J. Morrison (John Morrison) Davidson.

New politics for the people. Let there be light! 1.-Religion. 2.-Politics. 3.-The family. 4.-Economics. 5.-Miscellanea .. online

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But aynor omnia vmcit. Christ's Anarchy, which
has love for its basis, will yet triumph, in spite of all
appearances to the contrary. The Anarchy of Love
will exorcise the Anarchy of hate when nothing else
can. It will extirpate self from the heart of man,
and with it the fell institution of private property will
pass into the limbo of an almost forgotten barbarism.
Mammon's temples will be deserted, and the God or
rather Demon of Competition be without a single
votary. War will be no more, and patriotism will be
a meaningless substantive — a far oft" reminiscence of
the world's crude childhood. There will be no State,
no Justice Day, no Justice Hawkins, no " Tommy
Atkins" in red, no " Bobby " in blue, no goaler, no

For all these evil things and persons derive their
very existence from private property — the one human
institution which Christ unsparingly assailed under
the designation "Mammon" — and must needs wither
and die with it. Substitute common t>ossession for


pvivate property and the " Kingdom of God," which
the sublime Communist Anarchist of Nazareth an-
nounced eighteen centuries ago, will be no longer to
seek on earth.

But what of the "blessed word," Democracy? it
may be asked. Must that also be wiped off the slate
of humanity ? Yea, verily; in the Kingdom of God
on Earth, Monarchy, Oligarchy and Democracy will
be alike unknown. For what is Democracy but an
expansion of the old-time tyranny of Monarch and
Oligarch ? It is, at best, the exaltation of numbers,
the deification of the multiplication table, a con-
founding of Jesus and Judas — an intellectual and
moral absurdity. When, among a hundred men one
rules 99, that is Monarchy or One-Man Government;
when ten men rule 90, that is Oligarchy or Few-
Men Government ; and when fifty-one men rule 49,
that is Democracy or Majority — of — Men Govern-
ment. But Justice and Right are as independent
alike of the fifty-one, the ten, or the one, as are the
truths of mathematics or physics. Truth knows
neither majority nor minority.

And after the " passing of " Democracy how shall it
be then ? Thus, in the words of the Prophet
Jeremiah :

After those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their
inward parts, and write it in their hearts.

And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour and
every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord : for they shall
all know Me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them ;
and I will be their God and they shall be My people.

In the " Kingdom of God " (the Co-operative
Commonwealth) every man and every woman will be
a law unto himself and herself, Right will be Might,
and even the Initiative and Referendum will be no more
needed. The " New Man " and the " New Woman "
will have come, clothed in seamless robes of righteous-
ness, fashioned on the perfect Anarchistic and


Communistic pattern set by the Master- Initiator

1 limself,

Whose voice still soundeth on,
From the centuries that are gone
To the centuries that shall be.

And that Voice said: My service is perfect Freedovi.

What, then, we have got to do, in season and out of
season, is to convince the people that Private
Property is in no sense an institution of God, but a
device of the devil, whose reign on earth will come
to an end only when it is wholly discarded and
effaced. Says Rev. James Macdonald, and says
most truly : —

God did not give the earth, its vegetables, its fruits, its mineral
wealth, its cattle, the riches of river, sea, and ocean into the
hands of the few to the degradation of the many ; and yet almost
ninety per cent, of all the so-called sins and crimes of society
may be traced directly or indirectly to private property. Sins
against God forsooth I They are nothing of the kind, but sins
against present social arrangements. Theft, fraud, embezzle-
ment, forgery, gambling, poaching, and a multitude of other
crimes are the terrible progeny of private property.

It is a remarkable fact that the word " Catholic "
(Kata holos) out of which so much ecclesiastical
capital is made was unknown to Christ and His
Apostles. In the earliest centuries of the Christian
era, we constantly read of " the Cliurches '' (Anarchist
Groups), never of the Church. The word *' Common "
(Koinos) is the key to all the Master's teachings,
social and spiritual. He repudiated everything
known to jurists as " Acquired Rights," and recog-
nised nothing but the ** Natural Rights of Man.''
"From each according to his ability to each according
to his needs " was Christ's formula long before it was
that of St. Simon. If you doubt this, consider the
parable of the " Universal Penny."

