Abraham "Abe" Cahan was a Belarusian-born Jewish American socialist newspaper editor and politician. Cahan was one of the founders of The Forward, an American Yiddish language publication, was its editor-in-chief for 43 years. During his stewardship of the Forward, it became a prominent voice in the Jewish community and in the Socialist Party of America, voicing a moderate stance within the realm of American socialist politics. Abraham Cahan was born July 7, 1860, in Podberezhie into an Orthodox, Litvak family, his grandfather was a rabbi in Vidz, his father a teacher of Hebrew language and the Talmud. The devoutly religious family moved to Vilnius in 1866, where the young Cahan studied to become a rabbi. He, was attracted by secular knowledge and clandestinely studied the Russian language demanding that his parents allow him to enter the Teachers Institute of Vilnius, from which he graduated in 1881, he was appointed as a teacher in a Jewish school funded by the Russian government in Velizh, Vitebsk, in the same year.
In Czarist Russia, repression from both the government and the Russian Orthodox Church restricted the travel and educational opportunities of Jewish subjects, who were subject to discrimination and brutality. By 1879, when Cahan was still a teenager, he had associated himself with the growing radical revolutionary movement in Russia. After the Emperor Alexander II of Russia was assassinated by a member of the Socialist Revolutionary Party in March 1881, all revolutionary sympathizers became suspect to the Russian police. In 1882 the Russian police searched Cahan’s room for radical publications that could be linked to the Socialist Revolutionary Party; the visit from the police prompted the young socialist schoolteacher to join the great emigration of Russian Jews to the United States, under way. Cahan arrived by steamboat in Philadelphia on June 6 of 1882 at the age of 21 and traveled to New York City, where he would live for the rest of his life. In July 1882 a month after arriving in the United States, Cahan attended his first American socialist meeting, a month he gave his first socialist speech, speaking in Yiddish.
Although he found American society to be a vast improvement over life in Russia, he began to express certain criticisms of American conditions from a Marxist perspective. Cahan mastered the English language, in addition to writing for various publications, by 1883 he dedicated much of his time to teaching English to working class Jewish immigrants, he taught at the Young Men’s Hebrew Association and incorporated socialist speeches into his lesson plans. Cahan formally joined the Socialist Labor Party of America in 1887. Cahan’s education in Russian and English and his literary and journalistic abilities allowed him to excel as a socialist, toward the end of his career he was considered a leading figure of the radical Jewish left. In keeping with his socialist politics, Cahan believed that immigrants needed to combine formal learning with informal studies about local life and community customs to achieve not only an education but integration into American society, he encouraged women to use labor and education to elevate their status in society.
Soon after arriving in America Cahan wrote articles on socialism and science, translated literary works for the pages of the Yiddish language newspaper of the Socialist Labor Party, the Arbeiter Zeitung Cahan edited the Arbeiter Zeitung from 1891 to 1895, followed that position with an editorship at the paper Di Tsukunft through 1887. Afterward, Cahan was made a full-time reporter for the New York Commercial Advertiser, it was in this position as an apprentice of reporter Lincoln Steffens that Cahan was groomed for his coming role as a founding editor of the Jewish Daily Forward. Cahan founded the Forward while he was still juggling several newspaper jobs, publishing its first issue in 1897; the horror of the Kishinev pogrom, which the Forward covered extensively, prompted Cahan to take on leadership of the Forward full-time in 1903, taking over total editorial control and running the newspaper full-time until 1946. In his years working at the Forward, Cahan transformed the self-identified socialist newspaper from an obscure paper with only six thousand readers to the forefront of Yiddish journalism.
