J. William Lloyd
The Red Heart in a White World
A Suggestive Manuel of Free Society, Containing a Method and a Hope
A state of society in which the inoffensive man is as free as Robinson Crusoe, yet in a world of brothers if he will; in which crime is discouraged in spirit and restrained in fact; in which helplessness is supported, weakness defended, and loss made good, without degradation or condescension; in which industry has full opportunity and retains its full product, and only laziness gets nothing—in which the spirit of equal human liberty, and the love of it, is the one law, the guiding principle, the centre of growth, the supreme and uniting thought, the true faith and enthusiasm of all.
Sestina of the Red Heart and White World.
And oft intoned a lyric for the free,
And often chanted Nature and her charm;
But now I sing the Red Heart’s purpose great,
And sing the White World that this shall become
When men count manhood more than things that serve.
When men count manhood more than things that serve,
We shall not need, I trow, to speak of love;
For, certes, to fit souls sweet love shall come
In Nature’s course, when first the way is free,
But most of all to those whose thoughts are great,
And least to jealous ones who prison charm.
Monopoly of land and love and charm,
And lust of power unpaid to make men serve,
These are the things which are not truly great,
And yet this Dark World yields them all its love,
And mocks at those who prophesy the free,
And says, ‘neath heaven, the White things cannot come.
Yet, when the Red Heart beats, shall surely come
The White World with its peace and health and charm,
Its comrades working side by side, yet free,
Each other serving, yet unforced to serve;
Its daily life a garden wherein love
Blooms large, and each man’s genius ripens great.
When each man’s selfhood grows to ripeness great,
Root-based in Nature, whence all ripe things come,
Its bud and fruiting aye the genius-love
Of perfect skill in dainty feats that charm
And true success in sterner works that serve,
Art shall be all delightful, being free.
I see my song return to all things free,
It finds no other theme so truly great;
Nature alone, in freedom, may I serve;
It shall be so with all when White days come,
Wherein no deed of mastership may charm,
Nor coldness check the Red Heart’s crimson love.
Comrades, be free and then the White shall come,
Life’s commonplace grow great and rich in charm,
And all hearts Red to serve with human love.
Primary and Essential Principle:–
HUMAN EQUAL LIBERTY.
Secondary and Constructive Principle:—
VOLUNTARY RECIPROCAL CO-OPERATION.
Sweet parents twain of Harmony.
Their’s is the test you must apply,
All binding forms of men to try,
For linking gold of sympathy.
Yea, friend, these lines of life you see
Run straight, nor ever change for aye;—
To right our awkward world, awry,
If neighbors, hamlets, thus can be
Rightly related, orderly,–
How shall a people’s bond belie?
Fear not!—the light is in your eye,
The morning dawns upon the sea,—
Every scheme has its essential and its non-essential. The essential of Free Society is the Free Spirit; the non-essential is the form through and by which the Free Spirit expresses itself.
No one can understand this book unless in the reading of its every page he remembers this. Its one idea is to unite in one confederate, self-supporting, self-sufficient society all individuals holding, on whatever basis of logic or feeling, the faith that human equal liberty is the supreme requisite to individual happiness and social harmony. Nor can he understand it unless he as constantly remembers that every form and detail it proposes to aid in securing this end is the author’s suggestion merely, to be modified by every autonomous group to suit its own ideal, and not to be accepted by any individual unless with the full concurrence of his own judgment.
A Socialist is one who holds that present society is unjust and that human intelligence can be directly applied to the elimination of this injustice, leaving, or afterward constructively producing, an approximately perfect society.
A State-Socialist is one who holds that the perfect society is where the wisest and best control all human affairs, clothed with full power to compel obedience—ideal government.
An Anarchist-Socialist is one who claims that the one vital principle of true Society is that the individual shall control solely his own affairs—laissez faire.
A Free-Socialist is always an Anarchist and, in a general sense, may be only that, but in a special sense holds that society is the synthesis of laissez faire and voluntary reciprocal co-operation—the negative principle of individualism, the positive principle of comradeship combined in human harmony.
The Red Heart is a poetical term for the common interests, ties, sympathies and affections of humanity, for comradeship, and the ideal society of free men mutually helpful.
The White World is a world washed of injustice between men—free, peaceful, happy.
FREE SOCIETY VS. GOVERNED SOCIETY.
A socialist from boyhood, by conviction, I can hardly remember when I have not felt the evils of the present social relations and dreamed of something better. Study, observation and meditation having brought me to a self- satisfactory ideal of what society should be, I wish to make this known.
In order to be brief, and that the core of the matter be reached as soon as possible, I make no elaborate arguments, treat many things as self-evident, and shall appear doubtless, dogmatic to many. But I mean not to discourage free criticism, or coerce consent. The first thought is liberty.
Sociologists will recognize the main thought of the work as Anarchistic. For, Anarchism, contrary to the vulgar notion, has no necessary connection with violence, is a philosophical concept of society without government—that is without taxation, or any control of one human being by another except in defence of personal liberty. But as Anarchists are now divided into many sects, some of which, in my opinion, are opposed to true liberty, and as the common notion everywhere is that an Anarchist is a fanatical leveller with no particular views except ferocity, I have, to avoid misconception, chosen rather the name Free Socialist, including the Anarchist idea with the further concept of mutual co-operation.”
Happiness—the healthy and normal balance of mental and physical pleasure—is the universal desire, and I believe that only by freedom, co-operation, and simplicity, can it be realized.
Students of life observe a necessity by which everything advances from simplicity to complexity and, finally, in perfection, returns to something very like the original simplicity. In morals, as in mechanics and time, a circle and back to the starting point. There is a simplicity of ignorance, and a simplicity of perfection.
Starting in ignorance, the lover of wisdom in his ripeness acknowledges he knows nothing. Starting as a child the experimenter in morals finds nothing better than childlike innocence. Starting from the primitive Savage the student of politics, after all experiments, finds nothing so useful and orderly as a natural society without laws or government.
Avoiding their few errors, the child and the savage are our models. Our knowledge only enables us to justify their instincts.
Dropping our multitudinous artificialities, and retaining only so much of the machinery of modern life as really draws men closer and promotes knowledge, leisure, and simplicity, we must stand very nearly where they stand, acknowledging nature as the source of health and right. Suppose only one man in the world—the original or alone man. There is no other to invade, no restraint upon his thought; he goes where he pleases and has a right to what he can take. But he is weak and friendless, exposed to all perils, lonely. But where there is more than one man we find the plural or social man. There are new elements and possibilities now. The liberty of one is limited by the like liberty of others and mutual invasion and mutual help, hatred, and love, are both possible.
These new men in a new world are all equal in rights but not in powers. All must fight with nature to exist. From land and air and water each draws his sustenance and has a right to so much as he needs. Not equal in powers, the wise are the natural leaders, teachers, and ad- visors, the stronger the natural protectors and helpers. For this the less wise and the weak naturally return praise, admiration, grateful service, and affection. Wild beasts and the forces of nature against them, they herd, and defend and assist each other. As with all other animals, the female loves any male she selects, has children by him if she pleases, and these children remain naturally under her protection until able to help themselves. She is mistress of her own body and affections, and the male, also, is free to love or cease loving.
The alone man must attend to all his own wants, but the social man comes inevitably to a division of labor. Some like one work better than another and naturally do that when they can; and some find it hard to do certain things and naturally avoid their performance. Differences of power, of opportunity, of practice, of necessity, explain this.
But if one gathers nuts, another fishes, and another makes arrows, there must be exchange to satisfy all needs. Here is natural commerce.
If one man is attacked the others defend him; if he is wounded they feed and nurse him; if his hut is burned they help build him another. Here is reciprocal insurance.
One man spreads the net while the other drives the fishes; one man hides on the path while the other starts the deer; the woman tans the skin while the man hunts for more to make their mutual couch. Here is co-operation.
Impressed by the phenomena and mystery of the universe, each man makes guesses at the meanings of things and works out some theory to explain them, or accepts some other man’s guess or theory. Here is original philosophy and religion.
So far, then, we have a perfectly harmonious aggregation of human beings—a free, Orderly, and happy society— and this Society possesses:—
Equal rights and liberties,
Natural leaders and advisors,
Division of labor,
and each man is as free as the alone man, except that he may not take what belongs to, or is occupied and used by another. In other words the social man has lost absolute liberty—the right to do as he pleases—and acquired equal liberty, or social liberty—the right to do as he pleases at his own expense only–a liberty limited by the like liberty of others.
This is the model or prototype of Free Society, and contains all its essential elements.
But nature is as much the source of wrongs as of rights; she offers poison in one cup, nectar in the other. We must choose.
This happy society may be disturbed. The element of force, essential against the enemies of the species, if turned against the species is the magician of misery. At once the right becomes wrong, justice injustice, crimes multiply and become confused, liberty withers like a cut flower. Growth becomes perverted, and while some become hypertrophied, others waste. Health is balance, but perverted force destroys all balance. Everything sustains an evil change—the natural leader becomes a tyrant, the advisor a legislator; free gift becomes tribute, free contribution taxation; co-operation is mastership and slavery; love is raped and bound in marriage. Mutual insurance is superseded by beggary, pauperism, charity, forced communism, drafted armies, imposed protection, (itself invasive,) and burdens of collective debt. Occupancy-and-use of land becomes monopoly and luxurious idleness for the few, eviction, bitter servitude, or enforced idleness, for the rest. Commerce is fettered, fined, balked, forced, and monopolized. Thought is prevented, perverted, inoculated, and persecuted.
All this hell from attempting to force that evolution of society which otherwise, whatever its mistakes, would be comparatively harmless, having always natural consequences to correct its errors. And to all this intrusion of force and its systematized petrification into laws and institutions, the collective name Government is universally given. Government, then, is the essential element of disorder and misery in Society, just as Liberty is the essential element of order and happiness.
We now have Governed Society. We must have Free Society.
But against government there is a natural instinct of defense. If, in our primitive society, a leader becomes a dictator, land is monopolized, labor is forced, goods are exchanged against consent, property taken without return, a woman raped, or a man beaten—there is government, there is invasion, there is crime (for these are synonyms) and defense must be invoked. Naturally the wronged party defends himself, if possible, if not he calls on his fellows to aid him. Naturally he appeals to the wise and the strong to convict his invader, restrain him, and compel him to make recompense.
Such reaction against invasion, such organization to obtain and maintain justice, is Defendment, the natural and philosophical check on government.
Here I shall be called to order in the mind of many who will say they have always understood crime and government to be enemies and the latter necessary to restrain the former. Truly they have been carefully so taught, and it is upon this misled, or mistaken, popular faith that governments stand. This faith once removed, they not endure for a moment. Therefore great efforts are made by those in power to keep this view only before the people.
Let us see the truth.
