Thursday, September 9, 2021

Communism defined in 1849


COMMUNISM DEFINED.-- "The other day," says the Constitutionnel, "a workman was declaiming in the midst of a group against communism. One of the group said, 'You talk against communism, and you do not even know what it is.' The workman said nothing in reply at first, but taking off his blouse he tore it into fragments, and, after giving a portion to each of the persons present, he said, 'Communism, my friends, has for its object to make of what may be very useful to one person a collection of morsels which are useful to nobody.' "

Quoted from the French periodical Le Constitutionnel, this practical illustration of equity under communism appeared in the Liverpool Albion for October 15, 1849, on the same page with a long excerpt from chapter 33 of Melville's Redburn, headed "The Shipping of the Mersey." Found on The British Newspaper Archive. The Albion reprinted additional excerpts from Melville's latest novel on October 22 ("Scenes By the Dockside," from Redburn chapter 34); October 29 ("A Reminiscence" from Redburn chapter 36); November 5, 1849 ("Dockside Beggars" from Redburn chapter 38); November 12 ("Shipping a Dead Sailor" from Redburn chapter 47 and "Evading the Customs" from Redburn chapter 40); and November 19, 1849 ("Dockside Horses" also from Redburn chapter 40).

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