Mormon Anarchism - Some Links

The most up-to-date version of this list can be found on github where it can more easily be maintained collaboratively:

The Mormon Worker (in the Internet Archive)

Online and print periodical. “Promoting Mormonism, Anarchism, and Pacifism”

Choose the Radical

A Salt Lake City Weekly cover story by Eric Peterson about LDS anarchists, feminists, liberals and Jack-Mormons.

Rebirth of Mormon Radicalism?

An article from a now-defunct weblog on the return of radical thinking within Mormonism.

Writings by and about Dyer D. Lum

Dyer Lum was a 19-century American anarchist. In the 1870’s he traveled around the country, including to Utah, as part of a congressional committee appointed to “inquire into the depression of labor.”

  • John S. McCormick’s “An Anarchist Defends the Mormons: The Case of Dyer D. Lum” (Utah Historical Quarterly 44, 1976: 156-69) is an excellent summary of Lum’s analysis of the social and legal conflict between the Mormons and the United States. McCormick also quotes other 19th-century anarchists on the Mormon issue, including Benjamin Tucker. (Direct link to the archived PDF.)

  • Utah and Its People: Facts and Statistics Bearing on the "Mormon Problem" (R.O. Ferrier & Company, 1882) is a booklet in which Lum defends Mormonism while praising its democratic society and cooperative economy.

  • Social problems of today: or, the Mormon question in its economic aspects is an updated and much expanded version of Utah and Its people in which Lum continues to defend the Mormons against increased state repression. “The whole Mormon system, social, religious, industrial, is essentially based on two fundamental principles: cooperation in business and arbitration in disputes.” Lum contrasts those Mormon values with the mainstream American values of capitalism and civil litigation.

  • In “Mormon and Caesar” (Liberty, April 17, 1886, #79), Lum argues that the motivational force behind the Edmunds Anti-Polygamy was is to crush the cooperative economy set up by Mormons in Utah. (This article is something of a highly compressed version of the first chapter of The Social Problems of Today.)

  • In “Mormon Co-operation,” (Liberty, July 3, 1886, #83), Lum responds to a sceptic about Mormon democracy and cooperation.

  • My own “Dyer Lum on the Civil and Mormon Wars” presents an overly simplified theory of the relationship between slavery, Mormon cooperatives, and capitalism with application to some interesting events in American history

The case for Book of Mormon socialism

An article in The Salt Lake Tribune by Troy Williams.

Leland A Fetzer’s “Tolstoy and Mormonism” (Dialogue 6, 1971: 3-29)

An essay which recounts Leo Tolstoy’s encounters with Mormonism.

LDS Cooperative ‘one heart and one mind…​with no poor among us’

The front page features a Brigham Young quote and a José María Arizmendiarrieta quote together. Which is awesome.

Wikipedia: United Order

The church’s 19th century experiment with voluntary communism.

Whither the Mormon Anarchist

An article critical of Mormon anarchism.

Anarchopedia: Mormon anarchism

The very short entry in the Anarchopedia on Mormon anarchism.

LDS-LEFT Yahoo! group

This inactive mailing list seems to be all that’s left of the Mormons for Equality and Social Justice site. An old index page is available thanks to the Internet Archive.

LDS Anarchy: Not Your Average Mormon Blog

“The goal of this blog is to discuss the gamut of LDS doctrine and perspective. Also to be covered is the anarchic point of view, i.e., anarchism.”

  • The main contributor espouses anti-statism but is an advocate of tribalism, and there seems to be barely any anarchism in their writing.

  • Many of the articles I sampled were long, rambling, and contained the occasional conspiracy theory (one of the contributors firmly believes the earth is hollow). The sidebar links to both right-wing and socialist anarchist websites. There are many contributors, so the quality can be expected to vary widely.

  • Article critical of the ideas espoused by the LDS Anarchy blog


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