When crime is manifested, resistance is provoked. There being no clear idea of right or wrong in the ignorant mind, no perception of the fact that an invasion of one invades all, resistance usually takes the form of revenge, punishment not recompense, wrong for wrong. The aggressor, finding himself in turn aggressed upon, loses repentance in wrath and feels justified for what he has done. Each party has wrongs to revenge, and to obscure and excuse their own atrocities, and call upon their friends for assistance. The principle of defense is lost in the new, unsocial virtue of partisanship, clanship, patriotism. Aggressions and reprisals are carried to all lengths; party quarrels become feuds and battles; and war is inaugurated, the most unsocial of human phenomena. Right is now entirely lost in might and the mighty rise to the top by natural necessity and assume all the powers they can coax or frighten from their fellows.
These “chiefs,” “kings,” or whatever other name they may be called, divide a portion of their stolen power with other men of might in order to pacify their rivalry and unite them in the support of the kingly or governing interest. Here, for the first time, is formal or instituted government with hierarchy of powers—a band of robbers dividing among themselves the stolen liberties of their weaker comrades. But mighty as they are, they are few against the many, and their power is always insecure. To strengthen their position in the popular affection and throw a cloak of virtue over their bloody shoulders, they now assume to be the protectors of the public and promise the people peace in return for loyalty and submission. They split government in two and give the name crime to petty, sporadic invasions, while retaining the name government for their own organized and instituted usurpations; taking care to enlarge the meaning of crime to include all attacks upon their own power. They make laws, issue peremptory orders, and prosecute the lesser villains with cruel vigor. The people are so weary of chaos that they are glad to set a rogue to catch a rogue, are willing to sacrifice their liberty in exchange for some degree of peace and security. As the least of evils, they prefer organized oppression and systematized taxation to the lawlessness of bandits and foot pads. The former can at least be calculated upon and reckoned with.
Naturally, under these conditions, a sentiment arises, and is carefully cultivated by the aristrocrats, that government is a good thing; which time strengthens till its utterly invasive foundation and nature are forgotten, and good people not only support it but occasionally even en- gage in it, Strange to say, however, even to this day, and among its strongest supporters, it is but seldom that a really good man can persuade himself to accept a government office or remain in it. Spite of his willing delusion the atmosphere of government cannot help being a stench in his nostrils. And in every community there is always a party accusing (with the best of evidence) the party in power of oppression, robbery, bribery, and deceit. Finally, the public conscience is aroused, a spasm of virtue seizes the community, the party within is supplanted by the party without—and then the game is played all over again as before.
These social phenomena are constant, may be observed everywhere, and relied upon to produce the same results in every community, large or small, in any age.
Many well-intentioned people teach love as a panacea for the evils of government, private or collective. But nature requires resistance and resistance calls for a mental state of stern indignation to make it effective. Therefore this doctrine of love your enemies is against nature and cannot succeed. It was taught by Hindoos ages ago, and has been taught by Christians for now 19 centuries, yet Hindoos are a race of slaves and tyrants, and Christian nations are to-day the most aggressive, and the most insane advocates of governmental interference.
The common sense of the matter is that no amount of preaching will make people love those whom they know invade them, while love comes of itself, to as great a degree as nature permits, where the social relations are just.
We need only equal-liberty to be as happy as human nature will permit. Good nature, kind helpfulness, and honesty, are really more natural to man than their opposites, because, in spite of everything, more often called into action, and under favorable conditions always display themselves. Whenever the opposites are found the social equilibrium will surely be found violently disturbed.
Let us examine the merit of simplicity.
It is an axiom in medicine that a diseased man is nowhere really healthy. We have convicted society of disease, indeed everybody admits it sick. Therefore we may expect all its functions to be morbid. This ought to show mostly in the central idea.
Now the central idea of conscious life is happiness. If governed society is on a false basis we may reasonably expect to find false ideals of happiness and false methods, doomed to failure, employed to attain them.
The spirit of true society is freedom and equality with one’s fellow, but the spirit of governed society is power over others. Wishing ease and security, the free man persuades his comrades to assist him; wishing the same the governing man forces his fellow to serve him. Certain that he will not be invaded, and that a reciprocal self-interest will cause his comrade to aid him if in need, the free man does not have to accumulate much property, or have many safeguards, or employ many servants, (indeed he cannot get servants, only employees, free co-operators working for self, to aid him) therefore the tendency of his life is inevitably toward simplicity. But the government man is an Ishmaelite. He knows that every man in his World is grasping for power, and that means peril to him. To keep from destruction, or slavery, his only resource is to get Superior power himself. He is safe only in proportion as he accumulates wealth or means to buy or force the good offices of others. This increases his security but, paradoxically, increases his peril also, for everybody wants what he has and many hate him for the power he wields. He dare not stop, he must go on; there is no end, till death, to his care and fear and toil.
His natural necessities are no greater than those of others, but possessing unlimited wealth it seems foolish not to use it. Therefore he cultivates artificial tastes. It takes servants, cooks, lackeys to supply these. Wealth breeds complexity, luxury, pomp, by an inevitable necessity. The mere instinct of self-preservation, acting under the pressures of governed society, is sufficient to account for such society’s mad ambitions, its fevered restlessness, its tremendous military and commercial wars; its palaces, castles, cities, police forces, armies, titles, crimes, pomps, follies and disease—in a word its tremendous and profound unhappiness. The rottenness of its first principle is in all its fruits. Therefore we see that in governed society the tendency is inevitably toward artificiality and luxury.
While free society naturally seeks Happiness, which is healthy pleasure, governed society seeks Excitement, which is morbid pleasure. Its delusion is that excitement is happiness.
War, gambling, drunkenness, epicureism in diet cruelty, theft, conspiracies, lust, lavish display—these are some of the pleasures of governed society and are all based on a love of danger, disease and injury, on a love of the artificial and the morbid. This is a startling accusation. See if it be not true.
The greatest delusion regarding happiness is the thought that wealth is its condition.
On the contrary.
The first great pleasure is health. But wealth is not essential to it. A natural life is alone necessary, and that costs only opportunity and unperverted appetite. The free man has the most opportunity, the simple man the truest taste. Animals and Savages are healthiest and poorest.
The second great pleasure is security. No wealth can assure this, but brings injury and peril; and where all agree to be inoffensive it is secured at once without costing a cent. Or if there be some natural dangers beyond human invasion, co-operation can insure against them at a trifling cost to each individual.
A third great pleasure is society. Wealth, by draining from the many to the few, upsets this and destroys the confidence and love between man and man which is the source of all sociality. Society is only between equals, and wealth is the great cause of inequality. Love costs nothing, respect costs nothing, friendship has no price, conversation is free, the poor can dance as easily as millionaires, there is no social pleasure with which wealth has any necessary connection. The almost moneyless pioneers on the border, with their equality in poverty, their neighborly helpfulness and good fellowship, see far more of genuine social pleasure than the rich of our cities, with their narrow cliques, gilded pomp, and cold, glittering formalities.
The love of nature implies in its very name an antagonism to wealth, with its inevitable love of the artificial and luxurious. Your lover of nature loves a simple and hardy life, spontaneous and rural things, unconventional behavior; like Audubon, Thoreau, and Muir, loves primitive life in the wilderness. Nature is open to the poorest and refuses the love of no one. Wealth leads away from Nature in everything, and cultivates everything that we call “unnatural,” “artificial.”
There is Art. But the artist is usually a poor man, struggling with poverty most of his days. He loves his art more than money, and would follow it though it meant perpetual want. He cares for praise more than price, and more for the inward satisfaction of perfect work than either. A society of cultured poor men, appreciating his work, would be infinitely preferred by him to a few rich patrons, buying for fashion’s sake. There is a natural affinity between an artist and poverty. The life of the simple, the natural, the unconventional is always the fullest of inspiration and suggestion, always the most picturesque and poetic. Genius is natural, no wealth can buy it, and the materials of art are few and cheap.” Any man may make pictures, or write poems, given the talent. Genius is always the loyal agent of the primal forces.
Time is essential, we must have leisure, to enjoy, time to be wise, and truly it would seem that the rich might have an advantage here. But on examination we find that only a few of the rich, those who inherit wealth, are possessors of leisure, and that very few of these can use it to enjoy. Those who are amassing wealth, or struggling to hold it, are not at leisure, and most heirs are so destitute of healthy contact with the contrast of realities, so wrapped in a net of forms, fashions, vices, formalities, and artificial duties, that all power of truly enjoying is lost. Their idleness is an unspeakable bore, or else they are as busy with vanities as a laboring man with toils. True leisure is not idleness, but the remainder of time, after necessary labor, in which we are free to rest, enjoy nature and cultivate the soul. As will hereafter be shown, it is in a free, co-operative society, making necessary labor small and leisure large, that this can be realized most perfectly by every one.
Books, pictures, statues, education, it will be argued, can only be secured by money. Not denying this, it will be shown, hereafter, how in a free society co-operation can secure these for all.
In brief, if we go dispassionately over the whole ground, we shall find that the pleasures which constitute the happiness of the highest and purest natures, and which really conduce to healthy individuality and harmonious society, are remarkable for their inexpensiveness, their dependence upon the natural exercise of the body and the inner resources of the mind.
True happiness comes from the heart’s ease of health, purpose, security, free growth, free affection and harmony with one’s fellows.
There should, however, be no objection urged against the accumulation of property in free society, if any prefer to so spend their powers, (indeed a moderate surplus is always most wise) because it would be deprived of the power of enslaving which it possesses now in governed society. If my liberty is secure, what matters it if my neighbor is a millionaire?
And those who prefer luxury can injure only themselves, if they go too far, in free society.
The things which now enable wealth holders to enslave are,
Monopoly of Land.
Monopoly of Money.
Monopoly of Trade.
Monopoly of money enables them to obtain usury; Monopoly of land to charge rent; monopoly of trade to get profit. Interest, rent, profit build up great fortunes which may be passed from father to son. Then, as other men, in order to live, must hire land, borrow money to improve it, buy a license to trade, or pay large profits to those who sell, the fortune-holders, who control these monopolies, control the borrowers and renters and tribute payers body and soul. These monopolies are all founded and supported by government, but in free society there is no government and no privilege. Consequently, as money is free there can be no usury, as land is free no one needs to hire it, as trade is free competition brings down profit to a minimum.
Therefore in a free society it is, in the first place, exceedingly difficult to build up a great fortune, (as one’s own labor, some natural monopoly, gift, inheritance, and accidental discovery are the only just sources of property); in the second place very hard to maintain one when secured (where capital cannot be invested at a profit the principle drains rapidly away); and, third, if secured and maintained it can do little or no harm because shorn of enslaving power.
I would suggest, however, the cultivation in free society of a sentiment that large fortunes should not be inherited by children, but by the community, and the making of an agreement among the members to that effect. Inheritance of wealth is almost always an injury to the young, while they seldom, if ever, have done anything themselves, to produce it. On the other hand a great fortune is mainly drawn from the community, and its members have done much to produce it by their conscious or unconscious co- operation with its holder.
