Par-Tout [i.e., Netherlands]: Chez Le Vrai Sage, 1755. First edition. Title-page in black and red. Light wear to joints, old name inked out in the bottom margin of the title, causing a hole and some residual ink on the next leaf, not affecting text. Some minor foxing. A good, clean copy. Contemporary mottled calf, gilt spine with brown calf label, edges sprinkled brown. Octavo. 236,  pp. Item #13463
Very little is known about Morelly—biographers and bibliographers don’t even know his first name. He was born at Vitry-le-François, where he possibly taught. The present work is his most important. It is an early example of socialist thought and has much in common with Rousseau’s early works, though instead of a social contract, Morelly favors a society without any contract at all. Like Rousseau, Morelly considers human nature essentially good, but corruptible by society. He argues for an egalitarian state with no private ownership. His other writings include a Utopian prose epic, Naufrage des iles flottantes ou la Basiliade (1753) and a work on education, Essai sur l’esprit humain, ou principes naturels de l’education. )1743). Karl Marx was favorably impressed by Morelly.
Kress, 5457 ; Goldsmiths, 9074 ; Einaudi, 4031.