The Jewish Daily Forward became a symbol of American socialism and Jewish immigration, assumed the role of an Americanizing agent instructing its readers in the social, economic and cultural aspects of the United States. Cahan received criticism from fellow Jewish journalists because he didn’t limit the Forward to Jewish topics, but wrote on a variety of themes and was one of the more temperate voices in the Socialist Party of America, respecting his readers' religious beliefs and preaching an moderate and reformist form of socialist politics as time progressed. Cahan not only distinguished himself through Yiddish literature, but through his English fiction that dealt with the sociological and historical process of immigrants becoming Americans. By 1896 Cahan had published his first short story, “A Providential Match”, just a year he published his first novel, Yekl: A Tale of the New York Ghetto. By 1901 Cahan had published six of his stories in a variety of popular magazines. Cahan’s most popular novel was The Rise of David Levinsky, a semi-autobiographical account tha
Socialism is a range of economic and social systems characterised by social ownership of the means of production and workers' self-management, as well as the political theories and movements associated with them. Social ownership can be citizen ownership of equity. There are many varieties of socialism and there is no single definition encapsulating all of them, with social ownership being the common element shared by its various forms. Socialist systems are divided into market forms. Non-market socialism involves the substitution of factor markets and money with engineering and technical criteria based on calculation performed in-kind, thereby producing an economic mechanism that functions according to different economic laws from those of capitalism. Non-market socialism aims to circumvent the inefficiencies and crises traditionally associated with capital accumulation and the profit system. By contrast, market socialism retains the use of monetary prices, factor markets and in some cases the profit motive, with respect to the operation of owned enterprises and the allocation of capital goods between them.
Profits generated by these firms would be controlled directly by the workforce of each firm, or accrue to society at large in the form of a social dividend. The socialist calculation debate concerns the feasibility and methods of resource allocation for a socialist system. Socialist politics has been both nationalist in orientation. Originating within the socialist movement, social democracy has embraced a mixed economy with a market that includes substantial state intervention in the form of income redistribution, a welfare state. Economic democracy proposes a sort of market socialism where there is more decentralized control of companies, currencies and natural resources; the socialist political movement includes a set of political philosophies that originated in the revolutionary movements of the mid-to-late 18th century and out of concern for the social problems that were associated with capitalism. By the late 19th century, after the work of Karl Marx and his collaborator Friedrich Engels, socialism had come to signify opposition to capitalism and advocacy for a post-capitalist system based on some form of social ownership of the means of production.
By the 1920s, social democracy and communism had become the two dominant political tendencies within the international socialist movement. By this time, socialism emerged as "the most influential secular movement of the twentieth century, worldwide, it is a political ideology, a wide and divided political movement" and while the emergence of the Soviet Union as the world's first nominally socialist state led to socialism's widespread association with the Soviet economic model, some economists and intellectuals argued that in practice the model functioned as a form of state capitalism or a non-planned administrative or command economy. Socialist parties and ideas remain a political force with varying degrees of power and influence on all continents, heading national governments in many countries around the world. Today, some socialists have adopted the causes of other social movements, such as environmentalism and progressivism. In 21st century America, the term socialism, without clear definition, has become a pejorative used by conservatives to taint liberal and progressive policies and public figures.
For Andrew Vincent, "he word ‘socialism’ finds its root in the Latin sociare, which means to combine or to share. The related, more technical term in Roman and medieval law was societas; this latter word could mean companionship and fellowship as well as the more legalistic idea of a consensual contract between freemen". The term "socialism" was created by Henri de Saint-Simon, one of the founders of what would be labelled "utopian socialism". Simon coined the term as a contrast to the liberal doctrine of "individualism", which stressed that people act or should act as if they are in isolation from one another; the original "utopian" socialists condemned liberal individualism for failing to address social concerns during the industrial revolution, including poverty, social oppression and gross inequalities in wealth, thus viewing liberal individualism as degenerating society into supporting selfish egoism that harmed community life through promoting a society based on competition. They presented socialism as an alternative to liberal individualism based on the shared ownership of resources, although their proposals for socialism differed significantly.
