This section is from the book "Free Love: Or, A Philosophical Demonstration Of The Non-Exclusive Nature Of Connubial Love", by Austin Kent. Also available from Amazon: A Practical Guide to Polyamory, Open Relationships & Other Adventures.
"But can woman be the wife of more than one man? and can the relation of husband be truly sustained to more than one woman, at the same time? To this my heart and my head give a negative answer. Reason and affection assure me that polygamy is unnatural, and therefore wrong."
We shall make no entire defence of polygamy. On the whole, it is more unnatural than exclusive dual marriage. It is all one sided and unjust. Exclusive dual marriage aims to monopolize the entire heart of one. Polygamy does the same by more than one - perhaps many. Of course I cannot approve of the exclusive and monopolizing phase of it.
When there are more females than males, so far as provision for these is concerned, it is better than our present civilization. But mixing up polygamy with "a variety in love," as Mr. W. has done, is very illogical and improper. It does not belong with the latter. We believe Mr. Wright knows this, but we leave it with the reader to judge of the motives which prompted to this course.
"What says the heart? Is there a husband whose love is concentrated on one woman as a wife, who can willingly allow another man to be to his wife what he is? He loves her - her alone - above all others, and he earnestly desires that she should return his affection."
Really, if he concentrates his love on her alone, at her call, it is but just that she should do the same by him. If he simply loves her above all others, it is just that she should do the same by him. We say, let the friends of exclusive marriage be just, while they choose, and are in that order. When they can endure it no longer, let them relax their demand first. "Be just if the heavens fall," and then they will not fall.
" The very fact that another can claim her interest or win her affections, enough to make marriage attractive, strikes a death-blow to a true lover's peace. It is equally true of woman. Hence the origin of that expression of feeling commonly called jealousy."
Mr. W. here seems again to mix up polygamy with the doctrine of a "variety." We have dismissed his polygamy.
If Mr. W. means, in the above, to teach, that the exclusive feeling is hurt by a lack of exclusive feeling in a mate, we admit it. But we still deny that such an exclusive feeling is "true love" in its fulness. It is fractional and abnormal; and its action causes the "jealousies" to which Mr. W. is disposed to be merciful. He should be. But a normal action of Free Love never produces these jealousies in normal and healthy minds. The reader will permit me here to record a somewhat singular, and yet not very uncommon anomaly. Mr. Wright has long been accustomed to find himself in a very lean minority on nearly every subject which he introduces. I speak it to his credit. He has seldom found men's feelings and instincts with his own, and with what he considered to be the truth. This has been true in his position on war and its opposite - non-resistance, slavery, woman's rights, and woman's sphere, sectarianism, etc. Here, on exclusive marriage, in which the race are as corrupt as on any other subject, his first and last, and his only arguments are no arguments, but appeals to the feelings and instincts, and even 'jealousies' of men in general. Such appeals are not better here than elsewhere.
We should go back of "misdirected" feeling to the laws of mind, to right up an 8 already careening ship. Is this all that Mr. W. can produce in defense of his dual marriages? Is it his best kind of proof? We were not required to do more than by our counter testimony pronounce it untrue, and pass it. We have and mean to follow him, and reply to such as we find. On every other subject, he pronounces men selfish and perverted. Here he is disposed to tread with care over the complainings of an unnatural demand, or to allow and defend its morbid claim.
"If we are true to ourselves and to each other, neither can outgrow the other. I can never seek an enlargement of soul that cannot be shared by thee. The fixed object of our lives must be to perfect the harmony between us."
All good, except a little savoring of law. But this is good instruction for those for whom he wrote. The well developed and healthy will do right spontaneously, from the right in them. With these, love and harmony will always take care of themselves. True love will live by its own inherent nature.
"In every step of my course, the wife of my soul must stand by my side. I can desire no honor, no station, no heaven apart from thee. If thou art delayed I must be delayed with thee. We are one in love, in will, in purpose, in destiny. Be it ours to eternize this oneness. We will stand, go back, or forward, together."
Mr. Wright, probably, does not mean to "stand" from progression, or to go back into evils. What a glorious time it will be when the race - every man and every woman - shall be deluged in such a spirit of love and oneness, each to the other, and all to all; when every man shall love his neighbor as himself, and his neighbor's wife as his own wife.
"With this fulness of satisfaction in thee, how can I desire another as a wife? There is no room for another in my nature; it finds in thee all I can receive from any woman in marriage, and it repels the thought of any other in this relation. The existence of the desire for a second person in the marriage union, while the first one lives, proves that the first relation has ceased, if it ever existed. It seems to me that marriage-love is, in its very essence, exclusive,"
"While the first one lives." This looseness is unpardonable. It destroys all force in much of his previous argument. He has said that "true love" was in its nature "eternal," as well as monogamic; that death would not weaken it. He and we believe that none of us will ever die in any sense which affects love. Then why does he repeat such language as the above. If Mr. W. has his true mate, and by some accident he falls first, will he feel it any more right for her to be joined to " another as a husband? " Will it appear any more " pure and chaste" to him? It is impossible for her to love the last, or cease to love Mr. W. He is no less "loveable," and has committed no offense. Mr. Wright, give up the defense of exclusive monogamio relation, or come up to the courage to be more consistent, and manfully stand your ground.