Tuesday, April 25, 2006

William B. Greene: The Doctrine of the Trinity

William Batchelder Greene's theological works are almost unknown today, but they form the immediate context for his better-known works on mutual banking, which were written while he was the minister of a Unitarian church in South Brookfield, MA. Like my predecessors, I've been a bit remiss in concentrating on these works, at least where the archive is concerned, but I've started to address that problem with a pdf edition of The Doctrine of the Trinity :
Briefly and Impartially Examined in the Light of History and Philosophy
(1847). A look at the chronological bibliography of Greene's work places this pamphlet, between the earliest theological works--"First Principles," The Doctrine of Life, and the essays on transcendentalism ([1][2] with which it shares some concerns) on the one hand, and The Incarnation and Remarks in Refutation of the Treatise of Jonathan Edwards, which essentially complete the "trilogy" promised in the opening "Note:"

This Tract commences and ends abruptly, because it was written, not to stand alone by itself, but to form one of a series of Articles on Providence, the Will of Man, and Necessity, the three great Powers that govern. the World. I may take occasion at some future time, to print the other Tracts of the series.

The work is largely one of comparative religion, addressing a variety of non-Christian instances of trinitarian thought. As a Baptist-turned-Unitarian, Greene wrestled a great deal with the common dogmas of the trinitarians. Here is a fine example of the the Rev. Mr. Wm. B. Greene, of South Brookfield, the man who wrote Equality and Mutual Banking. He is a much less familiar figure to most of us than Col. Greene, who befriended a young Benjamin R. Tucker and presided over the meetings of the New-England Labor Reform League, but also, in many ways, a more interesting and vital figure.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Lewis Masquerier, "Premium Remedy for Hireling Slavery"

In 1877, Lewis Masquerier, aged and going blind, collected such of his newspaper articles and short essays as he felt represented, however partially, his social thought. The result was Sociology: or, The reconstruction of society, government, and property, upon the principles of the equality, the perpetuity, and the individuality of the private ownership of life, person, government, homestead, and the whole product of labor, by organizing all nations into townships of self-governed homestead democracies--self-employed in farming and mechanism, giving all the liberty and happiness to be found on earth, another of those "books by a man too busy to write books" that seem to be standard for reformers of the period (such as Greene, Tucker, and Ingalls). The original edition of the book contained pages from proposed, but never issued volumes, including a sort of epic poem. [The OCLC catalog poetically describes the additional material thus: "Appended: The Sataniad, or Contest of the gods, for the dominion in heaven and earth. By Lewis Masquerier. New York, 1877. 27, [1] p.; also, specimen pages of various proposed publications by the same author, [74] p. at end."] In 1884, an "Appendix to Sociology" was issued in pamphlet form containing a short presentation of Masquerier's system of "homestead democracies," along with a number of "land reform hymns" and diagrams.

In the mid-1830's, Masquerier was an agent for The Western Examiner, a Journal Embodying a Full and Impartial Enquiry into the Truth or Falsity of the Christian Religion; Whether Philosophically or Historically Viewed in Illinois. In a letter to The Free Enquirer, Dec 7, 1834, we meet Masquerier at the very beginnings of his political career, at a time when the Owenite experiments in the US and England captured his imagination. He writes, "I have recieved the Free Enquirer, and herein inclose you five dollars. I betrayed great ignorance when I wrote for it, last winter, but I had then just waked in the morn of my reason, from my night of superstition; ad living in these frontier regions, I was not certain that there was a liberal press in the Union."

Masquerier became active in Owenite circles, contributed a few letters to the New Moral World, and then moved and joined the "workies" in New York. He was closely allied with George Henry Evans, and wrote for a number of his papers. Like Stephen Pearl Andrews, he was a spelling reformer and phonographic writing enthusiast. One of his most interesting publications was A scientific division and nomenclature of the earth, and particularly the territory of the United States into states, counties, townships, farms and lots, for promoting the equality, individuality and inalienableness of man's right to sovereignty, life, labor and domain, while at the same time it constitutes a scientific geography of the earth : also a constitution for Nebrashevil or any other state : for the consideration of national reformers and other statesmen, which proposed a division of the land a township naming system that would have the quaint advantage of having every town's name present its location on the map. Ah, the very interesting applications of "science" in the 19th century...

Also in 1877, Masquerier released a pamphlet entitled "Premium remedy for hireling slavery; classified principles and elements of rights and wrongs; diagram of township and village, and revolutionary hymns," containing pages lifted straight from Sociology, plus one short essay apparently original to the pamphlet.

Masquerier's mature system was based in something like an obligation to own property, and he imagines a world made up of roughly equal, inalienable and perpetual homesteads, with a decentralized government. He's probably guilty of all of the retrogressive tendencies generally, if not always justly, attributed to early mutualists, and his odd mix of authoritarianism and anarchism is as likely to puzzle as inspire. That said, he was in contact with many of the important players in the anarchist and land-reform movements, and I will undoubtedly have occasion to return to his work soon. For now, enjoy the "Premium Remedy..."

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Blogosphere of the Libertarian Left: Good Stuff

I've been too darn busy to post much about what I'm reading these days, but I spent a delightful half-hour this afternoon drinking some good Grounds for Thought coffee and reading print-outs of a couple of blogs. Not surprisingly, a lot of what I had to catch up on was from the Blogosphere of the Libertarian Left crowd. Here's some highlights:

William B. Greene's "The Blazing Star"

Some men—not all men—see always before them an ideal, a mental picture if you will, of what they ought to be, and are not. Whoso seeks to follow this ideal revealed to the mental vision, whoso seeks to attain to conformity with it will find it enlarge itself, and remove from him. He that follows it will improve his own moral character; but the ideal will remain always above him and before him, prompting him to new exertions. What is the natural conscience if it be not a condemnation of ourselves as we are, mean, pitiful, weak, and a comparison of ourselves with what we ought to be, wise, powerful, holy?

It is this Ideal of what we ought to be, and are not, that, is symbolically pictured in the Blazing Star.

This is the opening of William Batchelder Greene's "The Blazing Star," the most recent addition to the Libertarian Labyrinth library. It appeared in 1872, in a small hardcover volume, The Blazing Star; With An Appendix Treating Of The Jewish Kabbala. Also A Tract On The Philosophy Of Mr. Herbert Spencer, And One On New-England Transcendentalism. [Boston: A. Williams and Co., 1872.] The essay is contemporaneous with Greene's writings in The Word (some of which have been recently posted here and here). The complete volume should probably be taken, along with Mutual Banking, Showing The Radical Deficiencies Of The Existing Circulating Medium, And The Advantages Of A Free Currency [Worcester, Mass.: New England Labor Reform League, 1870] and Socialistic, Communistic, Mutualistic and Financial Fragments [Boston: Lee & Shepard, 1875], as Greene's most mature statement.

