A BRIEF CHRONOLOGY OF COLLECTIVISM
Attorney At Law
The Enlightenment abandoned Biblical revelation for reason and sensationalism. THE DEVELOPMENT OF MODERN EDUCATION, p. 426. Rousseau attacked Helvitus's pretense that feeling and judging were the same thing which amounts to materialism. Many passages in Emile were directed against Helvetius but he did not mention his name. Id. at 495.The differences have been summarized: 1) on the emptiness of the soul of the child at birth, 2) on the assumption that sensibility is the only mental faculty and that all other faculties are derived from sensations, 3) on the claim of original equality and equal capabilities of all individuals, 4) on the claim that inner growth and development rather than outer environment are the primary source of change in individuals and 5) on educational procedures. Id.
A group of French philosophers, including Condillac, Diderot, Helvetius, and Voltaire, later expressed their anti-institutional views on morality, politics, and religion in the Encyclopedie (1765). The Encyclopedists removed from Deism the great factor of natural religion, retaining only its critical method as applied to the history of religion. In this spirit the main religious topics were treated conservatively, but by a subtle infusion of the spirit of Bayle and the expedient of cross-references from these articles to topics which might be handled with greater freedom, Diderot succeeded in supplying the desired corrective. It was the circle of Holbach (d. 1789) that dared to apply the most extreme consequences of materialism to religious questions. Some of the most rhetorical pages in De l'Esprit were contributed by Denis Diderot (1713-1784) -- the most prominent of the French Encyclopedists -- who was educated by the Jesuits. Helvetius expounded a morality of self-interest and a materialistic psychology and ethics. Their moral theories, deriving though they did from Hobbes and Hume, lost all connection with the position of Deism, which became for them a mere armory of weapons for the destruction of all religion with its consequences, intolerance and moral corruption. From Holbach and his circle, and from the cognate group of the Encyclopedists, proceeded the so-called ideological school, who held the main problem of philosophy to be the analysis of the mental conceptions aroused by sensations from the material world (Condorcet, Naigeon, Garat, Volney, Dupuis, Saint-Lambert, Laplace, Cabinis, De Tracy, J. B. Say, Benjamin Constant, Bichat, Lamarck, Saint-Simon, Thurot, Stendhal). Out of this school, in turn, developed the positivism of Comte.
In the late eighteenth century Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) consummated an anti-Aristotelian revolution. Piekoff, p. 31. He held that our minds are unable to acquire any knowledge of reality. Piekoff, p. 32. Kant postulated the innate or natural right of the individual to freedom which necessitated a state in which the exercise of all official powers was limited by the conditions inherent in its own laws and constitution. Charles Corell, THE DEFENCE OF NATURAL LAW 9 (1992). But Kant also taught that mankind should be more concerned with its duties than its rights. He believed that all human conduct must be regulated by the "Categorical Imperative." William Montgomery McGovern, FROM LUTHER TO HITLER 142 (1941). While many of the older liberal thinkers had regarded the state as a necessary evil, Kant thought that the state was, or should be, a positive good. McGovern, p. 145. He argued that the state should be all-powerful and agreed with Hobbes and Rousseau that when men created a state they give to it all their rights: "The will of the people is naturally un-unified and consequently it is lawless. Its unconditional submission under a sovereign will, uniting all particular wills by one law, is a fact which can originate in the institution of a supreme power, and thus is Public Right founded.." McGovern, p. 146. Kant denied that the state is, or necessarily should be, based on consent of the governed. He rejected the idea of a social contract: "The Supreme Power in the state has only rights and no [compulsory] duties toward the subject. "McGovern, p. 149. He stated: "It is the duty of the people to bear any abuse of the supreme power, even though it should be considered unbearable." McGovern, p. 150.
In the summer of 1817 Comte met Henri Saint-Simon (1760-1825). Comte became his secretary and close collaborator. The young Republican advocate of equality was converted to an elitist point of view soon after meeting Saint-Simon. Seven years after the initial meeting, Comte broke with Saint-Simon. Eventually his positive doctrine received considerable attention in England. A physicist, Sir David Brewster, wrote about Comte in the Edinburgh Review in 1838. Then John Stuart Mill became a close admirer and spoke of Comte in his SYSTEM OF LOGIC (1843) as "among the first of European thinkers." Comte and Mill corresponded regularly, and Mill even arranged for a number of British admirers of Comte to send him a considerable sum of money to tide him over his financial difficulties.
