Political economists have repeatedly shown that it is utterly impossible for any one, except outlaws, to avoid aiding the social organism created to enable him to survive. By indirect taxation we all support society even though we do not pay a penny of direct taxes. Payment for survival, then, is the basis for taxation, and it is the reason why taxes on necessaries are universal. It is often incorrectly said that taxes on luxuries should be the basis of governmental support, on the theory that property protection is the main reason for governments and should pay the bulk of the expenses, but as a universal rule the world over the main support for all government has quite naturally been obtained from the necessaries of existence to compel those without property to pay for preservation.

The salt tax for instance, is said by Dr. A. C. Lane* to be "the one that the poorest mortal cannot evade if he would live. It is the last screw to be placed on abject poverty." Doctor Lane shows why salt is such a necessity. Living tissues arose in the oceans and are marine even yet, for all cells are bathed in salt solution and are killed by pure water. The degree of saltiness of the serum varies greatly in different animals, and it was thought that this would give some hint as to the prior saltiness of the ocean when the first land forms emerged, but natural selection would fully account for changes in the course of ages - changes due to a lack of salt in some environments and an excess in others - particularly those remaining in an ocean of increasing saltiness. In the meantime salt is a necessity, and as men do not get enough in food, they must buy it from those who make it. The more crowded the community and the greater the difficulty of obtaining salt, the greater is the revenue. The Chinese in the interior of the Empire pay enormous prices for it, and the tax yields much revenue. The same facts are also found in ancient times.

* Science, August 2, 1907.

The modern organization of charity is an entirely natural outgrowth of the law of mutual aid. Indiscriminate giving destroys the self-reliance of the recipient and induces pauperism or social parasitism, and the welfare of society demands that it be ended. Consequently, the basis of all relief is to tide over a period of accidental inefficiency or to increase one's earning power to the point that he becomes self-supporting. This plan has now been carried to such an enormous extent that the voluntary annual contributions mount into the scores of millions, not counting the immense sums given to educational institutions. The London hospitals alone annually require more than $5,000,000 in contributions, and the same rate holds in other cities. Of course charity is often if not generally overworked, and tends to save the worst elements. A certain amount of abuse is unavoidable, but the basis of real charity is mutual aid, which saves every human life capable of rendering some aid in return. Luckily, the present movement is in the direction of compelling the family to support its inefficients - sick, insane, blind, etc. - so that burdens are being placed where they belong. Nevertheless, society is being burdened to a tremendous extent in supporting people formerly sacrificed, and there must be some benefit.