"The Blazing Star" can be seen as a later restatement of the concerns he pursued through a series of theological writings in the period 1842-49. The work on transcendentalism that was published with it was Greene's final rewrite of material dating from two essays published in 1845 ("Mr. Emerson and Transcendentalism." and "The Bhagvat Gheeta and the Doctrine of Immortality.") This is material that had very little impact on Greene's individualist anarchist comrades (although Tucker did print one excerpt from "The Blazing Star" in Liberty.) All of the essays in the collection highlight historical and philosophical elements of Greene's researches which are largely forgotten, but which occupied his attention throughout his life.

There will be more to say about these philosophical and historical concerns as additional texts are posted. For now, perhaps it is enough to point to Greene's continuing use of the triad/trinity model, and his tendency to damn individually nearly all tendencies, while celebrating them in "balance" with others. for example, compare the treatment of "communism" in "
Communism vs. Mutualism" and on pages 17-19 of "The Blazing Star," where Greene talks about the Paris Commune. The essay ends:

The Shemitic principle and the Japhetic principle are to-day represented in human civilization—the first by the Israelitish Church, and the second by the Christian Church. Both of these Churches are true Churches, and therefore neither of them is capable of erring in things essential. The Blazing Star burns in both of them: the junction of the two triangles, one Divine and the other human—the regeneration of the individual soul—takes effect in both of them. Yet these two Churches excommunicate each other! Why? Because these Churches are two Churches only, and not three. Because one whole side of the mystical triangle is lacking in modern civilization. Because the Hamitic principle is to-day occulted. Because the Hamitic Church is nowhere visibly organized, and speaking with authority, among men. Because Man, the natural mediator between heaven and earth, is officially absent from the religious organizations of the period.

Now there are three holy cities—not two of them only: JERUSALEM, ROME, PARIS. But the holiness of Paris is virtual merely as yet. The religion of Humanity reaches higher than the Commune and the International Labor Union seem to think, Paris is Bar-Isis, Parisis, Paris. It is the sacred boat of Isis that bears to-day the destinies of the world.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Debs Pamphlet Collection online

Indiana State University's Cunningham Memorial Library has among its holding the Debs Collection of radical pamphlets. This collection, heavy on left and labor publications, is indexed online and many of the pamphlets have been scanned to pdf format. Anarchist titles are few and far between, but there are lots of items from organizations like the ACLU and the IWW, and from publishers such as Charles H. Kerr. I've been collecting Kerr pamphlets for years now, and have been able to scoop up pdfs of items I have never seen for sale. I'll write up some of the more specifically interesting items as I get a chance to work through the listings, but here are a few random gems:

DeCleyre, Voltairine. Direct Action. New York: Mother Earth Publishing Company, 1912. 19 pp. Pamphlet D295.5 .D5 1912p. PDF

American Civil Liberties Union. The Truth About the I.W.W.: Facts in Relation to the Trial at Chicago. New York: National Civil Liberties Bureau, 1918. 55 pp. Pamphlet A505 .T78 1918p. PDF

Angulo, Jaime de. The "Trial" of Ferrer: A Clerical-Judicial Murder. New York: New York Labor News Co., 1920 <1911>. Pamphlet A594 .T7 1920p. PDF

Berkman, Alexander. Deportation, Its Meaning and Menace: Last Message to the People of America. New York: M.E. Fitzgerald, <1919>. Pamphlet B513 .D4 1919p. PDF
Economic Equality Club. An economic war to a finish. Bellingham, Wash. : Economic Equality Club. Pamphlet E20 .E2. PDF

Socialist Songs with Music. 4th ed., rev. and enlarged. Chicago: Charles H. Kerr & co., 1902. <45> pp. Pamphlet K41 .S63 1902p. Copy 2. PDF [includes several from Edward Carpenter's Chants of Labor.]

What Mutualism Was - II: The Kernel(?) of the Problem(?)

This is the second in a series of explorations of the mutualist tradition—or, perhaps more appropriately, traditions. The particular perspective they present is, as I've said, somewhat revisionist. It is also a work in progress, so if anyone out there thinks they can set me straight, I would welcome the attempt. To continue...

Wikipedia is my current touchstone for contemplating everything that can go wrong (and, to be fair, a handful of things that can go right) on the way to a definition, or a history. I got started doing some editing there when I found that the William Batchelder Greene page (as it then appeared) was full of incorrect facts and included a long quotation, attributed to Greene, that was actually by the editors of the 1946 Indian edition of Mutual Banking (later reprinted by Gordon Press.) There was not a single error on the page that I couldn't source by Wikipedia standards, and some of you have been around long enough to remember when I had the widely-reported-but-incorrect birth-year of 1818 (not, correctly, 1819) prominently displayed in the URL for my main Greene page. It's not that Wikipedia is subject to more problems than most other kinds of scholarly work. It's just that it always seems to be subject to all of them, all of the time, if the entry is of any interest at all. If you can stand it, that fact makes for a very interesting, and occasionally rewarding experience, although I'm inclined to think it's more likely to sharpen the skills of individuals than it is to result in particular solid, profound entries. Anyway, as a way of highlighting some of the questions that an analysis of mutualism needs to address, it might be worth looking at the page at Wikipedia for Mutualism (economic theory).

I guess the first question to ask is: Is mutualism an "economic theory"? On Wikipedia, it's important to distinguish between the biological term and the one related to anarchism. The OED describes mutualism simply as a "doctrine" based on "mutual dependence," and then cites Proudhon and the Lyons weavers, emphasizing practical projects such as the Bank of the People. Clarence Lee Swartz, in What Is Mutualism? (1927), describes mutualism in this way:

MUTUALISM — A Social System Based on Equal Freedom, Reciprocity, and the Sovereignty of the Individual Over Himself, His Affairs, and His Products; Realized Through Individual Initiative, Free Contract, Cooperation, Competition, and Voluntary Association for Defense Against the Invasive and for the Protection of Life, Liberty and Property of the Non-invasive.

Perhaps the Wikipedia entry should be "Mutualism (social theory)." Or, perhaps, given the tendency of market anarchists to pull damn near everything into the economic realm, the distinction is not all that important. But, to be honest, I can't ever read the first line of that Wikipedia entry without flinching just a little. Bear with me, as I work down towards what seem to be some critical questions facing anyone attempting to pick up the standard of mutualism at this late date.

