Individualist Anarchism: Re-Radicalization in Post-War America ContinuedThe following is a chapter from James J. Martin's seminal work, Men Against the State, that continues along the lines established in the previous chapter looking at early pioneer advocates of individualist anarchism. Beginning with the story of land reformer, Joshua K. Ingalls, and finishing with that of sociologist, Stephen Pearl Andrews, this narrative explores two very important influences on the band of American anarchists that included Benjamin Tucker. Although, neither Ingalls nor Andrews ever regarded themselves as anarchists, they each managed in their own way to contribute ideas of great significance and consequence to those who did.
Heralds of the Transition to Philosophical Egoism II
3. J. K. Ingalls, Land Reformer
The contributions of Greene to anarchist economics in formulating
a system of finance adapted to the free economy were matched by those of
Joshua K. Ingalls with respect to the land problem. Born in Swansea, Massachusetts
on July 16, 1816,1 his early life was spent in circumstances somewhat different
than those which surrounded Heywood and Greene. There are a number of striking
similarities upon comparison with the early training and careers of those
of his fellow Yankees which may be observed, nevertheless.
of capital and money to multiply of themselves, prepared the way for his full-fledged participation in economic radicalism.
By 1841 he was espousing the labor theory of value and attempting to impress his listeners with the deteriorating effects of interest-taking. He made the acquaintance of the leading figures in the Land Reform Society in 1845,4 and henceforth his interest in a religious career began to wane. From this time on his name was mentioned more and more in connection with those of George Henry Evans, John Windt, John Commerford, William Rowe, Henry Beeney, A. J. H. Duganne, W. H. Van Amringc, Louis Hine, Lewis Masquerier and others interested in passage of legislation restricting the size of land holdings.5 Interest in land limitation in one aspect or another was to be a prominent part of his life for over half a century thereafter.
Ingalls' next five years was a period of constant participation in a variety of reform and radical groups and movements. Besides attendance at the Industrial Congresses of 1847 and 1848, his activities brought him into contact with currency reformers, Fourierites, antislavery men, and the small association of anarchists in New York.6 He described the attempt of the land reformers to place a presidential ticket in the field in 1848, when the Industrial Congress met in Philadelphia, and the dissolution of the land limitation plank within the more sensational slavery issue during the creation of the Free Soil party.7
Ingalls, along with Evans, Windt and Van Amringe, stuck to land reform in the face of charges of indifference to the plea for freedom for the negro brought against them by anti-slavery preachers and those whom he preferred to call the "strict constructionists." This same charge was made against members of the "laboring class," he noticed, by prominent anti-slavery members of the community. Ingalls insisted
that laborers could not profess moral and social duties which the abolitionists
considered proper for them to demonstrate while insecure, deprived of land
and home, and surrounded by the "trickeries" of business and the
domineering of the professional men. It was the contention of Ingalls that
the abolition of slavery and the abolition of land monopoly were inseparable.
The abolition of slavery would have little effect on land monopoly, but
abolition of land monopoly would make slavery impossible.8 He further argued
that competition among the most poorly paid class of wage workers would
be greatly intensified by the influx of "free" negro labor, and
setting a man free without allowing him access to land was a mockery. In
a debate with Frederick Douglass in Providence, Rhode Island in November
1848, Ingalls declared that "the rent system and the wage system had
broken up more families and separated more husbands and wives than ever
had chattel slavery."9
Kellogg, whose Labor and Other Capital,13 destined to be the bible of the Greenbackers and the National Labor Union, had just been published. Although disagreeing with Kellogg's doctrine that one of the proper functions of money was to earn interest for its owner, he saw much in his work which was commendable.14 He contributed to Fourierite papers, including the Univercoelum, from time to time, but refused to unite with them in any project due to their refusal to subscribe to the limitation scheme of land occupation.
Ingalls' first acquaintance with anarchism took place at about this time also. As a contributor to The Spirit of the Age, a Fourierist periodical edited by William H. Channing, he first learned of the work of P. J. Proudhon through the series of articles written by Charles A. Dana in the late fall of 1849.15 At about the same time he also met Josiah Warren and Stephen Pearl Andrews in New York, preparing for the settlement of "Modern Times." He admitted being influenced by the ideas of these three men: "I was impressed with the accuracy of their statement of the industrial, economic, financial and social questions." But he became no closer associated with them than with the Fourierists a few years earlier, due to his concern over land reform.16 Neither of these two groups considered land limitation doctrines of any value. Ingalls felt they were the solution to the problem of poverty:17
The earth, with its vast resources of mineral wealth, its spontaneous productions and its fertile soil, the free gift of God and the common patrimony of mankind, has for long centuries been held in the grasp of one set of oppressors, by right of conquest or right of discovery; and is now held by another, through the right of purchase from them. All of man's natural possessions . . . have been claimed as property, nor has man himself escaped the insatiate jaws of greed. This invasion of his rights and possessions has resulted . . . in clothing property with a power to accumulate an income.