Saint-Simon proposed economic planning, scientific administration and the application of modern scientific advancements to the organisation of society. By contrast, Robert Owen proposed the organisation of ownership in cooperatives; the term "socialism" is attributed to Pierre Leroux and to Marie Roch Louis Reybaud in France. The modern definition and usage of "socialism" settled by the 1860s, becoming the predominant term among the group of words "co-operative", "mutualist" and "associationist", used as synonyms; the term "communism" fell out of use during this period, despite earlier distinctions between socialism and communism from the 1840s. An early distinction between socialism and communism was that the former aimed to only socialise production while the latter aimed to socialise both production and consumption. However, M
Lomaland was a Theosophical community located in Point Loma in San Diego, California from 1900 to 1942. Theosophical Society leader Katherine Tingley founded it in 1900 as a school, cultural center, residential facility for her followers; the American headquarters of the Theosophical Society Pasadena was situated there. The facility was important to the growing city of San Diego for its cultural offerings, it left a lasting legacy in its campus which still retains many of the unique architectural features of the original Lomaland; the residents of Lomaland transformed their Point Loma neighborhood by planting so many trees and shrubs that the barren neighborhood is now known as the "Wooded Area". Led by Katherine Tingley, the group came to Point Loma to establish a community that would model the philosophical and humanitarian goals of Theosophy; the "White City" envisioned by Tingley was to be located on the extreme western edge of the North American continent but oriented toward India, the spiritual center of Theosophical beliefs.
The blend of new world confidence, Victorian morality, a love of antiquity, Indian spirituality created a unique community that found its expression in architecture, still visible on the campus of Point Loma Nazarene University. Gottfried de Purucker visited Point Loma in 1894, in 1896 he met Katherine Tingley in Geneva where he spoke about the place. In 1897 Tingley bought a piece of land at Point Loma, in February 1897 she laid the first stone for a School for the Revival of the Lost Mysteries of Antiquity. In 1899 Tingley moved to Lomaland, in 1900 Universal Brotherhood and Theosophical Society established their headquarters there. Agricultural experimentation was essential to the Lomaland community's desire to be self-sufficient in all respects, the group imported and tried many different types of plants and trees including avocados and other fruit. Katherine Tingley's goal was to serve fresh vegetables at Lomaland every day of the year. In summer 1900, the educational arm of Lomaland, a Raja yoga school, was opened up.
In 1901 followed an open air Greek theatre, a temple, in 1914 a college, by 1919 a theosophical university. Many other buildings were established including a hotel, a theatre, a textile factory, a joinery, a bakery, a publishing house, more. Vegetable and fruit gardens were planted. Around 60 percent of the community was female, notable for this time, the same percentage was represented in executive positions. "Raja Yoga" meant divine union, the educational goals of the school involved not only the intellect, but moral and spiritual development. The Raja Yoga Academy was a boarding school. Children from poor families could go to school without paying any charges; the students played classical dramas, as well as those of Shakespeare. Each student had to learn to play at least one instrument, so that after 1905 the first school orchestra of the United States could hold weekly concerts and go on tour. A theosophical university was established in 1919, it offered courses in the humanities and in science, was accredited by the state of California.
In 1942 the university was relocated to Covina. The publishing house changed its name several times, it was called The Theosophical publishing company, Aryan theosophical press, or Theosophical university press. In 1942 Lomaland was sold, the Theosophical Society moved to Covina, near Los Angeles. By 1900, the campus was dominated by the imposing Academy Building and the adjoining Temple of Peace. Both buildings were constructed in the Theosophical vernacular that included a flattened arch motif and whimsical references to antiquity; the buildings were topped by amethyst domes, which could be seen offshore. The entrance to the Academy Building was dominated by two massive carved doors that symbolized the Theosophical Principles of spiritual enlightenment and human potential; these doors are located in the archives of the San Diego Historical Society. The sculptor, Reginald Machell, was educated in England, but moved to Lomaland with the community in 1896; the interior furnishings he carved for the Academy Building were influenced by the Symbolist style popular in Europe at that time.