In the first entry in this series, I ended with the observation that "there appear to be a series of discontinuities in anarchist history, as the "original anarchism" of mutualism has been repeatedly redefined by successors among both individualist and collectivist anarchists." Let me get my cards on the table: it appears to me that the mutualism of Proudhon and Greene (who had differences, but shared a general philosophical orientation) differed substantially from the individual sovereigntyism of Josiah Warren. While I admire Warren immensely, and while my particular (neo-)mutualism undoubtedly inherits from all three of these figures, I suspect that there is something very basically wrong about treating Proudhon, Warren, and Greene together as mutualists in their own time. It seems to me that we can treat mutualism in a relatively presentist sense, working from our own concerns, and retrospectively incorporate all of these figures into a tradition we then choose to inherit. But such an approach tempts us with the kind of broad-brush treatment that we see on Wikipedia. All of the interesting, potentially troubling, differences and details get wiped out.

Long-time readers will see me circling back here to some of the very earliest posts I made on this blog, almost a year ago: "The Historical Character of Mutualism" and "Varieties of Mutualist History," where I began to argue for a "mutualist history" as plural and frequently discontinuous.
I'm leaning towards a characterization of early mutualism as the most open and experimental of the early socialist "sciences" - one without a master plan, open as a marketplace of small, practical solutions - linked to the rest of the broad socialist movement, and to much of the culture around it, by a shared faith and optimism. We shouldn't overstate this. We're talking about the ante-bellum era, rather than the prelapserian one. But we can probably usefully contrast this earlier orientation, and the mutualism that grew out of it as one of its more consistent expressions, to the kinds of radical political expressions that characterized later eras. There's a long story to tell, involving the changing status of "socialism" and "science," but the first thing we can say is that the status of those things keeps changing. One of the questions for a mutualist historian is whether or not mutualists change as well.


One of the things i was suggesting in the last post was that this process of
generalizing mutualism from practical experiment appears to have happened again
and again, in different contexts, though we can find enough continuity between
ideological mutualist episodes to talk about a movement.

I stand by most of this. but one of the things that a years' work on these questions has done is refocused my concerns, at least for the time being, on the particular rethinking that occured in the late 19th century, as anarchist came into common use and the mutualist baton was handed from the generation of Greene, Proudhon and Warren to that of Tucker.

As I said in Part I: "It isn't clear. . . if the economic projects of a William B. Greene can be married to egoism. . . without rendering those projects in some ways unrecognizable. Nor is it clear that the antinomic system of Proudhon, particularly in its final form of ultimately unsynthesizable dialectics, can be reconciled to the "plumb-line."" If the mutualism of Proudhon and Greene was, like the system of Warren, based on the notion that "Disconnection, division, individuality [is] the principle of order, harmony, and progress" [see Equitable Commerce], then perhaps there wouldn't be a problem, but Greene and Proudhon, no matter how "sacred" the principle of individualism may be to them, are essentially dialectical thinkers, and both are fundamentally concerned with "solidarity" and "humanity." In Equality, Greene writes:

INDIVIDUALISM is, therefore, a holy doctrine. The individual man is a mysterious and holy force—placed on the earth in accordance with the mysterious designs of a holy Providence—touch him not, therefore, seek not to guide him by indirect influence, for he is holy! Man is the temple of God, and his heart is the altar from which the Almighty deigns to reveal his presence. He that contends against the right of an individual man, contends against God; for it is the indwelling of God in every individual soul, that is the origin and foundation of all human rights.

Which sounds a bit like a Christianized Warren, but Mutual banking gives us the other side of the coin:

. . . the human race advances like a single man in its joint life and experience—dispensation follows dispensation; each dispensation being adapted to its peculiar stage of human progress. New light will soon break forth from the Gospel, and the NEW CHRISTIANITY will establish itself in the world—a Christianity as much transcending the one now known in the Churches, as this last transcends the religion of types and shadows revealed through Moses.

This is the order of the dispensations:—the Covenant with Noah; the Covenant with Abraham; Mosaic dispensation; CHRISTIANITY; Christian Mutualism.

Influenced by Pierre Leroux, and a Baptist-turned-Unitarian, Greene is prone to balancing "trinities" (as in the piece "COMMUNISM—CAPITALISM—SOCIALISM," which I introduced here.) Proudhon, as we'll see in the next few parts of this series, grew more and more convinced that philosophy and politics alike were based in balancing ultimately unreconcilable opposites. In that regard, these thinkers seem very contemporary, very "postmodern," at least until you dip into Greene's Bible-based racial history or try to follow Proudhon's explanation of "the Revolution of the 19th century." From the perspective of Tucker, however, things probably looked different, as they did for Swartz decades later. Tucker, trying to build common ground around simple principles, wasn't likely to have had much patience for the fuzzier aspects of his predecessors' thought. As he moved towards egoism, the attractiveness of much of Greene and Proudhon's work must have diminished sharply. It's probably no coincidence that English-speaking anarchists have simply never got around to translating much of Proudhon's work, despite Tucker's announced intention to translate all of it, or to dig up the earlier versions of Greene's mutual bank writings. They pose problems. . .

We can see the problems, or an avoidance of them, in the mutualism entry. The Wikipedia understanding of mutualism sees common practical ground, and doesn't fuss too much about the philosophical underpinnings. Anyone who has been in a philosophical discussion on a Wikipedia talk page can probably sympathize with the approach. In another context, on the comments page for a mostly unrelated blog post, Kevin Carson, Ken Gregg, and I got into a brief discussion of the problem. Kevin commented:

I've instinctively avoided much dealing with metaphysical and epistemological theory—perhaps an overreaction to the vulgar Marxists' cartoonish use of "dialectics."

and I responded:

There's a reason none of the folks writing about the mutualists and individualists have pursued their philosophical and psychological underpinning much—the stuff can be nightmarishly hard, and flat out weird.

Ken said:

one of the problems that I have had with following too deeply into the more metaphysical aspects of Andrews is my own personal dislike for the failed spiritualist movement which he followed. He took it far too seriously for my taste.