A thousand have described the evils of the present system, hundreds have waxed eloquent over the delights of free-society, but the desideratum has been a simple working plan, immediately practicable, not necessitating a bloody revolution or tedious and uncertain political or legal struggle, and sufficiently explanatory of ordinary details.
My object is to submit such a plan, and suggest how it may be put in practice at once and progressively enlarged to include all normal human conduct.
It is to be observed that the complete recognition of the principle of autonomy in the Groups makes the scheme broad and elastic enough to include most, if not all, social theorists who look to liberty for salvation, and allows all reformers abundant room for experiment. Even if most of the Groups adopt the plan herein recommended, there is nothing to prevent others from adopting voluntary communism, or any other form of democracy, socialism, operation, to which all agree; or any form of defendment or public service; or any form of dress or etiquette; or any form of marriage or religious faith, granting liberty.
Liberty is the one essential, and everything else can be, nay, in liberty must be, optional—even reciprocal insurance, vital as that is.
Many will split hairs upon the word “governed,” and insist that a society so completely organized, with leaders, contracts, and a system of restraining crime, is really a government. We will not quarrel—liberty even in definitions—but at least it must be allowed that such a government is that “best government,” spoken of by Jefferson, “which governs the least.”
It offers a completer “federation of labor” than any to be found in the Trade unions, steady employment, surer wages, shorter hours of labor, and no loss of time from strikes, or any restraints upon apprenticeship or competition. Offers a larger comradeship than any to be found in fraternal societies. Offers a more inclusive and complete insurance at lower rates than any offered by insurance companies or benefit societies. Offers cheaper, more speedy, more certain justice. Abolishes taxes. And gives every man, and every woman, a home, an atmosphere, a hope.
It offers the Red Heart in a White World.
They wearily pace the land;
Their starving eyes devour each loaf;
They stretch the begging hand.
They are hungry and sick and tired;
Their bleeding footsteps lag;
My brothers!—and none to help them!
Their nakedness mocked with a rag
They bake, but others have eaten;
They burn, but others are warm;
They build, but their heads, unsheltered,
Are bare to the pitiless storm.
They till, but the crop goes from them;
They reap, but “The Harvest Home”
Means to them that their product is stolen;
They brew, and taste but the foam.
Ah God!—how sadly they call thee;
If thou wert thou couldst not withstand;
But always the wicked have triumphed;
The cunning and strong hold the land.
The hearts of the mothers are breaking;
The daughters are bedded with shame;
The fathers are brutish with labor;
The thoughts of the sons are a flame.
And Hatred and Arson and Murder,
Like demons they beckon and tempt,
The hand to the sword is outreaching,
Blood! Blood! O can nothing exempt!
O Wisdom be instant and help us!
Quick rearing they radiant crest,
O brothers the sword is a traitor!
The calm thoughtful methods are best.
The way of the wise is the best, Which thinkers have pondered and planned; The Gordian Tangles are slipping, Behold! your release is at hand.
THE NECESSITIES OF FREE SOCIETY.
The aggregation of liberty-loving individuals into Groups, with the recognition of the right of each individual to be entirely free, separate, and alone so far as he wishes.
The confederation of these Groups into a general Comradeship, with the recognition of the absolute autonomy of each.
The natural leadership (non-compulsory) of the best and wisest individuals.
A contract for each Group, signed voluntarily by each member, to define the relations of the members to each other.
An agreement of mutual employment.
An agreement of reciprocal insurance, against helplessness, danger and accidental material loss, between the Groups, and between the members of each Group.
Access of each individual to the land—nature—as source of all necessities.
Free Exchange of products.
Freedom of thought and expression.
Freedom of affection.
Co-operation in various ways for mutual pleasure and benefit.
A vigorous propaganda until the human race is emancipated from government.
N.B. Logically a free society can exist with no formal contract, or insurance, or Co-operation, no propaganda; nevertheless these seem so important that I have presumed to include them as necessities of Free Society in the large sense.
There is a school of libertarian thought which, starting from the position of the single or alone man, declares that nature knows no right but might, that a man’s rights are co-extensive with his powers, and that social rights originate only in contract whereby each man agrees to limit and restrain his might for the benefits of association.
Logically this school affirms that human beings too young to understand contract, or too weak minded to understand it, or too stubborn or unsocial to contract have no rights whatever. The too young are the property of their parents, or of those to whom their parents convey them, and the others may be captured and made property by any contract-man who has the might, or robbed, or killed to get them out of the way. And the word “property,” as here used, implies all that has ever been meant by chattelship of human beings.
Logically this school affirms that if any contract-man defends a non-contractor against the invasions or cruelties of the associate who claims ownership, such defender is guilty of crime and must be effectually restrained; because, first, those outside of contract have no rights; second, a man cannot invade his own property; third, to interfere with an associate’s disposal of his property, as he pleases, is invasion.
This school denies that there is any thing back of or superior to the might of the individual or the contract between individuals.
Logically this school is favorable to formulated laws, provided they agree with the contract.
There is nothing in the logic of this school to forbid theft, arson, torture, rape, slavery, murder, cannibalism, or any other possible outrage, toward non-contractors.
While this school affirms the expediency of equal liberty between contractors, there is nothing whatever in its logic to forbid a man, who has the might, or wit, or subtlety to dominate his fellows, (and is willing to take the risk) from setting up as an autocrat and ruling all whom he may.
There is nothing in its logic to forbid the strong and subtle of the earth from contracting together to defend each other’s equality, and then enslaving the weaker and less wise remainder of mankind.
There is nothing in the logic of this school (as it affirms that children and fools are property) to forbid the deliberate turning of normal children into fools, by surgical process or otherwise, or the deliberate breeding of a race of fools for the purposes of slavery.
In brief, the logic of this school justifies government to all who have the might to make it expedient.
It is therefore not what it claims to be, “Anarchistic,” for Anarchism is no-government, non-invasion, equal- liberty, and that only.
There is another school of libertarian thought which, starting also from nature as a basis, affirms that the rights of the individual man are synonymous with the conditions and relations which in the nature of things are necessary to his normal development and happiness.
That these rights exist altogether irrespective of his might to possess them.
That human society, like everything else in the universe, has its natural laws or necessities of success, the chief of which is the liberty of each human being equally with every other.
That these natural social rights, by which alone the order and harmony of society as a unit, and the safety and happiness of its individual members, can be secured, are inherent in the nature of things, and have no relation to human contracts.
Contracts may rightly enough explain and affirm them, but if in any way they deny them, crime, disorder, and misery will at once follow.
This school denies the right of any man, no matter how mighty, to use force toward any other human being whatever, except in self defense, and then only to the extent absolutely necessary.
This school affirms that children, fools, cripples and hermits have exactly the same rights as the strongest and wisest and most social of men.
This school affirms the right of every human being to defend any other against invasion under any and all possible circumstances.
It is opposed to formulated laws and denies their necessity.
It denies the possibility of rightful property in human beings under any circumstances.
As it denies that one individual can rightfully govern another, or make laws for him, and as it affirms the equal liberty of all as an inherent, natural right, its logic is altogether Anarchistic.
It is Anarchism pure and simple.
But as Anarchism is a title of confusion in the popular mind, and a synonym of disorder, and especially as it has for a long time been used by the contract-men as their distinctive title and cannot now well be dissociated from them, and again as this non-contract school desires to have a positive as well as negative side, whereas Anarchism is a purely negative term, it has been decided not to use Anarchism as a name but to use the title “Free Socialism.” instead.
On its constructive side it affirms the possibility of immediately and peacefully reorganizing society, and proposes a Free Society whose salient features shall be equal liberty, mutual employment to secure economic independence, and reciprocal insurance against helplessness, danger and loss.
Its two great features, then, are Equal Liberty and Voluntary Reciprocal Co-operation.
But while the foregoing constitutes Free Socialism in the special sense, in the general sense any one whose ideal is a state of humanity in which every individual is uninvaded is a Free-Socialist, and may harmlessly be included in Free Society, even if he declines all Co-operation.
And even any contract-man, who denies the logic of Free Society, may safely be admitted to its membership if he will contract to respect equal human liberty and accept that for the fundamental working principle of his social life.
PROPOSED OUTLINE OF ORGANIZATION.
A federation of free men and women to be known as the Comrades of Free Society; the association itself to be called the Comradeship of Free Socialists, (C. F. S.).
Motto: The Spirit of Liberty.
Degrees of membership from mere sympathy to full membership, and location on independent domains.
Groups of different sizes and aims, practicalizing the objects of the free-social movement.
For each group (special, executive groups excepted) a leader, chosen unanimously by his followers, known as a Local Leader.
A Local Council to assist the Local Leader; composed of men elected unanimously and known as Advisors; as many as the group pleases.
For the entire Comradeship a leader known as the General Leader, elected by a majority vote of the Comradeship.
The totality of the Local Leaders to form a Special General Council to assist and advise the General Leader when called upon by him.
Leaders and Advisors to hold office until resignation, until superseded by the election of a successor, or until convicted of crime.
Leaders and all officers and employees of the Comradeship to receive a salary equal to the average wage-income of the members of the Comradeship to be paid in case of unanimous vote by equal assessment on all the members of the Group; in case of majority vote by equal assessment on the electing members; in case of employees in Special Group Service, from its special Fund.
A General Treasurer and General Secretary for the entire Comradeship, elected by majority vote like the General Leader, and a Local Treasurer and a Local Secretary for each Group, elected by unanimous vote of its members. Holding office under same conditions as other officers.
If in case of any of the above officers, unanimity is desired in electing them, but cannot be obtained, a majority election may be substituted if all are agreed to accept it.
The General Leader is the general advisor of the Comradeship and its officers, but has no executive function except when such is conferred on him in times of emergency by special vote of the Comradeship.
The General Treasurer has charge of the General Fund for propaganda, colony loans, insurance between Groups, etc. and performs its necessary work, employing what clerks he may need.
The General Secretary is official historian of the Comradeship and Keeper of its archives, secretary of the General Councils, and official secretary of the General Leader, employing what clerks he may need.
Agents and clerks, employed as above, to be paid the same salary as other officers from the General Fund.
The office of the Special General Council is to advise the General Leader and act with him as a jury to try cases between Groups; or between Groups and members, or between Groups or members, and the outside world.
The Local Leader represents and leads his people; studies everything conducive to their safety, happiness, and health, receives visitors to the Group; cares for the helpless; advises the General Leader; acts in the Special General Council; and with his Advisors, in Local Council, constitutes a free court or jury to try cases between members of the Group and defend justice generally.
The Local Treasurer has charge of the Local Fund for necessary and contingent expenses beyond Salaries, of collecting and paying salaries, of the local insurance business, etc.