Machell supervised the woodworking school at Point Loma. Agricultural experimentation was essential to the Lomaland community's desire to be self-sufficient in all respects. Lomaland had public buildings for several private homes; the home of Albert Spalding, the sporting goods tycoon, was built in 1901. The building combines late-Victorian wooden architecture with historical motifs such as the modified Corinthian column and flattened arches; the amethyst dome was restored by a team of scholars led by Dr. Dwayne Little of the department of history and political science at San Diego State University in 1983; the first Greek amphitheater in North America was built on this site in 1901. It was used for sporting theatrical performances. Tessellated pavement and stoa were added in 1909; the theatre was the site of a number of productions of Shakespearean dramas. Cabrillo Hall, which served as the International Center Headquarters, the Brotherhood Headquarters, "Wachere Crest" building, was completed in 1909.
It served as office for the Theosophical Society and as a residence for Katherine Tingley after 1909. It was located on the west side of Pepper Tree Lane. Cabrillo Hall is the home of the Communication Studies department; this multi-purpose structure was located just southwest of the Academy Building. It se
Equality Colony was a United States socialist colony founded in Skagit County, Washington by a political organization known as the Brotherhood of the Cooperative Commonwealth in the year 1897. It was meant to serve as a model which would convert the rest of Washington and the entire continent to socialism; the colony's origins lay in ideas of New England reformers in the mid-1890s. Norman Wallace Lermond, a journalist and farmer in Warren, Ed Pelton had been intrigued by an idea suggested by Socialist Labor Party member F. G. R. Gordon that a series of socialist colonies be established in a single western state. Lermond and Pelton started a vigorous letter-writing campaign to notable reformers such as Henry Demarest Lloyd advocating the plan and suggesting that the socialist colonists would be able to initiate the collective ownership of the means of production in the state by voting in a socialist government. Lermond envisioned an organization of many local unions that would provide the colonists with financial and moral support, coordinated by a national "center or union" controlled by seven trustees.
His immediate model was the New England Emigrant Aid Company, which colonized Kansas with abolitionists prior to the U. S. Civil War in order to make the territory a free state. Lloyd gave the plan modest financial backing Lermond started the first local union in Warren on October 18, 1895, Pelton established the second in Damariscotta Mills, Maine that winter. In December 1895, Lermond issued a call for the creation of more local unions in the pages of the New York Commonwealth and the Coming Nation. In the spring of that year he announced he was setting up an "organizational meeting" to create a "National Union of the Brotherhood of the Cooperative Commonwealth" scheduled to be held in St. Louis on July 24–26, 1896, congruent with that year's People's Party national convention, to which he was a delegate. A formal "call" for this convention was published in Coming Nation July 11 and 18, was endorsed by Henry Demarest Lloyd, Eugene Debs, Frank Parsons, William D. P. Bliss and Eltweed Pomeroy.
This convention, did not materialize. Lermond could not get away from the Populist convention, Imogene Fales attended a National Cooperative Congress that created a new American Cooperative union with her as secretary; the Brotherhood of the Cooperative Commonwealth was organized through a mail referendum conducted through the Coming Nation, becoming the movement's semi-official newspaper. On September 19, the Coming Nation announced the adoption of a constitution and the election of seven officers: Lloyd as president, Lermond as secretary, B. Franklin Hunter as treasurer, Frank Parsons dean, Morrison I. Swift organizer, I. E. Dean master workman and A. S. Edwards, of the Coming Nation editor; the constitution's preamble committed the organization to three broad goals: "1. To educate the people in the principles of Socialism. To unite all socialists in one fraternal association. To establish cooperative colonies and industries in one state until that state is socialized." Each of the eight elected trustees would head a department of the organization.
