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New Harmony was a Communitarian society started by the philanthropist and idealist Robert Owen in America but failed for a variety of reasons after two years.


Communitarianism is "of or relating to social organization in small cooperative partially collectivist communities." It is also said to be a philosophy that emphasizes the connection between the individual and the community. Its overriding philosophy is based upon the belief that a person's social identity and personality are largely molded by community relationships, with a smaller degree of development being placed on individualism.

Communitarianism is also said to be a social and political philosophy that emphasizes the importance of community in the functioning of political life, in the analysis and evaluation of political institutions. The real conflict from a Biblical view point may be identified in the definition that communitarianism has "a viewpoint on welfare issues that stresses common interests and common values arising from communal bonds. As such, communitarianism is opposed to purely individualistic conceptions of welfare"

John Goodwyn Barmby

John Goodwyn Barmby was a leader of the British Chartist movement[1], who used the term Communitarianism. After his "Communist Church" failed he moved toward a more radical Unitarian Christianity. He often referred to a socialists utopia but often found it easier to imagine than establish.

The term fell out of use until after the sexual revolution of the 60s and the political frustration of the 1970s. The term became popular in the 1980s among socialists who had progressed in modern academia taking over the teaching of a new American political philosophy. Ideas of the "common good" pushed against individual liberalism and libertarians with their love for personal autonomy and the endowed rights of individuals. This was actually a new version of communitarianism where collectivism is king, at least at the beginning.

Robert Owen

John Goodwyn Barmby had at one time been a follower of Robert Owen and his well financed Owenites. Robert Owen had been a follower of Jeremy Bentham, who believed in the "free markets" as to a partial solution for the abuses that may arise with the freedom offered through capitalism.

Owen had become disillusioned with the Church of England and became what was called a deist as defined at that time. He understood that the mind, thinking and character of men was often altered by their environment. He was influenced by high moral standards and the views of men like Sir Isaac Newton's views on natural law, and others from Plato to Jeremy Bentham.

Because of personal wealth and the advances in the mill industry he was able to experiment with new ideas to reorganize society with seemingly some intermediate success.

His community was formed as a collective where the people lived in common housing providing private apartments but a common kitchen. Children were raised by their parents only until they were three when the community would take over the rearing and education of the child. The parents would still have contact but the community would take over traditional roll of the Fathers and Mothers as educators/[2]

Of course in theory only the most competent care givers and educators would be chosen for the task of rearing children but nature would dictate a divided loyalty and responsibility undermining the law to honor your Father and Mother.

Owen believed it takes a village and tried to build a "Village of Unity and Mutual Cooperation". While his utopian community attracted a mix of people, many with the highest aims they also included vagrants, adventurers and other reform-minded enthusiasts. In the words of David Dale Owen, Robert's son, they attracted "a heterogeneous collection of Radicals", "enthusiastic devotees to principle," and "honest latitudinarians, and lazy theorists," with "a sprinkling of unprincipled sharpers thrown in." His New Harmony village lasted only two years and dissolved in 1827.

Without the filtering agents of private property, private charity and individual responsibility New Harmony was soon singing out of tune.

One of the participants at New Harmony, Josiah Warren, suggested they were doomed to failure for lack of individual sovereignty and personal property in their scheme, stating:

"We had a world in miniature — we had enacted the French revolution over again with despairing hearts instead of corpses as a result... It appeared that it was nature's own inherent law of diversity that had conquered us... our "united interests" were directly at war with the individualities of persons and circumstances and the instinct of self-preservation..."

"All the world is queer save thee and me, and even thou art a little queer." William Allen a business partner of Robert Owen.

Owen tried numerous ventures after returning to England including the National Equitable Labour Exchange system,which included a time-based currency effected by means of "labour notes". But its time was up the first year.

He also was a leader of the Grand National Consolidated Trade Union (GNCTU) before its collapse in the next year.

Robert Owen made the term Socialism and his secular views also gained enough influence among the working classes. While his ideas enjoyed popularity among those who agitated for change they eventually lost ground and popularity with the practical demands of life.

Publicly proclaiming in his haste that all religions were false, not realizing that religion is not an institution of men but a duty to God and your fellowman. If he only realized the nature of Pure Religion must be unspotted by contracts and the force of the world.

In his frustration he delved into spiritualism and eventually wrote about his conversion in a pamphlet, "The future of the Human race; or great glorious and future revolution to be effected through the agency of departed spirits of good and superior men and women."

Robert would have been better served if he read a little less of Plato and a little more of Polybius and Plutarch and better off if he accepted that it is not nice to mess with Mother Nature and certinly far better oof if he realized that “If we want better people to make a better world, then we will have to begin where people are made in the family.” Jacob M. Braude.

Ten elements

Many historical political and religious systems seen in the Old Testament and the New Testament seems to have elements of Communitarianism but the devil may be in the interpretation and application.

Robert Owen's utopian model envisioned an association of 500–3,000 people as a working community unit. Interesting enough he desired such communities to organize "unions of them federatively united shall be formed in circle of tens, hundreds and thousands" but traditionally in the Law of Nature the family was the foundational unit of society and not the village.

Christ was filtering out His followers from the very beginning by preaching the elements of the Kingdom of God as opposed to the elements of the world.

