Socialism and Marriage

By Guy Aldred (1914)

Revolt Library Anarchism Socialism and Marriage

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(1886 - 1963)

Scottish Bakuninist and Anarcho-Communist from Glasgow

: Guy Alfred Aldred had worked ceaselessly at his propaganda, writing, publishing and public speaking, he took on injustices wherever he saw it. He had spoken at every May Day for 60 years except the years he spent in prison. (From: Glasgow Caledonian University.)
• "Anti-Parliamentarism is now the recognized Socialism of the Proletariat." (From: Socialism and Parliament.)
• "It is only the effect of this menace, only the fear of the power of the revolutionary agitator outside parliament, that persuades the capitalist class to tolerate the presence of Labor members inside." (From: Socialism and Parliament.)
• "To dream of a society not founded on the 'law of constructive murder,' of a social state in which all are brethren and peace and good fellowship prevail, of a society founded on truth and freedom, is to become an enemy of the society that is, and to be regarded as a dreamer of the most fanatical type." (From: Studies in Communism.)


8 Chapters | 6,797 Words | 40,892 Characters

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This pamphlet was published at Shepherds Bush in 1914. It was revised from The Religion and Economics of Sex Oppression, which was printed and published by the Bakunin Press, at the Goswell Road address in 1907. The purpose of the original pamphlet was described on the title page as follows:-— “Being a consideration of the principles of Socialism and Freethought in relation to Women, The Suffrage, Free Love, and Neo-Malthusian, together with an examination of scriptural precepts and injunctions, the teaching of the Christian Fathers, and of the Latter Day Saints upon the questions of polygamy and the position of woman.” The Foreword mentions how the pamphlet owed its inception to a lecture delivered before the Southwark Socialist Club (S.D.F.) on January 7th, 1906, on “Socialism and Woman." It concludes by dedicating “my present effort to my comrade, Rose Witcop.” Subsequently, my relationship... (From : &

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The Bible is not a divinely inspired book. Its every line is not sacred. Its very periods are not inspired. Its whole prospect is not awful. Penetrate the gloom with which the Christian centuries have surrounded the ancient “book above books,” and you will discover nothing more than an old-time “book of books.” In this literary miscellany, it is impossible to discover an even distribution of talent. The books are not equally good. Every passage is not expressive of a common level of ability on the part oi the authors. Many sentences challenge publication. As many merit oblivion. Outlooks, it has in abundance from that of Moses, gluttonous for power, to that of Isaiah, stern for the righteousness of liberty. Minor priests rub shoulders with minor prophets. Drama is found in job, cynical materialism in Ecclesiastes, and the championship of secular authority only in Saul. Pentateuchal polygamy is mingled with much divine imbecility. Sinai storms at sense. But t... (From : &

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The dutifully pious young lady of to-day does not believe in polygamy. When she sells her chastity in the marriage market, she is guaranteed a legal monopoly. That satisfies her conscience. She does not inquire whether or not the man is offering her damaged goods. Indeed, she half suspects that he has sown wild oats in the company of other women. Henceforth, these are to have no claim on him. So her jealous sense of honor is satisfied. Polygamy, though Biblically sanctioned, dishonors woman, by making her the property of man. It lays it down that one man has the right to own a number of women as his lawful wives, and have connection with others as his unlawful passions dictate. Under polygamy, the aim of every woman is to be a lawful wife if she would be counted “respectable.” Monogamy, though legally established, dishonors woman, by making her the property of man. It lays it down that one man has the right to own one woman as his lawful wife, and ha... (From : &

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“Marriage,” wrote the late Dr. E. P. McLoghlin, “is not an empty form; it is an indissoluble, untruthful, and unfounded contract, terminable only by death or dishonor. Untruthful and unfounded because the contractor saith, ‘I will love.’ He cannot do this; to love is beyond the power or domain of will. He may say, ‘I do love.’ But ‘I will love,’ he cannot and ought not to say. ‘The law which would make her his.’ I neither acknowledge the righteousness, nor even the possibility of any law save that of mutual consent——that is, affection. I do not desire to make any woman mine; it must be her love for me, and my love for her, which alone can dictate an inviolable relationship between us. In the presence of that love, either soluble or indissoluble bond, other than the influence of that love, is as insulting as it is necessary; in the absence of that love, any bond is as untruthful and useless as it is immora... (From : &

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“That a man and woman should occupy the same house, and daily enjoy each other’s company——so long as such an association gives birth to virtuous feelings, to kindness, to mutual forbearance, to courtesy, to disinterested affection—I consider right and proper,” wrote Robert Dale Owen in the Barton Trumpet, in May, 1831. “That they should continue to inhabit the same house and to meet. daily, in case such intercourse should give birth to vicious feelings, to dislike, to ill-temper, to scolding, to carelessness of each other’s comfort, and a want of respect for each other’s feelings—this, I consider, when the two individuals alone are concerned, neither right nor proper; neither conducive to good order nor virtue. I do not think it well, therefore, to promise, at all hazards to live together for life." Most persons will agree with the above plea for divorce. It asserts the immorality of the marriage tie. It puts all... (From : &

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Mother Grundy believes that the two sexes cannot smile, without contemplating the sex-act. That a pleasant day cannot be spent without a similar consequence. That mixed bathing leads to suggestion. That a handclasp is fatal, and, even in moments either of extreme sorrow or extreme joy, the most humble kiss of sympathy is dangerous. At one time, no man was allowed to speak to a woman unless he had “honorable intentions.” Properly translated, this meant dishonorable ones. This is changed now, and Mother Grundy is wrong. The function of woman is not to share barracks with man, and bear him children. She is entitled to get all the health out of life possible. Free association gives that health; and as we mix no longer in the presence of a sex mystery, but understanding each other’s physiology, sex may give charm to our friendship. It does not rush us into sex-connection. Knowing our freedom, we are lured on by no forbidden fruit, and only at supreme moments... (From : &

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Free love is impossible under capitalism. Yes: so is honor or truth of any description. Is that any reason why we should ask the priest to bless our sex-relationship, or the law to license our associations? Woman is now a wage-earner. She suffers all the misery of free labor. She -bears all the chains of the past. Reduces her male colleague’s wages by competition, and then maintains his existence on the lesser income. Legally, she remains his inferior. In order to remove these anomalies, some middle—class women have been urging on the State their right to vote, and thus assist in the making of the laws that govern them. Superficially, the claim is incontrovertible. There is no reason why woman should not enjoy the same social rights as man. If men boast a property franchise, so should women. If a small set of male parasites vote, not according to their intelligence, but in ratio to the houses they own, logically a select clique of female parasites sh... (From : &

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In the 1907 pamphlet, the piety theme is developed in detail. The women characters of the Bible are listed by name and comment made, that their several stories “are included in the hope of inculcating in the woman’s mind the propriety of her ‘modest’ (!) retirement to the privacy of domestic life, performing, in an exemplary manner, the duties of a domestic serf, studying his desires like a subject, whilst extolling him for his strength of mind, and power of acquiring knowledge and enforcing his will. To these disgusting precepts, We find even the boasted savior of Christendom made, by priestly tradition, to lend his aid." This passage stands: but it would interfere with the re-written text of the 1914 edition to restore it to its place in the main essay. (From : &


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