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not let it be taken from him, does not let himself be deprived of it. If he appropriates it, then not only the earth, but the right to it too, belongs to him. "He who has might has-right; if you have not the former, neither have you the latter. Is this wisdom so hard to attain ?" "Whoever knows how to take and to defend the thing, to him it belongs till it is again taken from him, as liberty belongs to him who takes it."
What could be more acute than this criticism of Proudhon? "Proudhon (Weitling too) thinks he is telling the worst about property when he calls it theft (vol). Passing quite over the embarrassing question, what well-founded objection could be made against theft, we only ask: Is the concept "theft" at all possible unless one allows validity to the concept "property"? How can one steal if property is not already extant? What belongs to no one cannot be stolen, the water that one draws out of the sea he does not steal. Accordingly property is not theft, but a theft becomes possible only through property."
No one has put more strongly than Stirner the truth that the Proletariat must depend solely upon their own MIGHT, and expect nothing from the love of the upper classes. It is true he sometimes gives his statements an extreme individualist form at which it is possible to cavil, but there is more truth than error in such statements as these:
"Only when I expect neither from individuals nor from a collectivity what I can give to myself, only then do I slip out of the snares of love; the rabble ceases to be rabble only when it takes hold... Only the dread of taking hold, and the corresponding punishment thereof, makes it a rabble." Only that taking hold is sin, crime only this dogma creates a rabble. "If men reach the point of losing respect for property, every one will have property, as all slaves become free men as soon as they no longer respect the master as master." "All swan-fraternities, and attempts at making the rabble happy, that spring from the principle of love, must miscarry. Only from egoism can the rabble get help and this help it must give to itself and-will give to itself. If it does not let itself be coerced into fear, it is a power." Hence the exact point is that the respectful "rabble" should learn at last to help itself to what it requires." "The poor become free and proprietors only when they-rise. Bestow ever so much on them, they will still always want more; for they want nothing less than that at last-nothing more be bestowed." "Free competition is not "free", because I lack the THINGS for competition." "Proudhon calls property "robbery" (le vol). But alien property-and he is talking of this alone-is not less. existent by renunciation, cession, and humility; it is a present. Why so sentimentally call for compassion as a poor victim of
robbery, when one is just a foolish giver of presents? here again put the fault on others as if they were robbing us, while we ourselves do bear the fault in leaving the others unrobbed? The poor are to blame for there being rich men."
The brilliant James (Huneker) and others will fail in their attempts to create a Stirner cult among the bourgeoisie because the soul-sick and decadent bourgeoisie seeking for philosophic defense for morbid and perverted sensuality find their purposes much better satisfied by Neo-Nietzscheanism with its pleasing delusion that the abandoned voluptuary is a Superman. But the virile proletariat will draw fresh virility and self-reliance from the still-burning words of Max Stirner.
ROBERT RIVES LA MONTE.
Agricultural Development in Hungary.
the land of the the land of
Petöfi, Jokai and Louis Kossuth, the land of daily revolutions in parliament which only end in a free for all fight, is indeed as it were a "part of Asia." Of course Hungary a Kingdom of Francis Joseph of the Hapsburg house of Austria lies in the south-eastern portion of central Europe between 44° 10' and 49° 35' N. lat. and between 14° 25' and 26° 25' E long., and yet in its industrial and agricultural as well as political life it is thoroughly "asiatic." It covers about 5 degrees of latitude and 12 of longitude, and contains an area of 124,234 square miles, being larger than the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, and less than half the size of Texas. The Kingdom of Hungary comprises "Hungary Proper" or the "Crown Realm of St. Stephan", with the former grand principality of Transylvania, the town and district of Fiume, Croatia and Slavonia, and the Military Frontier; Dalmatia sending her representatives to the Austrian parliament.
Advanced thinkers call Hungary "Part of Asia", because feudal lords, counts, barons, bishops and abbots reign supreme. The average Magyar patriot will feel highly insulted when told that he is "asiatic," but that does not alter the case. A government where the church and state are united to tax the people out of one half of all they get as wages over and above what the land-lord and employer have already taken, is not a land of freedom. A country where over 14 million people are engaged in agricultural pursuits, and yet more than one half of the agricultural area is in the possession of 13,000 proprietors is not a land of freedom. A country where only 6 per cent of the population are entitled to vote is surely "asiatic." A country where education is so backward that 49 per cent of its population cannot read or write is surely "asiatic." Hungary, instead of being a government of, for and by the people, is a government of feudal lords, by feudal lords, and against the people!
