Front Page Titles (by Subject) FOREWORD - Fugitive Essays: Selected Writings of Frank Chodorov
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FOREWORD - Frank Chodorov, Fugitive Essays: Selected Writings of Frank Chodorov 
Fugitive Essays: Selected Writings of Frank Chodorov, Compiled, Edited, and with an Introduction by Charles H. Hamilton (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 1980).
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All the neighbors have fallen out and have got to calling one another horrid names, such as fascist and communist. Bitterness is in every heart and recrimination is the common habit. Under the circumstances, nobody takes time to examine the epithets hurled about, to consider their meaning or to judge their fitness. What is a fascist? What is a communist? Maybe the two are pups of the same litter, slightly different in their coloring but of the same species. No matter. As invectives they serve to divide the people into hostile camps, which seems to be the prime social purpose. It has come to the point where neutrality is inconceivable, where one who presumes to say “a plague o'both your houses” is suspect, either as to his integrity or as to his sanity.
The bitterness, as usual, follows from frustration and misunderstanding. All his life man has sought peace and prosperity. To attain that purpose he has tested one political formula after another. Each in turn has denied its promise, each bringing war and accentuating the struggle for existence, in spite of man's ingenuity in producing an abundance of things to live by. The last war, bigger and more brutal than any that has gone before, ends with but the promise of another of still greater intensity; meanwhile, hunger stalks the world. Is this roundelay of misfortune the inevitable lot of man?
Frank Chodorov wrote this foreword for a collection of essays he had put together. That collection was never published, and this foreword is published for the first time.
Those who call themselves, or are called, communists offer a way out: “abolish capitalism.” How? Although they will not say so, their method is but a verbal variation of the ancient political formula of absolutism. The danger of this is pointed out by others, thereby automatically falling into the “fascist” category, whose plea is to “save capitalism”; and when the method of saving capitalism is examined, it turns out to be the vague political scheme known as democracy, which has been well tried and found wanting.
And here comes still another book, urging that we “try capitalism.” The author, resting his case on an economic definition of a term which is essentially economic, asserts that what has gone by that name is not capitalism at all. If we take the trouble to understand what capitalism is and so shape our social institutions that they will conform to this economic idea, we will come out on top. But, he maintains, politics must be kept out. It is not the business of politics to engage in the economic affairs of man; its field is negative, keeping the peace, protecting life and property, meting out justice. That's all. In the common purpose of making a living, politics is worse than a nuisance; its intrusion must result in injustice, for, since its sole characteristic is coercion, it is incapable of adding anything to the economic well-being of man, and its coercive powers can be used only to take from some and give to others. That is injustice. This injustice, this dividing of mankind into privileged and disadvantaged classes, has always been the office of politics, whenever it intrudes into the way men make a living, and this is so regardless of the prevailing political form. So then, the economic maladjustments which cause friction between people cannot be corrected by any political system; the cure is in an understanding of economic principles and in ordering our social life to accord with them.