In 1851 Comte (1798-1857) described a "popular dictatorship with freedom of expression." Arthur S. Miller, DEMOCRATIC DICTATORSHIP: THE EMERGENT CONSTITUTION OF CONTROL 118 (1981); A. Comte, SYSTEM OF POSITIVE POLITY (1851). St. Simon had wanted to remold the Catholic Church in the socialist reverie. Comte, his disciple, wanted to replace Diety with a Great Being, Humanity, and a priesthood which would exercise a systematic direction over education. William Robert Plumme, THE MODERN CRISIS 2 (1965).Comte was a high priest of gnosticism, a key founder and teacher of positivism with the self-appointed role as "spiritual dictator of mankind." Eric Voegelin assessed Comte: "The satanic Apocalypse of Man begins with Comte and has become the signature of the Western crisis." John P. East, THE AMERICAN CONSERVATIVE MOVEMENT 196-197 (1986). Comte said there were three choices: 1) to obey church doctrine, 2) to reconcile science and the church or 3) abandon the church entirely and make science the world's religion. He advocated the third choice. Robert L. Cooke, PHILOSOPHY, EDUCATION AND CERTAINTY 139 (1940).
When the Systeme finally appeared between 1851 and 1854, Comte lost many, if not most, of those rationalist followers he had acquired with so much difficulty over the last fifteen years. John Stuart Mill and Emile Littre were not willing to concede that universal love was the solvent for all the difficulties of the age. Nor could they accept the Religion of Humanity of which Comte now proclaimed himself the High Priest. Comte decided to sign all his circulars "The Founder of Universal Religion, Great Priest of Humanity."
On September 5, 1857, Comte died. A small group of his disciples, friends, and neighbors followed his bier to the Pere Lachaise. There his tomb became the center of a small positivist cemetery where, buried close to the master, are his most faithful disciples.
After Comte, collectivism was taught subtley by both educational and theological intellectuals or elites:
Most people today have never been overtly confronted with the idea of collectivism. Most do not know that it is a philosophical idea used by some intellectuals to identify a movement whose goal is to mold man into a docile, subservient creature. Most have absorbed collectivism from their parents and teachers without hearing the word "collectivism." Most believe that belonging to a group, engaging in group activities and fostering group goals are good. Most, therefore, see group membership as a civilizing influence in man's history. Robert Villegas, Jr., INDIVIDUALISM (1997).
A totalitarian state is founded upon the denial of individual rights. Collectivism is "the theory that the group (the collective) has primacy over the individual. Collectivism holds that, in human affairs, the collective-society, the community, the nation, the proletariat, the race, ect., -- is the unit of reality and the standard of value. On this view, the individual has reality only as part of the group, and value only insofar as he serves it; on his own he has no political rights; he is to be sacrificed for the group whenever it -- or its representative, the state -- deems this desirable." Leonard Peikoff, THE OMINOUS PARALLELS 17 (Mentor 1983).
William T. Harris (1835-1909) has been called one of the three main creators of the U.S. school system: "The consensus among historians of education and students of social thought clearly indicates that Horace Mann, William Torrey Harris, and John Dewey can be considered the triumvirate whose thought has most affected the creation and develoment of the present philosophy of the American public school." Neil Gerard McCluskey, PUBLIC SCHOOLS AND MORAL EDUCATION 6 (1958). Nicholas Murray Butler said that "the history of American education and of our American contributions to philosophical thought cannot be understood or estimated with knowing of the life work of Dr. William Torrey Harris. Id. at 99-100. Merle Curti said that while Mann laid the foundations for the American system, Harris presided over the rearing of the structure. Id. at 100-101.
Modern alturists adopted the principle of self-sacrifice from the medievalists, then dislodged God and replaced him with men. Hegel went one step further and said that service to others should also include obedience to them. Peikoff, p. 88. He also revived the old sixteenth century idea of the duty of passive obedience where "subjects as are disobedient or rebellious against their princes disobey God and procure their own damnation." McGovern, p. 21. In the place of passive obedience he substituted the doctrine of the supremacy of the state over the individual -- the state as the end in itself. Unlike past defenders of absolutism, Hegel did not attack the principles of liberty or freedom. He taught that the state was the "actualization of Freedom." Id. at 299. True freedom, however, was voluntary but complete subserviance to the dictates of the state. Hegel adopted the definition of liberty laid down by Kant, which was accepted in some form by Fichte, Carlyle and by Green -- that liberty consists of the ability to do what one ought to do. McGovern, p. 301. Mazzini once said: "True liberty doesn't consist of the right to choose evil, rather in the right to choose only among paths that lead to good." Hegel wrote that "The State is the absolute reality and the individual himself has objective existence, truth and morality only in his capacity as a member of the State." Anthony Sutton, AMERICA'S SECRET ESTABLISHMENT 103 (1986).