Having given up belief in effecting reforms through legislation, Ingalls also entered the field of colonization in hopes of achieving a way of life free from commercialism. In December 1849, while in Southington, Connecticut, he began plans for the establishment of a commun-
ity.18 Whether he was aware of the Warrenite town in Ohio or not was never indicated, but his plans and objectives pointed in a very similar direction. Through the pages of the Spirit of the Age he sought persons interested in a small cooperative. A capital backing of from $200-$300 per family was thought sufficient, while investment of other capital by outsiders was considered, provided "capital could be satisfied with a return of value for value, a simple conservation of its worth." It was Ingalls' intention "to build up a community where rent and interest and even speculative profit would be practically unknown, and the conveniences for social life, education, etc.... gradually and naturally developed."19
He expected the contemplated colony, variously designated as the "Mutual Township," the "Co-operative Brotherhood," and finally the "Valley Farm Association,"20 to grow in a logical manner, commencing with the purchase of "select public lands," which were to be prepared for cultivation by an advance group. The next step was to be the cooperative construction of log cabins, with the utilization of "labor-saving" machinery commencing soon after. Carpenters, masons, blacksmiths and other artisans were anticipated at the site as fast as their services could be utilized. Beyond the land arrangement which restricted land appropriations to ten acres per member of the colonizing families, and prohibition against taking or paying rent or interest, no aspects of "blueprinting" were evident in the projected settlement. It was Ingalls' belief that the group would form their own organization along lines of voluntary association when the experiment in social living had been practically and successfully demonstrated. "Every man will be rewarded according to his work" was to be the motto, the understanding being that each was to receive the "whole product of his labor."21
Hopeful of accomplishing the desired ends without excessive capital investments or a large number of participants, he went ahead with plans for possible locations, finally settling on a site on the Little Kanawha River in West Virginia between Parkersburg and Marietta. Meetings in January and February, 1850 in New York City resulted in a larger volume of interest in the projected colony than he believed existed. Individuals from Maine to Ohio expressed desires to become party to the undertaking, which began almost spontaneously without Ingalls' participation a short while later during his attendance at an Industrial Congress in Chicago.22
If the Valley Farm Association was intended to become a halfway
experiment between the Fourierist and anarchist examples already attempted, the effort was to prove unsatisfactory, from Ingalls' point of view at least. The history of the colony is obscure. Ingalls reported that cooperative ideas were abandoned at an early date, but that the group, somewhat diminished in numbers, continued to have a pleasant existence and to enjoy comfortable homes and a congenial social environment. As late as 1865 he reported that there was still a settlement functioning on this location. This brought his participation in, or initiation of, such interests to an end: "I abandoned the idea of becoming a Moses, or even a Joshua, of an associative movement," he soberly observed many years later.23 Activity in reform was for him from now on a matter "purely of good will."
The death of George Henry Evans in 1856, followed by the Civil War and the passing of the Homestead Act, all served to inhibit and neutralize the activities of the National Land Reform Association for a time. It once more became active with the advent of leaner times and the dispersal of wartime prosperity in the early 70's. Its members communicated with the Land Tenure Reform Association and the Land and Labour League of England during the summer of l 872, although the objectives of the American group differed utterly from those of the English organizations, which favored land nationalization.24 The Evans associates had stressed legislation limiting the size of land holdings. Now, under the influence of Ingalls, the corresponding secretary, their sole approach was centered around a campaign calling for the repeal of existing legislation and land laws which granted protection to land titles not based on personal occupancy.
Ingalls' activities were not confined to the Land Reform Association. He was one of a considerable group of New England anarchists25 who formed the American Labor Reform League. He wrote for Heywood's Word from its inception, as well as contributing to a variety of other reform and radical periodicals. At the same time he produced a succession of pamphlets which hammered away at economic evils in the post-war economy of concentration and centralization.
Although absorbed in studying the influence of business failures, credit stringency and the financial panic, as well as the effects of the return to the gold standard, Ingalls stubbornly adhered to his favorite thesis: monopolization of the soil as the principal source of economic disorder and distress. In a pamphlet titled Land and Labor, which
Heywood published for him early in 1872, in numerous articles in the Word, and in two other short works appearing in 1878 under the titles Work and Wealth and Periodical Business Crisis, he discussed the land issue.26 He insisted that any hope from "schemes of currency and finance" was "wholly fallacious" as long as land remained "the subject of speculative monopoly"; "Repeal our unreasonable land laws, half feudal and half civil, so that organized injustice can no longer have the land for its fulcrum, and you will find the lever money, now so weighty for wrong, to be the most serviceable and inoffensive of servants."27 He sanctioned land limitation by occupation and use alone, still believing that a labor exchange currency on the basis of the time note advocated by Warren would solve the problem of the medium of exchange.
In Periodical Business Crises Ingalls presented the theory that the time required to allow a debt to double at 7% compound interest was roughly that which comprised the interval between depressions, and suggested that the government refuse to enforce the collection of any debt the amount of the face of which had already been paid in interest. In this category he placed the public debt, insisting that for the government to maintain "this species of property" at par, while other property was depreciating in some cases as much as half, was outright discrimination in favor of a particular group which "rendered no service to society.28
Public opinion at this time was slowly becoming conscious of the industrial and commercial tycoon. Ingalls noted the influence of a new group of finance capitalists whose control of ownership of the soil was quietly but steadily advancing "as effectually as that of the titled nobility of any country ever did." The government made no effort to correct the trend by legislation, and appeared to be professing that nothing could be done to alleviate the situation, which to him was pure hypocrisy. "May we not be allowed to inquire," Ingalls interrogated, "into the workings of that legislation which has so lavishly bestowed, particularly in the last fifteen years, upon speculative schemes, to aid moneyed corporations, and enterprising adventurers of every description . . .?"29 If new legislation could not be passed, it still remained possible to repeal some of that existing, which led either to land monopoly or protected that already under monopoly. "The whole produce of labor belongs to the laborer, and is his natural reward," he said,
and absentee ownership, backed by the courts and the police, absorbed part of this by compelling the payment of ground rent.30 If such a doctrine was false, heretical, and incendiary, as it generally was regarded by the daily press, still there is little doubt as to its grass-roots origin.
