The Day That Was Thursday

Josiah Warren began publishing his The Peaceful Revolutionist paper in 1833, and is most famous for promoting his version of “The Sovereignty of the Individual.” He ran a successful “time store” in Cincinnati based on his theories and later founded entire utopian communities.

Warren was the first of the American individualist anarchists. Wendy McElroy explains who they were and why we haven’t heard of them.

If you’ve been in the broad libertarian movement, you’ll likely have heard about a book titled The Man Who Was Thursday by G.K. (Gilbert Keith) Chesterton, since it features a police detective infiltrating a vast violent anarchist conspiracy operating across Europe. He makes some astounding discoveries.

G.K.’s humorous take on radicals, in this work written in 1908, could have been written yesterday, even though the setting is reminiscent of a Sherlock Holmes story with horse drawn carriages and gaslight. Chesterton was a bit of a reformer himself by dint of his Catholic Distributism.

Dale Ahlquist, President of the American Chesterton Society, answers the question, “Who is this guy and why haven’t I heard of him?” He gives three explanations to “. . .and why haven’t I heard of him?”, “1. I don’t know, 2. You’ve been cheated, and 3.—-” I’ll save his long, serious explanation for perusal at his site.

This Thanksgiving I’m thankful to my co-author Brad Linaweaver for putting Chesterton as a character in our collaborative alternate history novel, Anarquia.

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