Hegel rejected the consent of the governed, did not believe authority was delegated by the people, believed that the broad mass of the people should be excluded from politics, that sovereignty resided in the ruler rather than in the people and in short, that the many should be guided and controlled by the few -- who, in turn, were subordinate to the supreme head of the state. McGovern, p. 321. Hegel proved "to be the great forerunner or 'morning star' of the Fascist theory of the state." Id. at 335. Karl Marx was "largely inspired by Hegel." George Knupffer, THE STRUGGLE FOR WORLD POWER 33 (4th Ed. 1986). The Hegelians defined the individual as a dialectic of self and other necessarily involving society: "As pure being the individual was nothing." Bruce Kuklick, CHURCHMEN AND PHILOSOPHERS 179 (1985).
Harris, a Yale graduate, first became acquainted with idealism through the Transcendentalists. Although initially inspired by the Transcendentalists, the St. Louis group came to focus on Hegelian social philosophy as the solution to problems in American education. The unpublished manuscript of Brokmeyer's translation of Hegel's Logic, became the theoretical text of the group.
In the winter of 1856-1857, Harris met Amos Bronson Alcott who thereafter became a lifelong inspiration and friend. Alcott came to look upon Harris as his spiritual heir. Id. at 103. Harris came under the influence of the "four great philosophical lights" that "had ascended into the sky to shine for ages." These lights were Kant, Fichte, Schelling and Hegel. Id. at 108. Hans Conrad Brockmeyer. Harris saw Henry (Hans) Conrad Brockmeyer (1828-1906), a student of Kant and enthusiast of Hegel, as a Plato reincarnate. Id. They met in 1858. Id. at 109. Brokmeyer went on to be Lieutenant Governor of Missouri. Bruce Kuklick, CHURCHMEN AND PHILOSOPHERS 180 (1985). Brokmeyer convinced Harris of Hegel's relevance and the two spread his ideas to public school teachers. Members of the St. Louis Philosophical Society included Brokmeyer, Harris, Denton J. Snider, Thomas Davidson, Adolph Ernest Kroeger (the American translator of Fichte), J. Gabriel Woerner (the novelist), George H. Howison (builder of the University of California's Department of Philosophy, John Calvin Learned, James Kendall Hosmer, Susuan E. Blow, Anna Callender Brackett, Senator Carl Schurz and Joseph Pulitzer. Neil Gerard McCluskey, PUBLIC SCHOOLS AND MORAL EDUCATION 112-113 (1958). "Hegel had put a master key to the universe in the talented hands of these people." Id. at 113. But Emerson's pen was much more known; not a single paper classic emerged from the St. Louis group. Id. In 1866 the St. Louis Philosophical Society was founded. Denton Snider (1841-1925) was a central figure within the St. Louis and became its historian He lectured widely and was involved in developing visionary educational projects such as the Communal University in Chicago and later St. Louis, the Chicago Kindergarten College, and the Goethe School in Milwaukee. Thomas Davidson (1840-1900), who detested both Hegel and idealism, was considered a key player in the original St. Louis movement. He established the Breadwinner's College in New York City, a school devoted to the education of the working class, and later established a summer school at his home in Glenmore, New York. Morris R. Cohen was Davidson's chief friend and assistant in the Breadwinners School. William Knight, MEMORIALS OF THOMAS DAVIDSON: THE WANDERING SCHOLAR 137 (1907).
When Darwin's Origin of Species appeared in 1859, the book instantaneously ushered in a new period of toughness in English and American philosophy. Morton White, THE AGE OF ANALYSIS 137 (1955). Darwin's theory, however, was not new: "It had been suggested in vague fashion by Lamarck, Goethe, Kant and others . . . " Abram Leon Sachar, A HISTORY OF THE JEWS 321 ((1964). Boston Brahmin Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., like William James, John Fiske and Henry Adams "devoured The Origin of Species." Irving Berstein, The Conservative Mr. Justice Holmes, 23 NEW ENGLAND Q. 435, 443 (1950). Afterwards, Holmes, in common with Maitland, Maine, Dicey, Pollock, and Vinogradoff, substituted a evolving biological view of society in the law in place of the mechanical (fixed) view. Id. When Hegel was combined with Darwin after the Civil War, the organic views of Bushnell and others became credible: "These views dominated the new theology of the 1880s and 1890s. Organic anti-individualism was also critical to the social Christianity that was part of the intellectual response to industrialism at the end of the nineteenth century." Bruce Kuklick, CHURCHMEN AND PHILOSOPHERS 195 (1985).