Ingalls had presented a theoretical case for the repeal of land laws as an incentive to bringing about occupation and use-tenure. His writings now took on a more pessimistic tone with the publication of Work and Wealth31 under avowedly anarchistic sponsorship. There were new ideas expressed in this brief study, some of them decidedly conservative and backward-looking. But his main point, emphasis upon the fundamental evil of land monopoly, was as prominent as ever. It was by this time wholeheartedly subscribed to by the Warrenite adherents. Ingalls contended that there were only two factors in production of wealth, land and labor. In line with his anti-interest stand, he identified capital as merely past labor and land frozen into a particular form and undeserving of increase in itself. To him the granting of a share of production to capital was placing a premium on past labor at the expense of present labor.32
It was a source of annoyance to him to see organized labor engrossed over wages and hours, to the exclusion of so vital a matter as land. He could not understand why it was not plain to all that private ownership of the soil by a few had supplanted slavery as the device whereby one man garnered wealth produced by the many. He believed that it was now time for the laboring man to become concerned with the sources of wealth, its production, and its distribution. The issue was not whether it was unwise to interfere with forces which had been transmitted "from previously existing conditions," but whether it was time to attempt a "truly scientific solution" of the problem of production and the inequalities of distribution.33
He had no new recommendations to make concerning the area of his greatest interest, the and. It was with considerable regret that he commented upon the failure of the government to establish "a system of easy access to the soil or a judicious limitation to private ownership."34 Such a course of action would have prevented the capital-labor, or em-
ployer-employee question from ever having become important. Yet he now shunned political action through the two major parties, whose leaders he thought had formed a "mutual ring," conspiring "to make the plunder of public funds and public trusts a fine art."35 He insisted that freedom of access to the soil and the opportunity for self-employment was a civil right, but felt that the process of concentration had proceeded to such an extent that it was a matter beyond the powers of working men to make right. All that remained was hope of benevolent action in the interests of the masses of the people on the part of a group of "social knights-errant." Thinking in terms of Robert Owen, whom he greatly admired, along with Peter Cooper and Gerrit Smith, he thought men such as these might "organize industries on an equitable basis, promote emigration to districts less under landlord control, and channel charities into promoting self-employment and self-help."36
The appearance of Henry George's Progress and Poverty in 1880 brought from Ingalls, now a veteran of over 35 years in the fight for land reform, a number of scholarly attacks. Primarily reflecting his fear of the state, now somewhat expanded by the reading of the anarchist works of Proudhon, he concentrated on the possible effects of the state as a landlord, which he thought would result from the nationalization doctrine of George. Closer reading and comparison with his own economic concepts resulted in a wholesale indictment of George in the matter of fundamentals as well. This was fully developed in Social Wealth (1885) which, but for Ingalls' dismissal of the currency question, might have become a general textbook of anarchist economics.
Ingalls, writing in the Irish World, as well as the anarchist periodicals The Word37 and Liberty,38 asserted repeatedly that the logical consequence of the single tax was to convert all land occupants into tenants of the state. The annihilation of the class of allodial landholders in such fashion did not furnish protection from further extension of state power, nor did it eliminate the possibility of unlimited control of land through leasehold. This he thought would lead to a group of supertaxpayers, able to shunt the burden on to others less favorably situated. The end process would be the eventual payment of the tax by the lowest economic group, which to him meant the agricultural workers. Ingalls suspected the possibility of an alliance between government officials and
large taxpayers under such a system as another grave source of corruption and abuse.39
In Social Wealth he continued in a much more forceful manner his criticism of taxing powers, which he called "the very essence of despotism," and incapable of justification unless it was "in equation with some service which the taxing power rendered the taxed individual." Once taxation got beyond the voluntary stage and became a compulsory thing, Ingalls averred that there was no point in arguing about forms of government, since any system employing compulsory taxation was a "despotism." The use of taxation to right obvious wrongs was to him a makeshift. It served only to obscure the injustices which were causing the evil results that taxation intended to abate.40
Social Wealth, a work which was advertised and sold for fifteen years to the readers of the anarchist periodical press, is valuable primarily as a radical estimate of the landholding and business systems of America in the mid-80's. Its main theme was that capitalism was essentially a super-structure erected upon a monopoly of land. Condemnation of the government as being responsible for this, and advocacy of the occupation-and-use-criteria as the basis of future land tenure, made it a substantial piece of propaganda for the native anarchist movement.
The fundamental idea underlying Ingalls' stand on the land question was his interpretation of rent. Rent, he contended, was a political and not an economic affair. He stubbornly disagreed with the Ricardian school, which insisted that it was essential and could not be gotten rid of. To him this was the admission that "landlordism" could never be eliminated, and itself was based on the assumption that land was a commodity.41 This theory he claimed to be a by-product of the land title, and therefore of the governing power. If monopoly of the soil could once be established, then its owners were in a position to demand whatever the competitive forces of relative fertility and population pressure might bring. To reduce land to the status of a commodity was an act of usurpation, enabling a group to "profit by its relation to production" without the expenditure of labor time.42
Ingalls charged that the economists hardly made a pretense of discussing the origins of land titles, ignoring the subject because they
"could give no justification to the system, for to trace any title back will yield us nothing . . . but forceful and fraudulent taking, even were land a proper subject for taking at all."43 He advanced four reasons why he believed land was not a subject for permanent tenure and sale because: (1) it was not a product of human labor; (2) it was limited in amount and therefore unable to react to "demand" by increasing in "supply"; (3) it could not be removed and therefore could not be transferred; and (4) occupancy limited ownership and ended with abandonment of the location by the occupant or by his death.44 "Possession remains possession, and can never become property, in the sense of absolute dominion, except by positive statute. Labor can only claim occupancy, and can lay no claim to more than the usufruct."45 One could hardly overlook the Jeffersonian flavor of this declaration, despite its conflict with existing and relatively unchallenged social usages with respect to land.
