Tuesday, December 23, 2014

New Harmony, a utopian experiment in the American wilderness

In 1825 Welsh industrialist, Robert Owen, purchased a religious community on the frontier in Indiana, named Harmony. He renamed the village, New Harmony, and implemented a wide range of social experiments that seemed to hark of John Lennon’s 1971 song, “Imagine.” Things did not go as planned.  The popular understanding of communism among North Americans is that its concept began with the writings of Friedrich Engels and Karl Marx then appeared in an extreme form with the advent of 1918 Bolshevik Revolution in Russia. In fact, while living in England, Engels attended a Socialist “church” founded by Robert Owen. and wrote for a journal that Owen published, The New Moral World. The wealth of both Owen and Engels was derived from the partial ownership of textile mills. While espousing the ideal that workers should own the means of the production, in their lifetimes, they both continued to maintain affluent lifestyles by owning the means of production themselves.  All of the basic beliefs and economic principals of Marxism can be found in the writings of Robert Owen.

Read more at the Examiner


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