With some others of like mind they formed a little society, which they called the Pantisocracy
, from Greek words meaning all-equal- rule.
Meeting Southey, then a student at Oxford, he drew him into a plan for a 'Pantisocracy
' (a society where all should be equal), a community of twelve young couples to be founded in some 'delightful part of the new back settlements' of America on the principles of communistic cooperation in all lines, broad mental culture, and complete freedom of opinion.
New for 2019, Human Rights Documentary category entries advanced: "Blonde Hair, Blue Eyes" (RTEe Radio 1), "Bonded Labour: Pakistan's Christian Minority" (Newstalk 106-108FM), "Pantisocracy
: Awesome MnEi" (Athena Media), "Away From You -- The Story Of The Afghan Interpreters" (BFBS Radio) "The Manual Scavenging Special" (Entertainment Network India Limited),"Equality for all" (South Asia FM Limited), "Eunsu's 17 lost years" (BeFM), "Ek Bachpan Aisa Bhi" (Music Broadcast Limited).
Often retaining a scholarlike or clerical air, you might have taken us for the denizens of Grub-street, intent on getting a comfortable livelihood by agricultural labor; or Coleridge's projected Pantisocracy
in full experiment; or Candide and his motley associates at work in their cabbage-garden; or anything else that was miserably out at elbows, and most clumsily patched in the rear.
The title made an odd connection between the musical invention of the late Ian Dury and the political theorising of Samuel Taylor Coleridge and others, who propounded the notion of the pantisocracy
, in which all people shared power equally.
Wright supports these claims by invoking the orthodox Anglican views of Coleridge's father, and by reading Coleridge's letters written around the time of the lectures as evidence of the depth of his commitment to pantisocracy
. Though circumstantial, this evidence is closely read and deftly applied.
Coleridge and Southey's dreams of Pantisocracy
were fuelled by accounts of the culture of Native Americans and transatlantic adventure predominates in Southey's Madoc.
In tracing Coleridge's development from his radical Pantisocracy
days of the early and mid-1790s to his solidly Trinitarian, Anglican work of the 1820s, Wright shows that biblical authority was always at the core of Coleridge's thought.
The letter praised Napoleon's 1798-1799 expulsion of the despotic Ottoman/Mameluk dynasty from Egypt, followed by his administrative, scientific, and cultural reforms there, which, combined, presented themselves as a highly desirable alternative to the evil political system at home under William Pitt, which made Southey remember the long extinguished spark of Pantisocracy
: "Well, well Buonaparte is making a home for us in Syria, and we may perhaps enjoy freedom under the suns of the East, in a land flowing with milk and honey" (qtd.
Thou poor despis'd forlorn!/I hail thee Brother --spite of the fool's scorn!/ And fain would take thee with me, in the Dell / Where high-soul'd Pantisocracy
shall dwell!" (10)
In this well-researched book, Speck chronicles Southey's dramatic transformation from a youthful, free-thinking radical who planned to build a communal utopia or "Pantisocracy
" with his friend Coleridge on the banks of the Susquehanna River in Pennsylvania, to a middle-aged mouthpiece of the establishment, the "most powerful literary supporter of the Tories." Southey was, in Speck's words, a man who fought "seventeenth-century battles in the third decade of the nineteenth"; his opposition to Catholic Emancipation, for example, led him to circulate a petition in 1829 criticizing the seating of an Irish Catholic in Parliament.
He titled his scheme of communal living a "Pantisocracy
," a word he coined from the Greek, meaning power for all.