ADDRESS OF SECTION OF ICARIAN COMMUNISTS TO THE PROLETARIANS # OTHERS OF GREAT BRITAIN <$ IRELAND.

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1 THE BRITISH ADDRESS OF SECTION OF ICARIAN COMMUNISTS TO THE PROLETARIANS # OTHERS OF GREAT BRITAIN <$ IRELAND. DEAR BROTHERS AND SISTERS, Believing, as we do, that the present system of society i3 destructive of the unity and happiness which should exist throughout the human family, and is one productive of accumulating misery and wretchedness to the mas3, we fervently entreat your serious attention to, and personal aid in, the practical illustration of the industrial and social problem which the co-partners of M. Cabet are endeavouring to give to the world. The progression of humanity has reached that epoch when man can no longer be exploited by man with impunity ; and longer to persist in the continuance of such a course is both wicked, pernicious, and dissonant with the harmony that nature evidently intended should reign among us : in other words, it is time that a purer and more philanthropic humanity should commence its supremacy ; that man should cease to look upon his fellow man as so much material to turn the penny with : to regard the divine complexity of his wondrous machinery as so much mechanism to manufacture dross with. Impressed with these ideas, and also with a conviction that individual happiness is best secured by its being comprehended and identified with that of humanity in the aggregate, that the unit should not suffer without detriment to the whole : in a word, believing a system of Community to be the means for securing the happiness and prosperity of the huraa'n family, the Society of Icarian Communists has become an active fact, labouring to realize not the imputed extravagances of some but a better and more natural state of axistence ; for which purpose it has secured extensive tracts of fertile Prairie Land in Central America. Yes, friends, sturdy hearts, and no less vigorous limbs, sinewed with faith and hope, are valorously labouring with mattock and axe, with spade and plough, to prepare a world of future bliss and happiness, amidst the still, beautiful, and health-giving scenes of nature. We invite you, then, to come and commune with us. Already, from the shores of France and England, brave hearts have parted ; men tried and proved by dangers and persecutions men, not merely Communists from the fears of the present, but Communists from a faith in the principles which are to guide, animate, and restrain them in the future. They, banded together in the holy cause of humanity, which has become a religion to them, hare gone to anticipate " the good time coming," which all so ardently desire still remembering that hoping, without love and action, is hopeless. Come, then, and see us, for the foundation of Icaria is no more a fiction ; let its motto be realized " Each for All, and AH for Each," and the fulfilment of the mission of its denizens, as champions of humanity, will be effectually accomplished. The Committee of the above Society meet at Eight o'clock every Monday night, at 13, Newman-street. Oxford-street, to give information and enrol Probationers. For Information respecting the objects and principles of the Society, read the Pamphlet entitled "Community of Icaria," price Hd., to be had of J. Watson, 3, Queen's Head Passage, Paternoster Row, of the Society, and may be ordered of all liberal Booksellers. For reports of progress, see the SMRIT OF THE AGE, Weekly Newspaper; and the organ of the Society, LE POPULAIRE, published weekly in Paris, No. 18. Rue Jean Jacques Rousseau. Fraternally greeting you, We are, In the cause of Humanity, Devotedly yours, THE COMMITTEE. A. HUHBO, Printer, Queen's Head Yard, Great Queen-mreet, Lincoln's Ion Fields.

2 THE BRITISH SECTION OF ICARIAN COMMUNISTS Etienne Cabet is generally known to have had many relations with England. The son of a cooper's man, who, after first learning his father's trade, became a schoolmaster, thereafter read for the Bar, became attorney-general of Corsica and one of the most democratic members of the Chamber of Deputees, he emigrated to London in 1834 after having afforded the Government, by the publication of some trenchant articles, the long wished-for opportunity of prosecuting him. When in London, his ideas became completely revolutionized and from being a fairly advanced democrat, he turned a Utopian Communist. The reading of Thomas More's Utopia was what made Cabet, according to his own testimony, decide "a etudier le systeme communautaire". When he wished to proclaim the communistic ideas engendered by these studies, Cabet chose just as Morus had done, the form of the utopia, viz. Voyage en Icarie. Owen's influence on Cabet should not be over-estimated, as Prudhommeaux in his standard-work on Cabet clearly demonstrated 1 ). It may be assumed, however, that Cabet asked the founder of New Harmony for advice when, after publishing in Le Populaire in 1847 the article "Allons en Icarie", he was faced with the difficult decision in which regions to try his communistic experiment. It is undoubtedly at Owen's suggestion that Cabet in the end fixed his choice on Texas. But Cabet's relation with England was not merely a receptive one. He endeavoured to win the London "Deutscher Kommunistischer Arbeiterbildungsverein" for his project to emigrate to Texas and to found a communist society there. He sent this association an appeal thereto, and subsequently went 1) Jules Prudhommeaux, Icarie et son fondateur Etienne Cabet. F. Rieder et Cie, Paris 1926, p. 433 ff.