The president would theoretically head an executive department to supervise the group, but the most important position was secretary, which would head the colonization department charged with planting socialistic colonies. There were departments for education, which would create new local unions, exchange and finance. Not all of these positions were filled, however. Lloyd and Hunter declined their positions, the post of distributor was unfilled. In new elections held in January 1897, radical minister Myron Reed was elected president and an attempt made to draft Eugene V. Debs by electing him national organizer. However, Debs was at the time a fledgling socialist preoccupied with miners' union strikes in the Mountain West and never served in an active capacity as the BCC's organizer. Debs warmed up to the idea of colonizing a unpopulated western state and making use of the ballot box to win control of state government and maintained close contact with the organization, meeting with Lermond in Terre Haute on May 24 to discuss possible unification of his American Railway Union with the BCC at convention scheduled three weeks later.
Meanwhile, Victor Berger and his group were urging him to create a new socialist organization committed to political action and not colonization. Lermond and Reed attended the June 1897 convention of the ARU which created the Social Democracy of America, but the BCC did not join the new organization, rejecting its "class struggle" thesis with a vision of a colony that would include middle-class professionals and "everybody who believes in cooperation" and not just "the laboring classes so called". Weakened by the loss of Debs and the defection of some of its membership to the new SDA, the BCC set out to start its first colony. By mid-1897 the BCC had about 2200 members in 130 local unions. After short tours in Tennessee and Arkansas, Lermond announced that August that Washington would be the most state for colonization; the southern states were well settled and faced the "Negro question", while Washington had a small, sparse population with liberal inclinations and a Populist governor, rumored to be sympathetic to the BCC.
There were a number of local unions in the state, seven of which had sites available. On September 1, 1897 Ed Pelton left Maine for the Pacific Northwest to secure land for the colony. After visiting several sites, on October 15 he made a down payment of $100 to Mathias Decker, a conservative Skagit County farmer, f
Lucy Eldine Gonzalez Parsons was an American labor organizer, radical socialist and anarcho-communist. She is remembered as a powerful orator. Parsons entered the radical movement following her marriage to newspaper editor Albert Parsons and moved with him from Texas to Chicago, where she contributed to the newspaper he famously edited—The Alarm. Following her husband's 1887 execution in conjunction with the Haymarket affair, Parsons remained a leading American radical activist, as a founder of the Industrial Workers of the World and member of other political organizations. Lucy Eldine Gonzalez was born in 1853, in Buffalo Creek, although she listed Virginia as her birthplace on her children's birth certificates. On her death certificate, her parents' names were listed as Pedro Díaz and Marites González, both born in Mexico. Parsons may have been born a slave, to parents of Native American, African American and Mexican ancestry. In 1871, she married a former Confederate soldier, they were forced to flee north from Texas due to intolerant reactions to their interracial marriage.
They settled in Illinois. Lucy Parsons' origins are not documented, she told different stories about her background so it is difficult to sort fact from myth. Lucy was born a slave, though she denied any African heritage, claiming only Native American and Mexican ancestry, her name before marriage to Albert Parsons was Lucy Gonzalez. She may have been married before 1871 to Oliver Gathing. Described by the Chicago Police Department as "more dangerous than a thousand rioters" in the 1920s, Parsons and her husband had become effective anarchist organizers involved in the labor movement in the late 19th century, but participating in revolutionary activism on behalf of political prisoners, people of color, the homeless and women, she began writing for The Socialist and The Alarm, the journal of the International Working People's Association that she and Parsons, among others, founded in 1883. In 1886 her husband, involved in campaigning for the eight-hour day, was arrested and executed on November 11, 1887, by the state of Illinois on charges that he had conspired in the Haymarket Riot — an event, regarded as a political frame-up and which marked the beginning of May Day labor rallies in protest.