The English turned their attention to the United States: "In the 1860s and 1870s, the very same English oligarchs who turned loose the radical movements against America's emulators in Europe, turned their attention to the problem of reforming an uncontrolled United States of America." Chaitkin, p. 302. The War Between the States "was the second military phase of the political battle which raged between Britain and the United States from the time a formal ceasefire was concluded at Yorktown in 1781." Allen Salisbury, THE CIVIL WAR AND THE AMERICAN SYSTEM: AMERICA'S BATTLE WITH BRITAIN, 1860-1876 1 (1978). Arthur Tappan, the patron of Harriet Beecher Stowe, and William Lloyd Garrison were both on the Board of Directors of Albert Gallatin's Baring-connected bank. Salisbury, p. 16. The London-based Cobden Clubs included as directors leading members of the House of Rothschild and Thomas Baring. John Stuart Mill was their chief political economist. Salisbury, pp. 16-17. Mill who popularized the idea of raising taxes on landowners only after first compensating them, thus buying the right to tax them. J.E. Cairnes, who took the lead against English support of U.S. slavery, also was a member of Mill's and Alfred Russel Wallace's Land Tenure Reform Association.
The Journal of Speculative Philosophy, the official organ of the St. Louis Society, began in 1867. Harris's journal provided a forum for Pierce, Howison, Morris, Royce, James and Dewey. Id. The journal was largely dedicated to the dissemination of European idealism. In an early article Harris wrote: "By nature he (man) is totally depraved; that is, he is a mere animal, and governed by animal impulses and desires, without ever rising to the ideas of reason . . . " Neil Gerard McCluskey, PUBLIC SCHOOLS AND MORAL EDUCATION 120 (1958). In his Journal of Speculative Philosophy, Harris "struck gold . . . " It was the first philosophical periodical in Britain and America; during its existence the only one in the entire country: "Despite the fact that they were amateurs of ordinary ability, Harris and his associates revolutionized the life of the mind. They participated, first, in the overthrow of theology for philosophy as the speculative science commanding respect among the educated elite. Second, the journal helped to professionalize the new primary speculative science. Few would remember Borkmeyer or Harris, or the magazine. But commentators would almost exclusively focus on those thinkers to whom the magazine gave a voice: Charles Pierce, William James, Josiah Royce, and John Dewey, whose first essay appeared in it." Bruce Kuklick, CHURCHMEN AND PHILOSOPHERS 183 (1985).
Soon after the Civil War students began to be divided into "grades" largely as a result of the influence of Harris. Martin Mayer, THE SCHOOLS 48 (1961). Harris sought to bring about a rapprochement between the western and New England idealists. He invited Alcott, Harris's former mentor, and Ralph Waldo Emerson to St. Louis. The Concord School of Philosophy was a summer school headed by Alcott that merged the two groups within its faculty. Harris's disquisitions on Hegel became the most popular of the faculty's offerings.
On January 3, 1868, William James wrote to Holmes from Berlin: "When I get home let's establish a philosophical society . . . "
In the mid-19th century a new school of political philosophy -- idealism -- originated mostly from secluded university professors. William Montgomery McGovern, FROM LUTHER TO HITLER 130 (1941). Idealism has been summarized: "Instead of starting from a central individual to whom the social system is supposed to be adjusted, the idealist starts from a central social system, to which the individual must find his appointed orbit." Sir Ernest Barker, POLITICAL THOUGHT IN ENGLAND 1848 TO 1914 5 (2nd Ed. 1947). Initially attractive to those with an interest in metaphysics, "the idealist doctrines began to infect many outstanding writers in the fields of history and law and thus came to appeal to a much broader public." McGovern, p. 130. Two English thinkers, Thomas Carlyle and T.H. Green, took over many of Kant's ideas and marked an important break with the old liberal tradition: "With all these thinkers, the old complete individualism was rejected and greater emphasis laid upon the importance and power of the state. All three, moreover, refused to give complete adherence to the old liberal doctrine of democracy and espoused to a greater or to a lesser extent the cause of authoritarianism." Id. at 209.
The first four major proponents of idealism came from Germany (Kant, Fitche, Schelling and Hegel) but it soon was spread to France, Italy, England and America. William Montgomery McGovern, FROM LUTHER TO HITLER 132-133 (1941). In 1870 Oxford decided that Kant and Hegel had been dead long enough. The conversion from Plato and Aristotle came largely in the teachings of Thomas Hill Green (1836-1882). Other exponents of idealism included D.G. Richie, F.H. Bradley, B. Bosanquet. Later idealists included A.D. Lindsay and Ernest Barker. Id. at 155. F.H. Bradley's notes on T.H. Green's lectures are said to have at least four references to Sparta being a model for Plato's Republic. T.H. Green got his first academic post through the Plato translator Jowett who was his friend and patron. William Montgomery McGovern, FROM LUTHER TO HITLER 156 (1941). After starting model "coffee shops" in his crusade against rum, Green advocated that the state should abolish institutions and conditions that led to immorality. Id. at 159. In sympathy with the nonconformists, he advocated state control over rights associated with the ownership of land and even breaking up of the great estates. Id. In Green's philosophy he rejected the purely empirical, inductive approach in favor of the use of pure reason with occasional flashes of intuition. Id. at 160.
