Education (part 9)
In 1825, Robert Owen came to America to establish his ideal society, a communist colony at New Harmony, Indiana. The New Harmony Socialist Community was formed. The experiment received much newspaper publicity and attracted a large number of followers. There were quite a few of these kinds of communities that sprung up in an attempt to create a utopian community, but Owens' was probably the most famous. Owen wrote:
I came to this country to introduce an entire new state of society, to change it from the ignorant selfish system to an enlightened social system which shall gradually unite all interests into one and remove all cause for contest between individuals.This ought to sound frighteningly familiar to anyone who is keeping up with the public policy and multiculturalism present today.
Owens' experiment failed in less than two years. He concluded though that the reason it failed was that the adults were untrained and corrupted the result. They hadn't been taught right. They hadn't been trained in not being selfish. What was needed was a rational education to precede a workable socialist society; we needed to backup and start earlier. We needed to get a group of children that we can train and then we can have this ideal society. So, the Owenites, along with the Unitarians, subsequently launched a strong campaign to promote a national system of education.