Paul Brown, whose Twelve Months in New Harmony I posted some time ago, was, from various indications, a friend of Josiah Warren. He was also the most articulate voice in favor of property-in-common that we have from the New Harmony community. He was the author of a number of books, on a range of subjects, as well as some uncollected writings, under the title “Gray Light,” which appeared in the New Harmony Gazette. I’m working on transcribing Gray Light, which is probably one of the five or six most interesting uncollected works I’ve run across in the last few years. In the meantime, Google Books has made available The Radical and Advocate of Equality, a very interesting collection of papers from 1835. I frequently disagree with Brown, who must have had some lively debates with Warren about property, but I think he is one of the most important voices in that “first mutualist moment” of 1825-7, ranking right up there with Warren, “The Mutualist,” and Owen himself.
I’ve finally posted all ten installments of Josiah Warren’s “The Motives for Communism: How It Worked and What It Led To” on the Libertarian Library blog. The series appeared in Woodhull and Claflin’s Weekly in […]
GRAY LIGHT By “$” [Paul Brown] (From The New-Harmony Gazette, Dec. 21, 1825-Jan. 10, 1827) For the New-Harmony Gazette. GRAY LIGHT.—NO. I. The inception and first instance of any mode, when not immediately perceived, is […]
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. […]