Attempted Utopian Society Modern Times Part 2

About the attempted utopian society Modern Times founded by Josiah Warren, history, population, economic and social structure.

Name of Utopia: MODERN TIMES

Property and Distribution of Goods: Land was offered in Modern Times at $22 an acre, the cost to Warren. Once bought, it was the individual's responsibility to protect and preserve what he or she had; to have done otherwise would have been in violation of Warren's concept of individual sovereignty. Goods were obtained through the principle of equitable commerce, so that whatever one attained was done through private initiative and labor.

Family/Marriage/Sex: Adin Ballou, founder of the Hopedale commune, wrote of 2 adulterers whom he expelled and who went to Modern Times, "they undoubtedly found congenial companionship, and unbridled liberty to carry their doctrines out to the farthest limit, with no one to question or reproach them, or say them nay."

The community's lack of rules, and Warren's refusal to question couples as part of his doctrine of individual sovereignty gave Modern Times the reputation for being a haven for free love. But just as Warren had refused to question unmarried couples, he refused to question the sanctity of a marriage. "We don't steal anything, not our neighbor's ox, nor his wife, nor his niece, nor his daughter, nor his sister; that would be interfering with the sovereignty of the individual. But if we can make a fair compact--an amicable agreement, where all parties will be rendered happy--who shall, or should complain?"

Place of Women: In Warren's community women enjoyed the same status and standards as men, as Warren's philosophy applied equally to them. They were permitted to set the price for their own labor, and they enjoyed sexual freedom without censure. In all, Warren's concept of individual sovereignty accorded women rights and privileges they did not have in the outside world.

Why the Experiment Ended: In order to purchase products they could not produce the members of Modern Times were forced to sell certain of their products outside their community. When the panic of 1857 occurred, their rather limited industries could not survive and the community, beset by financial woes, was forced to fold.

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