In the light of statistics, the economic, social and political structure of the land of the Magyars is a remnant of feudalism. Counts, barons, knights, bishops, feudal lords and abbots long ago obtained grants of land and special privileges from Hungarian kings and Austrian Emperors for so-called "good services" to the state and church. In every instance however these "services" were in the interest of the autocratic powers and against the common people and the liberty of the nation. Such lands ob
tained by grants, or confiscated through violence were cultivated by serfs and slaves until 1848 the year of the revolution headed by Louis Kossuth, and since then by miserably paid "free laborers.' Serfdom of course was abolished, but the land remained in the hands of land-lords, bishoprics, and abbacies, and as the government is founded on land-property, all the political powers of the state remained in the hands of the land-owners. The agrarian aristocracy and bishops, allied with the small commercial plutocracy which is just developing, combined to exploit Hungary to their hearts' content.
The greater part of the national income i. e. 52 per cent is expropriated by 20,000 families, and they only bear 20 per cent of the public expenses; while three and a half million families bear 80 per cent of the public burdens and get anly 48 per cent of the total income. Wooden plows with steel edges, pulled by teams of oxen, the hand scythe, the flail and other ancient agricultural implements are almost universally used, although steam plows, threshers, American reapers and binders are coming into use now. Out of 19 million inhabitants, about two thirds of the population is still directly engaged in agricultural pursuits, and chiefly on large estates who maintain the peonage system of miserably paid and over-worked laborers, instead of the northern European system of small peasant proprietors who maintain themselves on the produce of their land employing little labor outside of their own families. The result is that the peasantry is leaving Hungary at the rate of 300,000 a year. They cannot get a living from the land, so they are obliged to cross the Atlantic and try the United States or Canada.
And why is the peasant leaving his native land? Is it because the country is too densely populated? Not at all. The number of persons per 1000 acres is 239 in Hungary; 235 in Scotland; 298 in France; 432 in Germany; 665 in Holland; 894 in England and Wales, and 948 in Belgium. Therefore we might say that Hungary is sparsely populated; yet her population is emigrating in such vast numbers (over 300,000 a year) that population is on the decrease in spite of the high birthrate. The reason is plain! There are in Hungary none of those very large manufacturing or mining industries which account for such an important proportion of the population of England, Germany or Belgium, therefore the disemployed agricultural laborers cannot be absorbed by industries.
The principal occupation is agriculture, and out of a population of 19,254,559 persons, 14,400,000 people are engaged or indirectly working in the line of agriculture. Unlike the western countries of Europe, the cultivated area is neither owned by the millions of diligent peasants, nor cultivated by petty tenant farmers. The best and most productive part of the country,
namely the great lowland of Hungary, is occupied by the large land owners and the churches.
Single magnates, bishopries and abbacies occupy as large estates as a German principality. One third, or 33 per cent of the whole area is owned by single aristocratic families or churches, and they were granted with the understanding that they "might neither be sold nor mortgaged." These immense estates help the agrarian aristocracy to expropriate the few single peasant proprietors and every year the land is concentrating into fewer hands.
Nearly 19 million holds (27 million acres) of the land under cultivation is owned by 13,432 proprietors who own nearly one half, 45.41 per cent, of the total, while the 1,838,000 tenants or peasant proprietors own only 54.59 per cent.
Is it a wonder that the Magyar peasant wanders away from his native land, "anywhere, anywhere out of the world"? Common sense will dictate, that such a distribution of land is not compatible with social justice or love of country. It is only natural that people should leave a country, even the land of their fathers and loved ones, where 14 millions of people out of 19 millions are attached to the soil, and yet 13,000 people own one half of the land. Where manufacturing is yet in a primitive stage; where the annual wages of agricultural laborers average 300 crowns ($60.00) a year; where the chief income of he government is from direct taxes and indirect taxes on meat, beer, spirits, petroleum, oil, wine, sugar and even bread is extorted with harsh brutality from the poor millions; where the poor who bear the burdens of taxation have no right to vote, have no voice, no influence in public affairs; where the public press is controlled by the police, and where justice is in possession of the landed aristocracy through its judges. In the Hungarian lower house of parliament there are 50 counts and barons, 160 large landowners, over 100 lawyers, 30 priests and so on, but not a single person to voice the cry of the bleeding workers. It is therefore only natural, that the powers of the state should be administered for the best interests of the oligarchy.
The total number of Hungarian land proprietors and tenants in 1870 was 1,973,400 and in 1900 was 1,855,190; the decrease being 118,210 representing the independent peasant proprietors who have gone to wreck and joined the workers. The change has been visible in the decrease of the size of small properties and in the increase of large estates, especially those great aristocratic family and church estates that "could be neither sold nor mortgaged." The greatest decrease has been in the size of properties under 5 holds (7 acres.) The size of peasant properties of from 5 to 30 holds decreased from 16 million holds (22.9 million acres) in 1870, to 10 million holds (14.3 million acres) in 1900. The size of medium holdings between 200 and 1000 holds (286 to 1430