And there's one "kernel" of the "problem" of mutualist history. It takes a lot of slogging through odd sources, dated arguments, contexts (like 19th-century Christian theology) that are unfamiliar or unwelcome, translation tasks, old journals, neologisms and such, to get a handle on philosophical and scientific "foundations" that may be as good an argument for abandoning these old systems as it is for understanding and sustaining them. Every few months, I dip into either Stephen Pearl Andrews' "universology" or the sources of Greene's "science of history." Slowly but surely, I'm learning to distinguish the races descended from Noah's three sons, and I know the difference between the ARTISMUS ("the Domain or Realm of Being, Evolution, or Progress, in which the Spirit or Principle of Art, or of that which is Cognate or Analogical with Art, predominates or prevails") and the NATURISMUS ("the Domain or Realm of Being, Evolution, or Progress, in which Naturism, the Spirit or Principle of Nature, or of that which is cognate or analogical with Nature, predominates or prevails.") And it helps, at least a bit, when I'm trying to figure out the fine points in "Mutual Banking" or "The Science of Society." In a certain sense, I think these texts are almost unreadable without at least some awareness of this "metaphysical" stuff. But maybe awareness is something we can share without all of us learning exactly which racial culture dominates in modern marriage customs or which Alwato syllable denotes sharpness (and, of course, its opposite.)

In the rest of the posts in this series, I'm going to wade, with whatever good speed I can manage, through work by Proudhon, Greene, their sources and some of those they influenced, trying to paint a general picture of the character of this early mutualism that was as obsessive about "the collective Adam" as it was the "holy principle" of individualism. I'll try, in the process, to clarify the progression of Proudhon's thought—and rhetoric—on "property." I'll be finishing up the scanning of Greene's Fragments, and assembling a MutualSchool course on Greene's relation to Orestes Brownson and William Ellery Channing, and we'll see if we can pick out what in Greene's theological writings is essential to understanding mutual banks. Some of my aims will be those of a historian, setting things straight as much as possible, but others are more activist and presentist. I want to argue, for example, that Greene's "doctrine of life" is a naturally "ecological" philosophy, and perhaps one preferable, in a number of ways, to Tucker's egoism, if we're looking for values to bring to a free market society.

Next up: a Proudhon chronology

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

from the "Fragments:" Communism vs. Mutualism

This chapter from the Socialistic, Communistic, Mutualistic and Financial Fragments (1875), originally appeared in The Word. Greene's correspondent is apparently Jesse Henry Jones (1836-1904), a frequent contributor to The Word and a number of other reform-oriented or religious magazines, and author of several books. He prompted debates in a couple of the Oneida-related periodicals, and composed a song in support of the 8-hour movement. (I'll try to find some time to treat Jones separately, and dig up the immediate context for this exchange.) Greene is in his combatative mode here, happy to damn "communism," specifically in the sense of community of goods. Elsewhere, of course, like Proudhon judging property "by its aims," Greene was willing to admit that certain tendencies of "communism" were among those that would be balanced (against "individualism" and "socialism") in creating mutualism.

[From the Princeton "Word."]



COMMUNISM is the form which human association naturally assumes at its origin. It implies the absolute supremacy of the chief, the utter subordination of the associates, and has for its maxim the fraternal rule,—each is to work according to his ability, and each is to receive according to his needs. In human communistic societies, as in the societies of wild horses, cattle, or sheep, all individuality is concentrated in the chief, who is instinctively obeyed by the associates as something extra-natural, and ruling by a mysterious, inscrutable right. The individualities of the associates are, among communistic men, as among sheep, numerical only. Each individual is just like all the others, and does just what the others do. The first very marked step in human progress results from the division of labor. It is the characteristic of the division of labor, and of the economic distribution of tasks, that each individual tends to do precisely what the others don't do. As soon as labor is divided, communism necessarily ceases, and MUTUALISM, the negation of communism, and the reciprocal correlation of each to every other, and of every other to each, for a common purpose, commences. The march of social progress is out of communism into mutualism. Communism sacrifices the individual to secure the unity of the whole. Mutualism has unlimited individualism as the essential and necessary prior condition of its own existence, and co-ordinates individuals without any sacrifice of individuality, into one collective whole, by spontaneous confederation, or solidarity. Communism is the ideal of the past; mutualism, of the future. The garden of Eden is before us, as something, to be achieved and attained; not behind US, as something that was lost when labor was divided, tasks were distributed, individualities were encouraged, and communism, or the mere animal and instinctive social order, had the sentence pronounced against it, "Dying, thou shalt surely die."

Mutual insurance has shown, by practical exemplification, a little of what the nature, bearings, and workings of the mutualistic principle are. When the currency shall have become mutualized by mutual banks, and the rate of interest on money loaned shall have been brought down to zero per cent per annum, it will become possible to generalize mutual insurance, applying it to all the contingencies of life, so that men, instead of being, as now, antagonistic to each other, shall be so federated with each other, that an accidental loss falling on any one individual shall be a loss to be compensated by all other individuals, while a gain accidentally accruing to any one individual shall fall to the community, and be shared by all. Under the mutual system, each individual will receive the just and exact pay for his work; services equivalent in cost being exchangeable for services equivalent in cost, without profit or discount; and so much as the individual laborer will then get over and above what he has earned will come to him as his share in the general prosperity of the community of which he is an individual member. The principle of mutuality in social economy is identical with the principle of federation in politics. Make a note of this last fact. Individual sovereignty is the John the Baptist, without whose coming the mutualistic idea remains void. There is no mutualism without reciprocal consent; and none but individuals can enter into voluntary mutual relations. Mutualism is the synthesis of liberty and order.

[In order to more fully explain the doctrine of mutualism, we take the liberty to print the following correspondence, sent to us for our perusal. Since we have omitted all of a private or personal nature, we trust the authors will pardon our making public their valuable thoughts.—Editorial.]
NORTH ABINGTON, MASS., Sept. 28. 1874.
COL. WILLIAM B. GREENE. Dear Sir,—When I made up the essays on interest into a tract, I did so at a venture, i.e., I felt it to be so strong, that it ought to be so used, and I trusted that the means would be provided in due time. Well, now that it is made up, and you are pleased with it, it has occurred to me that you would be willing to share in the cost. It would be practicable, through a few labor reformers who are in the city, to sow a few hundred of these tracts, or, indeed, some thousands, if they were provided; and would not something of the kind be worth your while? The pamphlets you sent have been received. Thanks. There are some striking remarks about God as being alive, in that on the divinity of Jesus. As to banking—is not what men want, the willingness to work together, instead of to lend to each other? Does "The Equity" (newspaper) commend itself to you as of the right temper and strength, so that it ought to live?

