," to "Equality" are nothing-so much empty sound. One may claim with sense, just what one has the power to get. The emphasis put on claiming is the revelation of the impotence and futility of the claimant. It serves merely as a diversion of attention from the thing which matters, from consideration of the "power to get."
The question we are concerned with is the meaning of the disturbance regarding the position of women in society. It has already been noted in the pages of THE NEW FREEWOMAN the strong reaction which has set in among the "intellectuals" against not only suffragism, but against what is called "feminism," the "economic independence of women" and so forth. The "New Witness" has been reinforced by the "New Age," Mr. G. K. Chesterton and Mr. Belloc by the Editor of the "New Age," and Mrs. Humphry Ward by Mrs. Beatrice Hastings. As these writers can wield the pen with a force rare among those whom they oppose, their opposition has strength quite out of proportion to their numbers. It is as well therefore that their arguments should receive examination. One of their latest pronouncements is that of Mr. Chesterton, in an article on Women in which the definition of democracy to which we have referred, is but one jewel in a crown. Mr. Chesterton is coaxing women to abandon the "crazy cant" of "economic independence." He complains to them that "the capitalists can treat each woman as that only too common thing, the conscientious spinster," but surely the complaint is lodged in the wrong quarter. If there is anything wrong with this species of treatment, it is the capitalists' affair. Either "each woman" is a conscientious spinster- in which case the treatment is strictly correct, and would be a failure were it otherwise-or "each woman" is not, in which case the capitalists will find out their error and at their own cost. If one has a mixed collection of tabby cats and tiger cubs, and one fondles all indiscriminately after the manner successful with the tabby cats, it is the fondler who has the difference to learn. Similarly, with "each man," whom Mr. Chesterton avows, the capitalists "can treat as that very unusual thing-the economical bachelor." But surely now, God Himself could treat things, for any length of time, and with impunity, only for what they are. If treatment goes down with them, it is presumably the correct treatment. The capitalist, presumably, takes people as he finds them, and gives them the treatment they consent to put up with. He certainly is successful from his point of view, while the rhetoricians who nag the "people" to attempt to persuade the capitalist that he should treat them as he "ought," i.e., as they say they should be treated, fail. The capitalist apparently has gauged their measure correctly, but they have not gauged his. The presumption is that they are what he takes them for, and not what they say they are. When their measure alters, he will probably be swift to make the readjustments necessary. The vital concern for the "lean kind," i.e., all of the "conscientious spinster," and "economical bachelor order" is not what the capitalist does but what they are. "They should claim" continues Mr. Chesterton, this and that. Why claim? If they can get (i.e. take) what they want, there is no need to claim it; and if they are powerless to, then claiming is only another name for whining. The capitalists did not claim the "conscientious" and "economical" attitude. They found it ready to hand, waiting to be used. And they used it. When such attitudes no longer exist, obviously they will not be used. Obviously, therefore, at the heart of the problem there lies the question of worth, power indwelling in the individual. Power, humanly speaking, means ownership, which in turn means the power of using one's possessions in the service of one's own satisfactions. (Wisdom lies in knowing what one's satisfactions are.) Ownership is synonymous with wealth. A man (a woman) is worth just what he owns. The more extensively he owns, the more augmented is his worth, his power. The scale of values applied to things owned is a matter of individual choice. Fundamentally it is a matter of religious assertion-always a personal affair.
Increasing in strength however with time, unsupported by the main trend of human culture (ordinarily indeed, directly opposed by it) there has persisted a conscious knowledge that the minimum which the individual desires to own, are the powers encompassed in his own person. Individuals in all ages have struggled to win the control of themselves for themselves. To do so, it has been necessary for them to disregard the "cultured" tendency to submit to the claims advanced by gods, churches, states, ideas, causes, institutions and notions innumerable which have waited to prey upon men, like harpies each with its own "Hither to me." In the course of the struggle it has become clear that ownership of one's self is impossible in this life, unless one owns something external to oneself: owns, that is, material property. When the sphere of an individual's ownership has shrunk to the extent where it is coterminous with his own powers and person, unless he can immediately widen the boundary, he has perforce to begin the sale of himself into the service of those who possess and therefore can give him the external property necessary to existence-either wages or gifts in kind. He therefore ceases, as the common language has it, to be his own master. He has become the hired man. He effects the satisfactions of others, whether whole-time as a slave, or part-time as a wage-earner. The brain-worker alienates his brain power, the labourer and mechanic his power of limb; women sell what their power of sexual attraction will fetch, either in marriage or prostitution. The process in each case is the same-the further alienation of one's property from a hoard already too diminished to preserve its usufruct for its own service: it is the progressive inroad made upon that which constitutes the kernel of being; that which constitutes the "I." Peasant women sell their hair; foster-nurses their nourishment; recently a woman put up her entire person for sale for any purposes whatsoever; one man, we read of, sold his nose to replace the damaged feature of a person who possessed property enough to buy. The process is automatic: "To him that hath external property is given; but he that hath naught in addition to his own person, must thereupon give himself."
