From the Archives

J. Wm. Lloyd, et al., “The Whisper Song of the Catbird” (1911)

September 14, 1908.—Yesterday, while a visitor was mending his automobile down near the woodpile, I noticed the low singing of a bird, apparently very close and behind me, in some tall weeds between the grape-vines and the woodpile. Today I heard it again, and thought it a Catbird’s voice. After repeated trials, I at last located the singer. He was a Catbird, not over four or five feet from me, sitting trustfully on a stick among the weeds, quite unconcerned, and singing in such a low, fine voice that I could only just hear him. […]


Anarchism as a Fundamentally Unfinished Project

My argument about the anarchist tradition, in its most modest form, is that there is nothing about the history of variously “anarchist” ideas—particularly when the tale begins in 1840 or before—that precludes a real, future convergence toward an anarchism that both focuses on anarchy (in its strongest senses) and provides a vehicle for the sort of social reforms that have most often been promoted in the name of “anarchism.” […]


The Shape of Anarchist History

Retracing steps I took in my research 20-25 years ago is a fascinating and frequently rewarding experience, particularly now that I’m working with some figures who are perhaps marginal even to the rather loose, broad account of the anarchist and near-anarchist traditions that I’ve been constructing. Most recently, I’ve been working my way back through the writings of Calvin Blanchard (“Announcer of the Religion of Science, Professor of Religio-Political Physics, Expositor of the Statics and Dynamics of God Almighty, Advocate for the Constitution Manifest in Human Nature, and Head Member of the Society for Abolishing Utopia, and Humbug, and Failure,” etc.), the libertarian Comtean who, perhaps even more than Stephen Pearl Andrews, made a practice of expressing anarchistic ideas in a language far more directly suited to the promotion of regimes of authority. […]


Calvin Blanchard — Those Peculiar Advertisements (1864–1865)

THE NATION’S CRISIS!—When Grant took Richmond, recaptured the “State prison birds” that had flown, and wrote himself “Your obedient servant” to Lee, he was perfectly consistent with the masked devilishness that underlies all government. There new was and never can be punishment for being criminal, but only for not being criminal enough! CALVIN BLANCHARD, No. 30 Ann st., has written a Book, scientifically showing a new way. Price 50 cents; by mail 60 cents. […]