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“Change of Name Requested,” from The Egoist (July 1925).

This is an item from The Egoist, an individualist anarchist paper published by Edward H. Fulton under a series of at least five different names from 1919 to at least 1928, which provided a major forum for plumb-line individualist anarchists, American mutualists, and many former members of Tucker’s Liberty circle during the 1920s. (The paper, for example, provided a new home for Jo Labadie’s Cranky Notions columns, published articles by Austin Wright, Clarence Lee Swartz, Henry Cohen, etc. The periodical began as The New Order (1919), was changed to the 1776 American in 1920, changed to EGO in 1921, went on hiatus for a few years, and then reappeared as The Egoist in 1924. After this issue, Fulton, based on reader responses, changed the title again to The Mutualist, which ran from 1925 until at least 1928. This article appeared at the back of The Egoist IV.6, on page 7 (July 1925).

The most liberal supporters of this paper, some of them egoists, have asked me change the name of the paper. John Basil Barnhill was the first to suggest a change. I refused. (See No. 4). Many others have made the suggestion, because egoism refers to a moral doctrine and egoist is not generally understood as individualist, notwithstanding the Standard Dictionary, and others, define “individualist” as “an egoist.” I answered these friends that as I had used various names for small leaflets–names that would suit my only font of big type for change in size of paper–that another change might tend to give me the title of “nut” or “quick-change artist” in regard to names. But they still write urging change of the name–don’t think the name is appropriate for a individualistic discussing political, social and economic matters almost exclusively.

If no one objected to the name, The Egoist, I would make no change, (as no name would compel me to pay an income tax), but some of my best friends want another name–most ANY OTHER name–for the paper. I am not obstinate on immaterial things, so will put the matter up to subscribers. Any name chosen by subscribers will suit me–BUT IT MUST STAND AS LONG AS I LIVE–I hate changes, notwithstanding many publications I see have little red or blue lines below a big new name saying “Formerly, etc., etc.” [“Fawcett’s,” formerly “True Confessions”; “Tax-Payers’ Magazine,” formerly “The Yeoman” for example].

Arthur R. Woolsey suggests the modern style–an engraved heading, “FULTON’S” in large letters, with “Magazine” in small letters beneath in an ornamental extension.

Names suggested:

  • Fulton’s Magazine. (Engraved heading.)
  • The Individualist.
  • Equal Freedom.
  • The Plumbliner.
  • The Mutualist.
  • The Egoist. (Present name.)

None of the new names were chosen or suggested by me. I am leaving the selection to subscribers. Send first, second and third choice. ANY of these names will suit the publisher.


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