« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »
All modern philosophy converges to a single point-the overthrow of all government, the substitution of the untrammelled “Sovereignty of the Individual,” for the Sovereignty of Society, and the inauguration of anarchy. First domestic slavery, next religious institutions, then separate property, then political government, and, finally, family government and family relations, are to be swept away. This is the distinctly avowed programme of all able abolitionists and socialists; and towards this end the doctrines and the practices of the weakest and most timid among them tend. Proudhon, and the French socialists generally, avow this purpose in France, and Stephen Pearl Andrews re-echoes it from America. The more numerous and timid class are represented by Mr. Greeley and the Tribune, who would not wat once rush,” like French revolutionists, “with the explosive force of escapement, point blank to the bull's eye of its final destiny,” but would inaugurate social conditions, that would gradually bring about that result.
Mr. Greeley does not propose to do away at once with marriage, religion, private property, political government and parental authority, but adopts the philosophy and the practices of Fourier, which promise gradually to purify human nature, and fit it, in a few generations, for that social millenium, into which the bolder and more consistent Andrews urges society at once to plunge.
The Christian socialists are beautifully and energetically co-laborating with the infidel socialists and abolitionists to bring about this milenium. They also are divided into two parties. The one would wait upon Providence-only help it a little, like Mr. Greeley—and permit our poor old effete world to pass out of existence by gentle euthanasia. The other and bolder party, feel themselves “called” as special instruments, to give at once the coup de grace to the old world, and to usher in the new golden age, of free love and free lands, of free women and free negroes, of free children and free men.
We like the Northern socialist theoretical abolitionists—read their speeches, essays, lectures and books, because they agree with us, that their own form of society is a humbug and a failure; and in their efforts, speculations and schemes to re-organize it, afford the most beautiful, perfect and complete specimen of the reductio ad absurdum. A lecture from Mr. Andrews on No-government, an Oneida den of incest, a Greeley phalanstery, or a New York free love saloon, afford equally good instances of this mode of demonstration by the absurdities which they exhibit, and equally good proofs of the naturalness and necessity of slavery, since such horrid abuses are everywhere the approved and practiced outgrowth of free society. As all our thoughts, arguments, proofs and demonstrations are suggested by or borrowed from the abolitionists, it seems to us we ought to dedicate to them. The Tribune very properly remarked that our Sociology was the first attempt of the kind at the South. It ridiculed our ignorance, too, severely. It should have recollected that were there no sickness there would be no physicians. We assure the Tribune, we are quite a prodigy in these matters for a Southern man. We have no social diseases, and therefore no social doctors to write about them or cure them. Such diseases have been rare; for Aristotle complains that there are no terms to express the relations of husband and wife, or parent and child. These relations have worked SO smoothly in slave society to this day, that we in writing have felt the same want of language of which Aristotle, more than two thousand years ago, complained. You should invent such terms at the North, if it be true, as Mr. Andrews states in italics, that there are ten fugitives from Northern matrimony to one from Southern slavery-from which he seems to infer very logically, that the necessity of abolishing the family at the North, is ten times as great as that for abolishing slavery at the
South. He and you are experts, and we know it is presumptuous in us to dispute what you say about your own society. Still we are dead against your phalansteries and his love saloons. Gentlemen and scholars, generally at the South, would as soon be caught studying or practicing the black art, as in reading Owen or Fourier, or in building phalansteries. For ourselves, like the Bastard in King John, we learn these things, “not to deceive, but to avoid deceit.” We have whole files of infidel and aboli. tion papers, like the Tribune, the Liberator and Investigator. Fanny Wright, the Devil's Pulpit and the Devil's Parson, Tom Paine, Owen, Voltaire, et id genus omne, are our daily companions. Good people give our office a wide berth as they pass it, and even the hens who loiter about it, have caught the infection of Woman's Rights, for we saw but a few days ago à Shanghai cock under its eaves hovering a brood of twenty chickens, whilstmadam hen was strutting about in as large a liberty as any Bloomer or wise woman of the North.
Love and veneration for the family is with us not only a principle, but probably a prejudice and a weakness. We were never two weeks at a time from under the family roof, until we had passed middle life, and now that our years almost number half a century, we have never been from home for an interval of two months. And our historical reading, as well as our habits of life, may have unfitted us to appreciate the communist and fusion theories of Fanny Wright, Owen and Mr. Greely. In attempting to vindicate and justify the ways of God and Nature, against the progressiveness of Black Republicanism in America, and Red Republicanism in Europe, we would forewarn the reader that we are a prejudiced witness. We are the enthusiastic admirer of the social relations exhibited in the histories of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The social relations established in Deuteronomy, and 25th chapter Leviticus, and as practiced by the Jews to this day, elicit our unfeigned admiration and approval. Moses is with us the Prince of Legislators, and the twenty-fifth Leviticus the best of political platforms. The purity of the family seems to be his paramount object.
Homer, too, especially in his Odyssey, charms and enchains us with his beautiful descriptions of family felicity and family purity. As conquest and commerce introduced wealth and corrupted morals and manners, the family was corrupted and disrupted, as it is now, at the most commercial points in the North. But we have only to pass over to Italy, and there, from the earliest days of tradition until the extinction of liberty, began by Sylla and Marius, and ended by Augustus, we find the family a pure, a holy and sacred thing. From that era till slavery arose in the South, the family never resumed its dignity and importance. Feudalism did