Ingalls disagreed completely with the Ricardian theory of rent, which maintained that rent was not an "arbitrary tribute," resting not upon usurpation but the excess of product of the best land over the poorest. Was rent something which failed to exist until population increase forced the use of less productive soils? Ingalls maintained that the reverse was true; it was rent which forced the use of less productive soils. An increase of population, resulting in the need for land which could be denied by its titled holders, was the cause of rent.46 The end product of increased population in his view was a reduction in the number of landholders and an increase in tenancy. The result tended to approximate the extremes found in many parts of Europe, a landed aristocracy at one pole and a "wretched proletariat" at the other. It was his conviction, in the final analysis, that interest and profits were far more exploitive than rent, a point which he stated Henry George had neglected and which vitiated the latter's whole plan.47
Ingalls claimed that capitalism in its existing form in the United States had been successful largely as a result of the successful playing of individual and social forces one against the other.48 Individual license had been used to monopolize wealth on the one hand, social forces as means of subjecting rebellious individuals on the other. 48 Having gained exclusive control of the land by supporting individualism and personal freedom it then utilized social and civil powers to render its dominion absolute. Business was thus engaged simultaneously in lauding personal individual freedom and the omnipotence of the state, with the stress depending upon the advantage to be gained at the particular moment. Thus
it was possible to observe campaigns to obtain high tariffs and subsidies through government aid, while at the same time the same interests were discouraging government attempts to ameliorate bad labor conditions, under the pretext that the latter course of action was an infringement upon the laborer's freedom of contract.49
Although not as exhaustive an investigator into the anarchist theory of decay of competition as a cause of trusts as were some of his associates, the fact that equality of opportunity no longer existed under prevailing laws and customs was proof enough to Ingalls that defenders of the laissez-faire notions were guilty of large scale misrepresentation of the facts. He had no respect for the fanciful dogmas of Spencerian social evolution, based on Darwinian concepts of survival-of-the-fittest. It was the task of social science to effect intelligent rather than natural selection; for instance, in the case of farmers, weeds were the principal result of the latter course. Even the great advocates of natural selection, Spencer and Tyndall, were themselves the recipients of governmental assistance at one time. The preaching of such ideas in American colleges was equally absurd:50
Not only the institution which boasts the possession of a Sumner among its faculty, but every institution of its kind in our country is endowed by public or private beneficence, and could not survive a day if it should be withdrawn. It cannot fail to be seen how appropriate is the teaching of "laissez-faire' by the professors and scholars produced by institutions supported and upheld by the very opposite practice, . . . a system of capitalism dependent wholly upon laws and customs established and maintained to thwart equal opportunity and to prevent freedom of competition and exchange.
Ingalls indulged in no personal diatribes. He was firmly convinced that institutions rather than individuals were the issue. He saw no relief in reversing the positions of those in authority and those subjected to their direction. The wage worker turned "boss," the "victim of usury," the tenant turned usurer or rent-taker, all found the system good, upon receiving the favors it bestowed. Violent revolution was no answer, nor was legislation a fundamental reform. From his vantage-point, it appeared that the courts and judges would always reflect the social attitudes of the men of wealth. Even if temporarily eclipsed, there remained no assurance that their return to power would not result in demolishing the rectification of inequity achieved in their absence. Looking about him at the activities of the economic and social reformers, he saw what he characterized the same "infatuation" with specific remedies in the form of statutory provision. "A prohibitive law," he observed in one instance, "is the dream of the reformer who seeks to
make the world temperate." Adhering to one of the fundamental positions of anarchist political philosophy, that improvements in civil institutions could be best brought about by education rather than by legislation, he insisted that eradication of social and economic "disease" would come from repeal of laws rather than further enactment of others.51
This policy he considered the effective solution to the problem of land monopoly. It need not be a drastic procedure, nor work a summary change. Present legal possessors of land might well retain their titles for the remainder of their lifetime, but subsequent titles would be geared strictly to occupancy and use. Thus no one would be deprived of rights currently enjoyed, but would be denied the opportunity of either conferring or acquiring future privileges operating to the detriment of others. Alfred Russel Wallace's similar proposal of gradualism in land nationalization for England no doubt had some influence in resolving Ingalls' practical suggestions.52
One of his firm convictions was the inevitability of land redistribution in the future. He did not predict the frequency of attempts, the path it might take, or the degree of peace or violence which might attend it. Slavery, sporadically eliminated, would recur in other forms until the general realization dawned that one's own person was the natural limit to property in human beings. In a similar manner he maintained that the natural limit to property in land would be understood as the amount each person might occupy and use.53
Although living in virtual retirement in Glenora, New York, during the period of greatest literary activity among the native anarchist protagonists, Ingalls continued to supply steady contributions, principally in the nature of variations upon his favorite land theme. His hesitancy in openly allying with the Tucker group and Liberty54 stemmed primarily from the preoccupation of most of this faction with currency reform,55 a matter of universal interest in almost all portions of American society in the last two decades of Ike nineteenth century. Adhering to his land ideas, he deplored all theorizing which preached relief through the medium of currency reform, especially that of the Greenbackers
and other elements clamoring for cheap money.56 The issuance of fiat money by the state would certainly result in its being obtained by loan at decreased interest rates, he was willing to concede, but the inevitable rise in the price level would quickly nullify any possible gains which might be made by the "debtor classes." In any juggling of the monetary system, Ingalls opined, the workers would eventually have to bear the burden, either through paying increased interest or standing for any losses which might result:57
It is only stupidity which prevents the currency reformer from seeing that the fantastic tricks wrought with money values are mainly due to the ability of a class, through pliant legislators, to play fast and loose with the instruments of commerce, so as to effect a sliding fulcrum to the economic balance; and by which even the Iegal tender may be made to mean a day or a half day's work, according as a class are to pay it out, or have it paid to them.
