Talk:Dyer Lum

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Good article Dyer Lum has been listed as one of the History good articles under the good article criteria. If you can improve it further, please do so. If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it.
November 9, 2007 Good article nominee Listed

Ideological identification[edit]

McElroy, "Debates of Liberty" says Lum was an anarcho-communist. The source being used in this article to say he was an individualist did not say that. It just said he was a contributor to "Liberty." That makes sense now, because the things in this article and his quotes didn't seem individualist to me. Operation Spooner 18:24, 21 August 2007 (UTC)

I'm sorry, that was my mistake. The source said his relative worked for Gompers, an individualist anarchist, not that Lum was an individualist anarchist. Thanks for catching that. I have to question the appropriety of the "anarcho-communist" identification however — it seems to contradict his market-orientated philosophy as described in the Thought section. Can you provide the quote from McElroy? Skomorokh incite 18:43, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
Here's one clue in his quote in this article: "The tradesman would find that production offered greater inducement than exchange..." Here's a quote from McElroy: "On the next page of Liberty, an article by Appleton entitled "The Boston Anarchists" spelled out the peaceful principles and policies of Individualist Anarchism, which stood in stark contrast to those of Communist Anarchism...In the same issue on the opposing page, The Communist Anarchist Dyer D. Lum complained that 'the ggrave situation in which the Chicago Communists' (if you will) are placed demands...more than dissertations or well-rounded and careful distinctions b 'X' [Appleton] between 'Boston Anarchists' and the 'savage Communists of Chicago." I'm reading that Tucker and Yarros were in disputes in Liberty. Tucker called the people at the Haymarket Incident fake anarchists, etc, and Lum didn't like that. Operation Spooner 18:56, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
"Lum was on cordial terms with Liberty...but he became severely critical of Tucker's stand on the Haymmarket Incident." That's McElroy too. Operation Spooner 19:04, 21 August 2007 (UTC)

I've reread Lum's essay in Parsons. Lum doesn't call himself either individualist or communist in the work, but his proposals are characteristically individualist and/or mutualist: pt 1:

It says to the financier: -Your function in society should not lie determined by monopoly, but under equal opportunities. Your privileges are our restriction; your charters our disenfranchisement. We demand freedom to co-operate in financial as in other matters; to co-operate for mutual banking is well as for mutual insurance; and when you are shorn of privileges we may co-operate to base credit upon all wealth as well as on that you would dictate. For equal opportunities would destroy your prerogative to fashion and control a medium of exchange. Justice would reign and interest cease, because it could not [?]. It says to the landlord; Equal opportunities give you no monopoly of the soil. Again, monopoly has conferred a chartered right and men are disinherited. Destroy this chartered privilege and strong wins [?] will labor with joy and find in mutual credit new avenues to invade the province of nature. Co-operation would enlarge production. extend consumption and equalize distribution. Overproduction and underconsumption would become myths, and demand would seek supply with unfailing regularity without other guarantee than absence of restriction.

To them all it says: gentlemen, we ask no privilege, -we propose no restriction; nor, on the other hand will we permit it. We have no new shackles to propose, -we seek emancipation from shackles. We ask no legislative sanction for co-operation asks only for "A free field and no favors; neither will we permit their interference."

It asserts that in freedom of the social unit [individual?] lies the freedom of the social state [collective?]. It asserts that in freedom to the capitalization of all acquired wealth lies social advancement and the death of interest.

pt 2:

To follow a given course, to advocate certain measures, there must be sufficient inducement therein to satisfy my mind that such is for my interest to do so.

Okay, that sums up my reasons for disputing McElroy's classification. Hang on, I'll look further, and read more of Lum and commentaries on Lum. Jacob Haller 19:56, 21 August 2007 (UTC)

Lum on rights[edit]

Lum discusses his view of rights in Liberty, vol. 6 no. 25, or #155. Jacob Haller 20:45, 21 August 2007 (UTC)

He discusses some of the same issues in the Alarm, Nature of Rights, April 3rd, 1886:

The struggle of the age is for freedom to the individual, freedom of contract, freedom to compete, unfettered by the incubus of legalized privilege. It is not so much an assertion of "rights," as a demand for equality of opportunities. Our battle is to strike down legalized privilege, whether of the few or the many, of the monopolist or the mob. That battle won, natural rights will take care of themselves. And only when the natural rights of the individual are thus left free to assert themselves, will there complete accord with alleged "rights of society."

Again, this looks like classic individualist anarchism. Jacob Haller 20:59, 21 August 2007 (UTC)

Descriptions of Lum's views[edit]

Presley, in Exquisite Rebel: Voltairine de Cleyre contrasts Lum's "mutualism" with Tucker's "individualism," and later describes Lum as an "anarchist without adjectives." Jacob Haller 21:03, 21 August 2007 (UTC)

The journal Freedom, vol. 2, no. 17, February 1888, states that:

Accordingly we find Individualist Anarchism represented in Australia by the Melbourne "Honesty", and in America by four or five papers: "Liberty" in Boston, "Lucifer" and the "Sun" in Kansas and, since its revival by Dyer Lum, the "Alarm" in Chicago.

Crass, in Voltairine de Cleyre: A Biographical Sketch describes both (Lum and de Cleyre) as "anarchists without adjectives." Jacob Haller 21:18, 21 August 2007 (UTC)

I don't think we really need to debate among ourselves with a source is correct or not. It doesn't matter if it's correct. If someone says he was a communist and another source says he was an individualist, you just say "According to X, he was a communist, but according to Y he was an individualist, and according to X he was an anarchist without adjectives." Wikipedia is not about truth but whether something can be found in a source. Operation Spooner 22:59, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
People's views change over time too. Someone can be a communist yesterday but an individulist today. Operation Spooner 23:06, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
So we're all agreed the lede should state simply "anarchist" and the disagreeing sources should only be mentioned in the Thought section?Skomorokh incite 23:27, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
That's fine, since it's so ambiguous. Operation Spooner 03:11, 22 August 2007 (UTC)

Lum's Alarm[edit]

Nearly the whole second volume of The Alarm, edited by Lum, is available online. Enjoy. Libertatia (talk) 06:20, 14 August 2008 (UTC)