Utopian and Scientific

Paul Brown, “Twelve Months in New Harmony” (1827)

For several years I had been addicted to the contemplation of a new social order, in which all property should be held in common stock, being fully persuaded that this was the only equitable mode of subsisting of mankind in a state of society. I was driven to meditate on this subject by my suffering from the inadequacy of the existing institutions to extend justice to the poor, and the odious grinding influence of individual wealth and unequal usurped power, which in several instances had borne grievously afflictively upon me. I became acquainted with several persons in New-York City and in the state of Ohio, who were in the same train of speculation. […]

Utopian and Scientific

“Gray Light”—Paul Brown in the New Harmony Gazette (1825–1827)

The inception and first instance of any mode, when not immediately perceived, is not an object of intuition or demonstrative knowledge. Such as that of the commencing of a customary way of subsisting, among the individuals of a race of animals with whatever degree of intelligence endued, must be abstracted to the most general sense, before it can be an object of assurance. To go to particulars, as of time, words, &c., is to carry the subject into the province of fiction. If we take into our purport the ideas of the names or shapes of persons,—the place where and the time when, i. e. the number of revolutions of the earth since, such a circumstance took place, as the herding together of several individuals of the human species, or the consociating of two individuals of that species, we cannot make the proposition an object of assurance, by the scale of a dialectic process. True logic excludes sophistry. […]

equitable commerce

Josiah Warren, “The Motives for Communism” (1872-73)

How often have I said to myself, “Oh, for a paper of world-wide circulation, through which we could pour into the public lap the most important results of our lives’ experience! That others who come after us may avoid the thorny paths that have lacerated our feet—may profit by our errors and successes. I hope and believe that your is, or will be, such a paper: and in it I propose to furnish a series of articles, showing the practical workings of Communism and other reform experiments running through the forty-six years devoted to peaceful social revolution; and it will be seen that some facts are more strange than fiction, more philosophical than philosophy, more romantic than romance and more conservative than conservatism. […]