3 86 The British Section of Icarian Communists up to London in order to personally get into touch with them. These efforts, however, remained unsuccessful: The London "Arbeiterbildungsverein" in their communist journal definitely declined Cabet's proposal*). Less known, if not altogether unknown, is the fact that Cabets aims nevertheless met with a response in English radical circles 2 ). Among the material on Cabet and his Icarian scheme in the possession of the Institute, there is a remarkable pamphlet giving distinct evidence of his influence in England. It is an address of the British Section of Icarian Communists to "The Proletarians and Others of Great Britain and Ireland", drawing attention to the foundation of Icaria and asking everybody's support for this enterprise. The pamphlet bears no date, but it was probably distributed in November 1848, since the Spirit of the Age of the 11th of that month publishes its text ADDRESS OF THE BRITISH SECTION OF ICARIAN COMMUNISTS TO THE PROLETARIANS & OTHERS OF GREAT BRITAIN & IRELAND DEAR BROTHERS AND SISTERS, Believing, as we do, that the present system of society is destructive of the unity and happiness which should exist throughout the human family, and is one productive of accumulating misery and wretchedness to the mass, we fervently entreat your serious attention to, and personal aid in, the 1) Die Londoner Kommunistische Zeitschrift und andere Urkunden aus den Jahren Eingeleitet und mit Anmerkungen versehen von Carl Grunberg. Hauptwerke des Sozialismus und der Sozialpolltik. Neue Folge, Heft 5. C. L. Hirschfeld, Leipzig p.45ff. 2) Prudhommeaux does not mention this fact in his work on Cabet.

4 The British Section of Icarian Communists 87 practical illustration of the industrial and social problem which the co-partners of M. Cabet are endeavouring to give to the world. The progression of humanity has reached that epoch when man can no longer be exploited by man with impunity; and longer to persist in the continuance of such a course is both wicked, pernicious, and dissonant with the harmony that nature evidently intended should reign among us: in other words, it is time that a purer and more philanthropic humanity should commence its supremacy; that man should cease to look upon his fellow man as so much material to turn the penny with: to regard the divine complexity of his wondrous machinery as so much mechanism to manufacture dross with. Impressed with these ideas, and also with a conviction that individual happiness is best secured by its being comprehended and indentified with that of humanity in the aggregate, that the unit should not suffer without detriment to the whole: in a word, believing a system of Community to be the means for securing the happiness and prosperity of the human family, the Society of Icarian Communists has become an active fact, labouring to realize not the imputed extravagances of some but a better and more natural state of existence; for which purpose it has secured extensive tracts of fertile Prairie Land in Central America. Yes, friends, sturdy hearts, and no less vigorous limbs, sinewed with faith and hope, are valorously labouring with mattock and axe, with spade and plough, to prepare a world of future bliss and happiness, amidst the still, beautiful, and health-giving scenes of nature. We invite you, then, to come and commune with us. Already, from the shores of France and England, brave hearts have parted; men tried and proved by dangers and persecutions men, not merely Communists from the fears of the present, but Communists from a faith in the principles which are to guide, animate, and restrain them in the future. They, banded together in the holy cause ol humanity, which has become a religion to them, have gone to anticipate "the good time coming", which all so ardently desire still remembering that hoping, without love and

5 88 The British Section of Icarian Communists action, is hopeless. Come, then, and see us, for the foundation of Icaria is no more a fiction; let its motto be realized "Each for All, and All for Each," and the fulfilment of the mission of its denizens, as champions of humanity, will be effectually accomplished. The Committee of the above Society meet at Eight o'clock every Monday night, at 13, Newman-street, Oxford-street, to give information and enrol Probationers. For Information respecting the objects and' principles of the Society, read the Pamphlet entitled "Community of Icaria", price iy 2 d., to be had of J. Watson, 3, Queen's Head Passage, Paternoster Row, of the Society, and may be ordered of all liberal Booksellers. For reports of progress, see the SPIRIT OF THE AGE, Weekly Newspaper; and the organ of the Society, LE POPULAIRE, published weekly in Paris, No. 18, Rue Jean Jacques Rousseau. Fraternally greeting you, We are, In the cause of Humanity, Devotedly yours, THE COMMITTEE A. Munro, Printer, Queen's Head Yard, Great Queen-street, Lincoln's Inn Field. The existence of the British Section of Icarian Communists in the year 1848 which did not leave untouched England either undoubtedly is worthy of attention. The International Institute for Social History hopes shortly, in one of its publications, to shed more light on the history of this movement. R.

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