New Harmony

Another famous attempt at a socialist community was New Harmony. Robert Owen was a successful businessman in England and introduced some advanced thinking into his business. He and his son, Robert Dale Owen, became ardent socialists and tried their hand at building a community of equality in Indiana. It fell apart after a few years. But these setbacks never faze socialists who keep pushing for their ideas that have never worked.

Owen was the owner of a textile factory in New Lanark, Scotland. An encyclopedia says, "Owen's experiments in enhancing his workers' environment resulted in increased productivity and profit. Owen had become convinced that the advancement of humankind could be furthered by he improvement of every individual's personal environment."

"In 1825, to advance his theories, he purchased land in Illinois and Indiana as a site for a model communal village, New Harmony." It started out with enthusiasm by those who volunteered but the people couldn't adhere to the communal constitution and it was soon abandoned. "By 1828 New Harmony had been reduced to a travesty of its utopian ideal, and Owen sold the land at a loss of four-fifths of his total fortune. In later years Owen frequently participated in socialist congresses, and he wrote extensively."


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