Wednesday, November 07, 2007

An Early Libertarian Communist

Paul Brown, whose Twelve Months in New Harmony I posted some time ago, was, from various indications, a friend of Josiah Warren. He was also the most articulate voice in favor of property-in-common that we have from the New Harmony community. He was the author of a number of books, on a range of subjects, as well as some uncollected writings, under the title "Gray Light," which appeared in the New Harmony Gazette. I'm working on transcribing Gray Light, which is probably one of the five or six most interesting uncollected works I've run across in the last few years. In the meantime, Google Books has made available The Radical and Advocate of Equality, a very interesting collection of papers from 1835. I frequently disagree with Brown, who must have had some lively debates with Warren about property, but I think he is one of the most important voices in that "first mutualist moment" of 1825-7, ranking right up there with Warren, "The Mutualist," and Owen himself.

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