Ingalls' writings in the 90's reflected more and more the political philosophy of anarchism. In an environment which was characterized by an increase of governmental powers and reform by statute law,58 his hope for a negative and gradually weakening political institution waned. The American government, in his words, was becoming little more than "a police force to regulate the people in the interests of the plutocracy."59 The growth of centralization and "authoritative socialism" were more threatening circumstances than the negative stand of the anarchists. At one time he expressed the fear that an alliance between church and state was impending60 despite the long standing contrary American tradition. His fear arose from the increased influence of religious organizations in seeking passage of sumptuary legislation dealing with personal morality. His unconditional disapprobation of the use of violence partially influenced the attitude he held toward labor unions, although he saw justification for them as protection against employer combinations.61 All the advantages lay on the side of the indus-
trial monopolist in any given strike for higher wages under the existing arrangement. Nevertheless he considered the only "intelligent" strike one which would be directed against wage work altogether.
A younger generation of anarchist writers took from Ingalls' thought only the portions which best expressed their contentions. His long record in the struggle for land reform and his ultimate rejection of political action as a means of obtaining it made him a prominent figure in the anti-statist band. Occupation-and-use tenure of land, a nearly-forgotten theory in non-radical circles, became firmly established in anarchist teaching from the time of J. K. Ingalls.
4. Stephen Pearl Andrews, Social PhilosopherThe course of American anarchism from the times of Josiah Warren to those of Benjamin Tucker includes the career of a fourth prominent exponent, Stephen Pearl Andrews, a participant in a number of reform and radical movements, but who, of the early group, was the only person to take part in the native anarchist movement in all its phases.
Andrews was born a few months before the outbreak of the War of 1812, in Templeton, Massachusetts,62 but followed an older brother to the South, where he experienced the insecure life of the reformer for the first time as a part of the anti-slavery movement. As a young lawyer, first in Louisiana and then in Texas, he achieved local notoriety from 1835 to 1843 as an opponent of slavery. In the latter year he was mobbed and driven out of Houston, reappearing a short while later in London as an agent of independent abolitionists of Texas. He put before Lord Aberdeen and Lord Palmerston a plan for the emancipation of Texan slaves through the medium of a British loan to Texas sufficient to cover their purchase and release. At this point he was abruptly repudiated by Ashbel Smith, Texan charge d'affaires at London and Paris, who described his plan as an individual venture and not bearing the sanction of the government of Texas.63 This terminated Andrews' active participation in such matters.
Upon his return to America he gained considerable repute as a pioneer in `'phonetic transcription," known today as shorthand. Over 30 editions of his introductory course books and manuals of "phonography," written with the collaboration of Augustus F. Boyle, appeared
between 1844 and 1849.64 Included in the series were works on philology, phonetic printing and language teaching.65
It was during this time also that Andrews was impressed by economic unrest in the country, reflected by Fourierist socialism, the gropings of a labor movement, and a steady flow of radical writings on the currency problem. He began his participation by writing articles for the Harbinger and by the late 40's had become a convinced Fourierite. The meeting of the New England Labor Reform League in Boston in January, 1847 found Andrews taking part, along with other Fourierites, as one of the seven speakers heard during the convention.66
The return of Josiah Warren to Boston in 1848 signaled the end of Andrews' efforts on behalf of association and his attachment to the more radical teachings of native anarchism. Just when he decided that the political and economic approach of Warren was superior to that which he supported before meeting the proponent of equitable commerce is not exactly known. Yet, by the winter of 1850, he was lecturing before the New York Mechanic's Institute, presenting the individualist anarchist theories in a particularly well-conceived manner. The publication of Andrews' analysis of Warren's principles in 1852 under the general title The Science of Society was henceforth regarded by anarchists as the finest statement of Warrenism ever written.67
Andrews succeeded in transposing Warren's Equitable Commerce from a rough-hewn pioneer document into a smoothly finished statement, but took no credit for any original contribution of his own:68
For the principles in question . . . the author confesses his great indebtedness . . . to the genius of Josiah Warren of Indiana, who has been engaged for more than twenty years in testing, almost in solitude . . . the principles which we are now for the first time presenting prominently to the public.
This was a fair assumption on Andrews' part, since the two Midwest editions of Equitable Commerce had enjoyed limited circulation. The Science of Society series faithfully presented the Warren principles on individual sovereignty,69 free voluntary association and a cost basis economy.70 Andrews declared they were immutable principles. Conformity to these simple rules produced harmony in the affairs of mankind, departure from them, confusion. "We teach them as science," he declared; "We do not ask that they shall be voted upon or applied under pledges." In the introduction to the second of the series, Andrews remarked upon the difficulty of explaining to people "beset by the fog of old ideas" a social reorganization without a social compact. "We do not bring forward a System, a Plan, or a Constitution, to be voted on, adopted, or agreed to, by mankind at large, or by any set of men whatsoever.... It is the evil of compacts that the compact becomes sacred and the individual profane."71
Andrews indicated from the nature of a number of criticisms a knowledge of some current allied activities and influences. The Garrisonian school of "no-government men" drew some expression of sympathy, although he considered their brand of "unterrified Democracy" theoretically consistent but practically illogical. Without economic reform in their desired social organization, degrading conditions would return and require violations of individual personal dignity once more. Reform was not synonymous with pure negation; if government was the source of societary disruption, it was necessary to introduce positive principles which would become the foundation of a stable society, otherwise, if temporarily replaced, government in the undesirable sense would soon return.72
Warren had refrained from specific mention of Fourierism in his first work. Andrews, on the other hand, declared the phalanx type of colonization "folly." He criticized Edward Kellogg and John Gray73 for declaring one of the legitimate functions of money to be that of "measuring value." He also undertook a more extended defense of the Warrenite theory which regarded "natural increase" of production, the result of natural forces giving advantage to the element of time, as not subject to the economic designation of "price" unless labor had accompanied the process. Interest might be justified on the basis of the spontaneous creation of wealth by natural factors, but this was true of just a certain stage of production. All types of wealth tended to deteriorate, and required labor for protection and augmentation.74
Andrews' wrestling with the abstractions of Warrenite cost economy began to abate at about this time, but not before he succeeded in decoying Horace Greeley into a sociological controversy in the editorial columns of the New York Tribune.75 The discussion, which eventually drew in Henry James, raged through most of April, 1853. Andrews admitted twisting the topic under discussion so as to bring Warren's ideas before a wider audience, but the character of some of the remarks indicated the extent of new influences. These were derived primarily from his wife, a doctor and an ardent suffragist, and Thomas and Mary S. Gove Nichols, pioneers of the "women's rights" movement76 in the New York area.
