‘While others despair of all men we must despair of no man.’

Originally titled ‘Economic independence’, 100 years ago this week Charles R Simpson published this piece in the Friend

‘The development of [one’s] full personality should not be hampered by unjust conditions, nor crushed by economic pressure.’ Foundations of a True Social Order. | Photo: Matt Collamer / Unsplash.

History never repeats itself; but throughout the story of the race, epoch-making movements similar in many respects take their rise. These are sometimes closely associated with great personalities; at other times we see mass movements which seem to possess no great outstanding figure as leader. In all we may observe the struggling of the soul of man1 to secure the victory over outward conditions. Again the world cries out, ‘We will be free.’ The Quaker Church has played a conspicuous role in the realisation of political and religious freedom not only for itself, but for millions outside its borders. Legal ownership of flesh and blood has gone because of the declaration that human life and personality are the most sacred thing in the world.

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