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Utopian Socialism

The Utopian Outlook

 It is over a hundred years since Robert Owen gave to the world at large his “New View of Society," now republished by Messrs. J. M. Dent & Sons, Ltd., in Everyman’s Library (price 2s., cloth). Modern industry based upon machinery was still in its infancy, though it was developing rapidly and revolutionising the mode of life of millions of workers.

Frederick Engels: A Lifetime's Service

1995 is the Centenary of the death of Karl Marx's friend and collaborator Frederick Engels, and Engels spent his entire adult life working for socialism. A prolific and popular writer as well as indefatigable activist and theorist, his name is justly coupled with that of his life-long friend as the originator of scientific socialism.

Engels became a Socialist (or Communist in the language of the time) earlier than Marx, in October 1842—at the age of 22—after a meeting with Moses Hess. Hess, Engels wrote a year later, was the first of the "Young Hegelians" to embrace socialist ideas, so founding a school of German "philosophical communism".

The Young Hegelians were a group of intellectuals who gave Hegel's philosophical views a radical twist and used them to criticise the then existing political and social order. Engels associated with them when he was in Berlin doing his military service in 1841-2.

Book Review: 'Modern Socialism in its Historical Development'

Tugan-Baranovsky's Criticism of Marx

'Modern Socialism in its Historical Development', by M. Tugan-Baranovsky (1910)

'Modern Socialism in its Historical Development', by M. Tugan-Baranovsky, was published in 1910. It was translated from the Russian by M. I. Redmount.

The most interesting feature of the work is the record of working-class efforts and ideas in the early days of the movement. The phrasing is inclined to be awkward, possibly due to difficulties of translation. It is, in places, not easy to get at the ideas. When understood, however, the work presents a rather curious instance of an author losing sight of his own premises, merely because society has failed to act on them.

Book Review: 'History of American Socialisms'

Utopian Communities

'History of American Socialisms', by John Humphrey Noyes, with new introduction by Mark Holloway, Dover, New York

"Socialism has been tried before in various communal experiments. These failed because men cannot live together, co-operating freely in production and sharing the amenities and products of their community."

So runs one of the "human nature" type of objections to Socialism.

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