The columns of the Tribune were utilized for three principal purposes; to denounce Greeley as a reactionary, to set forth the Warren-Andrews theory of social organization, and to open a new avenue of discussion in the matter of feminine equality. Andrews declared that those interested in reform were making a mistake in considering Greeley as a leader, for he was in reality a deeply conservative man. His
espousal of Fourierism was superficial, and he had shown his real self by his sanction of respect for authority in economic matters, in political organization, and in the social relations of men and women. Andrews dwelt on Greeley's aversion for divorce and contrasted it with the growing tendency of self-expression on the part of an increasing minority of militant femininity.
Torn between his regard for Fourier, whom he praised as "about the most remarkable genius who has yet lived,"77 and his new-found respect for Warren, the "Euclid of social science,"78 Andrews set forth a defense of the latter's principles, with allusions to their functioning under actual living conditions at "Modern Times," over two years old at the time of writing. "It is something to be able to affirm," he wrote, "that there is at least one town in existence where women and children receive equal remuneration for their labor with men, not from benevolence, but upon a well-organized principle of justice, and by general concurrence, without pledges or constraint."79
Andrews believed that the real basic difference between Greeley and himself was bound up in their belief as to the fundamental theory of government. There were only two; the first, to which he claimed Greeley subscribed, declared that man was an irresponsible agent, not capable of governing himself and in need of another man to supply that function; the second, that man was potentially capable of governing himself.80 The degree of failure to do so in practice merely indicated lack of practice. This should not be surrendered through the fear of evil consequences attending more failure, since it was something which man had to learn as he did learn other things. Of one thing Andrews was convinced, that the individual was entitled to the exercise of such self-government as avoided at all times encroachment upon all other persons. To him, the non-invasive individual was the unit of orderly society, and was entitled to immunity from coercion by institutions:81
The most stupendous mistake that this world of ours has ever made is that of erecting an abstraction, the State, the Church, Public Morality, according to some accepted standard, . . . into a real personality, and making it paramount to the will and happiness of the individual.
He had embraced Warren's teachings without a consideration of their implications three or four years before. Andrews now displayed a realization of the root-and-branch anti-statism to which they logically pointed. The correspondence with Greeley and James contained the high-water mark of Andrews' anarchistic convictions, even though he would have
rejected the appellation of "anarchist" had it been an expression in contemporary usage other than as a synonym for chaos. Few anarchists of succeeding generations ever wrote a categorical rejection of the coercive state in more emphatic terms than he during the exchanges with Horace Greeley: 82
Give up . . . the search after the remedy for the evils of government in more government. The road lies just the other way--toward individuality and freedom from all government.... It is the inherent viciousness of the very institution of government itself, never to be got rid of until our natural individuality of action and responsibility is restored. Nature made individuals, not nations; and while nations exist at all, the liberties of the individual must perish.
The invasion of anarchist "Modern Times" by the social philosophy of Auguste Comte and his first disciple in America, Henry Edger, has been already described.83 Edger abandoned Warrenite individualism primarily to establish a cell of Comte's Religion of Humanity. The Comtean sociological concepts, on the other hand, succeeded in gradually weaning Stephen Pearl Andrews away from Warren and the Long Island band. The change took place in an unobtrusive, almost unconscious manner, yet by the late summer of 1857, the tenets of Positivism had become incorporated in his social thought. Henceforth his principal intellectual concern was that of sociological system-building. The attempt to fuse the diverse contributions of Fourier, Warren, and Comte into a grandiose eclectic social order of Pantarchy was under way. Anarchist thought, discussions and literature, previously concerned with political and economic considerations, now included a third element, ethics, with Andrews undertaking the torturous task of reconciling antithetical conceptions of the nature of human society. A thorough-going anarchist no longer, his relations with them continued for the remainder of his life in one situation or another.
Andrews began his comparison of Warren and Comte in Warren's own Periodical Letter of September, 1857.84 At the same time, in an article in a New York spiritualist journal titled "Physiocracy, The New Order of Government,"85 he revealed the influence of Comtean concepts and his defection from the ranks of the uncompromising Warren individualists. By now he had come to the conclusion that there were two
main obstacles to complete dispensation of government: ( 1 ) the magnitude of interests in which human society was already involved; and (2) "the necessity for an authority vested somewhere to restrain encroachments and enforce obedience to commands." Such declarations were rank heresy when compared with his affirmations in his Science of Society, even though his proposed "physiocracy" contained a large element of voluntary association. Leadership in nature, said Andrews, was always vested in a single individual: "She never entrusts the business of governing to Committees and Boards." Thus direct responsibility and "unity of movement" were secured. It was his interpretation, furthermore, that obedience to leadership in nature was not obtained by compulsion but by "attraction," wherein it was a matter of greater agreeability to obey rather than to dissent. "Obedience to attraction, or the pursuit of the Agreeable, is the essence of Freedom," a manifestation of individual action fully free from constraint.86 In this manner, he concluded, did nature effect the reconciliation of seemingly antagonistic principles. Until persuasion and changeability were substituted for coercion and permanence in human social systems, the efforts of "statesmen" would produce nothing of lasting importance:87
Natural government is characterized by the absence of all organization which is not as natural and therefore as inevitable as crystallization; by the self-election, or spontaneous recognition of leaders, coupled with the continuous freedom of revolt on the part of the subject.
