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THE AMERICAN ASSOCIATIONISTS.
To the Editor of the Democratic Review: &c. &c., have been swept away by the
spirit of progress of the American people. I have read in the December number of It now remains for us, as a people, to comthe Democratic Review a criticism of the plete the great work, and reform the social “Wandering Jew," of Eugene Sue. This system itself, with its false, degrading, work is made the occasion of a violent brutalizing, unrequited and ill-requited philippic against the American Association system of Labor—its contlict of all iuterists and the social doctrines of Charles ests—its unequal war of Capital against Fourier. The article is such a tissue of Labor-and its fierce, envious and relentmisrepresentations and perversions that I less competition, with its hatreds, and hardly know how to answer it, or what jealonsies, and the industrial anarchy to part to take up and refute, without exceed which it gives rise-its grossly unequal ing ten-fold the limits you could give me. social opportunities and privileges - its Knowing, as I do, that the article was domestic servitude--its system of menial published during your absence from the and hireling labor—its protracted, unjust country, I hasten to take advantage of your and quibbling system of Law, and its other return, to appeal to your sense of justice social evils and abuses. to allow me the privilege, on behalf of no We believe that this is the true work of snall number of high-minded and honor our age and nation, and we, as Americans, able men, honest in their views of social have undertaken it. We advocate a Soreform, of replying in the same pages to cial Reform, and we are, in fact, Social that which we regard as personally in- Reformers; we prosecute our enterprise jurious, as well as calumnious and unjust to in the name of God and humanity, with a a doctrine. Without putting this reply in a deep and firm faith and conviction that we controversial form, or undertaking a de are right, that we are engaged in the most tailed criticism of the article of your cor- sacred and holy of causes in which men respondent, I shall best attain ny object can be engaged-for it is the cause of the by proceeding to explain simply and briefly elevation of mankind from poverty, suffer. the aims, the objects, and the principles of ing, ignorance, and degradation, to univerthose who have been so extremely and sal abundance, muiversal intelligence and unwarrantably misrepresented.
happiness. The American Associationists advocate Not wishing to take a name so much a Social Reform-a thorough and organic abused as that of “Reformer," we have reform in the present system of Society, chosen the simple name of Associationists, inherited from the dark ages of monarchical and used it in all our works and on all ocEurope and blood-stained Greece and casions. Rome, and which is still erect, governing The writer of the article to which I anthe destinies of the most advanced nations swer, the reasoniugs and sophistries of on the earth. We believe that this which, together with isolated quotations system of Society, called Civilization, has from Eugene Sue, are strung together in a entailed carnage and servitude, misery, manner most disgusting to the moral sense conflicts, disunion and ignorance long of our souls-has seen fit to call us enough upon Mankind, and that the time Fourierites, a name which we have always has at length arrived for a change in this rejected, first, because we do not wish to monstrous social mechanism, and the clothe our great work with the livery of peaceful establishment of a new social any man's name; and second, because we order in its place.
look upon Fourier as an eminent writer The American people have taken the and thinker on Social Science and it initiative in this great and righteous work; would be false to give it his name, as it they have reformed a part of this old and would be to give to Astronomy the name rotten social system--the offspring of of Kepler or Newton. epochs of war, slavery and oppression; Let me state the general principles on they have reformed the political part; they which we base our convietion of the nehave stripped it of its political tyranny, cessity of a great reform in the social con. injustice, ineqnalities and extortions--and dition of the human race, and the possi. Kings, Aristocracies, entailed estates, titles, bility of their elevation to a high stato
• The publication of the abovo communication is requested, on grounds to which, as a matter of personal justice, we canaot rofuse the privilege claimed.ED. D. R.
of dignity, tru:h and happiness. My Look at your wars between nations, view of these principles may differ slightly with their carnage and devastation; look from those of others, but I believe not at your incompatible castes and classes in essentially:
each nation--masters and slaves, rich and 1. We beliove that a God of infinite poor, employers and hirelings-with arroLove and infinite Wisdom, created and gance, oppression and contempt on one governs the Universe.