It now becomes easy to place women's position in society. Women on the whole own little or no property. Automatically therefore the process of bartering themselves begins.
For various reasons, but particularly because of the advent of industrialism, there exists a prejudice against the sale of the strength in their arms or the activities of their brains, even should they have the desire to sell these by preference. Consequently not selling her limbs as does the hired man she sells her sex, which she can sell because there exists a market which can afford to pay. It will be noticed that ordinarily men even among the unemployed do not sell sex. The reason is that women in any extended degree do not possess the property with which to pay therefor. Probably as the poverty question became more and more urgent and unemployment more acute, had there been a market provided by women to encourage the sale, men would have sold themselves in this respect equally with women. It is said, with what truth we cannot here vouch for, that there already exists for men not only a market for sex among men but a rapidly increasing supply; that the practice of what is known as sodomy is increasing and that the number of male prostitutes to be seen at certain hours in London is rapidly gaining upon that of the number of women prostitutes who entertain the liveliest hostility against the male competitors in the sex-market. That this state of things should be is very natural since as we have seen, once the integral ownership of the individual by the individual is abandoned, as it must be when individuals possess no property external to their own persons, the sale of the entire soul and body is a question only of time and degree. It is the problem of hired men (including women) throughout the history of the world-a problem which is no problem, but rather a truism. We are however just now more concerned with the position of women in society, and we must look at things a little more in detail before we pass on to the attitude which various schools of "reformers" take up in regard to the question, thus arriving at a statement of THE NEW FREEWOMAN's attitude, which is not reforming at all, but religious and basic. Practically all women are on sale: that explains why there is no reality in the attack of the "respectable" upon the prostitute. It is not the sale that society objects to: that is so much a part of itself that it is barely conscious of the fact. "Society" therefore cannot "deal" with prostitution. It would be as impossible for it to do so as for a man to suspend his own person by his own unassisted efforts. What respectable society objects to is the prices which are offered. The respectable, i.e. those who are married, or who believe in marriage, and hope to be married, not only desire to put themselves on the market, they are endeavouring to dictate the price by effecting a corner. This explains precisely what has happened, for instance in the recent Piccadilly Flat case, where the prostitutes called to give evidence are sympathised with, whilst a hue and cry is raised for the purchasers. The venom is against these, because they are buying women cheap whereas marriage sells them dear. "Maintenance for-life in such style as your means will allow, and not a farthing under," is the cry of the marriage-auctioneer. "If I cannot get a bid up to that figure I will withdraw the wares," and so he does, and the long long line of spinsters is the result, "conscientious spinsters" who earn their maintenance (hardly) in a market from which Mr. Chesterton and the Editor of the "New Age" would oust them. They offer for sale their limbs after realising that the price demanded for their sex is not forthcoming. Therefore not "sales" but "cheapness" is the rallying point of hostility. "Don't make yourselves cheap" is a very ancient cry: and excellent advice it is-when one is on sale.
It is interesting to note that the reaction against the "crazy cant" of the economic independence of women should have taken this precise line. It says in effect: "It is a poor business selling your limbs especially in this overcrowded market. Much better to specialise in sex, which by attention to little commercial details such as trimming up the goods, placing them at a coy and tantalising angle, and above all by not allowing the market to appear glutted, will fetch quite a tidy sum: maintenance for life in marriage, no less." This is the course which Mrs. Beatrice Hastings is advising week by week in the pages of the "New Age." Her views are those of a great number of people in whose statements however they are merely implicit. Mrs. Hastings is explicit and quotes well and strongly. She says:
"I am quite sure of it. We have all become so very free lately that even sexual freedom is taken for granted. We are too too sympathetic indeed. We have too soon and too loftily set aside the necessity of securing our maintenance! A man has small need to seek the company of a brothel nowadays, let alone to marry. He need only join one of the innumerable little groups and societies, Suffrage, Anti Suffrage, Fabian, Theosophical, Dramatic, Poetical, Christian, Ethical, Mystic, Vegetarian or what he pleases, to become perfectly comfortable."