The Local Secretary is official historian and Keeper of the archives of the Group, and must place on record all matters of note or peculiar interest happening in his Group, or any matter which he may be requested to place on file by any Comrade. Is also secretary of the Local Council.
The office of Advisor being mainly one of honor and compliment, a testimonial to wisdom, the Advisors may receive a salary, or, instead, may be compensated for time actually spent in the Group’s service by a wage agreed upon as just and sufficient.
Officers may be of either sex.
(Note. Any member may appeal from the decision of the Leader, or Council, to that of a jury chosen by lot, and again to the majority vote of the Group. From this last there can be no appeal).
All officers to make a written report annually, or as much oftener as they please, to be placed on record, giving a clear and detailed account of their transactions, and advice as to what, in their judgment, should be done to promote the happiness of the members employing them. Treasurer’s and Secretary’s books to be open at all times to all examiners.
(Salaries are average in amount, and alike, in order that mercenary motives shall tempt no one to office, or to change his office; that the man shall seek the office for which he feels best fitted. However, a member may give more than his assessment to a specially satisfactory officer, as a mark of esteem and approval, and, on the other hand, any member may cancel his vote and refuse to continue to pay his share of the salary of an unworthy or incompetent officer. The others, having to make up the deficit, are at once aroused and the matter is, as it were, placed on trial. On the one hand an elector who refuses payment for insufficient reasons runs a risk of the boycott; on the other, if the officer seems to blame, many are likely to join the seceder and thus oblige even his friends to stop, from mere inability to carry the burden of the salary. Thus every member is able to express his approval or disapproval effectively, and at any time; every officer is continually on trial, and in no doubt as to how his employers regard him, and kept on the qui vive by his financial interests.
Those who believe in organization will, it is believed, find in the above all necessary complexity for any society, however large. On the other hand, those jealous of the rights of the individual and of the minority will please observe that there are no offices of command (except in the special, executive Groups, and there, even, there are no powers to force obedience beyond free consent) no rulers or legislators for others, no titles except descriptive ones, nothing but service or advice. No one need accept this service or advice, or vote, or pay, or obey; and any one who chooses may refuse the contract, (except the implied one that he is not to invade) refuse even the insurance, and, except that he must not invade, may do exactly as he pleases, separate from every one, and be as free as if he were the only man in the world.
Groups may vary the above form of leadership and service to suit themselves, being in all respects free autonomies.
Special Service groups have energies directed to the performance of some special work in the service of the comradeship and are therefore under the necessity of having a modified form of command vested in the officers, and an agreement of obedience binding on the members. Efficiency being secured by the officers having the power to fine or discharge, and liberty by the members having the right to resign. Such a Group is that of the Propaganda and another is that on Colonization.
STANDING GENERAL COUNCIL.
Since writing the preceding it has been advised that the leadership of the Comradeship would better be vested in a Council than in one man only. This is perhaps a good suggestion, and if approved this could be inexpensively arranged, without electing additional officers, by having the General Leader, General Treasurer, General Secretary, Directing Liberator, and Director of Colonization form such a Council, residing all together in the neighborhood of the school of Colonization, calling in the Local Leaders to aid in Council in times of emergency. Where executive functions are delegated, the Council should act unanimously if possible, if not by majority vote.
It is not to be forgotten that the foregoing plan of organization is suggestive, merely, and that any different or improved plan, equally favorable to equal liberty, that may be adopted by the Initial Council will be perfectly acceptable to the author.
DEGREES OF MEMBERSHIP.
I would propose four forms or degrees of membership in the C. F. S., to wit:
. Degree of Sympathy.
(No conditions. Open to all.)
Form of Contract.
I, the undersigned, wish my name enrolled as a sympathizer with the motives, methods and hopes of the C. F. S. I agree to subscribe for a paper advocating its principles, and to contribute what I can afford to its propaganda.
2. Degree of Out-Membership.
(Members of the Comradeship who live in the outer world, unwilling or unable to join a Colony, are to be enrolled in Out-Members Groups. Conditions—good health, temperance, self-support.)
Contract same as for Colony Members, exclusive of those parts having special reference to Colony life. Out-Members may insure each other and contribute to the propaganda.
3. Degree of Special Membership.
(Members of Special Service Groups.)
Contract and conditions to suit the special aims and objects of each Group. Ordinarily containing an agreement to obey orders or incur fines or discharge.
4. Full, or Colony Membership Degree.
(Conditions—good health, temperance, self-support, and graduation from a Colony School.)
Form of Contract.
(The author’s suggestion, merely.)
My name is..............................
My age is................................
My occupation is ..........................
My previous occupations have been...........
As near as I can estimate I possess property to the value of .................... dollars.
My medical certificate is appended.
I am a graduate of the School of Colonization.
If admitted to this Group, on my word of honor I agree to the following:
To invade no human being with conscious intention.
That if I drink to excess, so as to be dangerous to the peace, or liable to helplessness from that vice, I will at once resign upon the Leader’s request, leave the Comradeship, and demand no return of monies paid into its treasury for salaries or any cooperative purpose, except insurance not realized.
To employ, so far as I conveniently and practically can, only Comrades and to hold commerce only with them.
To use no military weapons, dynamite, or other violence in resistance to laws or states; or, if I think right to do this, I will first resign and leave this Group, forfeiting all monies paid in, except for insurance not realized.
To protect and defend the life, liberty and property of every Comrade, so far as he wishes me to do so, or, if he cannot express his wishes, so far as I may have reason to suppose he wishes me to do so.
To respect the absolute liberty of the affections in every human being.
To defend the principle that no human being can rightfully hold property in another, or restrain another except in self-defence.
To cultivate the spirit of liberty, avoiding ridicule and unkind criticism; and encouraging individuality even to eccentricity, if not invasive.
To seek no redress, regarding a Comrade, from outside laws or officers, but in case of dispute with, or injury from, a Comrade to submit my case to arbitrators, or a jury, and to abide in good faith by the decisions of the Comrades; paying the cost of all cases decided against me by other juries than the Local Council.
To join equally with my fellow members in insuring every Comrade that if he becomes helpless he shall be supported in comfort, and, if possible, restored to health and usefulness; that if his habitation is destroyed we will replace it with a new one of equal value; and that every other material loss he may sustain, not incidental to his business or the result of his own neglect, shall be made good so far as possible. This not as an act of charity, but of purchased right, reciprocal interest, and fraternal sympathy.
To pay my equal share of the salary of every elected officer for whom I cast an affirmative vote, so long as he seems to me to do just and satisfactory service, and not to stop these payments without notifying the Treasurer and Council, in advance, of my intention and my reasons.
To pay into the General Treasury two per cent. per annum on my gross income, to carry on the propaganda, and meet the expenses of organizing and colonizing new Groups, it being understood that I have the right to designate how this money shall be spent.
To join heartily with my comrades in the construction of good and sufficient roads through our domain, paying promptly and willingly my equal share of the cost of all road improvements for which I vote.
To accept the principle that all boundary lines are rightfully road lines and may become actually such to suit the convenience of comrades. And to leave, on all the boundaries of any land I may hold, a strip of ground equal in width to one-half a good road, for the free use of the public as such. And to accept the decision of a jury of experts as to what constitutes a good road, provided I am compensated for any subsequent widening.
To accept, in regard to land, the principle of occupancy and use, modified as follows:—
Each Comrade may occupy for a residence lot a piece of land not to exceed one acre, including its half of the boundary road, known as the “house-acre.” Cultivation not necessary for the holding of this, but voluntary non- residence for one year to be construed as abandonment not to include cases of traveling or unwilling absence with retained membership.
In addition, each Comrade who is a farmer (including all who work the soil) may hold as much land as he can personally cultivate, the amount to be decided by himself, but Voluntary non-cultivation of an acre for one year to be considered abandonment, not to include cases of fallowing or where the owner is traveling, unwillingly absent or sick, and gives notice of continued interest.
Stock farmers may take up land sufficient for the support of as many animals as each can personally care for, by cultivated crops, or “ soiling,” under the same limitations as others. And may graze their stock freely on unoccupied, wild lands. Unoccupied lands also open to all for wood-cutting, quarrying, etc. provided there shall be no wanton burning or devastation. Business men may hold as much land as they can use in their business. Non-use for one year to be reckoned abandonment, under same conditions as other holdings.
Swamp and other waste lands, declared barren and unfit for farming by the Council, may be taken up by foresters, in tracts not to exceed 100 acres each man, for parks and game preserves, provided that the forester protects the forest from devastation; makes his living from his tract, so far as possible; is responsible for damage done by the breaking out of his game; excludes no one from minerals discovered on his land; and agrees to relinquish (if compensated for improvements) if at any future time it is found profitable land for farming. Navigable streams are natural roadways, and lakes over 10 acres in size are not to be individually taken except in forester’s tracts.
No mines, quarries, sand pits, mineral springs, or other mineral deposits known to be such, to be individually appropriated; provided that lands taken and occupied as farms previous to mineral discovery be not disturbed without the owner’s consent; provided further, that he does not make this an excuse for monopolizing the deposit; provided, still further, that all fixed machinery, Wells, tunnels, shafts, or other tools, used in getting out mineral deposits may be exclusive property, with the ground necessarily occupied and used.
Abandoned lands may be taken up as follows: The abandoner or dying owner may nominate his successor. In other cases the would-be-occupier gives notice to the Council and the Group of his intention. The Council appraises the value of the improvements, if any, and this amount the applicant pays to the owner, or to the Treasurer to be paid to the owner if he be absent (to go to the Local Fund if the owner is never found), whereupon a Certificate of Occupancy is issued to the new occupant by the Local Secretary.
Where two or more choose the same piece of land, decision shall be by priority of application to the Secretary for Certificate of Occupancy.
Where two or more choose the same piece of land, and apply for certificate, at the same time, decision shall be by lot, before witnesses.
To respect the privacy of the homes, the papers, the lands of the Comrades.
To pay my equal share of a small Local Fund sufficient to meet the necessary and contingent expenses of the Council. To be in the keeping of the Treasurer and a strict itemized account given of the same.
That on my death, all money or portable property, in excess of the value of $2000 of which I may die possessed, shall be divided among the Comrades of my Group, dependent and independent, share and share alike, reserving the right to dispose of the residue of my property by will. Or, if I have no natural heirs, and die intestate, it is hereby understood that all my property, whatever, is to be divided equally among my Comrades as above stated.
With regard to free travel, as follows:—
Any Comrade, travelling, may stop at any Group and, if he be a stranger, the Leader will welcome him and assign him to the care of some Comrade, who will lodge, feed, and care for him for the space of one week. This not as a right but as an act of fraternal hospitality and mutual interest. The order of assignment to be in the order of precedence in joining the Group—the first joiner having the first visitor, the second the second, and so on around to the end and repeat. Males lodged with males, and females with females. This order being variable to Suit individual desires or necessities.