In Christian Anarchy lies the hope and salvation
of the world. It is true and, because it is true, it will
prevail. Magna est Veritas et prevalebit.

Papt III.— the family.






Men are what their mothers made them When each comas
forth from his mother's womb, the gate of gifts closes behind
him. — Emekson

Unfolded out of the folds of the woman's brain come all the

folds of the man's brain, duly obedient ;
Unfolded out of the justice of the woman all justice is

unfolded ;
Unfolded out of the sympathy of the woman is all s\ mpathy ;
First the man is shaped in the woman, he can then be shaped

in himself. — Walt. Whitman.

however we do praise ourselves,

Our fancies are more giddy and infirm.
More longing, wavering, sooner lost and won
Than women's are.

Shakespeare : — Twelfth Night.





To cleanse society of the unfit we mast give to woman the
power of selection in marriage, and the means by which this
most desirable and important end can be attained will be
brought about by giving her such training and education as
shall render her economically independent. — Alfred Russel

From fairest creatures we desire increase. — Shakespearb.

For of the Soul the Body form doth take :
For Soul is form, and doth the Body make.

ARRIAGE presents a problem of supreme
gravity and delicacy, and so great is the
danger of being misunderstood that one
hesitates to speak with necessary candour
on the subject ; for, as a rule, it is men, accustomed
themselves to freedom — licence it may be — who say
" Level up ! " ; while it is women, habituated to the
severest restraints, who cry " Level down ; bind men
with our fetters ! " Consequently, let one write
never so rationally on the question, he is almost
certain to be set . down as a hypocrite on the one
hand, or a libertine on the other.

8i G

82 " LOCK UP THE MEN : "

But the epoch of Collectivism is upon us and the
problem of sex-relationship must be courageously
faced, for it is certain as anything in the future that,
with the abolition of Private Property, the property
element in marriage, which is the dominating one at
present, will also pass away. Existing marriage is a
" survival " of the patriarchal age, and the patriarchal
age and that of private property in excehis were
coeval. The patriarch's " wife " was little better
than a chattel, reckoned in the same category with
his " ox " and his " ass," which it was forbidden to
'• covet." She was priTate propevtv and the curse of
property and the ferocious old Patria Potestas are
upon her to this day.

To remove this curse we must first demonstrate
that patriarchal '^marriage," or v/hat remains of it,
is an unquestionable "failure." And to do this we
must assault the very citadel of European civilisation
— tlie Family. It is a hard and ungrateful task, for
the endearing associations that cluster around the
words " husband,'' " wife " ; " son," " daughter" ;
" brother,'' " sister," may well seem to atone for
almost any defects in the institution, however
grievous, that it is possible to point out. But " by
their fruits ye shall know them," and these are
bitter enough in all conscience.

The possible bases or units of any Society are
three in number — (i) the individual ; (2) the family ;
(3) the community. The individual or autocrat pure
and simple, who was the only freeman in a community
of slaves, can hardly be said to exist anywhere in
the present day ; but he was to be found almost
in perfection in some of the ancient despotisms of
the East, and in these, it is needless to say, the
family had nothing but the most rudimentary exist-
ence. Slavery excludes the very idea of marriage
and the familN- and so, in a great measure, does our
own mod'^rn factory system of production.


In Greece and Rome, in their palmiest days, to
which even now we look for "light and leading,"
the number of families was astonishingly few. In
Athens, b.c. 309, there were 515,000 inhabitants and
of these only g,ooo were citizens. The others had no
political rights, and the slaves alone who were
all illegitimates, numbered 400,000. In Corinth it
was worse. There the bond were to the free as
640,000 to 40,000.

Marriage and the family are, therefore, institutions
of the " Classes," whose origin and consequences
the " Masses " have good reason to examine with the
greatest care and circumspection. As inventions of
aristocracy, they had their roots in undiluted selfish-
ness no less than autocracy, on which, nevertheless,
they were an undoubted improvement, inasmuch as,
within the narrow limits of the family, scope was
given lor the development of true rt/^ms^?c feeling and

But just as an autocrat preyed on the entire com-
munity, so in marriage does family remorselessly
prey on family. In a word the family, as it now
exists, is, at best, an extended selfishness, at war
with all the highest needs and aspirations of

I have met the late Jay Gould, and can corroborate
the general testimony that he was, in every respect,
a most exemplary " family man " and Sabbath Day
Christian. Yet when Monday arrived, he recked not
a cent how many other families he brought to utter
ruin in the nefarious pursuit of that property which it
was indeed the original object of marriage to transmit
intact to one's offspring. Within family limits
Gould was as true an altruist as any man in
America ; outside them he was little better than a
human alligator.