T. H. Green played an important role in changing liberal assumptions by moving from a negative' conception of freedom towards a more 'positive' one. He argued that freedom should be conceived in broader terms than had been previously allowed. Moral and ethical considerations were now brought to bear so that "the ideal of true freedom is the maximum of power for all members of human society alike to make the best of themselves." Quoted in Anthony Arblaster, THE RISE AND DECLINE OF WESTERN LIBERALISM 286 (1984). A belief in the autonomy of the individual was discarded in favour of an organic notion of the individual as a part of society and with corresponding obligations to it. Rather than restricting freedom, the state should now be used as the means to enhance it as well. The traditional liberal antithesis between the state and the individual, Green argued, should be discarded, particularly in an emerging democratic nation. Green was followed by other liberal thinkers such as David Ritchie, John Hobson and Leonard Hobhouse who all contributed to the movement of liberalism away from laissez-faire towards a more interventionist path.
In 1870 a "radical revolution" in "the methodology of legal instruction" was inaugerated when President Eliot of Harvard University invited Christopher Columbus Langdell to occupy the chair of Dane Professor at Harvard Law School. Jacob Henry Landman, The Case Method of Studying Law 13 (1930). Langdell, Dean of the Harvard Law School (1870-1895), focused on the case method. Wilfrid E. Rumble, The Legal Positivism of John Austin and the Realist Movement in American Jurisprudence, 66 CORNELL L. REV. 986, 996 (1981). In the first words, of his first major essay, Holmes wrote: "It is the merit of the common law that it decides the case first, and determines the principles afterwards." In that same year (1870) Langell joined the faculty and became the Dean of the Harvard Law School. Rather than give the customary lecture, he opened his fall class on Contracts by asking: "Mr. Fox, will you state the facts in the case of Payne v. Cave?" Thomas C. Grey, Langdell's Orthodoxy, 45 U. OF PITT. L. REV. 1 (1983). The method of teaching that Langdell launched by shifting the class focus from abstract principles to cases coincided with Holme's case-centered view of adjudication. Id. at 2. Langdell held that "what qualifies a person to teach law is not experience in the work of a lawyer's office, and not experience in dealing with men, nor experience in the trial or argument of cases, not experience, in short, in using law, but experience in learning law." Gerry Spence, WITH JUSTICE FOR NONE 59 (1989). Between 1870 and 1920 "virtually every law school in the nation adopted Langdell's casebook method of instruction and revamped its facilities so that these teachers enriched with years in the practice were replaced with professional scholars." Id.
Langdell was as subscriber to the Historical School of Jurisprudence that had been founded by F.C. von Savigny and Sir Henry Maine. Jacob Henry Landman, THE CASE METHOD OF STUDYING LAW 13 (1930). The German historical school exhalted the state at the expense of the individual and regarded individuals solely as a member of a group. Law was the emanation of the Volk: "What is surprising is that they were all vigorous opponents of democracy and supporters of authoritarianism . . . the interpretation and administration of customary law should lie in the hands of a small select group of judges appointed by the king." William Montgomery McGovern, FROM LUTHER TO HITLER 395 (1941). It has been opined that "one of the best defenses every written on behalf of monarchic and aristocratic as opposed to democratic control "ever penned was Sir Henry Maine's Popular Government." Id. at 396. William Montgomery McGovern, FROM LUTHER TO HITLER 396 (1941). Holmes "built on the evolutionary theories of Savigny and Maine" and in The Common Law (1881) cited them both. 85 COL. L. REV. 38, 50 (1985).