Thus the basic premises of a social scheme appeared, which was not fully developed for fifteen years. Andrews, no longer attached to the "Modern Times" community, was now living in New York in the company of a group of people connected more or less with the North American Phalanx,88 a Fourierite colony in New Jersey.89 Under his influence, a number of these people, mostly journalists, pooled resources and conducted for a time a cooperative residence in the city called the Unitary Home. The Home was operated under the management of Edward F. Underhill on Warren's cost price principle in the allocation of the economic burdens of operation. Andrews, now working on the basics of an universal language which he called "Alwato," lived there as did the poet Edmund Clarence Stedman.90 Close by was DeGarmo Hall, where An-
drews occasionally lectured on his gradually developing sociology.91
The scientific and harmonious adjustment of the relations of capital to labor, of the employees to the employer . . . will still remain after Slavery is dead, . . . the next great practical question which will force itself upon our attention, and insist upon being definitively settled . . .
In the post-war period, Andrews became deeply involved in the movement for women's rights, his interests centering on social issues. This resulted in an intellectual alliance with the extremists under the nominal leadership of Victoria Woodhull. As an editorial partner in the publication of Woodhull and Claflin's Weekly, he again made contact with the anarchists, primarily through attendance at the individualist-dominated conventions of the American and New England Labor Reform Leagues. His renewal of acquaintance with Warren after a meeting in New York in May, 1871 brought about a long hair-splitting controversy in the pages of the Weekly between the two over their sociological differences. Andrews now had placed most of his pantarchal system in manuscript form or in published articles in periodicals. The main point of the dispute between the two centered about the interpretation of the words "right" and "duty." Warren, adhering to his basic views, insisted that in a world of free contract, there was no such thing as duty, only rights. A person able to live by uncoerced voluntary contract, he declared, did things not because he felt under obligation to do so but because it was to his best interests. In non-compulsive situations, Warren believed that no one
would enter into agreements, contracts, or commitments which tended to operate to his disadvantage. Thus, what appeared to be compliance with a conscientious feeling of obligation to act in a certain way would actually be the fulfillment of one's side of a particular social arrangement, through recognition of the advancement of one's personal interests or fortunes by so doing, and therefore hardly worthy of designation as duty 93
Andrews, now admittedly trying to present a synthesis of the Warrenite and Comtean schools of social science, said that there were separate categories of duties and rights, and that it was not proper for the two groups, the individualists and the positivists, to maintain that it was a matter entirely of either rights, as did Warren, or all duties, as did the followers of Comte. Andrews at this time admitted that he had never rejected Fourierism even though he apparently had been a convinced follower of the anarchist beliefs of Warren.94 This contradictory position did not indicate or imply that he had rejected the principles of sovereignty of the individual and cost as the limit of price. It was the matter of difficulty in getting them adopted. "The real objections" to these, he explained, "are that men cannot and will not accept and apply such purely abstract principles," even though they were "a very precious element in every true organization." For having expressed them, and for trying to put them into practical operation, Andrews concluded, "Mr. Warren will and should forever rank as one of the first Sociologists, although his principles may find themselves practically vindicated under forms of society very different from . . . what he has in idea."95
Whether society is an organism in which individuals play certain parts on the basis of established rules and relationships, or whether society is a collection of individuals and reflects the quality and attainment of individuals, has not yet been satisfactorily thrashed out, despite current trends. This controversial matter was being then discussed also. Andrews, in his Basic Outline of Universology, published in 1872, sought to reconcile Warren's stand of society as merely the byproduct of the actions of separate individual sovereigns with the organic view of Comte and Fourier.96 Between Warren and Comte, he considered the former's approach the "scientific," Comte's "metaphysical and philosophical," and
the issue a matter of "Individualism" against "Subordination."97 Fourier he considered the pioneer in attempting to reconcile the two, and "association by attraction" appears prominently in the Andrews program of "Integralism." The problem of the individual and his relation to "society," elaborated on by Andrews in Universology, can be associated with his part in the propaganda of anti-statism in the period prior to the Civil War. Nor can he be dismissed from consideration as an American sociologist.98 But the book itself is a painful demonstration of writing, loaded with neologisms and obscurantist techniques.
As close associate of Mrs. Woodhull, he played a prominent part in the sensational "exposure" of Henry Ward Beecher in 1873. He had known Beecher over a score of years previous.99 The conflict between Andrews and Henry James was re-opened100 at this same time, as the result of the violent disturbance being created by the "free love" propaganda campaign of the Woodhull-Andrews group in New York City. Andrews' attack on state interference with marriage was regarded as an endorsement of unbridled license,101 and for many years he was suspected of operating a "school for wayward wives," the women associated with the Woodhull campaign being reputed for their outspoken and individualistic behavior, as well as their lack of respect for male superiority pretensions.