He demand that each individual was to seek the righteousness of God spelled out in the Ten Commandments. That would mean that at least three of those elements include that:

  • You could not make covenants that would bind your right to choose or liberty because all liberty was of God and anyone who opposes liberty opposes God.

You were to honor your Father and Mother so that your days upon the land would be lengthened by the love of your own children caring for you.

You also could not covet anything that was thy neighbors. That would mean that your neighbor owned what he had and you owned what you had.

Corban was a part of the welfare system of Israel but some how under Herod and the Pharisees they politically tweaked the practice of Corban and were making the word of God to none effect.

Failing for almost a thousand years to grasp the structure of the Church and the relationship of the Christian community to that Church several passages have been taken out of context. Acts 4:32: talks about an appointed and called out Church which held "all things common". Like the Levites who held lands in common as joint heirs because they had no personal inheritance in the land[3] the early Church ministers had to meet the criteria of the Christ as spelled out in His Gospel. Because the appointed Ministers of Christ held "all things common" as joint heirs, and could not have a personal inheritance but instead they inherited the job of the Church.[4] They could then be the Benefactors who did not exercise authority one over the other.[5]

The people in congregations did have an inheritance in the land.[6] The people in Israel and the early Church were not communists nor socialists communities.

The early Church and the Church in the wilderness, consisting of the Levites, provided a daily ministration through the individual freewill offerings of the people in faith, hope and charity. The practice of Religion, especially Pure Religion was defined as worship. The ministers of the Church were in the world but not of the world and consisted of ministers who were called out to serve the people who organized themselves in the tens.

Christ had commanded that His minister require that five thousand men and their families organize themselves in the "tens, hundreds and thousands" before there would be a distribution of loaves and fishes.

The altars of the Bible are actually describing a the structure of God's Kingdom we are to seek which makes us free souls under God if we establish the "bonds " of society through faith, hope and charity rather than fealty, fear, and force used by the world.

Socialism | Communism | Primitive Communism |
Anarcho communism | Communist Altruism | Collectivism |
Communitarian | Community Law | Crowd psychology |
Statues | Legal charity | Riots | Welfare |
Welfare_types | Public religion | Corban | Why Socialism |
Was Jesus a socialist | Not so Secure Socialism |
covetous practices | Weightier matters | Dialectic |
Bread and circuses | gods | Deist | James Scott |
Liberalism | Classical liberalism | Transcendentalist |
Polybius | Plutarch | Perfect law of liberty | Perfect savages |
Lady Godiva | Nimrod | Cain | Bondage of Egypt |
Corvee | Nicolaitan | Benefactors | Fathers |
Citizen‎ | Social contract | Section 666 | Mark of the Beast |
Christian conflict | Diocletianic Persecution | Mystery Babylon |
Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Denmark | Community |
I paid in | Goats_and_Sheep | Shepherds | Free Keys |
Roots of the Welfare State | Cloward-Piven Strategy |
Rules For Radicals | Communist Manifesto |
Live as if the state does not exist | Departed |
Nazi | Authority | Guru theories | Larken Rose |
Capitalism | Covet | Dominionism | FEMA | Network


  1. Chartists saw themselves fighting against political corruption but depended upon a social democracy approach to obtain their goals rather than individual charity. They did not have a live and let live or "laissez-faire" approach but desired the power of the ruling upper class to pas to them through social democracy. Without a networking system of voluntary charity as Christ commanded the bonds of their movement scattered by 1848.
  2. Deuteronomy 4:9 Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life: but teach them thy sons, and thy sons’ sons;
  3. Numbers 18:20 ¶ And the LORD spake unto Aaron, Thou shalt have no inheritance in their land, neither shalt thou have any part among them: I [am] thy part and thine inheritance among the children of Israel.
  4. Numbers 18:20 And the LORD spake unto Aaron, Thou shalt have no inheritance in their land, neither shalt thou have any part among them: I am thy part and thine inheritance among the children of Israel.
    Numbers 18:23 But the Levites shall do the service of the tabernacle of the congregation, and they shall bear their iniquity: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations, that among the children of Israel they have no inheritance.
    Numbers 18:24 But the tithes of the children of Israel, which they offer as an heave offering unto the LORD, I have given to the Levites to inherit: therefore I have said unto them, Among the children of Israel they shall have no inheritance.
    Numbers 26:62 And those that were numbered of them were twenty and three thousand, all males from a month old and upward: for they were not numbered among the children of Israel, because there was no inheritance given them among the children of Israel.
    Deuteronomy 18:2 Therefore shall they have no inheritance among their brethren: the LORD is their inheritance, as he hath said unto them.
  5. Luke 22:25 And he said unto them, The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors. 26 But ye shall not be so: but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve. 27 For whether is greater, he that sitteth at meat, or he that serveth? is not he that sitteth at meat? but I am among you as he that serveth. 28 Ye are they which have continued with me in my temptations. 29 And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me;
  6. Numbers 33:54 And ye shall divide the land by lot for an inheritance among your families: [and] to the more ye shall give the more inheritance, and to the fewer ye shall give the less inheritance: every man’s [inheritance] shall be in the place where his lot falleth; according to the tribes of your fathers ye shall inherit.
    1 Kings 8:36 Then hear thou in heaven, and forgive the sin of thy servants, and of thy people Israel, that thou teach them the good way wherein they should walk, and give rain upon thy land, which thou hast given to thy people for an inheritance.