Josiah Warren, a plain and only moderately educated New Englander, but of unusually independent and earnest spirit, was probably the first to enunciate precise anarchistic conceptions. He had become interested in the social views and plans of Robert Owen (q.v.), at this time first taking root in the land; had joined the Owenite community at New Harmony; had carefully studied its principles and mused upon its failure, till finally, about 1828, he reached the conclusion that its principles were exactly the opposite of the true ones, and that, instead of the communistic idea of each working for all, as Owen taught, the true way to produce order, harmony, and well-being, was for each to live, in his own way, absolutely untrammeled by others, so far as he did not intrude upon the similar privileges of others. His thoughts took especially a financial turn, and he came to the conclusion that cost was the true limit of price; that usury and profit in all their forms were, therefore, economicaly wrong, and, moreover, that they would disappear under perfectly free competition. He sought to put his ideas into practice, to actually test them before giving them to the world, and therefor started, and for two years successfully carried on, a store in Cincinnati, where cost was the limit of price, and where usury and profit were eliminated. Finding that he was doing a business of $150,000 a year -- a large amount for Cincinnati in those days -- he was convinced of the practicality and correctness of his ideas, and therefore closed his business to devote his life to the propagation of his ideas. His main writings were Ture Civilization a short work, first published in 1846, and Equitable Commerce, in which he elaborated his ideas of cost as the limit of price. These books found at least a few thoughtful readers. Stephen Pearl Andrews declared at a later day that the True Civilization was the text and basis of all his own writings, and John Stuart Mill refers to Warren with expressions of deepest interest and respect. THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF SOCIAL REFORM (1897.)
[A RARE AND INTERESTING DOCUMENT]
BY JOSIAH WARREN
AUTHOR OF "EQUITBLE COMMERCE"
AND "TRUE CIVILIZATION"
Introductory Note by Joseph Ishill
PUBLISHED & PRINGTED BY THE ORIOLE PRESS
BERKELEY HEIGHTS - NEW JERSEY