Front Page Titles (by Subject) PREFACE - Law in a Free State
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PREFACE - Wordsworth Donisthorpe, Law in a Free State 
Law in a Free State (London: Macmillan and Co., 1895).
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Lowiil City Library.
In Affectionate Memory
Twentyyears ago I took a census of the individualists in this country, and I found that they could all be seated comfortably in a Bayswater 'bus. Twelve years ago I took another, and I found that their number had increased to about three hundred. This increase I attributed mainly to the teachings of Mr. Herbert Spencer. At the present time the individualists of England may be counted by thousands, and perhaps tens of thousands. I attribute this further increase partly to the same cause, partly to the efforts of the Personal Rights Defence Association and the Liberty and Property Defence League, and partly to the visible evil effects of the practical State socialism of the Legislature.
In addition to these believers in the gospel of liberty, there is a large body of Englishmen (possibly half the population) who are inclined in that direction, as most Englishmen have been since they deserved the name, and who, nevertheless, inconsistently appeal to socialism for the attainment of certain ends which at first sight seem to be unattainable under a régime of freedom.
It is to this section of the public that these pages are addressed. I must therefore crave the indulgence of all philosophical anarchists if they find much herein which they already know very well. But even these latter will admit that there are many “nuts” which individualists find very hard to “crack.” Questions of libel, of cruelty to animals, of copyright, of adulteration, of the relation of the sexes, of rights over land, of nuisance and many others, are difficult to solve straight off on the principle of equal liberty. The following nine chapters are offered to the public as the best “nutcrackers” which I am able to turn out of this workshop. Some semi-scientific savants are wont to declare that the photography of colours, flying machines, artificial indiarubber, and many hitherto unsolved problems may be easily accomplished by applying “electricity,” but how to apply it they do not tell us. Similarly, certain individualists of the absolutist sect propose to solve all social problems by applying the principle of liberty. But there they rest. They will not, or cannot, tell us how to do it. If I have succeeded to any, even the slightest, extent in supplying this needed explanation, I am content. I offer my nutcrackers for what they may be worth.
I have to thank Mr. John Murray for kindly permitting me to republish Chapter II., which has already appeared in A Plea for Liberty, together with a number of essays by other writers. Part of Chapter VI. has also been circulated by a certain philanthropic society, and various other scraps and pages have appeared scattered abroad in sundry reviews, magazines, and journals. But, taken as a whole, the bulk is new.