Parsons was invited to write for the French anarchist journal Les Temps Nouveaux and spoke alongside William Morris and Peter Kropotkin during a visit to Great Britain in 1888. In 1892 she published a periodical, Freedom: A Revolutionary Anarchist-Communist Monthly, she was arrested for giving public speeches or distributing anarchist literature. While she continued championing the anarchist cause, she came into ideological conflict with some of her contemporaries, including Emma Goldman, over her focus on class politics over gender and sexual struggles. In 1905 she participated in the founding of the Industrial Workers of the World, began editing the Liberator, an anarchist newspaper that supported the IWW in Chicago. Lucy's focus shifted somewhat to class struggles around poverty and unemployment, she organized the Chicago Hunger Demonstrations in January 1915, which pushed the American Federation of Labor, the Socialist Party, Jane Addams' Hull House to participate in a huge demonstration on February 12.
Parsons was quoted as saying: "My conception of the strike of the future is not to strike and go out and starve, but to strike and remain in, take possession of the necessary property of production." Parsons anticipated the sit-down strikes in the US and workers' factory takeovers in Argentina. In 1925 she began working with the National Committee of the International Labor Defense in 1927, a communist-led organization that defended labor activists and unjustly-accused African Americans such as the Scottsboro Nine and Angelo Herndon. While it is accepted by nearly all biographical accounts that Parsons joined the Communist Party in 1939, there is some dispute, notably in Gale Ahrens' essay "Lucy Parsons: Mystery Revolutionist, More Dangerous Than A Thousand Rioters", which can be found in the anthology Lucy Parsons: Freedom, Solidarity. Ahrens points out, in "Lucy Parsons: Freedom and Solidarity: Writings and Speeches, 1878–1937", that the obituary the Communist Party had published on her death made no claim that she had been a member.
Emma Goldman and Lucy Parsons represented different generations of anarchism. This resulted in personal conflict. Carolyn Ashbaugh has explained their disagreements in depth:Lucy Parsons' feminism, which analyzed women's oppression as a function of capitalism, was founded on working class values. Emma Goldman’s feminism took on an abstract character of freedom for women in all things, in all times, in all places. Goldman represented the feminism being advocated in the anarchist movement of the 1890s; the intellectual anarchists questioned Lucy Parsons about her attitudes on the women's question. In 1908, after Captain Mahoney crashed one of Goldman’s lectures in Chicago, newspaper headlines read that every popular anarchist had been present for the spectacle, "with the single exception of Lucy Parsons, with whom Emma Goldman is not on the best of terms." Goldman reciprocated Parsons’s absence by endorsing Frank Harris' book The Bomb, a fictional account of the Haymarket Affair and its martyrs' road to death.
(Parsons had published The Famous Speeches of the Haymarket Martyrs, a non-fictional, first-hand recounting of the Haymarket martyrs'
Theosophy is an esoteric religious movement established in the United States during the late nineteenth century. It was founded by the Russian émigrée Helena Blavatsky and draws its beliefs predominantly from Blavatsky's writings. Categorised by scholars of religion as part of the occultist current of Western esotericism, it draws upon both older European philosophies like Neoplatonism and Asian religions like Hinduism and Buddhism; as taught by Blavatsky, Theosophy teaches that there is an ancient and secretive brotherhood of spiritual adepts known as Mahatmas, who—although found across the world—are centered in Tibet. These Masters are believed to have cultivated great wisdom and seemingly-supernatural powers, Theosophists believe that it was they who initiated the modern Theosophical movement through disseminating their teachings via Blavatsky, they believe that these Masters are attempting to revive knowledge of an ancient religion once found across the world and which will again come to eclipse the existing world religions.
