History

Lucifer Unemployed

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If those old issues of The Realist that I blogged this morning are just too contemporary for your blood, here's an alternative: Shawn Wilbur has scanned and posted several editions of Lucifer the Light-Bearer, an individualist-anarchist paper of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

Despite what you might assume from the title, Lucifer wasn't published by some precursor to Anton LaVey. Editor Moses Harman, a crusader for sexual liberty who was frequently imprisoned for his views, claimed that he picked the term because

Lucifer, the ancient name of the Morning Star, now called Venus, seems to us unsurpassed as a cognomen for a journal whose mission is to bring light to the dwellers in darkness.

The paper eventually changed its name to the American Journal of Eugenics. It says something about the changing times, or maybe just about me, that I find that title infinitely creepier.