"In my opinion, one reason why virtuous women are failing to secure in marriage even a man to whom they would be really devoted is simply their bad manners. Lack of restraint, lack of the graceful subtlety in making themselves scarce, is the characteristic of modern young women. They go everywhere with men on the slightest nod of invitation. They are never out, never engaged, never too whimsically in a temper or busily self-interested to be able to see anybody just now. They must stupidly want to be ' pals ' with men, and men, as even the ' Daily Mail ' has found necessary to warn its circulation, do not marry their 'pals.'"
"Women knew all these feminine things once upon a time, and we never so much as mentioned them, just did them. Women do not know them nowadays: the modern young maiden is an absolute fool. Mrs. Humphry Ward was lately jeered at in ' Votes for Women ' as suggesting a return to the poke bonnet and flounces, but a woman in a poke bonnet and flounces was a charming mystery. She could not be catalogued at a glance as her modern sister may be."
"I should say that the craft of wearing clothes is pretty well lost to-day: we are all too busy putting them on! It is entertaining to me to find myself agreeing with Mrs. Humphry Ward- but I saw the procession to Miss Davison's funeral; they were all amazingly garbed in the true obsequial spirit, where the ideal is to disfigure oneself out of respect for the dead."
"It is no use saying that these things do not matter. They do matter. They are making men most uncharitable, and we positively cannot exist without charity. The women I know who are most determinedly trying to be independent give their secret away with every glance of their pitiful resolute face, with their airs quite as unconcealably as ever the pathetic-eyed maiden of fainting days. Economic independence is a game for youth, and for the rare natural virgin who has the asceticism and solitary preferences of her temperament."
"Let mamma look after her daughter a little in the old-fashioned manner, keep her away from boys, and hockey, and all other cheapening and familiarising fields...Let mamma be a little more respectful to papa, who will not give votes to women, and little miss will soon take her cue. Miss, properly trained, and with all her feminine wits about her, needs not to fear the rivalry of the prostitute."*
* - New Age," July 7th
"The married woman should be legally forbidden to work outside her home, the pin-money girl should be emigrated, and the job-seeker gently chloroformed. To be wholly serious, public opinion ought to tell these women what they are-object for charity, and ought to treat them as such. By this means the woe of one large type of women would cease at least to be public."*
* - "New Age," May 8th.
There we have the sex-market surely enough, with the sale of first-class goods under consideration. Their distinction from the second-class, the distinction of the wife from the prostitute is exactly this question of reserve: power to wait for the quickening of the market. It is merely a question of urgency. The boldness of the prostitute is accounted for by the fact that she wants the purchase money on the spot. The prospective wife can afford to wait, and therefore to manoeuvre, which is the meaning of the flounces and poke-bonnet. It is a difference not of principle or of attitude, but merely of time. "Married or betrayed" is the exclamatory horror of a woman who imagining she was fetching the price of first-class goods, finds that she has gone for an old song.
It is here that we shall feel better able to draw the line of difference which exists between men and women in relation to this matter of sex: which is that whereas with men sex is an appetite which demands food, with respectable women sex as a need seeking its own satisfaction has to be ignored. This accounts for the existence of the "womanly woman," essentially a person who lays herself out to be "sought," in whom, far from thinking of seeking on her own account, would (doubtless truthfully) declare that she has no impulses she might possibly seek to satisfy. She belongs to the category of women who one generation ago were denominated by the title of "the sex." She was without desire, but (for a consideration) she gave herself as a satisfaction. Men had the hunger: the womanly woman was the loaf. So that whereas men had a sex, women were the sex, which regarded as a "commodity," she sold in the best market. Being a property, and not a hunger which, satisfied, is got rid of, sex in the womanly woman cannot be laid aside. It is to be available when called upon, dependent not upon their own desires, but the desires of those to whom it is sold. And they themselves go with it. They are attached to the wares, like grand pianos given away with a pound of merchandise. This simile from the retail world is illuminating. It explains the existence of the demand for the prostitute. It is the difficulty of housing and caring for non-negotiable grand pianos. They are expensive to maintain in style due. One, is as many as a man can very well keep. The demand for the prostitute is the ruse to avoid the embarrassing gift, just as the marriage-contract is the institution which insists upon it. "Take my love, and you must take me, and keep me, until death doth us part," is the stand point of the respectable woman, and the animosity of the respectable world against the clients of the prostitutes is the rage of traders against customers who have hunted out a cheaper market.
