Owen took his vision to Indiana where he pursued a radical new experiment in social organization. In 1824, he purchased an existing settlement and founded the town of New Harmony. This was a truly socialistic society in which private property itself was done away with. The fate that befell New Harmony is a familiar one. The idealists who were attracted to this communal society were intellectuals and experts, and not the workers whose lots he had so hoped to better. Productivity collapsed. Industries that had once thrived under Johann Georg Rapp – a German philosopher and leader of a religious sect called Harmonists who initially founded the settlement – withered or collapsed entirely. Within two years, and following a substantial amount of instability and tumult, the experiment failed. To account for this disaster, Owen did what all revolutionary socialists have done ever since in order to exculpate themselves for failure: he blamed the ignoble character of the participants in his great experiment.
April 14, 2016
The Character of a Socialist
[And as we have seen in dozens of other places like Cambodia, USSR, and Communist China when the intellectuals try to remake the character of man or eliminate the “limiters”, all in the name of doing good, to make progress, the death toll rises into the tens of millions.—Joe]
Yes, well, when your founding premises are, “Your life is not yours. It belongs to the collective, and by the way I’ll be speaking for the collective, thank you, so do what I say or you’ll be treated as an Enemy of The People”, whatever follows will not be good.
My example used an individual dictator, but it works the same whether it’s a committee or a majority of voters. In all cases, your life is not yours; it belongs to the collective, and so to act in your own interests is a violation. An injustice. A crime.
In short; it is a war against the human spirit, but hardly anyone gets that even after having it explained to them. Such is the tenacity of our collectivist programming. We’re doomed to view one another, or whole populations, as items on a balance sheet. That makes anyone on the “liabilities” side of the balance sheet an enemy, and anyone on the “assets” side a slave.
@Lyle: Still, I drive by cars with Bernie Sanders bumper stickers and I curse at them for their abject stupidity. If they believe so much in wealth redistribution, they should first start by giving away the very vehicle that they ride in, for the collective good.
However, they only view it as freebies should head their way because of some evil corporation, the rich, or other scapegoats must be blamed for their own economic failures.
Yes. It’s all based on grievance politics, victim mentality, fear, the channeling of frustrations to some other person or group, or, in a word; hate.
Talk to a Progressive for just a little while and the hate starts to pour out. Make the best case you can make for the protection of life and liberty and they’ll say, in effect; “But look over there at those people we should hate…” If you don’t share in the hate, you’re an enemy.
No matter how you look at it though, it makes no sense. The pro-authoritarian (socialist/Progressive, et al) argument is always, essentually; “We can’t have liberty because there are bad people doing bad things.”
On the other hand, the American founders said, essentially, “We must be vigillant in our protection of liberty because there are bad people doing bad things.”
I say that your and my liberty are not to be thrown away, our rights never infringed, with the excuse being that there are other people doing bad things. It is unjust in its very premise, and yet that is the very foundational premise of all authoritarian systems.
Un-packing the authoritarians’ idiotic assertions and details of who is bad or what things should or should not be done is therefore irrelevant and therefore a distraction. Our problem is that we are fooled by the distractions almost all of the time.