I wonder if Jay's pastor, the eminent Presbyterian
divine. Dr. Pearson of New York, ever impressed on

84 " LOCK UP THE MEN : "

him the Master's conception of the Family, as set
forth in Matt, xii., 47-50 : —

Then one said unto Him, Behold Thy mother and Thy
brethren stand without desiring to speak with Thee.

But He answered and said unto him that told Him, Who is
My mother ? and who are My brethren ?

And He stretched forth His hand towards His disciples, and^
said. Behold My mother and My brethren !

For whosoever shall do the will of My Father who is in
Heaven, th2 same is My brother and sist-r and mother.

The key to the history of mediaeval and modern
Europe is the unbridled selfishness of the family.
By cunningly uniting the hereditary principle with
primogeniture, kings and nobles have succeeded in
perpetuating their cruel robbery of the " Masses"
from generation to generation, and what is more,
with the aid of the priests, they have seemingly con-
vinced the robbed, who have no property, that
the spoiler's form of property-marriage is the most
sacred institution on earth. They do not themselves
really believe in the sacredness of anything but
property. Their God is Mammon.

Whether there be [a God] the rich man says.

It matters very little;
For I and mine, thank somebody,

Are not in want of victual

But the many, alas, are in want of " victual," and
much besides. The war of family on family, the
inevitable outcome of property-marriage, has for
example, the dreadful result that injthis London of
ours, the fabulously wealthy Metropolis of the
World, sheer want has driven something like a
hundred thousand of our bloommg maidens to look
for their living on the street. But for property-
marriage they might have been reputable matrons-
mothers in Israel ; for it is notorious that, in physique
and the great moral quality of unselfisshness, they are
very frequently the best of their sex. I question if
desire alone ever sent one of this sad army of social


martyrs to the pavement. When a woman's sole
Capital is her labour and there is no market for that,
she sells her body for which there is a market.
Religion and morality inevitably succumb to an
empty stomach. There is no alternative but suicide
and even to "unfortunates" life is sweet. They are the
victims of "private property" — of Mammon — whose
worship was the only sin which the Saviour of man-
kind specificall}'and incessantly denounced as closing
the gate of the Kingdom of Heaven in the face of the

And what is even worse — inside legal matrimony
there is perhaps more moral guilt incurred than out-
side it. The woman that marries merely " for a
home," without genuine love of soul and body for
the man to whom she links herself, differs from her
sister on the street, on whose approach she gathers
up her virtuous skirts, only in the matter of worldly
prudence. Of the two, in the sight of God, she is
perhaps the greater sinner.

But let us judge not that we be not judged. Of
far more importance is it to try to discover a true
basis for marriage and Society. The individual has
failed us as the unit long ago, and now the family
stands condemned. We must, therefore, by the
process of exhaustion, seek it where it resided in the
dawn of " civilisation " — in the Community.



Bastard: But, mother, I am not Sir Robert'sson;

I have disclaimed Sir Robert, and my land.

Legitimation, name, and all is gone;

Then, good mother, let me know my father.

Some proper man, I hope.
Lady Faulconbridge : Hast thou denied thyself a Faulcoa-

bridge ?
Bastard : As faithfully as I deny the devil.
Lady Faulconbridge : King Richard Coeur de Lion was thy
father ;

Heaven lay not my transgression to my charge !
Bastard: He that, perftjrce, robs lions of their hearts

May easily win a woman's. Ay, my mother.

With all my heart I thank thee for my father.

Who lives and dares but say thou didst not well,

When I was got, I'll send his soul to hell.

Come, lady 1 will show thee to my kin,

And they shall say, when Richard me begot.

If thou hadst said him nay, it had been sin.

Who says it was, he lies; I say 'twas not.

Shakespeare, " King John."