One may in light of the above analysis of the state of affairs in relation to women, well be able to understand, even if not to excuse, the position which men like Mr. Chesterton and the Editor of the "New Age" adopt towards the arguments advanced by such writers as Mrs. Charlotte Gilman and Olive Schreiner to the effect that women should sell the energy of their limbs in whatever market they can command. If a man is to house, clothe and feed a wife, he will find it necessary to safeguard the returns he gets for his form of prostitution, the sale of his energy. He must, like the wife, keep up the price of his hire. If he has to pay so much for some women, he feels he should not be unduly competed with in his market, undercut by other women. His attitude to the woman-worker is analogous to that of the wife to the prostitute: he feels she brings the prices down, and he complains. Unfortunately for the sympathetic reception of his protests, his complaints are not addressed to one and the same person. His position is "Now, Mary, if I am to keep you for life, you Martha must not come prowling round, trying to get my job." Martha's obvious retort is "What you can do, and what you engage to do is a matter you must settle up with Mary. I have enough to do to look after myself. If I can't sell sex, like Mary, I must sell my limbs, like you." Mrs. Gilman and Olive Schreiner state a plain case for Martha, and Mr. Chesterton and the editor of the "New Age" a touching case for John, while Mrs. Hastings and Mrs. Ward have a warning word for Mary. "Times are hard, and if you don't use your wits yours will be a parlous case." And they proceed to expound to her afresh the Gentle Art of Clinging. Truth to tell, it is a parlous condition for all three. Obviously nothing is gained by harrying the poor hired man John, who has both sold and pledged himself. The attitude of what one might call the Mr. Pethick-Lawrence school is possible only to very unimaginative or very rich men: the school which seeks legal power for women in order that they may exact legal pillage from an overdriven slave. "The legal claim upon a husband's earnings," "payment of wives," is a project which we hope men will resist to the uttermost: if necessary with the help of poker and boot, and this in the interests of women themselves. Women do not need more protection; they need less. They should be taking upon themselves the responsibility for their own protection and maintenance: which can only be achieved by the augmentation of their own individual power. The fact that they possess power upon which they can draw at need is evident by the fact that the despised spinster has been able to hold her own in that hole of iniquity which men's lack of imagination and sensitiveness have permitted to become established-the industrial field. And more than the necessitous spinster: women who, if spinsters, are so by choice, are widening the area of their shrunken competence. They have fenced round that part of themselves which concerns sex and love and said in effect, "This is not for sale; it is for personal satisfaction, and can be negotiated with only as a gift." True, they are doing what the hired men are doing, selling their energy, but if they can make one advance they can make another. They can acquire property, and we believe, will do so, once they realise that the securing of property is essential to the exercise of power. Then their labour, if and when they labour, will be at their own bidding, and will be expended in increasing the value of that which is their own.
It is, we believe, this setting towards Power already existent among a few individual women which is the explanation of anything which is of value in what is known as the women's movement. It is as yet mainly unconscious-instinctive. The danger which immediately besets it, is lest it should be exploited by the rhetoricians-the leaders, whether these be the Mrs. Despards, Mrs. Lawrences, Mrs. Pankhursts or any others, who would lead them to believe that their concern lies somewhere with a Cause outside themselves; who teach them that dignity can be conferred; that freedom can be given; that Power is in the gift of the opponent. When power becomes more self-conscious, it will make it clear that while dignity and freedom are myths, power is a reality and that it comes from within. The deficiency and defects, if such there be, the failing in strength which entails these woes, are personal affairs and must be settled up personally with-ourselves. The question for each woman who is wasting herself with a Cause is, "Well, what am I worth? What do I own?" The answer will give her the measure of her value even to those to whom she has been offering herself as a gift.
The New Freewoman: No. 4, Vol. 1, August 1st 1913.
