Saturday, August 30, 2008
Friday, August 29, 2008
Some recent searching turned up his Ethics of the Homestead Strike: A Narrative by the Wayside, published by the press of The Conservator, Horace Traubel's journal, which championed a kind of "Whitmanesque socialism" (according to one critic, certainly Traubel championed Whitman) and had some single-tax leanings. Unfortunately, once again, the Google Books edition is lacking pages, but I'm already working on getting those from another library. In the meantime, here is Morse's 1892 summary of equitable commerce, from this very interesting addition to the Warrenite literature:
1. Homestead strike not in it. Successful or not, no result affecting solution of labor issue.
2 (Aside.) Pinkerton's band should be broken up like other private bands that let themselves to do murderous work. This, or else free competition, and the whole police work of the country turned over to private enterprise — answerable in their work for all manner of misdemeanor.
3. The labor issue turns on the usurpations of capital. The gist of which is — the demand for hours of labor without, so to speak, a labor-return.
4. Capital used at cost. Whatever labor it costs to manipulate it, enters into price, nothing more. No price for benefits or favors.
5. Settles the land question. Price of land — cost of labor improvement. Put posts around a thousand acres and call them yours? Nonsense! You are not even entitled to pay for your labor in planting your posts. No earthly use to any one else;, no, nor to yourself. You can ask another to pay for your folly. Land to be sold or exchanged must have a labor- basis No labor, no price. Not land sold or exchanged, after all, but labor.
So with everything. Not the thing, but the labor in it, should settle price.
6. "My necessities are great. I must have it at any price."
Honest answer : "I know nothing of your necessities. I measure my price by my own sacrifice."
This idea of a cost-price as against a value-price starts a thousand questions, most of them arising, however, from the state of things under the old or value system. To say, "I set price according to cost to me, not value to you," upsets all the calculations of the present piratical business program.
7. No matter — since it furnishes, approximately, at least, an answer to the question, what is a fair day's pay for a fair day's work? The reply being, "Another fair day's work, of course." The Carnegies take heed.
8. Equality, liberty, fraternity, to be realized politically, socially, industrially, if ever Democracy is triumphant.
9. What equality, what liberty, what fraternity are : studies for everybody.
10. Warren's idea — that to harmonize you must first individualize everybody and everything — worthy of profound consideration.
11. Instead of union, we must look for harmony. The individual notes must preserve their separate individual tones : so together co-operating, sound the grand anthem of Democratic life, liberty, peace.
Consider the matter at length under the following heads:
- Exchange of labor, including time and skill.
- Competition under cost-system.
Monday, August 18, 2008
- Constitution or Organic Basis of the Pantarchy
- Constitution or Organic Basis of the New Catholic Church
Which brings us back around to Proudhon, who is just full of surprises, if you're willing to wade in. We know that Proudhon admitted the inevitability of some sort of "state," or state-like "concentration," and that it was to counterbalance this that he proposed simple, individual property within anarchy. And we have some indications of what the word "state" meant to him, from The Theory of Property. But Proudhon had a habit of tucking important details in unlikely places, and I only just tracked down the pages from The Theory of Taxation where he engages in his most radical reconstruction of the notion of the "state." There, "the State" is closely identified with that "collective force" which was so important to Proudhon's initial critiques of property and governmentalism. And, there, it becomes clearer just what the "late" Proudhon is on about - and it is exciting, if hardly orthodox anarchism. I'll try to finish up some translations and see if I can get that excitement across. . .
Sunday, August 17, 2008
Of course, the problem of missing bits and pieces is a fairly common one. Voltairine de Cleyre's translation of Jean Grave's Moribund Society and Anarchy is one of those texts that are mostly available online, but have unreadable pages in the scans. One of these days, we'll be able to get all this stuff available in complete form.
Monday, August 11, 2008
Saturday, August 09, 2008
R@dical History Series
MAJOR MOMENTS, MINOR MOVEMENTS, LITTLE-KNOWN FACTS, CONTROVERSIES, AND CHARACTERS. EACH WEEK: A SHORT, INFORMAL PRESENTATION, FOLLOWED BY COFFEE-DRINKING AND DISCUSSION.
- 8/12: P.-J. Proudhon and "Property is theft!" (Theme and Variations)
- 8/19: Panarchy and Pantarchy: Hierarchy in a free society
- 8/26: Anarchists as Inventors:
With Shawn P. Wilbur (Laughing Horse Collective, Alliance of the Libertarian Left)
Tuesdays, 7-9 pm, Laughing Horse Books, 12 NE 10th, Portland, OR
We'll see what, if anything, develops out of these meetings. Things will be very informal, while we figure out whether there is interest in a more formal study group. I'll be focusing on good stories with larger implications for understanding movement history and our present possibilities.