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New Harmony: America's failed 19th-
century socialist experiment

Original Article

Posted By: DVC, 2/25/2020 2:54:03 AM

The history of socialism in America did not begin with Bernie Sanders or Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Rather, it began in 1825 on the banks of the Wabash River in Indiana. On April 27 of that year, Robert Owen, a Welsh textile manufacturer-turned-philanthropist, welcomed 800 eager arrivals to the settlement he had christened New Harmony. New Harmony was to be a "community of equality" heralding a new way of life. Owen's followers would soon coin a new name for his vision: "utopian socialism."


An American example where socialism foundered on the rocks of failing to grasp two fundamental human traits. Unconstrained laziness, and the removal of personal gain for personal effort. When you can get something for nothing, the slugs line up and nobody works. So, soon enough, you get nothing for nothing, and everyone starves. Or works at gunpoint in a few cases.
More than 100 million murdered by socialists/communists in the last century, desperate to "make communism work" and that isn't including the ones who just starved due to incompetent government.

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Reply 1 - Posted by: Trigger2 2/25/2020 4:26:14 AM (No. 328912)
Wasn't there an earlier one shortly after the Europeans came to North America where everyone was assigned a job and all the lazy ones skipped the work but thought the workers would provide for them anyways? Nothing has changed.
10 people like this.

Reply 2 - Posted by: beancounter 2/25/2020 7:12:01 AM (No. 328995)
I remember reading long ago how some symphony orchestras in Europe experimented with socialism in the 1920’s. They thought having a conductor went against the principles of socialism, so they tried to go conductor-less. Then some of the musicians complained that the concert master (1st violinist) was acting as the conductor, which simply wouldn’t do. Within a few years the experiment failed.
4 people like this.

Reply 3 - Posted by: Frenesi1 2/25/2020 7:15:13 AM (No. 328998)
The Pilgrims tried socialism too. They found out pretty quickly that they would all starve to death if they didn't get rid of it.
15 people like this.

Reply 4 - Posted by: Rather Read 2/25/2020 7:53:51 AM (No. 329035)
I've been to New Harmony several times. It's a pretty little town with some nice places to eat and some good BnBs. You can walk anywhere you want to go and the history behind it is interesting. The group of people that Robert Owen brought over was called 'the boatload of knowledge'. Too bad it wasn't a boatload of workers, the city might have flourished.
4 people like this.

Reply 5 - Posted by: Highlander 2/25/2020 8:26:17 AM (No. 329076)
I also visited New Harmony years ago. Like the previous poster wrote, it’s a pretty place, with quaint shops and a Harmonite museum. What struck me was the cemetery. There were no markers or tombstones. All the deceased were buried in unmarked graves in accordance with their belief that no one is distinct from another; even in death. What you see is just a large empty patch of grass.
2 people like this.

Reply 6 - Posted by: Newtsche 2/25/2020 8:42:02 AM (No. 329092)
FTA -- "Ultimately you had a lot of thinkers and not enough doers."
4 people like this.

Reply 7 - Posted by: walcb 2/25/2020 8:55:25 AM (No. 329107)
What #5 wrote is very profound. Every human needs and strives for recognition. Socialism takes all that away and destroys the human spirit.
6 people like this.

Reply 8 - Posted by: jeffkinnh 2/25/2020 8:56:32 AM (No. 329110)
What a perfect example of the certain outcome of Bernie's ideas, HERE in America. Plus, apparently the "smart" people gathered there but they didn't have enough drones to do the work. This is almost always the nature of a Utopian society, leaders and workers. The workers are assumed to make no "thought" contributions to the society, the leaders know what is good for them. If honest, one might call the workers slaves, with, if they are lucky, beneficent masters.
4 people like this.

Reply 9 - Posted by: rikkitikki 2/25/2020 9:41:15 AM (No. 329151)
What #8 said...pretty much describes every communist country in the world.
3 people like this.

Reply 10 - Posted by: rikkitikki 2/25/2020 9:51:38 AM (No. 329164)
The main flaw with virtually every such experiment in socialism is that they all ignore the most basic element of human nature...we are all born selfish, and remain so throughout our entire lives. Due to that innate selfishness, in their beginnings, the participants all expect to receive benefits far in excess of the labor they contribute to produce those benefits, no matter what are the required tasks. Christianity teaches the concept of universal human selfishness, but when socialists such as those in New Harmony, or Russia, or Cuba, or Venezuela, discard those teachings, they literally throw the baby out with the bath water, and universal poverty is the unavoidable result.
3 people like this.

Reply 11 - Posted by: Videodrone 2/25/2020 11:18:18 AM (No. 329242)
There were several different experiments with different ideas - Oneida comes to mind
2 people like this.

Reply 12 - Posted by: DVC 2/25/2020 12:31:34 PM (No. 329314)
#1, you are probably thinking of the socialist disaster at Jamestown, the Virginia colony that predates the Plymouth Rock landing by 10 or 12 years, IIRC. Initially they had "community food" and assigned jobs, but so many were lazy and off hunting for gold that they almost starved the first winter. After that, it was grow your own food and the colony flourished.
3 people like this.

Reply 13 - Posted by: Luandir 2/25/2020 1:12:58 PM (No. 329357)
It looks as though Mr. Owen was also the first to float the excuse, "It would have worked if we'd just had the right people."
2 people like this.

Reply 14 - Posted by: NYbob 2/25/2020 3:47:34 PM (No. 329498)
It's a study in human nature that every state has multiple examples of some kind of 'free' lunch community. Always 'led' by a smooth talking con man or woman who seduces people with low self esteem or lacking skills or hard luck cases. People who need decisions made for them. Who don't mind giving up lots of freedoms for security and routine. Then after a while they dimly perceive the fact that some, usually the leaders, have more things, better things and don't have to work nearly as hard as they do. That stunning reality is why these social experiments are historical and not thriving cults of today. The fact that so many today are oblivious to the history that is all around them is another example of the failure of our institutions and too many lazy, stupid, parents. I'd say shame on the likes of Bernie, but they have no shame, no honor and no honesty.
2 people like this.

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