The "Metaphysical Club" at Harvard included Charles Pierce, Chaunsey Wright, Walter Lippman, and Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. (the class poet). See: Philip P. Wiener, EVOLUTION AND THE FOUNDERS OF PRAGMATISM (Harv. U. Press 1949); Max H. Fisch, Was There A Metaphysical Club in Cambridge? In Edward C. Moore and Richard S. Robin, eds., STUDIES IN THE PHILOSOPHY OF CHARLES SANDERS PIERCE 3-32(U. Mass. Press 1964); H.S. Thayer, MEANING AND ACTION 488-492 (1968). This group also included Nicholas St. John Green and William James. Thomas C. Grey, Holmes and Legal Pragmatism, 41 STAN. L. REV. 787, 864 (1989). Holmes was "a major figure" in this "coterie of pragmatic philosophers . . . " Samuel Krislov, Oliver Wendell Holmes: The Ebb and Flow of Judicial Legendry, 52 NW. U. L. REV. 515 (1957). Earlier theology had attracted the best intellects. The major figures in the Golden Age of American Philosophy (Pierce, James, Royce, Santayana, Whitehead and Dewey) used the lecture hall to outdo the pulpit which offered little competition. Bruce Kuklick, CHURCHMEN AND PHILOSOPHERS 196 (1985). By 1871-1872 the Metaphysical Club was flourishing. The core group was James (teaching physiology at Harvard), Holmes (lecturing on jurisprudence at Harvard Law School), Charles Pierce (assistant at the College observatory), Chauncey Wright, Nicholas St. John Green (Boston attorney who lectured at the Harvard Law School) and Joseph Bangs Warner (a Pierce protege who was studying law under Holmes and Green). Bruce Kuklick, THE RISE OF AMERICAN PHILSOPHY 47-48 (1977). Charles Pierce was interested in logic, semiotics and metaphysics. Wright was a mathematician, a "warm admirer of Darwin . . . " and "seems to have influenced Homes more than any of the others did." Fiske was a follower of Darwin and Spencer "and author of a work on cosmic philosophy . . ." Green was "a Benthamite and a philosophical lawyer . . . " Jerome Frank, AMERICAN LEGAL PHILOSOPHY 4.51 at 474-476. Pierce called Nicholas St. John Green "the grandfather of pragmatism." Grey, p. 803. Green, along with William and Henry James and Chauncy Wright, was one of the young intellectuals and writers of Boston and Cambridge who were companions of Holmes. Id. at 839. Those who were inside by outside the main six included: Frank Abbott (a close friend of Pierce), John Fiske (a Spencer defender), John Chipman Gray (lawyer and friend of Holmes and James), William Montague, Henry Putnam and Francis Greenwood Peabody. Id. at 48. Green talked about British psychologist Alexander Bain (1818-1903) who defined belief as "that upon which a man is prepared to act." Id. at 49. Although the Metaphysical Club was sympathetic to Darwinian science and its antecedents were in the British tradition, their empiricism was modified by the work of Kant. They held that the only religion and only science defensible in a Darwinian age "were those based on Kant's thinking." Id. at 61-62. The club was "an elite group. As James had written to Holmes, the society was 'to be composed of none but the very topmost cream of Boston manhood,' and only a few of its members were middle class in origin. Philosophy interested well-to-do professional men." Id. at 48.
Harris, as superintendant of St. Louis schools, was the first to incorporate kindergarten into the public school system in 1873. In Boston Thomas Davidson met Longfellow who helped him get an examinership at Harvard. William Knight, Memorials of Thomas Davidson: The Wandering Scholar 13 (1907). In 1873 Mr. Elliot Cabot told James about Davidson. Davidson and James first met in Boston in the following year. Id. at 110. James met with a little Boston philosophical club every fortnight that existed before Davidson came on the scene.Members included James, W.T. Harris, G.H. Howison, J.E. Cabot, C.C. Everett, B.P. Browne and sometimes G.H. Palmer. Id. at 111. George Herbert Palmer studied Hobbes and English moral philosophy. While the English looked upon man as self-centered, Palmer said: "There is no such solitary person. One person is no person." Bruce Kuklick, THE RISE OF AMERICAN PHILSOPHY 223 (1977). The year before Davidson arrived, the club had covered Hegel under Emery and McClure from Illinois who had the 3-volume Brockmeyer translation of Hegel. Knight, p. 111. The Metaphysical Club was reorganized in 1876. New members included Bowen, C.C. Evertt, George Holmes Howison, Thomas Davidson and James Elliot Cabot. The assigned text began with Hume's Treatise. The emphasis shifted from Hume to Kant and then to Hegel. Kuklick, p. 54. During this phase, the club was led by Davidson and Cabot. It disintegrated in the spring of 1879. Id.
In 1878 Charles S. Pierce published an article in Popular Science Monthly. Pierce said that beliefs were nothing more than rules for action. Catherine Drinker Bowen, YANKEE FROM OLYMPUS 276 (1944).
In his preface to his SOCIALISM, UTOPIAN AND SCIENTIFIC, Engels wrote on September 21, 1882: "We German socialists are proud that we trace our descent not only from Saint Simon, Fourier and Owen, but also from Kant, Fichte and Hegel."
In 1894 Judge Davidson held: "Where there is doubt, the law should fail, and the Constitution prevail. This proposition is founded in that higher law setting forth the rights reserved by the citizen to himself, as the creator of the organic law." Lynn v. The State, 33 Tex. Crim. R. 153, 158 (1894).
In his Principles of Political Economy, John Stuart Mill "the prophet of individualism" was "found to be drawing a distinction between the laws of production and the laws of distribution, which opened the gates for the entry of Socialism." Sir Ernest Barker, POLITICAL THOUGHT IN ENGLAND 1848 TO 1914 1 (2nd Ed. 1947). Mill became less individualistic and more inclined towards social utility. Id. The Fabians were less influenced by Marx than by Mill. They attacked rent as an "unearned increment." Id. at 189. A German writer once said that Webb was the Bentham and Shaw the Mill. Id. at 190.
