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ment, fit himself to withstand heat and cold, provide himself with food and shelter. He not only desires to, but he must, exercise his powers of mind and body and hence should be free to exercise them to that extent at least. Nature does not feed, clothe and shelter man. It only provides the raw material which man must himself find, take, and convert by his labor, manual and intellectual, into food, clothing, shelter, and whatever else he desires.
But man is also born into association with other men, into some sort of social organization, and well for him that he is. It is not society, however ill organized, that has caused, or today causes, poverty. That is the primitive condition of the human race. It is only through some social organization ensuring to man freedom for his labor and security for his savings that he can escape poverty. If each individual by his own unaided efforts had to find the raw material, mold it to serve his needs and desires, and also defend it from attacks by others, his life would
be one of dire poverty, scarcely above that of the higher animals.
Further, nature has so formed man that he not only needs but desires association with other men. Children instinctively flock together for common play, and this social instinct continues through life and extends to work as well as play. We find men everywhere in the civilized world voluntarily entering into associations for various purposes thought by the members to be of service to themselves or others. But there is over and surrounding these associations that larger association, racial or territorial, which we call society. This is the necessary association into which man is born and in which he must live if he desires other than mere animal life. This society must be maintained if the race of men, as men and not as mere animals, is to continue. Indeed, society itself has a sort of instinct for self-preservation. It is not a mere aggregation of individual units but is an association of sentient correlated
beings with a resultant life and movement of
Association, however, does not extinguish nor appreciably lessen the natural instincts, desires, feelings, sentiments, etc., of the individual, though they may be made less active by continued restraint. Association even extends the scope of man's individual desires and activities. He now desires freedom to make arrangements with other men of such nature and for such purposes as he and they may agree upon. If he is prevented by authority from making such arrangements he feels some resentment, feels that his right is infringed. He also comes to desire that those who have entered into arrangements or contracts with him should perform their part, and he instinctively feels resentment at their neglect or refusal to do so. He feels that he has a right to the performance of the
Another desire is developed or given play by society, the desire to equal one's fellows in
the race for benefits, and, that accomplished, to excel them. He desires to win in every game, to be the victor in every contest of physical or mental powers, and in business as well as in sports. If he is held back he feels resentment against the power assuming to restrain him. He thus feels he has a right to equal and to excel if he can. Whether competition should be enforced or stimulated by society is a question in economics. What affects the question of rights and hence of justice is whether this desire to excel should be impeded.
In this association, however, each individual man finds himself in close contact all through life with other men having like instincts, desires, feelings, emotions, etc., as his own; and who also feel like resentments and have like notions of rights possessed. If each is left by society free to gratify these desires or to enforce his claims of rights in his own way unmindful how his action may affect others; if they be left free to "take who have the power" and only they may
"keep who can," society could not exist and civilization, if not the race, would perish.
-Society, therefore, must frame and enforce rules for the regulation and control of the conduct of its individual members, must even restrain them to some extent from the gratification of some of their desires. On the other hand, these instincts, desires, etc., must still be reckoned with. They cannot be wholly suppressed nor even very much reduced or impeded if society is to progress or even exist. There must be left to the individual some degree of liberty of choice and action. An eminent American jurist, James C. Carter, vividly stated this, though perhaps in the extreme, when he wrote that the sole function of law and legislation is to secure to each individual the utmost liberty which he can enjoy consistently with the preservation of the like liberty to all others. "Liberty (he wrote), the first of blessings, the aspiration of every human soul, is the supreme object. Every abridgment of it demands an excuse, and the