Home chapters Chapter 4 - 1825–1840: Socialist Sex Cults in Jacksonian America - Preview
Home chapters Chapter 4 - 1825–1840: Socialist Sex Cults in Jacksonian America - Preview

Chapter 4 - 1825–1840: Socialist Sex Cults in Jacksonian America - Preview

In the winter of 1825, the Father of British Socialism delivered an address in Congress. At least two presidents, along with senators and representatives, listened to him lay out his vision for the future for three hours in the House of Representatives. 

The socialist leader told his audience that he came to “introduce into these States, and through them to the world at large, a new social system” that would provide “perfect” equality, resolve the “inequality of wealth,” eliminate the “trading system,” and replace it with socialism.

Robert Owen’s lecture was billed as a “Discourse on a New System of Society” as delivered “in the presence of the President of the United States, the President Elect” and “Members of Congress,” meaning that both President James Monroe and newly elected President John Quincy Adams were there.

The man who would later be dubbed the Father of British Socialism claimed that he had achieved “the greatest discovery that man has made for the universal happiness of his race through all future time” that “the character of man is, without a single exception, always formed for him.”

Next month, Owen returned to Congress to give another address in which he warned that his socialist system was based on principles “directly opposed to the system of society” that existed, and that the “old system of society would break up” when exposed to his new approach.

Owen's new system would be implemented in the socialist commune of New Harmony.

“The new Communists came in with the most flaming hope that can possibly be imagined,” one of the children born in New Harmony recalled.

 The members of these utopian communes opposed to private property were also known as “Communists”.

New Harmony was to be one of a series of prototype communes that would, as Owen had told Congress, envelop the nation and overturn the old individualistic system of free enterprise.

While waiting for weeks, the future residents of New Harmony read the works of French socialist thinker Charles Fourier329 who envisioned everyone living in communes in a utopia known as Harmony where they would abolish private property, grow to seven feet tall, and develop tails.

Fourier, who coined the term “feminism”, also called for abolishing marriage, and instituting a “sexual minimum” as a right that would be fulfilled by women drafted into a sexual service corps.

 A year after his triumph in Congress, Owen delivered a July 4 address in New Harmony in which he dismissed the Founding Fathers as men “encircled by the prejudices which they and their fathers brought from Europe” and called for a “mental revolution” that would eliminate “private or individual property” along with “absurd and irrational systems of religion,” and marriage. 

“All religions have proved themselves to be Superstitions,” Owen ranted. Marriage was a capitalist tool allowing the rich “to keep their children apart” while selecting “the most beautiful and desirable women” to make them into their “private property.” The socialist revolution was underway.

Learn more about how the socialists of Jacksonian America built communes that went on to transform America with everything from the Smithsonian to public education in Chapter 4 - Socialist Sex Cults in Jacksonian America.