BOSTON, MASS., Sept. 29, 1874.
REV. JESSE H. JONES. Dear Sir,—Your letter of yesterday, to me, has been duly received. Contents noted. Please find enclosed a check for the money called for. You say, "As to banking, is not what men want, the willingness to work together, instead of to lend to each other?" I reply, that, so far as my experience goes, the willingness of John to help Thomas and Peter in their work usually takes the form of a willingness to lend money to them to help them along. The application to me for help in any work, almost always, perhaps always, assumes the shape of a request for a loan, or, perhaps, a gift, of money. So long as services are estimated in money values, the man who lends money lends aid and service. Money honestly acquired is the representative of services performed, for which the community is still in debt; and the transfer of money from Peter to John is the transfer of claim for wages due, and not yet paid in kind. I don't believe in the Christian communism you advocate. I repudiate it. I believe in work and wages. The apostles tried Christian communism, and failed. We to-day are no better, to say the least, than the apostles were, and no more competent to command success.

Boston, Oct. 2, 1874.
REV. JESSE H. JONES. Dear Sir,—You ask me, in your communication of yesterday, this pregnant question, "As to methods, does it not seem as though the first thing should be a hearty brotherly union of feeling, and then such co-operation as can be accomplished?" I have to say, in reply, that the hearts of all living creatures are in the hand of the Almighty, who turns them whithersoever he will. God has put the associative sentiment into the hearts of cattle; for, otherwise, they would not go in herds: he has also put it into the hearts of wild and tame geese; for, otherwise, they would not go in flocks, and so on. In man, the associative instinct is, or ought to be, subordinated to reason. The Master says, "Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." Sheep that go in flocks, regulating their motions upon those of their leader, and wolves that go in packs, instinctively organized under special wolves that are their rulers, know many things; but they don't know truth, because they take no cognizance of things supersensual. If you know any truth, state it. I have looked over the numbers of "The Equity," and find in it instinctive and sentimental ejaculations, but no clear statement of any truth. Tell me whether it is with the wolves, or with the sheep, that I ought to have "a hearty brotherly union of feeling," and why. The wild asses of the desert go in herds; but the lions dwell apart. Who furnish the correct ideal for imitation,—the wild asses, or the lions? And in what respect is either one of these ideals preferable to the other? and why? Ought not both of these ideals to be rejected? In every nook and corner of your question, there lurks, as it seems to me, the virus of a heresy not at all belonging to your theological environment. What is wanted at this time is not instinctive association based on feeling, followed by unreasoning co-operation, working disaster to the co-operators, but, first of all, that special knowledge which is possessed by men "who know, their rights, and, knowing, dare maintain," enabling them to act on Andrew Jackson's maxim, and ''demand nothing that is not clearly right, and submit to nothing that is clearly wrong." Gen. Jackson was an individual lion, and dwelt apart. It was his custom to say, "I take the responsibility." There is also wanted, at this time, secondly, a well thought out mutualistic organism in society, whereby, not animal and instinctive men, but twice-born, or spiritual men, may guarantee and insure each other against the assaults of the Devil's kingdom. The bees and beavers have wrought out the utmost possibility of instinctive co-operation. Sin comes before salvation, and is the condition of it: in like manner, individualism—the utter negation of the sentimental associative principle you celebrate, and the ground of the special social disorder that is of human, and not animal origin—is the indispensable prerequisite of mutualism. Mutualism, the ultimate outbirth of civilization, the triumph of the human element in man over the animal element, is the opposite of the communism which "The Equity" advocates. I go for mutualism, and am against communism and socialism.

Monday, April 17, 2006

William B. Greene in "The Word:" Woman's Suffrage

The origin of William B. Greene's essay on "The Right of Suffrage" has been a bit of a puzzle, as it appears without previous publication information and does not appear to have have been separately published prior to its appearance in the Socialistic, Communistic, Mutualistic and Financial Fragments. (Boston: Lee & Shepard, 1875.) Part of the mystery is solved by this column from The Word, where Ezra H. Heywood quotes from a "private letter" that obviously contained at least some of the ideas for the essay. Heywood's closing paragraph mentions Greene's sponsorship of "the Working Women's Convention, held in Boston, in April, 1869." This phase of Greene's activism still needs research. There are references in several sources to his association with Jennie Collins (1828-1887), the founder of "Boffin's Bower" in Boston, and the Working Women's League. Greene's wife, Anna, and daughter, Bessie, were both also active in work with poor women and single mothers. Greene himself was a sort of gruff and contrary defender of women's rights, but a tremendous amount of his later writing, starting with the 1853 Constitutional Convention speech, deals with women's issues.


The subjection of women has been a prominent topic in the debates of the Labor Reform League from the outset, opinion among its members seeming to be pretty nearly unanimous that it is both unjust and impolitic to deny them a voice in framing laws they are compelled to obey. One of our most efficient co-adjutators, however, Col. Wm. B. Greene, objects strongly to the way in which the woman suffrage agitation is conducted, and we take the liberty to extract from a private letter the following explanation of his position:

"1st. It goes on the ground that the majority has a right to govern the minority, that sovereignty naturally and rightfully inheres in the majority, which I deny. The woman suffrage talk sounds to me like black republicanism run into the ground. Mrs. Livermore tells me, from the platform, that she wants the ballot so that she may be able to stop my wine and tobacco, by legislation, and force me to be virtuous according to her pattern—which is not encouraging to me. I find the majority of the American legal voters too much for me as it is, and am not willing to increase its numbers, power or prestige.

2d. I go for minority representation and for checks whereby the minority may offer successful resistance to the majority. The Democrats of Massachusetts ought to have one-third of the State representation in Congress, instead of having none at all, for they throw one-third of the votes. The present unjust legislation in Washington would be impossible if the Democratic and other minorities had their full and just proportional representation. As soon as we have proportional representation in the federal, State and municipal governments, that is, as soon as the ballot becomes a weapon of defence in the hand of minorities, instead of being as it is now, a weapon of injustice and tyranny in the hand of the majority, I am willing that women should also have it; for women need protection as much as men do. When the women vote, I would have both men and women vote in sealed envelopes, with signed botes, so that cheating would be impossible, and would have the voting done through the post office. I think that if some women, say your wife for example, would get out a new programme for the women-suffrage agitation, connecting it with minority representation, she would make a ten stroke. I think there are many men who, like me, are unwilling to surrender their sovereignty to Mrs. Livermore, [but] would like to see the women vote."

Col. Greene was the originator of the Working Women's Convention, held in Boston, in April, 1869, the revelations of which produced a profound impression throughout the nation, awakening discussion and inspiring other movements still in progress. We think the Boston school of woman-suffrage advocates deserve the contempt he feels for them, on account of the indifference, not to say patronizing insolence, with which they have treated the righteous claims of the working-women.