INCE writing recently on the manifeat
"failure " of the institution of " marriage "
as it exists to-day in Cliristendom, my
attention has been forcibly drawn by
several friends, known and unknown, to the efforts


of the ^^Legitimation League" to find a remedy. I
have been kindly furnished with the publications oi
the League (Reeves, Fleet-street), and have ex-
amined them with the care they unquestionably
deserve ; but while appreciating to the full the
courage, candour, and ability of the president, Mr.
Wordsworth Donisthorpe ; the hon. secretary, Mr.
Oswald Dawson ; the hon. treasurer, Mrs. Gladys
Dawson and other prime promoters of the movement,
I am sorry to say that they seem to me wholly to
misconceive the very nature of the intolerable evils
which they so praiseworthily seek to remove.

They find that there are about a million and a half
of illegitimates in the country, the innocent victims
of gross social, legislative and ecclesiastical injustice,
and, in the words of Mr. Donisthorpe, it is their
desire " to enable honourable men and women to
remove a stain from the escutcheon of honourable
children, and to raise them to the same level as those
born in lawful wedlock."

The League, in point of fact, makes no attempt to
remove the cause of illegitimacy ; it merely seeks to
minimise its evil effects, and make the unavoidable
respectable. " I do not," says Mr. Dawson, " pro-
pose to abolish the Bastardy Laws. If this League
has any concern with them at all, I should say it
should be in the direction of seeking to raise the
financial responsibilities of putative fathers, and
making their obligations hold good in cases where
the mother is possessed of means, which is not the
case at present."

What in truth the League substantially wants to
do is to put the illegitimate and the legitimate, as
far as is legally possible, on a footing of equality in
respect of the cause of illegitimacy and prostitution
— private property. The League has most unjustly
been accused of advocating " free love " principles,
when, as a matter of fact, it is doing its best to patch


up and rehabilitate the miserable existing form of
property viavriage. Those who desire to perpetuate
that institution could hardly do better than counte-
nance the League in every way instead of reviling it.

For the anomalies of our marriage laws are almost
beyond belief, and the entire community owes the
League a deep debt of gratitude for rivetting public
attention on them, however ineffectual the palliatives
it proposes may appear.

Could, for example, anything be more atrociously
unjust than the following cases instanced by Mr.
Donisthorpe in his inauj^ural presidential address,
as having occurred in his own experience : —

A gentleman of large property died, leaving it to
be equally divided among his children. The eldest
unfortunately chanced to have been born a week or
two before the wedding ceremony. Both parents
were under the misapprehension that the marriage
put the eldest-born in the same legal position as the
others. Not so said " Law and Order." Had not
the barons of England centuries ago, in their wisdom,
decreed that " the laws of England shall never under-
go any alterations which are opposed to that which
is usual and proper ? " And so it came to pass,
when probate enquiries fell to be made, that the
eldest-born was left absolutely penniless, and branded
as a bastard to boot.

A hardly less grievous case was this : —

A gentleman of thoroughly good repute in his
circle had a wife, who unfortunately became hope-
lessly insane and the inmate of an asylum. Another
woman, who became his housekeeper as long as he
lived, bore him a child of whom he was particularly
fond. To this child he left his entire estate, some
^40,000. Meantime the lunatic wife died, and the
will was unfortunately lost, or at least could not be
found. The well-beloved child was in consequence
left a pauper.


The following in the words of the President of
the League : —

" I know a case very intimately, because it happens to be
that of a relative of my own. He is a man of no means beyond
what he is entitled to under a settlement made by his own
father. All his own children are entitled to certain property —
to very considerable property. But his children by his deceased
wife's sister come in for no share whatever. He himself would
be willing to acknowledge these children just as he would the
children of his first wife. But he is precluded by law, and he
has no control whatever over the settlement."

Yes, Mr. Donisthorpe, Bumble was right — *' the
Law is an hass," and no mistake. And now for
the League's methods of divesting the law of its
asinine characteristics. These methods are mainly
two in number — {a) Legitimation by Subsequent Mar-
riage and (h) Adoption.