by Dora Marsden
"All's love, all's law," sang Browning. "And consequent drivel," one must affirm. The most deadening factor in this pseudo-scientific age is the obsessing of the mental powers effected by the notion of law-immanent principle-which is conceived as guiding human consciousness slowly but surely onward to its true destiny. The notion is deadly in exactly the proportion that it is diverting. Men spend themselves easily and readily in the game. The result is that life is turned into a Search (and for that which has no existence) where it might be a Creation (of that which before was not, but now is through our labour). The Divine Wisdom, Theosophia, is supposed to exist, ready-made: and our task is to find it. Supposedly it is like the complete picture which is sold with the box of pattern-bricks only here, somehow, the picture has been abstracted and we are left with the bricks, each bearing its little hint of what the Whole should be, but the collection tumuled and confused together. Like diligent children, we struggle for the correct arrangement and are now near, and now remote: hot and cold, as the children would say. The "Saviours of Society," the "Masters," are the Adepts at the game, who having natural aptitude like born chess-players for instance, are quick to see possible moves. It is true that the patterns indicated by the Adepts do not usually tally one with the other, but that presumably is because they are working on different parts of the pattern, and the disparities will disappear when the Whole is revealed. The working out of the Whole, is the practice of the Law, the Immanent Principle, which slowly reveals itself to the assiduous Searcher. It is all very highly diverting and no doubt has its uses, chief among which is the deferring of the painful realisation that all the Divine Wisdom to which any one of us will attain, is that which we create for ourselves. The picture-pattern is not ready-made. Its creation waits upon us, its creators. Our existence is not dependent upon the will of the gods: the existence of the gods is dependent upon our will. "Can men by much searching find out God?" No, but they can create gods, attain to them, and project more powerful. The character of the future is not enwombed in Time, it is lying in the strength (or weakness) of our Will. Hence the evil of the Gadding Minds, the minds which are seeking saviours and alien purposes. If we have no purposes of our own, we are lost. A force is denoted by its direction: and in life, purpose is direction. The lack of purpose is lack of force therefore. "Saviours" who bequeath causes, i.e. purposes, are exploiters of the bankruptcy of power in men. They foster the delusion that men of no use to themselves may be good for others, whereas one is good for others only by being good for oneself: that is, by being a power in oneself. He who can do most good for a man is a strong man. His strength calls out resistance. He is not a man to shun but to fight and to enjoy. The dangerous man is the one who gathers men about his feet. Either he is a weakling, breathing out weakness and playing upon its presence in others, or he is a strong man hiding power, that the weak may approach unafraid. If so, very shortly, the weak will be his "Followers." No man has in himself the redemption of his fellows: the utmost he can effect for them is to help them to rally together their dissipated strength. No man can found a religion, save his own. It is then, not a religion, but the attitude of being sincere with himself: when what he does is bound back upon what he feels. Thus there are no religions, only religious men, that is, sincere men.
* * * *
Making one with the notion of Law underlying human activity, there exists the inference that life should exhibit some uniform Order. Law and Order are all of apiece. Hence moral codes and conventions, enacted to forward some End. But what End? The only end which it is worth while for the individual to give his attention to, is the increase of his own power, of which he himself is the only one who may be expected to know what is required for its increase. So each man becomes a "law to himself," which is a denial of law, since law essentially involves relation and relation is comparison. If the individual is unique, with a law to himself there can be no comparison-no law therefore, and common life becomes anarchic and disordered. The question therefore turns upon the advantages and disadvantages of Disorder, which in turn leads to a consideration of what is meant by Disorder. Disorder is an absence, not of Order but of the kind of order which one would like to have. When children use books and papers to make trains and tunnels, it is beautiful order to them, but likely to prove aggravating litter and disarrangement to the owner. The order of an army is admirable to a Napoleon: it is galling restraint to the privates who comprise the body of it. Mrs. Webb's idea of a collective state is in exquisite order for her, but many people would consent to her beheadal as a tyrant rather than live in it. The tale is the same of all orders from empires down to families: wherever an authority imposes a uniform order even upon two, there will be uneasiness and rebellion in proportion to the vitality of those upon whom it is laid. The explanation is of course that life is incessantly creative: that life is in no two days the same: the same measure never fits twice exactly. Hence the futility of state-making, law-making, moral-making. All that is of importance is life augmenting, and that is the individual's affair. There is no corporate life. There are only individuals, geographically situated near to, or at a distance from, each other, and the geographical situation, and sentiments brought into being by neighbours or the lack of them incidental thereto, form part of the attributes of the individuals. If we subtract all the individuals, with all that belongs to each from the sum-total which we call "society" there will be nothing left. Society is a collection of individuals- that and no more. Attempts therefore to exploit an antithesis, to raise a problem of "the society versus the individual," can be met by a dissolution of the term "society." In fact, these general, concrete names tend to become as dangerous to the growth of life, as those cultural devastators, the intellectual concepts, have been. For instance, in the interests of the "Race," incredible acts of interference with the individual, are being perpetrated by-individuals. In the interests of the "Family" highly educated men ask women to do something which obviously they do not want to do, and expect them to do it- in the name of the Family. In the name of the State, individuals are robbed, imprisoned, flogged, put to death, and sent out to be murdered in their tens of thousands. If these things were done in the names of individuals, they would be resisted to the extent of men's power: even by those who originally had been the aggressors; but because they are done in the name of a generality: that is in the name of groups of individuals lumped together, they are submitted to as a duty, on the principle hat the whole is greater than the part. It is not realised that the only "Wholes" are just the individuals: that the so-called Wholes are nothing whatsoever- mere verbalities, and that in sacrificing the one to the other the Real is destroyed in the interests of the Unreal, the Living sacrificed to the Non-existent.