William B. Greene in "The Word:" Free Love (1)

Readers familiar with the more accessible of Greene's works will probably know his exchange with Francis Barry, reprinted from The Word, on the subject of "free love." Barry's letter begins with reference to an earlier statement by Greene, in the August 1874 issue. It turns out that the earlier piece is very interesting, a "legal opinion" on the subject from Greene. The first paragraph contains my favorite characterization of Greene's work:

[H]e can produce to order, almost any revolution out of the Mass'tts Bill of Rights...

Enjoy! More material from The Word is on the way.


Knowing Col. Wm. B. Greene to be a conservative in matters of love and marriage, and yet that he can produce to order, almost any revolution out of the Mass'tts Bill of Rights, we asked his "legal opinion," and, in reply to our request, he sent us the following:—

You ask me if I can put the free-love doctrine on the basis of the Massachusetts bill of rights. I don't know precisely what the free-love doctrine is; and it is a matter which interests me very little. Nevertheless, I think you might do something in the way of making your free-love crusade something conservative and legal, instead of revolutionary. If you expect to do anything, you must have a grievance. The attack upon other people's privileges, however illogical they may be, if those privileges involve no grievance to you, seldom amounts to much. An attack on the existing marriage laws would be resisted by persons who claim the right to be married in the old way, if they prefer to do so. You must, as it seems to me, demand a new way of marriage for such persons as don't like the old way, but aspire to a new marriage relation in which (1) the contract shall be terminable at will, (2) the property shall remain with the woman at the termination of the contract, (3) the children shall belong to the mother, and (4) the mother and children shall have a satisfactory status sanctioned by law. I think these four are the points made by the free-lovers who go a transformation, and not the abolition of marriage. As I understand your position, it is that of marriage-reform.

The 6th section of chap. 165. General Statutes, does not interfere with your project, since you do not, as I suppose, go for either promiscuity or "complex marriage," but for monogamic marriage terminable at will, and to be sanctioned by law. The "not being married" will not be predicable, under the new law, of your man and woman. All you require is, it seems to me, an utter repeal of §8 of the same chap. That § being repealed, marriages terminable at the will of either party may be contracted, and will be marriages if the contracting parties so call them in a terminable contract. All the clauses of the contract will be like all other contracts not forbidden by law, under the sanction of law. I know no statute directly forbidding marriages terminable at will, and no statute except this §8 indirectly forbidding them.

The effect of the repeal of §8 would be to legalize the relation of single men to their kept-mistresses. The domicile of a kept-mistress is her domicile not that of the man; and the property in it, the furniture and the like, is prima facie her property. Of course, the kept-mistress has no claim on the property of the man; but whatever the man gives her, by putting it into her house, is hers, and her earnings otherwise acquired are also hers. He has no claim on her earnings unless she gives them to him; and she, conversely, etc. In the new marriage, the man would give his wife her dowry at, or before, the moment of marriage, and at subsequent times as she may prevail upon him, not at his death. She would not inherit from him, nor he from her, except by will. To-day, if a man gives his mistress watches, pianos, furniture, and the like and they quarrel with her, he cannot recover back the presents he has made her. "Chip, chop, chain, etc."
In §7 chap. 72, legal provision is made for coercing the father of a bastard to assist the mother in maintaining it. By what has been before remarked, it will be seen that the woman has her separate property, just as the man has his. By this section the woman has a guarantee that the man shall not, by desertion, throw all the burthen of maintaining the children on the mother. By section 2 chap. 91, a bastard or it lawful representatives, inherits from the mother and maternal ancestors; and, by §3, the mother (and not at all the father) inherits from the bastard. Thus the bastard belongs in every way to the mother, and not to the father, as the women's rights people say ought always to be the case, and is always the case where the woman has not deeded away her right in a contract of marriage.

Conclusion. Sect. 8, chap. 165 Gen. Statutes being repealed, young couples desiring to do so, can contract marriages terminable at will, and, by their praiseworthy deportment, make fornication and bastardy respectable. Nothing can be made respectable by law; and agitation for a law that any one thing rather than another should be respectable, would be futile. Laws abolishing marriages, or sanctioning adultery, would, as it seems to me, be in violation of the constitution of the U. S., which says: "No state shall pass any law impairing the obligation of contracts." Sect. 8, chap. 165 Gen. Statutes remaining in force, young couples contracting marriages terminable at will, render themselves liable to the martyrdom of three months imprisonment and thirty dollars fine, the mildest martyrdom known in the history of martyrdoms. Young couples violate this law continually, and I never heard of the law being enforced in cases when there was no violation of public decency. Perhaps §6, which has the word "cohabit," would give 2 yrs. imprisonment and $300 fine. Did you ever hear of a man's being sent to the State's prison for "cohabiting" with his kept-mistresses? or of the mistress being so sentenced? What you really want is not change in the law, but young couples who will so live as to make fornication and bastardy respectable.

Now for the Mass'tts. Bill of Rights. The contract of marriage is a religious covenant, sanctioned by sworn obligations. But it is written, "Swear not at all." Are not you, as a reformer, and a notorious peace-man, conscienciously "agin" swearing? Are you not conscienciously opposed to any contracting of obligations, of your own free accord, that you know not whether you will or will not be able to keep? It seems to me, if you want to stand on the bill of rights, that you must organize your free-love party as "a religious sect and denomination," and fall back on the XI amendment of the Mass. constitution, which says: "No subordination of any one sect or denomination to another shall ever be established by law." The XI amendment says "religious denomination," and not at all "christian denomination:" the amendment had the effect of taking Christianity entirely out of the constitution. Now if one sect believes, or if many sects believe, that religion requires marriage to be for life; and your sect believes, on religious and moral grounds, that it is wicked to put all people, whatever may be their religious convictions, under the alternative of either not marrying at all or marrying for life; where is the constitutionality of the law which subordinates the religious belief of your sect to the religious beliefs of other sects, and forces members of your denomination, under a severe penalty, to marry in a way against which they have conscientious scruples?