side, and envy and hatred on the other ; 2. We believe that our globe and the look at your strifes and intrignes between Humanity upon it form a part of the sects and parties ; at your frauds, overUniverse, and that hence the Laws of reachings, duplicity, lying, cheating and divine Justice. Order and Harmony, which legalized plunder in commerce, finance and govern the Universe, can be extended to industry; look at your dissensions in and established upon our earth.
families, at your quarrels, antipathies and 3. We believe that these Laws of Din calumnies between individuals in all their vine Order are revealed and manifested daily business affairs ; look at rampant in the works of creation-in the move mammon, wringing from the toiling milment of the heavenly bodies, in the distri. lions the wealth created by their sweat bution and arrangement of the animal, and their blood ; look at men devouring vegetable, and mineral kingdoms—in the the substance of each otlier like beasts of harmonies discovered by science, like the prey ; look at the vice, crime and drunk. mathematical and musical; and in all other
enness that prevail, particularly in your departments, These laws are the attri- large cities; look at the prostitutes in your butes of the wisdom of the Creator. We streets, at your poor-houses and your believe, also, that the commandments of prisons; at your beggars and your criminals, His Love, have been given to the world look at all this and far more than I can by the Prophets, and in their fulness describe, and say whether the present by Christ, who proclaimed the brother. system society is a true and divine Order hood and unity of the race that they in which the laws of God reign, or if it is were all one, brothers of one family, chile not rather a Social Hell? When we condren of one God; and who said : “ As I template this awful scene, what can we say have loved you, so love ye one another ;"
of those benighted souls, who, instead of and instructed his disciples to pray and taking any part in the great and sacred labor that the kingdom of God, and his work of social progress and human elevajustice, might come, and his will be done tion, have only attacks, calumnies and criti. ON EARTH, as it is in heaven and that to cisms to level against every and all reforms all might be given their daily bread or that come up, and who, in order to pander an abundance of all things necessary to the
to and gain the favor of interests monbody and soul.
strously selfish and inhuman, actually. 4. We believe that man is a free
uphold this Social Hell ?
agent, endowed with independent action, and the The day is not far distant when these high gift of reason and mental association defenders of things as they are-in the with God, and that he must discover by midst of the complicated miseries that his own efforts and genius these Laws of reign, will receive, as they merit, the divine Order and Justice, and establish contempt of mankind. them upon earth. If Man does not do this,
5. We believe that a great Social Reform then discord and incoherence reign in their
must and will be effected ; that the con. place, govern the world, and engender all the evils that now oppress and curse it.
dition of mankind throughout the world
calls for it with imperious necessity. But to be impelled to seek for these Laws,
We believe that the new Social Order, man must be animated by love to God and
which is destined to replace the old social humanity; the love must exist first, and give power and direction to his intellect. system of man, slavery, oppression and If those literary critics that are biting at
gigantic wrong, and which has now lasted the heels of genius, were fired by any
about thirty centuries, must be based upon spark of this noble sentiment, they would
those principles of eternal justice, those endeavor to discover remedies for the harmony throughout the universe, and not
laws of divine Order which produce miseries that oppress their fellow men, instead of making a hypocritical parade of upon any arbitrary plan or theories of
human devising or invention. their pretended purity and virtue, and sensibility to truth and principle.