In the mid-1880s the Fabians Sidney and Beatrice Webb saw themselves as "intellectual proletarians" or members of the enlightened elite that Auguste Comte expected to rule society in its positivist stage. Neither wanted the proletariat to take power: "By education and reforms which would improve the condition of the working classes, the experts were to engineer a new, humane and hygienic society."IV, The Diary of Beatrice Webb, p. xii. They saw themselves as "archetypes of the new breed of experts . . . "IV, The Diary of Beatrice Webb, p. xiii. They found allies in the bureaucracy: "High-minded bureaucrats, naturally inclined to collectivist principles because of the trend of social evolution were the most likely and best instruments of permeation, for they would offer soundly based advice to any part politicians who might be shopping for a policy."Id. Beatrice Webb "saw the Communist Party in Russia (she thought little of the Comintern and the British Communists) as a latter-day incarnation of August Comte's social priesthood, and Communist ideology as the "religion of humanity" which would combine a puritan morality with the application of science to politics." IV, The Diary of Beatrice Webb, p. xv.
Bertrand Russell once remarked that: "The three founders of pragmatism differ greatly inter se; we may distinquish James, Schiller (the English philosopher) (1864-1937), and Dewey as respectively its religious, literary and scientific protagonists." Reuben Abel, THE PRAGMATIC HUMANISM OF F.C.S. SCHILLER 3 (1955). Kant was the spiritual ancestor of all pragmatists. Reuben Abel, THE PRAGMATIC HUMANISM OF F.C.S. SCHILLER 3 (1955). Pragmatism is primarily a method rather than a body of dogma. Reuben Abel, THE PRAGMATIC HUMANISM OF F.C.S. SCHILLER 12 (1955). The triumvirate who fathered "pragmatism" was Charles Pierce, William James (1842- 1910) and John Dewey (1859-1952). Mortimer Smith, THE DIMINISHED MIND: A STUDY OF PLANNED MEDIOCRITY IN OUR PUBLIC SCHOOLS 78 (1954). Pragmatism has been called the first important and original American thought. Julian Marias, HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY 393 (1967). Pragmatism, however, is, in reality, an exported philosophy of British (German) origin. Julian Marias, HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY 242 (1967). Pragmatism was the only 20th-century philosophy to gain broad, national acceptance in the United States. Piekoff, p. 134. The British, like pragmatic philosophers, share a horror for the absolute. Kuehnelt-Leddihn, p. 515.
In a paper delivered in 1872, Charles Sanders Pierce first used the name "pragmatism" in a Boston meeting of the Metaphysical Club. Thomas C. Grey, Holmes and Legal Pragmatism, 41 STAN. L. REV. 787, 864 (1989). William James and John Dewey would later embrace and expound the philosophy. Pierce took the word from Kant who defined "pragmatic" beliefs as those that were "contingent only . . . " Grey, p. 802; Immanuel Kant, CRITIQUE OF PURE REASON 661 (2nd Ed. 1896). In a letter to Lady Welby, on December 1, 1903, Charles Pierce wrote: "(T)he objections that have been made to my word 'pragmatism' are very trifling. It is the doctrine that truth consists in future serviceableness for our needs." George Seldes, THE GREAT THOUGHTS 327 (1985). Justice Holmes thought that James and Pierce had added nothing essentially new to Bentham and Mill. Thomas C. Grey, Holmes and Legal Pragmatism, 41 STAN. L. REV. 787, 870 (1989). Much pragmatic instrumentalism was "Benthamite in spirit." Robert S. Summers, Pragmatic Instrumentalism in Twentieth Century American Legal Thought -- A Synthesis and Critique of Our Dominant General Theory About Law and Its Use, 66 CORNELL L. REV. 861, 869 (1981). Yet pragmatic instrumentalism "will be recorded as America's only indigenous general theory of law." Id. at 873 (emphasis added).
Pragmatists adopt expediency as the standard of truth. Ethics is, therfore mutable, virtues and vices are relative and what counts is not abstract principles but results. Piekoff, p. 89. Humanist Corliss Lamont defended pragmatism against Marxist critics. Lenin once said that "practice alone can serve as a real proof." Lamont said that "the pragmatic view of truth as developed in American philosophy comes close to authoritative Marxist thought." Corliss Lamont, THE PHILOSOPHY OF HUMANISM 224 (1965). Corliss Lamont (Harvard 1924) was named by HUAC as "probably the most persistent propagandist for the Soviet Union to be found anywhere in the United States." W. Cleon Skousen, THE NAKED CAPITALIST 54 (1970). Corliss Lamont said to the Association of Foreign Press Correspondents: "We will use violence if necessary to reach the Socialist goal . . . the capitalist class will not allow democratic procedure." E. Merrill Root, COLLECTIVISM ON THE CAMPUS 153 (1956).