In Scotland which, in most respects, is about half
a centurj' in advance of England, marriage is a
purely consensual contract, and whenever it takes
place, however "irregularly," children born before
the event are from that moment legitimated. It is a
humane and just law, which has always worked
well, and the League cannot surely be accused of any
very serious innovation in agitating for its extension
to England. It was the principle laid down in the Code
of the first reputed Christian Emperor, Constantine.
It was confirmed by the renowned prince of Imperial
codifiers, Justinian, and incorporated in the Canon
Law by the great Pope Alexander III., about the
middle of the Twelfth Century.

Yet, as I have said, our *' bold barons " would
have none of it, and England is content, apparently,
to abide by their decision. The House of Lords
invariably declines to do aught to relieve minorities
of their disabilities, and it is almost hopeless to
expect that they should be induced to regard, except
with the greatest disfavour, the first ameliorative
proposal of the League. It would tend to unsettle


property their lordships would discover, and per-
chance pave the way for the admission of the dis-
reputable "deceased wife's sister " into the bonds
of holy matrimony. Even the comparative novelty
of legal Adoption might have a better chance than
the Legitimatio per subseqiiens Matyimoniiim of ancient
Rome and modern Scotland.

In the ancient world, Adoptio was a notable
institution which did much to break down the
exclusiveness of the Patviarchal Family, and, if that
eminently leaky hulk is to be kept longer afloat on
the social sea, it will stop a hole as well as any con-
trivance that can be devised. Let it never be
forgotten that, in the palmiest days of the
Roman Empire, the greatest Emperors — Nerva,
Trajan, Hadrian, Marcus Aurelius — came to
the purple, not by birth, but by adoption.

In our own Celtic clans, too, the illegitimate son
was on a footing of equality with the legitimate, and
there was no bar to his succeeding to the Chieftain-
ship, which he frequently did by reason of superior
capacity; for it is a notorious fact that so-called
" love-children," if at all well brouglit up, are
generally more handsome and fitter in mind and body
than the legitimate, as the Swan of Avon somewhat
broadly explains. Edmund, Bastard son of Gloster,
loguiiur :

Why Bastard ? Wherefore base ?
When my dimensions are as well compact,
My mind as generous, and my shape as true,
As honest Madam's issue ? Why brand thev us
With base ? with baseness ? bastardy ? base? base ?
Who, in the lusty stealth of nature, take
More composition and fierce quality,
Than doth, within a dull, stale, tired bed,
Go to the creatinf^ of a whole tribe lof fops
Got 'tween sleep and wake ?

King Lear.

The muster-roll of the world's illegitimates, cast


in heroic mould, is long, and illustrious as it is long.
Setting aside the allegation of some of the earliest
anti-Christian polemics that the Messiah was the Son
of Mary and one Panthera, a Sardinian legionary, it
is yet not a little remarkable that Christ Himself
expressly repudiated Davidic descent : —

How say the scribes that Christ is David's son?

For David himself said by the Holy Spirit, The Lord said
unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand till I make thine
enemies thy footstool.

David therefore himself called him Lord ; and whence is he
then his son ? And the common people heard him gladly. —
Mark xii., 35, 36, 37.

Into the theology or physiology, however, of the
mystery of the Incarnation it is not now necessary
for me to enter. Suffice it that, in the good time
coming, it is permissible to hope that all children
will be the offspring of true love-unions. Howbeit,
chat can never be till woman is completely emanci-
pated economically, and the ennobling duties of
maternity are recognised as her chief vocation in life.
Out of Collectivism will spring quite naturally the
Matriarchal Mavriage and Family of the future, when
all will be equally legitimate, when e7'evy woman,
in the enjoyment of reasonable health, will be en-
abled to taste the tender, God-given joys of mother-
hood, when the last vestige of the infernal, old Prt/^m
Polestas shall be no more, and the well-intentioned
efforts of the Legitimation League be a mere
memory of a barbarous past.

Seek ye first the Co-operative CommonwealtJi, and
all these things — and much besides — shall l)e added
unto you.


A condition requiring the continuance of marriage, notwith
standint; a change in the feeUng of the parties, is absurd, shock-
ing, and contrary to humanity. — Jeremy Bentham.

Run along, children, God bless you, I've done you enough

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Online LibraryJ. Morrison (John Morrison) DavidsonNew politics for the people. Let there be light! 1.-Religion. 2.-Politics. 3.-The family. 4.-Economics. 5.-Miscellanea .. → online text (page 6 of 13)