But the applicant must bring credentials from his Council, showing that he is a self-supporting member in good standing in his Group, and that his journey is to end within a given time, not to exceed one year except for Special reasons.
With regard to reciprocal insurance as follows:—
That if a Comrade become helpless he may apply to his Local Leader for the benefit of the Insurance. If the case is urgent the Leader acts at once in giving temporary relief; otherwise, and in any case as soon as possible, he convenes the Local Council and lays the matter before them. If the case is found genuine the applicant is given a Claim of Insurance, signed by Leader and Councillors, countersigned by the Treasurer, and placed on record by the Secretary. By producing this Claim he may purchase the services of physicians, nurses, caretakers; purchase food, clothing and all necessaries and Ordinary luxuries of life; all his bills being paid by the Treasurer, who collects the necessary sum by equal assessment once a month on the self-supporting Comrades of the Group. Lavish and extravagant expenditure to be checked by the Leader, on the complaint of any Comrade, with reference to arbitration or jury trial if the matter is disputed. Helplessness being defined as physical and financial inability for self- support.
If a Comrade lose his house by fire or storm; or his place of business; or his tools, livestock, stored crops, stock in trade; or suffer any other sweeping loss, not attributable to his own culpable carelessness, but purely accidental and unusual, and liable to seriously cripple him in his livelihood, he may recover the Insurance from his Comrades through the above process of equal assessment.
Property lost by theft may be recovered by the above process of insurance, after six months of non-recovery from the thief.
Where an entire Group, or the larger part of it, is so devastated by fire, storm, pestilence, famine, or other great evil, as to be unable to meet the insurance of its injured members out of its own resources, its Leader shall at once apply to the General Leader, who shall act, without delay, precisely as a Local Leader would act with a helpless Comrade, convening the General Council, giving the helpless Group a Claim of Insurance on the entire Comradeship. Immediately the General Treasurer shall, with the Local Treasurer, estimate the loss, collect the same in equal shares from the able Groups and deliver the amount to the Treasurer and Council of the helpless Group, to be distributed as needed. Such insurance to be afforded till the helpless Group is again able.
If at the time of this signing I am, or afterward become a parent I agree, as a special insurance, to join equally with all other parents in the Group in insuring kind and careful attention to any orphaned infant until the age of self-support.
THE GROUP OF COLONIZATION.
This is a small Special Service Group, having for its peculiar function the arrangement of all details necessary to colonization and the Successful placing of each Colony, such as the finding, purchasing, and surveying of cheap sites; the securing of sound titles, of good soil, of healthy climate; the preparation and selection of the colony founders, and the cheap, Safe and comfortable transportation and conduction of them to their new homes.
A part of the General Fund known as the Colonization Fund, is set apart for this work.
The responsible head of this Group is the Director of Colonization, elected by the whole Comradeship, by majority vote, and subject to the direction of those who contribute to the Fund. He has full power to appoint or remove his subordinates.
The School of Colonization is a part of this Group—a trial Colony in effect, from which all would-be colonists must graduate. In this School the members live together as if already colonized, electing officers, coöperating, and acting in every way as if already settled. Here they are tested in the occupations they intend to follow, and given additional instruction if necessary.
As colony founding is apt to be no joke, their ability to endure hardship is tested and strengthened by dressing in plain, rough clothes, eating plain food, camping-out, gymnastics, hard labor, etc. Daily lectures are given on the principles, practice and spirit of liberty and association with lyceum discussions on the same; with practical trials in arbitration, jury courts, boycotts, etc. Also lectures on health, Sanitation, and treatment of emergencies and simple diseases.
The members of this school, after at least three months tuition and proving themselves healthy and hardy, peaceable neighbors, good coöperators, helpful comrades; industrious and skilled in their vocations, and intelligent believers in liberty, could graduate, and would then be eligible for membership in any Colony whose contract they would sign, and whose needs offered them employment. From these graduates, too, members for new colonies would be selected; by enlistment when possible, by lot where too many of one trade offered.
The principle of Colony membership to be this: that no more of each trade or occupation be admitted than a Colony of that size could give living employment to. It being intended, too, that enough of each occupation be admitted to secure healthy competition. The object being, as far as possible, to have each Colony a complete world in itself, meeting all its own wants, and giving full employment to all its own members. The proportion of the members of each trade in this balance of labor to be ascertained by a careful study of statistics, corrected by experience.
Colonies to be located in different places, near to and remote from civilization, to suit different tastes and industries, be accessible from different points of emigration, and form scattered centers of influence, propaganda, and object teaching.
The Group of Colonization, fully equipped, would require the services of explorers; surveyors; teachers; a statistician; a lawyer to see to the soundness of the legal work regarding titles, etc.; conductors to secure cheap rates of transportation, get the colonies to their location and fairly started, and other agents. Its work would be very important.
THE GROUP OF THE PROPAGANDA.
The propaganda should constitute a Special Service Group, formed by enlisting talented speakers, writers, singers, and musicians in a thoroughly organized mental army, having for its objects a mental war upon the spirit of government, and the educational conversion of the people to the spirit of liberty. The members, carefully trained and directed by their leaders, should be sent everywhere, singly or in companies, to effect these objects. Respecting personal liberty, courtesy, and the laws of mental supply and demand, they should not bore or buttonhole individuals, but should endeavor in every way to attract attention and inquiry and then convincingly satisfy it. Human nature should not be shocked, disgusted, or harshly combated, but studied, understood, and persuasively appealed to. Everyone feels the evil of our present society in some way, and to each man in his own way should the argument be brought home.
The folly of those reformers who come before the public “with a chip on their shoulder,” insolently, arrogantly or bitterly defiant, should be especially avoided. Few people can be frightened into a principle, not many care for mere dry scientific expositions of socialism, but everybody loves pleasure and any audience will listen to facts sugar- coated. Remembering this, the best policy of the propaganda would be to send out its missionaries in small companies, headed by officers of tact and ability, to give entertainments wherever they could secure halls. These entertainments to consist of dramas, farces, charades, tableaux, representing with wit and pathos the evils of our present society and the possibilities of a better; sandwiched with speeches; readings; answers to inquirers; songs, serious, comic and pathetic, (but all bearing on the object), and first-class music. Recognizing the supreme importance of interesting and converting the moulders of thought and public opinion, it would be a most wise policy to give free tickets to these entertainments to all teachers, artists, editors, reporters, clergymen, authors, lawyers, and officers of the law who would attend. It is believed that such entertainments, conducted in the right spirit, by the right men, would be very popular, and would probably render the propaganda, altogether self-supporting. And of course, co-incident with these entertainments, books and papers would be sold, subscriptions to periodicals received, leaflets distributed and as many minds reached and convinced as might be without intrusion.
The personal standard of this Group should be high. Every member should be of winning address, pleasant and courteous; educated, well-read and refined, or able to make that impression; honest and temperate. Teachers of superior society may reasonably be expected to exemplify superior manners.
Politeness, good-humor, and untiring patience in welcoming investigators and answering questions should be its peculiar virtues. There should be a thorough comprehension of the principles of Free-Society, and, above all, that magnetic energy and enthusiasm which tell more than anything else in winning the indifferent. The discipline should be very strict, and any one convicted of rudeness or offensive manners, dishonesty, or drunkenness, should be at once fined or discharged. The success of this whole movement must hang more upon the tact and good name of its propaganda than upon any other means; and it must not be a propaganda of partisanship, class hatred, invective, threats, and offense, but of persuasion, attraction, and intellectual conviction.
The dress of the Group, whether uniform or ordinary, may be left to later decisions; but I would advise against flags, although mottoes to hang around the halls such as:—
The Spirit of Liberty.
Prosperity and Equality Kill Crime.
There can be no Society except among Equals.
Let Honest Men. Alone!
No Taxes. No Fetters. No Favors!
Free Land. Free Trade. Free Life!
Peace on Earth.
The Federation of Man.
The Human Race one Family.
One World. One Country. One Nation,
and so on, would, I think, be excellent in educational effect. It would do no harm to wear a badge, and I would propose the red heart on a white ribbon for that, but there should be no “colors”; the Free Man, the true “citizen of the world,” should have no “colors” or, rather, all the colors of the world should be his.
Each member in addition to his salary (this the same as that of all other officers and employees of the C. F. S.) should be paid his equal share of a commission on every dollar of surplus over expenses brought by the work of the Group into the Propaganda Fund. Also decorations, prizes, promotions should be liberally given to members distinguishing themselves in any way in convincing, pleasing, converting and securing contributions from the public. I suggest that the responsible head of the Group, elected by majority vote of the Comradeship, be known as the Directing Liberator, with full power to employ and discharge his subordinates and arrange campaigns of propaganda, subject only to the direction of the contributing Comrades as to how their money shall be spent, and to their power to discharge him.
THE WISDOM OF PEACE.
My likening the Propaganda to an army reminds me that many libertarians sincerely believe that the only road to freedom must be opened by dynamite and washed out by blood. It will be observed that I have inserted in my contract a proviso against this, so that any one so minded shall act as an individual and not as a Comrade. But of course this only restrains those who accept it, and there is nothing to prevent groups of revolutionists forming to emphasize dynamite. Nor can any logical argument be brought against a man’s using violence in defense of his liberty. The only remaining question, then, is as to its wisdom or unwisdom. My own position is here very strong. The whole spirit and tendency of this movement is to prove that men may actually liberate themselves from state government without violence. Its whole function is not to violently oppose the law, but to prove law and government useless by showing that a happier and more orderly society can be founded and maintained without them. It is claimed that in this way the emancipation can be accomplished harmlessly, in the quickest time and with the least loss and pain. This being so, whatever our other affinity with those who advocate war and assassination, it is plain that we cannot merge with them; and that it is their place, as honorable men, not to compromise us and the success of our experiment by claiming to belong to us while maintaining a radically different theory of action.
Violence is surely the last resort of any humane man. To use violence now, or even to threaten it, while we are a mere handful, against governments which everywhere possess all the means of violence, is pure folly. Not only that, but if we can succeed in gaining our liberty by cooperation and persuasion while we are weak, we do not need violence; and not needing it are not justified in using it; and if these are efficient now, with every increase in our strength their efficiency will increase, our danger of oppression will grow less, and therefore our need of violence will be less. In other words, if we may win by peace while we are weak we shall certainly not need to appeal to bloodshed when we are strong. And until the peaceful methods here outlined have been fairly tried no man can pronounce them a failure, or justifiably resort to the last desperate means. Governments have popular sympathy with them when they persecute revolutionists, but popular feeling would be on our side if government. struck us who strike no man. And success pivots on popular sympathy.
This prejudice, so proud, of one’s own country
Always right, chiefest cause of enmity
Atween the nations. Were it not for this,
All peoples had a million years, I wis,
Ago, exchanged of brotherhood the kiss!