Theosophical groups do not refer to their system as a "religion". Theosophy preaches the existence of a divine Absolute, it promotes an emanationist cosmology in which the universe is perceived as outward reflections from this Absolute. Theosophy teaches that the purpose of human life is spiritual emancipation and claims that the human soul undergoes reincarnation upon bodily death according to a process of karma, it promotes values of universal brotherhood and social improvement, although it does not stipulate particular ethical codes. Theosophy was established in New York City in 1875 with the founding of the Theosophical Society by Blavatsky, Henry Olcott, William Quan Judge. Blavatsky and Olcott relocated to India, where they established the Society's headquarters at Adyar, Tamil Nadu. Blavatsky described her ideas in Isis Unveiled and The Secret Doctrine. Blavatsky was accused of fraudulently producing purportedly supernatural phenomena in connection with these "masters". Following Blavatsky's death in 1891, there was a schism in the Society, with Judge leading the Theosophical Society in America to secede.
Under Judge's successor Katherine Tingley, a Theosophical community named Lomaland was established in San Diego. The Adyar-based Society was taken over by Annie Besant, under whom it grew to its largest extent during the late 1920s, before going into decline. Theosophy played a significant role in bringing knowledge of South Asian religions to Western countries, as well as in encouraging cultural pride in various South Asian nations. A variety of prominent artists and writers have been influenced by Theosophical teachings. Theosophy has an international following, during the twentieth century had tens of thousands of adherents. Theosophical ideas have exerted an influence on a wide range of other esoteric movements and philosophies, among them Anthroposophy, the Church Universal and Triumphant, the New Age. Theosophy's founder, the Russian Helena Blavatsky, insisted that it was not a religion, although did refer to it as the modern transmission of the "once universal religion" that she claimed had existed deep into the human past.
That Theosophy should not be labelled a religion is a claim, maintained by Theosophical organisations, who instead regard it as a system that embraces what they see as the "essential truth" underlying religion and science. As a result, Theosophical groups allow their members to hold other religious allegiances, resulting in Theosophists who identify as Christians, Buddhists, or Hindus; some scholars of religion who have studied Theosophy have characterised it as a religion. In his history of the Theosophical movement, Bruce F. Campbell noted that Theosophy promoted "a religious world-view" using "explicitly religious terms" and that its central tenets are not unequivocal fact, but rather rely on belief. Olav Hammer and Mikael Rothstein termed it "one of the modern world's most important religious traditions". Various scholars have pointed to its eclectic nature. Scholars have classified Theosophy as a form of Western esotericism. Campbell for instance referred to it as "an esoteric religious tradition", while the historian Joy Dixon called it an "esoteric religion".
More it is considered a form of occultism. Along with other groups like the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, the Theosophical Society has been seen as part of an "occult revival" that took place in Western countries during the late nineteenth century; the historian of religion Wouter Hanegraaff noted that Theosophy helped to establish the "essential foundations for much of twentieth-century esotericism". Although Theosophy draws upon Indian religious beliefs, the sociologist of religion Christopher Partridge observed that "Theosophy is fundamentally Western; that is to say, Theosophy is not Eastern thought in the West, but Western thought with an Eastern flavour." At a meeting of the Miracle Club in New York City on 7 September 1875, Blavatsky and Judge agreed to establish an organisation, with Charles Sotheran suggesting that they call it the Theosophical Society. Prior to adopting the name "Theosophical", they had debated various potential names, among them the Egyptological Society, the Hermetic Society, the Rosicrucian Society.
The term was not new, but had been used in various contexts by the Philaletheians and the Christian mystic Jakob Böhme. Etymologically, the term came from the Greek theos and sophia, thus meaning "god-wisdom", "divine wisd
Eugene V. Debs
Eugene Victor Debs was an American socialist, political activist, trade unionist, one of the founding members of the Industrial Workers of the World and five times the candidate of the Socialist Party of America for President of the United States. Through his presidential candidacies as well as his work with labor movements, Debs became one of the best-known socialists living in the United States. Early in his political career, Debs was a member of the Democratic Party, he was elected as a Democrat to the Indiana General Assembly in 1884. After working with several smaller unions, including the Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen, Debs was instrumental in the founding of the American Railway Union, one of the nation's first industrial unions. After workers at the Pullman Palace Car Company organized a wildcat strike over pay cuts in the summer of 1894, Debs signed many into the ARU, he called a boycott of the ARU against handling trains with Pullman cars in what became the nationwide Pullman Strike, affecting most lines west of Detroit and more than 250,000 workers in 27 states.
