Sidney E. Parker and Laurance Labadie letters about E. Armand, “Freedom” and the H-Bomb

1946-Today, E. Armand, Laurance Labadie, Sidney E. Parker / Friday, July 27th, 2018
The following early 1960s exchange between egoist archivists S.E.Parker and Laurance Labadie is fascinating to me. Unfortunately they were transcribed already, and I’m not able to double-check some of the transcription, though I imagine on the whole accurate to the source. I will eschew the normal capsule biographies and if either of these names puzzle you, allow you to look around the website. The UoE project has a “no fact too obscure” attitude and the more obscure generally appreciated the most.

May 16, 1962.

Dear Mr. Labadie,

I am engaged in the project of translating and publishing the works of E. Armand and other anarchist individualist writers. Several articles have already appeared in “Freedom” and two items have been published separately (I enclose copies of these). However, I am in need of help in the shape of translations and I am wondering if you would be willing to translate, or if you know of anyone else who would be so. Financial help would also be welcome.

During the last year I have been receiving “Balanced Living” and have noticed your name mentioned in its columns. I have noticed also that you have written a pamphlet on “Government and H-Bombs”. Is this still available? If it is, I would be willing to review it in “Freedom”, as I have done two pamphlets by Don Werkheiser. Are any other of your writings available? (The late E. Armand sent me some of your leaflets.)

I look forward to hearing from you.

S.E. Parker.

Dear Mr. S. E. Parker

In reply to your letter of May 16: I am familiar only with the English language; and I am not acquainted with anyone available for translations from French. Enclosed is a mimeographed copy of the article you request. Since I live practically a hermit’s life, I am not in much contact with radicals. However, I have written quite a bit during these last years, possibly very little of it publishable, or at least it hasn’t been. It is rather pessimistic stuff, since it appears to me that the prospects for liberty are almost hopeless.

The Freedom (London) people have kindly sent me their paper for a good many years, and lately I have been able to reimburse them. I have read it religiously, and suppose that one way to give my opinion of this journal would be to say that I consider it about 90% communist and 10% anarchist.

I have a very dim view of the deleterious effect which “communist anarchism” has had on the genuine article.

The ignorant “replies” which have been made to some of your letters is indicative. And yet, amid the welter of idiocy regarding the current scene, I tend to favor them.

Laurance Labadie
20 De Baun Lane, Suffern, N.Y.


Dear Friend,

Many thanks for your letter and the enclosures.

I think that, rather than try to summarize the article on atomic war in a review, it would be far better to send it to “Freedom” for publication in its columns and, with your permission, I shall do this.

I agree, in the main, with your estimation of “Freedom”.

In spite of their “communist” bias, however, its editors are willing to publish other anarchist points of view – something which, I am told, certain other anarchist journals – e.g. in Italy, are not prepared to do. Having “grown up with F” and, in spite of our now divergent interpretations of anarchism, still remaining on friendly terms with its editors I am particularly glad they maintain such an open attitude.

You may be interested to know that among the items sent to me by the companion of the late E. Armand – was a Spanish translation of one of your essays called “Is Communism Practical?” Also a small booklet of essays by your rather and some of his verses. (I have also acquired, from other sources, copies of “Man!” containing your “Reflections on Liberty” and other articles, and also Tucker’s “Why I Am An Anarchist” and Badcock’s “Slaves to Duty” published by you.)

I have just read again James J. Martin: “Men Against the State”. In it I found references to Victor Yarros’ rejection of anarchism and Tuckers repudiation of him in letters to you. However, in one of the few copies of “L’Unique” I possess there is an article by Yarros (circa 1948, I think) which seems – as far as my extremely fragmentary French allows me to judge – to be quite sympathetic to anarchist individualism. Have you any idea where he now stands?

I note from your letter that you live at Suffern. This was, I believe, the address of the School of Living before it moved to Brookvale, Ohio. Does any trace of it remain in Suffern? (I was surprised to find – when I came across “Balance Living” last year – that such a distinct anarchist trend has emerged from the muddled idealism of Borsodi.)

With best wishes,
S.E. Parker.

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