And were it not for this, how great a flood
Had never flowed of warmest, reddest blood
From hearts of murdered heroes, brave and good
How many woman hearts unbroke had been,
Had “patriots” not forgotten they were men,
And murdered that their land might “glory” win!
O folly, this, to die to wear a tag
O crime, to kill because one’s country’s flag
Is different from some other piebald rag!
For noble hearts find one land scant of room
All men their brothers, and the world their home,
From highest mountain peak to ocean foam.
Their love holds all, their boast is every clime,
Their sympathy with every race in every time,
All patriot songs with equal voice they chime;
They lift no flag, and sound no party cry,
And leave to fools to run in herds to die,
Insane at hearing—“foreign foes are nigh!”
For them there are no foreigners at all,
No prejudice of birth, no Chinese wall,
The Briton but the fellow of the Gaul.
They hold all roads are open, earth and sea,
No rightful duty, tax, or passport fee,
All travelers welcome, and all commerce free.
They would all bounds were blotted, bars were down,
All Nation-lines and States were overthrown,
Naught left but honest neighborhoods alone;
For honest men no laws, no government,
No interference, howsoe’er well meant,
Each man’s life, fortune, as he pleases spent.
O when shall men be tall enough to see
That pride of country makes for slavery,
That he alone who has no flag is free!
The man without a country habits all;
Without a flag, all banners drape his wall;
His patriot heart hears but the wide world’s call.
PLAN OF INITIAL AND PROGRESSIVE ACTION.
Distribution of the “Red Heart” Manual.
Selection of an Initial Council.
Election from this Council of an Initial Leader, Secretary, Treasurer, Director of Colonization and Directing Liberator.
Organization of first Out-Members Group.
Starting of a paper.
Enlistment and expedition of the first members of the Group of Propaganda.
Organization of Group of Colonization.
Founding the Colony School.
Location and settlement of first Colony.
Permanent organization, and progressive enlargement and emancipation by conversion and colonization.
Legitimate losses, all those not usual in business, or for which the individual is not responsible by reason of his own neglect. Helplessness, meaning not poverty alone, nor weakness alone, but poverty and weakness, a physical and financial inability for self-support. In this case (in full insurance) all the necessary expenses of the helpless one are paid by his comrades, equal shares from each.
ADVICE AND MISCELLANY.
The most delicate question which can come up, probably, in a socialistic scheme of this kind, is that of the relations of the sexes. Wise friends have advised me to avoid the subject altogether, but avoidance settles nothing, and the subject is too important to be treated indifferently. Freedom is of course the first and the one thing to be insisted upon. After that it is all a question of individual judgment and mutual agreement. What relation of the sexes seems to you ideal, reader? There is nothing whatever to prevent you realizing it in the C. F. S., provided it does not invoke force and that you can find a mate to agree with you. There is of course no law to bind couples together, but they can bind themselves by whatever vows or ceremonies they please and remain exclusive partners if they prefer till death.
My own advice is that during the transition period, and until the law ceases to persecute, purely as a matter of self-defense, that lovers, who wish to be life-companions, get married in due legal form with a private agreement that it is merely a form and that each is absolutely free. This harmlessly appeases the law and yet gives practical liberty. I advise that every woman have a private home, exclusively her own, and likewise every man. I regard a private home as essential to one’s individuality as a private suit of clothes. Merging two individuals is the certain consequence of merging two homes. No matter how close the woman’s home to her lover’s, even if a part of the same house it had better be utterly separate and he only a preferred visitor there. I advise that every woman, entering into relations with her lover, have a written agreement that the children, if any, are regarded as peculiarly hers, that she shall have the casting vote in disputes as to their management. If the children live exclusively with the mother she should agree to assume all expense of their support, but if the father shares their society it is fair he should halve the bill. In case of her death or inability, it should be agreed that he will support them. Free women, I fancy, will all want the experience of motherhood, but not often repeated. Small families of fine children will be the ideal.
With regard to habitation I advise that “the farm village” plan be adopted. That is, that the members of each colony reside together in village form, with spacious house lots, the farmers as well as the mechanics and professional men. This will inconvenience the farmers but little, while it will vastly improve the social opportunities of all, and render the division of labor practicable to the advantage of all. If this division is properly carried out So that all eating is done at the dining rooms of the professional cooks, or at home on food cooked by them; all washing done at the laundries; all housekeeping done by professional housekeepers, residences can be made much simpler and less expensive than now. I advise two forms to suit varying tastes. To those who prefer a very social life, every convenience, and least care—the young, the unmated, the childless—I recommend “Inns.” These “Inns” to be like hotels, or apartment houses, hiring rooms and suites of rooms to those wishing them. They may be co-operative or private enterprises.
For those who prefer more solitude, more nature, rural Surroundings, to parents, I advise the taking up of the “house-acre,” and the erection thereon of a little cottage not to contain more than four rooms. Where there is an individual home only, no kitchen, no dining room, no servant rooms, it would appear that a living room, large and comfortable; one sleeping room; two spare rooms for guests; with generous closets; and an attic for wardrobe, stores, and miscellanies, ought to be ample for any one person. Such cozy little homes could be very cheaply made.
As the object of the Comrades is supposed to be happiness and a superior life, not the attainment of wealth, power, or idleness, as at present, it is reasonable to Suppose that each will be willing to earn his own living; yet will wish to have abundant leisure for pleasure, mental improvement, social contact, the admiration of nature, and the culture of art; in brief, it is likely that this finer existence will be regarded as life, and labor as but a preparation and foundation for life. I think it will be found quite sufficient, in any well established colony, to labor half a day for one’s subsistence, having the rest of time for leisure. But in order to do this there must be a very complete division of labor and less lust of possession than at present. Human beings must be valued for their physical beauty and health, personal charm, skill, intelligence, culture, and power to enjoy and confer enjoyment, instead of the richness of their raiment, costliness of habitation, money, and artificial decorations. The pearl and not the casket. Practice makes perfect, the specialist does the best work, and division of labor saves time, material, and insures mutual employment. Let there be no communal home, with all its housekeeping, washing, cooking, mending, etc., done there by female hands which rest not from bed to bed. Let a professional housekeeper have the job of making your beds and arranging your rooms as you direct. They will be swept, dusted, and clean as wax, when you come home from your work, without a care to you. Give your wash to the laundry, called for and delivered; home work does not equal it. Go to the dining room of the eating house, and enjoy fine cooking, or have your meals in a private room with select friends, or have them deliver your meals at your home from their delivery wagon, hot or cold as you order. Give your mending to the tailor and have it invisibly done.
In order to divide labor without working more than half a day, many kinds of work must be done with two “gangs,” one for the morning, one for the afternoon; perhaps another for the night. This can be arranged.
The hardest labor to divide is the farmer’s, and needs it the most. To-day the farmer works from sun to sun. But much can be done where there is a will. Poultry farming should be a specialty; cattle farming should be a specialty; horse-farming a specialty; gardening a specialty; field-farming a specialty; floriculture and hotbed culture a specialty. Why should not the farmer who owns the horses, own also the wagons, plows, horse hoes, mowers, reapers, and contract to plow your field, cultivate your crop, cut and harvest your hay and grain? After your morning’s hand labor in the field, then, your work is done. You didn’t have to get up by daylight to feed your team, nor attend to it after the work was done before you, yourself, could eat.
By this plan less machinery is needed, fewer stables, fewer barns, fewer fences, work is better done and more evenly divided, the nuisance of poultry in crops is avoided, and the endless “chores,” before and after a “days work,” are gotten rid of. It is possible, too, to go to work like a mechanic, beginning and stopping by the clock. But the weather drives, sometimes, and working from Sun to sun cannot always be avoided, as in harvest time. But by compensation there are rainy days which are all leisure. Besides farmers may co-operate and assist each other, and laborers may be hired. I would advise “high farming” of small plots as more profitable every way; that stock be “soiled” instead of grazed; that oxen be harnessed instead of yoked; that cows be harnessed and given moderate work to do daily, instead of being turned loose in pasture for exercise. All this looking to economy and lessened labor.
I would advise that every individual in each Group be occupied during the working hours of the day in practical, necessary work, leaving artistic and aesthetic production to the hours of rest and pleasure. That once a year, or oftener, a competitive art festival be held, open to all, for the exhibition of paintings, sculpture, carvings, and other art handwork; novels, poems, musical-compositions, etc.; for competitive singing, music, recitation, dancing, acting; with prizes, awards (honorary, never pecuniary), popular praise and official record. The best hand productions to be placed on free exhibition in the art gallery of the Group; the best literary work to be printed by popular subscription and placed in the library and reading room. The object of all, to take art out of the prostitution of the market and place it where every true artist feels that it belongs—in the realm of ideal aspiration, fame and pleasure; to develop the art instincts of the people and to give every one a share in the practical struggles of life, thus refining, strengthening and broadening every character and increasing sympathy and comradeship.
To facilitate and simplify exchange, avoid middlemen and minimize profit-making, I advise the adoption of the Tabor Exchanges now so successful in the West and South. One of these in each Colony could probably attend to all the commerce between members by the aid of its checks. And even if these checks were prohibited by law, exchange could still be very well carried on by a system of book-keeping at the Exchange, sales being made and debts paid by transference of credit from one man’s book to another.
These Exchanges, too, should perfect some system by which exchanges could be arranged between Groups, and, finally, for the most advantageous sale of surplus to the outside world and the cheapest purchase of outside requisites.
This plan has many advantages. All exchanges of any importance would then be negotiated at one place, which would be convenient, economical of time and make comparisons easy. A single store and market would be economical of building material, easier to guard against theft, and more sightly than scattered shops. Hideous advertising would be dispensed with. Fewer store keepers and clerks being needed gives more hands to production. Demand being readily ascertainable, speculative over-production would mainly cease, making business safer. This system carried out universally distributes population and products very evenly, and mainly prevents concentration in cities. It would lessen the need of money, tend to bring all prices down to cost, thus destroying profits, and, finally, like all co-operation, would tend to increase social and fraternal feeling.
Especially would it render business more honorable, less combative, less tricky, and so promote a higher social and moral tone.
There are a few men in every community who are natural born bargainers, calculators, business men. The mass of men produce well but fail to market their wares. This system has a place for each, but by putting the business man on salary makes him the full collaborator o the producer and not mainly his parasite, as now.
If, in addition to this, some form of free currency proved desirable (and I think there would be advantage in it) if the law did not suppress it, any form advocated by libertarians—Tucker’s Mutual Bank, Westrup’s Mutual Credit, my own Co-operative Free Money, or any other mutually satisfactory form, might be tried. Government can always easily suppress free money, therefore it is necessarily rather an effect of liberty than itself a liberator. But organization of peaceful Groups, purchase of land, colonization, mutual employment, labor exchange, reciprocal insurance, persuasive propagandism are things with which government can never interfere without such manifest tyranny as public opinion seldom supports.