A renewed interest in the economic ideas of Proudhon and Warren took place after the death of the latter, in which Greene, Heywood,
Linton and Tucker led the way. Andrews' contacts with this circle revealed another holdover among his ideas.102 His article "The Labor Dollar" in Tucker's Radical Review revealed his continued attachment to Warren's views on money.103 He admitted that both had failed in devising a self-regulating system of currency and banking based directly on labor, their chief objective.
A day's work of eight hours rather than a single hour should constitute the "labor dollar," was Andrews' reconsidered judgment. To be accurate, it must represent two other factors, degree of intensity or severity, and acquired skill. He believed that in the matter of intensity, an assumed average was still the best approach, approximately what Warren's corn labor note had purported to do.104 By adjusting this assumed average constantly, as the group at "Utopia" had done, the true average intensity would be reached. Thus, for instance, the eight hour day of average intensity would tend to be estimated in greater production per hour, as skill and ability in that particular occupation became increasingly attracted to it. With the establishment of complete freedom of access to occupations, the tendency would be for those who produced the most in the shortest amount of time in each productive job to become well known 105
This change will enable them to know far better than they now know what labors they really like best, and are willing to do at the cheapest rate. There will then grow up a legitimate labor market, and all kinds of labor and products will be tendered at the minimum price as measured by the average estimate of the degree of severity of the labor involved in them.
In most other respects, Andrews deviated little from what he had written a quarter century before. Acquired skill was considered an element of labor cost, while superior natural ability was not.106 The
immense difficulty of separating the two attributes Andrews passed over. The outbreak of the railroad strike in 1877 brought mixed reactions from Andrews; the coming to grips of labor and capital which he and Warren had predicted thirty years before was undoubtedly at hand. "There is a new order of things here now, or inevitably about to come," he intoned. A social or "industrial" revolution, involving "the whole laboring population," was about to take place; "A ready acceptance of the situation on the part of the rich and the great" alone would prevent grave irregularities, as "the theory of shooting them down is futile."
Andrews displayed the distance which he had strayed from his anarchist views of an earlier time, however, by the nature of the reforms he expected the strikers to propose and obtain:107
. . . the forced transfer of all railroads, magnetic telegraphs, and great public works to the government, with the laborers paid fixed and equitable prices, as government employes; the organization of great government work shops, or organized government colonization, or other similar enterprises, and the honest effort that government shall become the social providence of all the people.
No social program involved any greater stress on active interference by state action. Others of the Warren group expressed the most warm sympathies with the strikers, but none exhibited this degree of contradiction as compared to previous theoretical stands.
The passion among fragments of reform elements for the organization of "leagues" of various sorts resulted in the agglomeration known as the Union Reform League, a Heywood-Andrews directed association of small groups interested in various social reforms. The U. R. L., the principal aim of which was the "blending of all shades of opinion, and the union of all Schools of Reform in one common platform," met annually in Heywood's home town of Princeton, Mass. from 1879 until 1882. The American and New England Labor Reform Leagues had been primarily engaged in propagation of economic reform sentiment. The new group included elements concerned with temperance, freethought, woman suffrage, spiritualism, currency reform and trade unionism. Andrews became nominal president of the U. R. L. at its second meeting, at which time it probably reached the peak of its interest to a wide gathering of allied sympathizers.108
Most of the anarchists had by now drawn away from both Heywood and Andrews and had gathered around Tucker with the express purpose of concentrating on exposing economic evils. The resolutions of the U. R. L. nevertheless still reflected a strong anti-statist flavor. The 1881 convention adopted unanimously the following "practical measures of Reform": woman suffrage, repeal of the obscenity statutes, repeal of laws making bible reading compulsory in the public schools, the adoption of a "new cosmopolitan language," abolition of poll tax qualifications for voting, repeal of the license and prohibitory liquor laws, repeal of laws "taxing citizens to support war, or compelling them to do military service," abolition of land, money and transportation monopolies,109 and an endorsement of free trade. The negative nature of most of these reforms reveal the heavy anarchist influence. The Union Reform League dissolved in 1882, and its parts drifted into new reform orbits.
Andrews, still active in New York,110 continued his sociological speculations. His dissertations before the Liberal Club received considerable publicity, since he had now become reputed for his vast learning. His prophecy of the future envisioned a single governmental unit for the world at the end of the twenty-first century, with a single world language and religious creed. This was to follow a political conflict on ideological grounds111 between "plutocracy," the government of rich men exemplified by "the laissez-faire doctrine of the political economists, Herbert Spencer included," and the "politarchy" of state socialism. These two compulsory forms of the "governmental idea" he saw eventually giving way before the anarchist principle, "which simply strives to throw off all governmental control, to relegate the management of all human affairs to the pure, unorganized, unregulated spontaneity of the people themselves."112 This simplified result strongly resembled the Andrews governmental ideal of "convergent individuality," which was an amalgamation of the free association of the anarchist and the free recognition of the leadership function as derived from Charles Fourier.
Against the twentieth century backdrop of titanic struggles between
great centralized states, such prognostications have a flavor of visionary romanticism bearing little relation to reality. The position of Stephen Pearl Andrews in American sociology113 is no settled matter. The fact that the nature of much of his thought and erudition is apart from his contributions as a social thinker has made an evaluation difficult.114 The consideration at this time is with his relation to the development of American anarchism, from which he did deviate while remaining deeply attached to its basic principle of personal freedom. The American anarchist Henry Appleton declared him to be "the intellectual giant of America." The English anarchist Henry Seymour said he was "probably the most intellectual man on this planet." Benjamin Tucker's estimate, probably the soundest, was: "Anarchists especially will ever remember and honor him because he has left behind him the ablest English book ever written in defense of Anarchist principles."115 That Tucker's followers were to claim substantially the same for him at a later time illustrates the continuity of intellectual content in the American anarchist movement.
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