As we said, these laws of universal That the laws of divine Order and Har. Harmony, having their origin in the wismony with their results, the Brotherhood dom of God, are manifested in all the and 'unity of the race, and the elevation works of creation ; Man is the interpreter and happiness of the whole human family, of them for this globe; he must, by tho do not exist on the earth, is abundantly efforts of the high intelligence with which proved by facts around us.
he has been endowed, discover and apply
them to the world over which he presides, From what we have said, it will be seen and thus bring it under the government of that we hold there are many interpreters the laws of harmony and justice of the of Nature's Laws. We consult these inCreator. We believe that several interpre- terpreters with great respect, but do not ters of parts of these laws, have appeared take the men as our leaders and masters; within a century or two, and that the we accept only the Laws themselves. These present epoch in the history of the world Laws, as we said, are not yet fully discov. is destined to explain them, and give to ered, and clearly and scientifically explainmankind the true scientific basis of society. ed, and we are sull seeking. Fourier has We, who are laboring for a Social Reform, had a deeper, a more definite and comprefeel particularly the want of full knowledge hensive view of them than any other man of these laws, for we know that this greatest we know; he has given, in addition, an of all problems, can only be solved by the Organization of Society, which he believes highest wisdom. For this reason we study is based upon them, so that we consult with deep interest, and impartially, the him with respect, and in one important labors of every man of genius who pre- practical sphere, in the Organization of tends to have had an insight into this in- Industry-by which Labor will be dignitricate subject.
fied, and rendered honorable and attracWe believe that the illustrious Sweden- tive-we take him as a guide. We look borg has discovered some portion of these upon him as an interpreter, not as our maslaws of universal Harmony; his scientific ter: he was not a prophet, a revealer, a works in particular, his Animal Kingdom, being clothed with undoubted authority; Principia, &c., contain most important he was a man of gigantic genius, operating things. He is condemned as a visionary with the powers of reason, which are aland an impostor by many sects, yet we ways liable to error, in him as well as in consult liim with reverence, and take gladly every one else. It is very probable that whatever we can find to guide us in our he did commit errors, as he operated in so difficult and complicated work.
new and vast a field; it would, indeed, be Charles Fourier had a clear insight into remarkable if he did not; we know that the existence of these laws, and the abso- the great Kepler, and the great Newton, lute necessity of their discovery, before wrote some extravagant things—as extramankind could have positively a vagant as their genius was great, for powguide in the organization of their societies, erful men do nothing, whether for good or and their social career on earth. He labored evil, in a small way. It may be the same for years at their discovery, and it is said by with Fourier, but it is for the men who those who knew him, that he has passed are following in the same direction,—that six days and nights without sleep, engaged is, searching for the Laws of divine Order upon the solution of some deep and com and Justice, and their application to this plicated problem. I, who knew him well, world-to correct these errors, and to suband who knew the intensity and the power stitute the corresponding Truths in their of his nature, can readily believe that it place. Besides, the common
sense of Fourier claims to have discovered mankind, as the great work of a Social the laws of universal harmony in all their Reform progresses, can test, step by step, powers or degrees, but in his works he the truth and practicability of principles has given only a general outline of them, and measures, which may be proposed by and laid down their general and funda- Interpreters or Discoverers of Social mental principles. The results of the Laws. labors which he has left behind, are how Small souls and triflers do not know ever, of inestimable value, and candid how to separate any errors that may occur minds, if they would but look into the in a system, or in the discoveries of a subject, would see it, and pursue the study, man, from the truths that are contained in and endeavor to arrive at a complete them-making use of the one while they knowledge of these laws.
correct the other: all they can do is to cry Many of the leading scientific minds of out like frightened children, and point with the day are now searching for the great great trepidation to some dreadful things principles of Nature, which control and they have seen. This appears to have regulate, with such sublime wisdom, the been the case with the poor Critic in the vast universe. Among others, we find last number of the Democratic Review. He BURDACH, the physiologist ; Carus, the has read, in Eugene Sue, something that comparative anatomist ; and OKEN, the is in conflict with marriage as it now exnaturalist, of Germany; GEOFFROY St. ists: he attributes all this to Fourier's sysHilaire, of France, and others. There is tem, and the American Associationists, (ala decided tendency, in our age, to arrive though I know, positively, that Eugene at this Science of Sciences, or a knowledge Sue does not know what Fourier's views of the Laws of Nature, or universal Order
are upon the question of the relation of and Harmony, and, we believe, that it may the sexes, for they are not explained in his be accomplished.