Purportedly to keep the mail running, President Grover Cleveland used the United States Army to break the strike. As a leader of the ARU, Debs was convicted of federal charges for defying a court injunction against the strike and served six months in prison. In prison, Debs read various works of socialist theory and emerged six months as a committed adherent of the international socialist movement. Debs was a founding member of the Social Democracy of America, the Social Democratic Party of America and the Socialist Party of America. Debs ran as a Socialist candidate for President of the United States five times, including 1900, 1904, 1908, 1912 and 1920, the last time from a prison cell, he was a candidate for United States Congress from his native state Indiana in 1916. Debs was noted for his oratory and his speech denouncing American participation in World War I led to his second arrest in 1918, he was sentenced to a term of 10 years. President Warren G. Harding commuted his sentence in December 1921.
Debs died in 1926, not long after being admitted to a sanatorium due to cardiovascular problems that developed during his time in prison. He has since been cited as the inspiration for numerous politicians. Debs was born on November 5, 1855 in Terre Haute, Indiana to Jean Daniel and Marguerite Mari Bettrich Debs, who immigrated to the United States from Colmar, France, his father, who came from a prosperous family, owned a textile meat market. Debs was named after the French authors Eugène Victor Hugo. Debs attended public school, dropping out of high school at age 14, he took a job with the Vandalia Railroad cleaning grease from the trucks of freight engines for fifty cents a day. He became a painter and car cleaner in the railroad shops. In December 1871, when a drunken locomotive fireman failed to report for work, Debs was pressed into service as a night fireman, he decided to remain a fireman on the run between Terre Haute and Indianapolis, earning more than a dollar a night for the next three and half years.
In July 1875, Debs left to work at a wholesale grocery house, where he remained for four years while attending a local business school at night. Debs had joined the Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen in February 1875 and became active in the organization. In 1877 he served as a delegate of the Terre Haute lodge to the organization's national convention. Debs was elected associate editor of the BLF's monthly organ, Firemen's Magazine, in 1878. Two years he was appointed Grand Secretary and Treasurer of the BLF and editor of the magazine in July 1880, he worked as a BLF functionary until January 1893 and as the magazine's editor until September 1894. At the same time, he became a prominent figure in the community, he served two terms as Terre Haute's city clerk from September 1879 to September 1883. In the fall of 1884, he was elected to the Indiana General Assembly as a Democrat, serving for one term. Debs married Kate Metzel on June 9, 1885, their home still stands in Terre Haute, preserved amidst the campus of Indiana State University.
The railroad brotherhoods were comparatively conservative organizations, focused on providing fellowship and services rather than on collective bargaining. Their motto was "Benevolence and Industry"; as editor of the official journal of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen, Debs concentrated on improving the Brotherhood's death and disability insurance programs. During the early 1880s, Debs' writing stressed themes of self-upliftment: temperance, hard work and honesty. Debs held the view that "labor and capital are friends" and opposed strikes as a means of settling differences; the Brotherhood had never authorized a strike from its founding in 1873 to 1887, a record which Debs was proud of. Railroad companies cultivated the Brotherhood and granted them perks like free transportation to their conventions for the delegates. Debs invited railroad president Henry C. Lord to write for the magazine. Summarizing Debs's thought in this period, historian David A. Shannon wrote: "Debs's desideratum was one of peace and co-operation between labor and capital, but he expected management to treat labor with respect and social equality".
Debs became convinced of the need for a more unified and confrontational approach as railroads were powerful companies in the economy. One influence was his involvement in the Burlington Railroad Strike of 1888, a defeat for labor that convinced Debs of the necessity of organizing along craft lines. After stepping down as Brotherhood Grand Secretary in 1893, Debs organiz