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May 15, 2005 4:18 am

Essay by J.Wm Lloyd

I recently transcribed several essays of J. Wm Lloyd, a frequent contributor to Benjamin Tucker's individualist anarchist periodical Liberty (1881-1908) through most of its lifespan. Lloyd was the author of several works, mostly of poetry, that were heavily promoted by Liberty; they included"The Anarchists' March","The Dwellers in Vale Sunrise", and"The Red Heart in a White World". To the extent there is a poet laureate of individualist anarchism, it is surely John William Lloyd. As far as I know, the following essay, Anarchist-Mutualism, does not exist online except for this entry. I post the essay on McBlog for those who are interested in the history of the libertarian movement and/or 19th century individualist anarchism. Feel free to reprint and circulate it as long as credit and a link are provided. Click to read the essay here. For more commentary, please see McBlog.

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Wendy McElroy - 5/16/2005

No, I don;t believe there was any connection David. I've posted an autobiographical essay by Lloyd in today's feed and I've gone through all of J.Wm. Lloyd's paper, which I acquired some while ago and passed on to the Mises Institute. Nothing indicated a link. Alas! It would have been cool.


Kenneth R Gregg - 5/16/2005


This is an interesting essay by Lloyd (as far as I know, no relation to William Lloyd Garrison or his son). It expresses his concern over Clarence Lee Swarz's book, "Mutualism" which had been published at the time. Victor Yarros, another "plumb-liner" moved away from Tucker in similar ways. Glad to see that Lloyd had become concerned with the "use-and-occupation" theory of ownership held by the Individualist-Anarchists. Spooner was critical of Proudhon and the American "Plumb-liners'" property theory, as were many later libertarians such as (Leonard) Read, Rothbard and LeFevre. Josiah Warren and a good many other American land radicals, most following the older tradition of Thomas Spence and Thomas Paine, out of which a form of "land-communism" was promoted (see, for example, Jamie Bronstein's "Land Redorm and Working Class Experience in Britain and the United States: 1800-1862" (Stanford: Stanford U. Press, 1999) for a discussion of the background).

This was the Individualist-Anarchists' weakest point, although when comparing them to the anarcho-commies of the period, it made more sense. For the ordinary person looking at anarchist thought, these Individualist-Anarchists were market-oriented, forward-looking--and far more sane than the crazy immigrant anarchists that were in the newspapers of the time. Without their use-and-occupation theory of ownership, Individualist-Anarchism falls as readily as Lloyd correctly saw. Without this, the rejection of government failed in Lloyd's view.

From this point, Lloyd found he had no choice but to accept government as an integral part of his social philosophy. Charles T. Sprading, C.E.S. Wood (another poet of the "plumb-line"--Jo Labadie was probably the first), C.L. Swarz, Laurence Labadie, E.C. Riegel and the other leading Individualist-Anarchists of his generation would continue to hold on to the old vestiges of use-and-occupation and the other elements of "plumb-line" thinking of Tucker, and essentially dissolved into left-socialist and left-libertarian thinking of the time.

The next generation of libertarians knew next-to-nothing of the Tuckerites. Spencer Heath (who had come from the "single-taxers limited" school), the first of the free-market anarchists, knew E.C. Riegel and was on a first-name basis with couple of the others; Rose Wilder Lane was not. As far as I am aware, R.C. Hoiles, "Baldy" Harper, Robert LeFevre and Murray Rothbard were unfamiliar with them. Nor am I aware that Isabel Paterson, Ayn Rand or Leonard Read knew of them.

Just a thought.
Just Ken

David Timothy Beito - 5/15/2005

Given the similarity of names, was their any relation to William Lloyd Garrison?