works) and, then, sets up a cry of alarm,
and proceeds to save the world from the tions-leaving it to future ages to deter danger that impends over it.
mine whether he is right, and if so, to Let me state, here, that in Fourier's merit a reputation equal to the reachings works or discoveries, there are two en of his genius—but he says, that the practitirely distinct parts. One relates to the cal and industrial part of his discoveries, Organization of Labor and similar practi- which can be tested on a small scale, and cal questions, such as the syetem of com at comparatively little expense, and of merce, of property, of education, the divi. which the present age can judge, should sion of profits, &c. All this is clear and not be rejected on that account. practical, and can be judged by the com So much for Fourier. Now, let me ex. mon sense of people, and practical expe- plain briefly, the views which the Associarience.
tionists hold on the subject of marriage, The other embraces a wide field of sci- and a few other leading points. entific speculation and analogical conjec We believe that a Social Reform has tures upon the system of the universe, and become absolutely necessary, and must, of the most travscendent character ever sooner or later, be effected; we have expenned, we believe, by man. The latter plained the reasons for it, and the princiincludes the theory of the Laws of Univer- ples on which a true Social Order should sal Harmony or the Law of the Series, be based, namely, apon the same great as Fourier calls it-a theory of the Im- system of Laws as produce Harmony in mortality of the Soul-of Cosmogony, em- all other branches of creation. bracing an explanation of the mode of the In this difficult and arduous work, we creation of animals, vegetables and miner must begin at the beginning; that is, with als on the surfaces of planets, and of future the practical and material interests and afcreations, and developments of Nature that fairs of Society. We must give to Labor, are to take place on our own-a descrip which is the great source of wealth and tion of the processes for ameliorating the riches, a good Organization; we must climate of our globe-an explanation of dignify it and make it attractive; we must the theory of Universal Analogy, and an apply to it all the resources of science and outline of the future and successive Orders invention, so as to increase production of Society that will be established on the greatly-four, six, eight fold. By, this earth as the Race progresses, and the great means we can secure abundance to all, changes which he predicts, will take and banish the scourge of poverty from the place generally. In is in this part that we world, the prolific source of so many lesser class what he says of the habits, customs, evils—this is the first great step to be and the nature of the social relations that taken. will exist in future and far distant periods; We must then secure to every being and as great changes have taken place in to the man, the woman and the child-his the past, so he anticipates that they or her rights, particularly the Right of will also take place in the future. Ho Property, and the Righi of Labor, or prohas said very little about the relation of the ductive and congenial occupations. By sexes, and what he has said is stated in this means, we shall secure to all, pecuniasuch extremely technical language, and so ry independence, which is the second great vague and general, that it is impossible to step. arrive at a clear knowledge of the system In the third place, we must give to all which he had in view. He has, however, children, without exception, equal social said enough in condemnation of the abuses opportunities, and particularly equal and evils of the present system to expose chances of education, and the best possihimself to the criticism of those minds of ble one, both industrial and scientific, small calibre, who, from petty interests hate that the human mind can discover, and the all reform and progress, and seek out some experience of the past suggest. This will one or more points which are objectionable secure universal culture and refinement, to the habits and feelings of the Age, and and unily of habits, manners, language, then harp upon them, instead of seeking for foc. what is evidently good and sound, and These three measures, which conld so advocating it, as men of intelligent easily be carried out, if there was a sincere views and honest hearts, should do. Love of Humanity to prompt the hearts Fourier, however, has stated in the most and the intellects of men to seek for the explicit manner, ihat this second part of means, would bless the world with Abunhis works may be considered as a romance dance, with real liberty and independence, --as his poetry. He says that Newton and with universal Knowledge and Elewrote upon the Apocalypse, Kepler upon valion. Astrology, and that the positive part of Jointly with these three measures, wo those great men's discoveries are not re must introduce into society, Unity of Injected on account of their apocalyptical or terests, Combined Action, and the princiastrological vagaries; he claims the same ple of Association, and replace by them liberty to treat certain transcendant ques. The conflict of all interests, the incoherent
VOL. XVIII.-NO. XCII.