The size of Groups is a matter which may safely be left to themselves to decide. Special Service Groups will have to determine their size with regard to their special objects. I would suggest that the Out Member’s Groups be limited to 1000 members each. More members would make an unwieldy organization, less could hardly stand up to the necessities and demands of full reciprocal insurance, or so I think. Such a Group could organize with a handful of members, of course. Sex need not be considered.
A Colony Group should be very strong at the start. This is vitally important, I think. The proportion of sexes should be about equal and I would advise 1000 of each in a full colony. At the start I think the number of children and dependents should never exceed the proportion of one for each self-supporting member, or 2000 in all in a full colony; 4000 souls is enough for one community. In too small a colony there is too little society, in too large a one many are strangers to others. The domain of the colony should be all paid for before settled upon.
A full Colony Group, properly located, should occupy 16 square miles, or 10,240 acres. This would give the 1000 male members 10 acres apiece, and leave 240 acres for town, and spare purposes. But in a mixed and self- employing Group all the men would not be farmers. Probably not more than 500 would get their living from the soil. These 500 could have 15 acres apiece, 7500 in all, and each man and woman could have a “house-acre.” for residence, 2000 in all, or a total of 9500 acres, leaving 740 acres to spare. A few members might take up more than 15 acres, but more would find 10 acres quite enough for one man to cultivate, and many would be content with 5.
Education in a free society must be very different from the education of a governed society. Freedom, opportunity, equality work a revolution as great as in the affectional sphere. To realize the full benefit of this, I would advise that children in the comradeship be treated as nearly as possible as adults. Let them be addressed with the same ceremony, politeness and form as older people. And this not in sarcasm or affectation, but in good faith, for all children are very sensitive and imitative. They carry out between themselves the treatment they have received from their elders. Children who are slapped and insulted by their parents are rude to each other and saucy to adults. It is incredible to suppose that children who had always been treated as ladies and gentlemen treat each other, would be offensive and impolite. The whole tone of the social treatment of children should be based on the idea that they have the same inherent rights as adults, but are to a certain extent ignorant of them, and too weak to realize them unaided. The aim of their parents, and of all adults, therefore, should be to teach and aid them to be free, self-controlling, and self-supporting members of the Comradeship. They should be made intelligent, equal, independent, responsible, and the education necessary for all this should be as much a matter of home and social atmosphere as of school training. The child of to-day is snubbed, dependent, irresponsible, and of course naughty. It takes most of a man’s lifetime, if ever, to outgrow the degradations of his infancy.
As soon as a child gets old enough to do something let him be given work to do and paid for it. Let him earn his pocket money instead of having it given him. Let accounts be kept with him as strictly as with adults. As soon as possible let him earn and pay for his own board and clothing. Give him absolute control of his wages. Let him dress as he pleases, buying his own clothes under the advice but not under the control of his elders. Make him responsible in dollars and cents for damage he may inflict on property. Recognize his right to bring his wrongs before arbitrators or a jury like his elders. Let him employ the teacher he prefers, making the bargain himself, and paying for his tuition out of his own wages, studying the lessons he selects and feels the need of. No matter how young he is, as soon as he can support himself and pay his share with the others, let him sign a Contract and become a Comrade in a Group with all the advantages of a full member.
I insure this plan to give polite, orderly, intelligent children, no burden to their parents and no nuisance to Society. Such children may be trusted to love freedom passionately and to consider the rights of others. They may have less parrot, book-knowledge while infants than children have now, but will excel in practical, industrial knowledge, and what they do know will be real knowledge, because personally desired” and sought for. And by mature manhood they will certainly compare favorably in every way with the machine-made men of the present. The advantage in the matter of health and nerves alone will be incalculable.
The whole plan will be delightful to the children, because right in the line of their nature. All children aspire to be like their elders, and are ambitious for respect, independence and experience of real life. Their sense of justice is keen, and if treated fairly they will seldom do deliberate wrong.
But education should not stop with childhood. Few children educated on this plan will have received enough book knowledge to satisfy them. If labor is divided as I have supposed, and occupies not more than half the day, there will be ample time all through life for learning. I would advise that in each colony there be erected a building (by private action, or co-operatively) called the School or Lyceum. This building should be handsome, well-lighted, well-warmed, well-ventilated, and capable of meeting all the literary and educational wants of the Group. I advise that the cost of erecting and maintaining it be co-operatively assumed as more likely to save expense than a private enterprise, there being necessarily no competition. The building should contain a free library, reading room, art gallery, museum, gymnasium, and music room. But its chief feature should be a great theater-room, to be used as a theater and for operas, concerts, tableaus, lectures, lyceum entertainments, jury trials, and Council meetings. There should also be a number of small class rooms to be hired out to teachers and professors of various kinds for teaching and lecturing. In these class rooms children and adults should mingle on equal terms, and all teaching, should be on the lecture plan as in a college. All studies elective. The teaching should include all grades from the rudiments to the higher branches, languages, music, shorthand, science, etc. Thus every Group will contain a sort of perpetual college where at any time students may enter. In addition to these Group Schools there will of course be colleges and universities, as at present, drawing students from all parts of the Comradeship, for more perfect education.
While children are very small, yet more than nursing babes, and not able to get along without guardianship, the mothers, wishing to resume their labors as usual, should employ teacher-nurses, or kindergartners, to care for them during working hours. This would give a welcome profession to many women, greatly relieve the mothers, and educate and amuse the babes.
I advise that in every Colony Group some of the Comrades make a business of distilling water and selling it to the others. Distilled water is free, absolutely, from all impurities, animal, vegetable or mineral, and the advantage of drinking it is incalculably great. Most fevers and kidney diseases would be avoided by its use, cholera and intestinal and hepatic calculi.
Other Comrades should, in every Colony, build bath houses where Turkish and other baths could be had at any time. Drinking distilled water and taking a Turkish bath once a week, a Comrade with bad blood would be a curiosity.
I also advise cremation.
Also the earth closet system to take the place of cess pools and sewers.
While absolute equality of condition robs life of its picturesque features and produces a monotonous dead level, it is certainly true that an approximate equality is essential to true society and individual happiness, and that great inequalities are disastrous to both. But in a Society such as this work describes, unless complete communism is resorted to, much inequality is sure to result. Personal differences of health, of strength, of inherited aptitude, of genius, of acquired skill and education, of prudence and daring, of good luck, will make a difference in the fortune even if the industry and intention of all are equal. Differences in the fertilities of soils make a great difference in the fortunes of farmers. There are natural monopolies of all sorts which free competition can only partially affect; cost cannot remain the limit of price where many covet the rarity and overbid each other. Still while inequalities will and must arise, it is believed that the system herein outlined would render colossal fortunes and absolute want alike impossible, and the differences between these extremes are not so serious. As one other co- operative check on inequality however I have inserted, it will be observed, in the Contract an agreement to will all cash and all portable property, in excess of the value of $2000, to the Group, to be evenly divided among its Comrades. I call special attention to this. It makes it difficult to build up colossal fortunes, yet allows a man to enjoy the fruit of his labor, skill, and good luck while he lives. It allows him to will to his heirs his home, and a sufficient amount of furniture, and all ordinary heirlooms, yet prevents any young person from inheriting enough to be a drone and an idler.
And now to conclude: The object of this organization, primarily and chiefly, is to convince men that liberty is the first essential to Social happiness, and intelligent co- operation the second; and, secondly, to progressively and continuously colonize these converts until the whole world shall be absorbed into the Comradeship and all men emancipated. Colonies, heretofore, have usually failed from one or all of three reasons—lack of liberty, lack of employment, lack of society. But in this scheme liberty is Secured in the highest possible degree; the colonies are large enough to Secure all needed Society, yet not enough to be unwieldy in collective action or unsympathetic in parts; and by Securing, by Scientific selection, an approximately true balance of labor at the start, mutual employment is assured, Self-support and prosperity made certain. Afterwards the reciprocal insurance described (Or the more complete insurance of absolute free communism, if preferred) makes every man free from dread of humiliating poverty and preserves an approximate equality, the basis of Sociability.
The final result would be the abolition of poverty and insecurity, the establishment of a normal and orderly society without laws or government, but with a defendment only; and the growth of a sentiment of co-operative solidarity large as humanity, destructive of race and class prejudice, partisanship and war.
It is claimed for this scheme that it is the most practical yet proposed for the emancipation of the producer and through him of humanity. That it permits a greater harmonious federation of men of diverse views. That it will arouse less violent prejudice and provoke less active coercion or opposition, legislative or military, than any other. That it is wiser than political action or attempted legislation; more effectual than strikes; cheaper than these; and not only infinitely cheaper than war but infinitely more worthy of Socialism and civilized man. That it gives every sympathizer opportunity to do something now and all the time for himself and his fellows, and a reasonable hope that his labor is not in vain.
That its action is quiet, Orderly, continuous, and helpful to the workman from the start. Insurance can be started before colonization, and on the principle of help-what-we- can in Groups too weak in membership to assume all expenses of their helpless ones. Not only would each located colony be a secure and self sufficient community, but every colony sent out would improve the labor-demand and wages at home. Workmen would be filled with hope and the thought of liberty. And these good effects would progressively increase as the movement gained volume and momentum.
At last all support, moral and financial, would be withdrawn from government and coercive institutions, and the result would be the liberty, peace, prosperity, Solidarity, and happiness of the human race.
That would be Free Society.
APPENDIX. COMRADESHIP OF FREE SOCIALISTS.
(Historical and Explanatory.)
EXTRACTS FROM FIRST REPORT.
In the summer of 1896 “The Red Heart in a White World” was written and submitted to the criticism and revision of various prominent libertarians. In February, 1897, through the co-operative action of Delos Dunton and J. Wm. Lloyd, it was published as revised. In the spring and early summer the Initial Council was organized with the following members: E. C. Walker, of New York; M. Florence Johnson and Wm. D. Denton, of Massachusetts; Lillian Harman and Delos Dunton, of Illinois; Joseph Labadie, of Michigan; H. T. Quinn, of Minnesota; J. Wm. Lloyd, of New Jersey; Arthur Wastall, of England; William Gilmour, of Scotland.
In August, 1897, the Second step in organization was taken by the unanimous election from the Council of the following Initial Officers, to serve, without pay, until a more permanent organization could be effected: Leader, J. Wm. Lloyd; Secretary, M. Florence Johnson; Treasurer, Delos Dunton; Director of Colonization, H. T. Quinn; Directing Liberator (head of propaganda), E. C. Walker.
