The better life! Possibly, it would hardly look so, now; it is enough if it looked so then. The greatest obstacle to being heroic is the doubt whether one may not be going to prove one's self a fool; the truest heroism is, to resist the doubt; the profoundest wisdom, to know when it ought to be resisted, and when to be obeyed.
. . . Whatever else I may repent of, therefore, let it be reckoned neither among my sins nor follies that I once had faith and force enough to form generous hopes of the world's destiny-- yes!--and to do what in me lay for their accomplishment; even to the extent of quitting a warm fireside, flinging away a freshly-lighted cigar, and travelling far beyond the strike of city clocks, through a drifting snow-storm.
Throughout the whole of human history there have been people for whom the conventional is much too confining and for whom the forging of a new way of life becomes a compelling necessity. Whether driven by their dislike of the establishment, or lured by their vision of a new way to live, they set themselves apart from the majority and try, with varying degrees of success, to make their dream a reality. This chapter discusses two basically different approaches: the commune, which seeks to redefine a whole life style, and multiple marriage, which seeks to redefine marriage.
The word "commune" has been linked by the mass media to a particularly unsta-