Sunday, May 21, 2006

Henry Edger, a Positivist Priest at Modern Times

Although the community of Modern Times was organized on Josiah Warren's principles of "equitable commerce" and "individual sovereignty," it was not by any means a community of anarchists. The experimental community drew a wide range of participants, some of whom differed significantly from the project's main propagandists in their ideas about various issues. Among the more interesting and articulate of the dissident participants was Henry Edger, perhaps the first "priest" of Positivism in the US. He published a number of works from Modern Times, and also contributed an essay to Benjamin Tuckers Radical Review. Modern Times, the Labor Question, and the Family: A Brief Statement of Facts and Principles (1855), was published by Calvin Blanchard, another reformer influenced by Comte, but of a more decidedly libertarian stripe. (I posted his Crisis Chapter on Government here last January.)

Check back for more on Edger and his relationship to the individualist anarchists.

2 comments:

Just Ken said...

Great piece by Edger! I will put a link to it in my preface to SPA's "The Science of Society" on my website.
Cheers!
Just Ken

Shawn P. Wilbur said...

Thanks, Ken. I'm having a little trouble tracking down "The Positive Community," but I *have* been able to get my hands on Edger's communications with "The Leader" about Modern Times, as well as the review of "Science of Society" in that paper.