Nobody seems to know exactly what christian marriage is. As I read the New Testament it tolerates polygamy, but does not tolerate "putting away." The Mass. law seems to be anti-christian inasmuch as it tolerates no polygamy. Your doctrine seems to be anti-christian, inasmuch as it is grounded on the fact of "putting away." The Old Testament say, "Jehovah hateth putting away."—You asked me for my opinions, and I have given them; but I take no stock at all, on either side, in this free-love muddle.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Science of Society online / scanning goals

Great news! Kenneth R. Gregg of the CLASSical Liberal blog has just posted an online edition of Stephen Pearl Andrews' Science of Society. This was Andrews' attempt to present the ideas of Josiah Warren in a more systematic manner. Ken has promised some more biographical work on Andrews, which ought to be worth waiting for. Somehow I missed the announcement of the edition of Andrews' Love, Marriage and Divorce at the Molinari Institute "Heritage of Dissent" online library. The same update included Edwin C. Walker's 1904 Communism and Conscience. Thanks to Roderick Long & Co. for their contributions of libertarian literature online.

One of my goals for 2006 has been to scan at least 3000 original pages of anarchist and related material for the Libertarian Labyrinth collection and the library at MutualSchool.org. Progress report: so far, so good—even though my return to university teaching has taken a bite out of my time at home by the scanner. A number of writing and publishing projects have had to be pushed back a bit, but the archiving goes on apace. And, really, the delays in other areas have been largely because my improved access to information as a faculty member has let me delve a lot deeper into the research than I could as an independent scholar working on a courtesy card.

I've been slowly, but surely cleaning up the various half-finished projects tucked away on hard drives and CD-ROMs. I accumulated a lot of material in my first big research blitz ten years ago—so much, in fact, that I'm constantly surprising myself as I sort through books and papers. If my years as an independent bookseller weren't exactly wonderful for my solvency, they were pretty fantastic for my research into odd corners of the libertarian tradition. I spent much of the last 15 years of my life digging through a mass of 150,000 books, papers, pamphets, etc. The couple of thousand I still retain in my own collection are choice, if frequently odd. I'm gradually getting smarter about how to share the results of that sifting project. Expect the Labyrinth to grow, and to grow more image-heavy. Also expect much more in the way of critical tools, particularly for the mutual bank writings. I'm currently experimenting with MediaWiki as a means of producing collations between editions, and am hopeful about the results, which ought to accomplish much more elegantly the goals of the "combined edition" of Mutual Banking, making it possible to compare any edition of Mutual Banking with any other, as well as comparing sections of any edition with the relevant sections of the books Greene borrowed from.
In the midst of so many archiving projects covering mutualist and individual anarchist materials, it probably makes sense to go on record about the projects which I have already undertaken. The primary one are:

  • Collected works of William Batchelder Greene: This is obviously top priority. I'll have most of the major texts up within the next couple of months, including some new letters to the editor and such, along with lots of secondary material, much of his son's poetry and his father's writings.
  • Edward Kellogg: I'm about half-way through the scanning process on the major editions. I would eventually like to get a complete archive of Kellogg's work, complete with MidiaWiki collation treatment, but that's a long-term goal.
  • William Beck, Money and Banking: I've scanned the sections most relevant to Greene's mutual bank writings, and hope to get the complete text up this summer.
  • Proudhon's Solution to the Social Problem: I have scanned, and need to finish editing, the sections from Proudhon's Solution du problème social. The version of Mutual Banking in this volume is essentially the 1946/1974 edition, minus some additions by the Indian editors of that later edition. It will be one of the simplest editions to prepare.
  • Colonial land Bank documents: I have collected image-scan pdfs of most of the relevant sections of the Colonial Currency Reprints, and will gradual get etexts compiled.
  • Works of Calvin Blanchard: I've got this stuff half-scanned from a project ten years ago. I'll have all but the rarest of his works in-hand again this week. Long-term, I would like to get an archive of the works Blanchard published. He was a remarkable writer/ranter, but he was also an important early radical publisher and bookseller.
  • My old AKA Bookish pamphet series: Ten years ago, I launched a series of pamphlet reprints. The two volumes of the Edward Carpenter Library are now online. Manual of Cooperation and The Familistere at Guise, France will follow soon—along with the announced, and nearly completed, but never released Integral Co-operation in Sinaloa,
    . Last but not least, expect Jesus or Mammon, originally released in miniature anti-tract form ("cheap enough to leave in bus stations") any day now.
  • Margaret and Her Friends, by Caroline Healey Dall: The only full account of one of Margaret Fuller's "conversations."

I would like to work on the writings of Bolton Hall and Samuel "Golden Rule" Jones, as soon as I get this stuff out of the to-do pile. In any event, this list ought to consume the spring and summer, and most of the 3000 pages I have promised myself.

Thanks to everyone who has made use of the resources in the Labyrinth, and spread the word. And thanks again to those who are sharing the scanning and editing duties. I look forward to a day, maybe not all that far off, when it gets hard to find new texts to scan.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

1850: The Hotbed of Mutual Banking Agitation

In the years 1849 and 1850, William B. Greene published Equality and Mutual Banking, describing his Christian Mutualism and setting out the details of the real estate based mutual bank. He was at that time, the minister of the Unitarian church in Brookfield, Massachusetts. In 1850 and 1851, he lead a rural agitation-by-petition, by means of which the General Court of Massachusetts was repeatly asked to legalize this updated form of land bank. We know from copies of the petitions in the 1857 The Radical Deficiency of the Existing Circulating Medium that the petitioners included "the Towns of Brookfield, Warren, Ware, &c." Legislative summaries in the Massachusetts Ploughman and New England Journal of Agriculture now let us add the names of Palmer and West Brookfield to the list (as well as the names of a few more citiens involved in the mutual banking agitation.)

If you want to see the area covered, pull up a Mapquest map centered on the town of Warren, MA. The strip between routes 9 and 19, midway between Springfield and Worcester, is the main area of petitions. In the 1850 petition, the towns in the example extend the zone east to the line formed by interstates 190, 290 and 395: north to Fitchburg and south to Oxford.

With dates for several of the mutual banking petitions, it ought to be possible to delve a bit more deeply into the Massachusetts state records. We know the outcome of the petitions: "Upon all the petitions, the Comittee on Banks and Banking, after hearing the arguments of the petitioners, reported simply, "Leave to withdraw"!" But it might still be very useful to get a better sense of the nature and extent of the movement.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Col. Greene defends Washington / Civil War incidents

Among the new items in the Libertarian Labyrinth is a short piece on military discipline in the 14th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, the Civil War regiment William Batchelder Greene commanded during 1861-62. It consists of two reports of VIPs stopped by Greene or his officers among the forts on the Virginia side of the Potomac, where the 14th was stationed. Taken alone, it is an entertaining account. Taken in the context of other accounts of life around the Long Bridge (coming soon to the Layrinth), it looks like general officers didn't take sentries very seriously, with results that were frequently as dangerous as they were potentially humorous. William B. Greene got into trouble at least once for objecting when officers refused to stop for his sentries. This item, which is presented as a tribute to Col. Greene, may also form some part of the answer to why he was ultimately led to resign, having, he felt, run afoul of superiors in Washington, DC and Boston.

