New York Herald, Tuesday, October 29, 1850 [P. 4 editorial]
The Worcester Fanatics--Progress of Socialism, Abolition, and Infidelity. It has been known ever since Fourier,[1] Brisbane,[2] and Greeley first promulgated their social theories, that society is all wrong. It is known also that their attempts to reform it have signally failed. Social phalanxes, on the Fourier principle of common stock, common privileges, and dividends to members of the establishment, have been tried in various parts of the country with the worst sort of success. In some cases, the speculators upon the credulity and spare cash of their followers, have pocketed the proceeds of these enterprises, and left the phalanx the privilege either to starve or disperse. Monsieur Cabet and his Icarians,[3] in their wanderings over the plains of Arkansas in search of their promised land, afford a striking example. Fourierism, therefore, has fallen into contempt, the experiments not justifying the plan of the philosophers to make "labor attractive," because there is nothing in it by which your lazy philosophers can be made to work.

The next experiment by our delectable reformer of the Tribune was anti- rentism, which is simply the doctrine of occupying other people's property free of cost. All the good that has resulted, after repeated outbreaks and acts of bloodshed in the practical working of this doctrine, has been the creation of a political faction [of Thurlow Weed and William Seward, the nucleus of the future of Republican Party in New York] controlling the politics of the State. The existing laws, however, upholding the right of the landowner to collect rents for the use of his property, still continuing in force, the experiment of anti-rentism as a social reform, has also proved to be inefficient.

But Philosopher Greeley is not the chap to drop the cause of suffering humanity. Not he. Union associations were prosecuted, until he lodged a bevy of unfortunate tailors in jail--the Rochester knockings[4] were consulted, as likely to afford to the "laboring millions," some new attractions to labor, or some spiritual expedient by which cold victuals, at least, might be got without labor. Phrenology was tried, and found wanting. There was nothing disclosed in "Combe's Constitution of Man," of practical utility in securing a distribution of "every thing to every body." [??]litttlebat Titmouse, elected to Parliament on that platform, dodged the question, as J.B. [James Buchanan?] dodged the Fugitive Slave bill in Congress. Grubby next delved into the mysteries of Mesmerism,[5] but although clairvoyance can tell where Kidd's gold is to be found, if he had any, it could not tell how society is to live without work being done by somebody. Another kink of our friend "Grubby" is land reform, which means that all the public lands are to be given to actual settlers, in small parcels [later the nucleus of the Homestead Act], the deficiency to be supplied upon Big Thunder's [?] doctrine of the right from occupation of lands belonging to other people.

But all of these expedients have been found to be mere palliatives, while a radical reform of society has been the great object of the philosophers, Fourier, Brisbane, Greeley, Big Thunder, Combe, Fowler,[6] Collyer[7] and the Model Artists, the Rochester knockers, and Davis,[8] with his revelations, all having failed, all having proved unsatisfactory, tried separately, what next is to be done? Try them all together.

Here we come into broad, open smooth water. Here the daylight of discovery breaks in upon us as the first glimpse of the great Salt Lake broke upon the Mormons. Here we unbuckle our traps, and go straight to work in shovelling up the gold dust. The old Syracuse engineer jumped up in his nether garment, and shouted "Eureka,"[9] and Grubby Greeley answers Abby Kelly at Worcester, with "Eureka." We have got it. Got what? The philosopher's stone--the key to the millenium--the one thing needful--the schedule of the final reformation. The Lord be praised.

It is the philosopher's omnibus bill--it is the putting all in a lump the several experiments of reform of the Tribune reformers, with a good deal of new matter, new principles, and fundamental ideas, as put forth on the platform of the Woman's Rights Convention, recently held in Worcester. Let the world rejoice. Lucretia Mott, Abby Kelly, Garrison, Phillips, Mrs. Rose, Fred. Douglas, Sojourner Truth, and the Widow Mercy, sitting in council day and night, backed up, heart and soul, by our glorious Greeley, have solved the problem of the age. They have squared the circle of society, and resolved the arcana of its perpetual motion. From our published reports of the proceedings, the speeches, the declarations, and the resolutions of the Worcester Convention, it will be seen that their platform is made up of all the timbers of all the philosophers and spiritual advisers of the Tribune, founded upon the strong pillars of abolition, socialism, amalgamation and infidelity, compassing all the discoveries in heaven and earth. The new dispensation of Lucretia Mott and the philosophers, proposes:
1. To dispense with Christianity and the Bible. After an experiment of nineteen centuries, they declare the system to be a humbug.
2. To abolish the existing political and social system of society as part of the false machinery of the age.
3. To put all races, sexes and colors upon a footing of perfect equality. The convention having proved by phrenology and biology that, the sexes are equal in point of intellect, and that color is a mere difference of complexion, it is proposed to abolish the only distinction of sex by a universal adoption of breeches.

Most assuredly, this grand reformation involves, as incidentals, the abolition of slavery, black and white, the doctrine of amalgamation to its fullest extent, fun and refinement, as was never dreamed of, even by Davis, in his revelations, or by Graham,[10] from the inspiration of bran bread and turnips.

The philosophers of the Tribune have, therefore, published the Worcester platform in the capacity of the official organ of this tremendous reformation. Old things are to be done away with, and all things are to become new. Seward is to be sustained, and [President Millard] Fillmore is only to be tolerated till the advent of the new dispensation, when Lucretia Mott, Abby Kelly, Douglas, Greeley and Sojourner Truth are to rule the roost. Then, and not till then, shall we realise the jubilee of the Devil and his angels.

[1]Fourier, Charles (1772-1837): A well-known proponent of utopian socialist ideas (so-called after Marx's distinction between his own "scientific" socialism and the ideas of his predecessors), he was born in Besançon, France and worked as a clerk before publishing his first work, The Social Destiny of Man, or, Theory of the Four Movements (1808). After inheriting his mother's estate in 1812, he devoted himself to working through the details of his ideas in such works as The New Industrial World (1829). He advocated a reorganization of society into self-sufficient units (phalanstères or phalanxes) which would offer a maximum of both cooperation and choice to members. A number of so-called utopian communities in the United States adopted Fourier's principles. Perhaps the best known of these was Brook Farm.
[2]Albert Brisbane, author of Social Destiny of Man (1840), was the leading American exponent of Fourier's ideas.
[3]Etienne Cabet (1788-1852) founded the utopian socialist community of Nauvoo in Illinois on the principles laid out in his Colony or Republic of Icaria in the United States: Its History (Nauvoo, Il, 1852).
[4]A reference to Kate and Margaret Fox, two sisters aged twelve and fifteen, who lived outside Rochester and who, in 1848, began their careers as mediums to the spirit world by deciphering the meaning of mysterious rapping sounds. Forty years later, Kate and Margaret confessed they made the sounds themselves, by cracking the joints of their big toes.
[5]Hyponotism, named after Franz Mesmer (1734-1815).
[6]Orson Squire Fowler, author of such works as The Illustrated Self Instructor in Phrenology and Physiology (New York, 1855) and Love and Parentage (New York, 1844). He wrote a letter to the Convention.
[7] Robert Colyer, a British mesmerist, who made an American tour in 1839.
[8]Rev. Andrew Jackson Davis, one of the leaders of the new spiritualism movement, and author of many books including Great Harmonia, 2 volumes, 4th ed. (Boston, 1850).
[9]Archimedes, the mathematician who discovered the principle of the lever, proclaimed "Eureka!" and supposedly leapt from his bath to tell of his discovery without bothering to dress.
[10]A reference to the Rev. Sylvester Graham, a health and food reformer, who urged the importance of eating bran bread.