This “Appendix” was printed with The Inherent Evils of All State Governments Demonstrated, a special reprint of the Vindication of Natural Society (ACS # 6) circulated by early English mutualists in 1858.
“The law of progress in human society is identical with the tendency to individualize. . . . The doctrine of the sovereignty of the individual, the most ultra-radical doctrine in theory and final purpose ever promulgated in the world, teaches, in principle, the prospective disruption of every existing institution, utterly at variance with all that has hitherto been practised in the world. . . . State Governments will never give real freedom to their subjects. When a people know what real liberty is, and what it is worth, they will assume it as their natural inheritance; and will resist any attempt to rob them of it, under the pretence of ‘governing’ them, as they would resist a band of robbers.”
“But not until the property-relations of man shall be placed on a foundation of Equity, can the sovereignty of the individual be realized; nor can any other of the human relations be just or harmonic. . . . With the full recognition of the equality and reciprocity of all rights and duties; with the use of land, and all other natural wealth, easily attainable; with a circulating medium of exchange, expanding and contracting as wealth, or bona fide credit was created or consumed; and with the moral belief current in society that the prices of all commodities or services should be regulated by their absolute cost — the vicious system of profitism or profit-mongering, which now prevails, would cease; because those who now are compelled to resort to this nefarious mode of getting a living, would have other and more legitimate sources of livelihood. . . . Equitable Society demands nothing impossible of humanity. . . . But words, words alone, will no longer suffice. And the remedy is, — homes for the homeless — food for the starving — Equity for all!”
Years after publishing the “Vindication” anonymously, after his authorship of the essay was discovered, Burke claimed publicly that the anarchistic argument of the “Vindication” was really intended as satire, and a reductio ad absurdum of deistic defenses of “Natural Religion.” However, many early mutualists and anarchists were impressed by the argument and took it seriously; in the “Preface” to their reprint, the anonymous editors, English followers of the American individualist anarchist Josiah Warren, argued that Burke’s argument for philosophical anarchism was both convincing and sincerely made, and his attempts to disown it later should be rejected. While defending the philosophical Anarchism of the “Vindication,” they argued that it was incomplete, condemning “Artificial Society” without offering guidance on how it might be ended, or “Natural Society” brought into practical being. They added this “Appendix,” to “briefly [enunciate] the principles through which ‘Natural Society’ may be gradually realized,” drawing on the work of the American individualists Josiah Warren and Stephen Pearl Andrews. The result was a fascinating commentary and document of early English mutualism.
Introduced March 2014.