I've received Greene's Combined Service Record from the National Archives, and should be able to post a large dose of Civil War material, including Greene's 13-page resignation letter, in the very near future.

Socialized Money at Current Observations

Don Bangert, of the Current Observations blog, informs me that he has finished the scanning of Socialized Money, which he started back in November. Here's my original notice of the project.

I have been curious to see the rest of the book since Don began reprinting it, and had just recently tracked down a copy through interlibrary loan. Don has, in the interest of finishing things, posted image scans of the remaining chapters. I'll see if I can find some time to do the OCR work, and complete a full-text searchable version. This is probably more a curiousity than a must-read text, but it's interesting enough to be worth preserving, I think, and it reference folks like William B. Greene. Thanks again to Don for bringing it to my attention.

New Labyrinth / William B. Greene Timeline

As Kevin Carson recently mentioned (thanks!), I've been getting the Libertarian Labyrinth set up on a new, much improved site. If you want to check out some of the new material I'm working into the redesigned site, you can access it through the William Batchelder Greene pages, where you'll find a couple of new features, including a "Timeline and Miscellany." This is destined to be the chronological backbone of A Special Answer to a Special Prayer, my study of Greene, but it's fun on its own as a collection of all the odds bits and pieces I've been assembling about the Greene family. I'm adding items in no particular order, working through stacks of print-outs and notes, so what you'll get right now is really a fairly random sampling. There are still some unbuilt pages and links-to-nowhere, and it will take a little while longer to switch over completely to the new organizational scheme, but at least you can avoid the pop-up ads that plagued the temporary Bravehost site.

Friday, April 07, 2006

New London Society: Connecticut Land Bank, 1732

Awhile back, I noted Andrew McFarland Davis' "A Connecticut Land Bank of the Eighteenth Century" as another important piece in the land bank puzzle. This particular project was chartered as the New London Society United for Trade and Commerce in 1732, and the original grant describes it as an organization for "the promoting and carrying on Trade and Commerce to Great Britain and his Majesties Islands and Plantations in America, and other of his Majesties Dominions, and for encouraging the Fishery, &c., as well for the common good of their own private interests. . ." (See digitized colonial records here: May 1732, pp. [390] [391] [392].) They soon, however, began to issue notes, based on land mortgages. (Facsimiles: [1] [2].) The Assembly, for reasons variously reported (among them the usual unspecified "great disorders and confusions," which seems to be the explanation of choice for state assemblies and unsympathetic historians alike), decided that this overstepped the Society's mandate, and the charter was revoked. (Feb 1732-3, pp. [420][421][422][423].) The printing of private bills of credit was made comparable to counterfeiting, and a new issue of state bills was proposed to help retire the land bank currency. As was often the case, the retirement of the bills involved considerably more "disorders and confusions," with documents in the Assembly records running until May, 1742. The Colonial Connecticut site is well-indexed, once you get to the correct time-segment within the digitized records, and you can follow the story step by step. Just don't miss the order of the Court to "carefully burn and consume the said bills."

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Edward Kellogg, "Remarks Upon Usury"

I've posted a pdf of Edward Kellogg's Remarks Upon Usury and its Effects: A National Bank a Remedy (1841), which is the earliest statement, originally published as by "Whitehook," of his banking and currency ideas.

The Knickerbocker for September 1841 briefly noted the publication as follows:
The author writes in a style of great terseness and perspicuity, and is evidently a person of sound practical views; and if one half of what he states be true, Wall-street should be closed, with an investigating committee at once convened 'in bank,' to examine his charges, 'with power to send for persons and papers.' p.272

The New York Review (October 1841, p. 529) also noted the publication, at more length and with considerably less sympathy.

See my initial post on the Kellogg bibliography for more details.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Symposium on Carson's "Studies in Mutualist Political Economy"

The new of Journal of Libertarian Studies is out, and it's a symposium on Kevin Carson's Studies in Mutualist Political Economy.

Congratulations, Kevin! It's great to see your work being seriously engaged.

See Kevin's post for direct links to the review articles in pdf.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Edward Kellogg again (and a money-crank treasure trove)

The pieces of the puzzle are coming together, slowly but surely, in the case of the Edward Kellogg bibliography. After some microform-related comedy of errors, I have now had a chance to look at the 4-page Usury, the Evil and the Remedy (1843), which was the last of the major editions I had yet to see. And, yes, it appears that all of Kellogg's writings ought to be considered drafts of the same argument, though they range from 4 pages to over 300 pages in length. With the William B. Greene collation work still in progress—and now ranging into the realm of French translation, as I compare Greene against Proudhon and Leroux—I'm not all that hot to take on another collation project, but there's undoubtedly some interesting work to be done comparing the Kellogg texts.

The "final" version of Kellogg's work was the posthumous A New Monetary System (1875), which is Labor and Other Capital rearranged for clarity and with numerous notes from Kellogg added. It's a tribute to the improvements in the posthumous edition, or perhaps just to the rushed and frequently bleary-eyed nature of my reading time, that I had hardly begun to flip through it when I discovered what I had missed in repeated looks at the original: that part of Kellogg's scheme was a land bank currency. Kellogg and Greene still differed substantially in their understandings of the circulating medium, and in the projects they proposed, but it is interesting to find another American source for the land bank elements in Greene's work, before he knew (or acknowledged that he knew) of the colonial land banks, and roughly concurrent with his exposure to Proudhon's ideas. An online edition of A New Monetary System is available as part of this collection of banking and currency etexts, including a few great Greenback classics. How did I miss a site with Ignatius Donnelly's The American People's Money available online? There's a mix of the good, the bad and the downright anti-semitic here, as one might expect, but money cranks should poke around and see what they can find.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Edward Carpenter: "Non-Governmental Society" and "Exfoliation"

I've been putting together pdf files of some of the texts I used to sell in pamphlet form, as I slowly but surely rearrange the new Libertarian Labyrinth site. Today, for your reading pleasure, the new additions are two essay by Edward Carpenter. "Non-Governmental Society" is a fine exposition of anarchism, though its author didn't use the label. "Exfoliation" is an interesting period piece of evolutionary thought, for those who don't mind a little Lamarck (or even Whitman) with their Darwin. Carpenter was a truly fine writer, and these are among my favorites from him. Enjoy!