Thomas Davidson, the initial founder of the Fabian Society, wrote to Havelock Ellis on October 3, 1883: "Kant and Comte have done their work, taken the sun out of life, and left men grouping in darkness." William Knight, MEMORIALS OF THOMAS DAVIDSON: THE WANDERING SCHOLAR 37 (1907). The word "etatism" comes from the French term "etat" meaning state and implies political emphasis and devotion to the state as opposed to the private individual. McGovern, p. 15. While Kant was a semi-etatist and semi-authoritarian, Hegel was a radical throughgoing etatist and authoritarian. McGovern, pp. 132-133.
After being unable to land a position at Harvard, Howison accepted the Mills Professorship in Philosophy at UC. From 1884 to 1911 George Holmes Howison (1834-1917) "made Berkeley a center for philosophic discussion and instruction." He attracted such individuals as James, Harris, John Dewey, John Watson, James Ward, J.M.E. McTaggart and Hasting Rashdall. His best students were funnelled to Harvard for graduate school. Howison also hired Harvard products. Bruce Kuklick, THE RISE OF AMERICAN PHILSOPHY 61-62 (1977). Hastings Rashdall, in The Theory of Good and Evil (1907) attempted to synthesize Idealism and Utilitarianism by holding that "the right action is always that which . . . will produce the greatest amount of good upon the whole."
In 1888 Stammler, in Germany, was one of the first to point out that the historical school of jurisprudence had not really succeeded in refuting the standpoint of natural law. Morris R. Cohen, REASON AND NATURE 401 (1931).
The University of Chicago began as the educational program of Hull House. Hull House was founded in 1889 and funded by the core of British supporters in the United States. Money was raised by Louis Brandeis, future Chief Justice, and by John D. Rockefeller and Marshall Field. Hull House "encompassed the entire group of future department heads at the University of Chicago." Brandeis also had a law professorship created at Harvard for soon-to-be Massachusetts Justice Holmes.
At the third Summer School at Farmington in 1890 the first morning course was on the Philosophy of T.H. Green -- the doctrine of reason and spirit. William Knight, Memorials of Thomas Davidson: The Wandering Scholar 48 (1907). Other lectures on Green followed. H.N. Gardiner, Professor of Philosophy at Smith College lectured on "Green's Treatment of the Relation of Feeling to Reality." Id. at 56. On June 19th Stephen F. Weston lectured on "Green's Ethical System." Id. Percival Chubb lectured on June 23 on "Green's Political Theory." Id. John Dewey, Professor of Ethics, History of Philosophy and Logic at the University of Michigan, lectured on June 24th on "Green's Religious Philosophy." Id. On June 25, 1890 Professor John Dewey lectured on "The Politicio-Philosophical View," of the Church and State. Id. On June 27th W.T. Harris, Commissioner of Education, lectured on "The Historical-Philosophical View." Id. at 57.
The notion that there are no natural or inalienable rights has been supported by the philosophical contention that all rights are relative. If rights come solely from legislative bodies, then constitutions can be regarded as superfulous -- including the now emptied phrases in the Bill of Rights of the U.S. and of each state. The "regulation" of non-absolute rights is said not to be the same as "infringement". State v. Workman, 35 W. Va. 367, 14 S.E. 9, 11, 14 L.R.A. 600 (W. Va. 1891).
Around 1897 Morris Cohen described his studies: "Calling ourselves the Student's League or Marx Circle, we began to read the socialist classics." A DREAMER'S JOURNEY: THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF MORRIS RAPHAEL COHEN 166 (The Free Press 1949). In his junior year at City College, Morris R. Cohen read Hegel's Encylopadie. Id. at 148.He added: "My search for enlightenment led me to the Neo-Hegelians. The books which offered me most food for reflection were Watson's Comte, Miller and Spencer, and Dewey's Psychology." Id. at 117. Cohen attended Harvard Graduate School from September of 1904 to June of 1906. He wrote: "I managed to emerge from my two years at Cambridge with the respect and friendship of such teachers as William James, Josiah Royce, Ralph Barton Perry, Hugo Munsterberg, and George Herbert Palmer." Id. at 131. Cohen's greatest teacher at Harvard was Josiah Royce while "the best friend I found on the Harvard faculty was William James." Id. at 132. Royce taught that individualism was "the sin against the Holy Ghost." Piekoff, p. 118. Cohen did not embrace Jame's views: "James never seemed to go beyond Mill, who was killed for me by Hegel and Russell." A DREAMER'S JOURNEY: THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF MORRIS RAPHAEL COHEN 132 (The Free Press 1949). Cohen stated: "(Bertrand) Russell came closer to being my philosophical god than any one before or since." Id. at 169.
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