action, and the universal individualism, the jealousies, the sorrows, the material. and the antagonism, that now reign. ism, the oppression, the abuses, and the
When Mankind have achieved these thousand abominations that now preliminary reforms; when a foundation ist and take place between married couof practical truth and justice is laid, wirich ples. We believe that all other evils in will take two or three generations; then society combine to produce these results ; they will be in a position to discuss and that poverty and ignorance, that coarseness legislate upon any higher reforms which and brutality, particularly on the part of may be deemed necessary; and they will men, with vices like gambling and drinkbe capable of so doing, for abundance and ing, that antipathetic and incompatible knowledge will be universal, and refined characters, that undeveloped and misdeveand elevated generations will be there to loped minds and bodies, with repulsive decide upon them.
habits, views and opinions growing out of Our duty and business are to work for these moral and physical deformities, that the present generation, to propose and the pecuniary dependence of woman, that carry out such measures as the present time rash marriages, the fruit of the mere senrequires-as are appropriate to the actual sual impulses-these, and other evils and wants and condition of mankind, and abuses, combine to poison and degrade form the first of a regular series of links the relations, and cover it with their conin the great chain of a Social Reform. tamination. But above all, we believe We have too much common sense, we that the system of separate or isolated trust, to undertake to say what Humanity households, which makes woman a domesshall do ages hence, and to lay down laws tic drudge, reduces her to a state of entire and principles which it shall follow. It pecuniary dependency upon man-forcing will be guided, we do not doubt, by its her in so many cases to barter the desires own sentiments, researches and studies; and aspirations of her soul for clothes to and on looking back to the dark ago in cover her, for food to eat, and for a house which we now live, with its ignorance, for shelter-which brings up between the misery, brutality, selfishness, slavish and man and the woman a thousand petty disdisgusting subserviency to pecuniary con cussions upon low and common place subsiderations, its prejudices and general in- jects, upon pecuniary concerns, expenses, tellectual weakness, it will think as little economy, &c., and which soon dissipate of taking advice of the beings of such an the sentiment that produced the anion-it age, as we do of following the views of the is this system in particular which exercises darkest of the middle ages, and, in fact, I a most deleterious influence upon the remight say, as we should of asking the lations of the sexes. councils of a band of Congo negroes, or a Now, we do not wish to change or abolhorde of savages, upon questions of social ish marriage to correct the abuses which and political interests.
we see at present connected and interwoAN INDUSTRIAL REFORM, and the Or ven with it. We wish first, to change all GANIZATION OF LABOR, the guarantee of all the social, political, and household evils Rights--the Right of Property, the Right that surround it; and when this is accomof congenial and productive Occupations, plished, we shall then be in a position to and the Right of Education and Social form a clear and correct opinion as to Protection, or a Social Providence for the what is to be done next, if other evils still child—these are the measures for which remain. We are positively certain that if the Associationists are contending, the re marriage were to be done away with at forms which they are endeavoring to carry present, and all the monstrous abuses and
defects which now exist in society, left
in the second place, that they are fully convinced that it is not a Marriage is an incomplete and imperfect question for the present age. It is their institution, and requires to be reformed; opponents who moot the question, and not what, then, are your views and your polthey.
icy in regard to it ? As regards their opinion upon the good. Our views are very clear upon this ness and truth of the Institution, I will point; and I will state them. state the views which, I believe, are held We believe that it is for the women of a by most of us. This will meet the ques- future generatiou-hen all the prelimition direct.
nary reforms, of which we spoke, are car. In the first place, we do not at all be ried out, when woman possesses her pelieve that Marriage, that the promise and cuniary independence—when she enjoys vow between two beings before God to all her rights, and gains her own livelihood love each other for ever, is the cause of by her own efforts, in a system of dignithe quarrels, the discords, the antipathies, fied and attractive industry-when she is