In September, 1897, the “Word of Fellowship’’ was published for the signatures of joining members. This brings the history of the movement up to the date of this report. The Comradeship is entirely free from debt. From the first, the movement has grown quietly and naturally, laying broad and deep foundations, and already its membership includes poets, novelists, journalists, editors, publishers, logicians, men and women of the deepest thought and finest character. Briefly stated, its objects are:—
To form a general comradeship, more in spirit than by any external bond, of all individuals holding human equal liberty as the ideal of the individual and social life; so that every libertarian, however isolate, might feel that he was one of a great family, might know the help of fellowship, and feel encouraged to develop his own personality on its own lines.
To form a like comradeship of all free Groups holding equal liberty as their ideal.
To unite in special comradeship all those holding substantial agreement with the grouping and colonizing plan suggested in the “Red Heart” manual, and bring them together for co-operative work. In other words, its object is to practicalize the evolution of the free life, both within and without, and to generously encourage everything looking thereto.
WORD OF FELLOWSHIP. 
(By J. Wm. Lloyd, Initial Leader.)
(Approved by E. C. Walker, Directing Liberator.)
We, the undersigned, by affixing our names to this paper, become members of the general Comradeship of Free Socialists, an acknowledgment on our part that we accept its one essential principle that equal human liberty — the right of each individual human being to live his own life in his own way without invading others or being invaded by them—is the indispensable and fundamental requisite of individual happiness and harmonious Society. This, and this only, is our bond of sympathy and union.
While it is hoped and expected that a majority of the members will draw together in fraternal harmony and spontaneously arrange themselves in groups of congenial spirits according to their felt need of society and co-operation, it is clearly recognized that many of the best minds of the liberal movement are so intensely individualized that they prefer to be altogether isolate and unbound. To these the Comradeship offers peculiar welcome and encouragement and extends a special invitation. It is for such the true Society of the Separatists. It believes itself to be the only organization ever devised holding its members exempt from all responsibility to itself except such as they voluntarily and for their own benefit assume, and permitting recession at any time, by giving fair notice, from even such voluntarily accepted obligation, without in the least impairing good and regular standing, its special object being the nourishment of a cult of liberty, the encouragement of individual variation, and the living of each life according to its own innate law.
It is therefore expressly understood that joining the general Comradeship does not commit the comrade to an endorsement of the views of any particular individual or book or Group, or to any scheme of co-operation, or to membership in any Colony or Group, or bind to the payment of any dues, or to obedience to any officer, but leaves him in all such matters to his own choice and decision — is a declaration of liberty and sympathy, and that only.
Liberty, Sympathy, Variation, Opportunity.
To All Libertarians, Greeting:
If you have received copies of our “Word of Fellowship,” or have heard of us in any other way, we here with cordially invite you to join us. Pains have been taken to make our manifesto so broad and free that no child of liberty could take exception to it. But if any term or technicality in it offend, you are requested to formulate your own preferred definition and declaration and forward the same with your name to the Leader, when, if possible, you will be accepted on your own terms. For it is the spirit of liberty and not a form for which we move. If liberty is your ideal, your enthusiasm, if you regard it as the essential prerequisite to human happiness and harmony, we want you. In any case, we want you if you claim liberty for yourself and gladly give it to all others. Come and be one of those who develop their own personality in the free life. Help us to plan and to build the ideal freedom.
J. Wm. Lloyd, Leader. In the name of the Initial Council, Comrades of Free Society.
Approved by Helena Born (Successor to E. C. Walker), Directing Liberator.
THE FREE COMRADE.
A journal of hope and human emancipation, advocating sympathetic comradeship and ideal liberty, individual variation and free society.
Motto: The Free Spirit.
Published by the Comrades of Free Society
Subscription price, 50 cents per year.
THE SPIRIT OF THIS JOURNAL.
Belief in the superior potency of the gentle forces, reason, persuasion, justice, sympathy, human love; high ideals, and wise, clear examples of better things. Not War, but peace. Not the hatred of slavery, but the love of liberty. , Not the fighting of government, but the boycotting and supplanting of it. Not the bitter criticism of the past and present, but the wise, eager taking possession, right now, of every vantage-ground for freedom now open to us, and the pressing forward unceasingly, by every friendly, persuasive, and tactful means to win possession of more. Not hair-splitting and quarrelling with our comrades, sarcasm, bitter personal abuse, and uncalled-for emphasis of difference, but the emphasis, rather, of all lines of agreement and harmony uniting those who dream, hope, and Work for a larger, broader, and freer social life. Holding that liberty for self is soonest secured and best ensured by ardently demanding and gladly recognizing the equal liberty of all. Opposing the prejudices and antagonism of classes. Insisting upon the solidarity of the human family equally with the complete freedom of the individual. Claiming altruism the perfect fruit of egoism. Denying privileges, and all authority imposed by force, but joyously admitting the natural leadership of the truly superior. Delighting not in conformity and convention but in the evolution of individual variation as in the opening of gold-mines, yet recognizing that all human customs have had legitimate origin in the effort to satisfy felt human needs, and that their evil is not in their existence but in their tyranny. Having faith in human nature, that it is not intentionally unjust or unkind, but ignorant, made desperate by the instinct of self-preservation in the toils of a false system. Forever uplifting the beautiful ideal of the bright, Sweet life of free men in a free and sympathetic society, and urging immediate practicalization of that life, wherever possible, in every department of moral, social, intellectual, and physical action as the best possible propaganda and proof of our gospel. Cutting off the nutrition of the invasions and superstitions of the present by infusing Society with a new spirit, the passionate love of and enthusiasm for equal human liberty.
Comrades who appreciate the above, and think they would like to aid in bringing such a paper into active existence, are requested to send in their subscriptions to the Leader or Secretary. No money need be sent till enough has been subscribed to make the paper an assured success, as the leaders are very averse to a periodical which shall have to go begging for support. If any are able and willing to contribute larger amounts than the mere yearly subscription, it will of course be very acceptable.
My Soul’s sweet, calm, and solemn rooms of rest,
That angels thronged with airy footsteps light,
And, drawing curtains of obscuring mists,
The world’s fair future set before me. Far
Adown the gleaming path of Fate’s stern lists,
Like landscape viewed through rocks and hanging clouds,
In all the sunrise glow of human joy,
The wondrous future flashed before mine eyes.
I saw that then this world was beautiful,
More beautiful than now, this dear old world;
For men on earth then grew and flourished fair,
Even as now we dream of them in heaven.
‘Twas strange how sweet the sight affected me;
Like to the charm of such soft, thrilling music
As gives us joyful pain to listen to,
That sun-rayed, free-aired dream affected me
But still this longed-for future seemed afar;
And when I thought of how my fellowmen
Trod thoughtlessly on wailing throats, or took
With shameless greed the crust from hungry lips,
Or rode in savage State ‘mid pallid mobs,
While these, the children of despair and toil,
Gnashed teeth, or fainting fell in despot chains,
How far, how very far, that future seemed.
And was not even I a slave upon
That chain? But hark I —an angel spoke to me;
In words so strong, so true, so sharp, so clear,
They seemed like brilliant, glancing swords of light,
An angel spoke to me:—
Behold the day shall come
When crime shall not invade,
And vice no more allure;
When truth shall smite each falsehood dumb,
And brave shall be each free-souled maid,
And free-souled swains be pure.
Then men will cease to kill,
War-drums shall cease to beat,
And wrath and hate shall cease;
And all the pleasant land shall thrill
With gentle music, soft and sweet,
Of all-forgiving peace.
And none shall then be slaves,
But fearless, free from strife,
With joy will do their best;
None travel mourning to their graves,
But, full of years and done with life,
Will turn to death and rest.
And no man then will crave
To pile a hoard of pelf
Won by his brothers’ fall;
But equal liberty shall save;
And wisely laboring each for self,
Each one will work for all.
An atmosphere refined,
The breath of justice sweet,
Shall fan that happy land,
Attracting each unto his kind;
While unbound love with love shall meet,
Fearless of jealous hand.
And men will then be men,
Full-statured, graceful, strong,
Controlled in passion, pure;
All needless doctors shall be when
The blood of man flows on like song,
For health requires no cure.
Wouldst thou advance that day?
Up get thee from the dust
Join with thy fellow! Right
Must come with Liberty alway;
The free and wise alone are just.
Face ye toward the light.
Thyself make stronger then!
Fear not to love thine own;
Self-interest all things rules;
But need together knits all men.
Know this: thou canst not stand alone,
And selfish men are fools.
Justice is harmony;
There is no strength alone;
Give equal worth for worth;
Thy fellow leave in all things free;
Uprear the Great White Throne!
Teach freedom to the earth!
Then ceased my angel Oracle to speak.
With awed and raptured face, like one who gazed
Afar on holy things unutterable,
I stood, yet knew the thrilling tale had ceased,
Leaving faint, ringing melody behind
Like last sweet notes of some beloved hymn.
Gently my radiant vision left me;
Like the soft fading of the glow that hangs
Upon the evening sky at sunset-time,
My radiant vision left me.
 This is suggestive merely. Some think 2 per cent. too high some too low. To be decided by the Council or, in the last resort, by the individual as it is purely voluntary.
 This is suggestive merely. Some think 2 per cent. too high some too low. To be decided by the Council or, in the last resort, by the individual as it is purely voluntary.
 It has been suggested that some special provision should be made for rich men and capitalists. Such men are often well disposed toward socialist schemes, and able to give invaluable assistance, but naturally and reasonably are shy of risking their whole capital. I advise that any new member be permitted to reserve as much as he pleases of his fortune in outside investments, this part being also exempt from the inheritance clause in the contract, provided he pays the usual per cent. on his entire income and asks no insurance for outside losses; nor any insurance for helplessness unless reduced to complete poverty.
 It has been suggested that insurance in partial Groups might be realized from the first on the basis of 1000 full membership. Thus 1000 members pay full insurance; 500, half insurance; 250, 25 per cent.; and so on. The plan of insurance the simplest possible—all legitimate losses to fall on the Group and not on the individual alone. To be estimated in equal shares and collected by the Treasurer and paid to the loser; who thus gets back what he has lost minus his own share.
 Most socialistic schemes are so utopian, or hang on such legislative or other hazards, that they are practically only good to talk about. They afford no hope or work for the present, to the average man.
 Since the above was written, M. Florence Johnson and E. C. Walker (owing to pressure of other business and not to any lack of interest in the Comradeship) have resigned their respective offices of Secretary and Liberator, and the two following comrades have been elected by unanimous vote to fill their places and also to a membership in the Initial Council: viz., Helen M. Tufts, Secretary, 421, Massachusetts Avenue, Arlington, Mass, 3 Helena Born, Directing Liberator, 47 Beach Street, Somerville, Mass.
 Signing the “Word of Fellowship ” constitutes the signer a member of the Comradeship but not a member of any particular Group. It will be noticed that signing this “Word” does not commit the signer to an endorsement of all the doctrines and methods of the “Red Heart” manual, but only to the “one essential.”
 Of Justice.