From the Archives

J. William Lloyd, “Forced or Free—The Two Socialisms” (1902)

THAT the drift of evolution is toward socialism few thinkers doubt. It appears in education, religion, industry, government, everything. All over the world free schools, free libraries, free reading rooms, etc., reveal a profound conviction that knowledge is a human birthright. In religion there is a rapidly accelerating tendency to waive dogma, leave creed to conscience, & concentrate on humanitarian work. Proposals to rub out sectarian lines & minimize sects are heard every day, and as a matter of almost unconscious fact such unity is every day being attained. Practically only some half-a-dozen sects remain, & these faded. […]

Utopian and Scientific

Pierre Leroux, “Individualism and Socialism” (1834)

At times, even the most resolute hearts, those most firmly fixed on the sacred belief of progress, come to lose courage and to feel full of disgust at the present. In the 16th century, when one murdered in our civil wars, it was in the name of God and with a crucifix in the hand; it was a question of the most sacred things, of things which, when once they have procured our conviction and our faith so legitimately dominate our nature that it has nothing to do but obey, and even its most beautiful appanage disappears thus voluntarily before the divine will. In the name of what principle does one today send off, by telegraph, pitiless orders, and transform proletarian soldiers into the executioners of their own class? Why has our epoch seen cruelties which recall St. Bartholemew? Why have men been fanaticized to the point of making them coldly slaughter the elderly, women, and children? Why has the Seine rolled with murders which recalls the arquebuscades of window of the Louvre? It is not in the name of God and eternal salvation that it is done. It is in the name of material interests. […]